Hollywood–My wife DVRed a baseball movie for the kids last night, Rookie of the Year, a movie released in Hollywood’s second golden era of baseball movies, 1993-94 (the first golden era has to be 1988-89, with Bull Durham, Eight Men Out, Field of Dreams, and Major League). No less than six baseball themed movies came out in 93-94 (strange how after ’94 the quantity and quality of baseball movies dropped significantly…it’s like something debilitating to the sport happened that year or something), four of these aimed solely at the kiddies, and among premises that involved a monster dog next door, a little boy inheriting and running the Minnesota Twins, and actual froggin’ angels helping Tony Danza pitch better, Rookie of the Year‘s has by far the least plausible. Not so much because a freak accident allows a little kid to strike out a skinny Barry Bonds, or the fact that the romantic leading man of the film is a mustachioed Gary Busey (as a pitcher named “Rocket“)…but that the evil powerhouse nemesis team the Cubbies have to beat is none other than the New York Mets!
Who thinks of the lovable, scrappy Mets as a powerhouse nemesis? Usually that’s a role reserved for THE powerhouse nemesis team to everyone, the New York Yankees. So happens that, while most of the MTM staff were apparently losing their shirts (literally!) at the track this weekend, there also happened to be some baseball going on…the second stop of this year’s Subway Series. Could last night’s Sabathia-Dickey “duel” be a preview of the starting All-Star pitchers? Could these games be a preview of the World Series itself? Let’s have a quick recap:
Friday night: A live chicken named Little Jerry Seinfeld stole the thunder of the rivalry. Jon Niese looked like an ace, but perhaps more shockingly I got an honest chuckle out of something John Sterling said during the broadcast, about Andy Pettitte pitching great after the first inning: “However,” he said, looking over his notes, “they count the first inning now.” I must have Stockholm Syndrome.
Saturday Night: Pituitary case Chris Young looked like Cy Young for six innings, A-Rod boots a ball, and the Mets look like a playoff team…and then the wheels get knocked off by role players Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez. Another game the Yanks win because of the long ball.
Sunday Night: A subway series would not be complete without an appearance on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, but this is perhaps the first that features respective aces who go by initials. Not quite the envisioned duel, but a tight, fun contest…again settled by Yankee home runs (this doesn’t bode well for the playoffs). Unlike the last two years, David Wright is a legitimate tough out, and while the Mets dropped two of three (and five of six all together) to the Bombers, they may arguably have played better…
…though they’ve got a long, long ways to go to be considered evil powerhouse nemeses in any more movies for awhile. As for me, we made it through Rookie of the Year (which, sadly, also included one of the last appearances of John Candy, who may never have had less to work with as the Cubs‘ announcer), and it’s clear I’ve got to step it up. I’ve got my DVD of the Bad News Bears sitting on top of the television waiting for me to come up with a good way to explain the following scene to a nine and six year old in 2012:
Grote2DMax will explain “booger eating moron” tomorrow.