Saturday, July 6, 2013

2013 Topps Ian Stewart Factory Team Set & Series 2

Around the same time that Carlos Marmol was DFA'd, Ian Stewart was finishing up serving a suspension and was released outright. It had more than a little something to do with his Twitter rant in which he expressed frustration with his lack of a call-up. Although it probably doesn't help to be batting .168 when the comments were made.

I have no ill will towards Stewart as a player. It sucks to get hurt and while I have all the sympathy in the world for the frustration caused by rehabbing an injury and then not really having a spot when you're ready to come back, the way Stewart went about expressing it was out of line. 

Earlier this week, we said good-bye to Carlos Marmol after his trade to the Dodgers was made official. Now it was announced on Friday, that Ian Stewart has signed with the Dodgers as a free agent. He doesn't appear on their roster on the team website nor has he been officially sent to their Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Isotopes where former teammate Marmol awaits. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Anyway, on to the card. Like the Marmol card earlier in the week, this is the same photo used on both the Factory Team set and on the Series 2 version. I apologize but for the life of me I can't remember where I saw it. Too many blogs busting Series 2 packs lately but somebody pulled one in a box or pack and likened Stewart's expression to the Church Lady (Dana Carvey) of Saturday Night Live fame. Classic. If you remember seeing it or it was you, say so in the comments so I can give credit.

Topps did a nice job cropping and zooming on this one. According to the caption on the Getty Images website, Ian Stewart is making a throw to first base in a 9-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Not real helpful on the actual play though.

Photo taken by Brian Kersey (courtesy of Getty Images)
After looking at the boxscore on Baseball-Reference, two balls were hit to Ian Stewart, both of the "weak" variety. In the top of the 5th, Chris Heisey grounded out to end the inning. In the top of the 6th, after a leadoff double by Willie Harris, Devin Mesoraco was credited with a single to weak 3B, moving Harris to third. And based on the third base coach's (Mark Berry) reaction in the background of the photo, I think that may be key information.

If this is the Heisey play, I don't think Berry has that kind of reaction with the bases otherwise empty and it being the third out. On the Mesoraco single, Berry has to be paying close attention and moving into a better position to direct incoming Harris on how hard he is rounding third.

So that's my call until proven otherwise.

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