Archive for the ‘Video’ Category
Via today’s Roundup at The Big Lead comes this video of Palm Beach Cardinals Casey Mulligan doing his best to entertain the crowd during a recent rain delay:
I like that as you’re listening to all the adults laugh at Mulligan’s “Thriller” dance, one little kid who doesn’t get the joke pipes up with the one question everyone always wants to know about the tarp: can you use that thing as a slip and slide? (To answer your question, dear child: yes.)
Mulligan’s dance moves clearly leave something to be desired. Good thing he’s a decent reliever (1.16 ERA, 69 strikeouts in 46.2 innings at the A and A+ levels this season) and shouldn’t have to quit his day job anytime soon.
Jacoby Ellsbury’s daring steal of home against the New York Yankees happened several days ago, but because related searches have brought many people to Bus Leagues since then, I thought it might be a good idea to post video of it here. YouTube has, as you might expect, been scrubbed clean, but Daily Motion had a quality clip of what just might be the most exciting play in baseball.
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Red Sox Monster was all about Ellsbury’s thirty-yard dash from the time it happened, including a nice breakdown of the various factors leading up to it.
One thing I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere (although I admittedly don’t watch or read nearly as much sports news as I used to) is that this is the second time in three seasons that Andy Pettitte got burned on a straight steal of home. As documented on Awful Announcing, Toronto’s Aaron Hill (a former New Hampshire Fisher Cat) got him on May 29, 2007. That play was arguably more embarrassing – with Ellsbury’s speed, you expected him to steal home someday. Hill, not so much.
The really surprising thing, at least to me, is that this continues to happen even though Pettitte is one of the best pitchers of the last 35 years when it comes to picking off baserunners. I think ESPN said that he was second in that category since 1974, which makes you wonder how he has allowed two players in recent years to steal home on him.
I have a google alert set up with the nebulous search parameters of “minor league baseball”, and it coagulates everything into a daily email to me showing top stories with those words in it. I followed one such link to a blog called Plethora, which talked about an Alabama song from the 1990s that’s about following a minor-league ball team.
Feathered hair and country music… not my usual cup of Schlitz, but I can’t deny that the lyrics have Bus Leagues written all over them.
I love a good formulaic feel-good baseball movie as much as the next guy. Especially when the premise is inventive, like it was in “Field of Dreams”. But when you get to the more Disney-esque types of films, I tend to lose interest – I feel like I’ve seen it before, as the plucky loser makes good.
Sounds like the latest baseball film, “Sugar”, is a more realistic look at how baseball winnows its talent pool. It’s the story of a Dominican pitcher who plays well enough to make it out of the Republic and onto a minor-league roster. In the Disney version, Miguel “Sugar” Santos would suffer a mid-career setback, turn things around, fall in love, and win his major league debut.
But this movie isn’t about beating the odds. It’s about real life. From the reviews I’ve read, Sugar finds out he’s good, but not great. So he tops out in the minors, and has to figure out what to do with his life after baseball dead-ends. It might sound depressing, but this film is made by the production team that created the fantastic film “Half Nelson“, which gave us a drug-addicted teacher and a disadvantaged student who make small but important differences in one another’s lives. If this story is treated with the same even-handed approach, it should be gripping.
The part that interested me from a Bus Leagues perspective was my attempt to find out what minor-league ballparks might have been used in the filming. I know from the movie’s press kit that it was shot in the Dominican, Arizona, Iowa, and the Bronx. The only info I could find was about the Iowa location:
Once the action in the film moves to the U.S., the filmmakers wanted to be just as accurate in their depiction of life among minor league players. To find the home for the Single-A team that marks the apex of Miguel’s career, they spent days driving around Iowa. They eventually decided on Davenport, a small city on the banks of the Mississippi.
“The city and the team really embraced us,” says Patricof. “We used the uniforms and the stadium of the real team.”
That team is the Quad Cities River Bandits (Cardinals). If you look at the movie’s poster, you see the distinctive bridge over the Mississippi that looms near the stadium. The River Bandits have a big movie premiere party going on this weekend, with the movie’s star throwing out the first pitch and signing autographs. The River Bandits’ stadium also has a marvelous name: Modern Woodmen Park. Not a bad name if your team brings big bats to the game every night. Or if you’re filming a baseball-themed porno. Which, come to think of it, you could totally also name “Sugar”.
Anyway, I’ll be looking forward to catching “Sugar” when it comes to my town. And I’ll have a special eye out for the baseball haven of Davenport, Iowa (they grow corn in the outfield!) during the minor-league scenes.