Five Things I Know: Thrones envy; baseball misery; a car’s best friend

Hey! Do I have your attention? Let’s greet this despicable Monday with a few thoughts.

5. If you haven’t watched Game of Thrones yet, stop holding out. It’s worth the time. Fuck Walking Dead and Prison Break. GOT concluded season 7 last night and there are approximately 18 months until the eighth and final season, so get on it. The show’s storyline is so well written and multi-faceted that you leave every episode wanting more. Sword, wolves, dragons, sex, and utter brutality between humans wrapped around powerful character development. It’s like the medieval version of Sopranos with more fucking and killing. Do you like sword fights and action? Yes. How about sex and nudity? Yes. What about dragons burning everything in its wake? Whatever you desire, Thrones has it and tells a story that keeps you off balance and just enough in the dark.

4. We will never have enough time. I work two jobs, take care of a house, try to stay in shape, and have a family. All I hear is just relax and take a moment for yourself. Well, when I do that, who is doing my laundry and cleaning my house? Who cleans up the dog piss on my couch? Am I showing enough attention to myself and loved ones? The next day after a mental cleanse is never easy. It’s not even noon and I’ve already gotten my kid to school late and screwed up the side mirror on my car. There’s never enough time in life to do what needs to be done for you and everyone else. All we can do is try as hard as we can to get enough done. Today I need to drive to make money, write to stay sane, and also work out a bit. And be a good husband and father. There’s never enough time and I feel like I’m letting people down constantly.

*I also have to find time to watch TV shows. Can I buy a few hours of time? Bribe a clock? Persuade a day to slow down? Serious answers only.

3. Up and down baseball seasons are hard to cover. The Cardinals can’t decide if they want to drift away or flourish, so as a writer, I’m constantly juggling moods. “They’re shit”, “All they need is this”, and “Give Peace a chance” have all made appearances. Fans hate you if you’re too positive and grill you when the negativity sets in. Here’s my unfiltered: Calm the fuck down. Let’s all take a minute. More often than not, fans and writers will be disappointed. Until MLB becomes the Oscars and 8-10 teams can win the award the big prize.

PS: Get your shit together, Cardinals. To quote a man named Red, get busy living or get busy dying. I’m tired, Boss.

2. Give me a movie about troubled writers trapped in a love quarrel in the beauty of New York with a great cast, and I’m all over it. I don’t care if it’s preachy or self-indulgent. I’m yours. That’s why “The Only Living Boy in New York” gets my vote. Also, Jeff Bridges is amazing in the movie. Still underrated as an actor. More than the dude. Watch this and last year’s “Hell or High Water”.

1. Drive your cars carefully. My car was new a few months ago and now it feels like it was put through a Fast and Furious film shoot. The descent is real and taking your car to a shop turns us into little kids scared at the amount of punishment it will receive. Drive slower. Be careful. Take care of your most important friend.

One more thing: Conor McGregor acquitted himself well against the best of the best in Floyd Mayweather Jr., but know one thing: the boxer toyed with Conor for seven rounds before picking off the tiring MMA champ. It wasn’t as close as some made it seem. It wasn’t a brutal stoppage either. In the end, I imagine Conor whispered to Floyd, “what took you so damn long?!”

Boxing is a sweet wonderful science. No one can step in and be great. That said, Conor did well.

Song I’m listening to: Tony Crown covering “Fly Like An Eagle”.

Show I’m watching and liking: Ozark.

That’s all. I need more coffee.

Comment, share, and react accordingly.

-DLB

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Here’s What I Know, Volume #11: Night King mood swings; Trump doom settling in; Suit and Jacket greatness

Live from The Princeton Heights Night Watch, I ramble on. In no established order and without fancy flow, let’s talk.

  • We may disagree about who bats fourth in the Cardinals lineup or how greedy the NFL is, but there is no place in life for racism. Bigotry is a fucking disease and we need Marion Cobretti to kill it. The events in Charlottesville and our President’s (mouth vomit) response to those shitty occurrences confirms how fucked we are for the next four years in the White House. Our POTUS has to use twitter to properly connect and instead of shooting down racism, he talked about a winery. Where are you, Michael Douglas?
  • Too bad Al Gore is busy making sequels to An Inconvenient Truth. Trump may get us all killed before global warming does.
  • PSA: If you constantly talk about people attacking your beliefs on social media, you are an ATTENTION whore. A soapbox can only hold the weight of someone’s hurt feelings for so long. Again, you know who you are.
  • Coffee is a true mood boost. I felt like gathered and grounded shit a few minutes ago. A few sips of Great Value (yep, cheap Walmart k-cups) coffee and I feel like I can at least rake some leaves or fold some laundry.

Continue reading “Here’s What I Know, Volume #11: Night King mood swings; Trump doom settling in; Suit and Jacket greatness”

Here’s What I Know, Volume 10: Moving, Lynn, Spidey, beer off tap

A stream of consciousness of all the non important shit in my head

Live from the waiting room at the Princeton Heights, it’s time for another edition of HWIK: everything fit to print inside the head at the moment. No holds barred takes from the Douche Canoe(new name I saw on Twitter).

As I sip cup of coffee #3, let’s get moving.

  • Moving sucks. If I could take a cold nap from the day before to a month after, that would be swell. You find out just how much extra shit you have when you move. Lots of tag along nik nak bullshit. How many books and decorations do you need in life? The answer for me is seven totes. The wife is planning on gutting everything in the house except for breathing entities, so stay tuned for more shrink patient type confessions.
  • Lance Lynn didn’t throw his last pitch on Busch Stadium’s mound Sunday, but let me say this about him: he did a good job. In about 5.5 years of service, he has produced nearly a 14.5 WAR(wins above replacement) for the Cardinals for just under 16 million dollars. That’s a great bargain if the sabs wore you out. He throws old school cheddar, never got the appreciation from the fans, and his post game interviews should open in Friday nights and come with popcorn. While I wanted value for him this week due to his eventual departure, I’ll enjoy watching him pitch a few more times.

Continue reading “Here’s What I Know, Volume 10: Moving, Lynn, Spidey, beer off tap”

Man Vs. Woman: Kristi A Go Go talks Twitter and Cards

Kristi and I discuss Cards baseball and Twitter horrors.

Once again, I was lucky enough to score a 30 minute Blog Talk Radio date with a fellow St. Louis Cardinals fan. Kristi Lynn joined the pod. A St. Louis local and diehard sports fan, Kristi talked about the highs and lows of sports discussion on twitter as well as a peek at the hometown baseball team’s early season troubles.

Need a taste of what she brings to the table. Check out these sample tweets.

“Going back to 1996 the Cardinals have had 3, yes 3, losing seasons (97, 99, 07). In 20 years that’s not too shabby.”

“Our sports teams win when I’m in attendance in April and May…Just saying Cards. I could help you out.”

“We’ve still yet to have the exact same lineup so far this season. Is that correct, my stats guys?”

“My headphone volume is now eardrum shattering loud and I can still hear those fucking kids.”

She’s blunt and I love her. People like Kristi are why you should join social media.

Until you take that step, click here for the podcast we recorded Sunday night.

Dose of Buffa 2

Talking Cards-Cubs with Kevin Mattingly

What if you were a Cards fans in a Cubs household? The latest guest sheds light on the subject.

What if you were a St. Louis Cardinals fan growing up in Illinois in a Cubs household? Guest Kevin Mattingly, a trusted and fierce Twitter follower of mine, joined the DOB Pod to discuss rough childhoods supporting the Cards, who he roots for today, and whether he wants the Blues or Hawks to prevail on Monday in Game 7.

Kevin and I also discussed:

*Aledmys Diaz’s breakout season

*Jeremy Hazelbaker’s need to play

*Matt Adams potential castoff

Here’s a couple tweets of Kev’s to get a taste of his delivery:

And this:

Follow Kevin right here.

Click for the podcast here.

Have a good Sunday folks and go Cards and Blues.

I love having new guests, known and unknown on my podcast. If you are interested, email me with a proposal-buffa82@gmail.com

Dose of Buffa 2

Cardinals: The Cubs haven’t won anything yet

The Cubs may be the new kid in town but the Cardinals will have plenty of firepower to hold them off. My warning to Chicago fans.

The last time I checked, baseball games weren’t won in December, January or February. They aren’t won in spring training or by preseason polls or predictions. For the St. Louis Cardinals, a challenge from a divisional rival is not only expected but necessary.

When you are the Cardinals, things don’t go according to plan but you deal with it because the General Manager plans on disruption, chaos and misfortune. No matter what was thrown at the Cardinals in 2015, they endured and won 100 games and the division. Their luck ran out but a message was preserved. Trouble may find them, but their shape moving forward won’t bend too much or break. The Cardinals are resilient.

Let’s go over some facts before I break into some subjective prose.

Since 2000, the Cardinals have made the playoffs 12 times. That’s 12 times in 15 tries.

They have made the playoffs five straight seasons, including three straight division titles. I can’t tell you the last time the Cubs, Pirates, Brewers or Cubs did that. That is because they never did. The Cardinals are the team to chase. Nothing has changed. Continue reading “Cardinals: The Cubs haven’t won anything yet”

Cardinals: Mike Leake isn’t flashy but effective

Signing Mike Leake shored up a hole in the Cardinals rotation and gave them five years of depth.

Sometimes when you are walking along the buffet line, you fill your plate with the less than savory option. Pork steak instead of brisket. You have to eat something and don’t want to wait on the next serving. That’s what the St. Louis Cardinals did in signing free agent starting pitcher Mike Leake. They quenched their hunger for innings in the rotation with a dependable starter. The deal is five years and 80 million dollars, which comes out to an average annual income of 16 million. Thank Jeff Samardzija for that one but also understand market value moves in tricky ways. Most recently, up.

Leake split time in 2015 between the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants, faring worse in the spacious ballpark of AT&T Park than he did in the home run friendly confines of Great American Ballpark. Leake’s FIP(fielding independent pitching) was a nasty 4.83 with the Giants is the one true warning sign with Leake. He puts a lot of balls in play, which will keep Jhonny Peralta and Kolten Wong busy. His hits allowed per nine innings, 8.3, isn’t bad but he will require great infield defense to be effective. As my colleague Caesar McCruddy of The Roo pointed out, Leake is a Jeff Suppan type. He won’t overpower you but get plenty of contact, throw strikes, hit his marks and get outs.

Leake pitched well against the Cards in Busch Stadium, especially in 2015, compiling an ERA of 2.23 at the home ballpark. Leake was also exceptional on the road last year, posting an ERA of 2.91 in 102 innings with a 0.9 WHIP.

Mike Leake offers the Cards a dependable 3rd starter type, which is what the rotation needs with the loss of Lance Lynn and John Lackey. They need a guy who can give them 190-200 innings and produce quality starts throughout the season. A rotation with leaks bound to spring open(Waino’s age, Martinez’s shoulder, Garcia’s entire body) needs an ordinary yet effective innings guy like Leake.

Over his six year career, Leake has averaged over 200 innings, posted an ERA below four and a strikeouts to walks ration of 2.65:1. That isn’t Cy Young worthy or ulcer inducing worry. It’s middle of the pack effective and that is the what the Cards need.

Leake wasn’t my top choice because I didn’t want to give five years to a #3 type with Lynn returning and the young talent on the rise in Alex Reyes, Luke Weaver, Austin Gomber coming up. Tim Cooney could be ready for MLB service and may be as competent as Leake sooner rather than later. I wrote Monday night that I preferred a stop gap type in Mark Buehrle for a year over five years of Leake. However, while I didn’t prefer Leake’s services, that doesn’t mean he is bad for the team. Once again, he’s pork steak.

Steamer projections at Fangraphs have Leake posting a record of 11-12 with a 4.22 FIP and 3.88 ERA to go with 193 innings and a 2.0 WAR. At an annual salary of 16 million, that doesn’t sound too exciting but unfortunately, in this market, that is what you get. Leake won’t blow anyone away but he’s durable and effective. A move to a pitcher’s park in Busch will only boost his numbers.

Leake is only 28 years old, so the contract will expire when he is 33 years old, which is reasonable. Due to the in season 2015 trade, Leake didn’t cost the Cards a compensation pick. They still have all three at their disposal. Leake, via Tom Ackerman, has shut down new Cub centerfielder Jason Heyward in his career, holding him to a .071 batting average(1-14) with three strikeouts.

A winter spending session that started with John Mozeliak looking at David Price has ended with Leake. There’s no denying it’s a disappointment but consider this. What the Cardinals needed in a free agent starter was a replacement for Lance Lynn.  In Leake, they got a #4 starter who could possibly pitch like a #3. While he doesn’t strike out as many as Lynn(and gives up an average of 21 home runs), Leake is a basic replacement pitcher for Lynn that down the road could be an excellent #5 at the very least.

The Leake signing will look especially tasty if the Cards can land a bat for the lineup. It won’t matter if they get Price or Lynn production out of Leake if the lineup can’t produce more than 2.9 runs per game(the Cardinals average for last two years combined). If you find a Leake, you need a strong patch to seal it folks. Simple as that.

So let’s recap to this point. 

The Cards have subtracted Pete Kozma, Peter Bourjos, Jon Jay, Tony Cruz, Mark Reynolds and Steve Cishek.

They added Leake, Jedd Gyorko, Brayan Pena and retained Jonathan Broxton and Brandon Moss.

They failed to sign David Price and Jason Heyward.

Chris Davis, Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton and Alex Gordon are still out there. Each offer pop, versatility and something unique. Each have hazard labels attached. The Colorado Rockies have Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon at their disposal for a trade.

What happens next, Cardinal Nation?  Sign Cespedes and it will be a Happy New Year if you ask me.