Friday, April 2, 2010

Blockbuster Baseball

The weekend we’ve all been waiting patiently for is finally upon us. The baseball regular season kicks off Sunday night when the defending champs, the New York Yankees take on the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Anyone else think it’s weird that the team who won the World Series is starting their season on the road? Anyway, we digress. In celebration of Opening Day kicking off on Sunday, we‘ve compiled a list of our favorite all-time baseball movies. We’re aware that some of you may agree whole-heartedly with our choices, while others may find our choices puzzling. You may even feel that we’ve forgotten a few obvious classics. That being said, we’ll get this one out of the way now: The Natural is not on here. Please bear in mind that this list consists of our favorites. Don’t get us wrong. The Natural is a great movie, but it’s just not one of our favorites. In fact, there are many great movies that will not be listed and that doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy them. We thought about specific criteria before choosing which movies to discuss. When flipping through channels on a lazy Saturday afternoon, if we stumble upon a particular movie on TBS, TNT, etc, will we always stop and watch it, regardless of where in the film it is? Or hesitate for a moment before deciding to see what else is on before committing? For a favorite flick, there could be 15 minutes left and we’ll still stop and watch. The need to watch it over and over again is what constitutes a favorite. No matter how many times you’ve seen it, the movie still touches you the same way and you still laugh (or cry) at the same parts with as much gusto as you did the first time you saw it.

However, before we get into the thick of things, we must present to you our poll results. We’d hate leave you wanting. How could you live with yourselves not knowing the results of our weekly polls? 8 whole people voted this week. Welcome back, baseball fans. We’ve missed you. We asked what you were most looking forward to this season. No one is apparently excited by the thought of “Tiny” Tim Lincecum winning three straight NL Cy Young Awards. Is that because you just assume that it will happen? 1 person can’t wait to see if the Mariners have finally returned to form and are primed to give the Angels a run for their money in the AL West. We certainly feel that it’s time for that damn rally monkey to step down. The majority of voters (3) would like to see the Mets bounce back from their terrible 2009 season. You and us both, kids. 2 people are interested to see how Phil Hughes pans out as a 5th starter for the Yankees. Only 1 person really cares whether or not the Twins can recover from the loss of Joe Nathan and sadly, only 1 person wants to see Ken Griffey Jr. make a man out of Milton Bradley. C’mon, folks! This is the stuff that Lifetime original movies are made of!

And now, without further ado, we bring to you our favorite baseball movies. Like our blog regarding our favorite players, we’ve split the categories into “TBB’s Favorites,” “Lisa’s Favorites,” and “Serena’s Favorites.”

The Traveling Baseball Babes’ Favorites:

Major League 1
Release Date: April 7, 1989

Cast: Tom Berenger (Jake Taylor), Charlie Sheen (Rick Vaughn), Corbin Bernsen (Roger Dorn), James Gammon (Lou Brown), Rene Russo (Lynn Wells), Wesley Snipes (Willie Mays Hays), Dennis Haysbert (Pedro Cerrano), and Bob Uecker (Harry Doyle)

Major League is the adult version of The Bad News Bears. It never fails to make us laugh so hard that we lose bladder control like old women in a nursing home. The Indians’ announcer, Harry Doyle is legitimately the best character in history. We would love for Harry Doyle to work either for SNY or the Yes Network. That would make every Mets or Yankees game epic. Indians’ manager, Lou Brown is basically a less classy version of Lou Piniella. One of his many vulgar actions includes peeing on Roger Dorn’s contract. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Honestly, the memorable quotes section should speak for itself and that’s just a smattering of pearls from the film. Our words cannot compare with those of Harry Doyle, Rick Vaughn, or Lou Brown.

Memorable Quotes:
(As Rick Vaughn pulls up on a motorcycle) Pepper Leach to Lou Brown: Look at this f*cking guy.

Harry Doyle: Heywood leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair. When this guy sneezes, he looks like a party favor.

Jake Taylor (to Charlie Donovan after he calls to ask Jake if he’d like a chance to play for the Cleveland Indians): Is that you, Tolbert? Look. I’m hung over, my knees are killing me, and if you’re going to pull this shit, at least you could’ve said you were from the Yankees.

(Following a grand slam Vaughn has just given up after walking three straight batters) Pepper Leach: You want me to go get him?
Lou Brown: No. Keep him in. Let’s see how he reacts.
(Vaughn hits the next batter)
Lou: Interesting.


Major League 2
Release Date: March 30, 1994

Cast: Charlie Sheen (Rick Vaughn), Tom Berenger (Jake Taylor), Corbin Bernsen (Roger Dorn), Dennis Haysbert (Pedro Cerrano), James Gammon (Lou Brown), Omar Epps (Willie Mays Hays), and Eric Bruskotter (Rube Baker)

Probably the only sequel that is just as good as the first. Our only complaint is that Wesley Snipes didn’t return for the role of Willie Mays Hays. Omar Epps just didn’t cut it.

Where can we begin? Jack Parkman is the perfect douche, Rube is the perfect idiot hick/rookie (we could literally have an entire blog posting dedicated to the gems that come out of his mouth), Roger Dorn is even more pansy than in the first, and Randy Quaid is a more disgruntled fan than we are. These, TBB fans, are our people.

We do not recommend Major League 3: Back to the Minors. While Brother has tried to argue some of the finer points of the flick, but it just doesn’t live up to its predecessors. Rube (the only returning character) simply cannot carry the entire plot alone even though we love him dearly.

Memorable Quotes:
Jack Parkman: What do you call that garbage?
Rick Vaughn: It’s my eliminator. I’ve got another pitch. You get a piece of it, I’ll let you name it.
(Parkman hits the pitch out of the park)
Jack Parkman: I’d, uh, call it the masturbator.

Rube Baker: Women. You can’t live with them and they can’t pee standing up.

Rube Baker: My momma always said, “It’s better to eat shit than to not eat at all.”

Harry Doyle: You know I used to hate Parkman when he was with the A’s. It’s amazing how a new uniform can change your attitude about a guy. (Covers the mic) He’s still a dick.


A League of Their Own
Release Date: July 1, 1992

Cast: Geena Davis (Dottie Hinson), Tom Hanks (Jimmy Dugan), Madonna (Mae Mordabito), Lori Petty (Kit Keller), Rosie O’Donnell (Doris Murphy), and Jon Lovitz (Ernie Capadino).

To this day, hearing Madonna’s “This Used to Be My Playground” makes us think of A League of Their Own. Although it has its comedic moments (Jon Levitz, in general, is hilarious in all of his scenes), the movie tugs at your heart strings. The film is the story of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. These women were athletes in a time where men dominated sports. Females should feel empowered by this film and by what these admirable women had been able to accomplish during this time period. They established a precedence that has allowed younger female generations to pursue their dreams, on the field and off.

We don’t care what anyone says, but Dottie totally shouldn’t have dropped that ball on purpose when Kit decided to go for a home run instead of a triple. This may make us seem like terrible sisters, but Kit should’ve been satisfied with a triple when there was clearly no way in hell she was going to be safe at home and with the game on the line no less! Someone’s gotta win. Someone’s gotta lose. That’s how it works. Dottie sacrificed the hard work of her teammates for her selfish, whining little sister. That’s all we’re going to say about that one. At this stage, you probably hate us even more (if that’s possible) for being evil, cruel bitches, but we don’t care. We’re through with trying to impress you people.

Finally, if you don’t like this movie, you’re an a-hole.

Memorable Quotes:
Mae: Hi, my name's Mae and that's more than a name, it's an attitude.

Kid: What's your rush, doll body? What do you say we slip in the back seat and make a man out of me?
Dottie: What do you say I smack you around for a while?
Kid: Can't we do both?

Walter Harvey: It's funny to you. Your drinking is funny. You're a young man, Jimmy. You still could be playing, if you just would've laid off the booze.
Jimmy Dugan: Well, it's not exactly like that... I hurt my knee.
Walter Harvey: You fell out of a hotel. That's how you hurt it.
Jimmy Dugan: Well, there was a fire.
Walter Harvey: Which you started. Which I had to pay for.
Jimmy Dugan: Well, now. I was going to send you a thank-you card, Mr. Harvey, but I wasn't allowed anything sharp to write with.

Dottie: Lay off the high ones!
Kit: I like the high ones!
Dottie: Mule!
Kit: Nag!

Ernie Capadino: Are you coming? See, how it works is, the train moves, not the station.

Jimmy Dugan: There’s no crying in baseball.
Umpire: What’s the matter, Jimmy?
Jimmy Dugan: She’s crying, sir
Umpire: Perhaps you chastised her too vehemently. Good rule of thumb: treat each of these girls as you would treat your mother.
Jimmy Dugan: Did anyone ever tell you, you look like a ***** with that little hat on?

Honorable Mentions: For the Love of the Game, Pride of the Yankees, 61*, Rookie of the Year, and Bad News Bears (the original)

Lisa’s Favorites:

Angels in the Outfield
Release Date: July 15, 1994

Cast: Danny Glover (George Knox), Tony Danza (Mel Clark), Christopher Lloyd (Al “The Boss” Angel), and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Roger Bomman)

I adore Angels in the outfield (Disney version) and Everybody's Hero. Yes they are both kids’ movies and I don't know if that means I am young at heart or that my brain is that of an 8 yr old. You can decide that. Both movies are extremely light and fluffy. They are similar in which you have a hero overcomes an obstacle in the end and the happy ending leaves you all warm and fuzzy inside. No not that kind of happy ending. Get your mind out off the gutter people. You are better then that.

Who doesn’t love watching the underdog finally coming through? Thank god for movies because I will never see it with my team of choice. In Angels in the Outfield, being the huge sap that I am, I still get a knot in my throat when the characters start flapping their arms in the field. I won't spoil the ending, but everyone does live happily ever after.

Memorable Quotes:
George Knox:[the Angels have lost their fifteenth straight game] One more loss! One more loss which could've been a win! And you call yourselves professionals. I have never, ever seen a worse group of twenty-five players! You don't think as a team, you don't play as a team, you don't even LOSE as a team! You've all got your heads so far up your butts, you can't even see the light of day! One more loss and I... I'll do this... [throws a chair at a rack of bats] to each and everyone of you!

George Knox: There's a thing called "talent." They don't have it.

Mapel: We do it all summer / And it's a big bummer / No matter who we play / We give the game away./'Cause we can't win / That would be a sin / We even lose the games / before they begin...
George Knox: Save it, Mapel!

Everyone’s Hero
Release Date: September 15, 2006

Cast: William H. Macy (Lefty Maginnis), Rob Reiner (Screwie), Jake T. Austin (Yankee Irving), Brian Dennehy (Babe Ruth), Whoopi Goldberg (Darlin’), Robin Williams (Napoleon Cross) and Mandy Patinkin (Stanley Irving)

Everyone’s Hero is a charming cartoon about the story of a die hard fan and Babe Ruth’s bat. I love cartoons and it’s a cartoon about baseball no less. Score !!!! I like the fairy tale endings that these two movies give you. The feeling that anything is possible with hard work and sometimes all you gotta do is just believe. Yes I said it and I am aware that it was extremely corny for me since I am a Mets fan, but you do. Ya just gotta believe! :)

Memorable Quotes:
Yankee Irving: [Yankee and Darlin' have just had a bonding moment] Thanks, Darlin'.
Darlin':No, no. Thank you, Yankee.
Screwie:Oh, brother! You could pour this stuff on pancakes!

Announcer:And it just goes to show you... You can be the smallest, you can be the weakest, you can be the worst player on the field, but when people tell you you're no good, and say you should give it up, you know what you do? You just keep on swinging.
Bully Kid Tubby: Hey, look. A baseball.
Screwie: Hey, look. The missing link.

Serena’s Favorites:

Bull Durham
Release Date: June 15, 1988

Cast: Kevin Costner (Crash Davis), Susan Sarandon (Annie Savoy), and Tim Robbins (Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh

What’s not to love about Bull Durham? In addition to it being one of my favorite baseball movies, it’s in my list of top five movies of all time. Every single piece of dialogue from that film is quote worthy and while I would’ve loved to include the entire script under “Memorable Quotes,” I didn’t think it practical. I found the DVD in the bargain bin at Borders for $5. Easily one of the best investments of my life. I might actually hold it higher than my college education (I said, “might,” Mom).

There are two dynamic relationships developed in this movie that I am addicted to. The first and foremost is the relationship between Crash and Annie. The chemistry and sexual tension between the two is both comical and explosive. My favorite scene between them takes place at the batting cages. Crash finally asks Annie while she’s in the cage taking swings, “Last chance. Your place or mine?” She replies (best answer ever), “Despite my rejection of most Judeo-Christian ethics, I am, within the framework of the baseball season, monogamous.” So is the essence of their entire relationship before it culminates in the most fantastic, hilarious, and “major” sex scenes ever. Yes. Scenes, plural. For those of you who’ve seen the movie, you know what I am talking about.

The second relationship is the one between Crash and Nuke. Crash knows his days of playing in “The Show” are over, but Nuke is young and talented, if green and Crash finds him self in the forced role of playing Nuke’s mentor. The portrayed “Teacher/Student” relationship has been done many different times and in many different ways, but the meaning behind it is essentially the same. The veteran takes the rookie under his wing and grooms him to become the best person that he can be. When Nook asks Crash why he doesn’t like him and Crash replies, “Because you don't respect yourself, which is your problem. But you don't respect the game, and that's my problem. You got a gift…but you’re pissing it away,” it provides the basis of where their relationship is destined to progress toward.

This movie is basically a baseball lover’s movie. Crash represents what we want in a ball player and there just aren’t enough of those men in the game today.

Memorable Quotes:
(Trust me, it was tough for me to narrow this down)

Crash: Relax, alright? Don’t try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls- it’s more democratic.

Nuke: God, that sucker teed off on that like he knew I was gonna throw a fastball!
Crash: He did know
Nuke: How?
Crash: I told him

Crash: Yeah, I was in the show. I was in the show for 21 days once- the 21 greatest days of my life. You know, you never handle your luggage in the show? Someone else carries your bags. It was great. You hit white balls for batting practice, the ballparks are like cathedrals, the hotels all have room service, and the woman all have long legs and brains.

Crash: Well, I believe in the soul, […], the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days…
Annie: Oh my…

Nuke: A good friend of mine used to say, “This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.” Think about that for awhile.

Crash: If you believe you're playing well because you're getting laid, or because you're not getting laid, or because you wear women's underwear, then you ARE! And you should know that! (Long pause) Come on, Annie. Think of something clever to say, huh? Something full of magic, religion, bullshit. Come on, dazzle me.
Annie: I want you.

Sandlot
Release Date: April 7, 1993

Cast: Tom Guiry (Scotty Smalls), Mike Vitar (Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez), Patrick Renna (Hamilton “Ham” Porter), Chauncey Leopardi (Michael “Squints” Palledorous), Marty York (Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan), Denis Leary (Bill), Karen Allen (Mom), and James Earl Jones (Mr. Mertle)

This is another movie that provides the stone base for the altar dedicated to baseball lovers. People who love more than just their professional baseball team and truly find joy in the dirt of baseball fields and in the warm smells of their worn leather mitts will find nostalgia in Sandlot. People who’ve played baseball (or softball) their whole lives know the happiness of simply playing a pick-up game in the park with their friends or family for hours on end. Are there many better ways to spend your summer days than that? I’m not sure that there is.

Like in Bull Durham, we have the “Teacher/Student” relationship, only this time played out in the form of Benny and Smalls. Smalls is an awkward, nerdy kid new to town without friends or any athletic ability to speak of. Benny is charismatic, confident, and very talented. Unlike most boys his age with the talent and popularity that he has, Benny is also generous, patient, and kind. He takes Smalls under his wing and introduces him to the game of baseball, against the advice and complaints of his other friends. Thanks to Benny’s encouragement, Smalls develops a better sense of self-worth, a close network of friends that he certainly never would’ve made without the help of Benny, and becomes a better ball player.

Had it not been for softball, I never would’ve met my best friend, Erin. I don’t know what life would actually be like without her in it. I know that when I am not with her, I am half of myself. Would not knowing Erin mean that I’d be a half empty vessel on the constant mission of seeking something to fill that space? I’m not sure I know the answer to that question, but I do know that I am not willing to find out. No matter how many times I see Sandlot, I get misty eyed at the end of the movie when Adult Smalls is calling the game from the announcer’s booth and Adult Benny (now playing for the Dodgers) steals home. The scene ends with the men exchanging thumbs up signs, followed by the camera panning to a framed photograph on the wall of the boys standing in the sandlot. It sends chills up my spine.

Memorable Quotes:
Squints: It’s about time, Benny. My clothes are goin’ outta style!

Ham: Hey, Smalls! You wanna s’more?
Smalls: Some more of what?
Ham: No. Do you wanna s’more?
Smalls: I haven’t had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing?
Ham: You’re killing me, Smalls! These are s’more stuff! Alright. Now pay attention. First you take the graham. You stick the chocolate on the graham. Then you roast the ‘mallow. When the ‘mallow’s flaming, you stick it on the chocolate. Then cover with the other end. Then you scarf. Kind of messy, but good! Try it!

Ham: PLAY BALL! Hurry up, batter. This better be a short game. I gotta get home for lunch.

Ham: You know, if my dog was as ugly as you, I’d shave his butt and tell him to walk backwards.

Squints: Where did your old man get that ball?
Smalls: I don’t know. Some lady gave it to him. She even signed her name on it. Ruth. Baby Ruth.
All: BABE RUTH?


On to the baseball notes for this week: Last season, we mentioned an ambidextrous pitcher named Pat Venditte hiding within the Yankees organization. On Tuesday, Venditte showed off his ambi-skills against the Braves, allowing only 1 run over the course of 1 1/3 innings during the 9-6 split squad loss. He took over for CC Sabathia in the 5th and switched hands depending on whether he was facing a righty or a lefty. He gave up 2 hits and a walk. He is scheduled to begin the season at Class A Tampa. Team officials have concluded that out of caution, Jose Reyes (A-hole #2) ought to focus on getting into baseball shape and not be rushed for Mets Opening Day. As you may recall, A-hole #2 had been previously idle for 3 weeks due to a hyperactive thyroid. Apparently Daniel Murphy will also open the Mets season on the disabled list with a grade 1 knee sprain, securing a spot for hottie Mike Jacobs on the Opening Day roster. For making it to Opening Day roster and having the most bitable ass in the Mets lineup, Mike Jacobs is this week’s Super Hero! Congrats, Mike! You certainly earned it! Keep doing those lunges and squat thrusts. They’re definitely paying off. By the way, can someone please explain WTF a grade 1 knee sprain is? Is there a pre-school knee sprain as well? Murphy is expected to miss 2-6 weeks. Since he has so much free time now, he should friend request us on Facebook. Rockies’ closer, Huston Street, has had another setback in his quest to overcome the stiffness in his right shoulder that has been plaguing him all spring. This is the third time that Street’s been shut down so far and he’ll naturally, open the season on the DL. We’ll be more than happy to straddle him if it’ll make his shoulder feel better. We’ll take one for the Rockies with pleasure. LHP Franklin Morales, who filled in for Street last September, will cover the 9th inning duties in the interim.

We’ll be at the Main Event on Sunday to kick off the baseball season and of course, drink beers like the classy ladies that we are *insert loud belch* and take part in devouring the Olympic Sampler.

Lisa and Papa L. will be in attendance for Mets Opening Day on Monday, April 5th. Be sure to check back sometime next week before our regularly scheduled Friday posting because she’ll be posting pictures of the game.

Finally, we’d like to wish a Happy Birthday, #1 Fan Steph & Daniel Murphy and wish all of you a very Happy Bunny-rific Easter!

BallHype: hype it up!

6 comments:

  1. Though I was tempted to choose the Sandlot, I decided instead to stay true to a favorite of mine not on the list: Little Big League. Your boy, Griffey, even has a cameo in the film.

    Btw, last week's poll was your best yet. I was at my wit's end trying to choose between so many great choices! -CM :)

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  2. love the blog.

    baseball is finally back.Yeah!

    mamdukes

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  3. Hmm. Such a hard choice to pick my favorite baseball movie. I have to say Pride of the Yankees makes me cry the hardest, so that's probably my #1. Then comes Bull Durham. Just love that movie!

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  4. Stephanie #1 Fan:)April 6, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    Thanks for the birthday shout out girls;)
    So happy baseball is back!!!!My pick is Sandlot. That is one the boys and i watch over and over.(and our doggie is in it;))Great blog!

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  5. Just stumbled onto to this post.

    What?! No Mr Baseball with Tom Selleck?

    D

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