Ladies and gents, here are the latest things to keep a room in my head. In sporadic format, allow me to unload a little here via the bullet points.
- Lance Lynn’s power. While he lost last night in Detroit, the man knows how to pitch. The Cardinals new found ace 25 year old hurler is 10-2 for a good reason. He relies on the same tricks but is efficient in his ways. Lynn has a methodical way of disposing of hitters. It’s called “Here it is, hitters, now try and catch it”. Throwing 75 percent 4 seam fastballs every start means one thing. He’s an old school power arm. If they hit it, he tips the cap. That’s a welcome rarity in today’s game. Lynn’s fastball moves in a manner Jason Motte would kill for. It rises and sinks and contains a power at the end that consistently fools hitters a 2nd or 3rd time.
- Speaking of Motte, the kid has a second pitch but needs to use it more often. He has an effective 88 mph cutter that can fool hitters. Why not throw it more often? While a true offspeed pitch would be ideal, I will take the lower form of moving heat. He just doesn’t throw it enough. On Sunday, he blew his 4th save because he relied too heavily on his high octane fastball to get three hitters out. WHY? With 2 outs and an o-2 count on Royals power hitting bench hand Billy Butler, Motte fired a fastball STRAIGHT down the middle and Butler tattooed it towards South America. Motte lowered his head, finished the inning, pitched a perfect 10th inning and told reporters after the game he is a fastball oriented pitcher. He will continue to throw it. Well, Mr. Motte, I have news for you my bald wolf like man. Unless you feel like getting burned every 3rd save opportunity by a pitch major league hitters are taught to wait and feast on, make a change. Unless you feel like going to arbitration this winter again, make a change. I love Motte and think he can close for years to come. I just know what he needs to do. The question is…does he and is his ego too large to climb over in order to fix the struggles?
- Stop complaining about the frequency of no-hitters and perfect games. In a modern style of play that favors the hitter and the home run, seeing a pitcher like Matt Cain strike out 14, walk no one and throw a perfect 27 outs in a game is always welcome. I’ll take one a week. I won’t sit here and say pitching is harder than hitting, but I will say baseball makes things harder for the man on the mound.
- Roger Clemens isn’t guilty but that doesn’t make him clean. Similar to the case of Ryan Braun, Clemens’ team of lawyers found loop holes in the court system and got him off. Clemens, in the eyes of evidence and witnesses seen and read, is as guilty as Barry Bonds and the rest of the cheaters.
- Attention, Mike Matheny. Unless Matt Holliday is missing an appendage, he has to play more than 9 innings in Sunday’s debacle in the Busch finale against the Royals. All of a sudden, Holliday is becoming this years David Freese. Last year, Freese exited every game in the 8th-9th inning for defensive responsibilities, and to a certain degree(being that grease ball wizard Daniel Descalso replaced him) it was understandable but still regretted in games. Seeing him Adron Chambers, who isn’t a defensive improvement over Holliday, take over in Sunday’s game directly pissed me off. Chambers isn’t a major league talent and can’t hit or play good enough defense to exist as anything other than a late inning pinch runner. I like Matheny and approve of most of his methods, but this reminds me too much of La Russa. Every player goes through certain minor injuries and bruises as the 162 season wears on, so save me the precautionary explanation/excuse. He needs to play through those injuries. Let me break out the Scott Rolen salary breakdown for you with Mr. Holliday. Matt Holliday makes 17 million per season before taxes. He makes 104,000 per game. He makes 26,000 per at bat. In short, he makes in a couple at-bats what I make in a year at Senoret. That is fine, in some form of logic, if he play the full game. Case closed.
- As a Blues fan, I can argue both ways in the 3 year deal handed to Barrett Jackman today. On one hand, he is a deeply flawed player who gives away more pucks than the mascot, but on the other hand he is a tough veteran defenseman who younger players see as the Lee Marvin of ice soldiers. Jackman gets around 3 million per year and that is a little much, but it’s a done deal and one I can say has sweet and bitter notes to it. Jackman is a player I like for 2 year, 4 million dollar deals but apparently, Doug Armstrong thought differently. If he wasn’t retained, I wouldn’t be angry. Now that I know he is staying, I am fine with it while wondering where that money may have went.
- The NBA Finals is heating up with the play of Lebron James going to a whole new level. The man is averaging 30 points and 10 rebounds per game but is adding those points in the meaningful parts of the games. Miami is up 3-1 off the play of James, especially with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh too hurt to make a huge impact. He is one win away from silencing the critics who say he can’t do it by himself. Without the consistent help of Wade or Bosh, Lebron has taken over the NBA Finals, stealing the chance at glory right from young upstart Oklahoma City’s grasp. I neither love nor hate James. I find him a fascinating figure to watch. I root for his triumph and wait for his failure. He made a choice to burn the bridge behind him when he left Cleveland. Now we get to watch him make his mark on history. In 2012, as opposed to the 2011 NBA Finals, he is making an impact and is a win away from a championship, his first as a player. Lebron James learned from last year’s meltdown and is thriving. Good for him. That’s an honest answer.
- My screening schedule is heating up this week. I had a pair last night, starting with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and after I have Safety Not Guaranteed. A big release and an independent feature. I am very intrigued for Abe’s alternate story. Based off a graphic novel of the same name, the story is a reimagining of the life of one of the greatest Presidents to ever grace the Oval Office. What if Lincoln was a vampire killer and brought justice outside the office as well as inside it? I find the theory fascinating because I find Lincoln to be fascinating beyond belief. One of the most active presidents who actually made a difference getting an additional chapter casting him as the ultimate savior of mankind. The director of Wanted is tackling it and completing the cast are newcomer Benjamin Walker as the young Abe, Rufus Sewell(with a face made to be evil) as the main bad guy, and Dominic Cooper(Devil’s Double) running around in the background. A low key yet explosive cast, an action packed director and an intriguing subject. I am in. Safety Not Guaranteed is an indie film about time travel. Yes, time travel. An ad placed in a newspaper about the need for a time travelling buddy is answered and an adventure is born. On Thursday, I am taking in Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World with Steve Carell and Keira Knightley, which contains a man preparing himself for the end by meeting the woman of his dreams. Imagine that in life. Searching for 35 years for a soul mate and finding him or her right before a meteor hits earth. That sucks but makes for an intriguing story as well. Three delicious films that promise a better result than my three features last week, which involved 2 turds(Rock of Ages and That’s My Boy) and a decent yet not great animated film(Brave).
- Things I love right now. HBO. Namely, Christopher Meloni as the new baddie on True Blood. A longtime guilty pleasure if overrated summer delight gets a decent drop of tough venom this season as Meloni’s Vampire leader attempts to put a lock down on Eric and Bill, our new heroic vampire duo. Thankfully, Anna Paquin’s fine ass yet annoying character Sookie is pushed to the background. Meloni played a noble cop on Law and Order: SVU for years. All an actor wants to do after being good for so long is go completely bad. His one scene on Sunday in the season’s 2nd episode told you all you needed to know about his sucker king. He will kill lots of people, won’t die easily and leave a mark. That’s all I want to go along with my side of righteous asskicking werewolf in Joe Manganiello’s Alcide. I also love the new promos for Aaron Sorkin’s new drama on HBO, Newsroom. Jeff Daniels as a cable news anchor who finally cuts his non partisan cloak off and deals his true feelings ON the air looks deliciously acceptable on Sunday nights with True Blood. Daniels can’t make a bad call these days and his character looks to cut a hybrid of two or three real life cable talkers and make an honest to ink prime time renegade. I love shows that thrive on juicy back and forth dialogue and this show promises a thrill ride. I am loving my pandora selection of Jimi Hendrix on this slow hot day at work. I am digging my new toy at home, a Keurig coffee maker. A shotgun one cup coffee making machine that I now live by. I…
- I don’t love changing light bulbs at 40 feet in the air. Closing down my work means cleaning up and fixing things up in order for my old owner to get out of his lease to the owner of the building. It’s all fun and games until you climb a boom lift and go 40 feet straight up in the air inside a shaky cage and change bulbs. I changed around 175 and I can say I will never do that again unless I get paid lawyer money. I am not afraid of heights but I am also not too fond of them at the same time. You can cut that one up as you will.
- The rest of the week at work will hopefully my my last and it will consist of waiting for contractors to fix repairs and finishing out the mandatory hours at Senoret. My time there will come to an end on June 22nd and I am glad. I’ve emptied the warehouse, made repairs, followed their orders and now want my money and my freedom. It’s going to be time to try something else as they say and no matter which manner you chose to say goodbye, the effect and result are all the same. It’s time to get out.
- If you are still reading this blog, I am going to give a teaser for my reviews of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Safety Not Guaranteed before they go live on http://www.film-addict.com on Friday.
- Lincoln was a pure delight and something to recommend to all film fans because it has so many different skill sets. It injects the real story of Lincoln into this fantasy myth that gives depth to the normal action film. It’s hard to feel something when you are watching this film because of Lincoln’s overall message. Carving your own place in this world, and taking a stand for a reason. The entire production is impressive and Walker is a wonderful Lincoln, filling out the coat and personality.
- Safety is a movie that will come off as odd but the quirky nature is established very early. The vibe of this movie is dealt early and the theme is an unique one about freedom. This story pulls no punches in notifying you that this isn’t Twilight or Batman. It’s a feel good film about being an outsider in this world and wondering if there is more to life than what you can see or touch.
- I am not going to lie to you about the Cardinals. They are playing like absolute shit since mid May. After starting 20-11 on May 11th before a home series with the Braves, they have gone 14-23 since and are swinging at everything. Injuries can be a decent blame but Bernie Miklasz’s point about plate discipline carries depth to it. In the past 2 months, the Cards rank last in the National League in pitches seen per at bat. Meaning we are chasing, swinging too much at crap and wasting at bats. Allen Craig chased a Justin Verlander slider with the bases loaded last night that Verlander called his best slider ever. That’s fine against a Cy Young owner who has thrown 2 no hitter’s but if they come up short tonight against the very hittable Rich Porcello, something is wrong. It is late June and we are hovering around .500. It’s a problem that needs to be fixed first with renewing health and then more disciplined baseball. The Cards need to draw more walks, steal more bases and generate more offense without leaning on the home run. A little more democracy and less dictatorship. The bullpen has to do their part if the rotation is giving innings. This is the basic rehab talk every baseball team hears in the middle of a slump. Soon enough, the Reds aren’t going to slow down and wait for us to get back in contention. They will run off with the division. Is it okay to be worried on June 20? Yes. Is it okay to panic? No. There is plenty of baseball left to play. Keep an extra dose of meds handy.
- Enjoying Rolling Stone’s latest issue with stories on Charlie Sheen and John Mayer. You know how I feel about Charlie but I happen to really like Mayer’s music, his sense of humor, honesty and story as well. After racing to the top of the charts from 2001-2010, Mayer flamed out in 2010 after a RS article where he compared women to “sexual napalm” and uttered the “n word”. It wasn’t good. He went from being one of the most versatile musicians to the biggest dick in the west. Did he deserve the flames? Yes from a certain standpoint, but it was over the top. This is where I hate the general public’s retarded take on gossip and celebrity news. A huge reason why our country qualifies as the group lacking brilliance. Blaming Mayer for dumping Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Simpson and Taylor Swift is child’s play. It takes a true dumbass to say, “Man, how could he mess it up with Jennifer Aniston?” People always want to side with the woman no matter what and it irritates me to my core. Jennifer Aniston is pretty, but who the fuck knows how she is in real life with no cameras around. Who are we to judge if she is worth spending a lot of time with? Past the obvious roles she plays and the visual sensation, I could tell you she is a horrible actress with a fine body but past that I have no clue. Why is it okay to blame Mayer for deciding he didn’t want that? Mayer isn’t a bad guy but has a wicked mouth. If you ask these guys questions and always expect a bland one note answer, the readers are bound to be surprised. I like his honesty in the same way I like Sheen’s honesty. He knows what he did and went away for 2 years. He bought a house in Montana, built a studio and laid low. Now he is back with a new album and it is pretty damn good. The man is one of the most talented musicians out there. A wicked guitarist and singer. He just needed to get his personal life together. Kudos to him. Both the articles are available at http://www.rollingstone.com.
- What else? I am a fan of Under Armour clothing. I have slowly acquired pieces of their highly expensive clothing and have come to love the feeling of their material. It’s a sweat resistant material, a combination of polyester and sheer cotton. I work a physical job, work out, run and stay on the move most of my life. I need a material to keep up with me because I happen to sweat a ton in anything I do. Under Armour, unlike Nike or Reebok, has the kind material that when you sweat in the morning, the material dries quickly and you are ready for something else. Cotton gets sweaty and the weight of the shirt triples and that’s not good. When it comes to shirts, comfortable is the main need no matter what I am doing. I will be acquiring more loose fit sporting shirts. The compression shirts, where it sucks all the air from underneath your chest, are something I won’t be trying any time soon. Those require a physique I haven’t achieved yet. I am in good shape but not freakish shape. Not yet.
- While coffee is always my friend, Starbucks’ Iced Passion Tea Lemonade is my new crush. Unsweetened, thirst quenching and absolutely tasty, this high priced yet deeply fulfilling beverage is your late afternoon recovery drink.
Alright, this is over. My rule is once I start writing advertising statements for my blend of drink, it is time to bring this show to an end. My run isn’t over yet, but the curtain is closing for a little while. Thanks for reading and come back again when the thirst for news is alive. That’s all I do here. Cut my view out and throw it on the table as hard as I can. If you made it to the end, the pleasure is all mine.
Goodnight and good luck,
Dan L. Buffa
A man asked me what I am doing after my time at Senoret and I told him I wasn’t sure yet. I had options to think about, a resume tailor made by the wife and a list of opportunities. When given the chance to rewrite your future, where would you plant your feet? I am not mad at the person who asked me this question, nor am I mad at the owner who sold his company. He built it from the ground up and deserved to sell it for all its worth. In doing so, he changed my life but didn’t end it. The course is open again and the ideas are wildly kicking. There are money jobs, careers carved by your passions and the American Dream, which is doing both of those at the same time. The man pondered for a few seconds and told me, “I am sure you will figure something out”, flashed me a smile, turned and left to catch a plane to New York. That man was my previous owner. In short, I will do something, and it will be grand. When in doubt, what would Red say…..get busy livin or get busy dying.