Thursday, September 16, 2010

How Sweep It Is & John Bale

While I slightly apologize for the silly and cliche title, you have to understand that us Orioles fans don't get to use that s-word very often, at least not in a good context. The O's have been swept ten times this season, including twice being swept away in back-to-back series; 4 of the series sweeps have occurred in Baltimore, two of those coming at the hands of the Blow Blue Jays. In fact the Orioles were 0-12 on the season against the Jays until sweeping them out of Baltimore this week.

I don't know how much of this current turnaround has to do with Buck Showalter, but I damn near love our new manager so far. This weekend, the Orioles have a chance to win their fifth consecutive series for the first time since 1998. 1998! That's sad and awful and embarrassing, but I'm really glad we have a chance to get rid of some of these bad "milestones" this season, since next year, we will be a respectable and somewhat competitive team again. That's right, I'm going there. 

John's in this post because he doesn't have any Orioles cards and this is a Jays card, that connection works for me.
John Bale was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 5th round of the 1996 draft, which was actually the third time he was selected in the draft; the Cardinals took him in the 12th rd. of  '94 and the O's picked him in the 6th rd. of  '95, but the third time was the charm for him. The Jays traded him to the Orioles in December 2000 for Jayson Werth (it's good to know the O's weren't the only organization that gave up on Werth before he became good) and he pitched in 14 games for the Orioles during the 2001 season and went 1-0 with a 3.04 ERA out of the bullpen. The Orioles traded him to the Mets in Spring Training 2002 in return for Gary Matthews Jr. 

After the O's sent him packing, John pitched briefly with the Reds, spent three seasons with the Royals and is currently on his second stint in Japan, pitching for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. An interesting, unrelated fact about John is that his wife is is the sister of NHL star Vincent Lecavalier. 

I'm not a big fan of this card, it's kind of ugly what with the pale yellow & pinstripes and the huge Team Best logo in the background. What's the opposite of when something "pops" at you?  Maybe flops?  Well then, this card really flops to me. But I didn't have a wide selection to chose from since the only major release that he's ever been included in is 2009 Upper Deck and he's not much of a TTM signer. This 1998 Team Best is his only certified autograph I could find and it was only $1, so I can literally look beyond it's ugliness and add it to my collection. 

2 comments:

zman40 said...

I know what you mean about Bale's lack of cards. I had to buy a Japanese card of him just to get one signed.

Ryan aka Orioles Magic said...

It's weird. I know he was mostly a reliever and they never get much cardboard love, but he was extreme.