Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Vladimir Guerrero, 2011 Topps Update Series #US200
Baltimore Orioles: In a controversial move, the club celebrates the Autumnal Equinox by burning the Oriole Bird at the stake. It remains to be seen whether the baseball gods will reward this sacrifice with a winning season in 2013.
Boston Red Sox: Fighting again for a wild-card berth on the last day, the Sox name 53-year-old Oil Can Boyd as their starting pitcher for Game 162.
New York Yankees: The team retires Karim Garcia’s uniform number on Old-Timers Day.
Tampa Bay Rays: Joe Maddon protests a blown call by hurling a bottle of fine wine onto the field.
Toronto Blue Jays: Embarrassed by the good fortune of Jose Bautista’s sudden leap forward into stardom, the club trades him back to the Pirates for future considerations.
Chicago White Sox: Robin Ventura is named Manager of the Year after sparking the team’s successful playoff push by moving designated hitter Adam Dunn to shortstop.
Cleveland Indians: A new round of performance-enhancing hysteria is touched off by the debut of the Tribe’s new center fielder, Cybernetic Grady Sizemore.
Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander shocks the baseball world by striking out 636 batters, shattering Nolan Ryan’s post-1901 record. He is quoted as saying, “I had no choice. Did you see the defense they put behind me?”.
Kansas City Royals: Growing impatient with the progress of their rebuilding efforts, K.C. brass tips the competitive balance in their favor at the All-Star Game by locking all of the American and National League stars in the clubhouses at Kauffman Stadium.
Minnesota Twins: Looking to protect their considerable investment in the fragile Joe Mauer, the Twins take the unusual step of benching him for the whole season. “Better safe than sorry,” says manager Ron Gardenhire.
“Los Angeles” Angels: Free-agent bust Albert Pujols is benched in early June after batting just .157 with a pair of home runs in his first two months in the American League. His replacement at first base is Vladimir Guerrero, who returned to the team as a pinch hitter in mid-May and hit home runs in each of his first eight at-bats off of the bench. Before Vlad can make his first start at his new position, he is attacked in the locker room by a furious Pujols. The Halos suspend Albert indefinitely.
Oakland Athletics: A’s ownership finally gives up their star-crossed efforts to move to San Jose, opting instead to relocate to an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean. Attendance increases by 50%.
Seattle Mariners: The Mariners’ offensive struggles become so severe that the team petitions Commissioner Bud Selig to outlaw overhand pitches. He announces the formation of a blue-ribbon committee to explore the possibilities.
Texas Rangers: Local TV ratings for game broadcasts plummet when the introduction of the Nolan Ryan Cam proves to be a flop. It turns out that no one wants to stare at the team president’s leathery mug for three hours at a time.