Brouhaha is one of my favorite and also one of the most underutilized words in the English language. In case you aren’t familiar with it, in most cases it is loosely used to talk about a conflict, an uproar or something of that nature. Honestly, once you begin to think about it, conflict gets a lot of attention. Not only are there a lot of synonyms for the word, there are lots of TV shows, books, movies and more media based on conflict – whether it’s Band of Brothers or Real Housewives of the FCB message boards, the conflict element of the show is what generates much of the interest. Not only that, much of the study of history is a study of conflict and when people aren’t studying they are involved in it themselves, whether it’s in a place as formal as a courtroom, or as informal as chasing a mechanic around who ate a Twix that you thought was rightfully yours.
Lets hone in a little more – when a brawl happens in baseball, a fight in hockey, a headbutt in soccer, a brutal hit in football, or a throwdown in your local Pilates class – guess what gets the headlines – guess what you remember? Anyone remember Pedro Martinez grabbing Don Zimmer’s noggin’, the Frenchman with the headbutt (if only they’d defended the Maginot Line that fiercely), Jerome Harrison’s hit(s) in football or the time that the lady in the orange spandex pulled the ponytail of the one wearing pink? See, all of that’s stuck in your head and what sticks in your head is probably what is most interesting to you, in many cases, conflict. What brings the entire lunchroom to its feet? Fiiiiight!!
I suppose it is worth a moment to reflect on why conflict of all varieties interests us so much. A couple that come immediately to mind are first, it’s a rarity. There are 162 games per team per baseball season and it’s unusual to have even one real good Kyle Farnsworth bench clearing brawl – rare is interesting both in serial numbers and events. Second, not only is it rare but it brings out lesser known things about people – maybe you see the nice guy throw a punch, or maybe it’s some guy who appears to be the nice guy on the Internet who is all of a sudden making the swear filter work overtime. As a side note, this is why Internet tough guys are so tiring, they are no longer rare and are therefore, quite lame. Third, conflict is defining, that’s why wars are studied so intently in many cases – Gettysburg was a huge battle in the Civil War but it’s not like any tactics were developed there that were previously unheard of (charging up a hill into a hail of enemy bullets is all too common sadly, another instance immediately comes to mind – name that movie with Mel Gibson in WWI), nor was it the first time some piece of artillery was employed. The truth of the matter was that it was Lee’s farthest advance into the North, he was turned back and as Gettysburg turned, so turned the war.
At this point in time, the fact that I have gone from sports, to message boards to now Civil War battles is maddening you and you’ve had your fill of it “but Phil, that’s Gettysburg!!!” Here is the thing, often times we don’t know how influential any given conflict is going to be until well after it’s finished and thus we watch with the thought that this conflict might be the turning point or important for some other reason – it’s the demise of one party, the rise of another.
All of this brings me to one of the interesting points about a forum like FCB which we all enjoy. In spite of the fact that it is often the most frustrating of days for the moderators/owners/members conflict days are often the highest traffic days and the most engagement you will see on a message board during any given period of time. It’s certainly a strange sort of coincidence and this week on FCB we had a real doozy and while there is plenty to be thought and talked about as it relates to the subject of the conflict, the fact is that the thread in question must of had the highest rate of posting we’ve seen in quite some time and if only things were poppin’ like that regularly. Come to think of it, I should somehow insert some more conflict into the Hot List.
Now onto some conflict that involves bats and balls.
1. Max Kepler 2010 Bowman Chrome Parallel Autos
Comments: Q: What’s a sign of a card manufacturer either getting really lazy, or not having much to pick from photo-wise? A: A picture of a guy in a shirt that says Twins baseball on his rookie card. This is exactly what Max’s card says and as I recall this card was at one point a redemption – so it’s not like you could even have your T-shirt card fresh out of the pack. All that aside, Max’s recent power surge has generated some renewed interest in his Chrome Autos and his Blues almost doubled this week moving from $13 to $25.
2. Javier Baez 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft Autos
Comments: Do the names Hayden Simpson, Jeff Samarlonglastname, Andrew Cashner and Josh Kibbles and Vitters strike fear into the hearts of opposing teams? Yeah, I didn’t think so in spite of the fact that they were recent first round draft picks. However, at the risk of getting over excited this Cubs fan loves the fact that Javier Baez is absolutely beating the tar out of the ball, come to think of it like a rented billy goat one would hope. As mentioned previously, it doesn’t take a lot of excite the large Cubs fan base and Baez’s recent power surge in Caterpillar town has driven his Chrome Autos up 50%.
3. Mike Trout 2009 Bowman Sterling Autos
Comments: We are running out of descriptors and types of fishes to make jokes about – Chinook, Rainbrow, Brown, Lake shoot we may have to go straight up O’Dell Lake in here and bust out a Dolly Varden reference. A good way to think about it is did you think that at this juncture in the season Mike Trout would generate as much or more hype than Strasburg, Harper, Heyward and Pujols combined? No, me neither. Did you think that Base Sterling Autos would hit $225 when just the thought of 9.5s being there a couple weeks ago was absurd? No, me neither. Did you think Mike Trout would hit 450 foot bombs at Tiger Stadium? No, me neither.
4. Andrew McCutchen 2005 Topps Chrome Update Autos
Comments: Speaking of man, Andrew McCutchen. At the time that I re-entered the hobby several years back 2004 AFLAC chrome sets were all the rage and who would have thought that in 2012 C.J. Henry’s star would be shining brighter than Maybin and Upton. Oh wait, he didn’t make the KU basketball team as a walk-on? Right. Andrew McCutchen is a serious name in the NL MVP talk and his fantastic season is coinciding with a resurgence for the Pirates Jim Leyland style. His 2005 Chrome Autos from Topps Chrome Update hit $90 this week, up from $70 last week – yeah, he knows what it is, black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow.
5. Jurickson Profar 2011 Bowman Chrome Autos
Comments: At 19 in AA Frisco Jurickson has proFAR exceeded expectations doing just about everything in his 3rd year in the minors. This included hitting a home run in the Futures Game earlier in July. Jurickson’s cards have just been getting hotter and hotter as the summer moves on as he rises up Top Prospect lists. His Chrome Autos his $70 this week up from a touch under $50 last week.
6. Austin Meadows 2011 Bowman Chrome Draft USA Autos
Comments: Austin Meadows isn’t exactly the kind of name that strikes fear into the hearts of opposing players. And now hitting, Bambi! I’m not sure why I thought of that as analogy for meadows but I’m sure Bambi was in a meadow at some time. Austin, however, spends his time crushing the ball according to the comps that were laid on him (Josh Hamilton anyone?) and in high school that’s notable. His 2011 Chrome Draft Autos have all but dried up and now even lowly things like refractors are moving!
7. 2012 Allen and Ginter Autos
Comments: If you want diversity in card land – Allen and Ginter is your place. You might pull a relic of something unknown but unique, or you might hit a Mike Trout auto selling for an absurd amount of dollars, or you might hit an auto of a swimsuit model – all of these hits are going to get you the cost of your box back and then some and that’s why Ginter is a regular on this list.
8. Robinson Cano 2003 Bowman Heritage Autos
Comments: Doncha know? I actually don’t know why that nickname is so dang catchy. ***shaking fist at Booyah network** Robbie has been in the news recently for his exclusion of Billy Butler from the All Star HR Derby but the reason he’s on this list is because he’s having an unreal offensive season and BGS 9s are now selling for close to $500.
And a few more things:
I was a little disappointed in the response (READ: None) asking for your best hobby related “Call Me Maybe” parody. That either points out 1. extreme lameness in me for asking or 2. extreme lameness on your end for not responding. Your inspiration is this so respond in the Hot List thread.
There’s a good reason to respond to, quality points.
Speaking of which, pointing out some of the strange references that I often make in the Hot List could also get you some quality points.
Speaking of references, does anyone remember ESPN posting those articles after a Dennis Miller Monday Night Football broadcast decoding his references – my goodness, that makes me feel somewhat normal.
Mike Trout is good for the market – basic economics says that to make a sale a buyer and seller must agree on price. Often times, I think prospectors forget that there must be someone to sell to when their prospect gets hot. The fact that Mike Trout autos crossed $200 means that the next time a prospects auto bumps up against a normal barrier like $100, there are going to be more buyers because the upside has been recognized before
Nomination Line of the Week, jcmint: “hot list kate upton for so many reason.”
Non-Nomination of the Week: Reiteration that Mike Trout is hot – oh really….