The Latest Dose of Material

Sunday is where all the thoughts from the head fire out in random order and I just let it rip here.  No order, no restriction and all unplugged prose.   Let’s jump right in. 

 
*The Cards have the best record in baseball and are regarded as the strongest club.  That is without 3 members of their rotation, their 2012 closer, and shortstop.  It never gets old to remind the non followers that our team’s pitching depth is something to be reckoned with not just at the moment but for years to come.   We are 40-22 with rookie pitchers accounting for a third of the wins and a former journeyman reliever(Mujica) collecting 19 saves.  We lead the Reds by 3 games after Saturday’s loss, which I will talk about in a minute because it is cutting into my nerves at the moment.   The Cards are getting production from unexpected spots in the lineup.  David Freese is having a resurgence with a 18 game hitting streak.   Matt Carpenter is among the best leadoff men in baseball and playing a new flawless second base.  Mujica and his saves.  The most ridiculous feat the team has pulled off is hitting with runners in scoring position. They are hitting .405 in those situations and are killer when it happens with 2 outs.  This club is breaking through in areas that previous Cardinals teams could not.  They hit into a lot of double plays but get a lot more big hits.  They own the best fielding percentage in baseball and have made the fewest errors at 19.  Just a few of the things that make my team stronger than ever at the moment.  
 
*Saturday’s loss was digestible.  Matt Latos has beat us three times this season, shutting down our bats and being the Cards only route to getting the best of us.  On Saturday he did it again and handed Aromis Chapman a 4-2 lead in the 9th.  Pete Kozma doubled and Chapman hit Matt Carpenter with two outs to bring up Carlos Beltran.  The ideal Cardinal fan said to himself, “here they go again”.   Beltran grounded sharply to third base and a wild throw seemed to pull Joey Votto off the bag at first base.  To the naked eye, the foot was OFF the bag.  Umpire Phil Cozzi called him out.  Cardinal nation called bullshit.  Votto was off the bag, Beltran was safe and the bases should have been loaded for Matt Holliday.  Instead, the Reds won and evened the series.  This just can’t happen.  Let me elaborate.  
 
*Balls and strikes calls are debatable because its pure judgement.  Each team is given their fair share of breaks in a game.  However, a bad call that decides the game just can’t happen.  Something needs to be done to rectify this.  Earlier in the season, a home run wasn’t ruled correctly and a game was turned over.  Last night, The Cards weren’t guaranteed a tie game but deserved the chance to take their best shot.  Cuzzi’s main problem was staring at the throw going into Votto’s glove instead of his foot.  Why didn’t he at least ask the other umpires for their thoughts?  Chris Maloney, Beltran and Mike Matheny all went nuts because they saw the foot was clearly off the bag.   All this means is the umpires get defended for human error and their flawed abilities again.  What needs to happen is an expansion of instant replay.  Something needs to stop this injustice.  It would have taken 10 seconds on a reply television to see the foot was off the bag and play needed to continue.  I don’t particularly like instant replay and all its hassle, but this has to be stopped.  The NFL and NHL incorporate it.  The NBA doesn’t share too much of a need for it.  MLB needs it.  Home run calls are fine but plays at first are getting worse.  Does the name Jim Joyce ring a bell?  His horrible call at first base robbed a pitcher of a perfect game.  Last night the Cards were robbed of the chance to come back.   Bad news for the human element.  It’s not a machine takeover.  It’s common sense and technological expansion.
 
*Who’s ready for the Game of Thrones finale tonight?  After last week’s Red Wedding Stark massacre, who dies this time and how does the wickedly compelling third season draw itself to a close?  Can it all be fit into an hour?  In reality, no way but that’s all HBO dishes out.   I can only hope some Lannister is mistreated, killed, or left in painful regard by a competing rival.  Except for Jaime Lannister, my favorite anti-hero on TV and my personal fave on the show, the rest of that family can be destroyed.  Well, save Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion as well.   Non Thrones fans won’t understand a bit of this nonsense so bare with me.  
 
*The Internship is a dull unfunny film that ranks as another dud in the recent arsenal of Vince Vaughn.  Two old salesmen gunning for jobs at Google isn’t a horrible idea but dealt with in the most cliche boring fashion.   Pass it up.  
 
*Watching Man of Steel on Tuesday and excited for the next reincarnation of Superman.  Superman Returns was a bland take on the character and ultimately forgettable.  The X-Factor this time.  The close involvement of Christopher Nolan, who reinvented the Batman mythology and put his hand on the shoulder of visual wizard filmmaker Zach Snyder here.  With a game cast and a deeper look at the alien turned superhero, a thinking man’s blockbuster is in order.   This film could take over 2013 with its follow through.  
 
*Listening to few covers this week.   Johnny Cash covering U2’s “One” in what must have been a busy last year of life for the man in black.  He seemed to cover every well known song in his later years.   It’s a strong cover.  Cash treats it like a mechanic.  Strips it down for rebuilding and slowly trudges through it for unknown sparks until it’s his own machine.  Also taking in “500 Miles” by a young band called Sleeping at Last.  Here, a fast rock ballad is slowed down to a crawl and for good reason.  The hidden gem lyrics are finally exposed.  Good tune.  Look them up.  
 
*Adonis Stevenson, a light middleweight heavy puncher, collected the most stunning and convincing victories last night.  With one punch in the first round, he knocked out champ Chad Dawson and won a title.   That is still the most brutal and blunt win in sports.  A one punch KO.  Apparently, he put his straight left fist through his head.  Easy to watch.  Not that long.  Check it out on ESPN.  
 
*Tonight my fellow film-addicts are shooting a video for the site that will hopefully play in front of a handful of theaters in St. Louis.   This could be a big batch of exposure for our young yet strong site.  Videos are so easy to watch and enjoy that the attention is easy to hook.   It’s a 15 second dose so hopefully it comes out complete and fun to watch.  A first for me.  
 
*Twitter gets better and better.  If you use it, you love it.  If you don’t, you loathe it.  For others it just exists.  It’s a lot more than simply posting what you’re doing.  It’s the new form of journalism where you can get on, pound out a thought in 140 characters and connect with people you never met.  I find it to be incredibly invigorating.  Facebook is fine but dying slowly by the day.   Twitter is more private, precise and hands on.   I have connected with actors, sports fans, long lost family and even fellow Buffa’s that I have no relation to but tracked down anyway.  It’s a fun area to play with.  
 
*Manny Pacquiao needs to brutally defeat Brandon Rios in October and avenge his loss to Juan Marquez in order to have any shot at Floyd Mayweather Jr. or in a more simpler case, full redemption.   The loss to Tim Bradley was unjust but set up Pac Man’s one punch loss to Marquez.   The Filipino puncher needs to collect a couple wins before he is considered dangerous again.  
 
*Canelo may not beat Floyd in September, but he will hit him and hurt him.  Bet on that.  Alvarez isn’t just a puncher anymore.  In his win over Austin Trout, he proved that he could box as well.  
 
*All politicians are full of shit and lies, but I think Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, is trying to clean up a violent city and doing his best.  He is cutthroat and brutal in some aspects, but is sincerely trying to change things.  It’s never easy.  Hence the bullshit and lying. 
 
*Here’s a quick response to my main correspondence adviser “Chicago Mang” about the Cardinals surge that perfectly sums up their flight. 
**That’s the greatest thing about the Cards and something I expand on in my blog(being composed right now).   The team is doing this without Carp, Garcia, Motte, Furcal and Westbrook.   A batch of young talent is carrying this team through an important part of the season and I believe Chris Carpenter will be that X-Factor in July.  He will be able to pitch the 7th, start a game of even close.  The most important thing is seeing how far Carp Jr. and Mujica can run.  Their contributions so far are ridiculous.  A pure bred lead off hitter with some pop and a step in closer who is perfect so far.   The games the team have lost lately are close battles.   Take last night.  Chapman was having troubles and with one swing Holliday ties the game or gives us the lead.  The Boggs demolition marathon game was ours to take.  
 
The gap will be expanded with our inner division record which is strong.  We have taken care of the Reds and Pirates head to head.  I also want a dominant end but will be content following this team week by week.  I would love to see a 20 games + over .500 finish.   You don’t have to pull the starters in August when 2/5 of your current slate are on the mend in Carp and Westbrook.   Lyons and Wacha are providing valuable balance right now and even Siegrist and Maness are proving to be difference makers.   Proof that we don’t need broken arms like Boggs, Salas, Rzep in the coming years.  The next 5-10 years of this Cardinals team is full of bright young talent that is contributing already at the MLB level.  Taveras and Wong aren’t even here yet.”
 
We could be witnessing something profound, folks.  
 
*Mad Men isn’t as showy or flashy with the blood as Thrones or other shows but there’s a quiet intoxicating factor that hooks me to that program.   1960’s dreamer ad salesmen with a death wish and an urge to be blunt about everything.   Jon Hamm and John Slattery are superb but the rest of the cast is also top rate.  Matthew Weiner is spinning a tale that will have a compelling and complete resolution.   Trust me.  
 
I can’t think of anything else worthy to add and time is running out before my evening kicks in.  Thanks for reading and feel free to tell me I suck, need to discuss a certain topic or just plain go away.  The last one I can promise won’t happen but the next dose may bring a bigger bang.  Until then…
 
Goodnight and good luck,
 
D. Buffa
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Author: D. Buffa

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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