Good evening, folks. Let’s talk about a few things you may or may not deem important. Tip the whiskey and let’s get started on the latest edition of Here’s what I know, in bullet formation.
- Clint Eastwood makes very good movies, but occasionally, he can fire a dud out of his filmmaking pistol. His latest, 15:17 to Paris, recounts the heroic tale of three Americans who saved lives on a train in Paris taken over by terrorists. It arrives in theaters this Friday, and WAS NOT screened for critics. I’ve been reviewing films for seven years, and this is never a good sign. It’s like sneaking your girlfriend into a party through the kitchen. The studio didn’t like the cuts of the film they saw, so there were no word-of-mouth generating screenings. We all know the end to the film, so why withhold it? This is not good, but I hope Clint proves me wrong.
- Ted Drewes and Imos Pizza are institutions for St. Louis residents, and the former reopens this week for people seeking something sweet. Let’s say you hit up the Hill for an Italian dish, but the old fashioned tiramisu doesn’t interest you for dessert. You head over to Ted Drewes for a delicious hot fudge sundae or lemon crumb concrete that will make you believe in world peace for a matter of minutes. People who speak out against it simply don’t know what good custard tastes like. Get over there and have some.
- If Floyd Mayweather Jr. thinks he can step into the octagon and take on one of the best MMA fighters in the world in Conor McGregor, he is sadly mistaken. In September, the two fighters met in a boxing match that went ten rounds and ended in a Mayweather Jr. stoppage. McGregor was able to survive because boxing is just one form of martial arts, and it’s the only one Floyd knows. If the undefeated boxing champ steps into the octagon, he will be hurt. Mixed Martial Arts isn’t something you take up at age 40. It isn’t something you train for a few weeks before stepping into a ring with a professional. It is serious business. If Mayweather Jr. were smart-and he is a wise businessman-he’ll stay away from this fight. He’s too old to take it up, and couldn’t even hold his own with a mediocre MMA fighter. He will be hurt.
- Actor John Mahoney died this week, and it got me thinking. The 1990’s action film, Striking Distance, sure is losing cast members. Dennis Farina, Robert Pastorelli, and now Mahoney. Watch yourself, Bruce Willis and Sarah Jessica Parker.
- What do the Blues need? Outside of an intervention, they need more consistent scoring. Jake Allen lost the goaltending job again, but if you can’t score more than two goals a game over a two month period, you’re losers even with Patrick Roy in net. This team has suffered from weak scoring output for years. Vladimir Tarasenko has once gone missing, and the scoring has gone right down with him. Forget the goaltending and worry about putting pucks IN the net. Weak wrist shots on goal don’t help much.
- Cardinals General Manager Michael Girsch thinks the Cards are set and he’s excited for 2018. Girsch isn’t a puppet, and I do think the Cardinals are going to contend for a spot in the playoffs, but it won’t be easy, so I am not 100% content with their work. The rotation is living on a prayer and the bullpen lacks a definitive closer, so games will be interesting. This team could win 83 games or 90 games. It’s very hard to tell. What is refreshing is that Matt Adams won’t be in the outfield this season, so they have that going for them.
- The Super Bowl produced a rousing game on Sunday. I mean, the five minutes I actually watched was entertaining. Since I watched less than a quarter of football this season, I felt little need to view the game. I didn’t care to watch the commercials or movie trailers, because those are all made available online. I am happy for Eagles fans, but their methods of celebration are less than savory for local business owners. The Patriots are getting older, sure, but they continue to find a way to make it to the big game, and nearly win it all. Question and hate Bill Belichick and Tom Brady all you want, but it’s increasingly hard to deny their precision in making the big game. What if Robert Kraft owned the St. Louis Cardinals?
- PECOTA projections has Carson Kelly playing 40 games for the Cardinals this season, and I think that is wishful thinking. Yadier Molina showed he has a few years left in the tank last year, so why would he only play 120 games? I’m not a firm believer in Kelly’s talent, and I don’t think it will be realized here. He’s gone before 2018 concludes. If Molina has a three year deal, what chance does Kelly have to find his footing? Less than 40 games in 2018.
- Vince McMahon would be a hero if he brought the XFL to St. Louis, and there are three reasons why. First, St. Louis loves football, so there’s a desire for it two years after the Rams left. Second, it’s a great story for McMahon to frame his decision around, helping a football deprived city heal after the evil NFL empire stole their team. Third, there’s a dome downtown that is gathering dust except when B-list actors show up for Comic Con once a year. Bring on the XFL, Vince.
- Do you need good coffee? Tired of burnt crap? Head over to La Cosecha Coffee Roasters in Maplewood. Gio and Jamie roast the coffee right behind the counter, so what you pay for is always freshly made. Also, Tuesday through Friday from 2-4 p.m., it’s Happy Hour, which takes 50% off drinks. Get a latte for TWO dollars! That’s highway robbery, especially when you take into account how good it tastes. Say no to Starbucks and yes to La Cosecha Coffee Roasters, at 7360 Manchester Avenue. Tell them I sent you.
- Since movies are slowly heating up in theaters, I’ve been spending a lot of time with Netflix, and my latest crush is Peaky Blinders. The gangster saga stars Cillian Murphy as the boss of an Irish mob in 1919 in Birmingham, England, and it spans a decade in so as his gang, The Peaky Blinders, feuds off the Italians, Russians, and anyone else who feels the need to spark up a bloody battle. Paul Anderson and Helen McCrory also star, and the great Tom Hardy has a reoccurring role as a businessman who plays multiple sides. While it’s entertaining and worth the 24 hours put into it, I will say it stops short of greatness. For a more powerful experience, I still put my money on Mindhunter or Manhunt: Unabomber. That said, Peaky Blinders is a good time, especially when Hardy shows up.
- Ray Lankford made it onto the Cardinals Hall of Fame ballot, and it’s about time. The centerfielder made the dreadful years of the 1990’s entertaining with his versatile skill set that included home runs, triples, homeplate demolition derbies, and a swagger in the field that wasn’t exactly Gold Glove worthy, but still fun to watch. With a poor man’s Ken Griffey Jr. uppercut swing at the plate and the most home runs hit at old Busch Stadium, Lankford is underrated to this day. How underrated? Try an .840 OPS and 37.5 WAR over his career for less than $40 million in salary. My picks are Lankford and Scott Rolen.
- A question for you all. Can we all be a little nicer to each other? The St. Louis Blues had Pride Night before last night’s game against the Minnesota Wild, and the turnout was amazing. However, that didn’t stop some hateful people on Twitter from slamming the night and bringing out the worst in an otherwise powerful evening. I don’t get it or else I was raised too freely. Love is love, so any way you can find it should be sacred in this world.
- One last thing, I wrote about my journey through AM radio. People always ask me about the grind and how it works, so I wrote about the ride I took, starting in 2016 and ending this past Friday. The rise, fall, and possible rise of a life in radio. Read all about it here.
- Speaking of radio, starting next Wednesday, I’ll be joining Jim Bunten and Patrick Morris of Let’s Get Comfortable, on WGNU 920, between 5-6 p.m. for sports and entertainment talk. The gents run a good show and discuss a potpourri of topics that range from beer to sports to lifestyle. Check them out every week day. Next Wednesday, let me be your Valentine on the radio.
That’s all I got. Check back in next Wednesday for another stream of consciousness.