Let’s call it like it is. A fresh round of material on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in South St. Louis City.
My hits on a few topics while you bask in the sun, hunker down in the cold or stay cool, wherever you are in this world.
*Kyle Lohse rejecting the one year tender offer by the Cardinals is ordinary work. Lohse wants a long term deal, pitched well enough for it and Scott Boras will get him the big time bucks. A career closing 4-5 year deal. This was a tender only made to secure the Cards draft compensation when he does sign elsewhere. Bye Kyle. Thanks for playing and change your name. While figuring out plenty under Dave Duncan and Derek Liloquist, I won’t fear facing Lohse.
*The Cards interest in Asdraubal Cabrera, a shortstop for the Cleveland Indians, is real and rightly so but the urge to look carries warnings. First, the Cardinals are paying 7 million to a surgery less Rafael Furcal. How much do you really want to invest in a shortstop? Cleveland won’t be good in 2013 so they want to rebuild with some young pitching. Something the Cards have plenty of. The Indians will call John Mozelaik. We all know that. The real question is will he take the call seriously? Cabrera is 26 years old, has two years left on his deal and can fill the Cards need for a long term shortstop if he lands and plays well. Furcal can be moved to second base and share starts with Daniel Descalso, Kolten Wong or even Matt Carpenter. The hazards of this deal are outweighed, by the rewards. The kid makes 6 million in 2013 and then 10 million in 2014. A lot of money but you may be paying Furcal 14 million for one combined season between his work in 2012 and 2013. Don’t pass this up. Which starter on the Cards do you deal? That’s the million dollar question. Who is more expendable? Trevor Rosenthal is someone I wouldn’t touch. He has an arm built for the bullpen and the rotation. Shelby Miller proved he has the grit to start in this league. Joe Kelly, Lance Lynn, and Memphis hands Carlos Martinez and Michael Waacha will be dangling the lowest. My big interest. Lynn or Kelly? Lance won 18 games, got a lot of offense, broke down multiple times, has a short temper, is only 25 years old and has a big upside. Kelly got better and better, pitched well in long relief and in the rotation and has better stuff and durability than Lance. If Kelly had gotten half the run support Lynn did, he is an easy 10 game winner. Who gets dealt first? With Rosenthal on board, I deal Lance Lynn first. Lynn, Pete Kozma and a couple low ranking farm hands for Cabrera. Straight up. I’d do it. What does Mo think?
*I do think Matt Carpenter will stay a Cardinal and get a fair shake next season. He will back up Freese, Craig and Beltran and play some second base. I do believe Kolten Wong will get a chance to wow the coaches in spring training but I don’t think he plays a big role on this team in 2013. When Furcal departs and a spot opens up in the infield if the Cards do nothing there this offseason, Wong will get his chance then. He gets a full year in Memphis before he makes his move. I hope Mo doesn’t banish Pete Kozma again. Fans won’t leave him alone for having a rough Giants series. They forget 85 percent of the team had a shitty NLCS. Kozma deserves a fair look or could serve an interesting trade chip in talks this winter. His work in the clutch moments of 2012 can’t be forgotten. Best case scenario for the Cards will be acquiring a shortstop and letting Furcal split time with Descalso and Carpenter at second base.
*I don’t understand the opposition to surgery for Jaime Garcia. His shoulder isn’t improving yet the Cards fear the knife. Let’s let him miss another season and suck up 7 million again. He is our only lefthanded starter and needs to be healthy for 2013. Same for Furcal. If he isn’t right, get him fixed. His elbow isn’t improving at all. The Cardinals are sitting on timebombs with these two players. Risky business. They should have learned their lesson by now. They paid Furcal 7 million in 2012 to start 120 games. They paid Berkman 12 million to start 12 games(kidding but it seemed that few). They paid Wainwright 9 million in 2011 to sit on a bench. They paid Chris Carpenter 20 million between 2007-08 to make 2 starts. They know too much about wasting cash. Get Garcia and Furcal the help they need. Take care of your investments.
*The Rams face the 49ers on Sunday in San Francisco in a huge division challenge. The team is 3-5 and been dealt two big ass kickings in a row by the Patriots and Packers, two teams who have played in a combined four of the last 5 Super Bowls. The 49ers are the division favorite, mix the run with the pass, carry two Ex-MU defensive stars in the decade in Justin and Aldon Smith, and will give the Rams all they could handle. The Rams are getting through a middle patch of the schedule that will eventually ease up. For now, I’m calling a third straight beat down. Alex Smith, Frank Gore and the SF defense will carve up the Rams and pound them 27-6. On the road, against a playoff team and not playing that well. I like the Rams chances against this team in the Ed Dome. Bradford will need ice, Jackson will be a non factor by halftime and Danny Amendola will collect his usual set of slot receptions. Don’t bet the house on an upset, but that is what it will take to escape the West Coast with a win. I would take dignity and a less shameful loss.
*The NHLPA and Owners are talking. There’s your news. Until there is a deal, I’m embarrassed. Gary Bettman files for worst commissioner of all time, sparking two lockouts and tons of games lost. Donald Fehr helped keep baseball from a World Series in 1994 and is holding firm in front of the players. Set both sides on fire and see who finds a fire extinguisher first. This is unfortunate for us to be a part of a waiting game. I’ll watch it returns, and it will(trust me, money means money), but the stink of another lockout won’t depart more than half the hockey towns for another 5 years. Trust me on that. I see a clear 50/50 shot of hockey by New Year’s, but I wouldn’t be surprised if another season was washed away. Players and owners apparently don’t care enough, or the majority of those groups, about the fans and their worth to the game. This does zero good for the present state of hockey and banishes it from the top ranks for another decade. Two extended lockouts in a span of 7 years.
*Love to hear my dog bark like she is tougher than nails. This is the same dog who is afraid of her own shadow, routinely gets dominated by two cats and wouldn’t stand a chance on the street. Did I mention my son drives her insane? I just told her to be weak and assume her identity instead of fighting it. I can’t wait for this dog to get older, slower and more relaxed. She acts like a terrorist around here.
*Skyfall is the best Bond film I have seen in a long time. That includes you Connery loyalists. Daniel Craig has coolness and charm to spare but digs into the psychology of our heroic British agent more than previous Bonds attempted to. He wants to let us know what makes the man tick and why he does the things he does. People call that too dark, gritty or depressing. I call it real. Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes(Road to Perdition, American Beauty) and featuring an old school flamboyant yet sinister bad guy played by Javier Bardem, has the thrilling hand to hand combat scenes and action firepower. It also has a fair measure of soul and connects the dots from Bond’s dark childhood all the way to his connection with his boss, M(played with grace and stoic beauty by Judi Dench). It’s good to see a great movie gross a lot of money. Worth the price of admission and more.
*Lincoln is Oscar gold, but you know that. Daniel Day Lewis is more than convincing. He is shockingly good as Abe. He looks, speaks and walks the part. His process is unrivaled in Hollywood. He goes so far into the role that he brought Lincoln home with him after filming completed. Steven Spielberg’s movie takes a fair dose from Team of Rivals, a book wrote about Lincoln’s political strategy, but this movie plays out here like a political thriller. It covers the last four months of his life, in 1865 after he was re-elected, where he tackled the double headed monster of the 13th amendment and the end of the Civil War. Lincoln has always been my favorite President and for an easy reason. He acted instead of reacting. I’ve read countless books about his life and will never say I wasted a single minute spent looking at his work. Day Lewis gives sterling speeches while the House votes on the amendment, which must be passed before the war ends or else the South will wipe out the abolishment of slavery all together. However, it’s his quiet moments that stuck with me. The thousand yard stare, the storytelling, the wise know all grin. The man knew more than anyone around him and could see decades into the future. He gave his life for change. Give your change to watch this movie.
*NBA thought. Lakers head coach Mike Brown wasn’t fired because the Lakers got off to a bad start. He was fired because the Lakers were a disappointment last year, looked very bad this year and weren’t going to change with him in charge. Brown was fired for a lot of reasons. It didn’t help that Kobe Bryant hated his hiring from the get go and the team basically played like crap under his rule. Brown built his career on superstars carrying his teams. Lebron carried him in Cleveland. Kobe wasn’t going to do it in LA. He’s too damn old. This wasn’t a gut move by the Lakers management. They traded for Dwight Howard and signed Steve Nash to bring another title to the Staples Center. They couldn’t afford to waste another season under a man that wasn’t convincing the millionaires to play better. It’s not right or wrong. It’s business.
*Jay Cutler is a real douchebag who isn’t funny like Peyton and doesn’t have a pretty face like Brady. He looks like a frathouse bitch who just walked onto the football field after a kegger with his hands itching his balls. He’s the bass pro shop devotee who hasn’t showered or slept in days because he was following around quail and deer. He is best friends with Troy Glaus. He throws deep passes into tighter coverage than a sweet 16 party. He gives interviews like Robert DeNiro. He doesn’t smile. He lifts the corner of his mouth a little and burps. He doesn’t play with three concussions like Warner and doesn’t have the Iron Man knee joints of Favre. He did sit out last year in the playoffs because of an injury. He is a slob and looks like one. BUT…if he wins a Super Bowl in Chicago none of that shit matters. I won’t put him in the Romo/Sanchez/Flacco never will win a Super Bowl camp, but Cutler isn’t a guaranteed lock. With a stellar defense and running game and the right schedule, The Bears could pull off the impossible. Then, everyone will praise Cutler. The same people who slam him today. I don’t care. I never liked him or his way of doing things, but he is having a decent year. One can’t avoid that reality. I’m just saying get ready for the kool aid show from the media. He is the guy Bears fans love because he isn’t as bad as Rex Grossman was in the Super Bowl in 2006.
*I interviewed a director yesterday at the Cheshire for my website and came away with more knowledge about the filmmaking process than I am sure you won’t to know here. I was invigorated because I love the behind the scenes process of film and got to do this job for the site but also for fun. You don’t know who Yaron Zilberman is because he has only directed two movies. Watermarks and a new film called A Late Quartet, which stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener and David Ivanir as the four members of a string quartet who face sudden change on the eve of their 25th anniversary show. The film is a masterful demonstration of human frailty and may secure Walken another Oscar nomination. His work is restrained, powerful and sneaky tough as a man stricken with Parkinson’s disease who suddenly see his life altered and the future of his group changed forever. Zilberman was kind, revealing, and an all around good guy. To read my full story, go to this link.
I’d call the movie a sleeper for a Best Picture nomination, especially since the slot includes 10 entries.
*As I mentioned in my last blog(in an unusually powerful paragraph about my life in the past year), Thanksgiving is coming up fast. We are less than two weeks away. 2012 is quickly disappearing. What was your favorite moment of the year and what was your worst?
*I am officially employed. I start at Ronnoco coffee on Monday, working with my good friend Eric Moore for the fourth time. We have worked at Galleria 6 Theaters, Busch Stadium and Senoret Chemical. Now we embark on another mission. Receive, pack, and distribute coffee. I won’t call it my dream job but it’s a nice end to a four month journey of staying at home with the kid and looking for work. After three months of zero activity, I got 5 offers in less than two weeks. Mark Andy, PLZ Aeroscience, Braurer Supply, Casino Security, and Ronnoco all came calling. I chose the last job because of the comfort of working with Moore, the close location to my home, the hours, and the pay. My days of unemployment are over. I am happy and a little sad that my workplace battles will resume. You get used to things and your body does as well. I can’t say the next two months will be kind to my mind or body. Money has to be made.
*I will promise you one thing. Film-Addict won’t suffer. It will bloom. This week, we acquired our LLC, which basically makes us a legit company and business. Our mobile site and app works great and can be reached on your cell anywhere. The site has 5 writers now and will acquire more talent. Our numbers are up. This will only increase. Six months into it(it feels more like 2 years with the work I’ve done) and the site is growing and collecting steam.
*I voted for Barack Obama. Sue me. I voted more for the state issues than the federal ones. I know both Barack and Romney are full of shit jokers. I chose the lesser evil. Maybe the Republican party will churn out better fighters than the last two the Democrats have knocked down. Obama isn’t perfect and delivered as much sour as sweet in his first term, but I gave him another set. He no longer can blame the debt ceiling or economy for a failure to get things done. His hope and change campaign is gone. Blaming Bush is over. The next four years fall directly on his shoulders….in a way. My blog opening rant last week isn’t changing too much. I still say the system is fucked and needs to be changed before a President can mean something again. However, I chose to vote because…well I am still formulating my answer. Just made a move. My wife and I took the kid up to the polls and showed him a desolate basement where regular folk gather and act like they make a difference. I whispered into his ear to avoid this shit when he was older. Stay out of politics and its games. This paragraph was tiring.
*I don’t understand the opposition to gay marriage. It’s called free will. Isn’t that the founding base of our country? Freedom. Why restrict it in order to praise a god that doesn’t exist on this earth? He doesn’t pay my bills, maintain my health or keep me sane. He’s a made up fable and crutch used to disguise weakness. It’s all anti freedom which is exactly what gay marriage calls for. This kind of non issue bullshit drives me insane.
That concludes my blog tonight. Enjoy yourself. Have a good weekend. Check out my site. Eat good food. Don’t drink too much. Call your parents. Email your friends. Do something substantial or try.
Thanks for reading and goodnight,
Dan L. Buffa