Superbowl XLVI Projection, Championship Weekend

New England over New York (77.849%)

I got to see most of both games today, and the end of both of them. It was pretty exciting to see New England and Baltimore go to the last minute and the OT for San Francisco and New York. Unfortunately New York defied my odds yet again. Despite this, I think I'll be rooting for them against the New England, although that's been bad luck as my chosen team has lost the last 4 Superbowls, dating back to the first matchup of these two teams. That year, despite my dislike for New England, I thought it'd be cool to see a team go 19-0. In 2009, I rooted for the old St. Louis QB, Kurt Warner, as he and Arizona lost to the Pittsburgh. In 2010, Indianapolis and one of my favorite non-Rams, Peyton Manning, lost to New Orleans. I finally got onto the Pittsburgh bandwagon last year, only to have Green Bay take them down.

I guess this is my final projection post, though I'll do some sort of wrap-up in two weeks showing how badly it worked out this year. The Giants have been quite the thorn in my side so far.



eBay Wins #14

I found a seller who had several listings of individual 2011 Heritage cards at 1 penny with 75 cents shipping.  I wasn't quite willing to spend that much, so I contacted the seller who confirmed he would combine shipping for me.  I also picked up some 2011 Topps inserts and one odd man out at the end. In the end I won 69 auctions for a total of $0.90 plus $6 shipping

You don't really need to see more Heritage right now, do you?
2011 Topps Heritage: 4, 14, 17, 27, 41, 52, 59x2, 60, 61, 75, 82, 86, 124, 126, 145, 167, 178, 190, 191, 194x2, 197, 216, 219, 222, 229,231, 254, 260, 268, 282, 285, 290, 292, 295, 317x2, 327, 332, 338, 341, 346, 351, 362, 364, 373, 378, 383, 389, 391, 396, 404, 413, 415, 418, Then and Now TN-6

2011 Topps #10 Stephen Strasburg

2011 Topps - Topps 60 #T60-34 Mark Reynolds

2011 Topps - Topps 60 #T60-25 Orlando Cepeda

2011 Topps - Diamond Duos #DD-CS Steve Carlton, CC Sabathia

2011 Topps - Diamond Duos #DD-HG Josh Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero

2011 Topps - 60 Years of Topps #60YOT-08 1959 #202 Roger Maris
2011 Topps - 60 Years of Topps #60YOT-53 2004 #527 Mark Teixeira
2011 Topps - 60 Years of Topps #60YOT-48 1999 #459 Mike Piazza, Ivan Rodriguez, Jason Kendall

2011 Topps - Kimball Champions
#KC-32 Alex Rios
#KC-33 Martin Prado

2007 Goudey #104 Ichiro
This seller had all sorts of 2011 Topps and Heritage, and, for some reason, this one 2007 Goudey. I've liked Ichiro for a long time, and I had room in my basket before shipping increased, so I figured, why not.

I've really destroyed my average compared to the results as of the last eBay post, but I got some actual wantlist needs this time, instead of random junk wax.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought996
Total Spent$16.52
Per Card1.66 cents


eBay Wins #13

Another 1 card for 1 penny post:

1990 Pacific Legends #53 Frank Torre
That's a somewhat uninspired post, except, wait a minute, that card has four 90 degree angles. No more trapezoidal card photos for me, I bought a scanner. I picked it up for $29 even at Walmart when doing some day-off shopping yesterday. I figured for less than a blaster and a half, it was worth a shot. It's actually a full All-In-One Printer/Scanner/Copier, and as it turns out, it works pretty well. I noticed a while back that standalone scanners, when I could find them, were usually more than All-In-Ones, presumably because the company hopes to make back the money on ink. If anyone's looking for a cheap scanning option, here's the link on walmart.com.

Now, to finish my eBay post.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought927
Total Spent$9.62
Per Card1.04 cents


Superbowl XLVI Projection, Divisional Weekend

San Francisco over New England

As a side note, did anyone know this is called the Divisional Playoffs? It doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but I guess they had to call it something in the great re-branding a few years ago.

I went 3-1 this week, losing only the Green Bay-New York game. Of the 4 teams left, I've had 3 of them in my Superbowl projections multiple times, including San Francisco and Baltimore in Week 1, Week 5, and Week 6, Week 8, and almost in Week 9. Also, every post from the end of Week 15 to the end of Week 17 had San Francisco over New England, only changing last week when New York's severe underdog status put Green Bay as the likely champ.

This week's games:

San Francisco over New York (83%)
New England over Baltimore (54%)

I'll be rooting for the 49ers and Ravens, though, since I still don't really like the Patriots. Either way I think both of these games have potential to be great next week.


First to 10% chance of Superbowl win: Detroit (week 3)
First to 15% chance of Superbowl win: San Francisco (week 6)
First to 20% chance of Superbowl win: San Francisco (week 11, Sunday)
First to 25% chance of Superbowl win: San Francisco (week 16, Saturday)
First to 45% chance of Superbowl win: San Francisco (Divisional Weekend)
First to 80% chance of Playoffs: Detroit (week 3)
First to 90% chance of Playoffs: Detroit, San Francisco, Green Bay (week 5)
First to 95% chance of Playoffs: San Francisco, Green Bay (week 6)
First to 99% chance of Playoffs: San Francisco (week 8)
First to 99.9% chance of Playoffs: San Francisco (week 10)
First to 99.99% chance of Playoffs: San Francisco (week 11, Sunday)
First to 100% chance of Playoffs: Green Bay (week 12, Sunday)
First to clinch a division: Green Bay, San Francisco (week 13, Sunday)
First to clinch a first round bye: Green Bay (week 14, Sunday)


eBay Wins #12

A random lot of Arizona Diamondbacks? For 12 cents, why not?

1999 Skybox Premium #108 Andy Benes

2000 Bowman #274 Jack Cust

2000 Bowman #306 Jackie Rexrode

2000 Fleer Focus #150 Erubiel Durazo

2000 Fleer Focus #88 Tony Womack

2000 Fleer Focus #27 Steve Finley

2000 Pacific Omega #10 Matt Williams

2000 Pacific Omega #6 Jay Bell

2001 Fleer Futures #183 Alex Cabrera
I miss the old Purple and Teal Diamondbacks. I actually bought a hat in 1998 or so when they first came into being which is white with a purple bill. It's ugly as sin (see it here), so it's not surprising that look didn't last long.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought926
Total Spent$9.61
Per Card1.04 cents


eBay Wins #11

For a mere 99 cents (plus $5 shipping), I bought a factory sealed set of 1991 Topps Micro.

1991 Topps Micro Factory Set

I always have a tough time convincing myself to open factory sealed things. I probably will at some point, but for now it's still in the wrapper.

I sought out this set after reading a blog post about the Micro sets from 1991-1993, but I can't seem to find it now.  This was quite awhile ago, as I've fallen behind on my eBay posts. I guess I'll count this as 792 cards for 5.99 in the tracker. After all, just because they're in a box doesn't make them any different really.

eBay Bargain Tracker
Total Cards Bought917
Total Spent$9.49
Per Card1.03 cents


NCAA Football Power Rankings, 2011 Final

I can't decide if this game is why rematches should or should not happen. On the one hand, going into the night, LSU was going to be atop my rankings either way. And why not, really? The 1-1 head-to-head record means the best team should really be decided by the other games the teams played. On the other hand, a grind-it-out win by Alabama shows they were able to overcome LSU's defense and hold back the offense, though just barely. Even so, I still only have them ranked at #3. I want a playoff tournament!

2Oklahoma State12-1
5Boise State12-1
8South Carolina11-2
9Virginia Tech11-3
10Southern Miss12-2
15Michigan State11-3
16Kansas State10-2
19Northern Illinois11-3
25Penn State9-4
26West Virginia9-3
27Arkansas State10-3
28Brigham Young10-3
32Florida State9-4
35Notre Dame8-5
37North Carolina State8-5
43Louisiana Tech8-5
44Georgia Tech8-5
46North Carolina7-6
47Texas A&M7-6
49San Diego State8-5
55Mississippi State7-6
57Iowa State6-7
58Florida International8-5
59Southern Methodist7-5
62Air Force7-6
63Utah State7-6
64Western Kentucky7-5
65Western Michigan7-6
66Miami (FL)6-6
68Ohio State6-7
71Wake Forest6-7
72Arizona State6-7
73Eastern Michigan6-6
74Ball State6-6
77Texas Tech5-7
78South Florida5-7
82Kent State5-7
83Bowling Green5-7
85East Carolina5-7
88North Texas5-7
88San Jose State5-7
92Boston College4-8
95Washington State4-8
97Miami (OH)4-8
98Fresno State4-9
99Oregon State3-9
100New Mexico State4-9
101Central Michigan3-9
107Ole Miss2-10
111Colorado State3-9
115Middle Tennessee2-10
116New Mexico1-11
118Florida Atlantic1-11


Superbowl XLVI Projection, Wildcard Weekend

Since there's no Monday game, and no Sunday night game, and the BCS Championship is tomorrow, I've moved my NFL post to Sunday this week.

Green Bay over New England

This prediction feels more right than San Francisco, but getting to it is sort of odd. San Francisco is still "better" than Green Bay, but Green Bay is going to have an easier time getting to the NFC Championship (80%!). Also, if I were simply predicting the winner, the answer would be New England, with a 22% chance to Green Bay's 21%, but, like I stated way back in Week 2, my stated method is to pick the likeliest winner of each conference, then the winner between the two of them. New England has a 48% chance to represent the AFC, due in part to Pittsburgh's loss today, as they were the next best team.

Now, for the Divisional round playoffs:

New England over Denver (87%)
Green Bay over New York (80%)
Baltimore over Houston (53%)
San Francisco over New Orleans (52%)

This week I'll be rooting for Denver, Green Bay, Houston, and New Orleans. I find that mostly I'm rooting for the team I dislike least when the Rams aren't involved, as I don't really have another favorite team. I do legitimately like the Packers, dating back before the Rams were in St. Louis and Brett Favre was slinging passes. I'm also a little conflicted because of course I'd like to have my projections validated, but in the end I'd rather a team I like in the Superbowl than to have been right about who's going to be there.


First to 10% chance of Superbowl win: Detroit (week 3)
First to 15% chance of Superbowl win: San Francisco (week 6)
First to 20% chance of Superbowl win: San Francisco (week 11, Sunday)
First to 25% chance of Superbowl win: San Francisco (week 16, Saturday)

First to 80% chance of Playoffs: Detroit (week 3)
First to 90% chance of Playoffs: Detroit, San Francisco, Green Bay (week 5)
First to 95% chance of Playoffs: San Francisco, Green Bay (week 6)
First to 99% chance of Playoffs: San Francisco (week 8)
First to 99.9% chance of Playoffs: San Francisco (week 10)
First to 99.99% chance of Playoffs: San Francisco (week 11, Sunday)
First to 100% chance of Playoffs: Green Bay (week 12, Sunday)
First to clinch a division: Green Bay, San Francisco (week 13, Sunday)
First to clinch a first round bye: Green Bay (week 14, Sunday)


Number 5 Type Collection's Cardinals Giveaway, Part 5

[Part 1]
[Part 2]
[Part 3]
[Part 4]
Matt at Number 5 Type Collection gave me way too many Cardinals in a recent contest. Here's the final part, part 5:

2008 Upper Deck #656 Anthony Reyes

2008 Upper Deck #658 Adam Kennedy
If I remember correctly, Adam was a hot SS prospect when we still had Ozzie. This was my first realization that the players I loved would eventually retire or be pushed out by younger guys. I think my fantasy baseball drafting style shows I'm still coming to grips with this. Anyway, we moved him to 2B, then moved him to Anaheim for Jim Edmonds. He then won a World Series in 2002 with David Eckstein, Scott Spiezio, and Troy Glaus, then joined the Cardinals for 2007 after Eckstein and Spiezio won another ring here.

2008 Upper Deck #66 Yadier Molina

2008 Upper Deck #64 Jason Isringhausen

2008 Upper Deck First Edition #52 Jason Isringhausen
I really like parallels and...whatever you'd call sets like Topps Opening Day. Parallel Sets? So having both of these Isringhausens is a good fit for my collecting style.

2009 O-Pee-Chee - Black Mini Parallel #493 Yadier Molina

2009 O-Pee-Chee - Black Parallel #579 David Freese
Did I mention I like parallels? And in case you missed it, that Molina is a mini.

2009 O-Pee-Chee Box Bottom Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez
Does anyone have any great solution for how to store something like this? It's basically the size of two cards next to each other. I could trim it as intended, but that'd be too easy. Anyway, this is the semi-mystery card promised in the contest post, the O-Pee-Chee box bottom. I'm glad this one has the Albert card on it like the example shown. Also that'd make a sweet 3D card.

That was a pretty awesome prize. I was impressed how many were actually spare #5s from his collection. I owe a big thanks to Matt at Number 5 Type Collection. If you're not a regular reader, go give his blog a look.


Number 5 Type Collection's Cardinals Giveaway, Part 4

[Part 1]
[Part 2]
[Part 3]
Matt at Number 5 Type Collection gave me way too many Cardinals in a recent contest. Here's part 4:

1983 Louisville Redbirds Riley's #5 Gene Roof
I've never heard of Gene Roof. Apparently he played a total of 48 games over 3 years with St. Louis and Montreal. I may have to track down more of this set though; it's kind of cool looking and should have some other players I'd know.

2010 Upper Deck #471 Jason Motte

2010 Upper Deck #459 Ryan Ludwick
I wished we'd kept Ludwick at the time, though I suppose a World Series win in 2011 means we did something right along the way.

On to the big guns:
2007 Topps #302 Scott Rolen Gold Glove Award

2007 Topps #39 Jim Edmonds

2008 Topps Opening Day #82 Jim Edmonds

2008 Topps Opening Day #50 Albert Pujols

2007 Fleer Ultra - Swing Kings #SK-AP Albert Pujols
And this was one of the big cards promised in the original post. Of course, Pujols was still a Cardinal at the time. I think on some level his leaving hasn't quite hit me yet, because I haven't seen him play in an Angels uniform (yes, I saw the press conference). For now, I'm still collecting his cards, and still feel that extra thrill of doing well when I pull one. Plus this card's extra shiny and part of one of the flashiest sets ever, Fleer Ultra.

One more post tomorrow.


Number 5 Type Collection's Cardinals Giveaway, Part 3

[Part 1]
[Part 2]
Matt at Number 5 Type Collection gave me way too many Cardinals in a recent contest.  Here's part 3:

Let's start off with some former prospects now traded away.
2007 Tristar Prospects Plus #81 Joe Mather

2007 Tristar Prospects Plus #80 Colby Rasmus
 It's a little weird to see a modern Cardinal wearing Yadier Molina's #4, but this is from the minors (AA) of course.  It does make me wonder if any of the minor league players are allowed to wear the MLB Cardinals' retired numbers

1988 Fleer - 1987 World Series #5 Throw Smoke! (Todd Worrell and Tony Pena)
 These guys are a little before my time, though I vaguely recall Tony's crazy catching stance when my dad watched games and I wasn't too interested. By the time I was really paying attention in '92, Todd Worrell had been reduced to setup man for the powerful Lee Smith.

1993 Hostess #5 Ray Lankford
I actually laughed out loud when I saw this card. It brought memories flooding back to me about seeking out and eating way too many Hostess Baseballs in 1993. What can I say, I was 10. I think I even tried to convince my dad to try them, hoping he'd replace any other sugary snack he might have with a baseball, and I'd get another box with more cards sooner. I went and grabbed my pile of hostess cards and noticed something interesting. I guess I got into the game late, because they're all numbered 17 or higher of 32, which would seem to be evidence they issued the cards in two series.

2005 Topps Total #206 (STL5) Chris Carpenter

2007 Upper Deck Future Stars #88 Chris Carpenter

1990 Fleer All-Stars #5 Joe Magrane
I have a few Joe Magrane autographs, as he hung around St. Louis a few years after he retired, making the occasional appearance. He played with the Cardinals until mid 1993, so I can recall about a year and a half of his career here.

1999 Topps - Lords of the Diamond #LD5 Mark McGwire

2000 Topps - 20th Century's Best #232 Mark McGwire
Mark McGwire was a favorite player of mine long before he came to the Cardinals, so I got even more into baseball when he was traded here. Sadly he was apparently using some illegal substances during his amazing Home Run binges. I'm glad to see he's back with the Cardinals as a hitting coach, hopefully he can rebuild his legacy that was tainted by his bad choices. He's apparently a pretty smart guy when it comes to hitting, though, and the players really seem to get a lot from him. We'll need that experience and confidence with a brand new manager this year.

More to see tomorrow...


Number 5 Type Collection's Cardinals Giveaway, Part 2

[Part 1]
Matt at Number 5 Type Collection gave me way too many Cardinals in a recent contest.  Here's part 2:

1986 Fleer Box Bottoms #C-5
I bet this set would be pretty hard to complete, even though there are only 8 cards total.

1985 Topps Collectors' Series #5 Lou Brock
Lou Brock, good guy.
2005 Fleer Tradition #293 Larry Walker
The cardinals like to pick up aging stars, but it always seems to work out OK. Will Clark, Larry Walker, and hopefully now Carlos Beltran.
2008 Topps Allen and Ginter Mini Baseball Icons #BI11 Johnny Mize

2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH246 Kelvin Jimenez

2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH243 Joe Mather

2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH164 Jason LaRue
My favorite Jason LaRue quote went something like this, regarding a Yadier Molina injury. "I ain't no doctor or nothin', but that looked like it hurt".

2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH273 Chris Perez
I really wish we'd held on to this guy, he was showing great potential, and we gave him up for Mark DeRosa.

Once again, more to see tomorrow