Sunday, January 29, 2012

Album Rotation Time- Warning: Tears Were Involved

So the Rangers didn’t get Prince Fielder after all.  I was all set to move Prince Fielder out of my semi-star box straight to the big time glamor-fest that is my Rangers album (that is getting too full and needs to move to a bigger binder). Perhaps Scott Boras doesn’t know what he deprived his client of.    Back to the semi-star box for Prince?  It's something I'll need to think about.  

Which brings me to why I asked you all here.  Every year during the off season, I go through a card rotation process.  I decide which players need to be "called up" (taken from the semi star boxes and placed in the current star album) and which stars need to be "sent down" (taken from the current star album and placed in the semi star box), and which star players need to go to the retired stars album.   This process is entirely based on my whims and arbitrary judgements, so don't try to argue with my choices.  

For the cards that get sent down, it’s a difficult conversation.  And even though I am becoming more grizzled and calloused every day, it’s still hard to tell my cards they are losing their spot in one of my albums.  This year, Alfonso Soriano cards were one of three to get their cards sent down to the semi-star boxes.  The heart wrenching conversation I had to have with them was pretty typical, so I thought I would share it.  The first thing I do is pull the still full pages out of the binder and spread them out on a table.  Before I start yanking the cards from the pages, I begin the conversation with a warm, yet sad smile.  I don't waste any time though:

Me:  Alfonso Soriano cards, I’ve got some bad news for you.  We’ve made a decision.  We’re sending you down to the semi-star box.

Alfonso Soriano Cards:  (Blank Stare)

Me:  You’ve meant a lot to this collection, and when you first came up with the Yankees we had high hopes for you.  And when you moved on to the Rangers, we really had a lot of fun together.  In fact, I remember the day we told you that you were getting your own pages.  Remember those days, Alfonso Soriano cards?  Remember?

Alfonso Soriano Cards:  (Blank Stare)

Me:  (Tears welling up) I don’t know what happened, but we just stopped being interested in looking at you.  You’ll still have a home in our semi-star boxes, and some of you will probably get placed in penny sleeves.  We just don't have the binder space to keep you around.  Your relic cards will stay in the relic binder, so don’t worry about that.   I hope you stay open to the possibility of getting sent off to another collector.  If that opportunity arises, we’ll make sure you are well taken care of and not go to someone like the Lost Collector who will just send you out for autographs.

Alfonso Soriano Cards:  (Blank Stare)

See, I told you this was difficult.  If Soriano had made it to retirement while still in pages, he would be sitting pretty. Once a player makes it to the retired star album he stays there and never has to worry about the indignity of the semi star box.    Even Sammy Sosa.

Below is an overview of the movement this year:

Yes, Prince Fielder, you have moved into the star album.  Congratulations!  And to Curtis Granderson and David Price.  These are indeed the salad days for you my friends, so enjoy living the good life!

Lance Berkman, Johan Santana and Alfonso Soriano, I'm sorry this happened.  Well, I'm not sorry for you Lance Berkman and that smug look on your face and all the trouble you caused the Rangers this year.  You're lucky you didn't get shoved in the common boxes.

I'm not sure if Pudge and Vladdy are retiring or not, but they're close enough, so they go in the retired albums.

I would also like to give a stern warning to a few guys in the star album:  Carl Crawford and Mark Teixeira.  I honestly am not that interested in looking at you right now, but your overall body of work has made me give you the benefit of the doubt one more season.  Let's be a little more interesting in 2012, shall we?


Hackenbush said...

In my world Soriano is being joined by the other big Piniella era Cubs -- Derk Lee, Carlos Zambrano, Aramis Ramirez et al. Dempster and Lilly are safe.

Dhoff said...

Pudge to the retired stars box? He's got like ten more years in him.

carlsonjok said...

Jorge Posada retired.

The Lost Collector said...

Haha, I am about 0 for 50 trying to get Soriano's autograph, but I'd give it one last shot thanks to this post.