Sports Card Radio: Raffles, razzes, and girls that look like boys

If you’ve ever listened to Sports Card Radio, a podcast about sports cards, you probably know that host Colin Tedards is not a fan of raffles. It’s where someone takes an unopened, factory sealed box of sports cards and charges people for the privilege of getting all the cards from a specific team. The team you get is random and is assigned by the person conducting the raffle.

For example, a box of baseball cards contains 30 teams. A person holding a raffle will sell 30 slots to baseball card collectors, mostly over the Internet in chat rooms. Each slot sold represents a team. Once all the slots are filled, the person holding the raffle will randomly assign each slot a team. One slot is assigned the New York Yankees, and another is assigned the Colorado Rockies, and so on and so on. The packs in the box are then opened, usually over a webcam, and people get the cards belonging to players from their assigned team or slot.

People like Colin believe the activity is a raffle because not all teams are of equal value. Participants pay money without knowing what team they will be randomly assigned.

The practice goes by different names because state and federal law strictly regulate raffles. PayPal, the payment gateway most used by people holding group breaks, specifically prohibits raffles. Because of this, they are often called razzes, razzies, or group breaks.

On the latest episode of Sports Card Radio, Colin interviewed Josh Cade, a very popular and seemingly successful group breaker. The interview was probably the most uncomfortable 34 minutes of audio I’ve ever listened to, including the time I was tricked into listening to a Jimmy Buffett CD.

The conversation was extremely hostile and antagonistic. It was also very confusing.

For instance, when Colin asked Josh to describe the process, Josh said the following:

“What you do is, is put everyone’s name in a randomizer, okay, so everybody has a chance at the same thing for the same value per spot. So basically all you’re doing is mixing up the names, half the people will get into a break, the other half will get the same value in cards. So, it’s really an equal opportunity for everybody, just some getting this part of it, some getting cards.” (0:55)

This doesn’t make sense to me. Doesn’t everyone get the break that pays to get the break?

What was even more confusing was when Colin told Josh that what he was doing seemed a lot like a raffle. This was Josh’s response:

“What seems like something, so, if you see a girl walking down the street that looks like a guy, you say, “oh, that seems to be a boy, but it’s really not a boy, okay, so I don’t know if that’s a good example or not, but something that seems like may not really be what it is. So that may not really be a boy, even though you may think it is. But if you talk to ’em and then oh you are a boy, then you know for a fact. So what seems like something and what really is something are two different things, do you agree? Because a while ago, you said something about a raffle, then you said, “Well a raffle seems like, it seems like…”, well, does it seem like or is it? That’s what I’m asking you.” (6:22)

I believe Josh was trying to say that just because something seems like something, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s something. I’m not sure why he chose to provide an analogy involving a transgender person, but in his defense, he probably doesn’t know why he did that either.

Colin then asked Josh why he does these raffles:

“Because some people can’t afford to necessarily buy stock outright, so, they can either take a chance on getting into breaks or they take a chance on getting their other side of it, and getting cards. So they win, their money is at work. That’s why.” (12:21)

It’s hard to believe that something can involve money, chance, and winning, and not be a raffle. Those seem like to me all the major ingredients to a raffle.

When Colin asked about Josh’s business partners and investors, he said the following:

“You’re not dealing with retards, in this, I’m telling you, I know your last name is retarded, but the fact is, we’re smart business people. As much as it hates and pains to you to understand that, we are smart businessmen. We know how to cover our tracks. We know how to do things legally.” (14:02)

How to cover their tracks? I don’t think I’ve ever heard a reputable or legitimate business describe themselves this way.  Typically the phrase is used to describe the concealment of wrongdoing.

When Colin asked Josh to clarify what his definition of a raz is:

“So a raz is a fictitious name that we gave to (inaudible). It’s like a game. So basically the game we play is a gambling game. It’s a game where some people can get into a break, some people get cards. You just don’t know what you’re getting. But you’re getting equal value of money worth of product. So, I guess that’s the definition of a raz. What else are you looking for?” (22:04)

A raz is a gambling game where people don’t know what they’re getting, but it’s not a raffle. Got it.

Mariano Rivera is passionate about Dustin Pedroia's 'red-hot passion'

Former New York Yankees ninth-inning pitcher Mariano Rivera shared in a new book that he thinks Boston Red Sox Dustin Pedroia is the superior second baseman over former Yankees teammate Robinson Cano. In The Closer, Rivera says that he doesn’t think Cano “burns to be the best” or that he doesn’t see that “red-hot passion in him that you see in most elite players.”

What does that even mean? He might as well say that Cano doesn’t have the eye of the tiger or the thrill of the fight.

Rivera also supposedly wrote, “Nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more. He comes at you hard for 27 outs. It’s a special thing to see,” and “If I have to win one game, I’d have a hard time taking anybody over Dustin Pedroia as my second baseman.”

Nobody plays harder? From 2007 to 2013, Cano averaged 160 games a season. For the same period, Pedroia averaged 141 games a season. It seems that the first prerequisite for playing harder is actually to play.

I think it’s ridiculous that Rivera would publicly criticize a former teammate, and then claim he would rather have a player from the Yankees’ most hated rival than said teammate. It doesn’t even matter that it’s stupid and statistically speaking, not true, claiming that Pedroia is a better player than Cano, is a jerkish thing to do.

Rivera is probably just trying to stir up interest in his stupid book by insulting a former teammate. I doubt he would’ve said negative things about Cano if he hadn’t signed with the Seattle Mariners in the offseason. He went after Cano because he’s an easy target, at least for Yankees fans, the only people I could see reading this book.

Yankees fans that can read that is.

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected for having pine tar on his neck

New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was thrown out of last night’s game against the Boston Red Sox for having an illegal substance on his neck. It is believed that the illegal substance was pine tar.

Pine tar allows a pitcher to get a better grip on the ball. Grip is good. Baseball being baseball, hitters are allowed to use pine tar, pitchers are not. With that said, it’s kind of an unwritten rule that nothing will be said about a pitcher using pine tar when it’s cold, as long as they aren’t being obvious about using it. In cold weather, it’s harder to grip the ball. Pineda’s problem last night was that it wasn’t cold and he was being very obvious about it. He had it right on his neck for the world to see. Red Sox manager John Farrell asked the umpire to check Pineda’s neck and the rest was history.

The Red Sox went on to win the game 5-1.

As fate would have it, last night’s game was televised nationally on ESPN. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone from the four-letter network alerted the Red Sox about the pine tar on Pineda’s neck, knowing that the inspection and subsequent ejection would create lots of drama.

If there’s one thing ESPN likes is drama.

I’m not so sure it was Pineda’s fault. Once I saw a magician pull a quarter out from behind a young girl’s ear. Who was responsible for producing the quarter, the girl? I don’t think so. For all we know, a magician or a wizard could have put the pine tar on Pineda’s neck. I couldn’t help but notice that although the umpiring crew checked Pineda for foreign substances, they didn’t check the stands for wizards or magicians.

I guess we’ll never know.

So not only is A-Rod a cheat, he's a snitch

Looks like 60 Minutes will be worth checking out tomorrow night. From the Associated Press (via Yahoo! News):

Members of Alex Rodriguez’s inner circle obtained and leaked documents that implicated Ryan Braun and other players in using performance-enhancing drugs, “60 Minutes” reported Friday.

Citing unidentified sources, the CBS news show said the leak occurred in February, days after the Miami New Times published documents implicating the Yankees star in the Biogenesis investigation.

In the Miami New Times documents, the names of Braun and one of Rodriguez’s teammates, catcher Francisco Cervelli, are redacted. “60 Minutes” reports that members of Rodriguez’s camp obtained unredacted versions and leaked them to Yahoo! Sports.

Alex Rodriguez is just a terrible human being. Not only has he reportedly been using performance enhancers since he played in the minor leagues, he’s ratted out other players to the press. That’s just awful. Being a snitch is a lot worse than being a cheat.

I can’t imagine anyone being a fan of A-Rod. I actually feel sorry for Yankees fans. That’s an emotion I never thought I’d have for them. I still hate them, I just now also pity them.

2013 Topps Heritage Derek Jeter hand numbered mini card

I picked up a jumbo pack of 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball at Wal-Mart this past Sunday afternoon. After I got home that day, I opened the pack to see what I had. One of the cards I pulled was a tiny, micro version of a regular Derek Jeter card. It also had “062/100” written in what appeared to be blue ballpoint ink on the front of the card, to the right of Jeter’s head.

tiny-jeter

I put the card aside and didn’t think too much about it. I had recently purchased a hobby box of 2013 Topps Series 1 Baseball on eBay and pulled a number of mini cards from the packs. I think they were seeded 1:3 in the packs, but I may be wrong. Those mini cards were a bit different in that they didn’t mimic the regular sized cards in the series.

This Jeter card was just like the regular sized cards in the set, plus it had ballpoint ink writing on it.

I did some research and discovered that it is a special insert card. Each regular card in 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball has a parallel mini version limited to only 100 copies. Unlike other numbered parallel cards released by Topps which are machine stamped with a serial number, these cards were hand numbered.

I checked eBay and found out that card 031/100 went for $124.50.

I listed my card on eBay Sunday night with a starting bid of $20. It’s currently at $26. There’s also 13 people watching it. It should be interesting to see how much it ends up going for. Just my luck, it will end at $26 and turn out to be the lowest priced Derek Jeter mini card to go on eBay.

Update: The card ended up going for $102.50. Needless to say, I was quite pleased.

Jeter the Cheater learns karma can be a female canine

The New York Yankees lost to the Detroit Tigers 6-4 last night in the 12th inning of Game 1 of the ALCS. Even worse than losing the game was learning that the Yankees will play the rest of the postseason without their beloved captain, shortstop Derek Jeter. While fielding a routine ground ball in the final inning, Jeter broke his ankle. He’s expected to make a full recovery, but the recovery will take at least three months.

Now that they wont have Jeter the Cheater in their high-priced lineup, there’s even more pressure placed on Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Curtis Granderson to actually do something offensively. If nothing else, it should be fun to watch them wilt under the added pressure in stunning high-def on national TV.

At least it will be fun for me.

The only thing I dislike more than the New York Yankees are New York Yankees fans, especially “fans” who live outside New York. It takes a certain type of person to be a fan of the New York Yankees when they’ve never set foot in the city of New York.

Let this be a lesson to any player that would resort to pretending to be hurt to be awarded a base you didn’t deserve. Though the above photo makes it look like Jeter was in extreme pain last night, it doesn’t compare to the level of pain demonstrated in the below picture:

Jeter the Cheater learns karma can be a real female canine

The above photo was taken in a game two years ago against the Tampa Rays. Jeter went total Meryl Streep in tricking an umpire into believing that he had been hit by a pitch. The truth was that he wasn’t hit. He was faking it. He wasn’t hurt, he was cheating.

I guess what they say about Karma is true. Pretending to be hurt when you’re not is a dishonorable, despicable act. Though I’m sure there are loads of people who feel sorry for Derek Jeter right now, I’m not one of them.