Picking Up Where I Left Off

Author: Mario Alejandro

It’s been a really long time since I’ve had any desire to collect. I’ve sat back waiting for the first Jose Canseco/Upper Deck card to show up, and every once in a while checked eBay for Andrew Miller cards to see what the 2010 issues were like but really felt nothing every time.

It wasn’t until this afternoon that I decided to start again, at least with my fallen Florida Marlin, Andrew Miller. Unfortunately, for the third year in a row, Andrew has found himself in the Minors. While I hate to use a word like “bust” for a guy who was nice enough to sign for me several times and even took the time to remember my name, it’s not looking good for Mr. Miller right now.

As for cards, it appears that he’s only been in a couple of releases thus far. The Heritage card below, a sweet-looking, no license Upper Deck release, and a Topps Team release which looks pretty nice as well. As for which of the three I think looks best? It’s easily the Heritage brand pictured below.

You can expect a full report and review on the cards once they start showing up. As for Wax Heaven, I am working on bringing one final exclusive to the site. Although I’m not looking to step on Beckett’s toes (Tracy and I are buds again), this one would be a very special exclusive that would mean a lot to me.

Stay tuned …

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Can We Have Miggy Back? PLEASE?

They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. While Miguel Cabrera was part of the Florida Marlins, the team won a championship against the evil, overpaid New York Yankees in 2003. Meanwhile, “Miggy” became one of the most feared sluggers in the game all before the age of 25.

As a Marlins fan, I knew it was only a matter of time before the organization could no longer afford Cabrera. When the Marlins traded Cabrera in 2007 for a bunch of prospects including Andrew Miller, I was assured by many that the Fish had pulled off a huge steal.

The deal for Cabrera also included slumping fan favorite, Dontrelle Willis. In return, the Marlins acquired Andrew Miller, Cameron Maybin, Mike Rabelo, Burke Badenhop, and Dallas Trahern. From that deal alone, Rabelo has already been released and Trahern hasn’t touched the Majors in the two years with the organization.

Burke Badenhop has had minimal success when he’s not pitching erratically or in the Minors. Cameron Maybin put up a huge September in 2008 and stunk it up so bad in the beginning of this season that he was demoted and not seen again until the beginning of this September. He’s still not accomplished a damn thing.

That of course brings us to Andrew Miller, a model for inconsistency. Just when he begins to find his groove and show flashes of dominance, he loses the ability to pitch. He’s made two trips to the Minors through demotion along with two trips to the Disabled List in the two seasons with Florida.

The Marlins spent a ridiculously low $36.8 on payroll for this season, an average of $1.8 million per player. The Yankees spent over $200 million this year alone and despite this fact, we are still statistically in the playoff hunt coming into the last week of the season.

Imagine if both Miller and Maybin lived up to their potential in 2009; where would the Marlins be? Or what if the Marlins kept Cabrera around with the kind of players we had in the past two years? Clearly something needs to be done because this team has a lot of potential to compete.

Slugger Dan Uggla is expected to be traded this off-season.

Oh where oh where can my Miggy be?

Andrew Miller’s downward spiral

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Wax Heaven favorite, Andrew Miller. Although he had finally begun showing signs of dominance a couple of months back, two rough starts in a row sent him packing out of Dolphin Stadium and to New Orleans, the home of the Triple-A Zephyrs.

Sadly, this is Andrew’s second time he’s been demoted due to poor performance. It happened in 2008 and he barely survived Spring Training this year to land as the fifth starter on the Florida Marlins. Since coming to the team last year, Andrew has won just 9 games in 34 starts.

Making matters even worse, the Marlins did everything they could to trade Andrew to the San Diego Padres right before the deadline. It was a shocking and sad day for this former “Super Prospect” whose 2007 rookie cards demanded premium prices among collectors and prospectors not too long ago.

As expected, Andrew’s Hobby presence is all but gone. His first year cards, including low-numbered parallels and certified autographs are selling for next to nothing. If you are a collector, do you give up on the kid who just turned 24 or hope and pray that he works out his stuff and becomes the dominant pitcher everyone expected him to be?

I think everyone reading Wax Heaven knows my decision.

Florida’s trash, Washington’s treasure!

The last few days for me have been quite bittersweet as I watched former Marlins outfielder, Josh Willingham, make baseball history. How rare is it to hit two Grand Slams in one game? Josh is just the third player to do it in the National League and 13th in the Majors. Perfect games are more common!

Josh was sent packing to baseball purgatory, Washington, last season by the Marlins. He is what you’d call a “late bloomer” who also happens to be injury prone. His best year came in 2006 when he hit 26 home runs with a .277 batting average. The next two years he spent much time on the Disabled List.

What’s really sad is despite being healthy, Willingham spent most of the early season riding the bench on the worst team in baseball. In April and June he had just 35 at-bats both months. Finally able to get some playing time in July, Willingham has hit 7 home runs, driven in 23 runners, and hit .329 in over 80 at-bats.

It’s really disappointing to know the Marlins gave up on “The Hammer” but kept former super prospect, Jeremy Hermida on the team for another year. Hermida, a wasted #1 draft for Florida is in his 5th Major League season and is on pace for his third 15 HR/100+ K year.

It’s good to see one of the genuinely good guys grab some attention.

A bump in the road in my collection

If it appears that lately I haven’t blogged much about Andrew Miller, it’s certainly not for lack of interest. I still check eBay every few hours looking for that special card and I make it a priority to watch every single one of his starts. Despite his “bust” status placed on him by prospectors, Andrew is coming off 5 straight quality starts.

As for my collection, it was on temporary hold due to lack of funds but thanks to Mr. Scott of ‘The Wax Report‘, it’s been revived, at least for now. He sent over this brilliant Upper Deck Rookie Signatures Exquisite and yet another Heroes parallel I didn’t know I needed. Thanks, Mr. Scott. You have a little something Yankees coming your way.

To keep on collecting going through these rough times, I am going to create  some kind of bucket for all the non-baseball “hits” I pull. Wanna know why you should participate? Right now I am working on trading ten certified basketball autographs for just one Andrew Miller card I need. Yes, I am that desperate.

As for my stats, I am now up to 156 different Andrew Miller cards. As for certified autographs, this is #49. Obviously, my goal for 2009 is to make it up to 200 different cards and 100 autographs but Andrew has been left out of almost every release of 2009. It was much worse in 2008.

Next up on my target: 2009 SPx

Brewers vs. Marlins

We decided to attend Thursday’s game versus the Brewers. We are not fans of Milwaukee but at least they have two future legends. It was either Prince & Ryan or San Francisco Giants with a team full of anonymous players and a very girly-looking Tim Lincecum.

The Marlins won thanks to a gem by Josh Johnson, who by the way helped his own cause with a three-run home run. Despite all this, the Fish are now 8.5 back from first and are falling further from contention with every loss. It’s now almost guaranteed that Dan Uggla will be traded by the deadline.

Sorry, no Happy Youngster in the crowd on this night.

Why does everyone hate me?

Why does everyone hate me?

Ryan has a lot of wrinkles or a 25 year old...

Ryan has a lot of wrinkles or a 25 year old...

He may look fat but thanks to Jeremy Hermida he got a triple

He may look fat but thanks to Jeremy Hermida he got a triple