Forget the curve ball. Give 'em the heater!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

What? No Mention of John Candy?

Hosengartner, Part One

Actor As Baseball Player Believability
In each film, a veteran ballplayer takes the respective youngster under his wing. In LBL, it’s “Lou Collins” played by journeyman Timothy Busfield. I’m convinced Busfield can play any role. We’ve seen him as a journalist in The West Wing, as “Poindexter” in Revenge of the Nerds, as a secret service agent turned kidnapper in First Kid (also starring Sinbad), and perhaps most important, he plays “Ray Kinsella’s” brother-in-law in Field of Dreams. In other words, he has played every kind of role conceivable, and he knows baseball. And his portrayal of “Collins” is dead on. He embodies the veteran ballplayer reaching the twilight of his career who just wants that ring, and physically speaking, he looks like he could potentially hack it on the field.
In ROY, the role of “Henry’s” hero and tutor falls on the shoulders of Gary Busey’s “Chet Steadman.” Where to begin? Gary Busey is a nut ball, as we’ve learned through Entourage, Lethal Weapon, and now Celebrity Fit Club 2. In ROY, he looks nothing like a big leaguer. And when he pitches, he looks nothing like a pitcher. This was horrible casting. No one can buy him as a real baseball player. But the fact of the matter is, he’s Gary Busey, and that demands credibility for some reason.
Fourth inning edge: Rookie of the Year
Professional Ballplayer Cameos
For those keeping score, we are knotted up at two, and in our league, we only play five innings. So, the deciding factor is the film with the best major league baseball player cameos. ROY starts off fairly strong with two players who were once teammates on the Pittsburgh Pirates in Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla. Bonds’ career numbers speak for themselves and Bonilla was a good player before the New York Mets cursed him by taking him on (have the Mets ever not ruined a good player or proven that a good player really isn’t that good? Carlos Beltran anyone?).
Sadly for ROY, LBL easily overcomes the Bonds/Bonilla duo hands down. The movie includes cameos from Ken Griffey Jr., Mickey Tettleton, Wally Joyner, Carlos Baerga, Ivan Rodriguez, Sandy Alomar Jr., Randy Johnson, Alex Fernandez, Paul O’Neill, Dave Magadan, Tim Raines, and Dean Palmer, just to name a few. There are a lot of Hall of Famers in there. And if you’re thinking, “Hey, LBL doesn’t have a steroid user, that should count for something,” you’d be right, except that LBL also features Rafael Palmeiro. And if that wasn’t enough, we also get to see Chris Berman and Lou Piniella. This contest isn’t even close.
Fifth inning edge: Little Big League
There you have it. Little Big League wins by a score of 3-2. And by the way, I know it’s eating at you, the horse’s name is Friday.

Backwords K
Backwords K is a contributor to the wonderful world of Taylor Bunts


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