RALEIGH DURHAM, NC – I was out at Citifield for the home opener and something really really disturbing happened! No, it wasn’t Pedro Feliciano balking in the winning run – that was just really disturbing – it was learning that Taller Matt has never seen the movie Bull Durham! (Somebody get with Annie Savoy, she may need our support right about now). Taller Matt loves sports. Taller Matt loves baseball. Taller Matt loves good movies and snappy dialogue. The problem; Taller Matt hates Kevin Costner. Now I can’t blame Taller Matt for that last one. Kevin Costner is a stain on the fabric that is the American Cinema. I’m fine with it if Taller Matt or anyone else for that matter, never sees Field of Dreams. That movie tugs at a baseball fan’s heartstrings like a hallmark card. I’m fine with it if Taller Matt or anyone else for that matter never sees any of Kevin Costner’s other movies, knowing that if you take Bull Durham out of the mix, his greatest screen role, played as best as he can play was Alex in the Big Chill. But I can’t abide, for a friend, or anyone else for that matter who likes sports, who likes baseball, who likes good movies with snappy dialogue, to go through life without seeing Bull Durham!
We need an intervention! No we need a Matt-Tervention! And we need it now!
I know that right now, the Mets are playing like a bunch of lollygaggers with their eye lids jammed and with no idea what to get Millie and Jimmy for their wedding, but right now what is of more concern to me is this void in Taller Matts life, and his seeming indifference to it. No, if someone is going to sacrifice a live rooster and by a set of candlesticks or a place setting to make a difference in someone’s life, right now it needs to be done for Taller Matt. The Mets will find their way – they may need a rain out – but Taller Matt needs our help.
Taller Matt needs a sexy-at-any-age Annie Savoy to give him some life wisdom and help him (and slightly less Tall Matt) to get to the show. I’m pretty sure that Taller Matt is well versed in the transcendentalist poets of the 19th Century, and doesn’t need to be tied to the bed and have Walt Whitman read to him, but I think that he does need someone to tell the big guy if the rose goes in the front or the back.
Taller Matt knows the difference between Aztec and Mayan and he knows all about the Lava Lizards of the Galapagos Islands, but he doesn’t know the danger of fungus on your shower shoes. With fungus on his shower shoes and without a Matt-Tervention, Taller Matt won’t be colorful; he’ll be a slob.
Taller Matt knows that when you get in a fight with a drunk, you don’t hit him with your pitching hand. But does he know the importance between having a Porsche 911 with a quadrophonic Blaupunkt and a curveball? Can we risk it? For his sake? For Mrs. Matt’s and for Taller Matt, Jr.’s?
I know that Taller Matt believes in high fiber, good scotch and that there should be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter, but does he know that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap? How long can we let him go on like this?
Taller Matt knows that America is the land of opportunity and freedom, and his forebears fought to keep it that way, but does he know that fast balls are fascistic whereas ground balls are democratic. Can society afford to let him raise a child without knowing the difference?
Taller Matt knows that in America one can think and worship the way they choose, but does he get that there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball? Does he get that Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms and Isadora Duncan are good for some things, but only the Church of Baseball feeds the soul day in and day out?
Taller Matt needs our help. I need your help. Help me, help Taller Matt. I don’t want to be sitting in my $3.2 million season seats twenty years from now thinking, if only I’d done something for Taller Matt back then He wouldn’t have ended up like Max Patkin, the clown prince of baseball. He would have had a show on SNY and New York at his feet. You don’t want to be there twenty years from now saying to yourself “If only I’d taught him his cliches, and told him that the word knobsucker was a particular no-no with umpires, Slightly Less Tall Matt wouldn’t have left him to sell Lady Kenmores at Sears, and Mrs. Matt wouldn’t have left him to go back to the Yankees, and poor little Taller Matt, Jr. wouldn’t have turned into the next Yankee Joe.”
Please, I know that I’m starting to sound like Sally Struthers, but only you can help me save Taller Matt. He has to know that the world can be a beautiful place; if you love sports, if you love baseball, if you love good movies with snappy dialogue, if you will only just see one Kevin Costner film, just once, it can be a beautiful place where pitchers don’t shake off their catchers, where crazy Mexican singers are appreciated by all, and where kids know the difference between women getting woolly and weary, and were everybody hits the bull and gets a free steak!
Remember, a good friend of mine used to say,
“This is a very simply game, you throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.”