A Duck for All Seasons: Baseball, Where Art Thou? Part 2
We’re back again, finishing the Coen Brothers/Baseball Preview. Still nine films to go through, still nine loosely-connected baseball predictions/opinions/random things. The key thing, as in life, is that you always have to adjust, be prepared for what life gives you and work with them. Some of these movies may be tough to connect, but I’m ready.
THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE: Remember Cliff Lee? AL Cy Young winner in 2008, professional pitcher, barely walks anyone? That guy? He didn’t pitch in 2015, and, currently, he doesn’t have a team. Bold prediction: he pitches this year, pitches over 120 innings, gets over eight wins.
INTOLERABLE CRUELTY: We’ve all been there before – sticking with a team or player because, well…. You know they’re bad for your health, but you just have a soft spot for them? Speaking of soft spots, who is ready to bet on a bounceback season from Pablo Sandoval? Isn’t he in “the best shape of his career”? Anyone? Bueller?
THE LADYKILLERS: The Coen Brothers get one of the great movie stars of all-time (Tom Hanks), and they end up making probably their worst film. Sometimes chemistry doesn’t work. Now, I’m not saying that Starlin Castro is the Tom Hanks of baseball, but I’m betting that the chemistry between him and the New York Yankees doesn’t work.
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN: The most acclaimed Coen Brothers film – winner of the Academy Award™ for Best Picture – has many angles to play with here, friend-o, but let’s note that the New York Mets are coming into this season with five phenom pitchers (Jacob de Grom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and the return of Zack Wheeler around July 1st). That leaves one pitcher potentially sitting on the outside. He’s our friend, he’s our pal, he’s our friend-o, he’s Bartolo.
BURN AFTER READING: In tribute to one of the lesser Coen films, here comes a prediction I probably don’t want to be seen anywhere in September: last year’s AL West champion, the Texas Rangers, will lose 90 games this year. Just see a lot of pieces falling apart. When they win the division this year, I will conveniently forget this point.
A SERIOUS MAN: I am being serious, the Minnesota Twins will win the AL Central, and Byron Buxton becomes the player we’ve all been waiting for this season. Get ready to drop him in your lineup regularly by June.
TRUE GRIT: There are players who constantly keep their (high-paying) jobs, despite no discernible skill. These are the types of players who managers refer to as “gritty”, “gutty”, and several other adjectives you’d never use on a dating profile. Right now, in Major League Baseball, there is only one true avatar for this player.
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS: This is is the toughest movie to connect to baseball. It’s a damn movie about folk music, for crying out loud (wrings hands). Okay, let’s give this a try (to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon”):
Jose the Magic Slugger
Plays in New Comiskey
He hits the ball so very far
And this year it will be 43
You knew there’d be a Jose Abreu reference somewhere in here.
HAIL, CAESAR!: Hail my World Series prediction this year, which is based on nothing more than plain old hunching. Toronto beats Washington in five games. Feel free to make your own way-too-early picks in the comments section. Play ball!