Open Fire Session

It’s time to let the hands go and unleash the greatest blog in the history of cyber net writers.  Well, not really.  Just a collection of words from a guy whose only tool is blunt truth.  Here we go with no Pitbull included.  I have been dealing single subject blogs for a few weeks but this one is all over the place.  Special and intact.  Starting with my Redbird Stress Burners….

Cards Talk Central-10 Things About My Team
*Say what you want about John Mozelaik’s scarf collection but the man knows how to brew up some young pitching.  11 of the Cards 31 wins this season have come from the rookie arms on our staff.  Tyler Lyons came up from Memphis(where Tiger Blood is being served daily) and flung seven solid innings on the road in San Diego.  John Gast won two starts before coming out of tonight’s game with a sore shoulder.  Seth Maness has been putting out fires in the 6th and 7th innings before getting tagged tonight.  Carlos Martinez is striking everybody out.  Mo took over as GM in 2007 and promised this team would build from within.  While the LA Dodgers place manager Don Mattingley on a pressurized timebomb in LA with a 211 million dollar payroll, the Cards stroll along with the leagues best record at 31-17 and behind a 110 million dollar staff.  Let’s take a closer look at that 110 million budget.
*The team lost Rafael Furcal to Tommy John surgery in February, so that’s 7 million being picked up by the insurance.  Jason Motte went down with Tommy John Surgery earlier this month, so that’s another 2.5 million.  Chris Carpenter had a dead arm until last month, so we will see how much of the 10 million he earns.  Jaime Garcia pitched solid for a month and a half before going down for season ending shoulder surgery so there is 7 more million added to the heap.  Jake Westbrook has hit a brick wall twice on his return from elbow inflammation, so his 9 million is hanging in the air.  Add it all up and right now we have 35 million in salary hanging around the 60 day DL or the full season bench list.  Tonight, Gast left after six hitters with shoulder tightness so expect ANOTHER move to happen in the next few days.  
*This team can only resist the Michael Wacha urge for so long.  I have heard the defense moves by the local scribes.  Starting his free agent clock.  Bringing him up to stay.  Yeah, I get all of that but right now you are burning pitchers like dollar bills at a strip club so its time to pull the trigger and bring the Wachanator up here.  Quick nickname drop there, take it or leave it.  He can’t be any worse than Garcia after a missed call or a error behind him.  He’s blowing hitters away in Memphis and my rule is when he doesn’t have much to prove down there and there is a need here bring him up.  Judging by the first two months, the rookies in this farm system know how to pitch up here so make the move Mo so we can keep singing your praises amid your Machiato intake at Starbucks.  
*Carlos Beltran is raking and aiming for another big season.   Oscar Taveras is hitting decent down in Memphis so this brings up the future look at the outfield situation in 2014.   If Beltran rides out an even better season than last year, do you try to pull him back on a 1 year deal and keep Oscar in developmental phase or move Jon Jay to a 4th outfielder and ditch Shane Robinson once and for all?  Juicy question that is premature so pardon me a glance here into the looking glass.  Beltran tired out last year in the final months before revving it up in October.  He is a force when cranking. Oscar is the best prospect in baseball but you never know when MLB action takes over.  This all hinges on Beltran taking a one year deal here in 2014 because he could cash in on a 2-3 year deal as a DH in the American League.  Just putting it out there that I would support keeping Beltran here another season if he wants to, especially since we are breaking off the Westbrook and Furcal contracts after the year ends.  
*Expect Kolten Wong to make an appearance at Busch before August.  The kid is lighting up Memphis pitching and getting on base a ton.  Matt Carpenter is playing solid at second and David Freese is coming alive with his bat with DD on the bench but Wong will present the team with uncomfortable yet good questions in the coming months.  The job is his in 2014 but he may be here sooner.
*Chris Carpenter could be facing hitters this week and going to Memphis in 2 weeks.  This is an amazing story that only gets better with each positive report.  Three months ago he was done for good and now he is pumping 85 pitches per session and looking better every time.  With the starting pitcher troubles, Carp’s 9th comeback from the pitching reaper could be perfect timing.  If all goes well, he fills Garcia’s spot.  One last hurrah would be good no matter how the ending plays out.  I want some more Carp!
*Ty Wiggington came to the plate tonight as our final hope.  I would have preferred a gun and a shot of whiskey over that fat over the hill turd who is hitting .170.  He is 2 million dollars of wasted space.  Make Shane look like gold.  He is officially Roger Dorn in Major League 2.
*Daniel Descalso does a good job as a utility player and I support Bernie’s fine words on him in his Friday blog.  A lot of fans shit on him because of his .220 average when they forget he is officially a backup with Carp Jr. at second and Freese a mainstay at third.   DD had a couple huge hits in SD, plays great defense and is a very good team player.  He is Skip with more grease and a real beard.  However, if Wong keeps heating up, the uncomfortable decision making may lead Mike Matheny and his staff to look at Descalso’s name.  
*By the way, Matheny is doing a great job in his 2nd year.  Tip a cap friends.  He has been through the ringer his first two years, taking over the job from a legend after the team wins a World Series and loses its biggest star while suffering major injuries.  Matheny almost took us to to the World Series in 2012 and is holding strong with another dish of injury fated misery in 2013.  There’s something to be said here for a guy who got a lot of bad press after being given the Cards skipper job without any experience.  So far, with the expected hiccups and bad decision making here and there, he is doing a damn fine job.
*Tonight’s game was a rough loss but digestible for a few reasons.  When you lose your starting pitcher after 3 outs are recorded, your chances of winning go down the tubes.  Gast left, and the ill prepared Joe Kelly managed to fire off 4 innings and allow only a single run.  Adrian Gonzalez had 3 big hits, Nick Punto helped beat his old team and Matheny sent out his biggest mistake as a manager, Mitchell Boggs to the mound in a one run game.  Just enough madness to spare.  Boggs coming into a close game is like pouring gasoline on a burning building.  It’s bad news.  Matheny continues to cling to this broken pitcher.  MM took a quality setup man in Boggs, pushed him into an ill advised spot as the closer and the young pitcher snapped.  I don’t think Boggs will ever be right again.  He is trade bait this July if any takers grows a pair of balls.  The Expendables right now are Wiggington, Rzep(roughed up in Memphis), Boggs, Salas and DD.  
That’s all for now.  On to other things of relatively lower importance.
*Hint Time-Stop calling the Cardinals’ fans the best in baseball.  It just brings on unneeded wrath.   No team has the best fans.  It’s a bullshit moniker to throw on a franchise.  We are as bitchy and second guess vengeful as any other team’s supporters.  We are lucky to have a team that competes every season.   Take LA for example.  3/4 of those fans don’t even know who is playing third base as their ownership attempts to buy a World Series.  Nice try Magic.  Just because we cheer hard doesn’t make us the best.  
*The Blues can take a look at the Boston Bruins as an example of talented players coming together in a nucleus of gritty winning style for future reference on what it takes to win.   Instead of relying on their own tendencies and playing a singular game of hockey on the ice, the Bruins players bypass ego craters and display a selflessness that can’t be taught.  There are no true stars on the Bruins or at least there isn’t an Ovechkin or Crosby.  However they knocked off the Rangers in 5 games today to advance to the Conference finals where they will take on the Penguins.  My bet is they get by them in 7 hard fought games or die trying because they go hard for 60 minutes and their goaltender doesn’t choke in big spots.  When will the Blues take a look in the mirror and realize their young nucleus of overrated young players(Oshie, Berglund, Perron) won’t win them a Cup?  Hopefully soon, guys, I am graying up a little in the beard.
*Mad Men had its best episode of the season on Sunday when the entire staff got drugged up with adrenaline from a special doctor and was up all night writing ads for Chevy.   There isn’t a better sight than watching Jon Hamm running mad around the office on no sleep ranting about ideas with a gallon of scotch in him and the ripping desire to cheat on his wife going through his head.  There are mad souls on this show who do very bad things but they are so addicting to watch we respect them anyway.  Writer and creator Matthew Weiner let it go in this hour.
*Game of Thrones is having a solid third season.  It’s too hard to explain the latest developments in this ever growing plot so I will only say that I am moving from Team Stark to Team Lannister slowly but surely.   Look, the Starks are the noble warrior family that does everything so clean and right that rooting for the bad bunch of Lannisters is more energetic and fun.  Take Jaime Lannister for example.  He is known as a swordsman who stabbed a king in the back and fucks his sister and has fathered all her children.  However, this third season has shined a light on his story and while he is far from perfect, he isn’t an evil man and has layers.  The Lannister’s King is ruthless and played by Charles Dance and Peter Dinklage is amazing as Tyrion, the bastard child.  I am taken aback by the actors in the roles so give me that little small bit of leverage there.  There are the fans who adore the books and I haven’t read a single page of them.  This show is another addiction.
*The new show I am looking forward to the most is Showtime’s Ray Donovan.   First, it stars the undeniably talented and underrated Liev Schreiber(featured in Film-Addict’s Character Actor Spotlight today) and he is most deserving of a leading role.  Second, the supporting cast is strong and Jon Voight is a member of it.  No one plays a estranged, sinful shitty father better than Voight.  Third, the plot is gritty and simple.  Schreiber’s Donovan is a Hollywood fixer whose life is turned upside down when his long time grudge holding father is released from jail.  With his life already diced in small chunks of misery, his father’s arrival just increases the flames.  Think of a tornado ripping through a family and you have Ray’s predicament.  It all makes for great drama and it will play after Dexter’s 8th and final season this summer.  This show looks like a keeper.  Here’s a sneak peek.
The song in the trailer is played by Dead Man’s Bones, led by none other than the supremely talented actor Ryan Gosling.  Apparently, in 2009, he started a band with one other guy and produced an album.  The song is called “Lose Your Soul”.  It’s pretty good.  Add him to the club of celebrities who think they can sing and are actually halfway right in their thinking.
*Every day my son gets bigger, smarter and more ambitious. I look at him and see so much of me.  I just hope he does better than me.  That’s always the hope for a father.  You look at your kid and want him to achieve more.  Granted, I still have a lot of life left and a couple avenues of opportunity to hit it big if I am smart and lucky(Film-Addict, my writing) but Vinny has to be greater.  I won’t place the weight of the world on his shoulders but I will tell him there is a difference between having to work until you are 70 and being able to to retire when you are 50.  I hope he does great.  He is my prodigy.
Transitioning here into even more random areas as I crack open my second Bud Select.  
*Carl Froch and Mikael Kessler beat the shit out of each other on HBO Boxing today and Froch won a well deserved decision.  It was 12 rounds of war and deserves a look from any real boxing fan.  The sport is far from dead and these guys are another reminder of it.  They got into the ring with the intent to do damage and provided some entertainment.  If you have HBO, watch it. If not, just imagine a Brit beating the shit out of a brawler from Denmark in Nottingham and both leaving with cuts and bruises.  Solid hand to hand combat.
*Fast & Furious 6 is exactly what a summer film should be.  Loud, exciting, non stop action and full of eye candy.  It’s not high art.  Just good old fashioned fun and boy does this film deliver.  Vin Diesel and The Rock were put on this earth to kick ass and look good doing it.  There’s a teaser in the credits for Part 7 and let’s just say another one of my action heroes will be playing the bad guy in the next installment.  
*The Hangover 3 is a mistake and plays like a direct to DVD retread.   Todd Phillips listened to his fans and shuffled the deck too much and forgot to sprinkle in the sharp edged comedy that I am used to in a Hangover movie.  I liked Part 2 because I expected it to be the same exact story only set in Bangkok.  This addition feels forced and plays like a bland showcasing for moneymaking. Skip it.
*Rent Jack Reacher, Silver Linings Playbook or Broken City.  Two of them are solid and one is an absolute gem.
*Running into Know It All Car people is bad news for me.  I know very little about cars except for engines and transmissions are the heart and soul while the tires make it a smooth trip and the more horses the faster your car will gallop.  Just got told that Mustangs and Chargers kind of suck tonight it came from a kid who was working at Starbucks so I basically wrote it off.  How many engineers work with foam all night?  I pleaded the fifth, grabbed my 4 shot Americano and went home.  
*The Rams aren’t going to LA but they may get a new stadium in St. Louis if their owner decides to help the city build it.  Stan Kroneke needs to show interest for the project to get done.  Also, after seeing the packed house of Busch Stadium for a soccer match between Chelsea and Manchester City, the incorporation of an MLS team into that new stadium for the Rams could help a lot.  STL has a strong following of soccer fans that filled up our baseball cathedral on Thursday and even had this relatively casual and barely intense soccer fan watching from start to finish.  I would be in support of a soccer team coming to St. Louis and see an open stadium being built in Earth City sometime in the next 5 years.  
*A treadmill and punching bag in my basement could keep me from beating up several drivers and other people I come into close contact with.   Cardio and fitness help save lives everyday.  Caffeine as well.
*Every job has its issues and bright spots.   My job at Bommarito Wines in Brentwood has its usual warehouse malfunctions but for the most part is a decent gig.  The atmosphere is loose, the women in the office are nagging yet non threatening and I get to wear headphones and fill my head with tunes and movies all day while I pick orders.  I didn’t envision doing this when I was 16 but it will do for now while Film-Addict grows.  
Speaking of my growing site, there are things coming up.  In the middle of June, we shoot a 15 second video that will play in four theaters in St. Louis.  Galleria, Chase, Moolah and The new MX Theaters downtown.  Second, we are bringing in local advertisers to the site.  Third, we are gaining access to stars and directors for interviews.   It’s a lot of work but a passion project that may hit big one day.  Joblo was started by a kid in his mother’s basement and now generates 2 million per year.  That site and other sites hit big right around the time that internet was beginning to explode so we are behind the ball a little but I believe with the right exposure and willing investor, our big moment is right around the corner.  We have been around for 1 year now so progress is being made.  Check out the site and get your fill of movie news.
That’s all I got tonight.   Have a good holiday.  Tomorrow, Shelby Miller takes on Clayton Kershaw in LA and it will be a pitching showcase for the ages.   In my opinion, Miller will have a better career than Steven Strasburg because he has great stuff and an ability to shut down teams.  We will have to wait and see.  
Goodnight and good luck,

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