|What a load of 'Bull'|
By Jim Caple
Page 2 columnist
Just when it seemed that there could be no bigger horses asses in sports than America's favorite couple in Augusta, along comes Dale Petroskey.
In case you missed it, the Baseball Hall of Fame president just cancelled a celebration that would have honored the movie "Bull Durham" due to anti-war statements made by two of the movie's stars, Susan Sarandan and Timothy Robbins.
You know what this means don't you? That's right. The Cooperstown salute to Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" is postponed indefinitely.
Petroskey, a former PR flack for the Reagan administration, said that while all Americans are guaranteed the right to free speech, this right only applies to Republicans, not to liberal actors such as Sarandon and Robbins. Well, that's not exactly what he said, but it's certainly what he meant. Petroskey went so far as to say that by daring to criticize the government, Sarandon and Robbins "ultimately could put our troops in even more danger."
Way to hyperventilate, Dale. I mean, you've got to be some sort of buffoon to attempt to turn a 15-year-old movie about minor leaguers and baseball groupies into a statement on patriotism.
With Petroskey in charge, I guess Hall of Fame candidates will be judged not only on their batting average and ERA but also on their political affiliations. Pete Rose not only will have to apologize for betting on baseball, he'll have to apologize for voting for Al Gore.
I can just see future Hall of Fame plaques:
Lifetime .310 hitter who led AL in batting four times. Hit 476 career home runs, drove in 1,328 runs and stole 326 bases. Two-time MVP, eight-time gold glove winner and 13-time All-Star who strongly favored the elimination of taxes on stock dividends.
Robbins quite effectively and rightly responded to Petroskey by writing: "I had been unaware that baseball was a Republican sport.... (Petroskey) has sullied baseball. He has sullied free speech.''
Initially, I was as appalled as everyone by Petroskey's stance. But then I went back over the DVD special director's cut edition of "Bull Durham,'' I found that Sarandon and Robbins were a tad heavy-handed with their politics ...
SCENE 5: CRASH EXPLAINS WHAT HE BELIEVES TO ANNIE BEFORE WALKING OUT THE FRONT DOOR OF HER HOUSE ...
ANNIE: What do you believe in, then?
CRASH: I believe in the soul, the small of a woman's back, high fiber, the hanging curveball, good Scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are overrated, self-indulgent pieces of crap. I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, open your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, wet kisses that last three days. Good-night.
ANNIE: Excuse me? Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone? Good Lord. You don't really believe that, do you?
CRASH: Ummm, yeah. That's what I said.
ANNIE: So you accept the magic bullet theory the government made up? That a single bullet entered Kennedy through his back, then angled upward and exited through his neck, then waited 1.6 seconds, made a right-hand turn, continued into Connolly's armpit, traveled through his chest, struck his right wrist and then lodged in his thigh, from where it fell out in almost perfect condition? You swallow all that?
CRASH: Errr ... Ummmmm ... well ...
CRASH: Well ... you see ... ummmm ...
ANNIE: Don't you realize the assassination was a conspiracy orchestrated by the military industrial complex to keep us involved in Vietnam? That they were afraid they would lose their defense contracts if Kennedy stayed in power? That they continue to run the country? My God, did you even see Oliver Stone's movie, "JFK"?
CRASH: Not exactly, but ...
ANNIE: I'm sorry, but I'm not interested in a man who is na´ve enough to believe anything our government tells him.
SCENE 18: CRASH TRIES TO IMPART SOME WISDOM TO NUKE ...
CRASH: Relax, all right? Don't try to strike everyone out. Strikeouts are boring. Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls -- it's more democratic. So relax, let's have some fun, OK? It's fun dammit!
NUKE: Democratic? What does democracy have to do with anything these days? When the current president stole the election? When the presidency was decided not by the voters but by politically appointed judges? When Florida blacks who would have made the difference in the final vote were denied access to the polls?
CRASH: Shut up and pitch, meat.
SCENE 22: THE BULLS PITCHING COACH GOES TO THE MOUND WHERE CRASH, NUKE AND THE REST OF THE INFIELD ARE HAVING AN INTENSE DISCUSSION ...
COACH: What the hell's going on out here?
COACH: Well, candlesticks always make a nice gift and maybe you can find out where she's registered ... maybe a nice place setting or a silverware pattern. And as far as Iraq, Cheney's ties to Halliburton are suspicious but Saddam Hussein is a sadistic, murderous dictator in clear violation of United Nations resolutions 687, 1284 and 1441, which gives us legal justification for the war. OK? Is that it? Let's get two!
The saddest part of all this is the other movie celebrations that will have to be cancelled. After all, I hear that Cooperstown was planning to reunite the Bad News Bears this summer but then Petroskey found out that in addition to being a booger-eating spaz, Kelly Lupus is also a member of the Socialist Workers party.
Of course, there is some good news to the "Bull Durham" cancellation. It means Robert Wuhl won't be at Cooperstown, either. Which, quite frankly, probably makes it all a wash.
Pete Rose better have voted Republican.
Box Score Line of the Week
Nice efforts all, but the first winning line of the season belongs to Seattle closer Kazu Sasaki for his memorable performance Friday afternoon when he pitched one inning and still struck out four batters at Texas. He struck out the first batter he faced and Carl Everett reached base on a third strike that bounced back to the screen. Sasaki struck out the next two batters to finish the game and earn this interesting line:
He was the 19th American League pitcher to strike out four batters in an inning.
Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics
Win Blake Stein's Money
Who is the only Gold Glove winner to have played in the Final Four, the World Series and the All-Star Game?
ANSWER: Kenny Lofton.
Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com.