Cole Hamels is the new Josh Beckett

I never thought I’d see the day when Cole Hamel’s unappreciated, 2002 Bowman Chrome rookie cards would catch fire the way they have recently. Of course, it might have something to do with his amazing post-season performance and his chance at becoming the first pitcher in the history of the game to achieve five post-season wins.

The Tampa Bay Rays are on their last legs and will face Hamels yet again on Wednesday, if the weather permits. Forecasts predict there is a 20% chance of rain and the temperature will be in the low-40’s during the first pitch on Wednesday. If the Phillies cannot put away the Deviled Rays, they will have to find a way to win in Tropicana Field, among thousands of rattling, loud cowbells.

Hamels, who has a career 38 wins in three seasons has tons of baseball cards selling in auctions on the secondary market with his 2003 Bowman (AU) and his 2006 Sweet Spot (AU & 1/1) selling for big time money. Still, you will be able to find many Cole Hamel “hits” for reasonable prices if you know how to look. In fact, there are still plenty of Hamels certified autographs on sale for under $30 dollars (LINK) and with Hamels being under 25, it’s not the worst investment you could make.


The lesser of two evils

With my beloved Marlins eight games out of first place and no realistic chance at the playoffs I have been forced to pick the lesser of two evils in the National League East. Today, the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets square off for a three-game series which will should make for some great baseball drama.

If I had to choose between a team with stars like David Wright and Jose Reyes or a team with gritty underdogs like Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, my heart goes to the Phillies. Not only did they bring us ‘Rocky’ and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but they created a monster named Ryan Howard, who next to Alex Rodriguez…is the most dominant slugger in the game.

So now it’s time to for the Phillies to shine. Howard, I expect three home runs and seven RBI from you in this series. Jaime, you lovable old grump! I want you to pitch your heart out and show that Andrew Miller-lookalike-Cole Hamels how it’s done. And finally, Chase…keep being you. You hate New York for booing you and I don’t blame you.

Guys, let’s win this one for the blogger!

Andrew Miller’s Impossible Mission

Andrew Miller’s impossible mission

by Mario Alejandro

It will be close to 6 P.M by the time the 6 foot 6 tall Andrew Miller will make his way out of the Jupiter Hammerheads clubhouse tonight. Suffering through an injury but too stubborn to accept surgery, Miller is in his second start of a rehab assignment that could at worst end in disaster and at best might end in finishing the season with a Minor League affiliate of the Marlins.

In the first few weeks of the Marlins’ 2008 season Miller had a bullseye on his head but after a few great outings whispers of “ace” could be heard around Dolphin Stadium. It only lasted a month and then back to the struggles until it was revealed that Miller was pitching with an injury and hoping to finish out the season without surgery to help his team during a playoffs run.

Unfortunately for Miller’s career, Josh Johnson and Anibal Sanchez have made miraculous comebacks, Scott Olsen and Chris Volstad have been pitching well, and Ricky Nolasco has suddenly become the 2008 Josh Beckett for the team. For Andrew Miller, a 23-year old promising pitcher, that makes him the odd man out with the Marlins and there has been no one hiding that fact from the rookie.

He could end up pitching a gem tonight but it might not even matter to the Marlins, who have to be very selective with their roster moves for the rest of the season. With just one and a half game out of first place, bringing back Andrew Miller to the Marlins rotation could prove costly in the long run and keeping him in the Minors might just be the very best thing for Andrew, aside from getting surgery to repair the tendinitis in his right knee.

As of now, Miller’s future in the “Bigs” is uncertain but don’t you dare tell that to the determined pitcher who is fighting to stay on the Marlins roster and wants nothing more than to see his “underdog” Florida Marlins shock the entire sports world. For him, a little pain (or an extreme amount) is worth it if it means bringing a World Series championship to his home state of Florida.

So please, if you are in Jupiter tonight and you see Andrew Miller struggling on the mound trying to get through another three batters, act like it means something more than a Single-A baseball game, even if it means you have to suspend disbelief a little.

To Andrew Miller, this is game 7 of the World Series…

The Goose and the Joba

So apparently some guy named “Goose” Gossage has taken offense to the future Hall of Fame, 800-game winner Joba Chamberlain and his little “dances” when he strikes batters out. Does this Goose not realize that Joba will win twenty games as a closer this year and has a rookie card that is selling for thousands of dollars on eBay? For God sakes, what does he know about pitching anyways? If it works for Joba, let him do whatever he wants. If Joba wants to urinate on the baseball and plunk David Delluci in the face afterwards, let him as long as it helps the New York Yankees win another World Series. Who is Goose to judge?

Joba is the future of baseball, Bowman Chrome, and the next 30-game winner so please don’t read this ESPN propaganda article about Goose whatshisname.


Some people shouldn’t be allowed on eBay

Check out this auction for a ’94 Upper Deck SP rookie card of Alex Rodriguez. Now, I haven’t bought a Beckett Baseball issue for at least 6 months but last I checked this card usually sells for under $150 when not graded. This guy is demanding $875. He also says not once but twice that A-Rod played on the Florida Marlins. We haven’t had any over-priced “talent” since Gary Sheffield. Heck, we never do…why do you think we shipped Miguel Cabrera to the Tigers?

“It was NEVER hand touched!” he claims, so how did it magically get into the Top Loader? Also, where is the penny sleeve? I give him props for the mysterious photo, though. You gotta love eBay sellers….