Everyone’s Gone to the Movies

Since we can’t watch real baseball for several more weeks, I thought I would write a post on the next best thing – baseball movies! The funny thing is, there really aren’t a lot of quality baseball movies that have been made. For a sport that is America’s game and has been around for 100 years, I expected to be able to easily name ten great baseball movies. I couldn’t.

So here for the first time is TheFoulLine.com’s Top Five Baseball Movies of All Time!!

(Before I start, it should be noted that Field of Dreams will not be making my list. I hated this entire movie. I hate the “If you build it, they will come” ghost story. I hate Iowa. I hate the stupid Field of Dreams Pepsi commercials that they played 9 billion times last season. Now, I’m sure that I’ll be accused of not being a baseball fan for having these comments, but I urge you to rewatch this movie and try and tell me that it’s not a piece of crap.)

Top Five Baseball Movies of All Time

  1. Bull Durham
    Hands down, the best of all time. This movie has it all: baseball, witty banter, sex… The re-watchability of this movie is off the charts. When flipping through the channels, if I come across this flick, I have never not watched it. True story.

  2. Major League
    Who would have thought that they could make a movie about the Cleveland Indians, and it would actually be really good? I’ve watched this movie at least 30 times and I’ve always enjoyed it. How can you not like Wild Thing, Willy Mays Hayes and Pedro Cerrano? And they beat the Yankees to make it to the World Series! (We will not be mentioning the abominations known as Major League 2 and Major League: Back to the Minors.)

  3. The Sandlot
    This is the funniest movie on the list. The scene where the sandlot kids go face-to-face with their arch rivals is classic. Moron, scab eater, butt sniffer, pus licker, fart smeller, and the ultimate insult… You play ball like a girl! This movie brings me back to when I was kid playing baseball and talking smack.

  4. Moneyball
    For a movie that’s about on-base percentage, drawing walks and Scott Hatteberg, it was really good! I saw this in the theater with the RedRay, and we both really enjoyed it. This is a smart movie that had me laughing. I’m not sure why they made Art Howe such a prick, but even so, this is a top-fiver.

  5. The Natural
    I saw this movie in the theater, the night before my first game as a member of the Salem Little League Traveling All-Star Team. After watching Roy Hobbs knock the cover off the ball with “Wonderboy,” I was amped up and ready to play. I proceeded to go 2-3 with three RBIs, as we beat Litchfield 8-3. I’m not saying this movie was the determining factor in me having a good game, but I’m sure it helped. It’s a classic.

Honorable Mentions:

What’s your all-time favorite baseball movie?

Simply the Best

Basketball is boring, the NHL has too many foreign players whose names I can’t pronounce, and the NFL may not be around for a 2011 season. And that is why Major League Baseball is the best of the professional sports. 30 teams, all with a chance to win the World Series. 162 games that matter. Fresh-cut grass. Cold beer. Keeping score… and oh yeah, fantasy baseball.

Quick Hits:

  • I can’t believe that I made a “don’t draft” list and didn’t include Grady Sizemore. I hate that bastard, and his one good knee.
  • It’s nice to see the Chicago Cubs in mid-season form. It’s the first week of games and they’re already fighting each other in the dugout.
  • Carl Crawford’s batting average has soared to .167  after collecting two hits today. The flood gates are officially open.
  • Speaking of mid-season form, Dice K gave up 7 runs in today’s game. That’s $100 million well spent.
  • I want to see a race between Jacoby Ellsbury & Carl Crawford. The loser has to bat lead-off.
  • I just scored two tickets for the Rays-Red Sox game this week, 5th row behind home plate. This spring is shaping up nicely.
  • After watching the aging Yankees last night, Robinson Cano is their only player that scares me. That guy is stupid good. He’s the best second baseman in the league… By a lot!
  • Just when you think a player is a total scumbag, he runs into your daughter’s first grade teacher and her son at Publix, poses for pictures, and gives the kid an autographed bat… I guess that’s just Manny being Manny. Classy move.
  • I’m really happy to see that our league has 10 teams signed up, although I’m not sure what a “bostobadboy” is.
  • Dont sleep on the Atlanta Braves this year. If one of their Billy Wagner replacements pitches well, watch out.
  • I actually traded Hanley Ramirez and David Price for Ryan Howard and a scrub pitcher last year. How’d I make the playoffs?
  • If you want a good laugh, YouTube Dustin Pedroia and watch any interview he does. The guy is a character.
  • Is Buster Posey the first catcher taken in the draft?
  • Can’t wait for Opening Day. Although I’m dreading that I have to listen to Dewayne Staats call Rays games.
  • Fact:  3 weeks until draft time, and two-time defending fantasy baseball champion Love Boat Captains has yet to research the first player or do a mock draft. Why am I still scared?

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

I enjoy watching the NFL for about three weeks, then I’m bored out of my mind.

I couldn’t care less if Brett Favre plays another year or which Manning is going to the Super Bowl. I’m tired of running backs running into the butts of their offensive lineman and quarterbacks with their special “do not hit” rules. I’ll watch the Superbowl, but believe me, I’m counting down the days until Spring Training.

There are people that complain that the baseball season is too long. These people are either communists or Pittsburgh Pirate fans. I’m all for extending the season another 30 games. I’ll gladly take 200 games of baseball over 16 weeks of football.

So here it is, the Top 22 reasons that baseball is the best sport around (in no particular order).

  1. The Boston Red Sox – America’s Team. Some may dispute this, but they are wrong. Boston is the model franchise in MLB – good farm system, an ownership not afraid to spend money, players that stay out of the police blotter. Always in contention. Tradition. Fenway Park. Yankee fans can suck it.
  2. Getting to the park early to watch batting practice.
  3. Manicured fields and the smell of freshly cut grass. Well, maybe not at Tropicana Field.
  4. Fantasy baseball is a thousand times better than fantasy anything else.
  5. Watching the game, eating a hotdog, drinking a cold beer.
  6. Very few face painters in the stands.
  7. If you act like a jackass after hitting a home run, you get nailed in the back your next at bat. Meanwhile, football players celebrate every tackle like they just cured cancer.
  8. Red Sox vs. Yankees
  9. Albert Pujols and Joe Mauer, two great examples of professionalism and loyalty to their teams.
  10. Winning the All-Star game actually means something. Why is the Pro-Bowl even televised? It blows.
  11. Breaking up the double play.
  12. Having the balls to try to steal home.
  13. Walk-off home runs
  14. I know they’re jackasses, but I really like Joe Buck and Tim McCarver calling the Fox Saturday afternoon game.
  15. The Rays going from worst to first in one season.
  16. Players not talking to the pitcher throwing a no-hitter.
  17. Every elite closer having their own walk-in music from the bullpen.
  18. You hit one of my stars, I hit one of yours.
  19. MLB trading deadline, the most exciting day of the year.
  20. Buying a new Red Sox hat every year.
  21. The hit-and-run
  22. The double switch

This list could be a thousand lines long. Baseball is awesome.

Pitcher and catchers report in 20 days!

The Best of What’s Around

With Opening Day of the 2008 Major League Baseball season a few short hours away, the staff at thefoulline.com has come up with the inaugural Thefoulline.com All-Pro Team of Awesomeness. This is a team of players, handpicked by Dylan and me, who represent what this site stands for. These players may not necessarily be the best at their respective positions, some may not even be good at baseball at all, but they have the attributes to make them worthy of this prestigious honor.

To be eligible for this team, players have to meet certain requirements:

  • No Yankees allowed
  • Must be able to play hurt, and not spend more time on the DL then on the active roster. (This means Rocco Baldelli is out.)
  • Must keep their name on the sports page, not on the police blotter.
  • Not on the Mitchell Report. Sorry, Roger.
  • Most importantly, these are players that Dylan and I like. It was hard to not make it all Red Sox, but we did our best.
  • No Yankees allowed

Here is the 2008 Thefoulline.com All-Pro Team of Awesomeness

Catcher: Jason Varitek
Varitek is not only the captain of the Boston Red Sox, but we are making him the captain here as well. Although he’s getting on in years, he still prepares his pitchers well and calls a great game.

First Base: Mark Texiera
Tex flies under the radar as far as elite first basemen go. He’s solid every year he plays.

Second Base: Dustin Pedroia
The baddest man in Boston provides the scrappy trash-talking factor for the team. If this guy was 6 feet tall, he would be a household name.

Shortstop: Orlando Cabrera
I still can’t get over the Sox not signing him in favor of Edgar Renteria. The O.C. was great for Boston during their 2004 run.

Third Base: Alex R…..NOT! David Wright
This guy has every chick in New York City wanting him, and he still goes out and hits .324 with 30 HRs. Plus I like the fact that Derek Jeter gets this guy’s leftovers. Best 3rd baseman in NYC.

Right Field: Vladimir Guerrero
Vlad swings for the fences with every swing of the bat and has a laser-rocket arm. What’s not to like? He once went yard in the on-deck circle.

Center Field: Grady Sizemore
Sizemore plays the game like a new and improved Jim Edmonds. Not to mention, Grady is a pretty cool first name.

Left Field: Carl Crawford
Poor Carl, playing in relative obscurity in Tampa, still manages to put up great numbers. And he has to play his spring training games next to road-rager Jon Weber.

Designated Hitter: David Ortiz
This one was obvious. He’s one of the most likable people in all of sports as well as the greatest postseason clutch hitter on the planet. Plus, I can’t really think of another DH worth a damn.

Starting Pitcher: Josh Beckett
He makes the team due to his remarkable playoff record and the fact that he never smiles during a game. This guy epitomizes intensity.

Starting Pitcher: Scott Kazmir
This future Red Sox led the league in strikeouts last year. Also Dylan has a man-crush on him, and vice-versa.

Starting Pitcher: Jake Peavy
He’s great at nothing but really good at everything.

Starting Pitcher: Felix Hernandez
His nickname is King, and he one-hit the Red Sox last year. That’s good enough for me.

Starting Pitcher: Tom Glavine
Token old-timer of the staff and 300-game winner. Also Dylan saw him play high school hockey in Billerica, Mass.

Closer: Jonathan Papelbon
Great stuff. Decent dancer. Crazy as hell.

Bench: Carlos Pena
The pride of Haverhill, Mass.

Bench: Troy Tulowitzki
Pretty good ballplayer, even if he does play for the Rockies.

Bench: Joe Mauer
Close personal friend of Matt McLaughlin, so he makes the team.

Bench: Kevin Millar
This guy will never make it out on the field for this team, but he’s a fun guy to keep around.

Manager: Sparky Anderson
My dad’s favorite manager when I was growing up.

League Commissioner: Bill Lee

Here’s our team. I think that they would fare pretty well in the league. Who makes your Team of Awesomeness?

Roid Rage

I have made it known several times since I started this blog that I don’t like Roger Clemens. I have written posts that described him a money grubber, as well as being a disloyal traitor. In other words, Clemens has a history of whoring himself out to the highest bidder without regard to team loyalty.

After watching Clemens “vehemently” deny his steroid use on the 60 Minutes interview by his good friend Mike Wallace I was convinced that Rocket Roger is a bad liar and is only concerned about his legacy. To further reinforce how he didn’t do steroids, Clemens called a news conference on Monday and proceeded to bash the media for their hard hitting questions. I guess Roger was hoping for another free pass, but unfortunately for him the reporters chose to do their job and leave the puff pieces to 6o Minutes. Clemens in a failed attempt to look like the surly, wrongly accused ball player, even went as far asking the media that was on hand for permission to drink his bottled water in a very condescending way. Unfortunately for him, he came off looking like a jerk. Did Clemens forget that it’s the baseball writers that vote for selection into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

After watching Roger Clemens performance the past two days, I am convinced of two things. First of all, he definitely took steroids while playing. There is no way a guy his age is throwing , 95 MPH and gets stronger as the season goes on. I don’t care how many wind sprints he did during the offseason. Secondly, his personal trainer has absolutely nothing to gain by lying about this. All this guy has received is one less source of income and the complete loss of his privacy. This doesn’t sound like a great deal to me.

Clemens can deny his steroid use until he grows a third ear out of his forehead. But, watching Clemens lash out at the media yesterday, and threatening bodily harm to his ex-trainer during the press conference made me start thinking, maybe Roger Clemens is still taking them.

Cheater Man

And I think it’s gonna be a long long time,
‘Til touch down brings me ’round again to find,
I’m not the man they think I am at home,
Oh no no no I’m a rocket man.

Elton John must have known something the rest of the baseball world didn’t when he wrote “Rocket Man.”

Two days ago, Roger Clemens was the greatest right-handed pitcher in Major League history. He is a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, has the record for striking out the most players in a game twice, and has won 354 games. Now he will forever be mentioned in the same breath as Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire as a cheater and a disgrace to the game. The Mitchell Report has been made official and has listed some of the biggest names in the sport as steroid users. An All-Star team could be fielded with the names on the report: Guys like Andy Petitte, Miguel Tejada, and Gary Sheffield were all named, but the most newsworthy name was obviously Clemens.

I guess I should have thought something was up when a 40-year-old man was still throwing 95 MPH and dominating the league, but Clemens was well known for his extensive and excruciating off-season workouts. Of course, being the money-grubbing liar that he is, Clemens denies the accusations, even though the guy that trained both Clemens and Petitte came forward and admitted injecting both players in the butt with steroids.

When the talk of players using steroids came up, it was generally thought that it was the power hitters using them, not the pitchers. Now it’s been reported that there are just as many pitchers as position players on the report.

If Barry Bonds is getting asterisks on his records, I think Clemens should also.

These guys have degraded America’s pastime. I think the only way that they ever see the inside of the Baseball Hall of Fame is if they buy a $10 ticket.

Checking in from thefoulline.com

Sorry about the lack of post the last few weeks, but it has been quiet in the world of baseball. I don’t want to be one of those bloggers that writes something everyday, just for the sake of writing. I want to keep this a baseball blog, so please be patient and keep tuning in. Things will hopefully heat up soon. With that being said, here are some thefoulline.com news and notes:

  • How about Hank Steinbrenner doing his best George Steinbrenner impersonation. First, giving the Twins a deadline on the Johan Santana deal. How’d that one work out for you Hank? Secondly, New York has just signed Latroy Hawkins to a one year deal. So let me do the math for the 2008 Yankees: One weak bullpen – Joba + Hawkins + re-signing the aging Mariano Rivera = another lousy season for New York.
  • Only in MLB would a team give Eric Gagne a one year, ten million dollar contract. Maybe the G.M. of the Brewers should have watched some American League baseball last year. Gagne was horrible. He blew every opportunity he had last year in Boston. I wouldn’t have given him a nickel. Although with my luck, Gagne will probably win another Cy Young now that he’s back playing in the Junior Varsity. (N.L.)
  • I’m glad to see the Red Sox haven’t re-signed Doug Mirabelli. I know that he catches the knuckleball well. But there are other guys that can catch it also, and hit higher than .202.
  • How about this week for Red Sox Nation’s favorite player Jacoby Ellsbury. First signing with the anti-christ Scott Boras. Then charging $125 for his autograph. What is he thinking? I would never pay more then five bucks for an autograph from someone with 30 games of major league experience. Now that I think about it, there are maybe five athletes/celebrities that I would pay for an autograph. Here they are in no particular order:
    1. Bill Russell
    2. Ted Williams
    3. Larry Bird
    4. Eddie Vedder
    5. Dylan Hamilton

    Maybe it’s time for Jacoby to stop reading about how great he is, and remember that he is still a rookie.

  • The Red Sox Spring training games are going on sale next week. Have you seen the prices for decent seats? Standing room $10, box seats $26-$46. Why would someone pay $46 bucks for a spring training game? The chances are pretty good that you’ll be watching the 2008 Portland Sea Dogs take the field. I would rather take the $46 dollars and buy season tickets to the Tampa Bay Rays. At least this way I’m guaranteed to see major league players… and the Rays.

Thanks for reading, stay tuned….

Dustin Pedroia wins Rookie of the Year

I wrote a post on September 1st about how Dustin Pedroia was the baddest man in Boston. Today he confirmed it. After a great season playing second base for the Red Sox, Pedroia was honored as the American League Rookie of the Year.

Dustin Pedroia became the first Red Sox player to win the award since 1997, when some guy named Nomar Garciaparra won it. Let’s hope that Pedroia can mirror the same career that Nomar enjoyed, minus the nagging injuries and weird batting routine.

It was released a few days ago that Pedroia played the last two months of the season with a broken hand. So let me get this straight, he’s 5 and a half feet tall, 170 pounds, played with one hand and still hit over .300 in the postseason? This guy might not be just the baddest man in Boston, he might be the baddest man in the country.

This has been a pretty successful offseason so far for the Red Sox and individual awards. First, Kevin Youkilis wins a much deserved Gold Glove, followed by Pedroia winning the ROY. Now if there is any justice in this world, Josh Beckett will take home the Cy Young award tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.

Ray of light

Attention Foulliners!

We now have reason to start to fear the professional baseball team from Tampa Bay. While every other team has been working the phone lines and meeting players this offseason trying to improve lineups, Tampa Bay may have made the biggest splash so far. I’m not talking about them signing Alex Rodriguez, or making a push for Johan Santana. No, Tampa has finally found the formula for immediate success. They have officially changed their name from the “Devil Rays” to the “Rays.” Wow! Watch out Major League Baseball; this team is not messing around.

I imagine the Tampa brass meeting at the end of another disappointing season where they finished in the AL East cellar. How could they turn this team into a legitimate contender?

Add some veteran players to provide some leadership to the young talent? Nope.
Add a quality starting pitcher? No thanks.
Re-sign AL comeback player of the year and team MVP Carlos Pena? Maybe.
Improve the worst bullpen in baseball? No way!

Remove two syllables from the team name? BINGO!!

I really like this move. I always found the name Devil Rays so cumbersome to say. This is obviously the reason why this team has sucked since its inception. Not because the owners are cheapskates that refuse to increase payroll, or because Tropicana Field is a glorified warehouse. It’s because they picked the wrong name.

I am so glad to see this young franchise finally find the recipe for success. Now if I could suggest a new team slogan for the 2008 season.

Tampa Bay Rays: Exorcising our demons, but still stinking up the league.

The Eight Million Dollar Man

Curt Schilling has been called a lot of things over the years. Arrogant, blowhard, and egomaniac, just to name a few. But after Tuesday’s announcement it’s time to add one more: loyal.
It was announced that Schilling signed a one-year, $8 million deal (plus incentives) to remain a member of the World Champion Boston Red Sox.

Even at the ripe old age of 41, Schilling was the cream of the crop for free agent starting pitchers. From day one of the free agent signing period Schilling was being heavily recruited by several teams. His name seemed to come up in every rumor, with teams like the Phillies and the Astros being the most vocal. It was a no-brainer that Schilling could have guaranteed himself a 2-year deal in the range of $25-30 million in guaranteed money to go play for another team. In this day and age of athletes holding out to squeeze out every dime from team owners, and players more concerned with the name on the back of the jersey instead of the name on the front, it’s refreshing when someone puts the team first and wants to play for a winner.

One more year of Schilling in the clubhouse will provide a huge boost in the development of Boston’s young pitchers. Now Clay Buchholz won’t be forced into the starting rotation, and can continue to mature as a pitcher.

What I especially like about this contract is that Schilling was the one to insert a weight clause. After coming in to Spring Training in 2007 like he was on a tour of New England all-you-can-eat buffets during the winter, Schilling was embarrassed about the scrutiny about his weight and the fact that he broke down early in the season. With this new deal, Schilling is going to show baseball fans why he is one of the games great competitors and will end his career on his terms.
Curt Schilling will continue to be a top-of-the-rotation starter, mentor to the young staff, and unofficial Red Sox press secretary this year, all this for the low, low price of $8 million.

Maybe it’s time to throw away the old list used to describe Schilling and start a new one.
I think this one can start with “Winner.”