Movie Review: “Walking Man” – St. Louis International Film Festival Selection

10562511_748065468563400_1898706324060301371_oAfter a Missouri high school loses three students to suicide in seven weeks, a father and son walk 200 miles across the state to find an answer to Missouri’s rural suicide epidemic. Both men suffer from bipolar disorder, sharing their struggles with strangers and each other for the first time.

We’re about halfway through the St. Louis International Film Festival and last night gave us a bit of a home town story. It featured the World Premiere of a new documentary called Walking Man. Mark Norwine stars as the central focus of a new documentary from local filmmakers Joshua Salzberg and Eric Norwine (son of Mark). Brought about by a string of local suicides at St Clair High School, Walking Man follows Mark as he walks the Katy Trail from Kansas City to St. Louis in order to raise awareness of the effects of the stigmas of mental health, suicide and bullying. Not only does it achieve that goal, but it does so in a refreshing way that treats its audience with respect.

Documentaries of this kind are often over-produced and wrought with manipulative story beats. That is not to say, however that Walking Man is poorly produced or unsympathetic. The film is expertly shot and features artful framing and composition in virtually every scene. Mark’s story is deeply personal and only becomes more engaging the more we see of his family. One of the most touching aspects is watching Eric Norwine follow his father on his journey across Missouri and learn about the darker corners of his father’s depressive episodes. Mark’s wife however brings the most emotional resonance and works as a likely stand-in for many audience members as she details her struggle to not only understand her husband’s emotional turmoil, but support him through it.

While the world premiere was a limited one night engagement, popular demand has allowed the filmmakers to arrange a second screening this Saturday at Wehrenberg’s St. Charles 18 Cinema at 11am.

69: Jon Stewart’s ‘Rosewater’ and ‘Dumb and Dumber To’

We’re joined in the War Room this week by JC Corcoran.

The legendary St. Louis radio personality stops by to give us his take on Jon Stewart’s directorial debut Rosewater. And along the way we also learn that JC has perhaps and even greater love for tangents than the we do. We also kinda/sorta talk about Dumb & Dumber To.

It’s Reel Spoilers #69: Rosewater/Dumber and Dumber To.

You’ve been warned.

Starring: Tom O’Keefe, Blake Fehl, Joe Buttice, Dan Graney, JC Corcoran
Run-time: 1hr 25min

You can listen to the podcast above, subscribe to our RSS feed, or subscribe via iTunes. You can also find us on the Stitcher radio app for smartphones and iPads.

Movie Review: ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ Starring Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels

Dumb-and-DUmber-to-movie-posterTwenty years after one of the most ridiculous, yet humorous comedies I have ever seen, the Farrelly Brothers decided to resurrect Lloyd and Harry. I do not have much good to say about Dumb and Dumber To. It’s as bad as I expected, and maybe just a bit worse.

Before I go into why the film was so bad, let me say that I loved the first one. I really wanted this one to work as well – but it just doesn’t.

The Farrelly’s should be just about out of free movie-making passes. Seems like they have been riding the coat tail of There’s Something About Mary for 20 years now. What else have they done that was great? Sure, they have had some mild hits; Shallow Hal, Hall Pass, and Fever Pitch; to be fair, I really enjoyed the latter.

Dumb and Dumber was the duo’s first film way back in 1993. I was 12 years old then, and well, the the film was funny as hell. My friends and I knew all the lines. We would re-watch the film over and over, reciting the lines by heart. In other terms, for a 12-year old, it’s a classic.

The problem is I’m not 12 anymore. I may be turning 33 in a week, but I’ve always thought I acted like I was 12. Reality has smacked me in the face and told me I am no longer 12, hence, I do not enjoy stupid movies like Dumb and Dumber To.

The plot is pretty simple. As the film opens, we see Jeff Daniels character, Harry, visiting Lloyd, Jim Carrey, who has been in a catatonic state for 20 years. After learning that Lloyd has been pretending to be in this state for two decades, the pair head home. We get a grown up blind boy who now owns a parrot and several other rare birds. Stick around after the credits to see another classic character from the first film. I admit, I was disappointed that I did stay after the credits, as I hoped it would be more. Anyway, Harry learns he has a long lost daughter after picking his mail up from his adoptive parents, whom he has not seen for 20 years. To find out more about his long lost daughter, Harry visits Freida Felcher, played by Kathleen Turner.

Harry and Lloyd then set out for New Mexico to find the daughter Harry never knew about. Along the way they run into Rob Riggle, who rides along with them.

Riggle, one of my favorite actors in 21 Jump Street is awful in the film. He is completely annoying. It really seemed like he was trying too hard.

I will say this for Daniels and Carrey, they seemed to fully embrace their characters for the second time around. Daniels, who is much more known for his serious acting, is on top of his game, while Carrey shows he can still act dumb.

I was really hoping this film would be Carrey’s ticket back to the A-list. With his recent Saturday Night Live appearance, he showed he can still be one of the funniest actors in Hollywood. I think he just needs the right script and material. He and Daniels work well together, but the script is just very bland.

A whole generation of filmgoers have grown up with the laughs of Harry and Lloyd, so a little nostalgia isn’t a bad thing. I still think the film does well at the box office, as fans like myself will still give it a shot, not to mention a whole new batch of 12-year olds are out there to relish in the fart-jokes that the Farrelly’s love so much.

Given a PG-13 rating, it just seemed like the film was old-fashioned. Given a ruder and cruder script, Carrey and Daniels may have been able to steal the show. Unfortunately, after sitting through Dumb and Dumber To, I felt like I was the foolish one.

Dumb and Dumber To gets a D-.

68: ‘Interstellar’ Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway

Interstellar PosterJim Batts from joins us in the war room this week as dissect Interstellar. Christopher Nolan shoots Matthew McConaughey into space in this ambitious epic full of black holes, worm holes and, um… plot holes.

You also get your requisite box office report from Kevin, plus we tackle Big Hero 6. It’s an IMAX sized show this week.

It’s Reel Spoilers #68 – Interstellar and Big Hero 6.

You’ve been warned.

Starring: Tom O’Keefe, Blake Fehl, Jim Batts, Kevin Brackett
Run-time: 1hr 58min

You can listen to the podcast above, subscribe to our RSS feed, or subscribe via iTunes. You can also find us on the Stitcher radio app for smartphones and iPads.

YO GABBA GABBA! Returns to the Fox Theatre for MUSIC IS AWESOME! Interview with Creator Christian Jacobs

Yo Gabba Gabba Music is Awesome Live DJ Lance RockYo Gabba Gabba! Live! returns to the Fabulous Fox Theatre on Wednesday, November 12 with the new Music is Awesome! tour.

Tickets start at $30.50 and are on sale now at Metrotix (buy tickets here or call 314-534-1111), or in person at the Fabulous Fox Box Office.

If you and your kids watch Yo Gabba Gabba! and haven’t been to a live show yet, there is no better time than the present (check out our review from the It’s Time to Dance tour)! We had the chance to chat with Christian Jacobs about the awesome ride that is the Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! tour, how the show compares with his time in The Aquabats, and what we can expect when the show comes to town next week.

Kevin: What is different in the now show compared to the previous Yo Gabba Gabba! live tours?

Yo Gabba Gabba! Creators Christian Jacobs (left) and Scott Schultz (right) with star and St. Louis native DJ Lance Rock (center).

Yo Gabba Gabba! Creators Christian Jacobs (left) and Scott Schultz (right) with star and St. Louis native DJ Lance Rock (center).

Christian: Well I think in the beginning, Scott and I, and Lance, got together and really wanted to make a children’s live show that was different than a lot of the shows that were out there. They’re kind of like a musical, or a lot of narative, and it becomes music inbetween the dialogue or helping to tell a story. And we all felt like the television show does that already. Let’s just bring out the songs and do a concert.

Let’s make it like a concert for kids. Make it like a rock concert. Then you have Biz Markie that comes out, and bands, and “Dancey Dance” guests. Keep it flowing, and keep it fluid and don’t put a lot of lag time in it. That was something we really wanted to do from the beginning. And as the tours went by, we were kind of forced to change things up. Especially the last tour, which got more and more narrative – the Christmas tour last year. That kind of felt like we’d gotten to that point where we’re telling a story, with a lot of dialogue, and we’re waiting for Santa Claus. It was one of those things where in editing the DVD, that’s actually coming out for the tour, we really loved how it turned out but we felt like we kind of turned into the thing we didn’t want to turn into. We were telling a story with music, rather than just being about the music.

So I think this tour we’ve gotten back to more of the original formula. Let’s do a rock concert again, or let’s do another big show. And so there’s new songs, of course there’s always the hits, like: “Party in My Tummy,” and “Get the Sillies Out.” And so there are things that are the same, because they work so well. But then there’s a lot of new songs, like 7 or 8 new numbers. So it feels like we kept a lot of the things that worked, and then we’ve trimmed the fat, so to speak. We’ve gotten right to business on this tour.

K: I’ve noticed you keep the audience so engaged in these shows, and the kids are so entertained. And the adults are having just as much fun.

C: I love to see the cross-section of people that are there. There are just so many different people, and ages, and creeds and colors, and it’s really fantastic. Scott and I are just both blown away at the universal response and vibe that we get in the show. It’s pretty awesome.

Yo Gabba Gabba Music is Awesome Live StageWe keep that in mind, because originally in making Yo Gabba Gabba!, Scott and I, we had kids of our own and we know what it is like to experience a kids live show. We know what works, and we know what is disappointing, and so we designed this tour definitely to be something that was good for all of us. Not just our kids. In the same way that in Yo Gabba Gabba! the television show, we have our tastes in mind as dads and as parents. We know what drives us crazy about certain kids shows, and similarly in the live show what works and what doesn’t. And that’s what we wanted to really do with this show, is make a show that works for adults just as well as the kids. Don’t leave the adults and parents out of the mix, but actually try to make a concert, basically, that would work for adults but the songs are aimed at kids. And that’s really what we do with the television show.

K: With the TV show, it seems like a natural progression to the live stage. It works so well on both levels. I can really tell that everyone is having a blast at the live shows.

C: Thanks, it’s really exciting that it’s working. That means a lot, because we’re empathizing with the parents, and there are a lot of things out there that just don’t resonate with them – but the kids like it. And that’s cool, and we’re happy to see our kids happy. If the kid likes it, and they’re having a good time, then great. But at the same time we’re there, and how much better of an experience is it when we’re just as excited as our kids. It just feels like such a better experience to bond with your kids, and laugh. “There’s Muno, and oh man my favorite. Here comes Brobee, and what are they doing now? Oh I love this song,” and you sing along with your kids. We’ve done two DVDs now, and the Holiday Show DVD is coming out this tour, and it’s fun to watch the reactions of the kids. Because a lot of times their mouths are just open, and it’s like they’re just trying to process it. It’s just blowing their minds, and I think that part is really fun. We search the footage for kids that are really energetic, and jumping around, and I think the majority of the footage is kids mesmerized and can’t believe this is happening.

K: You have a lot of experience with concerts, and put on a really fun show with The Aquabats. How much of that experience do you bring to Yo Gabba Gabba! Live!?

Aquabats Plex Yo Gabba GabbaC: I think a lot. Myself, and Scott, and Lance – we’ve all been in touring bands, and we’ve all had experience doing live shows. Scott’s dad directed a variety show, and he toured as a kid. So I think we’ve all coupled our experiences together for live touring. I think even just right down to how we interact with the crowd, and how we want the characters to connect to the audience, a lot of that definitely goes into the show.

And for me personally, doing the Aquabats now for 20 years, it’s definitely more of a punk, kind of low budget type of a thing. We’re trying to do as much as we can, with as little as we have. And with Gabba!, we have such a great blessing and it’s been really fortunate we’ve been able to do a lot of bigger things. Out of the gate, it’s “I’ve always wanted to do this,” and we spray the crowd with confetti, and “let’s get 5,000 balloons and drop them on the crowd.” There’s definitely some prohibitive costs that we’ve ran into with The Aquabats, but we’ve had the opportunity to do really fun, cool stuff with Gabba! that I’ve always wanted to do.

K: I saw the Aquabats when they toured with Reel Big Fish, and you guys definitely know how to work a crowd.

C: Literally, we just finished a tour last week and I flew straight to North Dakota to start on Gabba! With Aquabats, we’ve had a great time and it’s been really fun touring. I think my voice is still recovering from that tour.

K: The television show has been on since 2007. It has obviously become a huge pheonomenon, probably more than in your wildest dreams. How did you and Scott decide to take the show on the road?

C: There were a numbers of years that we’d been developing the show before it actually aired, and I think that was always a topic of conversation that would come up at times. In our wildest dreams, the show will air and people will love it, and we’ll put out some CDs and DVDs, and we’ll take it on the tour. And we’ll do “Gabba! on Ice” – we always joke around about stuff like that. So it was always right there, as a natural progression.

What’s interesting is that we weren’t sure when would be a good time. I think we were like, “let’s do it right away,” with touring in the Aquabats and doing clubs. We were ready to take it on the road really quickly. But then we realized that it was going to be hard to transport all the characters, and it’s definitely a bigger production. So we were just kind of waiting for the right time, which we didn’t know when.

In Australia, Yo Gabba Gabba! is huge, and blew up really, really big. A company there in Australia in 2009 called us, and said they thought the timing was right and would like to do the live tour there. And we started developing the live show, and the first tour we did was actually in Australia, summer of 2009. And I think that is where we really figured out what worked, and didn’t work. Then we brought it to the states in Fall of 2009 with a lot of the stuff we learned from that tour.

It had always been our dream to take it on the road for sure, and it’s been really great.

K: What were some of the biggest struggles you faced in converting the television format to the live format?

DJ Lance Rock Live Yo Gabba GabbaC: Definitely the size and scale, and then moving it. With the television show, we build the set and it stays there. Because it is so huge. The characters are really big in real life, and we’re there for a few months shooting and we don’t go anywhere. Everything is all in the same spot. But with the live tour, every day you move to a different city and those characters are big. How do you transport the sets?  The whole LED wall thing, the screen behind us, has been really the solution to that. The set comes with us on the television behind the characters. But even then, any props we’ve been using on the live tour, the behind the scenes and the choreographers and stage managers. Getting everybody mobile – that’s always the hardest.

Being in the Aquabats, we’re five guys and a couple of friends. You can go in a van, or in a trailer. It’s relatively easy to move in and out of venues. But again, it’s the sheer scale of everything that’s the trickiest part. “OK, we’ve gotta be here at this time, and we’re doing two shows today.” Normally with the live tour, you do two shows in a day, so you’ve gotta get there, get your crew there really early to set everything up, and it’s a lot of stuff. All the lights, the LED wall, props. There are a lot of moving parts, and they’re BIG moving parts.

K: On the tour, you bring “The Super Music Friends Show” with you. One of the people we saw in St. Louis was Steve Ewing from the Urge, who of course is from here. Do you get people from the different cities to be a part of the show, or how does that work?

Biz Markie Yo Gabba Gabba LiveC: Yeah, that’s what we felt like works the best. If people are around, we’ll reach out to them. Sometimes we are crossing over, and we’ll be in a town that another band is in town, and we’ll call them and say, “hey, wanna come down and play a song?” When we are in New York the Roots will come out. We’ve had Lauren Hill. One year we were in New York and we had one show when Dinosaur Junior happened to be in town and did “Super Music Friends,” and the “Dancy Dance” was Darryl McDaniels from Run DMC. Dinosaur Junior and Run DMC in the same show blew my mind, and couldn’t be better.

For the most part, we’ll go to local acts and see who’s around and who can be a part of the show. But there have been times where, for instance, we have “Super Music Friends” acts traveling with the tour. We’ve had the Aquabats, we’ve had a band called Steel Train. Mike Park, from a band called Skankin’ Pickle, was a big part of one of the tours. They’ll travel with the show. This tour we’re doing a little bit of both. So we have one our two groups traveling with the show, and we also have a number of local
bands from different cities that we’ve lined up.

It will be a surprise, whoever it is. And sometimes it really is a surprise. The day before we won’t have somebody booked. We’ll be calling around, “Hey man. Hey. What are you doing? Oh we’re busy, can’t do it.” And last minute, someone will show up. That happened with Lauren Hill in New York one year. We didn’t have anybody, and didn’t know what would happen. We heard a rumor Lauren Hill was coming to the show, and someone got a hold of her on her way and asked if she would mind coming out and doing something for the show. She was like, “For sure, I’ll be there,” and it was awesome.

K: Do you and Scott tour with the live show?

Yo Gabba Gabba Music is Awesome DJ Lance RockC: When I was on the tour with the Aquabats, of course I was there for all the show. But for the most part, we get the tour going, get it started and we’ll go for the first week or so. Then we’ll travel out to select shows and make sure everything is running smoothly. We don’t necessarily go on the whole tour – not normally. At this point, I don’t want to say it’s running itself, but everyone kind of knows the drill. We’ve got some seasoned live vets.

It’s been fun developing this tour, and being here at tech. We’re gonna see most of this tour all the way through. We’re excited, and Lance is excited to be back in St. Louis where he is from. We’re excited to be there with him.

About Yo Gabba Gabba! Live! –

The new live stage show marks the 5th anniversary of the live tour.  Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE! Music is Awesome! will be directed by Yo Gabba Gabba! creators Christian Jacobs (The Aquabats) and Scott Schultz (Majestic). DJ Lance Rock, (Lance Robertson, St. Louis native and founding member of psychedelic electronic pop band The Ray Makers), the colorful cast of Yo Gabba Gabba! characters, fan favorite Leslie Hall and beat boxing legend Biz Markie will return to the road together to perform for more than 200,000 enthusiastic fans on a 30-city tour.  The Yo Gabba Gabba! LIVE! Music is Awesome! tour is produced by S2BN Entertainment in association with DHX Media.

HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 Opens November 26! Enter to Win Passes to the St. Louis Advance Screening!

Enter for your chance to receive a pass for two to a special advance screening!

horrible-bosses-2-posterFed up with answering to higher-ups, Nick (Bateman), Dale (Day) and Kurt (Sudeikis) decide to become their own bosses by launching their own business in “Horrible Bosses 2.” But a slick investor soon pulls the rug out from under them. Outplayed and desperate, and with no legal recourse, the three would-be entrepreneurs hatch a misguided plan to kidnap the investor’s adult son and ransom him to regain control of their company.

Cast: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz
Director: Sean Anders

In order to enter the contest, e-mail us and tell us why you can’t wait to see the movie!

No purchase necessary. Void where restricted or prohibited by law. At the screening seating is not guaranteed and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Refer to screening pass for further restrictions. Screening pass winners will be drawn at random and notified via email. Limit one (admit-two) pass per person. Must be age 13 or over to enter.

Screening will take place Thurs. Nov. 20th at Ronnie’s 20.

HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 Opens November 26

DUMB AND DUMBER TO Opens November 19! Enter to Win Passes to the St. Louis Advance Screening!

Enter for your chance to receive a pass for two to a special advance screening!

Dumb-and-DUmber-to-movie-posterJim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their signature roles as Lloyd and Harry in the sequel to the smash hit that took the physical comedy and kicked it in the nuts: Dumb and Dumber To. The original film’s directors, Peter and Bobby Farrelly, take Lloyd and Harry on a road trip to find a child Harry never knew he had and the responsibility neither should ever, ever be given.

Cast: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Kathleen Turner, Laurie Holden, Rob Riggle, Rachel Melvin, Steve Tom
Director: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly

In order to enter the contest, e-mail us and tell us why you can’t wait to see the movie!

No purchase necessary. Void where restricted or prohibited by law. At the screening seating is not guaranteed and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Refer to screening pass for further restrictions. Screening pass winners will be drawn at random and notified via email. Limit one (admit-two) pass per person. Must be age 13 or over to enter.

Screening will take place Wed. Nov. 12th at Ronnie’s 20.

DUMB AND DUMBER TO Opens November 19!

67: ‘Nightcrawler’ Starring Jake Gyllenhaal w/ Bonus ‘Before I Go To Sleep’

Nightcrawler PosterMan, you guys sure must have done some trick and/or treating this weekend because you sure as hell didn’t go to the movies. The combined box office take for the top two films wouldn’t cover the catering budget on an Avengers movie. (But, in all fairness, there’s a lot of carbo-loading going on there.)

PrintAnyway, this week, in an attempt to increase the likelihood that you might have seen the movie we’re discussing we’ve decided to tackle two new releases – Nightcrawler and Before I Go to Sleep. One we loved, one we, umm…didn’t love.

Also, you get extended tangents about Halloween (both what we did and what we wore) plus a Video Recovery from Dan.

It’s Reel Spoilers #67 – Nightcrawler and Before I Go to Sleep.

You’ve been warned.

Starring: Tom O’Keefe, Joe Buttice, Dan Graney
Run-time: 1hr 14min


You can listen to the podcast above, subscribe to our RSS feed, or subscribe via iTunes. You can also find us on the Stitcher radio app for smartphones and iPads.

Oscar Taveras Always in the Heart of Cardinal Nation

RIP Oscar Taveras CardinalsOne week ago, Cardinal’s nation was dealing with the calamity of being eliminated from the post season by the San Francisco Giants. Today, that loss is put into perspective, by the true tragedy of the death of 22-year old outfielder Oscar Taveras. Early Sunday evening, the sports world was shocked to learn that Taveras and his girlfriend, Edilia Arvelo, 18, were killed in a car accident near Taveras’ hometown of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. According to Lt. Col. Jose Armando Brito of the Dominican Republic National Police, Taveras lost control of his Chevy Camaro going around a curve and crashed into a tree at 7:40 p.m. ET. Taveras and Arvelo were taken to Sosua Cabarete Medical Center where they died from injuries sustained in the crash. The accident is still under investigation but it is believed that wet roads and excessive speed may have been contributing factors of the accident.

The news of Taveras’ death Sunday broke just as the World Series game 5 was starting and many of his teammates took to social media to exhibit their grief. Kolten Wong (@KoltenWong) tweeted “Wow! My heart truly hurts to hear the passing of Oscar! I’ve played with him every year and we truly lost a great person! #RIPOscarTaveras.”

Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. stated, “We are all stunned and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of the youngest members of the Cardinals family. Oscar was an amazing talent with a bright future who was taken from us well before his time. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends tonight.”

A memorial service for Taveras was scheduled for Monday night with a funeral planned for Tuesday afternoon. Cardinal’s manager Mike Matheny, GM John Mozeliak, and several teammates including Yadier Molina and Carlos Martinez were expected to attend.

On Monday morning Matheny issued an official statement, “I was asked last night to give some words regarding the tragic death of Oscar Taveras, but I just simply couldn’t. First of all, it felt like a bad dream that could not be real, and when reality kicked in, my words didn’t even seem to make sense. To say this is a horrible loss of a life ended too soon would be an understatement. To talk about the potential of his abilities seemed to be untimely. All I wanted to do was get the guys together and be with our baseball family. I know the hurt that comes along with buying into the brotherhood of a baseball team. That hurt is just as powerful as the joys that come with this life. Not to say it is even close to the depth of pain his true family is going through, but the pain itself is just as real. The ache is deep because the relationships were deep, and forged through time and trials. To the many fans who have already reached out with condolences, and to the many more who are in mourning, thank you for taking these players in, like they are one of your own. This level of care is what sets our fans apart. In my opinion, the word ‘love’ is the most misused and misunderstood word in the English language. It is not popular for men to use this word, and even less popular for athletes. But, there is not a more accurate word for how a group of men share a deep and genuine concern for each other. We loved Oscar, and he loved us. That is what a team does, that is what a family does. You will be missed, Oscar.”

taveras cardinals battingTaveras was signed by the Cardinals on November 15th 2008 as an undrafted amateur free agent and at the age of 17 played for the Cardinals Dominican Summer League team in 2009. In 2010, the Cardinals organization brought Taveras to the states where he played for Rookie League affiliate Johnson City. Taveras quickly made his mark batting .322 with 43 RBIs in 53 games. The following season the then 19-year-old Taveras was promoted to Single-A Quad Cities where his hot hitting continued, batting .386 with 62 RBIs in 78 games. This was enough for the ranking bodies to take note of Taveras. Following his 2011 season with Quad Cities, Taveras was ranked as the #74 prospect by Baseball America, and #23 by Baseball Prospectus. Those rankings would continue to rise the following season as Taveras scorched the Texas League for Double-A Springfield. By midseason, Taveras was considered the #3 prospect in baseball by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus, as well as by Taveras finished the season in Springfield, batting .321 with 23 homeruns and 94 RBIs, making his first of two appearances in the MLB Futures Game and playing in the Texas League All-Star Game, in which he won the MVP. Following the 2012 season, Tavares received numerous awards and honors including: Cardinals Organization Player of the Year, Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year, Texas League Player of the Year, Texas League Top Prospect, Texas League’s Most Exciting Player, Texas League’s Best Batting Prospect, Baseball America Minor League All-Star, Topps Texas League Player of the Year, and the Topps Double-A All-Star.

After a season and a half playing for Triple-A Memphis, the 21-year old Taveras made his much anticipated major league debut on May 31st 2014. He didn’t disappoint. With one out in the bottom of the 5th, Taveras stepped to the plate for his second major league at bat. A light rain began to fall, and I began putting my son’s snacks back into our bag to keep them dry.   Moments later, Taveras drove Yusmeiro Petit’s 1-0 pitch over the right field bullpen, slicing through the falling rain drops to land mere feet away from my seats. I, along with 40,000+ other fans, celebrated the young phenom’s first major league homerun. I remember telling my three-year-old son, who was more excited about the fireworks, how special the day was for him to be at the game where Taveras hit his first, and that it would be something he would think was really cool when he got older. Unfortunately that would be the only Taveras homerun my son would see. Taveras’ bat cooled off and he was up and down between the majors and minors before being called up for good, following the trade of Allen Craig at the end of June. In total, Taveras played 80 games for the club during his rookie season, batting .239 with three homeruns and 22 RBIs. He did make the postseason roster as well for the club. In what would be his final appearance in front of fans at Busch Stadium, Taveras belted a game-tying pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the 7th inning of the NLCS Game 2, the only game of the series the Cardinals would win.

A makeshift memorial to Taveras has formed outside of Busch Stadium gate three, where fans have been placing mementos, candles, and flowers to pay respects to the fallen Cardinal. Mozeliak stated that Taveras will be remembered in a special ceremony in St. Louis, but details for that service have not yet been finalized. Rest in Peace Oscar; you will be missed.

Dave Sanders is a sports economist and instructor of economics at St. Louis University. He can be contacted at

66: ‘John Wick’ Starring Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Willem Dafoe

john wickKeanu Reeves is back.

I mean, he must be back, right? He says it right there in the commercials. Well, not so fast there  Bill (or was he Ted)…we’ll be the judges of whether or not you’re back.

It’s Reel Spoilers 66 – John Wick.

You’ve been warned.

Starring: Tom O’Keefe, Blake Fehl, Joe Buttice, Dan Graney, Kevin Brackett
Run-time: 1hr 19min

You can listen to the podcast above, subscribe to our RSS feed, or subscribe via iTunes. You can also find us on the Stitcher radio app for smartphones and iPads.