It's Friday, which means another stream of consciousness must carry you into this fine weekend. A look back at the biggest stories and juiciest tales, without the extra fat attached. As the great Todd Snider once said, "I don't wish to change your mind, yet merely ease my own." Let's begin with a look at the reality of corporate espionage.
The Cards aren't hacks but...
One bad employee doesn't make the baseball team a legitimate hack, but it leaves a cloud of decaying ruin over a team. The Cardinals won't face any long term damages from their former scouting director Chris Correa hacking into the Houston Astros database 48 times to steal intelligence, but the stain is legit.
While the crime didn't link to anyone else or kickstart another investigation, it did create a precedent for an embarrassing crime. It's corporate espionage no matter how you look at it, and Correa is paying with four years of his life and a splash of red ink on his resume that won't soon go away. The Cards lose millions and a couple of draft picks, and their 2017 draft dinner plate shrinks in size. The lesson is simple; Employee vetting is super important. An organization can never do too much investigation into a person, and a computer system can't acquire too many leves of security. The punishment was light, but it won't soon be forgotten.
Aging De Niro isn't pretty
Robert De Niro could retire today and go down as one of the true greats of cinema. He's crafted a resume that a young actor could only dream of, but the finish hasn't been smooth. His latest — "The Comedian" — is a bubbling mess of a film that aspires to be a underground comedy club satire and ends up being a weak romantic tale about a has been. De Niro has some fun, but the viewer gets tired quick. Here's what I know about De Niro. He should work with David O. Russell and Martin Scorsese, and deny everything else. Look at his work in Silver Linings Playbook and Joy. Remarkable. Less is more, Bobby.
NBC's "This Is Us" crushing
After months of deliberating and denial, I finally made the plunge for NBC's This Is Us, and let me tell you something. It's brilliant, and top tier for a network drama. When it comes to network television, repetition and flat storytelling usually go hand in hand and the cancelation hammer drops quick. This show is extremely heartfelt, and features never better work from St. Louis native Sterling K. Brown, Ron Cephas Jones, and Mandy Moore. Yes, even Mandy Moore. The basis of the stories is family and how the decades leave bruises on its members that evolve with age. The timelines are mixed up, and the scenes travel from the 1970's to the present without skipping a beat. Take a chance on this show. It doesn't have the bite of an HBO series, but it has enough zip on its fastball to pull you in. I'm straight up crushing on this show.
Let Your Political Peacock Fly
I'm tired of political rants and friends getting bombarded by Washington D.C. power breaking amateurs. However, who am I to tell you turn it off? As the fictional detective Terry Hoyt once said, you gotta let your peacock fly, and the political landscape is no different. Say what you want, attack whomever you please, and do it without mercy. Soon enough, you will tire and shut down. You can't win in politics. It's just not a possibility for civil minded people to aspire for. You mention something, get attacked from either side, and eventually give up. I'll stick to things I can somewhat control.
MLS Soccer, Scottrade renovations, and NFL/NBA realities in St. Louis
I am happy for the soccer folks seeing their dream advance towards reality, but I am still undecided on a soccer team's long term financial gain, and if it is more important than school funding and police force advancements. However, a public vote should decide it. Scottrade is going to get some renovations, and they are much needed. As St. Louis Game Time road warrior Jeff Jones mentioned in studio on my radio show this week, the gap between the Scottrade and other hockey arenas is becoming large. As far as the NFL and NBA in St. Louis, that is true pipe dream territory. The ship has sailed, and according to St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippman, the chances of a large sports stadium getting made are slimer to none. The NFL thrill is gone.
The evolving world of the radio business
590 The Fan-the station I have a show on-made more changes to its lineup on Thursday night. 550's Martin Kilcoyne and Charlie Marlow will take over an afternoon drive show, and a couple good shows ended. The Writer's Block and We Are Live. Here's what I know about the radio business. It evolves and carries a relentless right hook. I treat every single show like a pinch hit appearance late in a tie ballgame. Make it count, because the next show isn't guaranteed. Some things operate on a different level than mere efficiency, and with these two shows it had nothing to do with a good or bad show, and everything to do with business and opportunity. There's no need to hate or criticize. It is what it is.
Choosing your battles
Choose few of them. Let a lot of them operate without you, because in the end it has little to do with you and a lot to do with the other person. I'm Italian, so I get into far too many battles on social media and online all together. Sometimes, a friend has to tell me to shut it down, and it's a good choice that can be hard to recognize from your own point of view. Choosing your battles in life and determining what sets you off is the ultimate battle.
Super Bowl Prediction: Falcons 34, Patriots 28. Matt Ryan takes home the MVP. I like great comeback stories, and despise the favored team always winning. There's something about Tom Brady that makes me want to see him lose. Go Falcons. Better yet, can we have some original commercials?
Final bits and bullets:
- If we could all merge in traffic better, road rage would decrease by 40 percent.
- Twitter tough guys are an absolute delight. In person is where it counts.
- When it comes to movie reviews, it doesn't matter what he or she said. What did you think? If someone tries to convince you to love La La Land or Moonlight, punch them in the face and walk away.
- The Blues will be alright under Mike Yeo. Whether that means playoffs or early vacation is another story for March.
- What if Vladimir Tarasenko had a legit center? Forget that. What if the Blues didn't play stupid hockey for two months?
- The people at Shaw's Coffee know how to make a brilliant macchiato. It's not a Starbucks macchiato. A real legit espresso with foam beverage that is strong and gets to the point.
That's all I have. Take luck, and see you Monday.
(© 2017 KSDK)