A Wax Heaven challenge!

When I discovered RSS Readers a few months back I remember subscribing to over 100 sports card blogs all at once. Throughout the day I would get constant alerts anytime one of the bloggers updated their site. At first this was fun but eventually it became too time consuming and overwhelming even for me.

Today, that subscription list is down to under ten blogs and Old School Breaks is one of them. A few weeks ago John asked me to send him all the New Jersey Devils I pulled from the Upper Deck hockey box breaks and I did. There were no autographs, game-used relics, or serial numbered cards in the stack of about 15. Today, this bad boy arrived (along with a few other goodies) with a note that said all he wanted were Devils.

The problem with this is that Beckett Media ruined any chances of me ever getting any more hockey boxes to review so I am in a bind. I have known John for quite some time and know he could care less if I send anything in return, after all… he sent in a dual autograph of two baseball super stars #’d to 35 for a bunch of cheap base cards.

My challenge to the readers of Wax Heaven is simple: whoever can come up with the most cards of Martin Brodeur (John’s favorite) will get this beautiful Upper Deck autograph to add to their collection. The catch is that there must be at least one autograph and two game-used relics.

The winner will receive the dual auto and several Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla parallels for their trouble. Please contact me by e-mail if you wish to take the challenge. The last person who participated ended up with a Mickey Mantle “relic” (LINK).

E-Mail: WaxHeaven@Gmail.com

Hanley Ramirez reads Wax Heaven!

I left the world of MySpace long ago (causes too much drama) but a few hours ago was notified by e-mail that Hanley Ramirez’ official MySpace (link) was using one of my photographs. The photo in question is from Hanley’s contract signing press conference, which we attended along with another two hundred fans a few months ago. I fought off members of the media for my spot to take photographs and it paid off. You can read the original post here.

No credit to where he found the picture but hey, it’s Hanley Ramirez so I don’t mind. I am still banking on Hanley being a future 40-40 Man one day, although it looks like he’s more interested in hitting power these days. For a full gallery of the photos I took during the 2008 season, click HERE.

We will be attending a few Marlins charity events over the off-season so you can expect a return to Florida Marlins coverage very soon. There is a Golf charity event I plan to sneak into as part of the media (crosses fingers) which will be played in Bonaventure Golf Resort, 20 minutes from my home. After that, there is a ‘Dinner with the Marlins’ that I would like to attend early next year but I need to find a job ASAP, as they charge $500 per plate.

Hey, if it keeps the Miami riffraff away….

Can Grady Sizemore do “40-40”?

It’s been twenty years since Jose Canseco became the founding member of the “40-40 Club” . Since then, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Alfonso Soriano have joined the ranks. In the beginning of the season it looked as if Hanley Ramirez of the Florida Marlins had a strong shot but he’s tailed off a bit (25-25).

A guy who seems to have a better shot at “40-40” right now is Grady Sizemore of the Cleveland Indians who currently sits at 27 HR and 27 SB. While that may appear almost identical to Hanley’a numbers keep in mind that Hanley Ramirez goes through horrific power and stealing slumps. In the entire month of May, Hanley hit just one home run, followed by ten in June. Hanley has also never reached the 30-home run plateau so maybe expecting him to hit 40 this year might be a stretch.

On the other hand, Grady Sizemore has also never hit 30 home runs but is one away from his career high of 28 which he hit in 2006 in 162 games. He’s sitting at 27 with just 104 games played and is on a team that is out of contention which means while Hanley may sometimes have to go up there and bunt or put the ball in play, Grady can go up there each and every night and take his hacks at the plate.

It would be a joyous occasion if somebody, anybody could join the “40-40 Club”. It might force ESPN to run some old tapes of Jose Canseco in the glory of his youth before the madness that is his life came crumbling down. It would also bring to the spotlight a new, elite ball player. One that is quiet, humble, and soft-spoken.

Jose & Grady: complete opposites yet so much alike.

No Manny, no problem for the Marlins

Let’s just say that last night some much-needed revenge was extracted from the Colorado Rockies. It couldn’t have been any sweeter as Jorge Cantu and Hanley Ramirez each homered and the man who was almost a Pirate, Jeremy Hermida drove in two runs.

Earlier in the day all hell was breaking loose in Miami as talks went from 100% to %50 percent and finally to 0% chance of picking up the troublesome clubhouse Cancer, Manny Ramirez. Instead, we get keep Jeremy Hermida, who is on pace for 25 HR and 70 RBI.

Wax Heaven reader and supporter Fake Horse Muffins insists we will lose Hermida next year after Arbitration and while he does make a great point, I just don’t care. For the first time in my life of watching and following baseball I have become the “team guy” who lives and dies through his home team. For years all I did was follow my favorite baseball player from town to town and could care less about his teammates just as long as my guy got his 5 at-bats, struck out his three times, grounded into a double play, and hit a monster solo home run.

Today, I check the team rosters every few hours, keep up with all the stats, have a giant binder full of the entire franchise of the Marlins from Single-A up to the big boys. I love my Florida Marlins and it would have struck me down had they traded away Jeremy Hermida for some guy on the tail end of his career who is the biggest troublemaker in baseball right now.

Jeremy, good to have you around for a few more months!

Mets, Marlins, and Miller! Oh my!

The Mets just took over first place in the National League East. To make matters worse, Wax Heaven’s own, Andrew Miller just landed on the disabled list. What else could possibly go wrong next?

Believe it or not, this is somewhat of a relief. If you followed the Marlins season then you know Miller started out terrible but a couple of months into the season became the Marlins’ most reliable pitcher for a good stretch. These good outings caused Miller’s cards to explode on eBay but before anyone could reap the benefits, Andrew began struggling again. His last two outings were disastrous and it’s driven both myself and Tatiana mad.

The truth is, I would never turn my back on Andrew Miller. He’s a great pitcher and an awesome guy to root for but if the Marlins are in contention we cannot afford to throw in a rookie out there every five days and hope for the best. Andrew was hurting our chances of making the playoffs and now I know exactly why: he was pitching in pain.

My hope is that he has a fast recovery and returns full-strength to our rotation. I believe he will make an excellent #2 starter behind our true ace, Ricky Nolasco. I say “true ace” because all season long the Marlins have been saying it’s Olsen but no thanks. In my dreams, the Marlins rotation would look like this.

1. Ricky Nolasco

2. Andrew Miller

3. Chris Volstad

4. Josh Johnson

5. Scott Olsen

Currently on the disabled list is Anibal Sanchez who is young and threw a no-hitter a couple of seasons ago. We also have Mark Hendrickson and Ryan Tucker as long-relief guys.

When you throw in Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez, Cody Ross, Jorge Cantu, and yes, even Mike Jacobs at the plate, the Marlins are looking mighty powerful for the second-half of the season. We are better than the Mets and with a bunch of guys that make 1/3 of the Mets salary and just 2/3 of their talent!

Damn it feels good to be the underdog…