Category Archives: ‘Million Dollar Question’

Million Dollar Question -How Many Short Prints Is Too Many Short Prints??

Million Dollar Question  -How Many Short Prints Is Too Many Short Prints??

As a team and player collector, I don’t have the same worries that a set builder has.  Especially if said set builder is trying to put together a set of cards by starting with the most fun method – the ripping of packs.

Lately, as I have gotten into collecting more modern players I have started to have to deal with short prints.  And it is starting to bug me.  Especially the high volume of short prints that seem to be coming more and more common in the widely collected sets.

Between the 2014 Topps Heritage and 2014 Topps Gypsy Queen releases, both sets featured short print cards of Jose Fernandez.  And since I am building Miami Marlins team sets while also collecting singles of the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, I am needing to buy two of each Fernandez card that is featured in a Marlins team set.

That’s four total cards, four total needs – ALL Short Prints.

While still affordable (I have already made my purchases to get all of them) it did take the fun out of putting together the team set.  I could piece it together by hand after ripping through packs or I could buy the whole team set complete but pay more for the added SP’s or I could land in the middle and buy the team set minus the SP and then shop again for the SP another time.  And then buy another one so I could land the same card for my player collection.

I don’t know about you, but this drove me a little nuts.  It’s definitely more to keep track of and a lot more of a headache since my ultimate goal is to stay on top of these new releases while also sticking to my budget.

I don’t believe that I am alone on this as I am certainly not the only team and player collector out there having to deal with all of these extra Short Print cards being published.  Seriously, in a 350 card set, why do 50 have to be limited in production?  That’s a large percentage – 14%.

I’d rather see exclusive limited edition stuff put into today’s sets for the case breakers to go after than for 14% of a set to be part of a limited print run.

Please Topps, keep it fun!!!



Million Dollar Question – What Would The Reaction To Some Of Baseball’s Greatest Home Runs be Like Today??

Million Dollar Question – What Would The Reaction To Some Of Baseball’s Greatest Home Runs be Like Today??

With all of the drama surrounding Carlos Gomez and the brawl that ensued after his near-home run against the Pirates a week ago, it made me wonder how some of the greatest home runs in baseball history, and the celebration that followed them, would be tolerated in today’s more sensitive baseball climate.

Taking out the walk-off, game-winning home run that brings a complete team to home plate to celebrate at the conclusion of a game, there are a ton of players from the past and present that celebrate the 2-run home run in the third inning of a ballgame with nothing on the line.

And I sit here and wonder how the baseball climate would react to former home run hitters if they played today – during a time in which pitchers take things more personal and coaches scream at their foes from the opposing dugout.

How would the opponent react If Matt Kemp pumped his arms like Kirk Gibson?

How would the opponent react if Coco Crisp popped his jersey and skipped a few steps out of the batter’s box a la Rickey Henderson?

How would the opponent react if Carlos Beltran stood at home plate and watched his home run sail over the outfield wall like Reggie Jackson?

For me, I think a lot of it has to do with the player and not really the moment.  If a player is hurting the team he is facing, that is when things get testy.  If he has hurt the team in the past or if there is bad blood from prior incidents, the first unnecessary action could be the thing that takes things to the next level.

Where do you stand on this?  Would the heroes of yesterday be treated differently today or would they to be on the opposite end of a brawl for their actions?

I’m interested to get your take on this one.  Let’s Go!!

Brewers Braves Baseball

Million Dollar Question – Carlos Gomez: Love OR Loathe??

Million Dollar Question – Carlos Gomez:  Love OR Loathe??

By now, you have to have an opinion on this guy.  He has been involved in far too many ‘fiery’ incidents and has gained way too much attention for his antics.

First, it was against the Braves last year:

And then it was this past weekend in Pittsburgh:

So, tell me – Carlos Gomez:  Love OR Loathe??

Since I don’t know the guy personally I will not go in that direction.  Instead, I will say that he is an immature player with a lot of talent.  Ultimately, a veteran on the Brewers needs to sit him down and set him straight.  I just don’t know if they have someone on the team that will/can do that.  And if someone does, will he listen?  That remains to be seen.

Ultimately, I lean towards ‘Loathe’.  This guy is going to tick off the wrong guy really soon.  And when that happens, and the right guy is on the mound, he is going to get plunked.  This needs to happen.  I don’t want him hurt, and I don’t want him injured.  But he needs to be put on his back.

But, the last thing that needs to happen is another brawl.  I would hate to see a teammate or opponent get hurt in a fight because of this guys antics.

How about you?  Where do you stand on this?  Is it even possible to be neutral in this conversation??

Let me hear it!!

Million Dollar Question – Is The Discolored 2014 Gypsy Queen Border Bothering You?

Million Dollar Question – Is The Discolored 2014 Gypsy Queen Border Bothering You?

There is no modern baseball card release that I look forward to more than that of Gypsy Queen.  For me, the set offers a great blend of legend and modern players on the checklist and I also find the GQ inserts and subsets to be among the best around.

I also really like the style of the cards and the interesting tweaks that Topps employs to make each version different yet keeping them similar enough so we know that the cards are all from the same brand.

This year however, I noticed that some of the coloring of the card’s borders was off.  Some looked more Yellow while others looked more like a Creme color.  And when I unveiled my recent box break results from this product, it was also mentioned by reader Matt.

And it is really starting to bother me, and I am just building a team set, not the full 350-card set.

Here are two Miami Marlins cards that I pulled that will be part of my team set:


See how the one on the left is bolder and more Yellow in color while the one on the right is more faded and less vibrant?

Kind of sucks doesn’t it.  And I am not sure what I intend to do about it…  Do I go after both the Yellow team set and the Creme team set?  Or do I just forget about it and be happy with what I can find?

Give me your thoughts.  Are you also irked by the differing border colors from this product?

Million Dollar Question – What Is With The Amazing Number Of Tommy John Surgeries This Season?

Million Dollar Question – What Is With The Amazing Number Of Tommy John Surgeries This Season?

Is it just me or is the term ‘Tommy John Surgery’ becoming more and more commonplace and less and less ‘unusual’ than it was 5-10 seasons ago.

It seems like every 3-4 days my MLB app on my phone tells me that another pitcher is opting for Tommy John Surgery and is out for a year.

This year specifically, the number seems to be soaring.  I believe that the last count I had was 13 pitchers since Spring Training have had the surgery – and we are just in the middle of the month or April.  Not August, APRIL!!


And it seems to be effecting both young and older players, and not just starting pitchers either…  Names like Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, Patrick Corbin, Jarrod Parker, Matt Moore, and phenom Jameson Taillon have all gone under the knife recently.

Some other notable pitchers that have been sidelined for the same surgery include Brian Wilson, Steven Strasburg, Adam Wainwright, and John Smoltz.

So, what is the reason for all of these major operations?  Poor technique?  Poor conditioning?  Not warming up the arm properly?  Not enough rest between activity?

I am very eager to hear what you think.  Personally, I think it has more to do with technique than anything else.  Very few pitchers use their legs the way that they should, so more emphasis and strain is put on the arm to bring force to the hitters.  If there was more attention paid to technique at an earlier age  where using the mound and your legs and core was part of the training, I think we would see less and less of these problems.

Tommy John scar

What do you think?


Million Dollar Question – Are You A ‘Gypsy Guy’ OR A ‘Ginter Guy’

Million Dollar Question – Are You A ‘Gypsy Guy’ OR A ‘Ginter Guy’

I know where I stand on this, but I am eager to see where the readers of the blog are.

So, my question tonight is very simple:  Are You A ‘Gypsy Guy’ OR A ‘Ginter Guy’??

Allen & Ginter logo Gypsy queen logo

Sound off now.

Million Dollar Question – What Is Matt Williams Doing With Bryce Harper??

Million Dollar Question – What Is Matt Williams Doing With Bryce Harper??

The first week of the baseball season always brings a lot of afternoon games to the schedule.  And that allows me the chance to listen to games on my MLB app during the day while doubling-up and watching games on TV at night.

When choosing a game to listen to, I either look for a stellar pitching match-up or for a game that features a dynamic player that can affect the game at the plate, on the base paths, or while playing defense.

One of those players in Bryce Harper, a ’30-YOC’ favorite!

And what Matt Williams and the Nationals are doing with Harper is driving me nuts.  The constant back and forth, and up and down, of his position in the batting order is doing nothing for his ability to get consistent looks.  Pitchers pitch differently to the guy batting 1st or 2nd versus the guy hitting 5th or 6th.  And as a result, Harper is not hitting the ball the way that he can.  He is being too aggressive and swinging at bad pitches.

Here is where Bryce has hit in the first four games of the season:

Game 1 – 5th, 1-for-4
Game 2 – 6th, 0-for-4
Game 3 – 2nd, 1-for-5
Game 4 – 6th, 1-for-4

Seriously, how would anybody do well in this situation?  It reminds me of how the Marlins treated Cameron Maybin during his first year with the team (yes, I know is not as skilled as Harper).  These young players need consistency.  They need confidence builders.  They need help from their managers.  They need to be put into the best possible position to succeed and help their teams win.  This constant shuffling is not the proper way to get a player infused into a team’s offense – if his role is changing on a daily basis, no consistency can be formed.

And I do not believe that this is the right approach.  Not at all.

So that leads up to tonight’s ‘Million Dollar Question’ – What Is Matt Williams Doing With Bryce Harper??

You know my stance.  Now tell me what you think.


bryce harper

Million Dollar Question – Who Would Get More Boo’s At Their Home Field: Barry Bonds OR Max Scherzer???

Million Dollar Question – Who Would Get More Boo’s At Their Home Field: Barry Bonds OR Max Scherzer???

Tonight’s ‘Million Dollar Question’ stems from a conversation I recently had through email with ’30-YOC’ reader Matt.

The premise of the conversation was my questioning if Detroit Tigers fans would be unhappy with Max Scherzer for not agreeing to a contract extension with the club.  Would they boo the reigning AL CY Young Award winner in their home field to show them their unhappiness for his decision?

Does the casual baseball fan have more of an opinion to voice when it comes to players rejecting million dollar contracts or are they more willing to voice their displeasure towards a player that has been suspected of using PEDs to help themselves and their team on the field?

That is tonight’s question –  Who Would Get More Boo’s At Their Home Field: Barry Bonds OR Max Scherzer???

I firmly believe that Max Scherzer will be booed at his home field.  And I think that it would be quite a bit more vocal than when Barry Bonds approached the plate in San Francisco.  Ultimately, it is hard to compare a pitcher to a hitter in this argument, simply due to the fact that the batter is announced as he makes his way to the plate while I pitcher can casually approach the mound with little fan-fare.

Still, I think that the causal fan has a larger disliking for the guy that rejects a 6-year, $144 million dollar contract than they do for the guy that is mashing 500-foot home runs into the ocean.  One guy gives you the ‘Who does this guy think he is’ stance while the other makes you leap out of your seat and say ‘Holy S%#t’.

Anyone can relate to what that kind of money represents and how very few people have an opportunity to earn that kind of cash – let alone while doing so playing a game.  On the flipside, I don’t think that the casual fan is as interested in preserving the feats of Roger Maris, Babe Ruth, and Hank Aaron.

So, my vote is Max Scherzer.  Detroit Tigers fans are passionate and when you mix in the value of the deal he rejected, I believe it will not be taken lightly by the 45,000 that fill the seats at Comerica Park.

Make your pick – Barry Bonds OR Max Scherzer.  Pick now!!

Booing fans

Million Dollar Question – Would You Pitch With Protective Headgear??

Million Dollar Question – Would You Pitch With Protective Headgear??

I am an assistant coach for my older son’s Little League team. This is his first year playing and he is in a ‘Coach Pitch’ age group.  We have games 2-3 times per week and I try to sneak to the field with him a little early to get a few more reps at the plate before the game starts.  8 games into the season and he is doing very well and I am a proud dad.

In this league, the pitcher (coach) must be on his knees while throwing.  The distance from home plate to the ‘mound’ is only 46 feet.  And trust me when I tell you, it is very close.  Even though very few of these kids have fully developed swings, a shot off of a metal bat is still coming at you quickly.

Last week while in the batting cages, my son ripped one right back at me that caught me in the stomach.  I gasped and he cringed.  After standing up and stretching, I took a few deep breaths, followed by 12-14 steps backwards and then forwards and then I was ready to resume my role on my knees as a pitcher.  No damage was done, though he apologized to me for the next three days.  I told him to do it again, blast it right up the middle!

Would a padded undershirt have helped?  You bet.  And just imagine if I took one in the heart or throat or head – it could have been a lot worse.  A lot worse.

After the incident in the cage, we both moved on.  We’ve had games and more practice sessions since but when the Aroldis Chapman incident happened late last week, I was a bit startled by what I saw.  Now, I was not startled to see a pitcher get hit by a line drive – but I saw myself in that position – and it is not a fun feeling…

Would I wear a protecting helmet if I was pitching in the majors?  You better believe it!  And I would do it as a coach to a 7-8 year old Little League team as well.

How about you??  If you were a major league pitcher, would you wear appropriate headgear to ensure that your head did not look like this?

Aroldis Chapman staples

Let me hear it!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, in my league, the defensive pitcher that stands next to the pitcher/coach must wear a helmet.  And the first baseman does too.

Million Dollar Question – Does Opening Day In Australia Excite You??

Million Dollar Question – Does Opening Day In Australia Excite You??

No build-up is necessary for this one – a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ question.

And my answer is simple – No.

Baseball is America’s past-time.  People in America take off the day from work and skip school to attend Opening Day.  I don’t know how popular our game is in Australia, but I do not believe that it ranks very high.

Am I for making the sport more appealing in other countries?  Sure.  But, not at the expense of the fans it already has?  I don’t know if these games between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks count has home games for either team, but one of these two fan bases is losing home games and a chance to be at Opening Day.  And that sucks.

Why on Earth would MLB advocate this???  SMH.