Saturday Stream of Consciousness

Don’t take these words personal.  It’s just one man’s opinion.   The stream of consciousness begins now.  Anyone who prefers perfect structure in their blog reading may want to jump ship right now.  Bringing it via the bullet point.

Sports

  • The Cards haven’t scored a run in 18 innings of play and nearly 4 days.  Think of all the stuff you have done since the Cards last scored on Tuesday night.   Mind boggling. Let that one settle into your cerebellum.  After winning 5 of 6 from the Braves and Reds, the bats have gone silent and our pitching has been bruised.  Adam Wainwright sent fans into a saber-metrics investigation with his 9 earned runs allowed performance and Shelby Miller had a lot of issues with Garrett Jones last night in Pittsburgh.   Jones had been struggling this month before collecting 4 RBI against our young gun.   Francisco Liriano is making the Pirates look like lottery winners with his 3 shutdown performances against the Cards and overall record.  When he pitches, it looks like a golf ball is being thrown towards the plate.  There are times in the season where the ball resembles a beach sized water toy.   Against Liriano, the Cards bats are powerless.  It’s a good thing we faced the familiar A.J. Burnett tonight and a rookie on Sunday.   It’s hard to accept two brutal losses in a row but remember the important part.  Against every Pirates starter other than Liriano, the Cards have done well in their last three Bucs matchups.  There is hope.  In baseball, bad things come in pairs.
  • A fresh question is asking which Lance Lynn will show up today.   The troubled young mentally disturbed hurler hasn’t been that solid in his past 3 starts and needs to settle the score tonight.   If baserunners reach and an umpire doesn’t tie a bow around every pitch Lynn throws, a problem may surface.  How will Lynn handle it?  His biggest demon is himself on a mound in hot temperatures.  One thing people haven’t pointed out often enough is the effect of the temperature on Lynn’s pitching.  Sure he has lost weight this season but stats show that the big man doesn’t fare well in the heat of the summer.  Hot temperatures make certain athletes lose their edge a little, and the sophisticated practices of pitchers make them a prime candidate for mental instability.   How does Lynn finish the season?  It’s about time he takes command of his role on this team before it evaporates.  Don’t get too lost in his win total because it’s misleading.  Take away the 6.2 runs per start of support and his record would be a lot different.
  • Hottest Cardinal hitter?  NOT PETE KOZMA.   I won’t take shots at poor Pete.  He is the most picked on Cardinal since Tino Martinez flunked out at first base and popped up to third base more than any free agent acquisition ever.   Pete is being put into the lineup and doing his best.  He is a .215 hitter and won’t improve unless the minor league guy with the voodoo beads from Bull Durham pays him a visit.  What are the other options?  Ryan Jackson should be here this next week.   He has barely gotten an ounce of opportunity so he needs to see some time at short because he offers the same quality of defense and his bat can’t do any worse than Pete’s.   There’s the wild card in Greg Garcia, who has risen through the ranks of the Cards minor league system, can play shortstop and is hitting well at the moment.  If you are a playoff bound team, a manager can’t put Kozma into this lineup.  Daniel Descalso’s defense isn’t good enough and his bat is streaky so a new body is needed.  Put a new band aide at shortstop.
  • Where would the Cardinals be without Matt Carpenter, Edward Mujica, and Allen Craig’s newfound production this season?  No offense to the true MVP in Yadi, but without those three redefining unlikely results, the Cards are in 3rd place easily right now.  This is the Obvious But Still Credible Statement section.
  • Changing sports, Tim Tebow was released today by the New England Patriots.   Look, I am a Tebow supporter(minus the god worship) but at this point, he may consider changing positions if he wants to play in the NFL for a living.  Sure, he could catch on somewhere else and hold a clipboard in the hope that a starting QB’s knee would be trampled and his backup would get hit by a bus, but the realistic chances for the former Gator Wonder Boy is to consider tight end or fullback.  Why not?  Give it a shot.  I will never forget what he did in Denver.  He took a 1-4 Broncos team and took them to the playoffs and made 4 miraculous comebacks.   He made 3 precise and beautiful throws to upend the Super Bowl probable Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs.  Then, the Colts released Peyton Manning, John Elway got a stiffy, pulled in Manning, and Tebow was tossed to the curb.  The Jets, one of the team’s Tebow came back and beat in the 2011 season, traded for him.   Rex Ryan refused to play the guy even when Mark Sanchez forgot which jersey he was throwing to and got hurt.  Instead of entertaining your fanbase with an exciting player, Rex stuck with someone else and Tebow spent a whole season on the sidelines.   Ask me what should have been done and I will say once the Jets knew they were out of the playoffs, it was time to pack the house, rip up the playbook and hand the ball to Tebow.   Why not?  Anyway, The Patriots brought in Tebow this summer but he didn’t play well at all and got released today.   If he doesn’t want to switch positions, then Tim may want to understand that his dream of leading another team in this league could be over.  He isn’t getting any younger and when the Jacksonville Jaguars coach overruled the ownership(who spotted dollar signs in hometown kid Tebow) and refused to sign Tebow, things looked dim for the guy.  If he doesn’t want to switch, please become a coach and not a commentator.   Tebow is an inspirational story who never said a bad word about a coach or other player when he was refused the opportunity.   He is a winner with an emotional maniac intensity on the sideline.  Young players will look up to this guy and may run through a wall for him.  Sooner or later, if he wants to keep his pride and not switch positions, Tebow will be forced with a choice.  I hope he decides to become a coach.   I haven’t played football since high school and I would strap on pads right now and do drills under his command.   Sports is a business and a tough reality but there’s always opportunity if you are smart.  Tebow Rant over.
  • The Rams have a legit shot to win 8 games this year.   Decently soft schedule and an improved younger roster of talented skilled players.   If we can find a way to run the ball, Sam Bradford has a healthy array of WR targets to hit.   The defense is back and strong.  The coaching is only more knowledgeable of their staff and players.   I don’t think the Rams make the playoffs but I do think we reach 8 wins for the first time 2006.
  • Teemu Selanne is coming back to the NHL to his most expected location.   The Anaheim Ducks.   This was a given for any NHL fan.  Selanne likes the Ducks organization and its near his California base and is a team he hasn’t left in quite some time.   I’ve had a faint wish that Selanne would suddenly chose to come to St. Louis because he is exactly what the Blues need.  A feared experienced outsider who can SCORE.   Selanne can still light the lamp 25-30 times and give you a presence that benefits other players.  He has a shot at 700 goals with his comeback(25 needed) and it’s hard not to root for him.  He is one of the last action hero goal scorers in hockey who can still be efficient.  He refuses to get hurt and is one of the coolest cats off the ice.  A wicked accent to boot.  My heart longs for Teemu but he will spend one more season as a DUCK.
  • With all the injuries the NFL has seen this preseason, the Rams made it out okay.  Roger Saffold went down but there are bookies in Vegas who had bets and odds on that already happening.   A lot of NFL teams lost impact wide receivers, offensive lineman and tackles.   The Jets may have lost Sanchez but that is just a week or two early.  The preseason and 2 a day practice zones of July and August provides a lot of opportunity for dark days in training camp.    Luckily, the Rams made it out unscathed.

Movies-The Latest Crumbs from my site, film-addict.com

  • What to see this weekend?  Closed Circuit.  A sly, tightly paced, and well acted British thriller that focuses on government surveillance.  The movie is smart enough to know that this is a real problem and put on a fine exhibit here in this deadly courtroom story.   Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall star but Jim Broadbent has the juiciest scenes.
  • What not to see this weekend?  Getaway.   Alana Hammonds, a critic for my site and a soul I trust, called the movie a horrible experience.   She urges movie goers to leave this one in the “maybe” department.   A throwaway action film with little intrigue.  Her review is better than my setup.  I promise you.  It’s on the site.
  • Do you know the character actor, Adam Scott?  By face you do.  By name, you have no clue.  Read more about him in our character actor spotlight.
  • DVD pick of the week.  MUD, the latest bullet in Matthew McConaughey’s comeback train.   A beautiful film about two kids and their connection with a mysterious wanted man on an island.
  • Trailer of the Week.  McConaughey again in a true story about Ron Woodroff, a man who contracted the AIDS virus in 1986 and started an underground medicine supply since the hospital only gave him 30 days to live.   This trailer will get to you and may net M.M. an Oscar award.
  • DO NOT RENT G.I. JOE: RETALIATION.  This action vehicle with the Rock is plain stupid and a waste of your brain cells.  Have a few beers instead.  Experience will be better.

Music-5 songs to listen to if you want something different.

  • Alabama Shakes-“You Ain’t Alone”(their entire album, Boys and Girls, is worth checking out)
  • The National-“Hard To Find”
  • Of Monsters and Men-“Dirty Paws”
  • Phosphorescent-“Song For Zula”
  • The Civil Wars-“Disarm”

TV-A Few Notes on Shows I watch and A Couple Comments on Ones I don’t

  • The biggest problem with television shows is catching up to the ones you passed up back in the day.  I remember pounding through 3 seasons of Game of Thrones, 4 seasons of Sopranos, and 3 seasons of Entourage to catch up.  I also watched 3 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy.   I find myself getting tempted by quality sources to watch Breaking Bad and my resistance is waning.  It’s an AMC show and I really like Bryan Cranston.  It’s just I have to watch around 56 hours of it to catch up.  It’s ending in 2 months so I may just wait.  Still, this is what happens when you pass up on a cool little show about an aging cancer carrying science teacher who starts his own meth lab.
  • I also want to give Strikeback(Cinemax) and Hell on Wheels(AMC) a chance.  That’s a combined 40 more hours.  Who has the time to do this other than drug addicts?
  • I am a certified Banshee(Cinemax) fanatic.  I literally can’t get enough of this show and recommend it to anyone curious or needing a different kind of series.  Season 2 just wrapped and premieres in January.
  • Ray Donovan gets better and better every week.  Shocking, violent and full of heart.   The acting on this show is top notch.  Watch now.  8 hours in.
  • Low Winter Sun on AMC(follows Breaking Bad) is worth a look if anything for the fine talents of Film-Addict Character Actor Spotlight feature Mark Strong.  The British actor is all grim heart and brutal stone as a cop covering up a crime he committed out of pure revenge.  It’s not perfect and very slow but this show will only get more tense.
  • Dexter is suffering a from a bad final season.  There I said it.  I won’t spoil much here but I want more from these peeps.  It’s playing like a show that has 2 or 3 seasons to go instead of batting down the hatch and closing up lines of communication.   The heroic killer is always juggling four different things and looking over his shoulder.  I’m starting to think either he will die, his son will perish or the Miami metro department will be blown up and Dexter will accidentally help make it happen.   This show needs rocket fuel in its final weeks.

That’s it.  I’ll keep it slick and cool like that.   No random finishing crap that only takes away from the blunt package.   Sports, movies, music and television.  I am out of bullets.  Come back hungry next time because I will be coming guns hot.

Thanks for stopping by,

Dan 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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