Saturday, September 27, 2014
Cal Ripken Jr., 2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions Preview #GCP-11
If I were really on auto-pilot, I would deflect attention from myself by pointing out that the Orioles have been sleepwalking through the past week, losing series to the inferior Red Sox and Blue Jays and splitting with the zombified Yankees. They've been firmly locked into the second division champion seed in the American League for a while, so they're resting key players and giving significant field time to the Steve Clevengers and Alexi Casillas and Evan Meeks of the world, to ensure that they've got a reasonably healthy 25-man roster when the ALDS begins on Thursday. I don't blame them, but it doesn't inspire many wise words from yours truly.
Or maybe I could talk about the slapdash portrait of Cal Junior on this five-year-old Upper Deck card. It's meant to depict the youthful O's shortstop circa 1983, when he was the AL MVP and helped lead Baltimore to their third World Series crown. Yet number 8 looks haggard - deep bags under his eyes, heavy creases lining his face. He bears a stronger resemblance to Sir Anthony Hopkins than to Ripken. Also, what kind of baseball field is that? From the angle of the picture and the curvature of the infield dirt, it looks like Cal's playing second base.
So yeah...everyone's a critic.