I May Have to Watch Bill

Durham again. I may have to watch the movie Bill Durham again. I’ve seen it a handful of times, but it’s been a while.

Since I seem to be on a baseball kick. Optimism of a young season energizes me to think of possible glories while motivating interests in rooting around in history.

I started reading a book, Swing and a Miss: My True-Life Adventure in Baseball by John R. Phythyon, Jr. It was one of those freebies that looked interesting and five stars backed it up. It’s always a good idea to have back-up in baseball, lots of backup. Most of the time you don’t even see all of the moving pieces on the field. Outfielders hustle to back up the infield. Pitchers do their share of backing up other positions if their head is in the game. Even the catcher with all of that gear is expected to hustle down the lines if need be.

In the book, there’s a quote by Annie Savoy about baseball being religion and that she believes in the Church of Baseball. I have no idea who Annie Savoy is, but Susan Sarandon, one of my favorite actors, played her in Bull Durham.

Annie Savoy: [narrating] “I believe in the Church of Baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I learned that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn’t work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there’s no guilt in baseball, and it’s never boring.”

I don’t know about the boring part. I love baseball, but watching it sometimes is just like watching grass grow. Doing other things while watching baseball is the answer. The hardest part about watching baseball is that by the time the season starts, the weather in Oregon starts to break away from the rain and the wet and the cold and it is so hard to be inside watching a game when the sun is out. The Sun is more of my religion than baseball. I try to have both. Sometimes I’ll take the game outside and listen to it. Radio announcers get so much more excited in describing the game. After all, they can’t say, “Did you just see that play?”

“Annie Savoy’s character is important. She is first involved with future real-life husband Tim Robbins as Ebby LaLoosh, but soon is drawn to the deeper, more mature and complicated Kevin Costner as Crash Davis. Any woman who can own sex scenes that hot with two leading men (including one ending with a pedicure) and still talk baseball has stolen the show.”


I wonder if Sarandon had any previous  experience with a bat before taking the role? I’d probably straighten out her knuckles, lining them up, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend wearing a white dress to play baseball.

Speaking of what to wear while playing baseball. I don’t understand why baseball pants don’t have more than back pockets. When I play softball, I like to stuff my pockets full of sunflower seeds and spit them when I am in the field, especially when I am grazing in right field where the ball seldom comes. And who in blazes thought that wearing white was a good idea? Did their ancestors play Cricket or something?

Annie Savoy has great lines. I don’t remember if Susan Sarandon won any awards for Bull Durham, but when I read some of her lines, I can’t imagine how she didn’t win:

Annie Savoy: These are the ground rules. I hook up with one guy a season. Usually takes me a couple weeks to pick the guy – kinda my own spring training. And, well, you two are the most promising prospects of the season so far, so I just thought we should kinda get to know each other.
Crash Davis: Time out. Why do you get to choose?
Annie Savoy: What?
Crash Davis: Why do you get to choose? I mean, why don’t I get to choose, why doesn’t he get to choose?
Annie Savoy: Well, actually, nobody on this planet ever really chooses each other. I mean, it’s all a question of quantum physics, molecular attraction, and timing. Why, there are laws we don’t understand that bring us together and tear us apart. Uh, it’s like pheromones. You get three ants together, they can’t do dick. You get 300 million of them, they can build a cathedral.
[Crash laughs]


The front of the Wheaties box from which Crash eats depicts Chicago Bears great Walter Payton.

I didn’t know that the term Annie refers to a baseball groupie. There is a major difference between a baseball groupie and a baseball fan.


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