Pic effect IMO is basically to make the player "look cool". A simple pic effect is to duplicate the pic layer, put the top on soft light, and desaturate the bottom. There are tons of things you could try. Adjust the pics levels (ctrl + l), curves (ctrl + m I think), hue/saturation (ctrl + u), and brightness/contrast (ctrl + b I think). Also play with blending modes on duplicated layers.
Use lighting to bring the viewers eye to the pic. You usually want to make the area where the pic is to be bright and the other areas dark. You can do this by selecting the pic layer, and choosing Filter > Render > Lighting Effects (play around with that until you understand how it works), or you can take a default, soft, circle brush, and brush with white on overlay on a new layer (and possible black away from the pic). Or you could use gradients to add lighting. I usually use black to transparent and white to transparent, sometimes white to black.
Use stock photos to add depth. Filter them and find a good blending mode for them. You can also adjust their levels, curves, hue/saturation, and brightness/contrast like you do with pics. You can find pics on google, deviantart.com, or if you ever just see an interesting pic with interesting lighting and texture, save it for later use.
Hopefully this helps. If you need any more help, talk to me on AIM: sdpadsnbolts or just send me a PM.
Looking better. I recommend you keep your sigs to one pic. They both look nice, but could be better. Text on both is horrible, but I really like the coloring on the Pujols. But the lighting on him is a little too strong, it goes from white too black too quickly. The filter on the bg also doesn't really go with the pic.
These look better. Keep trying new things and you'll make some nice stuff. Hopefully I'm able to right another tutorial soon, my outcome for that one has things I need to change .
And as for using my pics, go ahead, that's what they're there for.