Buffa’s Daily Dose

Settle in because I have some explaining to do.  

 
What sucks?  Applying for jobs.  Online apps.  You try to put into words how much you could mean to a company and hopefully they get that.  In 2013, this is the way you can do it.  If you show up in person, all you do is hand over your resume and look desperate.  Applying online is the new game and its tough work.  You attach your resume yet they still want you to list out where you have worked.  It’s like they are testing your own knowledge and NO I don’t know the exact dates I started certain things.  It sucks.  Unemployment sucks because sooner or later I will get a call about a robotic warehouse job that I don’t want to do.  I will have to take it because I have a family and I can’t be choosy.  It’s amazing how hard it is to do what you love for a living and get paid for it.  
 
What’s even worse?  Weeding your baby off the pacifier.  It’s time for Vinny to lose his mouthpiece and this set off all kind of alarms last night.  Telling him he had to go to bed without it for the first time in months was about as mentally draining as it gets.  For being so short and small, the kid can hold a power over you unlike any other.  He likes to hurt himself by bashing his head into wooden doors and floors.  He dares you to yell at him while running and catching his propelling body at the same time.  Getting a kid off the bink is like getting an alcoholic off the sauce.  Withdrawals to follow.  Is there a rehab place for this yet?
 
Openers are over.  Let’s talk meaty topics and that starts and ends with the Cardinals.  I get random complaints about my overaggressive Cards discussion and I have a few words for you.   Go away.  Ask for this email to not be sent to you.  This is the heat of the summer and this is my team.  Movies, hockey and football are grand, but Baseball is king.  It always has been since my younger years.  My passion shocked and made my parents do a double take.  I watched and played so much baseball when I was young I could have went pro before the age of 8.  I am INTO IT.  It isn’t a game like it is to casual pussy whipped fans.  I run at this game head first and dare the consequences.  The Cards have an ability to mess up my nights and drive me crazy.  I let them do this.  I could turn the TV off at any time.  I could put the phone down.  However, it’s an addition and so I am hooked.  This is my blog and a place where I vent.  If 5 people get the email or 20 people get it, I really don’t care.  I crave exposure for my words but not the kind that will hinder the content for which I am suited to produce.   So when people whine about the lack of this passion when the Rams or Blues play, I have this to say.  I love those teams and feel a sense of anger when they lose(esp the Blues), but I don’t let them control my life the way the Cards do.  It’s just my team.  Everybody has one.  There it is.  
 
The Cards suffered their 4th loss in a row last night, and that is a season high streak.  They lost to the Pirates in ugly fashion.  9-1 being the final tally, but in my mind the game ended in the first inning when they Bucs scored 4 runs and started to pull the rug out from under us.  Jake Westbrook apparently can’t solve the riddle that is PNC Park and here is how his first few batters fared.  Walk, HBP, single, home run.   4-0 Pirates.   Cards killer Pedro Alvarez(Bud Norris with a bat in his hand) hammered home the nail right there.  Afterwards, Francisco Liriano shut down our bats to the tone of 1 run on 4 hits.  This a sudden disturbing trend developing here.  We won four straight at home and now have lost four straight on the road, where we were once very good.  How can the team with the best record in baseball play such contrasting brands of ball?  I will tell you why.  This offense can be shut down by good pitching and our pitching can be tromped by the right lineup.  We have collected 5 hits or less in 3 of our last 4 games.  After facing a soft July schedule up until this weekend, the Cards are running into very good teams.  The Pirates are nearly as good as them and dominated us last night.  Apparently having difficulty scoring runs didn’t appear to slow down the Bucs last night.  They pummeled our bullpen for an additional 5 runs.  Quick side note.
 
Name one reason why Fernando Salas pitches in close games.   He took over a 4-1 game with runners on base last night and gave up 3 runs.  Granted, Marc Rzepcynzski accounted for 2 runs and left guys on base but Salas poured gasoline on a burning fire.  He isn’t good anymore.  When he was gone, the bullpen stabilized and improved.  Whenever he pitched in meaningful games, the game instantly becomes hard to watch.  Everything about Salas freaks me out.  He climbs the rubber, gets the ball, rolls it out around into that split fingered grip and tries to do his job.  He is a wounded soldier.  I think his right arm is dead.  It was worn down in 2011 and never came back alive.  He is the victim of Kyle McClellan over usage.  His pitches are flat and straight and lack zip.  His breaking pitches hang.  He is hittable.  He turns winnable games into easy routes.  
 
Rzep isn’t much better.  He is good for one inning and one only.  He pitched into the 7th last night after a scoreless 6th and started to fall apart.  He didn’t spend 2 months in Memphis for nothing.  I’d dump him for a one way ticket to Branson right now.  
 
Today, the Birds play a crucial double header.   Look, my twitter feed was bombed with end of the world Cards tweets last night and I was one of them.   This team is on a big big road trip and falling behind in a bad way.  How do we expect to last into October playing baseball like this?  After getting to 25 games over .500 and embarking on a big 11 game road trip, the Cards were shut down in every way in Atlanta and sleepwalked into Pittsburgh last night.  This has to stop.  With this series ending in early August and the chance to surge ahead being now, the Cards can’t waste these games.  I won’t compare this to a 5 game series in Wrigley in 2003, but the significance is still there.  The team has to play better and win these games.  After the Pirates, we play 3 against the Reds in Cincy.  The time is now to reverse this losing trend.  The Cards are 14-20 currently against teams with a winning record.  We are facing some good teams now and ahead in the schedule.  They can be our ultimate demise or we can rediscover our winning ways.  
Quick update.  The Cards just made a series of roster moves.  They optioned previously named shitty veterans Rzep and Salas back to Memphis and recalled fresh righthanded arms in Michael Blazek, Keith Butler and Tyler Lyons, who is starting today’s nightcap.  Good moves.  Blazek and Butler are upgrades and are fresh and I am ready to see what Lyons learned down in AAA.  
 
Trade happening this week?  I think not but am open to certain deals. While a Jake Peavy deal seemed unfitting and bad for business, acquiring Cliff Lee wouldn’t be a bad idea.  Hear me out.  The Cardinals are unloading a decent amount of salary in 2014.  Carpenter, Furcal, Westbrook, Boggs, and Rzep for starters. Maybe Carlos Beltran. Even without Carlos, the four names mentioned equal Lee’s contract. The money isn’t the issue.  It’s what Philly wants in return.  Unlike in the Peavy deal, I would be willing to part with certain prospects for a pitcher of Lee’s caliber.  He is drowning with a bad team up east and deserves a shot and named the Cards as a place he’d love to play for.  Getting out of the sandbox that is Citizens Park and into Busch would sound good to most pitchers.  Cliff Lee is expensive and risky but I would be willing to buy into that because insert him into a rotation with Wainwright and this team is unbeatable in a 5 game set.  Lee is having a great year with a team that doesn’t hit.  Imagine what he could do here.  I would be willing to part with Carlos Martinez and/or Michael Wacha along with Joe Kelly and a hitting prospect like Brock Petersen to get him.  Phillies need pitching and that is who they would target.  While I love Martinez’s upside, I know that the Cardinals farm system is ranked #1 in the majors.  If it is as deep as regarded, we will be fine.  Cliff Lee isn’t ancient and is under contract for years to come.  Yes, it’s risky to assume so much money but being placed in a pitcher’s ballpark and good offense like we got, the Lee deal isn’t too bad.  At least it wouldn’t be a rental.  I am not saying we need to make this deal.  I am saying the Cards should really consider it if the two sides can meet.  Cliff Lee could make our rotation as dangerous as our lineup.  
 
Humanity strikes.  Allen Craig has reached earth.  He is being tamed by this pitching as well and swinging at stuff he hasn’t offered at since his first 2 months on the club 2 years ago.  After being on a tear for what seemed like 3 months, Craig is suddenly struggling.  He is 0-17 in his past 5 games, including 8 strikeouts.  The kid is finding trouble and its just part of the game.  Hopefully he starts to mash soon.  
 
The Cards RISP hitting is suddenly hitting a serious wall.  They are leaving hitters on and suddenly lack the big hit.  With 2 on and a chance to get back in the game last night, Pete Kozma came to the plate instead of a big righty bat off the bench.  If Mozelaik does anything I would love a RH power bat off the bench.  Someone who can strike fear in a pitcher’s heart.  This is why I wanted Brock Petersen to stay and Robb Johnson to go back to Memphis unless Yadi’s knee was still unstable.  
 
This team kills me daily and does it slowly.  It’s a long 162 game season and every day is a chance to realign your tolerance for heartbreak.   What happens next?  Will the Birds respond and take this doubleheader and take back control of the division?  Or will we continue to fall and wake up tomorrow in second place?  Only time will tell and I can’t wait.
 
TV Quick Dose-Newsroom remains a powerful hour of sophisticated brilliantly written and acted television.  Dexter remains in a stand still as it awaits its final hours of life.  True Blood just needs to die because its getting cartoonish.  Banshee DVD/Blu Ray is available today and I strongly suggest you kick some money at it and give it a shot.  
 
Song of the Day-“I See Monsters” by Ryan Adams.  Sweet, soulful bluesy track about the deadliest of inner demons.  
 
What else?  Not much.  Right now, I am done talking.  Feel free to respond.
 
Sincerely,
 
DLB
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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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