Buffa’s 5 Things: Is Taylor Hall’s talent worth his clubhouse trouble?

Sports fans can be a fickle bunch. Uber-passionate and diabolically vindictive. Hitting a walk-off home run last night means they smile, but if you strike out in the eighth tomorrow, they will riot.

Don’t get mad at me. After all, I am only an ordinary guy reading a clock. The St. Louis Blues look like dogshit. I won’t come here and say they aren’t trying hard enough. That’s so bush league these days. Give me a break. Do you know how hard even being bad at hockey is? I was a bad hockey player for one fateful high school semester. I had the time of my life, but I was probably a -38 on the scorecards. I was out there to inflict pain and all I did was find new ways to create crooked numbers for the wrong jersey.

The Blues are still walking wounded, painfully on defense. Alex Pietrangelo got up and left for Las Vegas. Jay Bouwmeester is such a nice guy that he probably felt horrible about quitting a sport that could kill him. Colton Parayko suffered a real injury. They still haven’t found a proper name for what Vince Dunn is doing. Really not making me look good, bro. The Blues haven’t found a legal way to clone Torey Krug and Marco Scandella yet. Vladimir Tarasenko is close to finding a resemblance of a shot on the ice. Mike Hoffman was benched Sunday. Zach Sanford is painfully average. Every area of the team is hurting but if you can’t score a sufficient amount of goals at a consistent rate, a playoff appearance will be a show and tell disappearing act.

So, why would Taylor Hall be a bad idea? 

Let’s tackle the rumors and reasons I read over the weekend. “He isn’t good for the clubhouse.” Oh mighty eye roll, if I had a dollar for every time this reason came up. The guy is in Buffalo, hockey hell, and people think it’s the locker room. Are hockey players supposed to be sweethearts and best buddies all the time all of a sudden? Robert Bortuzzo wanted to take Sanford’s head off once upon a time, and then HR convinced him not to. Fuck clubhouse problems. Overruled here. I hear when a lot of goals are scored, clubhouse issues go away real fast-as opposed to blowing 2-0 leads on an otherwise pleasant Sunday.

Here’s another complaint: Hall is having a rough season. Oh, Nolan Arenado had a rough 2020, so should we cancel the Colorado heist that already happened?  Nope. Hall has tallied 17 points in 33 games, which wouldn’t be disgusting on the current St. Louis’ roster-but is disappointing for a guy who has averaged over 60 points for ten seasons. His 2019-20 season could be labeled as Downy soft, but it was still 52 points. He’s an asshole, but he’s a still-young productive asshole. Make your choice, St. Louis. There are Blues fans who may revolt if you acquire a man with 220 career goals. (they won’t, though.)

A team that doesn’t score needs scorers. You can find them on trees faster than you can quality defensemen these days.

Before I move on to my idea of the perfect double cheeseburger, let me remind you the Blues won the Stanley Cup on June 12, 2019. While I am hungry for more, the honeymoon isn’t over just yet.

Now, let’s talk about burgers. By now, I think the comfort meal is a terrific idea for any time of the day. If breakfast calls, just throw an egg on it. But there seems to be a wild fascination with the different things you can put on a burger. In and Out puts all special sauce and deems their fries animals. Five Guys pounds you with the largest single burger known to man, padding the landing with a vicious assault of caramelized onions. Hi-Pointe Drive-In throws everything and the kitchen sink at you. The Taco Burger, Prime Rib Burger, The “You Name it and We Will Build” burger, etc.

But for me, the classic setup is all I need. Meat, some cheese, some veggies, and no condiments. I’m talking about keeping the hamburger the STAR of the dish. The DiCaprio of that entire operation. Here’s what I do at HP/DI: double burger, cheese (gouda), lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, and CUT! The cheese is the only condiment a great burger needs. It melts and goes through the whole damn thing.

Don’t forget about Carl’s Drive-in and Mac’s Local Eats. They serve the classic burger setup extremely well with great-tasting meat.

In other news, I am now hungry.

Certain members of the Major League Baseball Players Association don’t want to receive the vaccine. Well, to quote the late Powers Boothe’s great two-word rendition in “Tombstone:”

“Well, bye.”

I’d tell those players that if they want jobs, then get stuck in the arm pronto. Personal health choices shouldn’t be made public, but this is 2021 after all. We are just getting over a pandemic, and things get sloppy during cleanup. If my boss informed me that getting a shot would be wise, I would ask for two. Is this too hard to understand?

In other news, I will receive my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on April 20.

Here is my prediction for the 2021 Cardinal season: chaos! What else could occur for every team but one in the greatest game? The Cardinals begin play in Cincinnati on Thursday and if things don’t go their way then, there are 161 other games left, including the home opener on April 8.

Nolan Arenado will get a few standing ovations and the team should still be the favorite to win the National League Central division. Outside of that, I couldn’t promise you anything. This team has holes and question marks along with a few sure things. Meld as one and get it done. 85 wins should be a guarantee, but 90 would be nice. 87 gets my vote.

Last thing. Can we just be nicer to each other? Is that too hard to shove inside a single human head? St. Louis crime is way up, and kids are dying more than ever. They are dying by weapon, and not disease. If St. Louis Children’s Hospital released those numbers, you would certainly cry. I am cringing at crime statistics. Homicides won’t die. New President, same old bullshit violence.

A new mayor couldn’t hurt. April 6. I am voting for it’s none of your damn business (it’s on my front lawn).


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