Thursday, February 28, 2008
Last weekend, I was lying around the house enjoying a fresh pair of sweatpants and flipping through the channels. Bored out of my mind and determined not to fall asleep, I notice that Cinemax is showing a classic from my younger years. Now, I’ve seen this masterpiece a few times before and have caught snippets over the past year or so, but last weekend was the first time in a long time that I had watched it from beginning to end. You may remember me doing a movie review like this from over a year ago when I critiqued Teen Wolf (this was before I knew that Bill Simmons talked about this movie in every column). Today, I review Little Big League.
If you remember, Little Big League was about a punk ass kid named Billy Heywood whose grandfather owned the Twins. His grandpa died of having a loser grandson and gave him ownership of the team (I actually think that Bud Selig would allow this). Heywood then fires the manager because he is a know-it-all piece of shit and names himself the skipper. Obviously, hilarity ensues. Let’s take a look at the highlights and stupid shit that the producers want to believe would actually happen, shall we?
-Seriously, what kind of idiot billionaire wants his legacy to be run by an 11 year old kid? I know who, Jason Robards.
-Billy fired manager Dennis Farina for being too hard on the players, yet later he benches his best player for dating his mother…yeah, this is a great movie.
-Are we supposed to believe that Jonathon “The Single Guy” Silverman would be an adequate middle reliever who throws water balloons out of his hotel window??? For the record, Silverman’s character, Bowers, might be my least favorite character in the history of movies. Everyone knows that MLB players are cooze-hounds and would never waste time dropping balloons on people.
-Billy stayed up all night watching porn in his hotel room and fell asleep in the dugout the next day…or as I like to call it, The Joe Torre.
-Once Billy’s frustrations finally boil over and he gets ejected, the umpire WALKS OVER AND TELLS HIS MOTHER WHAT HE SAID…DURING THE GAME, and SHE suspends him for a game!!! Oh my God, there are so many unbelievable things that I just summarized in that sentence that I think I just shit my pants.
-Leon Durham and Kevin Elster??? Those are the best former baseball player/actors that they could get?
-Billy’s shitty friends begin to hate him because he never hangs out with them anymore. What a couple of spoiled assfaces! The guy owns a Major League Baseball team! He’s a manager! He’s 11 years old! Give him a fucking break. He’s got a lot of responsibility now and he can’t just drop anything to go fishing off of a bridge.
-Near the end of the season, Billy decides that he’s tired of being a grown-up and wants to retire. Way to be a quitter, ya spoiled punk.
-While the Twins are watching the Mariners game to see if they will get to host a sudden death playoff game, the final out is made by Dave Magadan. THEE Dave Magadan! They even mentioned his name. Even when he played, no one ever talked about Dave Magadan, yet his name makes a movie. Well played, sir.
-I’ve said this a lot so far, but the absolute worst moment in the movie is right before Lou Collins’ (played by the great Timothy Busfield) final at bat of the season. There are two outs in the bottom of the 9th, two outs, he’s the winning run, Randy Johnson has been summoned from the bullpen…and Lou Collins asks Billy’s mom to marry him??? Yes, that’s really what happened. The biggest at-bat in not-real Twins history and Lou Collins is trying to get laid. Priceless. You’ve got to love fake Twins baseball.
-Speaking of which, Timothy Busfield is their best player??? And they are in the playoff race? I think not. I did love they portrayed Griffey, Randy Johnson, and Lou Piniella as pure evil though. That was cute…and true.
-Anyway, the Twins lose thanks to a brilliant catch by Ken Griffey, Jr (who was made to look like an evil genius in this flick), the Twins are depressed, Billy announces his retirement and the players don’t want him to leave, and for some unknown reason, the Twins fans are still in the stadium. Apparently, they can’t get enough of a team of losers. I never understood that. If my team lost like that, I would start throwing shit on the field and lighting the guy next to me on fire. I wouldn’t cheer for the fucking manager to come out and doth his cap to me. Fuck that, they were a disgrace, get out of my sight. See you again in April, jerks.
-This one brings out the umpire in me and I knew it was illegal right away. Way to know the rules of baseball, dumbass Hollywood people. The trick play Silverman executes towards Griffey in the final game is not legal. Though his feet aren't visible, it shows him 'coming set' to deliver a pitch, and faking a throw to first base (where Griffey is standing as the base runner). Baseball rules state a throw must be made to first base during a pickoff move or the throw is a balk. You’ve got to respect the attention to detail and that the play was Billy’s idea. Way to know the rules, boy wonder.
-It does not surprise me that this Oscar-worthy movie missed this. In the final game, Micky Scales' home run goes over the left field wall that also includes a glass fence. But, when Lou Collins hits the ball that Ken Griffey, Jr. robs in left center for the last out, the glass fence is no longer visible. Who knows, maybe the grounds crew removed it before the 9th inning, they apparently can assist with fake plays anyway. Clearly, there were no rules in Minnesota in 1994.
As you can see, this movie was great. There were no inaccuracies at all. I mean, sure, there is an MLB rule that no one with a financial stake in the club can be the manager, but what the fuck does Hollywood care. This is cinematic gold. But the question is, is this movie better or worse than Rookie of the Year and Major League III: Bakula to the Minors? I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I loved reminiscing about Little Big League. Now go away while I fantasize about the plainness of Billy Heywood’s mother.