Friday, January 11, 2008

2007 Topps Updates & Highlights

The pack I’m opening tonight has been sitting on my dresser for about a month, if not longer. I just haven’t been able to bring myself to open it, what with Clemens’s ironic do-gooder smile emblazoned on the pack. Makes me long for Upper Deck…

I think I’m going to make this a little more interesting: If I get a good pack, I’ll go back to just hating Clemens for being a smarmy New York Yankee, and hold back on the urge to speculate on the looming cloud of bad that currently surrounds him. But if I get a bad pack, well, he can just forget about my non-existent Hall of Fame vote come 2014.

I’m not expecting to pull a Perfect Pack, but I will use the PP percentage tabulation to determine whether or not it is a good pack. Mr. Clemens, your future hangs in the balance. By the way, do you think that if Clemens is brought before Congress and back pedals like McGwire and Sosa did years ago, that it would effectively kill Roger’s possible post-retirement job of publishing whimsical allegories under the assumed name Mark Twain, Jr.? Yeah, I’m not sure either.

Kason Gabbard Already looking like a good pack. The Red Sox were stupid in getting rid of this kid in the Gagné trade. In fact, the whole Gagné trade was stupid.

Yovani Gallardo, RC What kind of name is ‘Yovani’? Says he’s from Mexico. Also says he was born in 1986. Christ, that makes me feel old.

Jeff Baker To be honest, I’m not sure who this guy is.

Esteban German I love it that a guy like German gets a card. Take a look at his statistics. He was just lucky to get in a game before 2006. He also sports fine penmanship.

Eulogio De La Cruz, RC This name is fantastic. I also like the quote on the back from Tigers manager Jim Leyland, “He’s got … good stuff.” It’s almost like Leyland forgot who he was talking about halfway through the quote.

Jesse Litsch, RC, Red Back This kid didn’t learn how to sign his name the Esteban German Way. But he’s still got plenty of time for that, because Jesse Litsch is definitely still in junior high.

Kason Gabbard, Red Back These red backs are a waste of space.

Kenji Johjima Generation Now Speaking of waste of space…

J.J. Putz AL All Star
Brian McCann NL All Star

I have to admit, I like it that the All Stars have their own subset. One thing I’m not pleased with is that the subset isn’t more obvious. Topps really has to bring back a true All Star subset, with a headshot or something. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Topps Flagship needs more hero worship within the base set. Bringing back an All-Star subset that’s graphically different from the base card design might just do the trick.

Pack Performance: 8/10 (2 All Stars, Johjima GN, 2 Gabbards, 3 rookies). Success Rate: 80%. That feels really inflated. First of all, a series like this is going to score high for every pack you open, simply because it's full of subsets like All Stars and rookies. Also, Topps is prolific when it comes to waste of space insert sets. You mean to tell me that there are 29 different 'Kenji Johjima Throws Out a Baserunner' cards? Seriously? 29?

So it looks like Roger Clemens is safe for another day.

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