Tonight I board the big ol' jet airliner for Chicago and a new start. So that means this is the final "real" post on this blog. What better way to go then to show off the latest additions to the collection. There is a an ebay purchase and a couple of trades.
First up from the Bay.
A Yellow Parallel Vincent Lecavalier UD Champs. Step one on the rainbow, now to find the base, blue and red versions!
Trade number one. I sent Drew a bunch of football cards and he responded with a couple of 100 count plastic boxes containing some set needs, O's and Rays along with the single football card. It's pretty flippin' sweet.
A Lenny Moore Buy Back. This is the first buy back from any sport that I've been able to add to my collection. The fact that it's one of the all time best BALTIMORE Colts makes it even sweeter. Thanks Drew!
Trade number two. The Great Sports Name Hall of Fame. In return for some football cards as well Tim loaded a 100 count box full of O's including an addition to my player collection.
Sugar Bear! The personal collection now sits at a whopping 4 Rayford cards. There were also a bunch of 1990's era Orioles that I didn't have. It's always nice to see cards that aren't in the collection. Thank you Tim and the 1992 cards I mentioned are on there way to you.
On Wednesday the Tampa Bay Lightning sent two of their players to the local Champs at International Mall in Tampa. Since I had nothing better to do that day I went there about an hour early and ended up as the 50th person in line. In total about 250 people showed up, which given the normal apathy surrounding hockey and the Bolts dismal performance over the last three weeks, ended up being a decent turnout.
It helped that the closest thing to a hockey icon in town, Vincent Lecavalier, was one of the signers. As a devoted fan of "Enzo" I decided to have him sign my jersey (which will become the centerpiece of my Lightning memorabilia collection once I can afford to have it framed) and a couple of cards.
He was signing with fellow French Canadian Alex Tanguay. When I dropped the the cards on the table to have them signed Vinny made a joke about the Canadians card Tanguay signed. Alas, it was in French and since I'm a monolingual American I had no idea what he said. They were both polite and genuinely glad to meet the fans.
There ya go. Hoped you enjoyed the final post. Come and check things out at The Hopeful Chase, regular posts should be starting in the next day or so!
It's been announced that the O's have acquired former Devil Ray/Astro/Red Sox/Dodger/ Cardinal infielder Julio Lugo for the always popular player to be named later. Chances are that player will be named Cash. To make room for Lugo, Michael Aubrey was designated for assignment.
I wish this was an April Fools joke; not because I think Lugo is washed up (he hit .280 with St Louis and Boston last season), but because this means Brian Roberts isn't as healthy as we're being told.
Roberts has struggled with a herniated disk in his lower back all spring and just returned to the everyday lineup. For the O's to pull in an experienced middle infielder this late in Spring Training means that they are worried that Roberts may miss significant time.
If they weren't concerned then they wouldn't have made the deal and stuck it out with Robert Andino and Ty Wigginton as their utility infielders. I don't see them carrying three spare infielders all season long so I'm guessing the light hitting Andino, who is out of minor league options, is the odd man out.
Lugo wanted out of St Louis when it was apparent he wasn't going to be a starter for the Cardinals. Could Lugo eventually beat out Cesar Izturis for the starting shortstop position? It's possible, but unlikely. The O's like Izturis' defense and feel that they have enough power in the lineup to make up for his below average offensive output.
Roberts has played in the last three games for the O's and is slowly playing his way into game shape. He states that he feels fine, but back problems, like hamstrings and sprained ankles, have a tendency to linger throughout the season. It could also affect the way Roberts plays the game. Will he be wanting to dive after ground balls or slide headfirst into second if it might cause the injury to flare up?
The longest tenured Oriole is a key part of the O's lineup. He is a steady leadoff hitter that sets the tempo for the power guys behind him. Buster Olney from ESPN points out that the O's open the season with 28 of 35 games against teams that had a winning record last season. Sixteen of their games in April are against American League East teams. If they aren't firing at all cylinders to start the season they could find themselves 10 games back by the time May 1st comes around.
Despite all of that doom and gloom there is some good news: The O's won't be spending a lot of money on Lugo. The Red Sox are paying all but $400,000 of Lugo's $8.6 million salary.