Quick Hits on Independence Day

Hey ladies and gents,

I’m bringing the heat on the holiday.  Ready, set, fire away…
  • STL Cards facing Joe Blanton.  This guy is as average as a diner’s coffee.  He’s 2-10, carries a 5.07 ERA, has allowed 126 hits in 97 innings and given up 17 bombs.  Basically, tee ball for the Cards tonight.  Fireworks indeed.  I know I could be throwing a jinx on our boys but if they don’t score at least 4-5 off this dope, something is rotting. Let Holliday DH, get back in there, and sit down the poorly struggling Pete Kozma for Descalso.  
  • Wrote a piece on the underrated character actor Mark Strong for Film-Addict’s character actor spotlight, which publishes Saturday.  Check out these weekly doses.  They spotlight the faces we all know yet never know the name.  Well, unless you’re a nut like me.  Strong is a very talented Brit who does fine work and likes playing bad guys.  Still fuzzy on the face.  Check the attachment.  For the soccer fans, he is a diehard Arsenal fan and was giddy to play a soccer nut in one of his films.  So there is that angle for you to pursue.  Just a notification of my website movie marvel work.  
  • I hate it when I get a 20 ounce coffee and let it go cold.  Heating it up is like placing a egg or fried rice in the microwave.  It’s never coming back the same.  From now on, this guy is getting a smaller size and smashing it. 
  • Nelson Mandela is going to leave us soon.  He is in a vegetative state and has been taken off life support.  The legendary humanitarian fought every brand of force in his day and spent a good portion of his life in a square cell and dug rock.  He came out and wanted to help others, including the ones who put him in prison.  The unstoppable force finally met an immovable object.  Truly good man.
  • I am interviewing Virginia Madsen, the sister of Reservoir Dog Michael Madsen on Monday evening for her new film.  I will be talking to her over the phone.  This is my 2nd phone interview and another cool step for Film-Addict.  
  • Watching some fireworks in Webster Groves tonight.  I don’t lose my mind over these events but my wife loves them and Vinny will surely get a kick out of colorful explosives in the sky.  
  • The Blues would be wise to deal from their 3 goalie collection.  Jaro Halak has playoff success 4 years ago but now can’t stay healthy.  Brian Elliot is a proven backup who can play for a period of games yet can’t stay strong in the playoffs for more than a series.  Jake Allen is the future but may be too raw to play 60-65 games.  Good problem to have for Doug Armstrong.  We will see.  Since Halak has the most value and him and Hitchcock are feuding, I’d trade him and let Allen and Elliot duke it out.  
  • Good to see Shelby Miller increase the velocity on his FB and pitch a solid 6 innings in LA last night.  I expect a Jaime like 6 innings every time out until he can be more sharp with his pitches and not gun for the strikeout so often.  Young pitchers wants to dominate so bad they forget about democracy.  
  • Jake Westbrook could be an arm to watch.  Since his return from elbow soreness, he has been quite rough.  If he goes down, you call up Carlos Martinez.
  • Albert Pujols is 0-8 with a walk through two games.  Just as I predicted.  I like the guy but will let him unleash his mistake power on other teams.   He looks hurt and a fraction of his previously dominant self.  He may be 33 years old on his VISA but he looks 46 years old out there right now.  The Angels would be wise to sit AP down, get some surgery done on the foot and knee and get him right for September-October or more realistically, April 2014.   He has 8 years left on a deal that I feel won’t be completed and one that he will walk away from.  Or else Arte Moreno can go buy another bat or instead play the stock market with his millions.  The Angels are building a team in the wrong way.   As Bernie Miklasz said in his column this morning, they could take a page from the Cardinals and keep some of their young talent.  They traded the AS shortstop Jean Segura for Zach Greinke last July.  They traded Tyler Skaggs and Patrick Corbin(both top rotation starters in the near future, especially Corbin) as well and handed AP and Josh Hamilton 375 million dollars.   STUPID.  
  • The Cards’ biggest contract is Matt Holliday and that only has 3 years left on it and Holliday will bring justification to it.  Waino, Yadi and Craig were signed to modest 5 and 6 year deals.  Our team isn’t giving away money(unless you count future bus driver Ty Wiggington) in huge amounts.  We are smart.  The LA Angels need to reset their clock.  It may be too late.
  • Watched last 10 minutes of Saving Private Ryan last night and as my wife pointed out, there isn’t a better film to watch before Independence Day.  She was watching the whole thing for the first time.  It’s cool to sit with someone as they see a legendary film for the first time.  The ending of that movie gets me every time.  The battle in the small town in Germany.  The whisper from Hanks to Damon.  The look on Burns’ face, and the Abe quote and salute at the grave.  Spielberg’s crowning achievement.
  • I can only hope the fierce Mexican champ Canelo Alvarez gives Floyd Mayweather Jr. all he can handle in September.  I can’t wait for the pre-fight Showtime series(yet I miss the 24/7 episodes with Liev Schreiber and Floyd letting his wicked personality loose).   This fight is as good as it gets.  A young undefeated battle tested power puncher against an old undefeated defensive pro.   Boxing is alive and well if you look close enough.  
  • Song of the Day-“Tree to Grow” by the fine new band The Lone Bellow.  
That’s it.  Thanks for reading.  
Happy 4th of July. Be safe and have fun. 
Yours truly,
Dan L. Buffa 

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