“WTF?!?!? Did you know José Bautista BLOCKED me on Twitter?”

This very morning saw me taking a ridiculously early train for a business trip down to London. As per usual I use such trips to take full advantage of the world of Social Media, in particularly to catch up with what’s happening on Twitter.

Much to my disappointment I noticed that I was no longer being followed by well known Twitter lover and Blue Jays stalwart, Mr José Bautista. Admittedly I stopped following José some weeks ago myself so this came as little surprise (although given the fact that José will follow pretty much anyone, as his 217K+ follows clearly demonstrates, maybe I should have been worried?!)

So I decided to give him a Follow back, you know… rekindle the love that we once shared for one another… But NO!!!! This is what greated me!!! –

Screenshot_2014-06-04-06-46-19

BLOCKED!!!! By José Bautista?!?!? Say it ain’t so, Joe-sé (see what I did there 🙂 )

Was it something I said José??? Actually, I guess it was pretty much something I said but more on that in a moment!

A few weeks a go I wrote about my ‘delight’ about being followed by everyone’s favourite Jays outfielder. At least everyone’s favourite Jays outfielder that isn’t Melky Cabreara, Anthony Gose or even Colby Rasmus. I even ran a little caption competition to honour the great man… You can click here to read all about it if you missed it first time around.

And now this!!! Why José, why?!?!? OK… I may have called you a “media whore” in the past, but it was only meant in a good way!! It came from a place of love José, a place of love! Why have I been ostracized?? Why have I been exiled to the Social Media wilderness?? You’ve made me a veritable Twitter pariah, José!! A pariah I say!!! What makes me so different to the other 217,000+ individuals that you love and care so much about that you deemed them worthy of a Follow? How is it you can clasp them to your somewhat overworked torso and yet leave me out there… cold and alone?? The shame José, the shame!!

How can I turn to my 8 year old daughter, Hettie, and tell her you’ve turned your back on me? You were her favourite, José!! She absolutely adored you, looked up to you!! Well, I imagine she would have done if she had any love or appreciation for baseball and known who you were in the first place. I suspect she’s drawn to paternal figures with immaculately managed facial hair, although she’ll never admit it!

So where does this leave us now ‘old friend’??

No longer can I read those numerous quotes you tweet, from individuals far greater than yourself, in a vain attempt to somehow pass yourself off as profound or well read, or perhaps both. How can I track the progress you’re making with ‘Booster Juice’ (#BoosterJuice)? How can I live without those crazy-ass tweets that you used to do in Spanish? Sadly, due to my inability to understand the language I could never really follow what you were writing, although I always imagined it was some really funny shit.

Sniff… (Wipes single tear from eye)

No time for sadness or recriminations… No hard feelings… Just some great memories! Like when I used to rip into you for using those random quotes! Or when I used to kid you over your insipid talent for self-promotion!

Ahhh… Good times José, good times!

I know that you might not have any love for me anymore José, but I’ll never turn my back on you. For me you’ll always be the same abject Face of MLB (#FaceOfMLB) failure this year that you were last year. You know what though? Keep trying kiddo!! Never give up! Everyone loves a tryer! In the immortal words of Eric Cartman…

“Follow your dreams. You can meet your goals. I am living proof. Beefcake! BEEFCAKE!!!”

I guess that’s all I’ve got for now. I guess… It’s just… I…

(Throws himself on the floor and pounds fists into the ground, sobbing uncontrollably in an overly theatrical fashion)

WHY José, WHY DAMN YOU?!?!? Please have me back José! If you don’t want to do it for me José, then think about the kids, man!! THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN!!!

(Picks himself up off the floor and sheepishly dusts himself down)

Ahem… Well that’s all I’ve got for now José. Take care dude!

Love and hugs, Andy

xoxo

(Exits stage left)

 

FYI – You can follow José on Twitter – @JoeyBats19 – just don’t tell him I sent you 😉

Random!

I’ve been away from the blog for a while so thanks to anyone out there who’s been sticking around.

I just wanted to take a break from my self-imposed exile to share a little anecdote based around a recent adventure on eBay.

You see for the last couple of weeks I’ve had my eye on this piece of cardboard awesomeness…

hubbell

For anyone who recognises the player – kudos!! For anyone who doesn’t then this particular card is from the 1939 Play Ball set and features New York Giants screwballer and Hall of Famer, Carl Owen Hubbell.

Hubbell was one of the most dominant pitchers of the 1930’s and played his entire career with the Giants from 1928 to 1943. He even remained on their payroll long after their move from New York to San Francisco, all the way up until his death in 1988.

Among his numerous accolades he was perhaps best remembered for an incredible pitching feat in the 1934 All-Star game where he struck out five of the AL’s greatest hitters –  Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin – in succession!!

The above card was listed on eBay for $32.50 BIN with pretty cheap postage to the UK. I didn’t have the funds in PayPal at the time so I decided to keep my eye on it. A few days later a few items did eventually sell and my PayPal coffers swelled. I went back to the Hubbell but still didn’t pull the trigger. I think it was because there was another Play Ball card from the same set that I had my eye on that was stopping me fully committing myself to the purchase.

So I kept it there, checking every few days! I loved the card… Really loved it! The wear and tear is perfectly acceptable. The rounded corners and slightly frayed edges are part of the inherent charm of this type of card, and in no way were holding up my decision to ‘Buy-It-Now’ it!! But I kept holding off… and holding off… and holding off…

And then two days ago I promptly went and dropped $34.88 on this…

appel

WTF?!?!?!

Even now, less than 48 hours later, I’m still having trouble working out my thought process behind this one.

There’s nothing wrong with the Appel auto… Far from it! Around $35 is pretty much what this card is fetching at the moment so I can’t even say I snagged myself a bargain. It’s a nice looking card with a sharp sig, so no complaints there!

The thing is I’ve never had Mark Appel on my radar from a collecting point of view. I’ve done no research into what his cards were shifting for when I arrived at my decision to bid on the card 2 minutes before the auction ended. I didn’t know if I was paying over the odds or not. I just saw it and felt I had to bid on it! I didn’t think for one minute I’d win… But I did! And now I’m the proud owner of a (yet to be received) 2014 Bowman Mark Appel Prospect Autograph!

The stoooopid thing is I’m not even sure that it’s a card I even want! I wasn’t sure at the time, and I’m not sure now! Some crazy notion crossed my mind that I needed that particular card and the damage was done! Pretty much all of my eBay purchases are usually thought through with a great deal of care and I’ve never done anything like it this before.

So I’m throwing this one over to you guys! Has anyone else out there made a purchase based on pure impulse? A purchase with simply no thought or prior-planning? Even though it’s an odd experience for me I’m sure that there are others out there in collecting-land who have done something like this!

I’m intrigued! Is it something you’ve later regretted?? Or is it something that has turned out to be overwhelmingly positive?

And please let me know what I need to do to stop it happening again 🙂

And The Winner Is…

Some folks may well remember that I started a little competition a couple of weeks ago – a caption competition based on the following image from an advertisement shoot for ‘Booster Juice’ with none other than your favourite Blue Jays outfielder and mine, Mr José Bautista.

I asked you good folk to come up with a comical caption for the following photo and thanks to everyone who took part…

josegolf

Well, I’ve decided upon a winner, one that made me giggle the most, and up until the end I thought we had a clear winner with this from Sports Card Collectors (@SportsCardCollec) with –

“They call me Joey Bats in baseball, they will soon call me Joey Strokes in golf. Wait… I think I should change that, it doesnt sound quite right… Joey Swings it is!”

‘Joey Strokes’ indeed 🙂

Now that one would have won if not for a last minute entry from fellow Brit and Rays fan, Mr Lee Phillimore (@PlayoffRays) who went with –

“Where am I, who is this man and why are my hands tied behind my back? I swear, this is the last time I go out drinking with Melky Cabrera…” 

I hadn’t spotted the “hands tied behind back” scenario, the thought of which made me giggle for a fair while, then add in the prospect of a night on the town with my man Melky and you have all the ingredients for the winning entry!

So congrats Lee! You get first choice on whichever Harper card you’d like, and the remaining card goes to my good friend over at Sports Card Collectors.

harper

Well done both and hope you like the cards!

“Hey! Did You Know Jose Bautista Follows Me On Twitter?”

To be perfectly honest, who the hell doesn’t José Bautista follow on Twitter??

Yep, well known Blue Jay, third baseman-turned-outfielder and soon-to-be free agent José Bautista is a pretty prominent player from the world of baseball on Twitter.  As I write this his account – @JoeyBats19 – is followed by over 470,000 of you good folks out there. More interestingly ol’ Joey Bats himself actually follows over 180,000 on Twitter (including yours truly).

Now, what possible interest could this Dominican born, Canada playing baseball giant have in what I have to say? Or any of the others that he follows for that matter? ‘Very little’ would be my best guess!

And I know I’m not the only one to have noticed Joey’s Tweeting antics. He recently drew mucho derision for his ridiculous attempt to become the #FaceOfMLB for the upcoming season. Read all about that here…

Players and fans get heated over ‘Face of MLB’ contest

Others have been looking into Jose’s Twitter antics, my particular favourite being this post from Jake Mintz at the Cespedes Family Barbecue

Jose Bautista’s Most Outrageous Follows

The popular opinion out there is that it’s actually a marketing team behind Bautista’s account, and that the big man himself has little input/interest in what gets tweeted. Now I’m not bashing Joey Bats in the slightest, after all I’m sure he does his bit for the betterment of humankind. Nope, what does irk me is the way in which he’s pimped out through the world of social media, and this, in my happy opinion, makes @JoeyBats19 (the Twitter account) fair game for public derision.

Last night saw this tweet from some wine maker that’s using Bautista in an upcoming advertisement for ‘Booster Juice’?!?!?! Mmmm… (taps side of nose)… ‘Booster’ Juice, eh José??

jose

I just love this, and following it’s posting I got involved with a lively bit of Twitter banter with my collecting comrade and A’s fan Ben Wilson (@ourtradingcards) as well as a few others, where we discussed José’s propensity for ‘retweeting and following’, Free Agency conspiracies and the delicate shade of egg plant that is the colour of José’s shirt!

I happened to think that this image was perfect for a caption competition, so guess what… We’re having a caption competition!!

Here’s a better look at that image!

josegolf

Here’s the rules

  1. Please don’t take this too seriously, it’s just for fun
  2. You need to come up with a caption for the image – this can be a caption for the overall image, or a quote from one of more of the golfing participants
  3. The judges decision (i.e. mine) will be final, and will be based upon which caption made me smile or laugh the most (not the most scientific of yardsticks I’ll grant you)
  4. The winner will receive a Bryce Harper RC or Prospect card from one of the 2012 Bowman products. If I’m feeling generous it might be both 🙂
  5. Leave your answer in the comments section below this post so we can all have a giggle at @JoeyBats19’s expense
  6. Closing date will be next Tuesday 18th March at 6.00pm EST/11.pm GMT and I’ll announce the winner at some point the following day

So lets do this people!! Lets all flex our comedic muscles at the expense of our favourite MLB Twitter star!

Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favour!

Pot… Kettle… Black…

First off, I don’t really consider myself to be a malicious or vindictive person… Never have been, never will be. I don’t find it easy to bear grudges or lapse into foul moods if I’m ever criticized or slighted in any way.

I don’t have any time to wallow in that type of negative self-pity, preferring instead to concentrate on the humour and incredulity of any given situation or happenstance. Must be a product of my good old English wit I suppose, which lets say borders on the ‘mostly dry’ side.

And the only reason I tell you this in advance is because I don’t want you to think that the following anecdote is meant in a mean-spirited kind of way. It isn’t! I just wanted to share the somewhat karmic irony involved, an irony that brought a very wry smile to my face.

Yesterday I posted about the excitement I was feeling about the upcoming release of 2014 Topps Heritage, a post that has so far received 167 views and still counting – a pretty high number for this modest little blog. This number was helped considerably by a retweet from those good folks over at Topps, so thanks for that and thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to stop by so far!

However after I’d turned in for the night I was woken by a low buzzing that indicated a tweet had appeared on my phone, a tweet that read as follows –

tweet

D’OH!! There I go again! Getting my months wrong!! I do this all the time, particularly when we’re in the first few days of a new month. I guess we all make mistakes, I definitely make my fair share of them! To err is human, and all that! So I made a quick edit to the post, changing the 14th February to 14th March, and off to sleep once again.

It wasn’t until I revisited the tweet the following morning that something jumped out at me about the message from Twitter user @ToppsHeritageNz. The eagle-eyed among you may well have already spotted it, if not go and give it another look.

So @ToppsHeritageNz, the irony of your message certainly wasn’t lost on me!

I’m not adverse to having the error of my ways pointed out to me, but wouldn’t a simple word to one side have worked just as well? You know, something like “Hey Andy, you’ve gone and put the wrong release date down!”. But that’s not good enough in this instance I guess.

The thing is @ToppsHeritageNz, if you’re going to call someone out, AND go to the trouble of doing it in a public forum like Twitter, it’s always best to try and avoid running foul of the same issue that you’re leveling at your intended ‘victim’. Maybe you should try and get your own proof-reading house in order first, otherwise you just mind end up looking a bigger tit than the person who made the original mistake 😉

Just saying!

I did try and reach out to my new Twitter friend –

tweet2

So far I’ve had no reply, which may well speak volumes by itself. If I’ve missed the point, and your message was laced with heaps of intended irony, then you have my apologies!

Right then – back to the ‘proper’ baseball card related business next time!

Why The F*%£ Can’t Topps Sort Out Their RC’s?

OK… OK… Sometimes I really despair over the tiniest, most insignificant things in life. I often worry that I might be missing something bigger by sweating the small stuff all the time, but occasionally there are those moments of sheer frustration born out of something which, on the surface, is pretty mundane and banal!

Collecting baseball cards shouldn’t be something to stress over. It should be about the fun; the community; the Hobby!

But every once in awhile maybe it doesn’t hurt to let off a little steam, you know? Shout from the rooftops even if there is no-one around to listen, or even care!

After my brief time away from the Hobby I’ve spent the last few days reacquainting myself with everything card-related that’s been occurring since the Red Sox somehow used their proliferance of facial hair to convince my Cardinals that they no longer knew how to hit or score runs (still not bitter)! This reacquaintance is still an ongoing process but I have had the chance to check out some of the products that I’ve missed.

And one such product was 2013 Topps Five Star Baseball!

Now, I know that the 2012 set had its fair share of issues – the epic QA fail that was the chipping and that ill-judged 5-Star Club thingy were a couple that I remember standing out – but from the early previews of the 2013 set I remember really liking what I saw! 2013 Five Star Baseball is last year’s news already (literally as well as figuratively) but I’ve only just come across it and can’t help marvelling at the sheer beauty of what Topps has produced here. Still waaaaayyyy out of my price range, but a lovely set all the same!

However one thing about it really bugs me on initial viewing, and that’s Topps’ inability to sort out their problem with the RC logo conventions. Check these two cards out –

5starmachadobase

5starmachadorc

On the top we have a Manny Machado base card #’d/75 while underneath we have an autographed card #’d/353.

“So what’s the big issue here Andy, you cantankerous English bastard?”, I hear you all cry!!

The issue for me is that the RC logo is on the wrong bloody card!!

What the hell is it doing on the autograph card when there’s a perfectly good (and much rarer) base card without a RC logo on it? Shouldn’t the base card in any set be the one that’s designated the RC, where applicable? What’s the deal with Topps and their never ending quest to create autographed RCs seemingly out of everything these days??

I don’t know!! Maybe it’s just me that still gets bothered about stuff like this? I know that there are plenty of you out there that still DO care about the status of the venerable old RC, even though its existence these days seems to be becoming more and more irrelevant to Topps and to certain sections of the Hobby.

At the end of the day should this be something to even care about?

Does it really matter where a RC logo appears, or more importantly doesn’t appear?? In the age of the Prospect card does the RC even have that much significance to the average collector anymore? or has it become something of an anachronism – a remnant of an older and more simpler era of collecting?

I’d love to hear all your thoughts on this one!!

Breaking Down an eBay Issue

Off that bat, I consider myself a pretty considerate and understanding person.

Those of you who have known me for a while, through the blog, on Twitter or through the odd trade or two, will hopefully attest to this very fact (thank you very much)!

The only reason I mention this is because I’ve just run into an issue with a seller on eBay that I wanted to share with you and hopefully get your thoughts on the matter. Last October I entered my 15th year of trading on the ‘Bay and this is the first time anything like this has happened.

In a nutshell…

I found a box of 2014 Topps Baseball on eBay from a seller based over in the US who goes by the username of tntnorthnj. Ordinarily I wouldn’t name names but I’d like other international buyers to be aware of who they might be dealing with!

The box was listed at $54.89 with $7.00 international shipping. Now, before I go any further I’d like to point out that ordinarily the shipping on a box like this is usually in the region of $25.00+ so I knew that there must be a mistake with the amount and I wanted to capitalise. A bit mercenary of me, but what the hell!

I offered a cheeky $51.00 and the seller countered with $54.00. Since the postage was sooooo low I decided to bite, accepting the counteroffer and paying the $61.00!

So far so good, and all above board! Here’s a look at the listing –

Capture

Capture2

Anyway, everything went through OK and the seller even left me some positive feedback, and off I go to bed safe in the knowledge that I’ve gone and snagged myself a bargain.

Zzzzzzz… Zzzzzzzz…

Morning comes along far too quickly and I have a quick look at my phone to check emails. Hold on a sec… What’s this!?!? A refund for $61.00 for the box I paid for the night before, including a message that says – “This item cannot be shipped abroad”

Now wait a bloody minute!!! I think it can and you’ve got a listing that confirms this. So I send off a message through eBay to query this and get a reply that says – “We do not ship wax internationally anymore, shipping costs got too expensive”

OK… I’ll concede that it is pretty pricey to ship outside of the US, but when there’s a listing that clearly states that the seller does ship internationally and which clearly states the cost of shipping internationally, I’d like to think that this is something that should be honoured. I even checked the description to see if I’d missed something that said NO INTERNATIONAL WAX SHIPPING (or something along those lines) but nothing! Here, take a look –

Capture3

I contacted the seller again just over 24 hours ago to query the issue and have so far heard nothing back. In all honesty I’m not expecting to hear anything either.

So here’s my issue… When a purchase goes through eBay is keen to point out that this is a binding sale between the buyer and the seller. Everything I did from a buyer’s perspective falls in line with this and I’m happy with my part in the proceedings! Unfortunately our seller doesn’t seem to agree that the usual selling rules on eBay apply to them, and that it’s OK to refund a transaction (without my agreement) just because they realise that they’ve undercharged on the shipping!

Now I’m sure that this is something that we’ve all done before and we’ve probably had to just suck it up. A few years ago I sold a load of D&D modules to a buyer in the US and I woefully underestimated the shipping costs. I sold the modules for £15.00 (approx $25.00) and charged £12.00 (approx $20.00) for shipping. I forgot to consider the weight of the items and the total cost of shipping ended up being £30.00 (approx $50.00)! So not only did I not make any money on them but I ended up having to spend some of my own money to send them overseas! Not once did I consider ending the deal or refunding the money!

So, where do we go from here??

Am I within my rights to think that the seller should have honoured the transaction (despite suffering a potential loss on shipping costs)? or is the seller within his rights to arbitrarily refund what I paid without even consulting me first?

Should I report the seller to eBay? and will they even be in a position to do anything about it? I mean… I can’t imagine they can force a seller to honour the original sale and send the box over at the original transaction price, can they?

Am I able to take this any further? or should I just leave some feedback and move on?

Personally I think the seller is a bit of a shyster who obviously thinks that the usual rules don’t apply to them! The best thing is the seller hasn’t even made any attempt to alter their listings for wax boxes, so they are still showing with international shipping at $7.00!

So come on the guys!! Who’s going to be the first to get the ball rolling on this one? I’m sure you’ll have an opinion either way so let me know what you all think!

As I said at the top, I like to think I’m a pretty understanding and considerate person, but sometimes…