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Friday, February 20, 2009

Last Home Run Hero Standing

Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Jason Giambi (and of course, Barry Bonds)...all tied to performance-enhancing drugs. Vladimir Guerrero has been hampered with injuries and may not reach the 500 HR milestone. Looks like Ken Griffey Jr. may be the last of the old school big bats not tarnished by HOF-preventing elements, and not questionable regarding his ability to accomplish the milestone marks.

In this decade, Griffey has been overshadowed by the big names listed above, and has suffered significant slow-down in achievement due to heath issues. Now, as he makes his storied way back to Seattle, where he began his career, and he continues to add to his current 611 HR count, I would think that collectors would develop a renewed interest in his top rookie issues. You can still find his 89 UD RC for $20 or less TAC on ebay; a steal for an unmarred star like Griffey.

Griffey is #5 on the All-Time HR list, and will likely end his career at #4, behind only Ruth, Aaron and Bonds (*). Now, if we were to find out that he too juiced up during the pre-ban era, I guess we would have no choice but to put our hopes in some of these younger guys like Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder, and wait to see where they land in 10-15 years.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Yankees Bulk Up Their Rotation

With the Yankees failing to make the World Series since '03, and not even making the post season in '08, they've decided to start bulking up their rotation this off season by acquiring C.C. Sabathia & A.J. Burnett. Sabathia is coming off of a near-perfect 3-month run with the Brewers in '08, going 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA and 8.8 K's/9IP. Burnett posted career-highs in IP (221.1), W's (18), K's (231 - 9.4/9IP), and starts (34) with the Jays in '08.

Sabathia's 99 Topps Traded Auto remains his best rookie-year issue, and is currently selling on ebay for between $122-199 in fixed-price auctions. It sold for between $48 to $64 TAC during the '08 season, so if you want to pick one of these gems up, I would wait until someone posts one in a bidding auction to get it for a better price.

Burnett's best rookie-year card is also the 99 Topps Traded Auto. These aren't as easy to find (probably because of the lower demand), and should be available (when found) at lower price levels than Sabathia's. I'm guessing in the $25 to $35 TAC range.

These pitchers join a young Yankees rotation consisting of Phil Hughes, Chien-Ming Wang and others, and could potentially be a what NY needs to get back into the post season. Personally, I think that they will need more young bats to get them past the Red Sox & Rays in the AL East.