The Extra Juicy Bits of Info

Since my mind never truly quits, let dive back into the rabbit hole and see what’s in the tube.   Going unplugged with bullets here.

  • The Rams offense is going to carry a completely new look under offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.  If Pat Shurmur’s plays carried the vibe of a jazz concert, McDaniels full fleet accelerated attack wil resemble an AC/DC all day concert.  JD’s plays and schemes attack defenses and don’t toy around until the 4th quarter, when its too late to make a dent.  McDaniels’ habits include turning ordinary B receivers into top of the line catchers and he implements a multiple back system in the backfield, handing weight to the fact that GM Billy Devaney brought in Jerius Norwood and Cadillac Williams.   If Sam Bradford didn’t receive the monster gift in the offseason in the form of a Grade A receiver, he got a firepowered enabled offensive mind to help sort out the toys in the box.   The Red Zone efficiency will go up.  Bradford will throw the ball downfield and not check down every other play.   The Rams offensive playbook received a shot of adrenaline when McDaniels came on board.  I would be surprised if this team didn’t lead the NFC West in points scored.  The Rams are set up to seriously contend this season.  Their depth chart is improved since the end of last year.   Look out, Arizona.
  • Edwin Jackson’s start tonight against Milwaukee carries extra weight.  If he gets bombed again by the Brew Crew, Colby Rasmus lynch mobs will form throughout the city and call the trade an immediate bust.  Which is unfortunate because it’s not true.   Aside from Jackson, The Cards got 3 other quality role filling players in the trade.  Marc Rzepcynski has fortified the left side of the pen, Octavio Dotel has pitched in 8 games and went untouched, and Corey Patterson is giving this team a backup outfielder with defense and a speed element on the basepaths.  It would be foolish to think EJ was the only piece of meat in the deal.  Rzepcynski has the ability to start and Dotel is a closer option if Salas wears down.
  • Listening to Bernie Miklasz today on 101.1 ESPN Radio, he laid down some interesting stat quips about the Cards-Brewers series.  Albert Pujols has zero home runs in 9 games against the Brewers.  Lance Berkman is turned into a singles hitter against them as well.   The Brewers bullpen has shut down the Cards in late inning close games.   John Axford has 4 saves in 4 tries against us this season.   The Brewers have improved on the road, going 8-4 in the past 12 road battles and are 11-1 since Rickie Weeks went down.   The point.  Lately, the Brewers are beating us up, holding us down and getting stronger and stronger.  The Cards get 9 more games to add direct ground on them in the standings, so one game can’t be wasted.   It all starts tonight.  The Cards have improved defense, a lightning rod at the top of the order and their best hitters thriving.  There is little reason to waste time this week.
  • Cardinals make or break players in this series.  The Starting pitchers.   After Jackson chases redemption tonight, Jake Westbrook takes the hill tomorrow.  Westbrook is a mixed bag this season carrying either doom or good will.   He is 9-5 with a bad ERA but comes up with big starts and has been solid in the second half, especially if you erase one inning against the Cubs at Busch.   Westbrook is the mystery arm in this series.  That’s why tonight’s start is crucial.  The Cards win tonight, take their chances with Westbrook tomorrow and let Carpenter nail down the series on Thursday.   The rotation has weakened in the second half, failing to reach the 7th inning and lock down big games.   This week all that has to change.  Or else.
  • If you are need of a read of something fresh in September, check out Henry Rollins latest production, entitled Occupants, a book of photograhy and writing that Rollins put together over his world trip through Cambodia, Northern Ireland, South Africa and Vietnam.   This batch of material truly defines Rollins’ ambition.   Some have said he simply wants to be a comedian but not be seen as one by his fans.  I disagree.  Rollins’ true goal is to inform and tell stories.   When he is on stage, he rants about his travels and his life.   When he is on his travels across the globe, he is telling stories.  My deepest respect of Rollins comes from his need to impose his will on his audience.  He needs to talk or else he is lost.  This book chronicles his passion, which in meeting new people, learning their history and rolling it up into an interesting cocktail of conversation telling us about it.  He is a hardcore journalist in his pursuit of new information.   Occupants earned its name because as Rollins puts it, “That’s what we are.  We get some here on this planet and that’s it”.   Henry Rollins is Washington D.C.’s worst enemy, because he brings the unfiltered truth.  He also happens to live there.  Henry is a good man and his true goal is to inform.  Here is the link, so Rollins can tell you in his own words.

  • The Rams schedule in 2011-2012 hinges on their record through the first 6 games and against divisional rivals.  If they can find a way to steal wins against Philly at home, Baltimore on the road and finally defeat Drew Brees in the Ed Dome, the second part of their schedule lets up and opens up division play.  It also hinges on the fact that the Rams will have to play very well against their divisional competition or else you can kiss this season goodbye.  If we cough up losses to Arizona and Seattle(with Tavaris Jackson at QB), there’s no worth in defeating tougher teams like Pittsburgh and Dallas.  The Rams have a tough schedule start to finish, but if we play well and finish well and retain 75 percent of our roster away from injury, this could be a great year.  The Rams are poised to win the NFC West, but we must survive the first 6 games and battle for ground in December in harsh conditions like Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Dallas.  If the Rams make the playoffs, we are going earn it. 
  • If Peyton Manning plays a preseason game, I will be surprised.  Recovering from your second neck surgery is no easy task.  Manning suffered the worst drawback of the lockout and didn’t get the chance to rehab with the Colts personal training staff, which sounds like a soft gripe but when a group of people know your body better than most and can identify areas and get your ready the fastest, the effect is substantial.   Without Manning at the helm, the Colts are dead in the water.   This weekend’s preseason game between the Rams and Colts will be a snooze except for the fact of the lower roster spots being banged around for.  
  • The Cards-Brewers series hype is literally leaking out of my brain, which is why this will mark the 13th note on it.  What’s the best thing about the series?  Its a pivotal division battle for the top spot in mid August.   This series is similiar to the Cincinnati series last August 9th-12th in Cincy.  Same amount of importance.  Same level of fire between the teams.   Brandon Phillips doesn’t play for the Brewers but there is legitimate suspicion that tempers will rise just like they did exactly a year ago.  The Cards got in the Reds faces and into their heads, sweeping the series and pushing ahead only to collapse in the following weeks.  This year, the Reds are long gone and the Brewers and Cards are butting heads at Busch.  The stakes are as high as they have been all season.   Is this a make or break series for the Cardinals?  Yes, because a sweep from the Brewers would put the Cards in hot water.  A Cards sweep changes the dynamic of the race and the final month of the season, which includes 6 MIL-STL battles.  This is baseball at its finest.   Everything up for grabs.   Confidence, distance, attitude branding and momentum. 
  • Silent News Report-Tony Twist and Kelly Chase have been hired as onfield security for potential brawls.   Each have the go ahead to knock baseball players out.  False but funny.
  • Who throws inside first tonight?  My bet is on the Brewers buzzing Pujols, Holliday or Berkman’s front forearm, causing a bench clearing brawl before the 4th inning and a post fight hug fest.  The temperature is set to boil on the field right now with a cool wind coming in.  Watch out.  Can you feel it?

Closing Statements-

  • How long will the cooling trend continue in St. Louis?  As long as we don’t let it go to our heads.    Appreciate it while it’s here yet don’t plan any picnics just yet. 
  • The Federal Government is telling us the economy isn’t going to be right for awhile.    That is old news.  The economy hasn’t been good for years and has only barely rised above bad for a brief period of time.   Who grabbed the newspaper from 2009?
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a worthy prequel and addition because it paints a fresh face on an old tale.   It’s not just apes against humans.  Its Apes being used as cattle for a human scientific experiment in order to improve human life, and the price is too costly for the apes to stand by and die according to the new way of life.   When you take an ape out of his natural habitat(the jungle) and try to place him in a human world, the joy is temporary and consequences will follow.   Caesar is a regular chimp who gets thrusted into a war between humans and his own species because he carries a power that he doesn’t understand at first and only gradually grows closer to as the story unfolds.  What follows is pure entertainment and thought provoking theater, geared to put people in the seats and tell a story.  When does the human greed dig into innocent animal life and survival?  There is more than meets the eye here.  See for yourself. 
  • Buyers have until August 22nd to submit a sales proposal for Blues.   There are groups interested in the Dallas Stars and the Blues.   Which leads to my original theory and question?   What happens first?  A Blues sale or David Perron skating during a live Blues game?  My money is still on A Blues sale but its weakening.
  • Brett Favre.  Stay away.  Your time in the NFL playing field ended after you threw that interception to The Saints in the 2009 NFC Championship game.  We don’t want to remember last season.
  • The Rams will finish 9-7 and win the NFC West and get knocked out by the Saints in the opening round in a thriller.  You heard it here first.  Cool honest non bias opinion.  Going from 3 wins to 9 in two seasons would be astonishing for this franchise. 
  • In the offseason, Josh McDaniels urges Billy Devaney to make a trade for Tim Tebow to be Sam Bradford’s backup.   McDaniels is the coach who urged the Broncos to take Tebow before getting fired 5 games into the season.  I will not call this a good or bad idea.  I am just telling you what comes into my head.  Unfiltered flow here.
  • Entourage and True Blood are developing slow burning seasons that are going to start paying off real soon.  Just saying.
  • Barack Obama is extremely saddened over the loss of 30 US troops in a helicopter crash on Saturday.  Really?  What is he supposed to feel?  When will the President of the United States stop looking and talking like a robot?  That’s all the President is these days to the public.  Approval ratings go down because we don’t know the man in charge of our country.  We know an ideal.  A puppet with zero powers, being pulled in 80 different directions.   Useless knowledge follows his words.  If he is so sad, why doesn’t he tell his military commander to speed up the return of troops from overseas?  I don’t doubt the man’s grief.  I doubt his ability to change anything for the better.   

That is a good place to stop.   The time has come for me to pull my own parachute and head to safer ground.   That means a shower, dinner, and the Cardinals game before I slip into my sleepy state of mind around 11pm.   Working on 3 hours of sleep here, I have accomplished a decent amount today.  8 hours of work, a 30 minute workout at the gym mixed in there, mowed the lawn, wrote this and ready to unwind with a can of Shocktop or two.  Maybe more than 2 cans.  Depends on my pitch count.  That’s right.  The Golden Goodness aka Shocktop is now available in cans.  It’s the little things that get us from day to day my friends.  That’s all. 

Thanks for reading and goodnight,

Dan L. Buffa


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