June 22, 2012

Royals vs. Cards

Big weekend series coming up.  Again, I assume you're already busy getting good and ready (read as: good and drunk) for the Royals/Cards game tonight.  It's the annual Big Slick KC charity weekend as well, so whether you're at the ballpark or at home watching on TV, you'll likely see Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, and Rob Riggle drinking beer at Kauffman Stadium tonight.  Also, Jon Hamm will be there rooting for the Cardinals and yelling shit about Denkinger like an asshole.

Anyway, I figured what better weekend than this to debut our new series "Royals vs. Cards." In this series, we won't actually be focused on the Kansas City/St. Louis rivalry.  No, the Cards we're talking about are baseball cards. With each entry, we'll look at Royals-related baseball cards that Royales with Cheese rates Fair or Poor, even if the cards are in Mint condition. They might feature players in dumb or awkward poses or with stupid haircuts, facial hair, and/or cranial accessories (Pat Sheridan, I'm looking in your direction). And sometimes, our snark will have just as much to do with the cardmaker as the player himself.

For our first post, we're looking at 2011 Topps #244 featuring former Royal Mike Aviles:

Nothing really wrong with that, you're probably saying.  Well, you're right.  That would have been fine, if Topps had stopped there. 

But they didn't.

Instead, they made a gold version:

A red version:

A black version:

A "diamond anniversary" version:

And, God knows why, a "cognac diamond anniversary" version:

That's right, SIX versions of a Mike Aviles card.

And that's not all; there were two other Mike Aviles cards made by Topps in 2011, and each of them also had more than one version.

I pretty much stopped collecting baseball cards when this shit started about twenty years ago, but I am dismayed to see that the trend of "special" cards has continued unabated.

And for a player like Mike Aviles, this is just mind-boggling. Up until he was traded to the Red Sox, he was likely to be mistaken by 95% of baseball fans as one of the mooks on Jersey Shore.

This just smacks of Topps stealing money from stupid kids and even stupider adults. What better way to artificially inflate the value of a worthless card than to print multiple versions in a limited quantity?

That's what I thought at first, anyway.  

And then I realized that maybe this wasn't just Topps, Inc.'s doing.  Looking at these cards, this has to have been Mike's idea.  Remember the ego on that guy?  Sure, he was a much better player than the Royals ever gave him credit for, but you'd hear it in his interviews and see it in his body language that he thought he was King Shit of Turd Mountain. I mean, the bat flips after inning-ending pop-ups alone were enough to make thousands of fans want to punch him in the face.  So of course this was his idea.  Artificially inflated value for an artificially inflated ego.

In fact, when you look at his cards in rapid succession, it seems to be a perfect metaphor for Aviles's manufactured swagger.  This is what is going on in Mike Aviles's head when he's doing anything on the baseball field, whether it be hitting a home run, striking out, fielding a routine grounder, or making an error.  It's a sort of Duh Vinci code.

We now present to you, Inside Mike Aviles's Mind:


Along with the above image, imagine a thumping house beat playing and half a bottle of Raspberry Stoli in your stomach, and you've got a pretty good handle on Mike's world.

Go Cognac Diamond Anniversary!  You're Complete Bullshit!

1 comment:

  1. Jeremy Affeldt9:32 AM



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