July 15, 2008
• Forget the heroin addiction for a moment and just approach Josh Hamilton's three-year absence as simply a three-year hole in his career. There are very few players who've been able to rebound from an absence of that length. Ted Williams immediately comes to mind, as he missed three years to serve in WWII. There's simply no comparison between the two in a pure statistical sense, as Hamilton, despite his pedigree, was nothing special before he left the game in 2002. The longest absence? Has to be Minnie Minoso, who wound down his career in 1964 with the White Sox, only to make a brief 3 game appearance with the team in 1976 (12 years later), and then for 2 more games in 1980.
• One more note on Hamilton: When was the last time there was a trade when both players ended up as first-time All-Stars the very next season?
• Let's talk about hype for a second. Who does Jay Bruce remind you of more: Ken Griffey, Jr., or Kevin Maas? Actually, Bruce will have to go on a home run tear if I want to compare him to Maas. Right now I guess he's just Mini-Maas.
• Is anyone else curious about how relic cards are made? Do machines manufacture them? I'd have to think certain ones are hand-crafted, like those in the Hair Cut series. I'd like to see one of the card companies put an informational video on youtube about the making of relic cards.
• Will tonight's All-Star Game be as good as the turkey sandwich I had for lunch? I think I'll root for the National League to take the lead in the ninth against Rivera. If they win, that means the Red Sox will be able to clinch the 2008 World Series at Fenway instead of on the road like last year. Good times all around.