One Man’s Thoughts

This is the only way I know how to bring it folks.   Direct and deep to the bone.   Writers tend to stay away from ideals that strike too close because they fear it will impact their overall writing ability.  I tend to stay close to what lies in my chest.   What else is a man to do when he needs to unwind?   I talk and I write.  I collect information and I distribute the thoughts like a Tommy gun messenger with a business plan.   It’s one mans thoughts.  Just one.   People take my thoughts too personally at times, like I am launching a grenade on their standards and that is the wrong thing.  I take shots at a wide range of people and stick to names here.   Examples, stories and theories rock the boat of truth and I keep my words to the task a sword would take.   Straight and meant to penetrate a valve few like to touch.   I don’t have a lot of time so lets get moving while another morning begins.

The St. Louis Blues Return the Favor

For the first time in 10 years, the Blues are advancing in a playoff series.   This is a shot to the heart for Blues fans who have stuck with this team for the last decade.   I count myself as one of those fans.   While they aren’t my blood pressure team(the Redbirds own that label), I have watched this team for years and seen them through the bad times.   It takes the most loyal fan to dish out harsh truths about a team when they are struggling and be able to recycle the sentiment when they prosper.   You earn the right through minutes given to their play.   On Saturday night, the Blues finished off the San Jose Sharks in 5 games and sealed their first series in a long time.  Count that as something achieved in a land of short term memory.  By getting rid of the Sharks, the Blues erased demons from their past.  Th 2000 ghost where they won the President’s Trophy and lost in the first round to a more experienced Sharks team.  David Perron delivered the game winning goal in the clincher, returning the favor to Sharks captain Joe Thornton, whose mid ice hit left Perron off the ice for 90 games.   A decade of futility got wiped off the books in Game 5.  Brian Elliot stepped up in Game 2 in the same manner he rescued the team in October.  When Halak went down, the leader in goals against average and save percentage picked up the stick and delivered 4 wins for the home team.  No small feat when you consider the Sharks tried to play hardball and resorted to dirty play.   In Game 2, the Blues took control of the series and stamped the approval of a city when Roman Polak and Vladamir Sobotka destroyed two Sharks players after regulation ended.   A matchup with the Los Angeles Kings and Jonathan Quick looms for this team on Saturday.  A week after advancing, the Blues entertain one of the best goalies in the NHL.   Quick didn’t treat the Blues kindly in the regular season, and after he outgunned Roberto Luongo in round 1, the task is steep.   Quick and the Kings are a pesky, quick team with an excellent penalty kill, and this series will go at least 6 games and challenge both sides.  The Blues are up for the challenge.  This series will be legendary.   7 games bitten down to the bone.  The talent of Patrik Berglund, TJ Oshie and David Perron will be tested over and over again.   They are the young core, the proposed difference makers within a versatile group of leaders that includes team Captain David Backes, top rank defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, and Andy McDonald.  David Perron shined the brightest in the Sharks series.   This whole team has been beating the odds since November when they were left for dead following a coaching change.   Since Ken Hitchcock took over, the Blues have been the best team in the NHL.   Will that continue?   I’d pay to find out.

The Rogues In Red

The Cardinals lineup begins to slow down and the crew accumulates only one win in Wrigley while only allowing 6 runs in the entire series.    That’s right, the mighty bats are slowing down after a quick 8 game start.   This isn’t something alarming because teams go through streaks.  However, trends can be spotted and when you allow two walkoff wins against the Cubs, fingers are pointed.   The band aides are falling off, as part time talent is starting to show their true colors.  Matt Carpenter is a fine young hitter, but he has only 1 RBI in the last 6 games.   Tyler Greene, Daniel Descalso and Shane Robinson all contribute little and the veterans health will soon come into play.   This team can’t rely on the Memphis crew for 30 more games.   Tyler Greene isn’t a major league baseball.  We covered this before but allow me to state it again.   He has come up to the Major Leagues 4 times, taken 398 at bats and hit .217.   He makes bad errors, as seen in Tuesday’s game when he failed to knock down a 10th inning ground ball that allowed the winning run to cross home plate.  The whisper in the room is Greene doesn’t have the confidence to play this game and that is evident every time he crosses the chalk.  He is hesitant, takes bad at bats and looks average.  He hits the occasional home run but in the end, will be nothing more than a pinch runner.   Kolton Wong needs to keep hitting down in Springfield because the Cardinals need a legitimate everyday second baseman.   The work of Lance Lynn so far requires a reluctant praise.  The starter-reliever is 4-0 with a 1.33 ERA.  He is making Chris Carpenter’s injury a non-factor for the time being.  Lynn could falter at any moment.  He has good stuff, a decent arsenal of pitches and plenty of poise.  Just don’t be surprised if he falters.  This is a devoted fan telling you of a pothole awaiting ahead for a guy whose innings load could come into play in a couple weeks.  It’s not a given Lynn will misstep and lose.  Just a historical poke at a young pitcher.  The real question is how many starts the Cards will waste in 2012?  They wasted two solid starts from Jaime Garcia and Adam Wainwright in a week.   Garcia was the victim of many late breakdowns in 2011 and has been on the receiving end twice already this season.   Closing is a problem already.   Jason Motte and Marc Rzepcynski blew games in Wrigley in back to back walkoff wins for the Cubs, once at the hands of Joe Mather.   When you blow a save, the closer is the number one source for blame.   Motte walked 2 batters en route to a 2 run single given up to Mather on a bad slider.   Rzepcynski gave up a first pitch home run to Tyler LeHair(a young first baseman the Cards are busy turning into Babe Ruth the same way they transformed the average Bud Norris into Nolan Ryan the past 2 years) on Tuesday.  Closing games has been a problem for year since Jason Isringhausen saved 47 games in 2005.   The team blew over 20 games in 2011 after the collapse of Ryan Franklin and that can’t continue this season unless you want to see a timebomb.   Lynn and David Freese rescued the team with a 5-1 win on Wednesday before they return to Busch Stadium for a three game set against Milwaukee this weekend.   Trouble lies ahead for this team if the blown saves continue and the bats remain in neutral.

RAMS Draft lightly on Opening Day

Look, all draft picks are a proven risk.   No matter who you select, the player could be a dud.  He could produce nothing and become a waste of money.   However, the Rams actions on draft night produced a passive unspectacular result for a team in need of firepower and excitement.   Let’s go outside the box here and remind people this team needs to reconnect with a scrambling fan base.  This team is sinking and the fans aren’t staying on the ship for long. The Jeff Fisher regime is the last stand for Stan Kroneke in St. Louis.  So, when they trade the #2 pick 2 months ago to Washington and accumulate picks in the next 3 drafts, I was fine.  However, when they traded down from #6 to #14, I began to get weary.  It is clear that the Rams decided to swap picks with Dallas(getting the 45th pick in the 2nd round for moving), it came after the Jacksonville Jaguars moved up to #5 and took the coveted wide receiver Justin Blackmon from Oklahoma State.  They didn’t trade down until after the Jags made that play.   So, the board still read Michael Floyd from Notre Dame and Fletcher Cox, a defensive tackle from Mississippi State.  The team had been coveting both players.   Everybody knew it.  The Rams made the wrong move to drop 8 extra spots for one second round pick.   Why drop so low if you are in need of a game changer?  They already had 2 picks in round two.  Why move so far down and jeopardize losing all three of your targets? No offense to their pick at #14, Michael Brockers, a defensive tackle from LSU.   He is a large man, capable of teaming up with Chris Long and Robert Quinn and stopping the run, but he isn’t a wide receiver who can score points.  The Rams averaged 10.2 points a game in 2011, good for barely 2 wins.   Sam Bradford, working behind an overrated offensive line, had no one to throw a football to and got crushed.    The goal in this draft is find him quality friends who can catch.   Blackmon fit the description.  He fell off the board.   Fine.   Why drop so low and risk losing the chance to draft Floyd, a deep threat with speed down the middle?   The Rams didn’t produce an exciting pick.  This pick feels like Jason Smith, Adam Carriker or Tye Hill.   A reach and a risk.   When I look at first round picks, I look for exciting risks.   This isn’t one.  The Rams need a great second round to recover this draft.   Fisher and his little kings to need to take advantage of three picks and get some offense.   Alshon Jeffrey and Stephen Hill are quality receivers still on the board.   A running back with speed to back up Steven Jackson would also help.  The defense allowed a ton of rushing yards in 2011, but overall, it made a dent and held the game in check.   The offense did absolutely nothing to help their cause and kept the defenders on the field.   This won’t stop unless the Rams draft an impact wide receiver.   On Day 1, the Rams came up with a limp choice.  Prescription pad reading for Rams from doctor: NEED OFFENSE. Wide receivers who are big and fast help. Right?  You can’t be patient in the NFL kids. These kids train for 4 yrs to start right out of the gate, unlike NHL and MLB.  The Rams are in need of reinforcements on Friday.   I am yet to be impressed.   Just in case you forgot, the Rams draft woes have been the chief reason for the team’s futility since 2005.

Boxing Digest

I am looking for Miguel Cotto to connect with Floyd Jr. on a few punches.  Winning the fight is a distant possibility, but the Puerto Rican champion can make a dent.  Making it a fight is within reach.  When was the last time Floyd Mayweather Jr. faced a fighter of Cotto’s weight and power.   Before you completely rule out Cotto, remember he is on top of the world at the moment after avenging his loss to Antonio Margarito with a satisfying 9th round TKO.   Floyd will carry too much speed and get into Cotto’s defense after the 8th round, but until then, the fireworks can be on display.   No fighter walks into the ring to lose, and I expect Cotto to put up a fight.  Manny Pacquiao, on the other hand, needs to realign himself during the Bradley fight.  The Marquez decision was controversial and left too many questions.  Pac-Man needs to return to the ring and get his shit together, beat Bradley with conviction and get his top rank feel back.  Until he regains his mojo, fight talks with Floyd surrounding a split of the purse means little at this point.   I’m looking for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez to put an end to Shane Mosley’s career and make a name for himself.  Alvarez carries atom bombs for fists and will make short work of a former champion in Mosley who is reaching for one final payday and could get hurt.   Exciting boxing in the next 2 months.

TV

Mad Men is a quiet powerhouse that continues to add bullets in it’s fifth season, airing on AMC at the moment.   Slow moving yet deliberate in its plotting.  Matthew Weiner treats his episodes like Greg Maddux treated his pitch count.  He doesn’t waste a minute.   Jon Hamm is still the face of this show about isolated souls living in a man’s world.  Game of Thrones will be the next show I challenge.  The hangover effect from ROME has me craving a sword and sandals epic.   George Martin’s book series is getting a fine adaptation from David Benioff, and the show simply looks interesting.  It’s a man show.   Violence, sex, power playing and desire floating around a pocket of erotic tension like a devil dancing around a tomb.   The cast is hot, the stories are interesting and I am game.  Please avoid reality television if you fear the idea of headaches.

Movies

Check out my new website, http://www.film-addict.com for my latest reviews and articles.   The site goes live on May 4th  and you will be able to check out my reviews of Hunger Games, Think Like A Man, The Avengers and Safe there.   In my blogs, I will only direct you to Film Addict so my partners and I can accumulate viewers and members.   I will only lay down a hint here and tell you Hunger Games justifies the #1 Box Office status and Think Like A Man’s quality does not.   The Avengers exceeded my expectations and Safe will be seen tomorrow.   It will accompany my article on Jason Statham, who promises a particular brand of justice.  As he puts it in a Details magazine article, he just goes to work.   The same goes for my partners and I on May 4th.   Visit our site soon and often.

Music

The Black Keys come to St. Louis tonight and I have tickets.    The blues rock band will shake the dust from Chafeitz Arena and go down as a great show because I am confident in the musicians ability to produce on a big stage.  Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney played Madison Square Garden in March and came out alive.  Once you play NYC, the stress levels decrease and you come into your own.  For long time band mates Auerbach and Carney, the connection on stage is easily recognized and what you get is fluidity between two men that have been working together since high school.   Auerbach on the guitar and Carney on the drums.   The greatness factor lies in their ability to  avoid the mainstream makeover.   You won’t see these hawking their talents on American Idol or The Voice.   No commercials.   These boys are old school and they have been making glorious blues rock for a decade, all the way back to the Big Come Up in 2001.   Their 2010, Brothers, smoked the music market and their latest, El Camino, continued the trend.   A band that deserves the launch during the prime of their career.    In other news, DMB is coming back to St. Louis in July.  After taking 2011 off for the most part, the true boys of summer hit the road for a six month tour.   Matthews and company will be showcasing a new album this summer, blasting crowds with versatile playlists, 3 hour shows and a willingness to go the extra mile for more excitement.   John Mayer’s best CD is Continuum because it showcases his blues guitar ability.    The Swell Season documentary is worth watching because there is a real heartbreaking story of love placed inside a musical collaboration.  Once stars turned band mates Glen Hansard and Marketa Iglova met, made a movie about falling in love, joined as a band, won an Oscar, fell in love, toured for 2 long years, and slowly broke.   The documentary tells their story.   Seeing them twice in concert, I can tell you the fusion was worth the eventual sorrow.

Vinny

The little guy took his first professional pictures this week and the kid is made for a camera.   Taking over 100 shots in about 10 minutes and going through 3 wardrobe changes, the boy played along and produced some very great photos.   Kids have to go through the movie star act all the time.   Pose, smile, and do it 50 times in a row.   You only stay adorable for so long and at 7 months old, the cheeks are popping and the idea is simple.   Pucker up kid.  Vinny doesn’t mind the camera, but did things on his own terms.  He smiled when he wanted and took a few pictures off when he wanted, but for the most part, the kid drove the ladies wild.   There are rare moments where people stop what they are doing and walk up to your kid to tell you how beautiful he is.   I have a beautiful baby.  And I know it well.  You can brag about your kid all day and never feel bad about it.

Other than that, nothing has changed around here.  Politics are the same old bribe.  Gas prices are hanging around.   People can’t drive.   The goal is to keep breathing and do better.    I love my wife and son, make a living, own a couple cars and a house, and strive to do better starting with this website.   Plans are always in order around here.  It’s part of living, right?

Thanks for reading and have a good day,

Dan Buffa

Team Film Addict

http://www.film-addict.com

 

 

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The Evening Blast

Ladies and gents,

Strap in for the thrill ride called the Buffa Blog.  A quick stream of consciousness as the morning flips over.   Light the hands on fire and we begin.  12 things to talk about.

Rogues in Red 

The Cards have start fast at 9-4 and are doing so with a heavy early injury toll.  Bombs are hitting the ship and shrapnel is flying around the clubhouse.   Chris Carpenter went down with nerve damage in his shoulder before spring training ended.   Lance Berkman blew out a calf extending a double into a triple and he is finding himself on the disabled list.  David Freese missed a couple games due to a hand injury.  Jon Jay ran into the center field wall looking for a Drew Stubbs home run ball that sailed way over his head.  The 2012 Cardinals are getting hammered yet carry a NL Central leading record heading into April 20.   They have defeated the Reds, Cubs, and Brewers in best of 3 series’.   The strength of this team early is powering ahead with young talent.   Matt Carpenter filling in for Berkman and driving in 11 runs.  Daniel Descalso and Tyler Greene anchoring second base while Skip Schumacher rehabs from an oblique injury.   While missing 5 regular players, the Cards have 9 wins.  The story of the season so far is manager Mike Matheny and his ability to lead this team into the new era of Cardinals baseball after the departure of Mount Rushmore holders Tony La Russa, Albert Pujols and Dave Duncan.   A team that was expected to be disjointed has turned into a divisional powerhouse and the thing about this team is the downfall isn’t looking likely from this set of lens.  How do you figure it?  When the Cards reacquire their shipwrecked veterans, the team only gets stronger.  The Cardinals are jumping on teams with early offense and finishing them late with solid starting pitching.  Adam Wainwright is 0-2 and getting rocked, but recovering from Tommy John surgery carries its own timeline.  Waiting for the Waino of old may be more than a few weeks.   If April is one thing in baseball, it’s the stage where you feel out your roster and find your hidden strengths.  Early and often, the Cards are finding that the corners of their roster carry unexpected resources.  It’s too early to pinpoint Matheny’s managerial structure, but there are hints being dropped.  He is being patient with his starters, pushing them but yanking them out before firm exposure.  He shows emotion in the dugout and doesn’t hide behind the shades.  His differences from TLR mafia land are evident while his wide range manager skills aren’t yet explored.   You can tell that this team likes his style, and wants to win for him.  Their early surge could make for a happy September.

Blues/Playoffs

They ride into Game 4 tonight knowing that 60 minutes are required to firmly secure a playoff win.   The Blues have their first 2 wins in the playoffs since 2004, so the complaints here are few.  A series win is the next step but the San Jose Sharks will not go down without a fight.  They are the lesser team in this series and their mad aggression after the first couple Blues goals puts their desperation display.  We know tonight the Sharks will get rough right away and try to get into the Blues heads.   The Blues must put up a mental and physical barrier tonight and take the throat in this series.  All you have in the playoffs is your tenacity and willingness to expose your strengths and weaknesses.  Ken Hitchcock and his team, best in the NHL since November, are finding out that the 3rd period is the danger zone for a team ahead in the playoffs.  With a 4-1 lead late in Game 3, the Blues nearly lost it all and saw overtime.  Now they know that the razor edge for teams in desperation is play to the final buzzer and the question of the Blues is this.  Do we see the collapse of past playoff adventures or can the Blues put the Sharks away?  The Blues need to understand how the Sharks do business.

Marquez/Pacquaio Round 4

This is the kind of boxing fight a fan loves.  Two guys stepping into a ring to not only punish each other, but put on a show.   Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao know how to fight each other, and that simply means they collide well.   Pac Man is the aggressive puncher and Marquez is the sharp defender and counter puncher.   As Pacquiao sets up his June bout with Timothy Bradley, the fall calls for these two fighters to do battle again.  I approve of the fight, especially if it puts off a Manny showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr. until next year.   Floyd will be coming out of jail and need extra time to get right.   Manny needs to close the Marquez chapter with a decisive win because their third fight yielded too many questions.  For the Mayweather clash to be perfectly set, Manny needs to take care of business in his past.  If the big fight doesn’t want to happen, we can only hope for a clash boxing fans know promises a good result.

Small Chat About the Job Situation

After June 29th, I will not have a job at Senoret Chemical.   My company  has been sold and that is that.  A business deal that effects many people’s lives.   My own will go on.  Don’t worry about me my friends.   Opportunities are knocking at the door and the website is only one.   People can feel sorry for me or hopeful that another landmine has been thrown into my path that I must deal with.   You are what you in this world only because you learn to deal with shit storms.  This could be an episode of the Hunger Games.  A chance for me to explore the job market and at 30 years of age, see if I have something else out here to do with my life.

TV Lapse

Without Justified on FX, my television schedule is getting lazy.   To be honest with you, I can’t tell you one show right now I am addicted to.  Game of Thrones is enticing, but I don’t have 12  hours to catch up with.   Walking Dead and Breaking Bad are also interesting, but where’s the time?   Current programming is only highlighted with coded hope.   Some episodes seem better than others to spend time with.  Justified was so good that the aftermath of its seasonal passing is leaving a need in my evening vacations.

Song of the Week

The Silent Comedy-“Bartholomew”

Website Bit

The territory in my next creative juncture is set to launch in 2 weeks and I am pumping material out like a caffeinated recluse.  Let’s just say I am covering a bullet headed Brit at the moment for a story.

The Rams Position

Unless a huge offer comes into the room in the next 2 weeks, the Rams can stay put at #6 in the draft and take Justin Blackmon, the wide receiver from Oklahoma State who will be waiting for them.   He is what the offense needs and I have said that since the kid’s name dropped into the ring.  If Jeff Fisher loves Sam Bradford as much as his printed words state, he will make the move and select Blackmon, a deep threat talent who can change the field or at least stretch it.

Sean Payton Madness

The New Orleans Coach getting banned from any sort of contact with NFL players, coaches or officials is downright ridiculous friends.   Come on.   Are we still holding onto the Roger Goodell bounty hunting prayer session?  Let it go and let the coach back in the room.  The Saints aren’t the bad guy in this fight.  An issue long ignored and now crammed to the front of the line is the problem.  As I have stated before, if this was so important, why did our commissioner wait so long?  I will tell you why.  Money talks because violent play builds the roads it lives on.

Closing Statements-

The NBA Playoffs are here and I don’t care but here are my quick thoughts.   Go Boston and I’m pulling for Kobe Bryant to come back from a shin injury and win his 6th title only to give him the title he deserves.  Best of his generation.   I have a silent hunger for Kevin Durant and the Thunder to come out of nowhere and shock the league with a win.  My money is on Lebron and the Heat wilting in the pressure cooker again.

Weather Gripe of the moment.  Pick a number, please.  My body doesn’t like visiting 80 degrees and going back to 45 degrees inside a 24 hour period.  I can’t control it but that doesn’t mean I can’t complain.   I like cold weather and can deal with hot weather but I don’t like a weather swirl.   That’s all I am saying.

Coffee and I have a nice consistent relationship.  It presents itself and I take it.

Movie to see of the moment for the movie man here is The Hunger Games.  Until April 27th arrives and my dock is full of films, right now it’s the scholar student of the box office.  The latest sensation.  A film about being thrown into Darwin’s game and winning the ultimate game of survival on television is an interesting film and one I need to take a ride on.   What’s all the fuss about?   After the crowd has died down, my time to see the Hunger Games has come.  Check Film Addict on May 4th for the review.

My son Vinny is getting large.  Seven months and 22 pounds of furious ambition.   While a diet plan isn’t in his future, I will point out my kid will put anything, everything and then some into his mouth.  Toys, binks, food, fingers, my beard, his clothes, the shelving unit, the car seat latch, the napkin on the table or my finger into his mouth.   Why?  Who gives a shit?  That’s why.  It’s there, he can reach it, and its happening.   My kid sleeps like me as well.   On his stomach smothering his lammy like I do my pillow, as if a bomb is being secured underneath.   He has his mother’s eyes, breaking point and attitude, but there is plenty of me in this kid’s makeup.   I find out something new every day.  Today was him really admiring my lunch instead of his own.

I am done.  Take this as you will because all I can do now is hit send.

See you in the morning,

DLB

 

Whatever Happens, Follow Me(A Quick Plunge)

Time for an anything goes round of chat.   I write.  You read and the world keeps rotating on its axis.   Things that I normally wouldn’t say even though we think them.  As I work on a piece on Jason Statham for my movie website, here are a few things to think about.   

Cards Fans, Chill out.  Attention all Cardinals faithful, take a seat and get a notepad out.  Write on it.  I will not panic. I will wait and be patient.  While 5-3, my fellow die hard’s will lose their shit after today’s murky home opener gut shot.   The Cubs walked into Busch Stadium, watched the World Series videos and recap, respected the presence of the Cardinals legends on hand, and then promptly dealt the Cardinals a beating.    Adam Wainwright got scorched for the 2nd time this season early on, and gave up 8 runs for the second time in his long career.  After starting 5-1, the Cards have dropped 2 in a row.   Tough business if you don’t understand baseball.  This is why hockey fans get restless.   Sure, baseball is slow and requires patience.   However, it’s more than that.   Baseball happens every day and lifts you up constantly and leaves dents in your psyche.  It’s the bittersweet factor.   Every day is a chance to build it back up or break it down further.  Baseball is a game of anticipation, patience and attrition.   Give it time.  I don’t need to go over the details.   Waino gave up 4 runs before the Cards found their bats and after 3 innings it was 8-0.  The end result was a 9-5 loss but there are no reasons to panic.  A few related topics in Rogues in Red land.

*I will state again.  As David Freese misses the game today, the growing suspicion is there.   If the “old bodies” can’t stay healthy, this team will be doomed long term.   Chris Carpenter has no rehab assignment in site and isn’t throwing.  Lance Berkman pulled a calf muscle on Wednesday and is out until Tuesday.   David Freese hurt his right hand in an at-bat yesterday.   The one thing I hate about baseball is all the minor injuries.   The Cardinals have dealt with 3 injuries this month that nobody can claim as surprising.

*Lance Lynn is a pleasant surprise but don’t fall in love.  He is a replacement starter who will get plenty of time if Chris Carpenter misses months instead of weeks.  I am warning about the reliever turned starter effect.   Lynn started in Memphis, started in STL in 2011 for 2 starts but worked mainly out of the bullpen.   He went to the rotation in wake of Carpenter’s nerve injury and has put up a couple decent starts.  Lynn is a second version of Kyle McClellan, but sharper and with more poise and ability.  I just warn getting too invested because there’s an innings wall scare that will set in during May and Lynn will get roughed up.   I love his potential but fear his inevitable downside.

*Jason Isringhausen is on the Los Angeles Angels with Albert Pujols.  Here’s to Albert Pujols picking the tab in LA while Izzy provides the kleenex and tampons.  Irony is a funny thing in sports.

*Three games and you can tell Mike Matheny is leaning on the farm system recruits.  A good thing and bad tasting at the same time.  Matt Carpenter is playing for Lance Berkman, Lynn for Carp and so on.   Memphis lineups are appearing more often and that could be Matheny working his bench or the presence of Chris Mahoney on the bench.

*The offense will carry this team early on.   The pitching is looking spotty and rough.  When Kyle Lohse and Lance Lynn are your best starters, something isn’t working right.

Don’t you hate it when you get genuine wood down below and its not a good time.  That’s right.  A boner.  Lead pipe formation.  The beginning of the end for erections.   There you are, getting turned on in a grocery store and all you can do is start naming hardened objects you’d like to try.   Genoa Salami.   Cucumber salads.   Banana peels.   When you are at home and get suddenly frisky with the wife for a few minutes, and someone walks into the room and you say, damnit I wish the school shootings would stop because it’s the first thing to come out of your mouth.   Never mind the penis down below that could get a part time job at Lowes slicing lumber.   It’s a part of every day because men think about it all the time.   It’s in our blood and part of the DNA makeup.   Sex.  Naughty things.  Mass destruction.   When you get past the dangers of unplanned pregnancies and wrongful flesh stabbings, a harmless boner is as lethal a mood changer as anything.   It’s there,  and no matter how hard we try, men can’t blame it on the pleats or the pants store.

Speaking of legendary brain dead cocksmen news team leaders, Anchorman 2 has been green lit by Paramount Pictures.   Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s salute and sarcastic hand swipe at newsroom personalities and news channel broadcasts.    This is a cult classic and divides people.   Some like it for being completely outrageous in channeling its humor and some don’t find it funny at all.   Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy, the chauvinistic womanizing news anchor who comes off as barbaric and stupid yet hides a deep love for scotch, dogs and strong women.    The first time I saw it was in a theater with friends after midnight and we laughed so hard the breathing airwave in our throats gets clogged.   The next few times I started to laugh more than others and memorized lines.   You know that you like a movie when you laugh at parts others don’t.   You have your dad watch it and you are sitting there hoping for him to suddenly lose his mind laughing at the exact moment you did.   It’s the start of a infatuation with a movie.   Ferrell was onto something and has been his entire career.   Quietly mocking types with his movies.    News anchor, Nascar driver, basketball legend, and discoverer, Mexican gangster.   They don’t always rock the ballpark, but Ferrell is ambitious with his comedy.   There are no boundaries.   Anchorman 2 promises more dirty newsroom sentiment, a bear sightning, a love of scotch, the appearance of Sex panther cologne and a news team so unstable and dumb they come off as cult legends.   This is really happening.

Anchorman Quote-Freshening up the uninvited or parties who chose to avoid this genius comedy the first time.

Ed-the network wants more diversity.
Intern-What’s diversity?
Ron Burgundy-I believe diversity stands for old wooden ships used in the civil war era.
Ed-I don’t think the network cares about old wooden ships, Ron. We need a woman on staff.

People I hate.   Old people who believe young people should be able to recuperate faster after busy work because we are young.   What a crock of shit!   I get this every day at work along with 50 year old children, retarded truck drivers who can’t speak English and a disjointed staff.   Old men think we are a generation of pussies because we use touch screen phones, dial up facebook, like reality television and whine like little children.  For the most part they are true.  However, old people forget how damn bitchy they are and unload their old grief on us.   We don’t care about World War II, gas prices or the cost of dinner.   We don’t drive stagecoaches anymore around town.   Old people who complain need to be glad they are still breathing.  When the world is invaded, their old ass will move so slow we may use them like smoke screens.  I respect my elders as long as they respect what I am doing here and give me my space.  I don’t need a story from a 69 year old with bad breath who never stamps a point on their epic tale.   Back off and quiet down because as far as I’m concerned, fossils don’t talk.  A guy at my work who resembles the love child of Clint Eastwood and Mickey Rourke tells me all the time how weird this world is.   One day it was about the internet.  “You know, Dan, what is it about the internet?  It’s called google or Internet Explorer.   I want to look up something and not go exploring.  Jesus christ!”  I also deal with religious old people.  Telling me to find the lord or else I will be damned to hell.   I have two words for them and its “fuck off” and get a clue.  If there is a god around here, I don’t like his work.   I don’t like what I see.  And just for the record, I helped make my kid.  Big GOD had nothing to do with it.  Stop it with that as well older folk.   I guess what I am trying to say here is put a cork in the young people hate, old dudes and ladies.  We own this world now and trust me, for every bit I love Clint Eastwood, I hate his replicas telling me to quiet down or stop working so hard.   It’s getting old.

Blues Falter in Game 1 and lose the momentum of their home ice advantage.  The home team dropped the first game in 2 overtimes, 3-2 to the Sharks and lost it.    There were a lot of things that went right in Game 1 and things that need fine tuning.   Jaroslav Halak made 30 saves and did everything he could to produce a winner.  The goaltenders are helpless to a deteriorating Blues defense.  The D-Men aren’t clearing the puck from the defensive zone, allowing way too many shots in front of the net and giving away tons of coverage to the Sharks.   There is only so much a goaltender can do.   Halak played very well and the Blues defense broke down late.  Patrik Berglund, the prodigal son full of Swedish talent and built to take over a game, scored 2 quick 3rd period goals to give the Blues a lead that evaporated before the last minutes of the frame.   Berglund is a 220 pound body who needs to use his body and reach to get in a goalie’s face and put a hurt on their defense and last night he did it.   Andy Mcdonald’s rush down the lane and pass to Berglund for goal #2 was the highlight of the night, midway into the third period.   After, the Blues took their foot off the gas and allowed the Sharks to climb back into the game.

*On the sour point, Chris Stewart continues to go bad and look useless.  Stewart is pulling a Brad Boyes and disappearing after emerging as a goal scoring source last season in Scottrade.   Stewart is a 3rd line grinder who is making plays that are below his pay grade.   When he makes a good check or grinds out a shift, that isn’t a big deal.  If Ryan Reaves or Scott Nichol did it, the crowd would go nuts.  Sticking up for your teammates and throwing your body around is great but Stewie needs to produce more goals.   Please.

*Ken Hitchcock is holding out Chris Stewart in Game 2, which is a good move because he isn’t doing his job.  Matt D’Agostini is being inserted in the lineup for Stewart.  The bad move is Hitch putting in Crombeen for Ryan Reaves, who is a better overall hockey player and a lot better fighter/hitter/presence.  Bold moves for the Hitch after the disappointing end to Game 1 but a shock treatment for a team needing to win to avoid a hole.

Please don’t make the mistake of doubting this team’s hunger to win.   While they lost Game 1 and you don’t get any points in the playoffs for reaching overtime, the Blues are playing with an intensity unmatched in this league.   While their systematic approach can break down at times, this team wants to win and plays like a live wire.   Doubt everything but their hunger.   This may be a “we know” statement, but worth putting out there because the simple things can be forgotten on the big stage of the playoffs.

*The first week of NHL playoff action is genuinely exciting action.  Easily the greatest action of any sport is NHL playoff hockey.   The intensity, do or die attitudes, the coaching on display, the fans impact and the overall grit and physicality.  The real warriors come out in April and May in hockey.   Games change.  Players rise or fall.   Fan satisfaction only grows.

Time is up.  Choppy, spontaneous yet driven to entertain, this blog post is finished.   Just enough to keep the interests and maintain the eyes.   I will be back with another quick dispatch from STL Southland cyber space city, but for now this is all I got.

Enjoy and have a good night,

Dan L. Buffa

 

 

Rant Lounge Casualties

After a long week of work, stress, a lack of sleep and overall zombie like activity, here are the things to talk about.   If I sound quick, cocky, and a bit rash, it’s because I just polished off my second straight 60 hour week of warehouse duty and carry a weary arrogance about my free time.  There comes a time when you cut all the bullshit away and start being bare boned honest.   Here we go.  Feel free to cover your eyes to avoid being struck with white hot Italian grease.

1.)Albert Pujols really needs to shut up and play baseball.  When I met my wife in 2002 at MU, I must have said “I just want to play baseball” at least 15 times on our first few dates.   I was nervous, and didn’t know how to start conversation with a woman who gave me the creeps of being the one lady who could stand me for the bulk of our lives.   I just kept saying it.   I want to play baseball.  Like Dustin Hoffman from Rain Man.   Sean Penn from I Am Sam.   Baseball, baseball, me, baby, that’s all I want to do.   Eventually I stopped and we made out, but I almost blew it.     Once again, I did that because I was nervous.  I think Albert Pujols is extremely nervous on the West Coast.  Speaking to his love buddy USA Today sports writer Bob Nightengale about his new team, the Angels, Albert couldn’t escape a paragraph without tossing a grenade over his shoulder into St. Louis.   He whined about the Cardinals making a less than substantial offer and wished they would have ponied up and “wanted” him more.  Wanted, as in giving him 35 more million dollars to align themselves with a franchise in LA that was about to blow up a new TV deal that scored the team millions of dollars in cash revenue.   Albert wanted more from the Cards, and still cries about it.   Look, let me get this out there first before I pick that grenade back up and fling it back towards Albert.  I don’t harbor any real resentment towards Albert Pujols. He did a lot of good in STL. 3 MVP, 2 rings, lots of “moments”. He made a decision and left town. No need for hate. Cardinals baseball is larger than one man. Wait and see.  However, the man won’t move on.  The Cardinals have packed up the Pujols Nostalgia Shop and prepared for 2012 and beyond.   You don’t hear John Mozelaik drowning himself in his lattes or reading self help books.   He is getting his team set for another run at the title.   As he should be, but Albert can’t avoid a chance to fire a bullet at his team.   He doesn’t want his number to be retired.  He doesn’t want his World Series ring to show up anytime soon.  He could have compared his feelings for his old town to his feelings for a used piece of toilet paper for all we know.   Here’s what I said in December.   Albert didn’t make this decision solely on money.   He did this because Bill DeWitt Jr. and John Mozelaik didn’t swaddle him up in a blanket and feed him a bottle of future fortune like Arte Moreno and Jerry Dipoto did in Angels land.   However, that is how the incident is perceived by the St. Louis residential area, that Albert simply chased more money.  I think he made a rash self promoting decision that at this moment, still harbors a fair amount of regret for.   Think of it as the new girl who walks into the room and you go crazy for her.   You flirt, plead, go back extra, and go all in for this new thing.   When you finally win her over, you realize the tale isn’t as sweet as the cover.   You regret what you once had.  Albert Pujols regrets his decision folks.   He is a rich man, will put together monster seasons in LA, rule the world(less than Kobe though), but he wishes he were back in St. Louis.  Just listen to him talk.   Look at the tape from his press conference.   He looks a bit lost.   This isn’t a fan who can’t cut and let go.  I have taken the high road and go on with the Cardinals obsession.   Albert Pujols needs to realize business is a tough game to play and one that he isn’t quite as good at as he is at baseball.   He should have known that when he left town, the feelings weren’t going to be as kind and friendly as they were before.  The new attitudes were going to be shocked and sad.   Full of regret and a loss of trust.   That’s life, Jose Alberto Pujols.   I can almost picture the Pujols household the night he made the decision.   He sits there, distraught and pissed at the Cards embarrassing(haha) offer of 9 years and 215 million dollars and gets up and shouts, “Fuck it, Im going to LA!”   Didi Pujols responds with, “Do it Albert.  Show them what kind of Latin American God you are.”   The Pujols family made this decision and at least person in the party still isn’t settled with it.   Albert is wondering if he made the right move.   He still can’t shut up, show some respect to the Cardinals who paid him 116 million to play baseball, turned him into a hero, gave him a chance when no team would and also funded all his offseason trips to the Dominican Republic.   Tip your cap, Alberto.  What’s done is done.  Get on with it and we will see you in the series.

2.)The little franchise from St. Louis wins their season opener with good pitching, timely hitting and a real closer.  The Cardinals kicked the tires on 2012 by beating the Miami Marlins in their own house, 4-1.  A commanding performance by Kyle Lohse(7IP, 2 H, 3K), another clutch David Freese moment and a Motte door slam locked down the first win in Marlins Stadium history and the Cardinals new season.  Baseball is back baby, and it’s not waiting for seconds.   Lohse is once again being called on to be more than he has to be in 2012, and cover up the hole left by Chris Carpenter. Lohse is a 3rd-4th starter in most rotations but this year he climbs back into the top 2-3 in Carp’s absence.   Lohse did lead the team in wins and ERA last season.   He took a no hitter into the 6th inning on Wednesday.  He looked commanding on opening night and we can only hope it continues.   David Freese, the eternal game face hitter, cranked another 2 strike, 2 out pitch to left field for 2 runs in the first inning.   Freese appears to have lost weight, and has healthy legs for the first time in 3 years.   He can take the ball to all fields and stands as a guy fit to drive in 100 runs easily in 2012 if he stays on the field.   The man can produce in big moments.   Similiar to a porn star in bomb shelled Baghdad.   Jason Motte rose to the occasion in the 9th inning, allowing a hit but striking out 2 to finish the game.  Since his landing in St. Louis as a closer turned strikeout pitcher turned strikeout closer, Motte has developed a second pitch.   He showcased it last night. He has the propane fastball at 99 mph.  He has the cutter/slider at 89 mph.   Now he seems to have a changeup that fooled Mike Stanton to end the game.  The more fine and refined the secondary pitch gets, the more lethal Motte can be.   Unlike the 2011 season opener(where Ryan Franklin blew the game), Motte closed this one down and kept the good times going from the end of 2011 to the start of 2012.

3.)People are hypocrites.   Take the Saints bounty hunting accusations for example.  A tape of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams giving deadly instructions to his players was released today and people freaked out.  Oh, it’s so terrible.   Please, never let him back into football!   Come on people, lighten the fuck up.  Football is a bone crunching violent sport and every player needs to know the fine balance between RISK and REWARD.   A cop knows when he starts his shift that he could die, even after his captain tells him to get out there and catch some bad guys.   A race car driver knows the dangers of going that fast on a circle track.   A hockey player knows the boards don’t give that much and physicality and unfortunate yet deadly hits are a way of life out there.    Read between the lines people.  Gregg Williams isn’t an evil man.  He was telling his players to hurt other players just like several other coaches do in the NFL.   This isn’t a criminal act.  A team paying its players extra if they lay out the opponent.   Dick Butkiss once said that the quarterback walked off the field, his job wasn’t finished.   Mike Singletaire hit guys so hard their brains jiggled.   Jack Lambert destroyed players’ lives out there.  What else do you expect Williams to say?   Boys, hit them, but don’t hurt them.   That is the way football players are wired.  They are wired to find, destroy and hit as hard as they can.   There isn’t anything dirty about it because the sport is covered in it.  Fine or suspend Williams and you better take a look around.  Once again, I know why Roger Goodell did this.  I simply don’t agree with it.  Why does he act now?  Why react instead of being proactive?   Make better helmets, warn about bigger fines and possible suspensions for excessive hits or lay down new ground rules.   Do something before the big thing happens and you HAVE to do something.   Here’s the reason why we are hypocrites.   When we see a big hit, we jump up, go “OHHHH”, and pump out chests.  We watch it twice.  We tweet about it.   We have others watch it.  We talk about it like it’s a requirement of football.    Kurt Warner was knocked out cold by a Saints player in 2009 at the end of his career.    He got blind sided by a Saints player after an interception, a play many know is dangerous for quarterbacks to participate in.   The Warner hit on Youtube has collected 62, 000 views.   Willing to bet me how many times people watched it twice.   We crave it, love it and wait for it.  The big hit.   The extra special slam.   However, when a report comes out that head hunting happened, we grow our hypocritical horns and stand against it.   This is where the weakness in our culture really shows itself.   The fact that we don’t have a back bone as a country.   There was nothing wrong with Williams behavior.  He was motivating his players to be the best.   Players want to hear that.   They know the game they are playing is a violent risk taking endeavor.   If the player doesn’t do that, he gets benched or released.   He loses his job.  Remember, this is a business.   There are far worse crimes in sports than bounty hunting programs.   Cheating is a bigger crime.   Knowing a team cheated in a Super Bowl and only taking away draft picks and fining them is kind of shitty.   Suspending two coaches for the entire season for a bounty hunting program is laughable.  What’s the biggest crime?  A boring game.  A fan comes to the game looking for blood.   Whenever a brutal truth slips out, the ethics are presented as if a fan stood for them the entire time.   A clean game without injury isn’t practical when men put on pads and helmets to brutally collide with other men on a field.   Kurt Warner was clobbered because he tried to get involved in a play.   Did Gregg Williams tell his players to go after and hurt Warner?  Sure he did, and he had every reason to.   Football fans are being overly sensitive here to a reality check.   Football is a painful living.   Roger Goodell pulled the trigger too late for my interest to convince us he really cares about player safety.   It’s just a game.   A painful one.

4.)The Blues have lost 3 games in a row and watched their stranglehold over the NHL points total slip away.   In a week, the Blues dropped from 1st to 4th and aren’t playing a particularly strong brand of hockey.   They lost in shootouts to Chicago and Detroit and got their asses handed to them by the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.   Three division opponents and three losses…in a row.   This isn’t how you want to enter playoff hockey.  Remember the Cards in 2009 when they sleepwalked through the final month, nearly lost their spot and ended up getting swept by the Dodgers.   The Blues have to clean up their act against the Phoenix Coyotes this weekend.   Head Coach Ken Hitchcock is the coach of the year but it won’t matter much if his team loses control now.   The injury bug can’t be blamed because the team is completely healthy.  Alex Steen, Matt D’Agostini, Andy McDonald, David Perron, and Roman Polak are all back.   Is that the problem?  Do the Blues fail to realize how healthy teams work?  Without any adversity and underdog status to wear on their shoulder, the Blues are dysfunctional.   They need to remember the chip on their shoulder hasn’t disappeared.   This team hasn’t won a playoff game in 8 years and really needs to immerse themselves back in playoff activity.   Reaching the playoffs is one thing.  Doing something upon your entrance is another level.   Please observe.  The Blues need a Cardinals 2011 type run where they didn’t stop winning and every facet of their game clicked at once.   I also don’t think you need to carry one main goaltender in the playoffs.   Why change what has worked for you the past 5 months?   Keep Halak and Elliot in rotation unless one of of them looks unstoppable.   Halak and Elliot both rank in the top 5 in goals against average and save percentage and while Halak has been unbeatable in regulation in 2012 Brian Elliot didn’t allow a goal for 240 minutes before last night’s loss to Detroit.   The Red Wings shootout win did reveal one thing.  Until the Blues can handily defeat the Wings and Hawks, they will be the little guy in this fight.

5.)Justified Season Finale is delivered on Tuesday.   The third season has been absolutely riveting and brilliantly done.   The Raylan Givens saga chronicling the criminal and deadly dealings in Harlan, Kentucky hit a high notch this season, mixing in Detroit gangster Robert Quarles(the Emmy award deserving Neal Mcdonough),  Holler showrunner Limehouse(Mykelti Williamson) to go with Walter Goggins’ Boyd Crowder.  Quarles arriving in Harlan wanting to continue the business that was cut away from him in Detroit right here in the country.   Limehouse being the internal source of criminal activity while also working his own angle on every player.   Crowder’s usual double dealing nature, working with Raylan ex and Harlan known tough goddess Eva(Joelle Carter) and Givens’ dad Arlo(Raymond Barry).   The juice in this show comes in the acting, directing, pacing but mostly, the scripts containing the best dialogue on television.  The standoffs between Givens and the many bad man he must contain while also keeping a stranglehold on his own daily devil dances within his own world.   Timothy Olyphant is the rock of the show, the pivotal piece being stretched and kicked in every direction.   His performance anchors the series and supplies the supporting cast with every bit of a chance to shine.  After a wonderfully slow developing spider web plot this season, the characters collide in Tuesday’s powerful hour.   Television shows run a usual course of danger that leads straight into a predictable finale every viewer sees coming.  Graham Yost, creator and head writer on the show, keeps his audience off balance with unexpected thrills, brilliantly staged standoffs and plotting that lights a match from miles away set to blow up only in the final hour.   Tuesday’s finale is what great television is all about.   A quick paced season coming to a blunt end.   Everything works on this show and proves the strengthened theory that FX is the go to network for smart engaging entertainment.

6.)Signs that Mike Matheny knows what he is doing.   Letting Kyle Lohse start the 8th inning while knowing his best stuff was behind him.   Lohse was well under 100 pitches, but one of the many pet peeves with Tony La Russa was watching him pull a pitcher before he was ready.  Lohse didn’t finish the 8th inning but he was effective and while the project failed in him not finishing the inning, I like Matheny’s mindset here.   Let the starter earn it and don’t pull him too quick.   Mike Matheny is new but he is fresh with ideas.   A rookie is dangerous because they carry zero history to reference their decisions to.  Matheny can do things and come right at teams without sprinkling hints of his direction.   His inexperience is a symbol of the team’s new found freedom without Pujols on the team.    It’s a brand new game in St. Louis and Matheny’s faith in his starters, the running game and taking gambles is something I like a lot.

7.)The Cardinals are pounding Milwaukee 8-2 as I write.   This team is hitting early and doing it off of good pitching.   Josh Johnson, the Marlins young phenom, is one of the best pitchers in the NL and the Cards ripped him for 4 runs on Wednesday in route to a 4-1 win.  Today, they rip Yovani Gallardo once again for 4 home runs and 6 runs in 3.2 innings, backing Jaime Garcia’s 6 solid innings.   David Freese has 2 more RBI, giving him 5 on the season.   Yadi Molina, Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran and Freese all hit home runs.   Beltran gets on base three times.   As the 7th inning unfolds, this team is hurting the Brewers, struggling themselves without Prince Fielder in the lineup and an old Richie Weeks holding serve at second base.   The Milwaukee bunch was bruised severely when the left for dead Cards stormed back and made the playoffs in 2011.   After taking down Roy Halladay in his own house, the Cards surprised the Brewers in the NLCS and took them down in 6 games.   The aftershock appears to be living today during this Redbird killing.   The Cardinals are taking the crowd out of the game early with their early inning assaults.   Before the third inning started, it was 5-2 Cards.   The Cards are premature road warriors.   I have no idea if this will continue but I like what I see.

8.)This Will Destroy You is the kind of band that fights its way into your soul with their guitar driven instrumental music that inspires you to get out and do something with your life.  Seriously, the music lights a small fire under your ass and pushes you in more ways than one.   This is a type of music that you either laugh off or bring inside.   Look them up and get connected.   Music doesn’t require words to reach you.   In contrast to their loud sound, This will Destroy You has a way of recharging your batteries.

9.)I hate Floyd Mayweather Jr. and all his antics.    Listen, the guy is a great fighter, undefeated, and will go down as one of the best.   However, he bugs me to my inner core with his childish antics, criminal activity, bogus intent for clean boxing and his outlandish attitude.   The man makes a lot of money but I don’t need to hear about it.   Stop taking money from the sport Floyd and instead give some back.   Start with shutting your mouth.   During a sitdown with Miguel Cotto, a proud Puerto Rican champion who Floyd will probably beat, the undefeated bastard wouldn’t be serious.   He checked his Ipad for NCAA scores and kept interrupting Max Kellerman and Cotto.   Sure, this is Mayweather’s strategy and the way he conducts himself in pre fight hype.  He does this to enrage people like me and I say fuck him.   He is great in record, but someone I hope gets pounded soon and deep into the ground.   When Floyd takes a very tough fight with either Pacquiao or a young gunner like Canelo Alvarez and puts himself in real danger, we may see an ass kicking.  Floyd puts out a front that he wants clean boxing so he requests Olympic style drug testing, even though no previous boxer has done this nor was it needed.  Can we check your gloves and the gloves of others, Floyd?   Forget the blood testing.  This man likes to get into trouble with the law, beating up his girlfriends and shoving security guards.   Floyd thinks he is bigger than life.   I don’t care about his charity givings.  The man outweighs any good deeds with his shitty attitude.  Its hard to watch him without feeling like punching him in his face.  Here’s to Miguel, a family man and owner of a solid record including tough fights, finding an inch and landing a few punches on the quick footed and defensively gifted loud mouth Floyd.   I’ve hoped for it every fight, but I won’t get it until he takes on Manny or a young power puncher.   For now, I’ll settle for Floyd catching a beating.

10.)The Cards rip the Brewers 11-5 only because worthless reliever Kyle McClellan gives up a late three run home run in the ninth inning.  McClellan is the kind of pitcher who has been ruined by the Cardinals and likes to hang breaking balls.   He has went from a reliever to a starter candidate to a reliever and back to a starter in 2011 and quickly back to a reliever in late 2011.   He doesn’t know what he will be doing, makes mistakes and is worn down.   His 2 million dollar contract is a laughing stock and needs to be axed.   Solid win by the Cards.  Two commanding wins by a team expected to contend in their division yet look weaker without Pujols.   So far, the team is doing what I said.   Thriving with their versatile offense, strong pitching and score first nature.   If the health can stay relatively intact, watch out.   If the injuries start piling up, cover your eyes.   General views this early in the season.

Final Bits

*While the Rams prepare for a draft that needs to be effective, please know that Stan Kroneke isn’t moving the team anywhere.   He has invested years and money in this city and if improvements are made to the Dome, Rams football will stay here beyond 2014.   Kroneke didn’t get the Dodgers and LA has shipped out the Rams twice so why would they go back there a third time?   The Rams need to get a pulse on the field and that starts with a good draft.

*The MU Tigers and Blues share a similar trait and that’s choking on the big stage.   I love the Blues but they need to get their act together tonight against Phoenix or else a chokefest is in their future.  For all the Blues  know it all diehards to ward off every other fan, that’s a legit shot at this team.   Check the history books and come back to the table.  The biggest problem with the Blues right now is their defense showing signs of breaking down.   What was once a strength 2 weeks ago has shown a leak the last 3 games and so far tonight against Phoenix.   Shot flurries and pressure from opposing teams is bringing to light scary reminders of the past 2 years.   This has to stop or bad things will keep happening.   If the Blues don’t win at least 1 of their final 2 games, they carry zero chance of finishing ahead of Vancouver and securing home ice advantage in the playoffs.

*David Perron is a special talent finally coming into his own.  The Frenchman can make plays, destroy defenders, carries game changing speed and can score 30 plus goals with a full season of play.   Out of the Blues young core group of forwards(Oshie, Berglund, Perron), DP is the player capable of taking over a game.   It’s great to see him recover from his concussion last season.   Kid’s future is full of bright light.

*I just like the way David Backes plays the game.  That’s all.  Overall effectiveness makes him a great captain and player.

On tap for the weekend.  Sleep.  For the first time in a long time, I am sharing the house without the wife and kid and its weird.   Coming home to a home with no wife and kid waiting to greet me is something I don’t want to get used to.  Rachel and Vinny are visiting her sister in Kentucky, so its me and Irish this weekend before I start a new shift at work on Sunday.  A slow moving weekend will include some good food, beer, parents visit, music, sleep, and some shopping.   Also good times with Irish McHugh.   Here’s to the longest 48 hours of all time.   After this pay period, my bank likes the result but my body is worn out.

It’s time to release this one into the wild.  Have fun this weekend and thanks for reading.

Goodnight and good luck,

Dan L. Buffa