Piles and Piles

So, this just happened…


That’s me, organizing my November-through-now piles of cards into different piles of cards, this time team specific. The keen-eyed observer would be able to spot various colored parallels, borders, diecuts, refractors and, I think, even a relic towards the top there.

The point is, I’ve finally gotten around to some spring cleaning. These piles will join the “Massive Mega Box” that contains all my random cards that aren’t part of my collection. It’s full. To the brim. These cards very well might not fit. That means I have a problem, and you, my dear internet friends, are the solution.



With a very very few exceptions, I don’t collect anything besides Red Sox cards. I’m a team collector. There’s a few guys here and there that I like, but in the end, I would trade any of the occasional Buster Posey, Mike Trout or Jed Lowrie cards I’ve kept if given the opportunity to grab a Sox card of equal value. This means that 29 of the 30 MLB teams are current sitting in said uber-box.

Would you like some cards?

There are a couple of you I trade with on a fairly common basis. Sam, for example, he gets my Astros. Actually, Sam probably gets most people’s Astros, lol. Those cards are more or less spoken for. What I’m looking for are new trade partners. I need names and addresses people! How can I send you random cards out of the blue if I don’t know who you are! I have less than five people at the moment that I would consider myself a regular trader with. You know who you are. That leaves 25 other teams I’d be willing to send metric butt-tons of cards to for hardly anything in return.

Marlins? I’ve got hundreds.

Blue Jays? Come get’em.

Pirates? How many would you like?

The Yankees, Brewers, Tigers, Rays, Indians, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Athletics, etc. all have HUGE sections of my tradebox. Need examples?

So, here’s the deal. I need to clear out some room. You didn’t pick up any Bowman Platinum last year? I’ve probably got your team set. Missing some Topps update? Gotcha covered. Want some random Blue/Red Target and Walmart borders? I’m your man.

99% of what I have is 2010-2013, all major products, nothing crazy, nothing super expensive, but it all needs a good home. I also mentioned the various refractors and whatnot hiding in the piles. That’s right. I’m cleaning out the trade-bait binder and moving some of those things down into these piles. Now, don’t go expecting autographs or anything, but there are a couple nice cards in just about every stack.

What am I looking for in return? Next to nothing. Karma. Whatever you want to send in return. Seriously. IF you want to send something in return, all I ask is that you take a look at what I’m sending and send me whatever YOU think is an appropriate response. It could be nothing. It could be a box full. I don’t care. We don’t need to negotiate some elaborate deal, accounting for the book value of every refractor. I don’t roll that way. If you have something Red Sox flavored, great. If not, that’s ok too.

If you’re interested in a bigger trade and if I’ve got some legitimate tradebait for you (auto, relics, etc), then let’s use this as just a starting point. We can swap swatches, and I’ll throw in a bunch of random stuff just as a cherry on top. Just let me know!

So, who’s interested in what? Let’s start a list!

  • Arizona Diamondbacks – Daniel – Sent!
  • Atlanta Braves
  • Baltimore Orioles – Justin G – Sent!
  • Boston Red Sox (Dupes only, limited amounts) – Claimed
  • Chicago Cubs – Andrew
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Cinncinnati Reds
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Colorado Rockies – Tim – Sent!
  • Detroit Tigers – Dennis & Pat – Sent!
  • Houston Astros – Sam – Picked up!
  • Kansas City Royals
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – AngelsInOrder – Sent!
  • Los Angeles Dodgers – GCRL – sent!
  • Miami Marlins
  • Milwaukee Brewers
  • Minnesota Twins – Rhubarb_Runner – Sent!
  • New York Mets
  • New York Yankees – Thelostcollector – Sent!
  • Oakland Athletics – Aaron
  • Philadelphia Phillies
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • San Diego Padres
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Seattle Mariners – Chris
  • St. Louis Cardinals – Superduperman – Sent!
  • Tampa Bay Rays – Joe – Sent!
  • Texas RangersCool Breeze – Sent!
  • Toronto Blue Jays – Roy-Z – Sent!
  • Washington Nationals – Bruce – Sent!

Feel free to use the comments below or contact page if you’d like to discuss a trade, or, if I haven’t traded with you before, to leave me your address. If multiple people want a team (Dodgers bloggers, I’m looking at you!), then leave a comment with what you’re looking for and what you already have, and I’ll see if I can’t accommodate everyone. Also, if you’re not interested in the more common cards, that’s ok too. Just let me know you’re interested in parallels/less common cards only, and if no one else claims the rest, I’ll probably send them off to Commons4Kids or something. I’ve just hit the limit of my storage and I’d much rather spread the love around and get these cards to a good home than to just dump’em in the trash or anything apocryphal like that (there’s your word of day kids!).

Best of Box

Two weeks ago, I was out looking for Series 1 at Walmart. I was a day or two early and struck out on that, but I did pick up one of those “Best of 2012” repack boxes that everyone was talking about. Why not.


Fantasy Baseball

Ok, it’s that time of year again. Time to drum up interest in a card bloggers fantasy baseball league. I’d really like to dissolve my current league and start fresh and I thought I’d put the idea out there in the blogging community to see if anyone is interested.

We’ve had good experiences with the ESPN leagues before, and the mobile app seems to be the best out of the big three, but other than that I’m open to any suggestions regarding league type, draft type, etc.

I was also toying with the idea of cash prize league but I thought I might have a way to make it more interesting. How about this: Each person’s “buy in” is $20. The $20 per person goes towards a card break. $20 x 8 players is $160, x10 is $200 or x12 is $240. That’s more than enough for a box (or two) of some product. At the end of the season, we bust the box(es) with each participant getting their team, minus any hits, which would be “the prize” for winning the league championship. The winner gets the hits, the rest of us get team cards as a consolation prize.

Anyone interested?

Anyone interested in a regular, free, non-card related league instead?

Always On

I’m becoming increasingly aggravated by the tactics used by both the entertainment and telecom industries to pigeon hole the internet into both a necessity and, at the same time, “luxury”. It can’t be both. It’s either a phone line, or it’s a Rolls Royce.

Case in point. This week, in response to the impending announcement of the PS4 in two weeks, rumors are circulating about the next Xbox as well. While its being touted for it’s increased performance, a switch to BluRay and larger memory cache, the new Xbox is alleged to require an always on internet connection. There will be nothing to do “off line” anymore. The console will need to be connected and signed into XBL, which may or maynot be included with the console (my money is on ‘not’) just to log into the machine. Games will be sold as downloads or as one-time-use install disks with activation codes. Single player games, and campaign modes in multiplayer games will still require you to be connected, not just signed in. Before, the “sign in” process was local to the machine you were on. Now it’s rumored to be internet only. The implications of which are that you’d be “signed out” and the game would either pause or save/exit and be locally cached until the connection resumes.

I can’t possibly imagine how this is going to benefit gamers. In fact, I’ve personally chosen not to buy any games, PC or console, that are either activated on a single machine only, or that require constant internet connections to function. I didn’t purchase Diablo 3 for exactly this reason. Diablo, an traditionally single player dungeon crawling treasure hunt, paused and/or crashed completely in the event you were disconnected not from the internet, but just from Blizzards servers. On the same token, I’m not buying the new SimCity for the same reason. You can’t honestly tell me I need to be connected to build a goddamn city!

So, if the machine needs to be “always on”, and you lose/disconnect/discontinue internet service/move/change services, the games you BOUGHT are unplayable, completely and totally, until a new connection is established? What exactly did I buy? The privilege of playing temporarily? No, the law would actually disagree with this one. Since a game is a “thing” and you’re purchasing it with the expectation that it will work, the law actually says it’s required to do so. Not only in certain circumstances either. Google “reasonable expectation” under “contract law, and, also see “First Sale Doctrine” in regards to “ownership rights” . Common law states that a customer has the right to expect that the goods or services they’re purchasing will work. Any EULA you read or sign will NEVER mention this, but those common tenets supersede all those quasi-legal agreements in court. The main reason companies keep using them is because, quite frankly, they have more lawyers than you do. It would be a bitch to fight, and prove, and would cost you considerable time and money, and they know that.

But, this isn’t about the games, this is about the internet.

As we, the people, let more and more companies get away with this “always on” bullshit, the strain on internet connections becomes more and more apparent. What’s worse is that American broadband continues to escalate in price while speeds remain flat. A good portion of the country is without reliable broadband in general. So, to the child of a farmer in very rural Idaho, who’s parents saved all year for the new Xbox for him, but who don’t have the money for a pricy internet connection… yeah, guess who just bought a $400 brick? The kicker is that for years the telecom industry has asked for billions of dollar to improve the internet infrastructure across the country, and while speeds have generally increased over the last decade, the majority of the money was used to improve backbones and datacenters (not that that’s a bad thing). People looking for a boost to the “end of the street” speeds in their own neighborhoods are still waiting.

I blame the FCC mostly. In 2002 the FCC declared broadband to be an “information technology” and not a “telecommunication technology”. Meaning, the internet, in general, was more like a service (like AOL) than it was like a phone line, or (and here’s the kicker) a way to communicate. Phone companies have to compete for your business even though the lines are the same: aka a utility. Internet providers don’t. Here you have two choices, cable TV providers sending internet traffic over cable lines, or phone companies, sending traffic over old voice lines. (Sure, there are fiber connections out there, and various other things, but we’re talking in general terms) If it was classified as a utility, like power or phone, the companies that own the infrastructure would be required, by law, to resell that access on the wholesale market. Meaning independent internet providers could flourish and compete.

To make matters worse, we’re falling behind. This year, in South Korea, people will have access to Internet speeds that are roughly 200x faster than our standard broadband AND for roughly $27 USD. Arguments could be made that countries like that are “smaller” and easier to network, but population density would bring it’s own problems, like network congestion, yet they seem to be able to overcome these easily. Think it’s only small Asian countries? Finland made it a legal right of the people to have a broadband connection, three years ago in 2010!!! They expect to increase the speed of it to 15mb, per citizen, by 2015.

So, the media companies have convinced us that the internet is a necessity, that it needs to be on, that it needs to be a part of our lives. The service providers however, convince us that it’s “really expensive” and “really hard” to get everyone a highspeed connection. If only they had more time, if only they had more money.

We’re quickly approaching the tipping point. The average price for broadband in the US is $40. My own personal connection is $60. If costs continue to rise, and we have limited choices (and in some parts of the country, no choices) for providers, there’s nothing stopping the cost and the speed from falling right over the edge. $120 a month for basic service? Don’t think it could happen? Hmmm. How much do you pay for TV at the moment? How many cable providers do you have in your area? Yeah. I thought so. It’s coming. It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.