Baseball Movie Slugfest by Braves Journal

Since Scott Boras is doing his best to ruin the ebb and flow of the offseason, we’re going to do a 32-seed tournament to determine the best baseball movie. I just want to run the field by everyone to make sure there isn’t a movie that is an egregious omission. We will then have some small write-ups of each movie, and you’ll have an opportunity to vote on who should advance to the next round. Bonus points — which mean nothing — if you can predict which movie will win, especially without knowing seeding. Additional bonus points if you can predict the movie that will have the worst margin of loss in the vote count. Good luck.

COMEDY
Major League
Bad News Bears (the original)
Rookie of the Year
Angels in the Outfield
Mr. Baseball
Mr. 3000
The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings
The Scout

ROMANCE/FANTASY
Fever Pitch
Summer Catch
For the Love of the Game
Trouble with the Curve
Bull Durham
It Happens Every Spring
Field of Dreams
Damn Yankees

DRAMA
The Rookie
The Natural
The Sandlot
Moneyball
Million Dollar Arm
Hardball
8 Men Out
A League of Their Own

DOCUMENTARY/DOCUDRAMA
Ken Burns Baseball
The Bronx is Burning
Sugar
Pelotero
The Jackie Robinson Story
Pride of the Yankees
42
61*

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80 thoughts on “Baseball Movie Slugfest by Braves Journal”

  1. Trouble with the Curve has Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, and features the Braves prominently.

    I vote for it in every category that’s good.

    Twice if you can’t tell I’m raising my other arm behind someone else’s back.

  2. Rob, I sent you an email about “It happens every spring” not being in the list but I see it’s in the romances rather than the comedies. It’s all good, thanks

  3. How about the early 1990s Babe Ruth movie starring John Goodman? I never saw it and don’t remember hearing that it was any good, but I assume it’s recent enough and prominent enough to belong in this tournament.

  4. And while we ponder this question let me raise another one: what event in baseball history should have a movie, but doesn’t?

    My answer is the Homestead Grays of the early 30’s, and it could be a comedy, drama, or documentary!

  5. @5, that movie is “The Babe,” and it wasn’t supposed to be very good; neither was Robert Wuhl’s “Cobb.” (Nor was the William Bendix movie “The Babe Ruth Story.”) I considered them all but ultimately didn’t nominate any.

    I wasn’t sure whether Brewster’s Millions really counts as a baseball movie, so I didn’t nominate that either.

  6. Remy @ 8,

    There was a made for TV biopic on Satchel Paige and it was pretty good.

    A great movie moment is Ice Cube having a Satchel Paige bobble head on his dashboard during “Are We There Yet” and Satchel giving him advice.

  7. @10: That’s the obvious seeding.

    It would be nice if we could find a place for Fear Strikes Out… but I’m not sure it belongs ahead of any of the other dramas.

  8. Yeah, I think the seeding will be really close to IMDB ratings.

    There might be some small tweaks based on what everyone has said. Thanks everyone.

  9. Freddy Tarnok
    has been designated a lock
    by MLB Pipeline
    cynics are saying they must have used a flattering sightline.

  10. Bang the Drum Slowly should be in the drama competition. For documentaries, The Battered Bastards of Baseball is fantastic.

  11. I second the Battered Bastards of Baseball for the documentary category. I also think it’s a great disservice to “The Fan” to not include it among the Drama choices if for no other reason than it shows Deniro and Snipes each donning a Braves jersey at some point in the film.

    Is a League of Their Own mis-categorized as a drama? I’ve always thought of it as a comedy, and a darn good one at that.

  12. And since my edit wouldn’t post above, I will put it here: I just noticed Sandlot in the same category. I guess a lot of films easily fit in mulitple categories but that one in particular might be a hard sell as a dramatic movie.

  13. Second for inclusion of Bang the Drum Slowly in the drama category.

    Also, on The Slugger’s Wife, it’s hard to imagine that movie not being in a Bravesjournal poll about baseball movies, but it was so terrible its exclusion is understandable.

    Bull Durham is probably my favorite of all time.

  14. I looked them up and was surprised by a couple of names. Were two or three convicted of income tax evasion? Drugs?

    Three drug possessions, one probation violation.

  15. @22

    W.LU. Without Looking Up.

    Heartening words. Would we were more often able to discourse, agree/disagree on general points without someone hitting their digital books.

    Raw data, megadata, instantly accessible has become a fetish for some. Their baseball lives seemingly revolve around it, the cart is leading the horse. It can be a conversation killer, right or wrong, it may be no exaggeration to state it makes it more difficult to form and maintain relationships online. Warmth, humor is noticeably absent.

    If I write something to you that is factually incorrect I would much prefer to be put straight by your mastery of the general from your own memory as opposed to something in the particular plucked from your computer and defined triumphantly to the third decimal point.

    Thank you. Fire away.

  16. Of course I lasted a full 6 minutes before I did look it up. My education in the worlds of poetry and social activism in this country has been enhanced, thank you.

    But you didn’t ram his lifetime fWAR and his reverse splits down my throat. Ha!

  17. @33

    William Butler Yeats
    on one of his frequent Dublin dates
    said ‘Sweet Molly,
    One day you and I will be famous, pro’lly.’

    (the forced rhyme, a thing of beauty)

  18. Jurickson Profar
    you’re hick, son, but you may still gofar
    at our new Park on the water
    duck shooting and no one to say stop this senseless slaughter.

  19. The poll is 85% that Realmuto is not worth the hubbub. I don’t think that’s a knock on JTR, but the Fish are definitely wasting their own time.

  20. I was going to write an extended diatribe on your paean to human error, blazon. But it’s Christmas. Merry Christmas.

  21. @39. I agree. I don’t think anyone of us would say Realmuto is a bad player. It is just the way Marlins do their business…I am sure the behavior is partly driven by the criticism that they didn’t get enough return for their three outfielders last year.

  22. Sorry for the delay! The correct answers were Denny McLain (drug trafficking, embezzlement, drug possession), Doc Gooden (probation related to drug charges), Vida Blue, Fergie Jenkins, and LaMarr Hoyt (all drugs).

    Man, how many modern day ball players would be felons if they perjured themselves related to PEDs?

  23. While Fergie Jenkins was indeed convicted, his conviction was immediately expunged. Thus, from the standpoint of five minutes after his hearing and thereafter, there is no official record of any conviction. Plus, it was in Canada and I’m not sure crimes there actually count.

  24. Ball Four
    should have won the Oscar the year before
    had it been made
    without Bowie ruling no one must get laid.

  25. It seems more Braves fans would prefer Kluber over JTR. Kluber would probably put us over the top in the East. With his salary and age, he may not cost significantly more in prospects.

    Frankly, I’d rather have both.

  26. I’d prefer Kluber to Realmuto, if those are the trade options. That said, I’d rather add a pen arm and a RF before either. I just feel like dealing with Miami seems to be a headache for the Braves, and they don’t *need* Realmuto.

    Like who asks for the #1 overall prospect in the game for a Catcher, no matter how good he is? Jeter’s delusional.

  27. Number 2 spot
    it surely matters not
    poor JD LeMahieu
    disappears, unwanted, from the collective purview.

    Reminder. Today, the 27th, is the last chance for now to see the Peter Jackson fully restored documentary on WW 1 in the trenches. 1 or 4pm ET, cinemas across the country.

  28. Ivan the Great
    says eighty five wins should suffice as of late
    be fifth in the league, ready to pounce
    the fancier boys all pretension and flounce.

  29. We should have traded for Yelich last year and we should not let Realmuto get away now. Once he is on our team, Realmuto will be accepted as one of the best acquisitions the Braves have ever made. Not being “all in” on Yelich was a huge mistake. He may end up being better than Harper. I would have been happy putting Markakis on the bench to play Yelich.

    If the Braves do some serious winning the next two years, Realmuto will extend. Not to mention that he is a good ole boy from Oklahoma. He’ll never be comfortable in LaLa Land or NY. He might like Houston, though.

    I also don’t believe that either Harper or Machado will sign with Philly. Both prefer more high profile locations. Machado to the Yankees and Harper to the Dodgers. Word seems to be out now that the Phillies are after Trout. Makes more sense as he grew up spitting distance from Philly.

  30. @55 Roger, I agree with you, to an extent. The Braves should have been all in on Yelich last offseason, regardless of how new to the job Anthopolous was. Even if they had ended up trading away a “stud” prospect, what they’d have been getting would’ve been worth it.

    I disagree with you on Realmuto, however. Realmuto’s plenty good, sure. He’s not the same force that Yelich is though. He’s just a top three talent at a weak position. If you ignore the positions, his number’s aren’t far off of Nick’s last year, who you said you’d have been willing to bench.

    If the Braves could get Realmuto at a reasonable cost, I’d be for it, sure. It’s not going to play out that way though, I’m afraid. Jeter botched the Yelich deal by keying in on Lewis Brinson, who looks to be a bust. So now he’s trying to hit the impossible 5 run grandslam on the Realmuto deal to save face.

    I also don’t know how much location plays into signing decisions. Does it maybe play a part if two separate offers are, say, a few million dollars apart? I could see it. If one offer is for 20-30 million more though, I’d have to imagine a guy is following the money.

  31. So now he’s trying to hit the impossible 5 run grandslam on the Realmuto deal to save face.

    There is simply no better way to put it. He’s trying to do something he can’t do.

    You can make a pretty compelling argument, regardless of what Kakes did this past year, that based on the info they had at the time, they should have salary dumped Kakes and traded for Yelich. And I think Coppy may have done exactly that if he didn’t get the axe. He knew his prospects, he knew what they were worth, he could have gotten Yelich for a fair price, and we would have been at a salary positive in that scenario leaving more money to acquire someone else or at the deadline.

    With that said, they didn’t, so at worst, they should be able to do even more this offseason, relatively speaking, since the prospects we would have traded for Yelich have appreciated that much more this year. So there’s that silver lining to it; we still have the guys we would have traded, and they’re even more valuable now.

    If the market bears something close to the value of 4 or 5 of Riley/Pache/Wright/Touki/Soroka/Gohara to get both Kluber and JTR, then I hope we don’t do that, but if you can trade out 3 or 4 of those previous mentioned guys with guys farther down the system or with a lower ceiling, then man, just do it. The longer we advance into the offseason, the more the Phillies, Nats, and Mets show their cards. If they show up to mid January with less than a World Series-competitive roster, then go for it. Build a 100-win team, guarantee you win the division, and guarantee you can compete in the playoffs. And let’s be honest, regardless of what they do, we need to be going for it.

    It makes for slow times on the ole Braves baseball blogs, and I genuinely feel sorry for Bowman and DOB right now, but if AA slow rolls it and then shows up with two deals for elite players, then this will have been a very fun offseason. The Baseball Movie Slugest by Braves Journal can keep us entertained in the interim!

  32. The prospect we would’ve had to include in order to top Milwaukee’s offer of Brinson+ would’ve been Acuna. You’re welcome to pretend otherwise, but that’s what you’d be doing. On the bright side, you wouldn’t have had to worry about benching Markakis!

    Quick POWER RANKING of what makes the constant talk of Realmuto so unbelievably annoying:
    4) “JTR”
    3) We have a cromulent catching tandem, and Adam Duvall is one of our starting outfielders.
    2) Twitter in general and Craig Mish in particular. Either tell me this guy is always correct — or at least his track record is better than other guys’ informed speculation — or leave me alone already.
    1) It’s not so much that the Marlins’ asking price is too high for everyone, it’s that the high asking price means THIS TOPIC WILL NEVER GO AWAY.

  33. @59 Acuna, to top Brinson? I can’t see that. Brinson’s physical tools are spectacular, yes. His rise through the minors was **somewhat** akin to Acuna’s.

    The knock on Brinson, as I recall though, was his hit tool. The contact just isn’t there. He struggled with breaking pitches at times in the minors, and more-so in the majors.

    He’s a “toolsier” Dansby, if nothing else.

  34. @58 I really don’t want to trade Wright. Wright, along with Anderson and Waters, are three guys I most want to see the Braves keep; unless Anthopolous takes Billy Eppler drinking (heavily) one night, and is able to pry Mike Trout away.

    Out of the rest of your list, assuming they can get Realmuto for 1, and Kluber for 2, to bring it to 3; that’s a place I can agree with you on.

  35. Side question, as of now, who does everyone see as the Braves stiffest competition in the East?

    To me, it’s the Mets, and then the Nats. If Harper goes back to the Nats, flip the two. I see the Phils a tier below, as of today.

  36. I know people love to think about prospects in relative terms, so: Lewis Brinson was the Brewers’ top prospect and 13th overall on MLB’s list. He’s also, like Acuna, an outfielder who plays in CF and was, as far as most internet randos could tell, similarly ready for the majors to start 2018. That’s what the Marlins got, which makes you think that’s what the Marlins wanted, which makes you think they’d have been less inclined to take our grab-bag of pitchers who, while talented, were perceived to be less singularly talented than Brinson.

    We have a whole season now that makes the Acuna/Brinson comparison seem laughable — Brinson is also significantly older at 24 — but this time last year, Brinson was an absolute toolshed who had done nothing but make adjustments and steadily improve.

  37. @63 Can you really compare it that way though? Until he struggled at AAA this year, Acuna really didn’t have a red flag. Hit tool is a fairly big one, in Brinson’s case.

    Also, prospect rankings is somewhat subjective. I personally don’t buy into them all that much, nor am I assuming you do. If, hypothetically, someone did, however, one versus thirteen is still a large gap.

    You might be spot on in saying that’s how the Marlins may have viewed it? I can’t say. I just looked at that deal then and thought the Braves could’ve offered a better package, and maybe did. It’s readily apparent now, however, that the fish came up light in that deal.

  38. Also, prospect rankings is somewhat subjective. I personally don’t buy into them all that much, nor am I assuming you do. If, hypothetically, someone did, however, one versus thirteen is still a large gap.

    Acuna was ranked sixth on the list I saw. But yeah, I don’t disagree with the hit tool criticism of Brinson at all — it is worth noting, though, that practically every write-up you can find mitigates the criticism with something like “but Brinson keeps making the adjustment at every level, so I’m a believer until he fails.”

    I don’t like prospect rankings because they’re relative. Not every #1 prospect across time (and certainly across farm systems) is equal. I do put a lot of stock in prospect grades because they’re absolute. Fangraphs put a 60 on Brinson and a 65 on Acuna. This time last year, it was the other way around.

    In any case, I think it’s clear that the Marlins wanted a cornerstone player back for Yelich. Isan Diaz is a top 100 prospect himself and fits the Marlins’ timeline, but if they wanted quantity over quality, it would’ve been reflected in the deal they ultimately accepted. There really isn’t a path for the Braves to top Milwaukee’s deal in a way that met the Marlins’ demands without including Acuna.

  39. ♫ Oh, we should trade for Margot
    — Who, Manny Margot? Yes, Manny Margot! —
    But why trade for Margot?
    Because he’s pretty good.

    Say, come and gather ’round,
    I’ll tell you all I know
    About a Pod blocked outfielder
    By the name of Manny Margot

    Why, he can hit pretty good and run pretty well,
    And they’ve got OFers all out to hell,
    Plus it’s no secret that Preller will sell,
    So let’s get Manny Margot!

    ♫ Oh, we should trade for Margot
    — Who, Manny Margot? Yes, Manny Margot! —
    But why trade for Margot?
    Because he’s pretty good.

  40. AAR, I trust that you have some insight on Margot, and I realize he’s only 23, but so far he looks like he has similar power to Markakis after his neck surgery and a lower batting average. Please enlighten me on why you think he’s pretty good.

  41. @56

    Chief
    what an overwhelming sense of relief!
    there was thought you had disparood
    to have said so would have been rude.

    Go Latics!

  42. @67

    AAR
    we’re now required to have our own guitar
    his nonchalant allusions
    do not encourage the most obvious of conclusions.

    now music has been added
    complexity thus padded
    we wonder what’s next
    most likely, to be soon embedded in a dusty cyrillic text.

  43. @73 Are you describing Margot? Or Pache? Or Waters? Why do we want another “no power” guy when we have two of the potentially best in our system already? Would you trade Pache for Margot? I wouldn’t. There is nothing there.

    I also don’t agree with all the analysis that says the Braves would have had to offer Acuna to get Yelich. It is true that we may never have succeeded with the Marlins anyway, but it was worth going all out and many of us said so at the time, because Yelich is obviously a MVP caliber player and may even been worth Acuna (until he wins his first MVP). But the Braves need to build trades around pitching not offense and if pitching is not going to get it done then there’s not going to be any big trades coming. There would be little additive value. I am just completely stunned that with all the talk about everyone needing pitching that there wouldn’t be some team that would want to acquire some. I also still think the Reds may be our best opportunity. We couldn’t make the deal with the Dodgers because we didn’t have any bad contract left to take Kemp for. But we can make a deal with the Reds because they can use Kemp (over Bailey) and we can still offer them more pitching than just Alex Wood. Already last year, the Reds had a top 5 offense and a bottom 5 pitching. Adding Kemp/Puig is good but not a difference maker for them.

    The trade should still be Puig and Wood for Teheran and one or two top 10 near-MLB pitching prospects (e.g. Wilson). And, if not Puig, then one of their other OFs – Schebler, Winker. Take Gennett and put him in the OF.

    The way things are going with FA OFs, if we can’t make the Reds trade then we should be prepared for getting a platoon partner for Duvall.

    We are saying the same things this year that were said about a Yelich deal last year. If we lose Realmuto then we will regret it as much as losing Yelich to a Brewers team that ended up with a better record than us (with worse starting pitching). And their MVP was better than our potential MVP (Freddie).

    And @57, Realmuto is every bit as much a difference maker for a lot of reasons. Yelich may have added a bit more offense but Realmuto is an offensive force with his high OBP and 25+ HRs. Plus he is a huge defensive force at a premium defensive position where the Braves were near worst in the league last year. That kind of defensive upgrade is worth a lot of the offensive difference with Yelich. Not to mention the fact that, at 27, the two years we get from Realmuto will likely be his best two years.

    A lineup that begins with Acuna, Realmuto, Freeman, Donaldson will be probably the best top four in the league if not the majors. Followed by Ozzie or an OF platoon of Duvall/Dietrich or something will make a juggernaut worthy of WS contention.

  44. @59 Annoying but definitely worth it. No matter how much it bothers everyone the games that the Marlins are playing, the end result is worth it if we succeed.

  45. Roger, how will you feel if we do get Realmuto, but it costs us Austin “Every Team That Trades A 3B Prospect That Pans Out Eventually Regrets It” Riley?

  46. We are saying the same things this year that were said about a Yelich deal last year.

    I’ll just point you in the direction of the current poll results on this here website.

  47. @78 I think you are ll wrong and will regret it. You all (and we) are suffering from media fatigue on the subject and the Marlins’ tactics. Patience and resolve will get the job done. I am quite sure that 84% of people thought the world was flat at some point.

    @77 I don’t know the answer because I don’t want to see Riley traded. However, any fair deal is going to have to hurt. I do maintain that it’s pitching the Braves need to trade and the Marlins should want, too. If we have to give up Riley, I am quite sure we will regret it but I’m not sure it’s not the sacrifice we have to make to get real value back. I would much prefer getting a hitter, especially a catcher, rather than a TOR SP for Riley.

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