Mandatory Grilling Weekend.

Eh, I don't Love the Rims.

I think I am going to get a little bit of a head start of Memorial Day weekend.  No one is around today, anyway.  You have to love the 3 day weekend that gets pushed into a four-day weekend.  It’s the American way.  Anyway, I’m sure everyone is piled in the cars, headed for their favorite vacation spot.  Jersey Shore opening weekend!   See everyone down there (obscene hand gesture).  No, as much as I love a good holiday, and any excuse to char animal flesh on an open fire, Americana has to take a back seat this weekend.  It’s a crowded sports landscape, but above all else, we’ve got Stanley Cup fever.  After 13 years, we finally get to remember what a Stanley Cup Finals game feels like.  Hopefully, it goes a little better this time around.

I put the general, city-wide, sports hexola on Chicago earlier in the week.  When looking at the actual series, you have to get creative to find the Flyers an edge.  When you hear people talk about resiliency, unity, destiny, anything of that nature…it usually means you are on the short end of the talent stick.  When people analyze Chicago they just say they are good.  The Flyers is more like, they have something special going right now.  Which of those is better is a matter of preference, I suppose, but Chicago is probably a full rung or two above any of the competition Philly has faced so far.  They have great scoring, Duncan Keith is every bit as good a Chris Pronger, the team is legit.  Much like last year’s World Series, the Flyers are going to have to figure out how to win this in six games.  I can’t imagine game 7 on the road would end well.  First step, have to split those first two games in Chicago this weekend.  A must.

Speaking of teams trying to avoid game 7s on the road, the Boston Celtics have their biggest home game of the year on Friday night.  They’ve dropped two straight to Orlando, who has apparently changed their strategy to “just give people concussions.”   If you gave Boston this scenario at the beginning of the series, coming home with a chance to close it out, they’d have taken it every time, but you get the sense that some doubt is creeping in for the Celtics.  We’ll see just how good this veteran leadership is, because I think there might be a fan base on the precipice here.  A couple of weeks after the Bruins blew a 3-0 lead to the Flyers, you don’t want to think about it happening again.  What happened to Celts/Lakers?  I thought it was in the bag.

Other Notes:

El Cupo Worldo Preparation Saturday against Turkey.  No, I won’t be at the game, but I’ll be checking the score the next day, count on that.

Indy 500?  Why doesn’t anyone care about Indy racing anymore?  We’re over Danica?  I used to watch the Indy 500 every year.  I don’t know why.  I think it was because I had Al Unser Jr.’s awful racing game for Nintendo.  I’m just kidding, it was awesome.  Huge Unser fan. Michael Andretti can choke on one.

Will the Phillies ever score again?  A ridiculous thought, but then again one more shutout and you might want to get in on the ground floor on this one.  I told you they were never going to score again!  Bad news, we’re getting a lot of 1983 and 1979 comparisons.  Two good teams, one fizzled after a hot start and missed the playoffs completely, the other was prone to offensive droughts and suffered its biggest during the ’83 Series against the god forsaken Orioles.  Closed door meeting didn’t work, I don’t feel great about this team right now.

Hey, John Daly’s quasi in contention.  Be sure to check out his pants this weekend.  Or if you want to see a visually stunning golf course, check out the Senior PGA Championship at Colorado Golf Club.  Ben Crenshaw can’t play anymore, but he can sure draw some purdy golf course pictures.

I know the apathy about MMA here, but I’ll give my standard if you happen to be in a sports bar Saturday Night at midnight, look up at the TV.  Rashad Evans vs. Rampage Jackson could be pretty explosive.

I think that’s about it, Happy Memorial Day, all.  Maybe I’ll check in on Monday, but Tuesday for sure will be back to rehash all this.  I’m sure there will be plenty to talk about.

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The Baseball Card Market Still Exists.

Who Knew?

Imagine my surprise when I heard a Stephen Strasburg card was going for 16 grand on ebay.  Actually, that’s a little misleading.  When I first heard of this I assumed some guy had listed the card at $16,000, but was going to reel in a grand total of zero bids.  Then I clicked on a link, and what did my eyes see?  Eighty-five bids and counting, and a price north of 16 dimes.  I’ve been out of the game for a while as they say, but I wasn’t aware that there was a new card printed these days that was worth 16 bucks, let alone 16 grand.  But it seems that Bowman’s grand idea, combined with Stephen Strasburg hype has sent the price of this card through the roof.  Strasburg, who has been compared to everyone from Mark Prior to Nuke LaLoosh can now claim a little bit of Honus Wagner territory.

I rode the wave of baseball cards straight into the ground.  Back in the day when my Canseco and Strawberry rookies could have brought me a pretty penny I was a pretty avid collector.  There is something about opening a pack of cards that is oddly satisfying.  It’s not unlike peeling the foil off a piece of candy.  I suppose it still has an appeal for some people, and the guy auctioning off this Strasburg card got it from a regular pack.  That’s good fortune, but then again, anyone still buying baseball cards probably deserves a bit a luck.  I think the majority of my cards have become landfill fodder, but I still have some complete sets, and a binder full of all the cards I thought had potential in 1992.  Apparently I was very high on Phil Plantier.

I suppose I keep them now mostly for nostalgic purposes.  I don’t have nightmares about reliving the whole, “I used to put Mickey Mantle rookies in my bike spokes,” scenario.  One of the reasons those cards are so valuable is because most of them were destroyed or beaten to death by kids who probably got a lot more entertainment out of them than I ever did.  I think I just mostly looked at mine, and checked my Beckett’s guide which was filled with prices you could never get for a card.  The pricing was similar to the Price is Right.  Actual retail price of the grill you just saw at Home Depot for $299….$1100!!!   I remember winning a raffle at a card show when I was a young kid, and I took the Dwight Evans rookie card, whose price I had just looked up, over to another dealer.  He offered me about 10 cents on the dollar. Pretty harsh reality check.

Anyway, this Strasburg card really blows my mind.  I suppose anything that is one of kind has value, but after this auction ends someone is going to join the Nationals as entities heavily invested in the arm of Stephen Strasburg.  I’m going to hold off making a bid, but I might start devising a plan to get that Bryce Harper Bowman Chrome Superfractor (that’s actually what the card is called) in 2011.  Too bad I don’t have the first clue where to buy a pack of baseball cards.