Friday, August 1, 2014

Feeling Blue: Jason Bay 2005 Donruss Greats Blue Parallel /50

I keep adding more and more monthly color phrases to combat all the many different colored parallels that card manufacturers have produced over the years.  I've had a monthly feature of Seeing Red and Black is the New Black for a few months now.  Here's my latest entry to the rainbow highlight, Feeling Blue.  Each month I will show off a blue parallel similar to what I do with Red and Black.  I'm open to ideas for the following colors: Green, Camo, Yellow, Gold, Silver, etc.  I already have something planned for pink so no need for that.
2005 Donruss Greats Blue Parallel 16/50
Anyway, with the first installment of Feeling Blue, I figured it would be best to show off one of my all-time favorite players and one of the first Pirates players I started to collect in bulk.  None other than Jason Bay of course.  If you were a Pirates fan during the stretch, there was no player easier to root for than Jason Bay.  That's not to say there wasn't talent during the 1993-2012 seasons because there actually was a lot of it (Jason Kendall, Brian Giles, Freddy Sanchez, a very young Aramis Ramirez, Jack Wilson, even the injury plague seasons of Andy Van Slyke's career, and of course promising pitchers like Kris Benson, Jason Schmidt, and Oliver Perez)  The problem was that most of them weren't consistent enough to gain a lot of fan appreciation and the ones that were consistent often had off field issues (Giles, Kendall).

Jason Bay was just what you envision the best baseball player on a team to be like.  He would help carry an offense, all out hustle on every ball hit to him in the outfield, steal bases when it was needed, and greet the fans with a smile and an autograph at the bus stop.  He was my favorite player, simply put.

When he was traded in 2008 to Boston, I knew it was happening.  It was obvious that the new General Manager Neal Huntington (who I think is one of the best GMs in the game to operate with the small payroll he has and still be competitive) would blow up the team and start from scratch from the ground up.  Yesterday marked the trade deadline and the Pirates were silent.  They didn't acquire any big names to get them into the post season.  They are relying on a team that is already the 5th best team in the NL prior to yesterday.  With the current team they have, they were only a half game away from a Wild Card berth.

The team might have struggled early in the season, but they have since added guys like Gregory Polanco, Jeff Locke, and Vance Worley to the 25 man roster and in doing so has caused the team to be one of the NL's hottest teams since May.  I think their bench is a big need and can't wait to see both Brent Morel and Michael Martinez go.  I'd personally rather see Chase D'arnaud up there hacking at the ball when we need a right handed pinch hitter in the 7th inning than either of those two clowns.  At least D'arnaud can play a good shortstop and is a speed demon on the basepaths so he can pinch run too.

I wasn't looking for the Pirates to add Price or Lester, but I was hoping they could add another weapon in the bullpen.  Then again if Nick Kingham continues to exceed expectations he may be called up in September and used strictly in relief similar to what the Rays did with David Price in 2008 and  Adam Wainwright did for the Cardinals in 2006.  By the way both those teams went on to the World Series those years.

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