As a disclaimer, please remember that I am a rather new devotee to the glorious pastime of baseball. So while the rest of you have had years to soak up all the extras, I am still playing catch up. Last evening when I was fairly certain that the day’s news from baseball’s Winter Meetings had dried up for the day, I settled in to watch Major League, a movie that some of you (okay, okay… probably every last one of you) may have seen in the theaters 21 years ago, or at least by the time you turned 12.
Of course, I loved it. But I also must say that timing is everything. If I had been dragged to watch a (groan) baseball movie when I had little interest or appreciation for the game, Major League would have been a major disappointment. However, right now, in the middle of December with the trade flurries, free agent frenzy and rumor mills spinning at high speed, Major League was the perfect escape for an overly loyal and passionate Cardinal fan worrying about the makeup of the 2011 lineup.
Hollywood’s version of the luckless losers who were destined to fail involved a team whose GM was crafting an evil plan to insure a last place finish. The idea was to round up some old veteran players with bad knees, a bunch of young kids nobody else had heard of and a prima donna superstar who is more concerned with his future contract than playing a hard nine. (True, that last one has no relevance… but the word “contract” did ring in my ear a little louder than usual.) It was entertaining – in an odd but familiar way.
Yes, the spectacled bad boy hurler Rick Vaughn with his Wild Thing theme song, triangled haircut and California Penal League baseball quote were a hoot. The hilarity of Bob Ueker’s creative play-by-play broadcast ramblings to a relatively nonexistent listening audience of a last-place team was beyond funny. The voodoo cures for the curveball made mustaches and high socks seem…. well, boring. And as in all contrived theater for the masses, the underdog team rallied, the fair weather fans returned, the guy got the girl and everyone lived happily ever after.
I hope I didn’t ruin the ending for you? ;)
|photo from Jeff Pearlman.com|
The Cardinals now have ex-Astro (and temporary Yankee) Lance Berkman penciled into the 2011 outfield. Yesterday I received word from my dear brother-n-law, a native Houstonian and long-suffering (but loyal) Astros fan. He reassured me that Berkman’s on-base percentage in the 2-spot of the lineup (ahead of Pujols) is a very, very big plus. I know it hurt him deeply to admit that the Cardinals offense would be dangerous, so that opinion means more to me than any statistical model or official Cardinal spin on the topic. If my Astro fan bro-in-law is correct about the predicted OBP value of our new Cardinal /old veteran with bad knees – and our buddy Bob’s (@throatwarbler’s) most recent Cardinal history lesson is any indication of the potential, than I am ready to watch this Major League type Hollywood magic come true.
If you prefer to get a shot of positivity from history rather than Hollywood, you really should check out what our friend Bob has to say. His ability to weave historical similarities into the frame of current events is not only amazing, but also reassuring. Link here
And as far as the hot stove chatter this morning:
Apparently our old buddy Ryan Ludwick is generating a lot of interest from everyone except us. Boohoo L Link here:
And now the Cardinals are rumored to be talking to Yadier Molina’s big brother Bengie for the back-up catcher spot. That idea just warms my baseball heart! ;)
Have a wonderful Wednesday, Cards fans! =)