Hello again! It's been quite a long hiatus (this time, a few months) and much has been going on during the interim. Hopefully, this will mark the official return of regular posting as my work schedule (that's right, a new career folks) is now on a regular rotation and other things are - well, I'll just get to the updates.
First, and most importantly, we have news out of the Milwaukee Brewers camp. Last week Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy was dealt to the Minnesota Twins for centerfielder Carlos Gomez. As some of you know, Hardy had a terrible season at the plate for the Crew, and was sent down to AAA Nashville - quite a demotion for a guy who was an All-Star in 2007. Hardy spent a short time in Nashville, but the perfect amount in the eyes of Milwaukee brass. The club was able to push off free agency for Hardy until 2011 by doing this, making him a much more attractive trade. Hardy would spend the remainder of the season mostly on the bench, with the promotion of phenom SS Alcides Escobar to the big league club.
With CF Mike Cameron looking to land quite a large salary for next year, the Brewers needed to free up some cash to aid them in their search of MUCH NEEDED starting pitching (worst ERA in the NL for the 2009 campaign). Gomez was a perfect match. A young kid with lots of speed, and as Brewers GM Doug Melvin describes, an "underachieving bat". That can be said of a lot of guys who don't hit too well. With regular starts in 2010 (something he didn't see in Minnesota with the success found by Denard Span), Gomez should do quite well in CF for the Brewers in 2010. If nothing else, he'll add some much-needed speed.
Hardy was a fan favorite in Milwaukee, and will surely be missed. Baseball is a business, though, and a small market club like the Brewers can't afford to be sentimental when it comes to chasing a pennant.
Milwaukee is also in the running for starting pitcher John Lackey, who most analysts dub as the best free-agent starter for the offseason. We'll see how serious the club is about being a contender next year. Hopefully the will be putting their money where their mouth is.
My few readers and "online friends" may remember that in May I was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy. My wife and I moved back to her hometown of Charleston, SC, and the job search began. I was able to land a great job with Nucor Steel, the #1 steel producer in the world, and a company that hires a lot of former Navy Nuclear technicians. The job has proven to be a great fit. I received my first promotion last month, and have found myself truly blessed with a great company.
Last month, my wife and I closed on our first house - and have settled in nicely. Being a homeowner is such a welcome, fresh change to life. We are glad to be in our own place - and not paying month-to-month rent, fighting over parking spots, or banging on walls to get the neighbors to "keep it down".
After a lot of painting, furniture buying, and yard work, our home is really coming together. We are almost ready for Thanksgiving, when we'll be hosting the family party (about 30 people) and watching the Packers on TV in inches upon inches of beautiful HD.
As far as my card collecting goes, things are quite slow. With the new house, budgeting for cards hasn't been allocated quite yet. We're just about done with home upgrades and such, and I'm sure it'll just be a little bit of time before I'm back into the card "swing of things". I would like to pass along a HUGE "thank you" to the gals at Dinged Corners for sending me the Star Trek collector glass I won in a contest hosted on their site. I would also like to thank Mark from "Stats on the Back" for the box of Brewers cards he sent this summer. I will get around to a thank you packages when time permits.
Great to be back, and I look forward to getting back in touch with a lot of you in the cardosphere!