Turning a Freel into Ramon

2 06 2009

Seriously, folks, turning this…

2009ToppsFreel

into this…

2009ToppsHernandez

has to be the best off season trade this year. As a Reds fan, I loved Freel in 2007, winced in 2008, and wasn’t disappointed to see him go in 2009, even if at the time I wasn’t exactly thrilled with what we got in return.

But let’s take a look at the deal now. Freel played 9 games for the Orioles, a total of 15 ABs. I believe he was on the DL for a stint and then was traded to the Cubs for Joey Gathright. Freel played 10 games for the Cubs and 18 ABs before hitting the DL once more. His 2009 totals? A .152 batting average and no stolen bases. Nice to see Freel hasn’t given up on being a Red and doing his best to sabotage the Cubbies.

Hernandez on the other hand is hitting .286 for the Reds with only 3 HRs (still three more than Freel has hit), but he’s still managed to drive in 20. More importantly, he’s been able to fill in at third base and played a solid first base in the absence of Joey Votto.

I’m not saying that Ramon deserves the league MVP award, but he’s certainly making his case to be MVP for the Reds.

Oh, even though I’d rather see a face than a mask on a baseball card, put in the “like” column for the Hernandez card above.  For one, I understand that Ramon wears his mask even on off days so people will recognize him.  I’m also a fan of the Sleepy Hollow like tree that looms in the background.  Couple that with the look on his face, and the card just feels kinda eerie.  Or maybe it’s simply an image of an aging catcher perhaps facing the sunset of his career.

Either way, it’s a look I haven’t seen before, and I applaud Topps for trying something different.  They aren’t all going to be winners.  This one, in my opinion, is.

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