Sunday, July 26, 2020

Did Someone Say Baseball Is Back?

I have slowly and quietly been collecting in 2020. I have by no means completed much, but I have opened a fair share of product, which has been mostly retail based. Probably the most exciting White Sox find would be the Medallion card of Luis Robert. I picked out one blaster box and that was the blaster exclusive card inside.

I was really looking forward to the 2020 season. Now, I'm not so sure anymore. I love our national pastime. There are so many intricacies to the game that one could not possibly see every scenario play out in their own lifetime. It's fresh and exciting without tweaking the rules for the crowd of short attention span phone dwellers or the people that show up just to say they've been there.

Playing to empty stadiums with cardboard cutouts and video game crowd noise seems like a desperate tactic designed to fool toddlers. To most adults, it seems creepy and weird. Almost like grown men playing a pickup game in the backyard, fantasizing that tennis ball that was hit over the roof just blasted out of a MLB stadium. It doesn't feel authentic. It feels artificial, but it retains a shell of its former self. Enough to be recognized at a glance, but when you look deep into its eyes, you realize the lights are on but nobody bought tickets.

The worst fears have started to come true. A player that played on Opening Day tested positive for Covid-19. Is there a plan in place to keep other players safe that came in contact with that player? Do the teams that played in that game shut down for two weeks, until all personnel involved come back with two negative tests? What exactly is the protocol for this breach? I guess we'll find out in the coming days.

Even though it's extremely weird, I'm happy baseball is back. I still have reservations, but I enjoy the hell out of the sport. This season has already cranked out some disappointments. I was looking forward to seeing Michael Kopech pitch again. I will have to wait until 2021 to see that. Giolito got rocked a bit on Opening Day. I haven't decided if it was jitters, the bizarre circumstances of this season or just a bad day. The Yankees/Nationals game was blacked out on MLB.TV. Soooooo... what is the point of paying for that if games are still blacked out? I know there are other ways to watch the game. That's not the point. Let's abolish blacked out games once and for all. It benefits no fan. MLB would gain more fans, if they had access to every game. I know. That's such a radical idea. It must be killed with fire.

As this unique season plays out, I will sit back and enjoy what I can. I will collect my cards. I will catch some games on the streaming services. I will hope for the best outcomes. Not just in the games. In life too. I hope Matt Davidson recovers from Covid-19 to play again this season. I hope no one else catches that from being around him. Sometimes all you have is hope to get you through. I have hope. I need more baseball cards.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Being Essential Isn't As Great As It Sounds

Retail, in general, is more time consuming than you realize. I haven't posted since September 2019. That was the last time before the madness of the holiday season finally took hold.

Since then, I have worked first, second and third shifts. My spare time activities included watching a toddler and learning way more than I ever needed to know about Superwings and revisiting Scooby Doo. There really isn't a lot of downtime to sit down and write out a thoughtful post.

When the lull usually comes every year, I tend to ramp up my postings. This year the lull turned into overtime at work. My store was deemed essential because it has groceries and a pharmacy. What did everyone come to my store for (besides toilet paper and sanitizer)? Televisions and video game consoles and books. Computers, routers and printers. Beats and Apple Watches and Air Pods. If you can't tell, my usual domain is in electronics and entertainment.

I've dealt with the initial rush of Covid-19, where everyone was ill prepared to work at home. I've dealt with the rush from tax refund checks, where everyone came in looking for high end electronics. I've handled the first round of stimulus checks. You know, the ones that dropped directly into bank accounts. I've handled the second round of stimulus checks. The ones that came printed on paper, found in the mailbox. By the time those rolled around, we were out of pretty much everything I listed in the paragraph above.

I've been both thanked for my service and cussed out for things beyond my control. I don't control what we get in, when we get it or that people bought them before you got there. I also don't control pricing and I will not price match to that sketchy seller on eBay. I've heard complaints about having to wear a mask and I've seen people come in with what could only be described as WWI era gas masks on. I've had more than one person tell me that we were overreacting about this "fake virus". This has happened while I was ringing up their purchases and while I was disinfecting every surface that someone could even fathom touching.

I've seen the beauty in humanity and the ugliness of humanity too. I've had my shift cut short because the store had to shut down early for fear of riots and looting. I've had to clear every single item out of our glass cases, load them into carts and wheel them to a safer place for that same reason.

Why am I telling you all of this? It's not for any particular reason. I'm trying to explain why I've seemingly abandoned this blog for the past nine months. Time slips by and the world is definitely in an uncomfortable place right now. Everyone living in my house was deemed an essential worker in some way and had to keep working through all of this mess, which definitely made things more challenging. The most challenging being the escape artist toddler living in one of the bedrooms.

Baseball will be back soon. I have mixed feelings about that, but I'm happy that it's back. You may be wondering why the 2020 Topps card of Yoan Moncada is up at the top of this post. There's a good reason. It is the first White Sox card I pulled for 2020. Yes. This post has been gestating since Series One dropped.

I will try not to make it another nine months between postings.
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