Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cook-ing Up Something Awesome

I’ve been a fan of Katie Cook for a long time now. My wife actually first saw her art on LiveJournal in a cat community and started reading her journal. She ordered some cat art way back before Smashy Adventures of the Hulk and skyrocketing sketch card popularity. I think it was Smashy…Hulk that really won me over as a fan because it was pretty hilarious. It was so good that a page of it eventually ended up in one of Marvel’s Avenger books.

Katie’s got a unique and very cool style where she “cute-ifies” the subjects that she draws and it seems to have struck a chord because people go ga-ga over her sketch cards. She’s also seen a steady increase in the amount of comic book work that she’s been doing and is also currently tackling writing chores on a project as well. I haven’t even mentioned her great webcomic Gronk yet. There’s just bucket loads of awesome coming from the mind, pen and brush of Katie Cook.

For those who may not remember, the three commissions that I had done for Boston Comic Con were from Stephanie Buscema and Katie Cook. I’ve already posted about the phenomenal Death painting that I got from Stephanie and now it is time to boast about the awesome art that I got from Katie.

CookHam

First up is a Spider-Ham sketch card that is Spectacular, Amazing, Sensational, and Ultimate. Here’s Peter Porker in all of his glory. I think Katie did an awesome job of capturing him. Everything is there right down to the Spidey eyes on the end of the snout.

My Spider-Ham sketch card collection started back in 2010 when I spotted a Brian Kong sketch card at his table at the terrible Wizard World Boston convention. I figured that would be as good a character as any to get a bunch of sketch cards of. Well, as of right now “a bunch” equal two. I’ve got my eye on eBay, but if there were any Spider-Ham sketch cards in the Rittenhouse Spider-Man Archives set, they’ve found their way to other people’s collections.

CookAmazingFriends

The second piece is a custom 6”x6” painting that I commissioned of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. I loved this cartoon as a kid and it still holds up for me today. This was the first superhero cartoon that I remember having a ton of guest stars who were done well. Seven Little Superheroes featured guest appearances from Captain America, Doctor Strange, and Namor while another episode featured a ton of X-Men.

The cartoon was cheesy and it was campy and it was a lot of fun. Spidey has always been my favorite hero, Iceman was always a favorite amongst the X-Men and this version of Firestar seemed to be a lot more fun than the comic book version she would inspire. Infertility and cancer due to her powers? Not enough? May as well make her break off her relationship with Justice as well.

Brian Bendis did some fun stuff with an updated version of this trio in Ultimate Spider-Man and then took it one step further putting together the trio that was originally supposed to star in the 80s cartoon: Spidey, Iceman and the Human Torch. I’m such a Bendis fanboy to being with and this run had me in comic nerd heaven.

There you have it, my 2012 Boston Comic Con commissions. Looking back, I love these three pieces of art so much more than anything else that I could have purchased at the convention. Getting to meet and chat with Katie was a treat as well and I’ll always remember Stephanie Buscema inviting my daughter behind her table to watch her paint. The fact that these two ladies are great people makes it so much easier to support their amazing talents.

Thanks for checking out my non-sport divergence. Other than getting back in track with sports card posts, I want to put together a post highlighting my growing art print collection. Don’t worry, there is some sports related content that will be contained in that post.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Walk-off Spare

One of the things that I love about living in the Boston area is candlepin bowling. Imagine that they took ten pin bowling and made it challenging and you’d have candlepin bowling. I kid. There are some interesting differences between the two, but I’m not going to get into that now. One of the things that I love about bowling is that it’s a social sport. Bowling is like golf where you aren’t really playing against other people. There’s no defense. You’re playing against yourself as is everyone else. Whoever performs the best is the one who will win.

The great thing about bowling is that everyone roots for everyone else no matter what team you are on. If someone on the opposing team makes a great shot then you congratulate them on it and then you try and make one of your own. Tonight’s final game saw us up by a few pins when I got up to bowl my final frames. The guy that I was bowling against had been whining all night as our team destroyed his. Things were close until the 9th frame when I put a 5 box which allowed the other team to pull into the lead by 2 pins. The joker on the other team made the mistake of me catching him celebrating my bad box. That was it, there’s no way that this douchebag was winning the string.

He threw first and put the ball right in the pocket and dropped 9 pins leaving an easy spare leave. My first ball caught the 3 pin right in the middle and chopped straight through getting only 2 pins (called a Half Worcester). That’s one of the major difference between candlepin and ten pin bowling. You can put the ball in the middle of the pins and end up with only 1 or two of them. Try doing that with a gigantic ball and fat pins.

DB converts his spare all but sealing the game for his team. I step up, still steaming a little bit and throw the perfect shot. It looks a little something like this: (Ignore the fact that the bowler in this video throws a gutter ball on their first shot)

That shot drew cheers from my team and some people on neighboring lanes who were watching. So, the whole string now came down to one bonus ball for each of us with the other team up by 2 pins. He filled his spare with 6 pins which put me in a tough spot especially since I wasn’t having much luck with my first balls in that final string. I stepped up and got a huge 9 pin drop to take the string by a pin. That got an even bigger cheer. Walk-off spare!

Here’s a couple of fun candlepin videos to further demonstrate some of the differences between the two types of bowling:

Things will definitely bounce around the alley.

Fallen pins, or wood, are not cleared from the alley between throws. This can be a good thing or a bad thing.

Since the pins are flat on the top and bottom, it's possible that something like this could happen, but it's extremely rare.

Pins that roll over to knock another pin down are called messengers. Sometimes that'll allow you to make great shots.

Sometimes you'll even get some ridiculous shots like this. Again, this is pretty rare. If any of you ever come to Boston for a Fenway trip or something like that and want to check out candlepin bowling, let me know and a string or two will be on me. (Fun Fact: There used to be a candlepin bowling alley under Fenway Park. It closed around 2004 and wood from the lanes was used for the bar up on the Right Field Patio behind the roof deck tables.)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Box Break: 2011-12 Panini Past & Present Basketball

I love basketball. I started watching sports in the 80s when Bird, Parish and McHale were bringing 3 NBA Championships to Boston. I’ve remained a huge Celtics fans through the terrible teams when the Celtics tanked and had the worst record in the league and got to see three classy veterans unite to bring one more title to Boston. Lately, my NBA fandom has died down a little bit. I went from spending the most money on basketball cards when Topps and Upper Deck were in the game to buying just one box a year once Panini took over. Combine that with the horrible state of officiating in the NBA which takes fun out of watching the games and you’ve got an NBA fan on the decline. What’s worse is that you had the Heat come together in response to Pierce, Garnett and Allen teaming up and this year another superteam or two will be created to take on the Heat. Boring.

The frustrating thing about this hobby is that you can’t just give it up cold turkey. Your purchases might come less frequently, but you still make little purchases here and there even when times are tough. Panini had been talking of change on Twitter and in their blog and so I kept an eye on them. Not having any rookies at all in this year’s hoops releases made me lose interest, but that problem was semi-resolved with redemption cards. The cards that you get won’t be considered rookie cards, but the official rookie designation doesn’t really seem to matter to most collectors. They gravitate towards something early in the player’s career with a low print run and autograph to be a player’s most sought-after card. These cards could end up becoming the best cards for these players, but I have a feeling that the print runs won’t be all that low. I’m getting ahead of myself though.

I was intrigued by Panini’s Past & Present Basketball release. I had my eye on a box, but was waiting until the price fixing period ended so that I could get a box at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, the Father’s Day promotion fell right before the end of that time frame. I made the trek out to a card shop that was participating in the promotion to find out that they were closed…for Father’s Day. I completely understand that, but if you are participating in a Father’s Day promotion then you might want to be around for people to take advantage of that promotion. Luckily, Panini offered boxes on their site that you could purchase to get the special Father’s Day packs and I decided to go that route.

Quick tangent: I would highly advise against ordering from Panini’s online webstore unless you have no other option. First off, I paid for Priority Shipping, but my package was shipped FedEx Ground. It’s not just a speed thing, my local USPS delivery person is much better than their FedEx counterpart. I sent emails about the error with no reply, but luckily the Panini CSR Twitter account was able to assist. When I got the box, it was just the box of cards (in a thin plastic bag), my receipt and the 4 packs of Father’s Day cards. There were no air pouches or packing peanuts to be seen. $100 worth of trading cards and someone at Panini treated it like crap, threw it in a box and sent it off without a care. Now that they’ve improved their customer service, they really need to improve their shipping. I know things were probably busier than usual due to the promotion, but I would have rather had my package ship a day later with proper shipping materials than get this. There’s really no excuse for this. /tangent

On to the good stuff, the cards. I’ve always been a fan of retro and vintage looking sets. While Panini doesn’t have much of a history to draw from when it comes to basketball, they did attempt with this year’s Hoops set. I don’t know if it was just me, but it didn’t feel like a Hoops set at all. This set has base cards with a retro vibe and inserts straight out of 90s Fleer Ultra and Skybox.

Base

The set composition is rather strange. The first 75 cards in the set have the design you see in the top row and are current players. Cards 101-175 have the design that you see in the second row and are also current player. The biggest starts show up in each design as you can see with the Jesus Shuttlesworth, Truth and Rondo cards. The Bird and Russell cards are from the run of veteran cards from 76-100. Cooz can be found in the second run of veteran cards spanning cards 176-200. I’m not a big fan of some players appearing twice unless there’s a good reason. This is Past & Present, give us cards of Ray Allen as a Sonic, KG as a Timberwolf, LeBron as a Cav, etc. That would have made more sense to me than cards that just seem there to inflate the size of the set and get people to buy more packs. I got 67.5% of the set in my box which is a little low. You’ve got to get at least 75% of the set out of a box for me to be happy. This set was a little large for the number of cards that you get per pack. I wonder if 10 cards per pack was feasible?

Set composition aside, I love the look of the cards. This is easily Panini’s strongest effort in a basketball release. These cards are beautiful, are printed on a nice, sturdy card stock and have an interesting gloss on them. It’s somewhere between a matte and a high gloss. There’s definitely a slick surface there, but it’s not like something you’d find on Stadium Club or Ultra cards. There are sticker auto variations of the base set, but at least they don’t seem to be the main autographs that you get out of boxes. Panini claims that they are moving away from this and I know it is something that collectors will welcome with open arms.

Bread

Speaking of retro, these cards are based on the 1950 Fischer's Bread for Health labels that came on loaves of bread. You can find a picture of a George Mikan label that sold for just over one thousand dollars here. Panini decided to change the dimensions on these to that of regular cards these days instead of keeping them square. I would have loved square, die-cut cards like the originals, but it wasn’t meant to be. Bread for Health and Bread for Energy are the common versions of these and the Bread for Life inserts come one per box. (Speaking of retro, remember when one per box meant something?)

Inserts

Changing Times showcases stars in front of the type of basketball that they played with. Players such as Mikan and The Big O have a smooth basketball on their card while modern day players have the textured ball of today’s game. What makes this set phenomenal is that they don’t just stop there. The Julius Erving card? That card has the old ABA red, white and blue basketball on it as do the cards of George McGinnis and Dan Issel. I’ve gotten on Panini’s case for taking the cheap way out before, but they did anything but that with this insert set. The cards have different textures and designs and I love it.

The Breakout insert set is a little cheesy, but they do look good. The brick wall is textured and the result is a really nice looking card. These cards also have autograph parallels, but they also aren’t the main autographs that you would pull out of every box.

The Fireworks insert set is another great looking set and I’m bummed that I only got one card out of my box when the average is two. At least the card that I did pull was that of KG which will be going right into my collection. The player and the fire have a hologram-like design that moves as you tilt the card. These are really sharp looking cards.

Inserts2

The final insert set is Raining 3s. The graphic design department did a very nice job on these cards. The players have a liquid look to them and the cards are only glossy on the player which helps the colors on these cards to pop. These cards fall 2 per box on average, but I got an extra one in place of the Fireworks card that the averages say I should have gotten. All of the inserts from this set are cards that you want to hold on to rather than junky afterthoughts like many Panini inserts of the past.

The final card is a Tim Duncan SP variant. These fall one per box and are variations of 50 cards from the base set. Variants are so much better than short prints that are part of the set. I wish that this became the norm when companies try to add value to boxes because short prints in the main set take a lot of the fun out of collecting.

Hits

Hit Time!

From what I’ve seen, the majority of the autographs that come out of these boxes are from the Elusive Ink set. It’s a given in this day and age that you’ve got to have minor stars sign things if you want a chance at pulling autographs of big stars, especially in lower end products. ($100 is low end? Kill me now.) It’s always nice when the autographs have a theme and get autographs out there of players who don’t have a lot of autographed cards already. Sure, they may not have a ton of value, but they can be invaluable additions to player and team collections. I still can’t believe that Panini didn’t include Dee Brown in their Slam Dunk Contest insert set, but they did include him in the Elusive Ink set. I’ve only been able to track down one other autographed card from a Fleer set and that’s about it. I don’t think he has any jersey cards. (Are you listening Panini?)

Speaking of jersey cards, the only ones you’ll find are these Gamers. You won’t find floating swatches in the middle of the base cards. I love it. Jersey cards are a little played out, but these cards give you nice big swatches and a nice design. It’s different from the norm and again I have to compliment Panini on that. They also didn’t put a lame die-cut window in front of the swatch to try and make it 3 swatches. Thank you.

Last, but certainly not least since it was the best card in the box, is the 2011 NBA Rookie Redemption Autograph card. There are 39 different redemption cards that right now don’t mean anything. This October, Panini will have a random draft to assign each redemption card to one of the 39 rookies from 2011. Yes, you could end up with Kyrie Irving, but you could also end up with a third autograph that you could pick up for .99¢ on eBay. Lots of people are currently trying to put together complete sets of the redemption cards and the chance at Irving has these cards selling for $30-$40 on eBay. Seems like a no-brainer to me since the majority of the 39 cards that you have a chance at getting are going to sell below $30. These cards will not have low print runs.

To sum things up quickly, love the look of the cards. Boxes were overpriced at $100. They’ve come down to around $85 now that the price fixing period is over. I think they’ll eventually settle at $75 and will be a good value at that price. This is a huge change for Panini. There were some exceptions such as Classics, but the majority of their releases would have 4 relic cards and one auto and now they’re giving you three autos and one relic card. That’s a nice change. The change from the reliance on cookie cutter design is a great change as well. Panini flexed some creative muscle with this release and I hope that it continues with future sets.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Rebuilding For Success: Benchwarmer Baseball Week 3 & 4

The tough run continued for the Savin Hill Sox in week 3 as they dropped five out of the six games played that week. Starting pitching continued to be an issue, but the offense wasn’t lighting it up either. Having a great bullpen doesn’t do you any good if you can’t get a lead to turn over to them.

Lineup: Murphy 3B – Reimold OF – Iannetta C – Votto 1B – Markakis OF – Kipnis 2B – Aybar SS – Crisp OF – Carroll DH
Bench: Lowrie – Venable – Morel – Revere – Nunez

Jason Kipnis had a huge week at the plate (.417 – 1 3B – 1 HR – 6 RBI – 1 SB) and was joined by Coco Crisp (.308 – 2 SB in 4 games) and Joey Votto (.286 – 1 HR – 6 RBI – 4 R – 1 SB). Other than that, there wasn’t much as far as offensive highlights go and the team only batted .219 for the week.

Rotation: Lester – Dickey – McCarthy – Norris – Karstens
Spot: Paulino – Parker

R.A. Dickey turned in the only strong outing and got the only win of the week (7 IP – 1 ER – 3 H – 7 K – 1 BB). Brandon McCarthy had one quality start, but just barely (6 IP – 2 ER) and picked up two losses for the week. The team’s ERA for the week was 5.03.

Bullpen: Papelbon – Myers – Adams – Bryan Shaw – Robbie Ross

Jonathan Papelbon had a Benchwarmer week for the ages. Now is probably a good time to mention that the bullpen stats given here, unlike the batting and starting stats, aren’t the actual stats put up by these relief pitchers. Here’s the description from the Benchwarmer website:

Bullpen statistics are derived averages, since 11 major league games are used for a 6-game BWB week. Per-game and per-inning averages are multiplied by the number of times his slot was needed in BWB games. The numbers themselves may appear unrealistic, but they attempt to more accurately measure how the pitcher is affecting your outcome.

For the week, Papelbon had stats of 6 IP – 6 Sv – 0 ER – 0 H – 7 K – 1 BB. That was good enough to earn him the Reliever of the Week award. Mike Adams contributed 3 scoreless innings with 3 Ks and Robbie Ross added an inning and two third of scoreless relief. The bullpen ERA for 17.3 innings of work was a tiny 1.04.

Week 1: 3-3
Week 2: 2-4
Week 3: 1-5
Season: 6-12

Week 3 brought on more roster tinkering. I released Kevin Gregg whose ERA at the time was almost 8. I also released Greg Dobbs who was the unfortunate victim of the Jose Reyes signing by the Marlins. Hanley Ramirez moved over the third base and Dobbs lost his starting job. I released Ben Revere when he was struggling and had been sent down to the minors. He’s now back up again and batting .291, but hasn’t done much else so he’s probably not worth a second look. My final release for the week was Brent Morel. Morel was batting under .200 and on the DL so he definitely wasn’t worth a roster spot.

To replace those players, I signed Alex Liddi who was red hot at the time, but has now cooled off a little (.250 – 3 HR – 9 RBI). I also picked up Baltimore starter Jason Hammel who was 3-0 with a sub 2 ERA at the time. He’s now 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA and 1.13 WHIP with 53 K and 17 BB in 55 IP. Hammel is a big reason why the Orioles have spent the majority of the season in first place. Another pickup, since I really needed a backup catcher, was Nick Hundley (.173 – 3 HR – 16 RBI). The final new addition to the team was Gerardo Parra who is a bit of a speed demon for the Diamondbacks (.267 – 2 HR – 14 RBI – 24 R – 10 SB).

One thing that I’ve been more conscientious of this season is the value that I’m getting for the salary paid. If I’m paying a high salary for a guy to hit .250, I can probably drop him to pick up a guy doing the same for the league minimum. From the start of the season, I’ve gone from 27 players with a salary over $250,000 to just 25. I’ve also reduced some salaries that have remained over that $250,000 threshold. It’s important to have that cash on hand to sign free agents and extend the contracts of rookies and players having career years.

Week 4 was the exact opposite of the previous week for the Sox. They started the week with a 5 game winning streak before losing the final game 4-2.

Lineup: Kipnis 2B – Parra OF – Reimold OF – Votto 1B – Liddi DH – Murphy 3B – Markakis OF – Lowrie SS – Iannetta C
Bench: Nunez – Bryce Harper – Venable – Carroll – Hundley

This week marked the much hyped call-up of phenom Bryce Harper. I decided to play it safe and just give him a bench spot for this week. Hopefully he’ll have played his way into the starting lineup by the end of the season.

The offense turned things around this week with a team average of .270. Due to the Reimold injury, Harper ended up playing in all 6 games batting .333 with 5 doubles and a steal of home. Jed Lowrie led the way offensively though. He batted .400 with an .800 slugging percentage. (2 HR – 5 RBI – 6 R) Dan Murphy batted .381 for the week and Votto hit .350 with 4 doubles and 6 walks.

Rotation: Lester – Dickey – McCarthy – Hammel Parker
Spot: Paulino – Norris

Some new blood in the rotation seems to have turned things around. The starting staff turned in six quality starts and got 5 wins with a bullpen loss in Hammel’s second start. The team’s starting ERA was 2.31 with 35 K in 39 IP. Lester led the way with 7 innings of shutout ball and 7 Ks, but Jarrod Parker was right behind him with six and a third and only one run allowed.

Bullpen: Papelbon – Myers – Adams – Shaw – Ross

It’s another solid week for the bullpen who only needed to pitch 14.1 innings in 6 games. Papelbon and Myers were bother credit with 6 saves for the week and neither one gave up a run. Myers gave up two hits and Pap gave up two walks  The bullpen’s ERA for the week was 1.28.

Week 1: 3-3
Week 2: 2-4
Week 3: 1-5
Week 4: 5-1
Season: 11-13

Week 4’s releases included: Erick Aybar (.215), Coco Crisp (.165 and trip to DL), Karstens (0-1 4.50 DL) and Venable (.250 average at the time, upgraded to Cody Ross)

Week 4 signings: Tony Campana (.299 – 13 SB), Joe Saunders (3-3 3.79 ERA – 1.30 WHIP), and Cody Ross (.271 – 8 HR – 28 RBI – 24 R and currently on the DL). More salary reduction and more upgrading. Campana was a huge signing and Ross was red hot right before he broke his foot.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Rebuilding For Success: Benchwarmer Baseball Week 1 & 2

The Savin Hill Sox got off to a hot start for the 2012 season with a three game sweep of the Georgetown Canal Mules. Jon Lester, R.A. Dickey, and Brandon McCarthy got the wins with strong pitching performances. The second half of the week didn’t go so well as the Sox got swept by the Generation of Heroes. Jon Lester picked up a loss to go to 1-1 while the other two losses were credited to the bullpen.

Week 1 Lineup: Coco Crisp OF – Ben Revere OF – Jamey Carroll DH – Joey Votto 1B – Nick Markakis OF – Jason Kipnis 2B – Erick Aybar SS – Brent Morel 3B – Crhis Iannetta C
Bench: Dan Murphy – Will Venable – Jed Lowrie – Nolan Reimold – Eduardo Nunez

The offense was led by Joey Votto (.364 - 3 RBI - 3 2B), Jason Kipnis (.250 - 6 RBI - 5 R - 2 HR – 1 3B), and Chris Iannetta (.176 – 5RBI - 2 HR).

Rotation: Jon Lester – R.A. Dickey – Brandon McCarthy – Bud Norris – Jeffrey Karstens
Spot: Andrew Miller – Felipe Paulino

The starting pitchers had a 2.20 ERA for the week in 6 quality starts and a 3-1 record. Jon Lester was the pitcher of the week with two quality starts including a one-run complete game to kick things off. For the week, he had a record of 1-1 with an ERA of 2.40 and WHIP of 0.933. Lester struck out 10 in 15 innings while walking 5.

Bullpen: Jonathan Papelbon – Brett Myers – Mike Adams – Kevin Gregg – Fernando Salas

Bullpen losses occur in Benchwarmer when your team loses, but your starting pitcher has good numbers. So, the two losses that the bullpen picked up for the week don’t reflect bad real world performances on their part. In fact, only three pitchers were needed out of the bullpen and their combined ERA for the week was 1.38. Brett Myers had 5 saves for the week with an ERA of 0.00 and WHIP of 1.00. Myers struck out an impressive 8 batters in 5 innings proving that Houston was correct in giving the closer job to him (especially with how bad Melancon has been, bet the Red Sox want Lowrie back). Papelbon had 3 saves with an ERA of 2.50. Mike Adams also pitched effectively for this strong bullpen.

Week 1: 3-3
Season: 3-3

Week 2 was a little rougher for the Sox as they were only able to tally two wins. R.A. Dickey picked up his second win of the season with another strong outing. Bud Norris went to 2-0 as well as he pitched just well enough for the offense to power the team to victory as they pounded out 15 hits and scored 7 runs.

Week 2 Lineup: Murphy 3B – Reimold OF – Iannetta C – Votto 1B – Markakis OF – Kipnis 2B – Aybar SS – Crisp OF – Carroll DH
Bench: Lowrie – Venable – Morel – Revere - Nunez

Nolan Reimold only played two games during the week, but he batted .444 with a home run which was the only one that the team hit all week. Dan Murphy, Erick Aybar, and Jason Kipnis all batted over .400 for the week while playing all six games. Kipnis had 3 stolen bases, hit a triple, and scored 5 runs to pace the team in those categories.

Rotation: Lester – Dickey – McCarthy – Norris – Karstens
Spot: Miller – Paulino

In a complete turn-around from the previous week, the team’s ERA for week 2 was 7.36 and the only quality start was turned in by R.A. Dickey in his first start of two on the week. Lester’s 7 runs in 2 innings was the worst of a bad week.

Bullpen: Papelbon – Myers – Adams – Franklin Morales – Salas

The front end of the bullpen had a strong week. Papelbon, Myers and Adams combined for 17 scoreless innings. Papelbon put up 5 saves in six games while striking out 6 in 6 IP. Myers picked up 2 saves in six games while striking out 8 in 6 IP and a WHIP of 0.00. Even with bad performances by Salas and Morales, the bullpen’s combined ERA for the week was 2.57.

Week 2 was the first week where I made any adjustments to my roster. I release Andrew Miller who was injured and down in Pawtucket and Fernando Salas who is a completely different pitcher than last year (currently 0-3 6.32 ERA – 2.04 WHIP and in the minors). To replace them, I picked up some bullpen help in Bryan Shaw (0-2 3.32 ERA – 5 Holds – 1.05 WHIP currently) and Robbie Ross (5-0 1.99 ERA – 0.88 WHIP – Can you say vulture?). The rebuilding continues.

Week 1: 3-3
Week 2: 2-4
Season: 5-7