“Hot Stove” Custom Of The Week: Nats Manager Matt Williams

This is the first of this off-season’s “Hot Stove” custom cards.  I’m planning to feature a different Hot Stove custom each week until Opening Day.

The design is based on the 1959 Bazooka baseball & football sets.

2013-14 TSR Hot Stove #2 - Matt Williams

The recent hirings of Matt Williams, Brad Ausmus and Bryan Price are very interesting to me;  it used to be that when a team was expected to win and needed a manager, they would hire someone with… well… experience.  And success.  Often a big-name manager.  It seems like Mike Matheny and his peers have shown that lack of experience is not necessarily a negative.

It makes me wonder if GM’s are starting to view managers like closers… A volatile commodity that, more often than not, isn’t worth the commitment of a large contract.

…or maybe it’s just that all the good, experienced managers are taken.

It’s quite the pressure cooker that these guys are stepping in to.  The Nats, Reds and Tigers will be expected to contend next year.  If they disappoint, how much of the backlash is going to be focused on the newbie manager?

The thing about this trend that I dislike the most is that both Matt Williams and Brad Ausmus are younger than I am.  If you’re not nodding your head knowingly, that’s just because you haven’t gotten there yourself.  Trust me; it’ll happen to you someday.


…and now, I’d like to introduce a new recurring feature I call…

Secrets Of The Computer Graphics Amateurs!

I don’t really know what I’m doing.

I just wanted to set things straight before I go any further.  I’m not a graphic designer; I’ve never taken any classes in computer graphics.  I’m just a guy with an artistic bent who gets his jollies out of playing with his outdated copy of Paint Shop Pro.

…But in the spirit of “writing the blog that I would want to read”, I decided that I would give a quick overview of what was involved in “photoshopping” the images used for each custom I create.

This one was relatively simple.  The original image showed Williams in a Diamondbacks cap & pullover jersey, so the first thing I did was duplicate the original image as a second layer, and then removed everything from that layer except for the D-Backs cap & pullover.  At this point, the duplicate layer contains only red-colored clothing.  I adjusted the brightness & contrast on this layer so that the “D-Back Red” was a bit lighter and closer to “Nationals red”.

Using the Clone tool, I obscured the D-Back logo on the cap.

Finally I copy-and-pasted a Nats logo from another photo, tweaked the size and rotation of the logo, and that’s was pretty much all that was involved.

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