Let the games begin on another round of quick potent to the point topic firing from the southern end of St. Louis cyber space. As The Black Keys flood the background with hardcore blues rock, I’m going to run down the list here.
Tony La Russa retirement thoughts, Day 2-Does this have any effect on Albert Pujols coming or going in the offseason? Very little. Look, Albert has to know Tony wasn’t going to be here forever and one day he would play for a different manager. It’s common sense and shouldn’t get in the way of Pujols returning. Honest thought. While I was surprised by La Russa’s decision, it wasn’t a shock and I didn’t immediately grow weary of Albert’s status when I heard the news. The Cardinals just won a World Series, Tony retired, Albert cried like a baby, hearts were touched but business is business and logic wins out here. La Russa will tell Albert to stay put and that will be the only effect. Pujols isn’t stupid enough to think he lives in a world where he would have one manager his entire career. Pujols knows where he wants to play and will make a decision. That is all it comes down to. Pujols will miss La Russa but be able to perform to his standards under a new manager, especially if his name begins with Jose. These guys are professionals. They can handle it.
Possible Suitors for Cardinals vacant managerial post-Jose Oquendo gets the the first interview if you ask me. Jose has the complete respect of the team and its core players like Pujols, Molina, Carpenter and Wainwright. Oquendo has put in his time here and is a sharp baseball mind with leadership to offer and many pearls of wisdom to share. He interviewed for many open posts the past few years and came back here every time. Jose put in 12 years as a player here and has coached third base for 12 years. He is a defensive wizard who will expect the best out of any player, superstar or utility bat. He is the most qualified for THIS job. Experience? Who needs experience when you have spent half your life in this city? Here’s a bit for the experience junkies. 4 of the 8 teams in the postseason this year were led by first time managers, including Ron Washington and Ron Roeneke, two managers the Cards defeated. Oquendo is legit and has waited his turn here. He at least gets an interview. Any hiring is a risk. Finding a manager is like drafting in the NFL. You do your homework, calculate the odds, and choose. Its a hail mary toss either way.
After Jose, it’s a three legged horse on the open market between Terry Francona, Jim Riggleman, and John Maddon. Bobby Valentine steps into Busch Stadium as a candidate and I will shoot him on sight. Francona managed the Red Sox for 8 years, won 2 World Series titles but left in turmoil after his team literally quit playing in September and rumors came to the surface that players ate snacks and played video games during games. Francona is a smart respected manager and he’ll get a look. Rigglemen spent time on the Cardinals major league staff and Memphis coaching staff throughout his career, and managed the Washington National until midway through the 2011 season, when he was denied a long term contract and he quit. Rigglemen did a fine job there but was being set up to be fired win or lose. He chose his dignity over slumming the rest of the year. Maddon manages the Tampa Bay Rays but has a year left on his deal and has always liked the Cardinals. Either one of these guys works and has pedigree, but Jose gets my early vote.
It’s amazing how things change in a week. Last Monday, the Cards were down 3-2 in the World Series. Last night, La Russa is discussing retirement with David Letterman and David Freese is bumping shoulders with Justin Bieber on Jay Leno. Wow.
A Better Life DVD Review-A powerful little indie film about one man’s survival pledge for his son in the harsh economy of Los Angeles. Demian Bichir stars at Galando,an illegal immigrant who spends his days as a low pay making landscaper with dreams of opening his own business and making a better life for his son. Any father can appreciate and admire this tale about fathers and sons. Bichir is amazing in the lead role, injecting Galando with a world weary attitude and toughened outlook. While we feel sorry for his situation, Bichir never lets the action turn into pity. This man is strong and only wants to do better. If you have a son, all a father wants is for that son to do better in this world. I think of it as a pitcher leaving a game and handing the ball to a younger version of himself, daring him and wanting him to do better. Galando gets the opportunity to run his own show, but things fall apart fast and he is fighting at the same time to keep his son out of local LA gangs. The end is bittersweet and deeply provocative. A scene between Galando and his son, Luis, in a room at the end is one of the most heart wrenching moments in a film all year. One man looking into the other’s eyes, asking for forgivness and a promise. A Better Life is a fine gem of a film and promises something for the whole family. It carries a message that never dies. There is a scene near the end of the film where Luis asks Galando why parents have kids and why he was born if his mother took off early in his life. Galando tells him he had him because in the end when there is nothing left to live for, a son gives you hope. He wanted something to life for and Luis was that something. Powerful stuff that doesn’t leave the head so fast.
What Gets on My Nerves-Being second guessed by old guys in my warehouse. That’s right. Generally, Old guys think young guys suck. They miss 1975 or want to get back to 1820. It’s the natural law of making it past 60 years of age. The Clint Eastwood condition in full effect. Every time I tell this guy at my plant something, he thinks in his head, “Who does this young dude think he is?” I hate repeating myself for a third time but I hate even more being second guessed. When somebody thinks I am lying to them about something just for kicks. Old guys do this. They can’t get through their head that this is a young man’s world and they are still living in it. I told this guy the location of a product in the warehouse and minutes later I hear him telling another worker, “You know, I asked Dan where it was, he told me it was right here, and I don’t see it, damn it”. It was right in front of him. Fucking old guys. Yes, the greater percentage of guys who do this are a lot older than me. When you get to be fossilized, it’s time to start listening and resist the second guessing. Rule of thumb for any Lee Marvin fans out there.
Here’s another team that won’t ever win a Super Bowl with current roster intact. The San Diego Chargers, who blew a late comeback away and lost to the Chiefs last night 23-20. Every year, the Chargers are mentioned in Super Bowl pick chats and I laugh. First thing, Phillip Rivers isn’t a big game quarterback and constantly suffers from Tony Romo Choke syndrome. Second, Norv Turner teams tend to choke big time. Third, the Chargers can’t put together solid consistent streaks of play. They aren’t hard to beat on a big stage, which makes them Super Bowl non factors.
Matt Sebek Tweets-A St. Louis fellow who loves to dish sharp sarcastic humor that you could slice with a knife on the Twitter boards. I use Twitter mainly to follow local sports writers breaking news and celebs crazy comments, but Sebek is a freak of nature when it comes to shedding an original light on fresh stories.
A Sprinkling of Sebek genius here with a few of his tweets-
-Armed only with an AM radio and a cooler of Molson Ice, Tony & Colby Rasmus share a tender embrace on a frozen Toronto pond.
-(On Tony’s retirement)This, of course, opens the door for Albert Pujols as the first St. Louis player/coach since Darryl Doran.
-One has to wonder how La Russa’s retirement will affect the career path of future tiny, white, substandard middle infielders.
-Speculation aplenty about today’s 9am Cardinals presser. Clearly, it’s to name Jason Motte the closer for 2011.
-Dan Lozano reps Pujols, Alex Rodriguez and now, Carlos Beltran. He’s either aligning his chips or forming another Menudo
-Loved the beard, but I’m happy to see that Lance Berkman has his lesbian look back.
-Cardinals broadcasting car just went by. Dan McLaughlin was not driving.
Sebek is a STL sports blogger who likes to mix it up and throw darts at sports types. Love the guy. A solid tweet can be a mood boost after a long work day.
Conan O’ Brien returns to New York(the scene of his first 10 years on at the Late Night Show on NBC) this week to do a week of shows at the Beacon Theater. A homecoming parade for Conan, who has enjoyed a fine first year on TBS and cleared out the late night spot the cable network all by himself. While Letterman and Leno get high profile stars like Johnny Depp, David Freese(haha), George Clooney and Tony La Russa, Conan gets character actors, indie bands and does his own original thing. Conan is the kind of guy who would book Nick Punto or Daniel Descalso and kill it better than Leno or Dave, who seem tired and bored these days. Conan would let Punto shred his suit or tell Descalso to show him what D-Money means. Part of the reason he’ll always have a job on late night is his willingness to be self deprecating.
George Carlin on God-Look folks, this is pure personal opinion and not meant to be a shot at anyone. George and I think alike on this subject and we do so by presenting plausible arguments, something a lot of religious people can’t seem to do when I am catching God talk to my face. You can’t escape these people. They want you to feel their beliefs inside and out. I don’t want any part of it. So I come here and present my case, along with the late yet great George Carlin. George prefers to believe in the sun and Joe Pesci, and there’s an explanation behind this. I believe in what I see, because as Carlin points out, it really helps the credibility factor. Listen to the whole clip and don’t cut it short because it doesn’t align with your thoughts. It’s not supposed to. Everyone can’t agree with your idea and if you can’t protect your beliefs with a steel shield, what is the use in having them? Scroll and click, and then we will move on.
For me, that’s the perfect way to end a rant. A little rant on GOD. For all the people who may of been offended, you didn’t HAVE to read it. Simple as that. This is an optional read. I am not jamming this down your throat. Pure opinion. Anyone can do it. I put my words on the board and back them up 100 percent. If people can’t handle that, tell me personally and I will remove you from the list or warn you to stay away from my WordPress blog. Taking these words personally is a bad idea unless you can handle the conversation. Words are the best way to spark a juicy conversation and that is what laid the foundation for this civilization. Two or more people going at it over their beliefs and what is right and wrong. If you are up for a fight, I will bring it. Please don’t shut me out because of what I think because that is weak my friends. Freedom of opinion is all we have left.
Thanks for reading and goodnight. More will come at a later time. For now, I am shutting it down.
Dan L. Buffa