Tools of the Trade

Lets run through a quick train of thought as I enjoy Iron Man 2 on the TV and have my stress levels squeezed to death here at St. Johns Mercy.    Writing is a theraputic experience, so allow me to pour out some fresh thoughts here.  A quick dose of Buffa medicine for the masses. 

*Quick Vinny update.   The little Buffa monster is holding his cards and waiting to exit from the hatch.   Something tells me the kid is going to come out in the middle of the night or early morning.   We are going on 12 hours of labor, and the wife is going through contractions that compare to a man having his balls squeezed.   There is nothing I can do, but do everything else and wait for the little guy to make an exit.   Prepare yourselves because within the next 12 hours I will be a father.  That’s a scary thought but here we go. 

*The Cards rebound from an absolutely horrible loss on Monday to win 6-4 tonight.  La Russa charades(pitching change merry go round) broke the Cards back on Monday as they blew 2 leads and lost on an 8th inning double, 6-5.   Chris Carpenter, newly rich and secured through 2013, took the mound Tuesday and gave up 4 runs through 7 innings on 112 pitches.   A subpar outing for an Ace who got a new lease on his career and fell flat tonight.   He blew leads of 3-0 and 4-2 in surrendering the game before Nick Punto and Albert Pujols handed the lead back to the team.  Jason Motte worked a high stakes ninth, setting the field on fire with 2 hits but inducing a double play to end the game.  This Cards team brings the drama and every win will pull the hairs from our head and the strings from our hearts.   The Cards wasted a chance to gain a game on Monday and The Braves won last night to maintain their 4.5 game lead.  Wasted opportunities is the name of the game this season as this team pulls up limp and pathetic every time a must win game arrives.   After disposing of the Brewers and Braves, they have battled Pittsburgh for 2 games.  While I’d like them to just fall down and die, seeing them reach 12 games over .500 and stay in the race gives me small hope.  

*A big drawback this season is starters blowing leads.   I can’t bring myself to blame the hitting because our bats are doing the job nearly every night.   The starters have blown 3 leads in two nights and the bullpen has coughed up a loss as well.  The starters aren’t pitching deep into games with TLR’s quick hook and the bullpen is being forced to pitch too many innings.  All this wears the bullpen’s arms down and makes September a rough month.  We will remember 2011 as the season where the rotation ran out of gas and caused the pen to crash.  

*Now that Carp is taken care of, Lance Berkman and Rafael Furcal are next on the list to get deals before Mr. Pujols walks into the room with his future in the balance.   With Carp making 4.5 million less in 2012, the Cards can give Berk a raise and offer Furcal a one year deal at 6-8 million.   Before diving into the Pujols dungeon, John Mozelaik must get the rest of the roster sorted out.   Yadi Molina has a 7 million option to be picked up, which would give him a small raise.   David Freese and Jay return for cheap.   Daniel Descalso and Skip Schumacher will battle for the second base role and bench depth.   Allen Craig and Tony Cruz come to the bench.   The bullpen is set with the return of Eduardo Sanchez, Lance Lynn, Fernando Salas, Kyle McClellan, Marc Rzepcynski and Jason Motte returning.   The Cards don’t have as many holes as people think. 

*Robert Downey Jr. is one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood.   An entertaining talent which can switch from superhero mode to dramatic roles and into comedy while retaining a likeable quality.   Bouncing from Tony Stark to Peter Highman in Due Date to Sherlock Holmes is impressive work.  He makes superhero roles interesting. 

*Hospitals are a place that make you feel safe yet uneasy.   Life, death and hope all dance off these walls and it makes for a slightly complex mode. 

*What’s my friend right now?  Coffee.   I’m working on a fresh pot of Italian Roast and it’s following a 3 shot cafe latte and cafeteria crap blend serving.   This is a time where one can’t be too amped up but needs to be wired and awake.    I’ve been eating healthy, getting coffee and water into my system, and staying alert.   Having a kid has turned me into an anal health nut on speed.  

*Manny Rameriz gets arrested for domestic battery and is released without the freedom to see his wife.   Somehow, this doesn’t surprise me. 

*Justin Verlander wins his 23rd game tonight and still has 3 more starts to go to notch 25 wins for a season.  Verlander is making a strong case for MVP as well as Cy Young because of the impact his presence on a mound does for the team.   Dynamite season.

*Mariano Riveria records his 600th save of his career.  Let’s put it into perspective.   300 saves for closers is considered a solid bench mark.   Riveria and Trevor Hoffman now have 600 saves.   Amazing statistic.  He is in a class all by himself because of his effectiveness in the playoffs(1.63 ERA) and working all this time one pitch.  One of a kind.  

Random notes from a conversation with the Mang from Chicago. 

*Mozelaik has two separate payrollsfor 2012. A Pujols set and a Pujols-less set. We will see what happens but Ican’t get myself to believe Albert is going to leave. It’s as sure as the NFL
lockout ending. The Cards and Pujols aren’t stupid enough to not work something
out. The winter talks didn’t go well because the Cards waited so long and Pujols’ agent wanted a huge deal. Now, things start up again and Mo’s strategy of taking care of the other bodies before the AP trials is good for each party.  No distractions.


The Rams have failed in the draft several times. Remember Tye Hill getting selected over Jay Cutler. Trust fund bitch or not, Cutler is thriving in Chicago with Mike Martz and we passed him up for a lousy cornerback. Look at it this way. Take out Torry Holt and Sam Bradford, and
every first round draft pick the past 12 years is shit. Smith, Long, Quinn and others may turn out to be solid players but the immediate impact isnt there. Spags is too tentative to unleash the beasts. Kennedy was a shit player who couldn’t learn how to put his hands up and block. Barron was a false start queen. Carriker was released because he couldn’t get pass an linemen. I blame
the head coaching and staff for holding back Quinn. Quinn looked strong in the preseason on first team series and gets held back. Bad move. The Rams are a better team but still fall flat in developmental stages and the draft. Bring in Mr. Wolf(the fixer) to take care of the draft pick. Underrated draft pick from the Spags regime is James Lauranitis. Love that kid.

*The Steelers defeat was shocking for the fact that the
sacking, interceptions and all out defense usually go both ways in their games.
This time, the Ravens beat the Steelers in every facet of the game. Running,
defense and most surprisingly, quarterback play. Big Ben is as clutch as they
come in the 4th quarter and he sealed the fate with 3 picks. Flacco played way
above his talent level and defeated a great defense. Shocking for the fact that
the Ravens defense completely shut down the Steelers attack and caused the
Pittsburgh defense to crumble. A huge division lift for Balty.

  • No one needs to drink the Cum on Cam juice yet. He played
    well in one game against a very bad defense, but he proved to his harshest
    critics that he can play in this league. He will experience bad games but he
    made some good passes and competed. When he is on, he will be a problem for a
    subpar to bad defense. It’s good to have a game changing receiver like Steve
    Smith, something Mr. Bradford lacks.
  • The NFC West is up for grabs but the Rams will get the short end of the stick playing the hardest schedule early on while experiencing a ton of starter injuries. The Cards won and have a leg up but it comes down to divisional play.
  • Entourage survived as an entertaining blast and I liked it for the camraderie between the guys. When Ari was in the group and they were running wild around Hollywood, the show was at its best. Piven was the heart and soul of the show. His greatness will live on while the other performances will only be seen as mandatory. Ellin gets credit for making us care about a
    dumbshit like Vince and his pack of suckers. He created that and fed Piven great scenes. The funny thing is Wahlberg and Ellin never thought they would get 2 seasons much less 8 full campaigns. Gold was supposed to be a small role and Piven’s audition and performance elevated it into a two time Emmy winning act. He had the toughest job because he had to play the most harshest part and do nasty things but still retained our hope for a happy ending. The final scene cements the show as his own. Watch and you will see.
  • How am I doing? Imagine a gorilla caged inside a room
    with a crazily emotional and uncomfortable woman and you have it. A day that
    seriously got kicked into high gear at 11am when my co-workers alerted me that
    a pregnant woman was going into labor. I talked about it all morning and Vinny
    heard me and started crawling out.

That’s my que to get out.   TIme to enjoy more coffee, maybe get some rest, watch more DVD’s and handle the husband duties of the night that include ice chips, bathroom trips, hand squeezing and some random walks around the hospital ward.   Becoming a dad entails many things and one of them is patience.  I’m learning as we go as I proceed through training here.   One trip to the baby nursery has me both excited and terrified to be in charge of a human being in less than 12 hours. 

So long and goodnight,



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