Beethoven’s B-Sides

Greetings friends and readers,

The Buffa Blogs will not be sent out of the Gmail account instead of the Hotmail address.  You see, this summer hotmail is being scrapped for Microsoft Outlook and while I have used that email before, I felt it was time to grab hold of the google train and stay on board.  The backup email is now the primary one.   Everybody around me keeps telling me hotmail is for losers and dead.  My response is, hey dumbshits, I have used it for 10 years so I don’t really care what the cool email is.   That is a #1 reason Clint Eastwood calls us the weakest generation ever.   We worry about’s what in and what’s not even when it comes down to emails used.   Pathetic.  Anyway, I digress and get to the main topics.  The Buffa Bullet Round begins now.  (Reason alone to board Google.  The fonts, such as this one, kick the living shit out of the hotmail types).  
  • One of my biggest pet peeves in sports is when athletes think they are suddenly medical experts who have full knowledge of the way their body works.   For instance, Rafael Furcal’s situation with the Cardinals.   Back in August, Furcal made a throw from short and partially tore a ligament in his elbow.   Overnight, Furcal turned into a snake charmer or white coat specialist and immediately refused surgery in order to make it back for the last part of the season.  He never came back because the doctors(Cards medical staff included) prescribed rest.   They could have just poured voodoo cream all over the appendage.  Same effect.   The season and playoffs ended and in November, the Cards medical staff, so good at these kind of calls, told a thrilled Furcal that surgery wouldn’t be needed and the healing was underway.    They had no idea that any complications could come up or cause the elbow trouble.  I believe Rafael duped his team and medical staff.   I think the Cards went soft here and didn’t want to demand surgery to an aging vet that they were paying a shit ton of money.  Wait a minute, repeat that last part.  7 million dollars.   Let’s see.  Ligaments don’t just heal.   Give me one example of a player’s elbow getting fully healed in his late 30’s and coming back to play without surgery.  While you look,  I will keep going.  This was a bad call.   On the Cards part, John Mozelaik’s part and Furcal’s part.  His year could be over.  A bone spur has caused continued discomfort in his elbow and he can’t make a throw from shortstop.   Wow.  Whoa! Wow!  I was playing doctor there.  Me and Gene Wilder.  Frankenstein has gotten loose in the Cards medical staff again.  Bernie Miklasz nailed this in today’s column.  How many players does this medical staff fuck with?  Scott Rolen, Mark Mulder, Kyle Lohse, Brad Penny, Chris Carpenter, Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday.   Telling us everything is fine and good, keeping the tax payers happy.   
  • Guess what MO?  We aren’t happy.  I am not pleased that nothing was done to provide insurance for a Furcal breakdown in the spring.   Roger Cedeno doesn’t count.  How many Ex-Cubs does this team need to rehabilitate?  Cedeno plays horrible defense and his on base percentage is .290.   I don’t care what he did in 2009.  This is 2013 if you have locked yourself under a rock.  Cedeno sucks and the only good thing is he doesn’t slice his wrists because of it.   Pete Kozma followed 5 years of minor league futility with a whopping 19 RBI at the end of September and into October, helping beat the Nationals.  He then came apart with the rest of the team against the Giants, making 32 errors it seemed like and his bat quieting down promptly.  Kozma deserves a shot over Cedeno but is that a great battle to watch?  A never was against a fizzled late bloomer.  Was Kozma exposed after a certain amount of at bats?  How many games before the rest of the National League spots the former Cub in a shiny red Cards uniform and starts throwing him ungodly sliders?   I am making sense here people.  We all knew(including my 18 month old kid) that Furcal wasn’t going to play.   He tore a ligament.  That requires surgery.  Both my parents work in the medical field.  I know my anatomy and physiology.  Come on.  Stephen Drew wanted playing time and 9 million dollars but the Cards didn’t give it to him because Furcal was healing and making 7 million already.   Two year deals to players like Furcal and Beltran are poisonous promises.   One could argue Mo’s hands were tied with the salary donated to Furcal but something else could have been done.  No, Oscar Taveras can’t play shortstop.   Right now it’s Kozma, Cedeno and Daniel Descalso(not good either).   Stop the Brendan Ryan talk.  He couldn’t hit a pig in the ass with a snow shovel and made plenty of errors to go with his marvelous ones.  Jose Vizcanio is a call away.   These are horrible options.   Sure, the Cardinals can afford to put a lighthitting player at short because of their power elsewhere but this team is very vulnerable to injury.   What if Craig, Holliday or Freese goes down?   What if a big bat or two croaks?   It may just be my cry for a long term shortstop that is eating me here.   I wasn’t blind to the numbers.  Furcal was declining rapidly when he got hurt.   He isn’t the answer even when he is 85 percent healthy.  That is my point.  The Cards didn’t think that far ahead.   Now they are fucked until the trade deadline, where they may be forced to hand over one of their young pitchers not named Lance Lynn or Joe Kelly.  I like our young pitching surplus but I also like a good shortstop who can hit.  For now, my vote is with Kozma based on what he did last fall. He deserves a look and while he isn’t a good option, the kid exists as the most logical one.  
  • I am torn with whether Oscar Taveras will make this club now out of spring.   Sure, he could stay down in Memphis and play everyday but the kid is a special talent and can provide Beltran with rest.  He may also be needed to push Jon Jay, a .300 hitter who gets hurt easily and can’t hit on the road.  Taveras possesses real power and is a threat.  He can’t hide down there for long.  Matt Adams is a good bench bat but he can only play first base.   I say keep them both and have that waiting at the end of games.   Adams and Taveras could provide the Cards with that bench pop along with Matt Carpenter.  However, keeping Taveras down at Memphis to get reps isn’t a bad play either.  The Furcal injury changes things.
  • Lance Lynn may have lost a baby goat’s worth of weight but he still has problem throwing 1-2-3 innings and not giving up the long ball.   Country Twig Mountain Hatch Jones got thinner this winter by shaving his 6 lb beard and eating less fatty foods(simple diet of wheat and hay) but still struggles to find the flow he has from April through May of 2012.   He is someone to watch because if he improves, the trade value only climbs.  Joe Kelly and Rosenthal await behind him.
  • Banshee mention of the day.   It’s a great show, fresh(8 hours in) and is pure entertainment at least.   Suck on that while I keep going.
  • The Following survived tonight by finally putting the baddie James Purefoy out of jail and among his killing buddies.    A faceoff is dry and boring if one half is in jail.   Now that the killer can be matched with Kevin Bacon’s agent, the thrills can really begin.  The twists, turns, shock kills and other ridiculous cable network devices to convince us they are as good as a premium cable network series(still not true) had grown tiresome by last week’s hour.   Now that Bacon and Purefoy can share some more time, their scenes radiate with tension, the show will get better.  Much better.  The story is still golden.   A killer becoming more powerful through a massive following of fans taking up his work.  Dicey news for good guys but makes for great theater.  May the killing carry meaning.
  • Californication and Shameless survive on Showtime by pushing that nervy dirty comedy and in your face nudity with the white hot naughty dialogue to the brink of being overblown and tip toe back into safety.   Each show is anchored by great acting that can deliver dialogue very well.
  • I am reading The Heart and The Fist at the recommendation of a man named Affleck.   A true story about an Oxford grad turned humanitarian turned Navy Seal Eric Greitens or as Affleck refers to him, “Jason Bourne with a PhD.”   So far so good.  The man has saved more people than one can count and put himself in the fray as much as any soldier all at his own request.  Tough as nails.  Old school.  
  • Dead Man Down is my first must see of 2013.  A cold blooded crime thriller starring Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace and Terrence Howard as a deadly tripod of revenge fueled anger.   One man lost his wife and kids to a murderer while the woman had her face sliced and diced by the same guy.  Guess who wants payback?  It arrives this Friday.  The film looks tight, well written, acted and could cast a cold hard spell over the soul if the cards are played right.
  • Janie Hendrix released another 12 tracks recorded by her brother, Jimi, today.   One may ask how the hell the legendary guitarist is still putting out tunes and I will tell you again.  He owned his own studio, Electric Ladyland, and spent several nights playing and playing until his fingers went numb, he ran out of drugs or needed fresh air.   Hendrix was an introvert when he was off the stage and locked himself in a recording studio with a guitar and his band and played.   He recorded everything.   These 12 tracks, which I just purchased and have sampled, are devilishly polished guitar driven blues tunes that stay around for awhile after a listen.   Nobody played the guitar like Jimi.   Over 40 years past his death, people still think of him as the best and that group includes Eric Clapton, Tom Morello and Jimmy Page.  He created sounds, music and ideas with an instrument in a way few could.   These tracks are his everlasting legacy.   Think of it as a neverending encore.
  • The Blues are frustrating bunch of cock teasers.   They win, lose, repeat and pour misery into our drinks.   They are the streakiest bunch of players ever to step foot on the ice.  They are worse than a bad team.  They are full of talent, doom and inconsistency.   Dangerous blend.   They started 6-1, lost 5 straight, and have split the last bunch of games.  After sprinting back at home down 2-0 to defeat Edmonton 4-2 and getting off to a 1-0 start Sunday in Dallas, the Blues lost 4-1 and now play 5 more games in 8 days starting with LA tonight.  They are 20 games in and unpredictable.  They play well on the road and shitty at home.   I can’t tell you what’s going to happen tomorrow or next week.   Ken Hitchcock’s disciplined team from last year is coming and going.   Brian Elliot is petrified and exposed because the Blues don’t lead the league in least shots against(a title held in 2011-2012).   Jake Allen is down in Peoria for now.  Jaroslav Halak can only play as good as his defense allows him.   Neither goalie can take over a game.  They need great defense to excel(except for Allen, he could be a game changer).   Early on in the season, the Blues defense was strangling teams at the blue line and not allowing shots.   That led to 3 early shutouts.   When the shots increased, the goals followed and Elliot is next to useless right now.  If he manages to win a game or two, he is easy trade bait.   Halak could go down at any moment and I can tell you right now Allen will be back soon.   The offense is hit and miss, failing to forecheck or create a sustained pressure.   David Backes and TJ Oshie takes every other game completely off.   David Perron is talented yet takes very stupid penalties.   Patrik Berglund has been missing for 3 games.  The team is playing without Vladimir Tarasenko, Alex Steen and Andy McDonald.   That is no excuse to be embarrassing to watch.    Last year, the team dealt with injuries and found a way to win.   This year, they have to do it again or else Doug Armstrong will make some trades.    Jason Arnott coming in won’t save this team, at least not the 2013 version of Arnott.  Something else will have to be done.  Only if there was a way we could acquire Jarome Iginla or lure another legit FEARED goal scorer away from their home.  The Blues will continue to thrill us and kill us.   
That’s all.  Thanks for reading.

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