1.)The Blues surprise us and the Kings with two wins at home. I predicted the Blues would win this in seven games so I know the series will get much tougher when the Note travel to LA tonight for Game 3 in Staples Center, where the Kings owned the best record in hockey. However, seeing my team take the fight to the defending champs, punch them in the mouth, knock them down, respond to a lazy period with a strong one, and outplay LA for two games and get this slack on the first round rope, I’ll take it. After losing a 1-0 lead late in Game 1, the Blues responded with a Alex Steen rush behind the net that shocked Jonathan Quick out of his skates and he threw it in the net for an OT steal. That is when I officially knew the Blues could hang with the Kings. After losing the bearings of a 1-0 lead so late in the game, Ken Hitchcock’s boys never stopped fighting. In Game 2, after two rough periods, the Blues responded with a fierce 3rd and scored two goals to win it and take the series and a bet back to the west coast. Everybody in the NHL world, all the know it all’s and so called experts, are spinning their heads right now at our Blues. How in the hell are they doing it? I will tell you to the best of my ability. Constant pressure, resilience and a new defensive attack that the Kings can’t get past. Credit Jay Bouwmeester with the Pronger like ability to clear the puck and use his quick feet to take the puck up the ice. Credit David Backes and Chris Stewart with throwing their weight around and dictating the pace. Credit the 4th line for playing way above the skill level of a energy line. Credit Steen for powering our scoring for game 1. However, most of the credit goes to Brian Elliot. He took a personal and professional setback in February, got help and rest, and came back to save this team in April and power it through May. If we win the Stanley Cup, it will be from the play of Elliot in net. He’s the rock right now. Go Blues! It won’t be easy in LA but I believe in this team’s heart and will, so prepare for a few more shockers.
2.) The Cardinals look different since the last time I ranted about their troubles here. They have also won 4 of 5, beating the Reds twice in a row and beating the Brewers in the first two games of their road trip stop in Milwaukee. The bats have come alive, scoring 4 plus in the past 3 games. The starting pitching has been superb, with Jake Westbrook and Shelby Miller delivering potent starts to fine tune their records. The bullpen got plugged in with new fresh arm power as the suffering Mitchell Boggs was finally dispatched to Memphis to find his head, arm and psyche before it eroded in bad relief efforts. Pitching phenom Carlos Martinez joined the team yesterday and threw a scoreless frame. Rookie callup Seth Maness also threw a scoreless frame in last night’s 6-1 win. When in need, this team will only seek younger help. Unless, that help comes in the form of Chris Carpenter. This morning, Joe Strauss alerted his twitter followers that Carpenter is throwing again and with purpose. This isn’t Jason Motte playing catch from 65 feet. Carpenter is throwing with an intent to return and help in the bullpen.
Allow me to expand on this.
*The lights may have went out on Motte’s 2013 season yesterday when Tommy John Surgery was FINALLY prescribed, but Carpenter is still fighting. Throwing punches, taking plenty and winning on points. Motte had a torn ligament in his elbow and as a man who never went to medical school yet pays attention to the stumbling nature of this ballclub can understand, ligaments don’t heal with rest. Remember Rafael Furcal in March. Chris Carpenter’s situation is different. He suffered from nerve damage in his neck/shoulder area and coming from someone who has had nerve damage, I can tell you that condition can improve or outright go away with plenty of rest. Carpenter has rested for three months now since he stopped throwing in February. If anyone can make this kind of comeback, it’s Carpenter. The man is a bionic man, made of several recycled body parts, and is the toughest bastard on the planet. The other day, I was thinking about the missing mound presence of Carp. I miss his tall glare coming down at hitters, the snake eyes towards the umpires and the screams and shouting from the mound at the player who dare cross him. He comes from a different breed of athlete and belongs in a different time capsule. This team needs Chris Carpenter. Imagine him coming out of the bullpen in a time of need and the picture starts to burn. Led Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks” blaring from the speakers as longtime hockey fanatic Carp runs in from the pen with a goalie mask on and a stick in his hand. Well, maybe not that extreme, but close. If Carp can contribute anything, I will take it.
*Edward Mujica continues to amaze me with his ability. He is 7-7 in save chances and while he allows a few baserunners, he convinced me on Tuesday night. He struck out Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce in a close game to seal the win. When his team needed it and after a flawless Jaime Garcia performance, “Chief” brought it home. Hope he keeps it going. That Zach Cox for Mujica trade last July looks pretty damn good right now.
*David Freese woke up. Matt Holliday hit a ball halfway towards South America last night. No one hits a baseball harder when their bat hits the sweet spot than Holliday. Carlos Beltran continues to rack up power numbers. Pete Kozma is holding his own at shortstop and dishing out some hits. Matt Adams returns on Tuesday. Allen Craig is heating up. Yadi Molina lost about as much weight as Lance Lynn and is hitting over .320. The bats are thawing out and they beat Kyle Lohse for the second time in a month last night. I don’t think he will be the same pitcher there that he was for the Cardinals in 2011-12. Too bad. Like a certain guy named Pujols, we got the best of Lohse.
3.)Iron Man 3 is exactly the kind of summer film that the movie crowd needs. Its loud, quick, action packed and peels a few more layers off the billionaire, genius, philanthropist superhero that is named Tony Stark/Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr. continues to amaze us with his versatility and the movie is unpredictable and risk taking for a comic book film without going all dark like Chris Nolan. See it. Read the rest of my review and Chris McHugh’s right here on Film-Addict.
4.)Film-Addict celebrated its first year yesterday. 365 days of hard work by myself, Eric Moore, McHugh, Landon Burris, Leigh Ann Jones, Marie Robinson and last but least web designer Samantha Smith. Everybody has done their fair share and the site is moving in a positive direction. In June, we could be shooting a video that will play in front of local movie theaters. We are in contact with two advertisers for the site and are spreading the word as much as we can while feeding the site with fresh material. This is my dream job. Right now it’s a side job and a hard one at times. It’s not seeing movies and getting in free, especially for the main 3 guys. As I call us “the cinematic tripod”, we have to throw the material on the site, make slides, resize pictures and keep the site fresh. A movie site with old news is about as useful as a car with no engine. You’re only as good as your last story and how you put it out there. As a rookie group who all work full time jobs, we do our best and allow me to say that we do a fine kickass job. The second year will only get better. Thanks to everyone who has supported us passionately, which means more than a mere site visit and exit. You know who you are and we love you for it.
5.) Vincent is 19 months old and full of ambition, passion, words, and bruises. My son has the look of a bare knuckle brawler. He has a cut above his eye, a busted lip and scratches on his leg. The kid is a tough little midget. He takes the lumps and keeps on trucking. Words(something close to words) come out of his mouth and my wife and I do our best to understand them and make sure he is clean enough, safe enough and ready. As a parent, 95 percent of your job is damage control. What is he doing and is it okay? As long as it doesn’t involve electric equipment or things he shouldn’t swallow, all is well. I pity the parents who treat their kids like china and baby them up. I prefer to let Vin take a hit, learn how to get up and become a kid a lot faster than most. It’s the Buffa way.
6.)Can Robert Guerrero beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. tonight? If my money was on it, I would say no but I think Guerrero can hurt Floyd. Remember what Miguel Cotto, an older and tired fighter, did last year to Floyd. For three rounds, Cotto landed punches, made Floyd bleed and wore down that previously indestructible defensive wall of Mayweather Jr.’s. Cotto did that, rightfully lost in the end, but left Floyd with a few cuts and bruises. Guerrero is a young talented champion. He has fought legit men in his career and is tall, lefthanded and will tower over Floyd. After being away for a full year and serving 54 days in jail, is Floyd still fast enough? He is starting to slow down, unable to get away as quick and will have to rely on his punching power soon enough. When a fighter gets old, their knees give in and their legs slow down. Guerrero is a brawler but also a smart boxer. He will keep coming and in my opinion, penetrate the defense of Floyd. If Floyd can survive, he will only be staring at superstar power puncher Saul “Canelo” Alvarez waiting for him September. Mayweather’s life will only get tougher. If he beats Guerrero and Alvarez somehow, he will retire. My feeling is he won’t retire undefeated. No Way! Toughest thing for a boxer to do is know when to say when as age becomes a factor. They only breed one Bernard Hopkins every 40 years. Floyd will run into trouble tonight. What kind of trouble? We will have to wait and see. The days of him fighting an aging Oscar De La Hoya and Shane Mosley are over. I respect his ability but I don’t like him as a person. I still hold out hope that he will lose. My hard earned money in on the red headed Mexican to deliver the blow. Tonight, Floyd wins a decision in a lot closer fight than usual. 115-112 on the cards.
That’s it. Thanks for reading and stay classy. As the recently rejuvenated actor Matthew McConaughey famously said, “Just keep livin.”
Song of the Week(or Year) is “Monument” by The Fossil Collective. Listen here. I could listen to this all day on a loop. So cool, effortless, and relaxing.
A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.
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