Baseball imitates art

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Life imitates art — that is a given. But what happens when life mocks art? We got our answer this week when Indians catcher Yan Gomes tried to pay sacrilegious homage to the greatest baseball movie of all time, “Major League”. For those who haven’t seen the movie, the Indians are in the midst of a playoff chase, and slugger Pedro Cerrano (played by Dennis Haysbert) is in a slump. In order to break out of it, he wants to sacrifice a chicken (he believes in juju). His teammates forbid an actual life sacrifice, but do buy him a bucket of fried chicken. Cerrano is angry, and the slump remains unbroken.

Yan Gomes is currently in a real-life slump for the real-life Indians. He and his teammates organized a “sacrifice” of a Target rotisserie chicken, with fake blood and fake tribal garments. In the game immediately following this display, Gomes hurt his shoulder and will now miss time. Their hubris in insulting Pedro Cerrano was duly punished. To get square with the baseball gods, I propose that the Indians, and some other teams in baseball pay true tribute to the greatest example of America’s pastime in cinema.

Proposal 1: All Indians pitchers get glasses

The Indians are in the most desperate need of penance, and I have the perfect way for them to get one. In “Major League”, troubled pitcher Ricky Vaughn (played by Charlie Sheen) has a wicked fastball, but absolutely no sense for the strike zone. After almost murdering people with his wild pitches, manager Lou Brown realizes Vaughn has bad eyesight. After finding a pair of glasses for him, Vaughn is able to find the strike zone and becomes a bona fide ace.

The Indians already have a top five pitching staff, but how could glasses hurt? Call a pitchers-only meeting, and throw them in a van and take them to one of the three Lenscrafters within ten miles of Progressive Field. They have a promotion for $25 off if you start an online account, and between that and the improved on field performance, the glasses should pay for themselves in no time. I don’t want Wilson Ramos getting Lasik surgery and having the year of his life. That’s cheating. I want an entire staff wearing ugly, huge frame, 80’s glasses.

Proposal 2: The Yankees hire someone to shoot Kyle Schwarber

Right now, there’s a lot of talk about the Cubs sending young phenom Kyle Schwarber to the Yankees for closer Andrew Miller. But what if the Yankees could get Schwarber without a trade?

We look to “The Natural”. In the film, Roy Hobbs is a young man on his way to try out for the Cubs when he decides to spend the night with a mysterious woman. What should have been a one-night-stand turns into a 16 year hiatus from baseball, as the woman shoots Hobbs in the abdomen, nearly ending his career. But a 35-year-old Hobbs eventually comes back to play for the New York Knights, the movie’s Yankees stand-in. The Knights didn’t have to give up anything to get him, and Hobbs rewards them with a walk-off, pennant-winning home run.

Would hiring a beautiful woman to seduce and shoot Schwarber be ethical? Probably not, but the Yankees already have A-Rod and Aroldis Chapman on the roster, so that concern was thrown out the window long ago.

Proposal 3: Fire Billy Beane and bring In Brad Pitt

I’ve already advocated for possibly replacing Beane as the front office head of the A’s. But Beane is such an icon it’d be hard to just replace with him with some schlub. So let’s go for pure star power. Pitt already played Beane in the movie “Moneyball”, so he’s obviously qualified to run the real team. The best line from the movie “Moneyball” is “It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball”, and appropriately, it’s hard not be romantic about Brad Pitt, especially when you’re working with him. He’ll get to be the second dreamiest front office guy in baseball (I miss you so much Theo Epstein).

Anyone can pretend to be a method actor by shadowing the guy you’re playing before filming. But replacing that guy after the movie is done? That’s true method acting. I believe in Pitt.

Andrew Wild covers rugby. Contact him at [email protected].