Without further delay, allow me to dive straight into the gauntlet of hope, dreams, and the resistance of failure. Beginning with the National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals remarkable run into the World Series. Anyone who pays attention and knows me should know where this blog is heading. Strap in for the ride, because I am loading up here and firing on all cylinders.
The Cardinals are National League champions for the 18th time in franchise history, and entering their 2nd World Series in their past 6 seasons. A fitting defeat of their division rivals, The Milwaukee Brewers, in 6 games gives this team a ticket to the Series. After all the bad blood, loud talk and pregame waves made by the Brewers, the Cards pounded them into submission Sunday night to advance. The highly improbable trip this Cards team is taking will extend for another week. This isn’t over yet, and I have a feeling this stress inducing dream team will put us through the ringer for another 7 days. Before I give you the small details of another Cardinal victory, here’s a relaxing fact. This is where being a true fan pays off. A season long plunge into the depths of baseball addiction leaves me with a satisfied feeling as I write this. The die hard’s sit here in absolute delight, because our pain and suffering over the course of 6 months is paying off as we enter the final and biggest stage. That’s the fun part of sticking with this team. I will be honest up front and admit(there are words to back this up) that I wrote(wrote, didn’t actually believe and stick to my dismissal) that the Cards were done. On August 25th, we were 10.5 games out and coming off a sweep at home at the hands of the Dodgers. That was the bottom of the barrel. On September 9th, we had defeated the Brewers at home but were still 8.5 games back. On September 14th, we were 5.5 games back. Slowly but surely, The Cards pushed their way through a door of improbability. There’s no way to track or deny that. All I did was keep watching and quietly hoping for a comeback. A hint of life in a troubled team. Ask any sports writer if they believed we could come back and make it all the way to the World Series in early September and I’ll buy that man a bottle of scotch. This is the wildest silliest and most fulfilling run of any Cards team in my lifetime. This victory tour is highly satisfying because of the frustration produced by this team, but mostly for the longevity of the complexity of a 6 month season. They are easily the hardest team to watch because of their ups and downs throughout the year. It’s only fitting to look at the troubles and rough stretches this team faced. In order to appreciate the sweet, the bitter must be explained completely. What happened? What changed?
Starting in spring training with the loss of Adam Wainwright and ending with the pop of champagne after a magical 23-7 run to finish the season and steal the Wild Card, here’s a season look at the torment this team faced.
1.)The Loss Of Waino-Right off the bat, the Cards lose their best starting pitcher, who promised 18-20 wins and a dominant presence in the rotation. Wainwright suffered a torn ligament in his throwing arm, which needed Tommy John Surgery. He is throwing off the mound already and will be ready for 2012 spring training. A team losing their Ace in the spring isn’t picked to win much. This was the first blow.
2.) More Injuries-Where do you end? David Freese, the NLCS MVP, was lost for two months with a broken hand. Albert Pujols missed 2 weeks with a hairline fracture in his wrist. Lance Lynn missed two months with an oblique strain. Skip Schumacher missed 2 months with a shoulder injury. Matt Holliday missed several patches of games that equaled a month and a half of lost playing time. The Cards lost a position player from each spot in the field and managed to pull help from the bench and fill the holes.
3.)Closer Meltdown-After producing 2 solid seasons, Ryan Franklin blew 7 games in April and burned out quick as the Cardinal closer, forcing his release in June. Franklin got hammered early and often, and started a moving chair formation of closers on the team that produced over 20 blown saves.
4.)Milwaukee Brewer power-A close race exploded in July and August as Milwaukee took control of the division with a flawless home record, great starting pitching and bullpen work and a solid lineup. As the Cards went down, the Brewers moved quicker and powered their way to a huge division lead.
5.)Colby Drama-A 6 year promising prospect finally crashed and burned in late July, when the Cards traded Rasmus to Toronto for Edwin Jackson, Octavio Dotel and Marc Rzepcynski. The trade was pivotal, controversial, and looked good on the Cards end. Rasmus tanked in Toronto, and Jackson and Dotel plugged the Cards leaking pitching problem. Rasmus collision with La Russa and his father, Tony Rasmus, drove the kid into a 2 month long dry spell at the plate that also affected his defense in center field. Combined with Jon Jay’s ascension to the spot, Rasmus was doomed here and traded off for important season finishing parts. What happens when a dad gets in the way of his kid’s career? Trouble with the coaches and a doomed fate. When Colby left, this team sank yet found a way to get back to the top. Fundamentals or a lack of pure desire led Colby away.
The Cards dealt with every possible roadblock in their journey to the World Series and came out on top for certain reasons. Key players and moments. Here are a few big time second half players.
1.)Jason Motte becomes the closer. Motte closed down 10 games in September and has recorded 4 saves in the playoffs. He has been slamming the door on opponents since late June, but not until early August did Motte take over the role and make it his own. After Fernando Salas burnt out and blew 6 games, Motte took the reins and only blew one save down the stretch. Finding a true closer was the first piece towards a comeback. What began as a project for 2012 ended up as a vital part of a turnaround.
2.)Jon Jay and Allen Craig inject a surge into the outfield when injuries come crashing in. As Matt Holliday spent time on the DL and Rasmus was shipped out, Jay and Craig came in and added fundamentally strong baseball and power from the bench. Craig produced 11 home runs and 40 RBI off the bench and Jay hit .300 and turned another negative(center field, #2 hole) into a positive for this team. Along with Daniel Descalso and Nick Punto off the bench, Jay and Craig pumped this team up with young go for broke blood.
3.)Edwin Jackson seals the rotation up. While not being completely overpowering, Jackson solved the riddle of the end of this rotation. When McClellan hit an innings wall, Jackson came in and shored up the spot with a consistent performance. Jackson gave this team 6-7 innings of productive pitching. Jackson isn’t lights out and won’t throw any complete games too often, but he gives you a consistency that fixed a leak here. While hittable and a lower end starter, Jackson’s arrival helped this team.
4.)The Bullpen becomes a strength. With addition of Dotel and Rzepcynski to the pen and the insertion of Motte as closer, the group got a little structure late in the game. Salas went back into setup, Dotel was the 2 inning arm, Rzep was the matchup lefty, and Motte closed the door in the end. Lance Lynn and Eduardo Sanchez made it back from injury and Lynn has come up huge in the postseason, but the group as a whole picked up a tiring rotation in the second half.
5.)Chris Carpenter makes a comeback. It’s simple. Carpenter repaired his career with a second half surge that included a 10-2 record and a 2.74 ERA. He pitched 4 complete games in September. He pitch the playoff clinching complete game against the Astros. He outdueled Roy Halladay in Philly to lock down the NLDS. He recorded the only 5 inning decision of any starter in the NLCS. Carpenter found his groove and carried the rotation to the playoffs. He was rewarded with a 2 year extension and a chance to play for more gold.
6.)Albert Pujols finally showed up. After a disputed contract extension chat and a sleepy April and May, Albert exploded in the second half, hitting 30 home runs and driving in more than 70 runs since the end of May. Once Albert fixed his problems, the team truly caught fire and finished well. Pujols hit .400 in September and rediscovered his MVP ways when the Cards needed him most. He reclaimed the throne, put together another solid season and has hit .400 in the playoffs.
7.)Rafael Furcal and the infield defense. Furcal came over in a trade on July 30th and fortified the infield defense. Take away a 5 error stretch of play in September and Furcal played lights out defense and has risen to the occasion in the playoffs. Freese and Descalso have shored up the third base position and Nick Punto has boosted the play at second base to turn this Cards infield around completely. The addition of Furcal in the field and at the top of the lineup was a slow burn of success on this team.
How Did the Cards defeat Milwaukee? Careful precision. The Brewers made a playoff record 9 errors. The Cards destroyed Yovani Gallardo, Zach Greinke and Shaun Marcum in 5 starts, getting 4 wins from those solid starters. The Cards outhit the Brewers in the clutch and took better at bats. The Cards bullpen recorded a 0.93 ERA in the series and pitched more innings than the rotation. Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday hit .400 plus and drove in key runs, with Pujols cranking 5 RBI and a HR in Game 2. David Freese won the NLCS by hitting close to .500 and driving in 14 runners. Freese became the secret weapon and Mr. Clutch. He buried the Brewers. The Cards pen held Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder to 5-28 hitting with only 1 RBI. All in all, the Cards outplayed the Brewers in nearly every facet of the game and took the series in 6 games. While the Cards starting pitching wasn’t strong, the Brewers big 3 didn’t fare that well and were the victim of bad defense. A small detail left hidden is the fact that St. Louis’ defense improved towards the tail end of the season and came up big in this series. The bullpen carried the starters, the lineup overpowered their pitching and the Cards played sound defense to shock the Brewers.
As my good friend Derek Winters said, the fans and writers have been forced to come full circle with this team with their entertaining erratic play. Look back and we have been defying logic the entire season. When Waino went down, the Cards were picked to finish 4th and had an outside chance by others to reach the playoffs. It was amazing the Cards were able to steal the Wild Card on the last day of the season and have the Phillies beat the Braves to clear them away. Then, we thought it would be amazing to push the Phillies to 5 games in the NLDS. We out pitched their big 3 arms and hung in for a Game 5 showdown between Carp and Roy Halladay. We beat them in 5. The Brewers came along and we weren’t supposed to beat them, much less play 6 games. Fans thought, it would be amazing to push the series to 7. After a Game 1 loss, things looked bleak. Then, our bats broke out and won 4 of the next 5 games, sending us to the World Series. For awhile, the Cards played the role of losers, diving into a July-August swoon and burying themselves. Slowly, we dug ourselves out and put up a fight. We took every punch known to inner season despair, with injuries, position breakdowns and meltdowns, but La Russa and his bench made the calls and plugged the holes. The 2011 Cardinals weren’t expected to do anything and have a chance now to win everything. That’s amazing. Starting hot, falling slow, crashing mid season and slowly picking themselves up, this team resembles an underdog boxer. A Rocky squad. It’s going to be fun to see if they can finish the job. After taking down the two best NL teams, what’s stopping the Cards now? The AL Champ Texas Rangers. My mind will be consumed by the Rangers for the next two days and how we can beat them. Hint…it’s not easy, not even a little bit.
Can we beat the Rangers? How? The Cards have banged down every other obstacle in their way, and if the task were easy now, the Cards would probably lose. The Rangers are tough. There’s no getting around that scary fact. They are well rounded and strong in nearly every area. They have a rotation armed with 3 good lefthanded starters, which puts the pressure on Pujols, Holliday and Freese. Cj Wilson and company will expose the fact this Cards team doesn’t hit lefties well. If Randy Wolf was a handful, Wilson and Lewis will present problems. The Rangers are an offensive juggernaut, powered by Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Michael Young. THey score runs in bunches and finished in the top 3 in the AL in hitting and situational production. Hamilton and Young are the hammers and Cruz is the “Freese” on their team, the 7th spot bat that does damage. This group will be hard to stop or slow down. Their closer, Feliz, is one of the best finishers in baseball. The Rangers are stacked and will put up a huge fight.
Here is a “must do” list for the Cards-
1.)The starters have to be better. Jake Westbrook may enter the rotation and how can you dispute it? Westbrook pitched in the AL for a long period and can shut teams down with his sinker. He earns the right to turn the ship around. The real question is, can anyone other than Chris Carpenter a game for this team? Kyle Lohse, Jaime Garcia, and Edwin Jackson pitched average to horrible overall so far in the postseason, so where’s the hope? If this group can’t improve, get out the shovels because the bullpen won’t save us this series.
2.)As mentioned, The righthanders in our lineup must produce clutch hits. If Pujols, Holliday, Molina and Freese are shut down, there are serious problems. Allen Craig and Holliday will trade the DH spot and this Cards lineup will be stacked for the 3 games in Texas. Facing a lefthanded based rotation, the big bats must come through. Lance Berkman is due for a breakout game.
3.)We MUST SCORE FIRST. Every time we scored first in the regular season and postseason, 95 percent of the time we won. It’s a tactic that sheds the pressure and gives your weaker pitching staff confidence. Get ahead early and don’t stop throwing punches until the 27th out.
4.)Use the Home Field advantage. The Cards get the first 2 games and last 3 at home in this World Series and it’s important. The Rangers play very well at home in Arlington Field and are more beatable on the road. The Cards played well down the stretch at home and must continue here.
5.)Jason Motte must match Feliz save for save. A closer’s margin for error in the World Series lowers to zero. Closers have to get their “Riveria” on now and go into lockdown mode. Motte has been lights out in the postseason and that must continue. The same goes for the rest of the bullpen. My guess is the starters will be exposed and the pen will be in rescue mode again.
Basically, the Cards have to keep doing what got them here in the first place. Score first and get clutch 2 out hits, finish well with the bullpen, outrun your opponent and hope for a solid start from your rotation. The Cards beat the Brewers with their bullpen and now need other areas to step it up. The Texas Rangers are a tough foe and will bring everything they got and more in this series, but they are beatable.
The X-Factor-Chris Carpenter’s elbow, a new fascination in the local media here in St. Louis. A small issue that was going to be shadow his Game 7 start against Milwaukee two days ago is still a lingering worry. My best guess is arm fatigue, being that Carp has thrown nearly 260 innings this season. That’s a heavy workload and will cause a smal amount of wear on a pitcher’s arm. However, a truck couldn’t stop Carp from taking the mound tomorrow, so to me this is a non-issue but it had to be addressed.
Moving on to other areas while the hands are still hot and my Cards hype count is momentarily low. After pounding out nearly 3,000 words on the Cards, I am ready to explore other topics.
The St. Louis Rams misery continued on Sunday in Green Bay. Until the Rams stop beating themselves(penalties, turnovers, dropped passes, sacks allowed), they won’t stand a chance against anyone in the NFL? If this play continues, we could finish 0-16. The 49ers are 5-1, legit defensively and in the running game. They own this division. The Bengals, Browns and Cards won’t be pushovers and next week’s game in Dallas is going to be scary for one reason. If Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan can generate a pass rush that breaks down the mighty Patriots O-Line, what will he be able to do against our shitty bunch of blockers? Bradford’s life may change next week in a very bad way. Chokeville Romo has to be excited to face our horrible secondary. Naming the bad things on this team is like throwing a dart at a wall blindfolded. Easier than you think. Hopefully, the additions of Brandon Lloyd(Mcdaniels disciple in Denver) and Mark Clayton give Bradford some chests to throw to that can hold onto the ball.
The Rams are facing injuries with Danny Amendola out for the rest of the season with shoulder surgery and Bradford now wearing a boot due to a high ankle sprain. Things are crashing fast in Rams Nation, but the play must pick up or this team will be in danger of losing fans and the head coach being fired. Listening to the apologetic and defensive Steve Spagnuolo on the local radio here, its hard to not feel for the guy’s situation but it must improve or the team needs to go in a new direction. Blaming head coaches is the easiest job in sports journalism, but if the players aren’t responding to Spags’ pillars of character, it’s time for a change. The NFL is a “can or can’t” league, where results tromp effort. Tell me they are hard workers and I will ask why they make so many mistakes. Why can’t Jason Smith or Roger Saffold resist a false start if they try so hard? They aren’t elite talents and never will be. For all the millions invested in the offensive line, their work is cutthroat and average. Bradford’s brain will be under examination before long.
The addition of Lloyd can spark the offense. Under Josh McDaniels in Denver last season, Brandon Lloyd caught 11 touchdowns and accumulated 789 yards in receiving. The Rams got him for a 5th round pick. A steal if you ask me. Hopefully, McDaniels can insert him right away and use his explosiveness to the offense’s advantage. Right now, I’ll take anyone who can catch a pass. Apparently, Lance Kendricks, Austin Pettis and Brandon Gibson work hard yet can’t bring in a catch during games. Lloyd will change that and Mark Clayton worked so well with Bradford that these two have to make a difference.
Why is the supposedly high powered McDaniels offense not working in St. Louis this season? The Cardinals have scored more runs than the Rams points in the playoffs and that’s quite pathetic. McDaniels offense is creating yards yet not bringing in touchdowns in the red zone, a huge problem last season. Red Zone Efficiency. Is it a personnel issue or McDaniels’ offense falling flat?
Green Bay is a great team and easily handled us with one explosive quarter to hammer it down 24-3 in Lambeau territory, but the manner in which the Rams are losing is hard to watch. Going from 7-9 to 0-5 and seeing Spags record with the team at 8-29 is depressing. The team’s play matches it. The Rams are fundamentally horrible and can’t make plays to save their idiotic ways. Penalties, dropped passes, sacks allowed and horrible red zone efficiency. If this continues, the Rams will be in for change again come 2012. Owner Stan Kroneke doesn’t care about character or good will. He will make the right moves to craft this team into a winning franchise and one that makes money. Right now, this team isn’t making anything but mistakes.
Sign Posted Outside The Ed Dome Right Now-“HELP WANTED”
The Blues Get Dealt Another Bad Hand by Luck-After splitting the first two games of a road trip, the Blues lose forward Andy Mcdonald to a concussion. He has been placed on injured reserve and will miss 25-30 games or until he can handle daylight and contact at the same time. This is the second consecutive season that McDonald has missed extensive time with a concussion. An unfortunate turn for the Blues as they battle through early struggles and skate at the moment to a 2-3 record. Bad luck comes in the form of losing two gifted players, arguably the best on your roster in McDonald and David Perron to concussion related injuries. Evgeni Grachev fills McDonald’s spot on the top line after logging minutes with Backes and Oshie in the preseason, but this is a huge blow. When McDonald went down last season along with Perron, the team’s play took a turn for the worst.
Hockey is producing more concussions these days and speed demons like McDonald are always going to be subject to a hard hit that knocks them out. Too bad. What do you do with him as he nears the end of a contract and struggles to stay healthy? Look for a trade if there is one available. He will miss a 6-8 weeks but he may hold value to a team looking to load up around the new year. I do shop him and look for defensive help, a penalty killing forward. Our special teams suck, so there is help needed there. You can’t replace McDonald, so the search for a top line forward isn’t worth the trouble.
What’s the deal with the goaltending on this team? Goaltending on this team is strung up in Halak, Elliot, Bishop and Allen. Halak is here for 3 more seasons and Elliot is the Conklin of this season. Halak is inconsistent yet I am not sure you trade him because what can Elliot give you full time. In my opinion, Bishop had his chance to win a spot here and failed. Kill him off. Jake Allen comes into play next season and will start pushing Halak and be the backup. Moving Halak is dangerous because the market is thin(unless you can work a trade for someone better) and his 4 million salary is heavy to hand off. I’d entertain a trade, but I am not sure it exists. Halak can catch fire, take control of the position, Elliot is your backup and Allen is setting up to challenge Jaroslav next season.
While they will remain exciting to watch and a threat to score a playoff spot, the Blues latest injury bug proves this season will be a frustrating extended round of pain and anticipation.
Random Voice On the Radio-My boy, local talent Jon Hamm , on 101.1 ESPN radio’s Fast Lane yesterday afternoon. Hamm is a big time Cards and Blues fan, and is growing in Hollywood stardom as we speak. A lead on AMC”s Mad Men and a fine supporting actor in cinema features, Hamm is getting better and better. Hamm lives in LA now, but spent a majority of his life in St Louis, growing up here after his parents passed away and he went and taught at John Burroughs High School. Hamm is a cool guy, is hilarious in interviews, and made a name for himself the hard slow way. Until he auditioned for Mad Men, he was a bit actor and a lingering body in film. Now he is a known name, and he still keeps his roots and comes back to St. Louis. You can confirm that I have a man crush on Mr. Hamm. A cool talented guy and since he is from St. Louis he is a representative of my neighborhood and city. A proud feeling after the talent runs away.
Real Steel Review-A well done and engaging robot boxing flick that keeps an eye towards the future but maintains an emphasis on the heart with a father/son story. Look, if you like something new, exciting fresh and love old school boxing and storytelling, give this flick a shot. Jackman is fine and Real Steel delivers. The setting is decades into the future, and boxing combat between mortal humans has been replaced by large financially powerfully robots. Jackman plays Charlie Kenton, a former boxer currently playing his part in the new age as a trainer, operator and promoter. Kenton is the classic fuckup artist who finds different ways to screw things up and wager his soul on a robot. The juice doesn’t exist in the details here of the rules and regulations of the new boxing world, but rather in the father and son story attached to it. Kenton’s ex wife dies, and before his son Max goes into the custody of his ex sister in law, Charlie takes the kid for the summer. The establishment of their relationship is the heart of the film, as Kenton and his son spar and come together over their love of boxing. If you are a son who has looked up to his dad before, this film will click. There’s nothing extraordinary in the storytelling here and some of the material of recycled from other sports films, but Director Shawn Levy lays the weight on Charlie and Max here and it pays off. Max finds an old sparring robot, and they restore it and take it on the fight circuit as the underdog contender. The finale is familiar yet well played. Real Steel is a satisfying escape for a fan of old school action dramas.
Music of the Week-Alexi Murdoch’s “All My Days”, a somber ballad about the 24/7 grind of life and how decisions are the ultimate answer to anyone’s riddle. Murdoch’s moody slow baritone vocals lay the bricks here as slow acoustic guitar wrap around the lyrics to form a relaxing melody that is fine for any evening. If you want something slow and heartfelt, give this a look.
Donovan McNabb has lost another starting quarterback job. This is the third in three teams. After getting ousted in Philly and Washington, McNabb’s lackluster 2011 start has gotten him shoved to the side for top draft pick Christian Ponder. Ponder was the surprise QB pick for the Vikings and was selected as a security blanket behind D-Nabb’s washed up skills. There’s no person to blame this time for Donovan. He simply isn’t good enough anymore. With a talented set of receivers and all star running back behind him, McNabb failed to put up the stats and is gone.
Carson Palmer kept his word about sitting in Cincinnati and now gets a shot with the Oakland Raiders. Palmer is a talented QB with knee issues and a player who lost his tolerance for Cincy drama. There wasn’t a single NFL analyst who thought Carson would keep his promise of refusing to play for the Bengals, but things worked out nicely for both sides. Palmer sat, Andy Dalton filled in nicely and now Carson gets a shot in Oakland after Jason Campbell goes down.
The Blues sale should have been final by now. After a couple weeks of final talks, the Blues were supposed to be locked in with new ownership. All I hear is that the two sides are close. David Checketts and Towerbrook Corporation selling their share to Michael Huskiez, a businessman from Chicago. While sales of teams take time, one would have suspected this deal would be done by now. I guess not. Does this bother you?
Bernard Hopkins was wrongly given a bad decision in his light heavyweight bout against Chad Dawson. Dawson picked up Hopkins in the second round and slammed him to the canvas, dislocating Hopkins shoulder. The referee ruled it a technical knockout, which is absurd. The decision should have been a no contest. When did boxing become the UFC or NFL? If Hopkins has a dislocated shoulder, he can’t continue and the ruling needed to be changed. Dawson decided to get dirty instead of lose the fight, and I smell a rematch in the making for Hopkins, who at 46 years old isn’t done beating up young guys yet. The man’s a technician and got a bad decision.
Olivia Wilde gave House a fresh dose of unpredictable fire. Now that she is gone, what happens with the wiring on this falling FOX drama? Wilde’s character, mysteriously named Thirteen as in the 13th candidate for the last spot on House’s team, brought something fresh to table here. Her character’s ailment was a disease that was going to kill her in 10 years or less. Her conflict was deciding to run away or stay a doctor with House. While staying away from romance, House and Thirteen shared a bond that was bound by being different and isolating yourself from the outside world. She felt that if she left her post at the hospital, that she would be bound with a lifelong guilt. In the end, House took care of her decision by giving her an out, firing her. At the core of Hugh Laurie’s brilliantly played Gregory House,when you get past the narcissistic rage and supremely cynical desire, is a heart of gold. That’s the show for newcomers. House’s brilliance and arrogance giving way to real kindness that shows up in small shadow hints. Wilde, along with being gorgeous, is a decent actress and she played Thirteen perfectly. She shared a connection with House because they were both tied to their jobs by guilt. House freed her, yet took away one of the better characters on the show. On a show that was watchable yet slowly dying, Wilde’s unpredictable portrayal of a woman chained to her profession and freed by her will, was something new and cool. Now what?
The bad rap on bloggers isn’t proper at all. All I hear from people when I tell them I blog is a blind expression and small smirk on the other end. Is it a day and age where writers who aren’t paid don’t get the proper respect and can’t be taken seriously without a paycheck? That’s crap. Bloggers have more freedom and land to cover with their words. I can write exactly what I’m thinking and get away with the freedom of speech. While I respect paid writers and read several daily, I like my roguish stance in the world of creative journalism. While I would cross over for a paid job if the right offer came along, I feel a bit of renegade spirit lies in my words. The knockers of bloggers should give it a shot first. They might find more freedom than they ever imagined.
Being a father brings a certain level of anxiety. All my wife and I do is check on Vincent and make sure he is okay. We monitor him like a piece of china at an auction. One small disturbance and we turn into the A team. That’s being a parent. A neverending worry and anticipation of the worst possible scenario. Since he came home, we check his heart rate by the hour and give him his meds but also look at him every second. We are ready for danger now because we’ve experienced it front and center. Our days in the ICU and Cardialogy wing will never go away. I wouldn’t change a thing because those 6 days taught me a lesson I couldn’t learn elsewhere. Survival techniques.
Vincent is a guaranteed mood boost. Look at the kid and you easily become happier. I have taken close to 100 pictures of the guy on my phone and I can’t delete one of them. Every image carries a small memory and carries detail.
That’s all for now. 5,500 words should do the trick of emptying the head. It’s time to pull this latest Buffa train of thought into the station and start prepping the next batch of material. Every word is followed by another, whether you see it or not. Everything must be explained because every story comes with an answer or opinion. For now, I am done. It’s time to leave this material for inspection from the masses. Thanks for reading and take care.
Dan L. Buffa