The Loss of Joe Williams will rock the St. Louis film scene

The loss of ST. Louis Post Dispatch film critic Joe Williams will have a huge effect on the film scene in the Lou. I remember my time with the man.

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55b62d7053590.preview-620The last time I spoke with St. Louis Post Dispatch film critic Joe Williams, it was after a movie last winter and in a circle of film critics. That’s the way it worked for movie scribes. A movie would be screened and the critics would inform the local marketing company, Allied, rep what they thought afterwards. A quick take. Joe and I didn’t agree that much, but I respected his work and his blunt assessment of film.

Sunday evening, in route to a movie in Cadet, Missouri, Williams was killed in a car crash. The St. Louis film scene will never be the same. Williams’ loss will reverberate throughout the country.

The hardest part of a writer’s death is never hearing their voice again. Changing websites or papers is one thing. Post Dispatch sports writer Bernie Miklasz will leave the paper in August but he can be found at 101 ESPN afterwards. Williams’ voice is gone forever. That is truly the toughest part of this ordeal. For a town with one paper, Williams was the voice for film fans in the Lou. Every week, they’d rush to the stands or refresh their STLToday apps and see what he thought of the latest flicks. That will not be possible after this weekend.  Continue reading “The Loss of Joe Williams will rock the St. Louis film scene”

Ronda Rousey “Tyson’s” Bethe Correia in 34 seconds

In her latest title defense, Ronda Rousey destroyed challenger Bethe Correia in 34 seconds.

ROUSEYShe came, she entered the ring, and she conquered! How would it be for someone to walk into your house and kick your butt in 34 seconds? That’s what Ronda Rousey did to Bethe Correia in Brazil earlier this morning. Rousey defended her UFC Bantamweight title and moved to 12-0 on a fight that didn’t start until after midnight here in Little Rock, Arkansas.

As I wrote for KSDK on Saturday afternoon, Rousey takes cares of her opponents like Mike Tyson used to knock out his opponents. Quickly and without mercy. It’s almost as if she has three arm, four legs, or a sixth sense in the ring because Correia seemed to have zero chance to breathe once Round 1 started. When the announcer said five rounds, I laughed at the notion of Rousey needing more than a minute to beat this latest opponent up.

Correia gave you reason to hate her, mocking Rousey’s relationship with her late father and telling people she would send the champ into depression with her first loss. Someone needs to tell that girl that dreams are best kept for video games and the real world, the stinky bloody Octagon, is where those dreams go to die. The Brazilian champ, padding her record by picking up the trash of Rousey’s past opponents, had no chance.  Continue reading “Ronda Rousey “Tyson’s” Bethe Correia in 34 seconds”

The Randal Grichuk Experience

Randal Grichuk shoots to thrill and the Cards have benefited from the surprise production.

31 MAY 2015: St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Randal Grichuk (15) at bat during the game between the Los Angeles Dodgers  and St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.

A 23 year old well built baseball player steps to the plate. He waggles the bat, digs his feet in around home plate and dips the bat over his shoulder. The bat slowly points back towards the umpire as if to say, “Watch this!” The pitch comes in, and the body engages like a fighter jet. The bat head springs towards the sky and starts to whip around towards the pitch. It may touch the ball or it may miss it completely. If contact is made, the baseball goes an extremely long way and quick.

Welcome to the Randal Grichuk experience, open 7 days a week in this St. Louis Cardinals lineup. All he does is hit extra base hits and strike out. He’s an action film. An experience. His defense in the outfield(he plays all three positions) is not too shabby but it’s his bat that creates the most attention.

Grichuk has 17 doubles, 6 triples and 11 home runs on the season. You won’t find many players in this league with those kind of extra base hit splits. He’s got speed, loads of pop and can spray a ball to any field. Good luck shifting this kid. He hits a ball off the end of the bat and it looks like a solar eclipse running out of the park from a building across the street.

The knock on Grichuk is that his bat has too many holes in it to sustain success in the majors. Yes, his 33 percent strikeout rate(72 in 216 at bats) does leave questions at the door and will make a person look at the directions to this action figurine a few extra times. However, when you carry this much BOOM in your stick, the setbacks can be handled.

Grichuk is fun for all ages. To young kids, he’s the knight with the big sword, slicing juicy fastballs up. To teens, he’s the young stallion making his dream come true. When he comes up to the plate, my wife stops and watches. Now, that may be due to the fact that Randal isn’t terrible looking and is built like a Ford truck, but also there’s a good chance he may launch a baseball towards outer space and you want to be able to tell your friends where you were when it hit the astronaut in the back. Husbands can’t complain about that. Respect, son!

All I know is Grichuk is holding up quite well, and helping the Cardinals in a time of need. Ever since Albert Pujols left, the Cards lacked a potential 30 home run guy. A show stopper. Soon, Grichuk could be that big stick. While he may not be multi-faceted like Pujols, he is once again, only 23 years old.

One thing Randal Grichuk is these days is exciting. Buy a ticket to this ride sometime soon. See it in person. Where it is going, nobody knows. There’s a decent chance it may get better.

Before the action starts against Atlanta Saturday night, Grichuk has 11 home runs, 36 RBI, and hitting .278. His on base percentage is a respectable .326 and he is slugging out of his mind at .551. His WAR(via Baseball Reference) is a solid 2.1 and growing. He has slowly increased his walks(1 for every 5 strikeouts) but fans don’t want to see the kid keep his bat towards the umpire and still. They want action! Baseballs fear Randal so don’t let them off the hook! As a man once said in an M. Night Shyamalan flick, it hurts not to swing.

With Matt Holliday missing time due to injury and Jon Jay on the decline this season, Randal Grichuk has given the outfield a boost. A breath of fresh air! When I think of an outfield of Holliday, Grichuk and Jason Heyward in 2016 and beyond, a smile appears on my face. It’s a pleasant thought and not far fetched.

Extra note. Grichuk is a reason fans should be patient with Stephen Piscotty. When Randal first got here last summer, he struggled. He whiffed once every other at bat. It looked like a kid swinging at wire brush at the plate. Eventually, he improved and found a timing and comfort at the plate. Look at him now.

Randal Grichuk turns 24 on August 13th so he is just getting warmed up folks. Be sure to attend the next show.