Take me out to the ... sofa
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The action has started at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix. Brewers pitchers and catchers have begun formal workouts, many position players are doing drills and the first full-squad workout is slated for Saturday.
Baseball season is drawing closer ... but, we are still several weeks from opening day.
What's a fan in Wisconsin to do?
I suggest cracking open a bag of peanuts and a cold beverage and popping in a baseball movie.
Here is a list of some of my favorites. Feel free to add yours.
"Bull Durham" -- Every team needs a Crash Davis.
"Eight Men Out" -- Good baseball scenes and some courtroom drama as well.
"Bad News Bears" -- It's got to be the original version. Tanner Boyle is one of my all-time favorite characters. Walter Matthau is incredible, too. Decades later, it still stands up as a sociological statement on overbearing little league parents.
"Major League" -- I don't buy the part about players spending spring training in a barracks, but how can you not like Wild Thing, Willie Mays Hays, Harry Doyle and County Stadium?
"The Natural" -- Parts of it may be syrupy and I'm not thrilled with the Max Mercy character, but that winning homer still gets me.
"A League of their Own" -- Tom Hanks is hilarious. Geena Davis never looked better. Someday, I hope to sign an autograph and write "Avoid the clap."
"61*" -- Billy Crystal does a good job detailing the home run chase between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle.
"Field of Dreams" -- A lot of people list this as their favorite movie -- baseball or otherwise. I'm not in that camp.
"The Sandlot" -- Kids love it, but it's more than a kids movie.
"Bang the Drum Slowly" -- Baseball's version of "Brian's Song." Have the Kleenex handy.
"Fever Pitch" -- I'd have liked it more if the Red Sox had lost. But, you can't mess with history.
"The Rookie" -- Predictable sports film, but still well done.
"Little Big League" -- Kid inherits team (sadly, it's the Twins) and makes himself the manager. It has its moments.
"Mr. 3000" -- Worth watching mostly because it was filmed at Miller Park and features the Brewers.
"Damn Yankees" -- Probably more entertaining on stage, but Tab Hunter looks like a movie star.
"Angels in the Outfield" -- I'm not a Tony Danza fan, but this is one of my 9-year-old's all-time favorites.
"Summer Catch" -- Jessica Biel is the only redeeming feature about this flick.
It's not fashionable...but I enjoyed "For the Love of the Game" despite the hokey airport ending. ( Kevin Costner, former Brewers Mike Buddie and Juan Nieves, and Kelly Preston.) Not great, but pretty decent. Something profound about a perfect game pitched by an imperfect man being the result of an evocative reverie on the mound, the parallel memories, something that frees up the subconcious, the..."get out of your own way" phenomenom. Not sure many of the film cognecenti would grasp the notion -- and nine innings of kicking and dealing isn't the worst metaphor...
Check out "Sugar". I enjoyed it. I bet I had to watch "Rookie of the Year" about 70 times when I worked in a video store. Although John Candy is in it, it's still awful. What about "Cobb"?
Mr Baseball. It has a big 80's Mustache, thank you Tom Selleck.
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