23 May 2014

2013 SEGA Card-Gen Extravaganza 2: Boston Red Sox

Here I am with part 2 of the 2013 SEGA Card-Gen complete set showcase. This time I'll be showing the Red Sox team set. They get 16 cards in the set, with quite a few other teams' uniforms making cameo appearances. The first team in the set, the Baltimore Orioles, were somewhat unique in that every player in the team set was shown in an Orioles uniform. That is typically not the case, and Boston shows that in a big way.

Kicking things off is the Catcher with the ridiculously-long last name, Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He's currently with the Marlins. The back of his card labels him as an "offensive catcher," which is a label I though would apply more to A.J. Pierzynski, the multiple-time Meanest Player in Baseball and Saltalamacchia's replacement in Boston, or maybe Miguel Olivo, who recently bit off part of a teammate's ear. As far as on-the-field offense, Saltalamacchia has been a top 10-15 catcher over the last couple of years in fantasy baseball.

Mike Napoli is shown here in Rangers garb and catcher's gear, but as far as I know he hasn't played any time at that position for the Red Sox. He spends most of his time at 1st base, with the occasional game at DH. He made sports news recently for making the unassisted double play with the ball stuck in the webbing of his glove. I've got him as a backup on a few of my fantasy teams this year.

I got stuck for a while right here. I couldn't think of anything to say about Pedroia. I wonder if he will stay with the Red Sox for his entire (useful) career.

I guess I've got the same issue with Middlebrooks. I don't have much to say. I remember him being quite buzzy in the fantasy baseball media when he showed up in 2012. The random article I read suggested that the next guy on this list, who just signed on with the Red Sox again, has pretty much sealed that Middlebrooks won't be in Boston much longer.

Stephen Drew played for the Red Sox last year, but for various reasons didn't sign on with them for this year until just now, although it had been rumored since the preseason that this is what needed to happen. He is shown here in an A's uniform, the second team uniform to make a cameo in the Red Sox team set. Not only is he getting paid the big bucks, the card back tells us he's got a 'wealth of talent,' too. Must be nice. 

Here's another appearance by the Oakland colors, this time on Jonny Gomes in the early stages of beardmania. He's led an interesting life, by the sound of it, cheating death a few times and overcoming a pretty rough childhood. I don't mind the photos of players in their previous uniforms mingled into team sets, especially if the alternative is an airbrushed / retouched photo. Especially when the photos feature game action, it seems a bit like revisionist history. Just show me what happened, not some fantasy land.

Jacoby Ellsbury is the latest horrible awful traitor to take a big payday and go play for a hated rival, landing a big-money deal with the Yankees, who are hated by fans of and / or rivals to every single team in baseball. But he's got millions upon millions of reasons not to care all that much about that. Some people even find that the heel role suits them. He hasn't lived up to his fantasy draft rank yet this season, but there's still time to turn it around. I don't think I've ever had him on a roster, so I haven't tracked him much throughout the years.

This card features our third uniform from non-Red Sox team, with Shane Victorino flying through the dirt in his Dodgers gear. He's a little nicked up at the moment from sliding into a base, but it sounds like he'll avoid a DL stint. This set has got some pretty good photos in it. I love the cardstock, too. Some cards just feel good in your hands when you're sorting through a stack of them. For me, this is one of those sets.

Here's a decent shot of David Ortiz sporting some sunglasses. Portraits like the one on the back of his card always make me do a double-take because he looks like the father of one of my nieces. That whole family looks like David Ortiz. He has a pretty low overall numerical rating when compared to his 7-star value, but I think that might have to do with the fact that he is a DH. Probably the numbers that really matter in the Card-Gen game are those ones at the top. He might have other intangibles in-game as well that give him a boost. I can only speculate because it is unlikely that I'll ever put in a bunch of hours playing on a Card-Gen machine.

We start off the pitchers with Jon Lester, who is having a statistically great year so far. He looks pretty happy in his back-of-card portrait. At the risk of repeating myself, I am rapidly running out of things to say. I guess most of you are probably here for the pictures anyway. It's like writing an article for Maxim or Playboy. No one is really there to read what you wrote. They want to see some of that sexy cardboard.

All I can think of to say about Buchholz is that he was the last holdout from the Topps Power Players program from this year. You know, the one where you collect all the cards, enter the codes, and (in theory) win prizes? Well, for the first couple of weeks in the season Topps did pretty well about announcing the prizes and whatnot each week. They've been pretty spotty lately, though, which is less fun. It reminds me of the Redemption Update blog which has been off and on since they started it. Maybe I'm just not having fun because I haven't won anything yet, but I do like to see the updates just to know that there is something going on.

Here we have another former Ranger in his old uniform, this time a reliever. Uehara took over the closer role last year and hasn't yet relinquished it. It's good work if you can hold on to it.

Tazawa is still with the Red Sox as well, and he appears to be doing pretty well out of the bullpen for them. I can't say I know much about the guy. His ratios look good and his K/9 is decent, but nothing really jumps out at me. Rotoworld says he is probably the next guy in line for the closer's chair if Uehara goes down.

Here's another bullpen arm who seems to be doing okay this year. His numbers don't look quite as good as Tazawa's, but with the relatively small number of innings that relief pitchers throw those numbers can change a lot from appearance to appearance.

Aceves spent some of 2012 as the Red Sox' closer, but as I recall it was kind of a wild up-and-down show. He has bounced around a bit from the Yankees to the Red Sox and back again, now throwing for the Yankees. I think he also spent some time this off-season in the Orioles' minor-league system.

The last card in the set also marks the last guy featured in his previous uniform. Joel Hanrahan spent two years as the Pirates closer, and then was traded to the Red Sox, where he went on the DL after a few appearances and had Tommy John surgery. He is currently working his way back from the injury as a member of the Tigers. Joe Nathan is currently holding down the closer role pretty solidly for the Tigers, so we'll see where Hanrahan falls in the bullpen.

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