Buffa’s 5 Things: Why Matt Carpenter should embrace the “whatever it takes” Alexander Steen role in 2021

Live from Fancy Farm, Kentucky. Let’s get started.

5. Matt Carpenter goes the way of Alexander Steen?

Chances are waning for Matt Carpenter to win the starting job at second base. While it’s only been a couple weeks, a guy who entered camp without a starting spot was already on borrowed time. He came into camp with a fighting chance at second, but is hitless through ten games with seven strikeouts. Bat speed has limited Carpenter’s abilities to contribute at an everyday level, but could still help the team in utility role. Injuries are bound to occur, and there will be a need for bench contributions. While there will be disappointment with Carpenter’s contract no matter how he fares in a supporting role, it’s not over. He’s not going anywhere. He will get at bats, so let’s hope it goes the way of Alexander Steen in the 2018-19 season. Stuck with a bad contract and a declining talent, the Blues placed Steen on the third and fourth line, where he flourished. Carpenter may be still hungry for starting at-bats, but he may want to be the “team first, wherever you need me” guy until the hitting stroke is located.

4. “Olympus Has Fallen” is popcorn bliss

Gerald Butler gets a lot of flack for a guy whose very good at helping you turn the brain off. Not all films have to be brain twisters. For the past eight years, he’s churned out solid action adventures, red meat hero flicks that aim to please and blow up stress. Currently on Netflix and featuring an especially fine performance from Melissa Leo, Antoine Fuqua’s original Mike Banner rescue tale spawned two sequels and made Butler a legit leading man.

3. “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” should shoot for 2014 film tone

Fact: “Captain America: Winter Soldier” is in the top 3 of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. It’s not arguably or probably, but a definite staple. The Russo Brothers entered the fray and changed the superhero landscape six years after Christopher Nolan showed cinema lovers what a vigilante looked like. There was government spyware, espionage, privacy invasions on the civilian front, and some superhero stuff crammed into that 136 minute movie. It was the movie where Sebastian Stan (for obvious reasons) and Anthony Mackie got expanded roles. Their show premieres Friday on Disney Plus. I don’t need it to be “WandaVision” complex or “Ultron” popcorn; aim for sophisticated spy thriller and go from there.

2. Bel Powley is someone to watch

Judd Apatow said she would go from hilarious British lady to classic Staten Island dreamer in a matter of seconds, or how long it takes to say “cut.” Along with Apatow’s heartfelt and very funny “The King of Staten Island” and an underrated 2018 film called “The Wilding,” Powley is just getting started with dazzling us. Her eyes are daggers and her ability to live comfortably (and rather uncomfortably) in different skins is apparent. I knew she had something in “White Boy Rick,” another underrated drama.

1. Kraft Mac and Cheese is the best Mac and Cheese

Yeah, the fancy stuff is more fun to order and try. People will say it’s higher quality. But we are talking about plain noodles and cheese. In order to appreciate a product, strip it back to its bare essence. It’s the same reason I ordered a cheese pizza whenever I try a pizza joint’s attempt at New York style. Kraft is instantly pleasing and amazingly consistent. I made three boxes today for my sisters, and they were satisfied. I could have gotten aged cheddar, a different noodle, and some applewood bacon. I just went old fashioned. Sometimes, that’s all you need to do.

Goodnight from Kentucky.

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