Good evening friends,
The night is old and the news reel is ready so let’s get down to business. These days, I have to write when I can find the time. Now, I have the time. Let’s go with the bullets entry here. Expect font changes and inserts, but judge the material by the words alone. Content is key here.
- The Boxing Debacle-Covering the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight that yielded a horrible, not just controversial, decision. 48 hours later, after talking it over with the Mang, I came to some new desirable conclusions. Ask Dan Rafael, Harold Lederman, Jim Lampley, Bradley’s manager or the average boxing fan and they will tell you Manny dominated the fight. It’s not rocket science. If I gave any round to Tim, it was Round 1 or 9. That is it. He didn’t hurt Manny, barely hit him clean and basically survived the fight. This wasn’t a black eye for boxing. It was an internal bleed. An explosion in the chest. A leaking kidney. This will have an effect that goes on for months. If it was fixed it was for more money to be made in the rematch. This is the finality of a boxing decision. We don’t want think it was a fixed decision(engineered for more cash) because we are boxing fans. The facts are it was a horrible decision. It gives Pacquiao an undeserved loss and sets up a useless rematch. This also endangers a match I know you don’t care about(Floyd and Manny), but several million boxing fans do. A fight to see who is the best. What went wrong last night? A lot and it had nothing to do with the action in the ring. 2 of the judges were 80 years old, Arum said. Its quite pathetic, especially when you look at the punch stats. Pac-Man landed 34 percent of his punches compared to 19 percent for Bradley. He landed 90 more power shots. Pacquiao landed 18 more jabs and “hurt” Bradley several times. Pacquiao clearly won. June 9th was a bad bad night for boxing. While I’m not a big UFC guy, I see why that sport is thriving. If there is a rematch, here is some advice for Manny. Finish Bradley this time. Don’t let the judges get involved. To borrow a line from Lights Out, a one year boxing show on FX, let your fists be the judges. You can’t teach speed. Pac Man had speed to spare on Bradley. Next time don’t let up. I like Manny despite his bad promoting choices, wild behavior and waiting games, because of what he does for his country(he is in it to help people and not just look good, like Floyd). He pummeled Bradley, got a career flipping loss, and has to deal with horrible judging/rigged activity. One judge said Bradley gave Pacquiao a boxing lesson. Unless the lesson was setting up your face to get slammed, I am sure he is crazy. Anyway, this puts bigger fights on hold and that sucks dearly. We don’t get a Pacquiao-Marquez IV(which needed to happen to solidify who is really better) or a better fight in general. It’s a stop gap situation and two old fossil fuck judges are to blame. Or is that all there is to it? The good news is Bob Arum is having the Nevada Boxing Commission review the decision and go back over the fight in order to see how mad the judges were. Hopefully, they right a severe wrong and give the decision to Pacquaio. No one could dispute the decision, including Bradley or his corner. They looked like lottery winners on Saturday night, not true winners. It doesn’t affect Pacquiao’s credibility but it helps his record and denies a rematch that is painfully unneeded. The true judges need to step in here, look over the clear evidence, watch a lopsided fight and wipe the slate clean for the sport of boxing. This extends beyond Pacquaio and Bradley’s reputation. It pertains to boxing’s future. Clean it up. Just look at Bradley’s knees buckle not once, not twice but three times in the fight. He was clearly beaten. Fix it. I applaud Arum this time only for trying to make this right. Representing both fighters, he could very easily leave it alone and make a ton of money in the rematch. He is doing the right thing.
- This has nothing to do with the potential for a Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Pacquiao fight. That will happen on separate terms. This is saving boxing so that megafight isn’t tarnished in any way.
- Are the Cardinals in severe trouble? Yes and no. Read along. This team isn’t shipwrecked but merely being exposed for its current roster makeup. You aren’t going to win 5 games in a row with Tyler Greene and Shane Robinson starting in your lineup more than twice a week. It’s basic survival instincts right now. You can’t fool anyone with AAA talent and bad pitching. The Cards are trying to get by until they get healthy. Nearly everything has missed some sort of time in the first 2 months. Carp and Berk went down hard. Carp Jr. was a decent fill in and then he went down. Skip has been down and out twice. Freese hasn’t been right since he hurt his hand 2 weeks ago. Matt Holliday hurt his back last week. Jaime Garcia got a soft shoulder and is out 2-3 months. The rotation and lineup is being held together by glue and tape right now, so the bench and bullpen are getting exposed BAD. Maybe they should have took Oswalt like we suggested, but who could have guessed STL would lose Carp as well as Pablo Escobar’s nephew. Matheny is mixing and matching as good as any skipper could, playing his La Russa card in switching the lineup around and giving players the right bump when needed. At this point, however, we just have to keep playing. I won’t write off this year yet mang because our bats are too strong and when healthier, our pitching will improve. I believe Carpenter will return and that there is salary to play with at the deadline. It’s good to see Lynn and Waino stay strong as well as Lohse pitch his ass off on Saturday. It’s good to see Beltran with 18 home runs on one good knee. We didn’t sleep walk through May. We got pushed around by pretty good teams. April was nice because the opposition was soft. However, as noted earlier, you can’t fool good teams with exposed players and bad pitching. I will say Joe Kelly showed promise today in harnessing the Indians with his “Suppan” ball. He had decent movement on a 94 fastball and changed speeds well. He may do for a few weeks. At some point, Shelby Miller will have to make an appearance. When in need, bring up the best talent. I don’t want to hear “it’s not his time or he needs to blossom at Memphis first”. He is a first round pick and pitching well enough to get up here and sustain his MLB appetite. It may be Miller’s time if Kelly softens early or the trade deadline doesn’t show a tasty treat. Right now, the Cards have to play .500 or slightly better baseball and stay with the Reds. Survival is the idea, but a call to Chuck Finley may not be far behind. If we can hold the fort and stay in contention(5 gms over .500 and within 5 games of the Reds), we are in good shape. No team is running off with the Central. Trust me. The Cards need to get healthy. Taking it all into perspective, this team hasn’t played that bad. The pitching and defense has been pretty bad in spots, but we are hanging in there with band aid equipment. Not bad for a team missing its starting first baseman and two of the top starters in their rotation. Step up work by Lohse and Molina can’t be forgotten either. We need to take this series against the White Sox, a hot team, in order to get some confidence back.
- Matt Adams is going to be a major league first basemen in a few years but he will benefit from more time in Memphis. I like that the injuries gave way for the fans to see what Biff Webster Country Fried Steak Adams had to offer. It’s a bright future for the young man. He has a big swing, plays a decent first, and can adjust to pitchers. Good news for the team that young talent like Adams, Craig, Jay, Freese, Motte, and Eduardo Sanchez can hold a spot on this team for years to come.
- Jason Motte is still my closer of choice but the wolfman needs a genuine offspeed pitch. Some kind of misdirection. A 2 seamer is effective only when coupled with a true offspeed addition. I think Motte has the mental makeup to be a solid closer for years to come, but watching former Cardinal Chris Perez notch his MLB leading 20th save on Sunday at Busch, a slight burn was felt. Motte needs to get together with Waino and Carp and start working on a curve. The Cards can’t afford to blow any saves the next 2 months.
- I will be out of a job on June 29th. Details aren’t needed but my company was bought out and our warehouse is being cleared as we speak. We were then given a choice to stay with the company during the transition and get a decent severance or cut and run. I chose to stay because of the severance and the website starting up called for my job status to remain the same. The goal is for Rachel and I to both be working, but the time could come with her working and me staying home with Vinny and feeding the site. That’s fine, but there’s a need in me to earn money for the household. Everything happens for a reason and this only ensures that I don’t spend the rest of my life on a forklift. In the end, I will like the sale of Senoret waking me up to the opportunities that lie just over the hill of visibility. I look at realistically. That’s all I can do. My main goal is to find a job with decent medical benefits, for Vin’s heart meds and checkups. We had to take him into the hospital 3 weeks ago for a bad fever and elevated heart rate. Into the ER cost us 200 dollars on the spot. Rough work but…its our son so there is no choice. Without benefits we would have paid a lot more. I do see it as an opportunity for a new start. My life has changed and I am taking my shot with Film Addict, so finding something to work with the screenings and writing for the site would be great…but we will have to see. Main goal is to be realistic.
- Mad Men finished its fifth season in grand fashion last night. A subtle end to a season after back to back powerful twist filled hours of television. To me, Mad Men is the light overhand left that catches you at your weakest moment and buckles your knees. It packs a punch but is silent up until the point of contact. A Sopranos writer, Matthew Weiner, runs Mad Men and its main storyline, the trials and tribulations of Ad man master Don Draper is similar to Tony Soprano. HBO passed on Mad Men and I can only wonder the possibilities of the series on a premium cable network. You know my affection for Christina Hendricks runs bone deep, but I truly love the work of my St. Louis home talent Jon Hamm on Mad Men. He fully embodies the dark heart and soul of Draper, playing a man who took another’s identity during World War II to forget about his rough upbringing. Imagine a man so good at something(advertising) that is living a complete lie. It’s quietly addicting to watch. I can only hope when your time comes to find Mad Men, that you get it and give it the time to settle in your spine. The show is brilliant. Here is a clip to solidify my words. Check it out. It’s 70 seconds long. Here’s the thing to remember about Mad Men. Advertising is about so much more than simply selling a product. It’s about ownership, comfort and confidence. Back in the 1960s, these guys were like rock stars. They turned a product into gold with just a few words. Draper tells you how here.
- Do the Blues have enough scoring help? Does the addition of Vladamir Tarasenko help the cause or merely represent a soft surprise? Here’s my take. The Blues scoring troubles have been legit the past 3 seasons. We have problems lighting the lamp on a consistent basis and in my opinion, the superb 2011-2012 comeback was due to great coaching and excellent goaltending. The KHL is a highly fertile league for proven talent and hungry young players, and I was impressed with Vlady turning down serious Russian dollars to come overseas and play Blues hockey. I don’t make a big deal with offseason team news either, but I report what I think is solid news and this was. Tarasenko could be the cheapest impact player the Blues have gotten in the last 10 years. He could be what this team is missing. A dangerous goal scoring threat.
- More on the Rams Stadium issues and ultimate decision. The Rams fate may be determined by their play. It isn’t a good situation. Your football team is shit, your hometown fans are bandwagon riders who are staying away and forcing blackouts, and your city doesn’t want to pay for improvements. If you are in Stan’s spot, he may be thinking about moving this team and letting the city suck the glass clean on the way out. However, he bought this team in order to keep them here and I believe that. Then again, he is a businessman and needs to do what is best for the business. Who knows? Either the city ponies up the cash or decides to cut the funding off and let the Rams walk. I went to 4 games the past 2 seasons and even when we are winning, it’s like watching the stock exchange in a large warehouse. Nothing. There are factors here. This city needs to pay its cops more and get more uniforms on the street and fix the city in order to keep crime under order, but having a football team is profitable. Ultimately, you can’t argue with either decision.
- The Los Angeles Kings finished off the New Jersey Devils tonight in six games to win the Stanley Cup. I am not a fan of the Kings or Devils, but I love underdogs and admired the Kings run. They got hot in April and never quit playing do or die hockey. They were the more complete team, had the momentum, got the early lead and rode the shoulders of a rejuvenated lineup and the great play of goaltender Jonathan Quick. I tip my cap to the Kings. An 8th seed that never quit.
- The NBA Finals open tomorrow and I will be watching. It’s the best against the best here. Two young players, Durant and Lebron, on top of the world playing for the title. There’s a lot to like here, and while I wished the Celtics magically found a way around the Heat, I like the idea of Lebron having to go through the best home team in the NBA for the prize. He promised 6 rings, and will have to break down a serious wall to lock onto one of them. Lebron is the most polarizing figure in pro sports, and Durant is the well liked young giant. It’s the perfect good against bad matchup that networks, casual fans and diehard ballers can all appreciate. Who gets their first ring? The beloved superstar turned ultimate villain who left home to get a title or the young gun who has stayed at home to this point in order to bring his town their first championship? They finished 1-2 in MVP votes and I have a feeling this series goes 7 games.
- My coffee urge starts in the morning. I don’t find a way to avoid the morning temptation. I head straight for the Starbucks in Kirkwood, making my way into the joint like a muscled zombie in need of fusion. I get the morning bold pick and suck it down. I usually head there after a workout in the evening for an iced coffee, usually coming in at over 30 ounces. It is something I need and run on. Without coffee, I am sure I would hurt small children at least once a day. I will soon be a gold card member because I am loading my card up and spending on it at will. There is something calming and assured about a cup of coffee. For a little while, you can sit there with a simple cup of hot liquid and get a mood and body boost. No vitamins or supplements required. Just java bold. I add a little sugar to my coffee but most of the time drink it bold and black. It’s worth the breath and smell afterwards. Smelling like coffee is like smelling like a man. It must sting the nostrils or its too soft a blend. I also press my own cup at work when I miss the morning stop. I have a press at home and at work. I have come to love making up names for my bold concoctions. Such as…
-Buffa’s Italian Chest Hair Blend
-Gorilla Pube Infusion
-Biff Webster Delight
- Film Addict provides plenty of perks and one of them is movie screenings, which are now press screenings for the FA staff, such as myself. We get invites and take our pick. Tonight, I saw Rock of Ages and allow me to tell you it wasn’t good and fed my natural hatred for musicals. A movie feature length version of Glee with a couple cool performances from Tom Cruise and Russell Brand. Prometheus was very good because it presented interesting questions about the creation of mankind and didn’t need to answer all of them. Read my Prometheus review now at http://www.film-addict.com/dose-of-buffa. Get The Rock of Ages review on Friday at the same place.
- Tomorrow I screen Adam Sandler’s latest turd-to-be, That’s My Boy and Thursday it’s the Pixar creation Brave. The slate is getting full but no movie tromps the anticipation that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter presents. My favorite president getting the makeover action treatment. That comes next week.
- One of the harshest parts of being a father while working 50 hours a week is finding time to be with him. My current situation doesn’t allow me the time at home for Vinny to feel as comfortable with me as he does with Rachel. She has unfortunately been out of work for 10 months and be with Vinny every day, so he clings to her more. Clinging is fine, but when you try to give the kid medicine at 10pm without waking him up and he gets upset to a point to where you need to call in the wife for help, its helplessly demoralizing. A night was upended an hour ago when I couldn’t get his heard meds down without pissing him off. That prompted a fight between my wife and I, one of our first serious fights in a couple weeks. When things go wrong with Vinny, I can get frustrated to a point to where it looks like I am being mean to the kid and that is not true. It’s the unbearable tendency that you are playing catch up with your wife and in this department, it hurts down to the bone. If I happen to be out of work, I can ride my severance for a couple weeks and get some makeup time with Vincent. I love the kid more than anything and sometimes feel like I am arriving to the party late. A incurable feeling. That’s part of life.
- Here’s my lesson in life, derived from my current situation and overall frame of mind. Take it or leave it. I see life as a game of trying to stay in the middle. Be yourself but surprise people. If you’re too reserved, people say you are no fun. If you’re too wild, people call you dangerous. If you don’t gamble, you’re playing it safe. If you gamble and you lose, you are a bad bet. It doesn’t matter what people think in the end. It matters what you think of yourself. That’s life. Changing events can happen any day. Kids. Death. Work stoppages. Stuffing hobbies, pauses and passion into the regular mix of life’s chores is the task we all face.
And with that last bit of deep prose and introspection, my time is up. Thanks for reading and spending a little time here. Hopefully it was worth the minutes.
Goodnight and Good Luck,
Dan L. Buffa