Tag Archives: Major League

The Lakers’ Major League Collapse

Movie quotes are a form of friendship identification for me. If I spout off a line from “Tommy Boy” and you have no idea what I am talking about, we have to re-evaluate the grounds of our relationship. The sports movie that I most quote is a comedic classic with top-notch actors and great plot. “Major League” is the comedic sports movie EVERY person should watch when able. It has everything. Loveable losers, villainous owners and hijinks abound make this a great watch any time (only on channels allowing swearing, the PG version is lame). There is a team in the NBA that reminds me of the lovable Cleveland Indians of “Major League”, but without the winning. The LA Lakers are going nowhere fast and have a cast of characters worthy of a movie script. The line from “Major League” that pops into my mind when thinking of the Lakers this season is “a bunch of has-beens and never was.” This describes the Lakers roster minus a couple players. Let me break down this analysis cast member by cast member.

Kobe Bryant as Jake Taylor
Jake is the older, injured catcher leading a team with emotion and smarts. He solves problems in the clubhouse no coach or admin wants to touch. Kobe is the older, injured leader of the Lakers. Both Kobe and Jake’s bodies are falling apart and they are ready to walk away from the game. Kobe is trying to have fun with a young team and lead them while not wanting to kill everyone for not being better. The flaw in this comparison is everyone likes Jake.

Jordan Clarkson as Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn
Ricky is a raw talent. He has control issues and doesn’t always fit in. His talent needs guidance and when he gets it he is a true star. Jordan Clarkson is a second round pick (by the Wizards) that flashed stardom last year and was named first team all-rookie. Despite his rookie year success Jordan doesn’t fit in with this team. The Indians featured Ricky the next year, the Lakers are pushing Kobe and Deangelo Russell combo. This could be a huge mistake for the Lakers moving forward.

Roy Hibbert as Roger Dorn
Roger Dorn is a veteran third baseman with an inflated sense of self. He is also deathly scared of using his body to make a play at third. A fear he conquers and becomes a valuable asset and cornerstone to winning. Roy Hibbert is a veteran big man with an inflated sense of self and fear of getting dirty in the post. He is the tallest player on the court most days and isn’t even the rebounding leader on his own team (Julius Randle has him beat by nearly 3.5 rebounds per game). Similar to Dorn, if Hibbert can learn to clang and bang on the inside he would be a valuable part of the Lakers and their rebuilding.

Julius Randle as Pedro Cerrano
Pedro Cerrano is the hot-headed power hitter with a hole in his swing. He can only hit the fastball and looks to everything from Jesus, voodoo and golf head covers to help. When he figures out the solution to his deficiency is in him he becomes the terror the Indians need. Julius Randle is not a one trick pony like Pedro is, but he hasn’t figured out pacing, team basketball or how to fit in quite yet. Julius was taken out of a game recently (after 16 minutes of total playing time) and was not a fan. This led his coach, Byron Scott to say, “He’s got to grow up. Simple as that. I think the main thing I don’t like is when you take him out of games, how he reacts sometimes. I chalk it up to immaturity and just being inexperienced in this level. It’s going to happen again. I’m going to take him out of other games that he’s not going to like.” Similar to Pedro, Julius can be the terror they need. He has the talent and the aggressiveness Hibbert is missing. He just needs to understand his role and the solution is in him.

Jim Buss as Rachel Phelps
Rachel Phelps is the owner of the Indians. She wants to move them to Florida and tries to sabotage the team so they lose value and must move. The team rallies around her plan and wins despite her. Jim Buss is in charge of basketball operations for the Lakers. He doesn’t want the Lakers to move, he isn’t purposely putting a poor product on the court and the team is definitely not rallying despite him. He is the person in charge of this group of has-beens and never-was and that is a good enough reason to cast him in this role. “Major League” is a great movie. It is funny, exciting and lively. The Lakers are…not any of these things and if they don’t land a free agent to pull them out of their current state the sequel will not be worth watching.

The Browns Broke Me

The Browns. They’re something with the potential to be beautiful, if you can see through all of their warts, but it’s important to note how much those warts tend to rub up against weird places on your body, and not in a good way.

The Browns are a solid six, but quickly become a two, or even a generous one, when you learn anything about them. Browns news tends to equal the sight of watching a bar skank eat a piece of cake she found in the trash, while wearing yesterday’s clothes1Or, let’s face it, the clothes she’s been wearing for a couple days or weeks now. and swigging bottom-shelf whiskey at 12:15 on a Wednesday afternoon. The joke is always on them, or me for putting up with it; I’m not sure where I’m going with this just yet. For those of you who are not familiar, the tie-in is with an episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, which for my money, is about the funniest 30 minutes I’ve ever gotten out of a TV show. “The Gang Broke Dee” was the season premiere of Season 9, where the butt of the male cast member’s joke finally gives in to the abuse and gives up on life.

jokesondee

Do the Browns ever abuse you to the point where you don’t care how many new ways they find to aggravate you? Do they leave you wondering why you put so much time and love into them, for this?!? When we have to hear from the peanut gallery about our Clowns or put up with the subtle jabs2No mistaking it, the Browns are worthy of said jabs., doesn’t it make us want to fall asleep with a lit cigarette on a highly flammable couch while we leave the door unlocked in our unsafe neighborhood.

Well, in the case of Sweet Dee Reynolds, the gang intervened. The apathetic response to their snide remarks was crimping their style, and they had to feign ambitious drive for their depressed sidekick to put the fun back in their daily routine. Any un-breaking the Cleveland football Browns is solely about mercy at this point. The gang went in two different directions in helping her out. Her pals encouraged her to exploit the lack of anxiety in her3She was in that sweet spot between suicidal and actually dead. The show claims most comedians really thrive there., to really deliver on stage at a comedy club’s open-mic night. Her brother wanted to go the other way, to find her a decidedly below average steed, to settle for down with.

Dee’s brother Dennis was on the hunt for a select for Dee, who by his own admission would not be very smart or handsome. At this point, if that story arc applies to the Browns “breaking me”, Dennis is going to be pushing Polaroids of middle of the road English Premier League teams4You may not know me, but soccer really isn’t my bag. I looked at the EPL Standings and picked two teams from the middle.  I won’t be taking any follow-up questions on this. like Watford or Stoke City in my face. In all reality, the answer probably is just liking the Cavs, Ohio State, or just deciding to be a St. Louis Cardinals fan, but I need the Browns in my life. It would just be preferable, you know, if they weren’t always breaking me.

Anyway, the open-mic night appears to go well for one Sweet Dee Reynolds, and she is approached by a talent scout. Mind you, he was not a handsome man, and odds are he wasn’t extremely smart, but Dee was willing to bed him to get ahead. When Dennis asked his sister to defend her interest in such a repulsive bedfellow, it became a matter of describing the ways in which I find the Cleveland Browns attractive, with the stipulation of no nostalgia.

“Well, he still has all of his skin.”

The response is, “Well, I hope so,” and that’s where I think my first argument goes to die. Everyone on the 53-man roster, yes, even you Travis Pasztor, is an NFL-caliber player. Well, they’re on an NFL roster, so I hope so, but I feel this is something the general public doesn’t grasp. It’s difficult to land a spot on a roster, and as the Browns have proven for the better part of two decades, it’s even more difficult to win, once you make it. Please, just once, give me Alabama, Oklahoma, or whoever you feel has the best chance to beat a bad NFL team and watch the Browns kick their tails in.

“He has plenty of teeth”
But not all of them?
“No, not all of them”

This is how I feel when I remind people the Browns have players of relevance. A scattered amount of teeth only matches the standards of Obie Trice, and the Browns only have a few fangs that would pass the standards of any dentist that doesn’t treat Will Hill. Joe Thomas is a Hall-of-Famer, a guy that isn’t still at his peak, though he gets it done, and the Browns are better with him than without him, every day of the week and a lot more than twice on Sundays. Joe Haden intrigues me in the same way that Family Guy currently does; I knew I was watching something really nice for a long time, and now it’s not as good, but I have a hard time lowering my expectations and appreciating what’s there. Travis Benjamin is certainly serviceable, but not a guy champions trust to lead their receiving corps.

Then, you look at that defense, and I’m sorry for jumping all over the pop culture universe, but it’s Roger Dorn5This is a reference to the movie Major League, the character is played by Corbin Bernsen. all over the place. You might think you see high-priced talent, but forget about it because it’s only high-priced. Now, don’t get me wrong, Tashaun Gipson is a diamond in the rough, undrafted out of Wyoming and Jon Gruden calls him an “interception machine”. Other critiques Gruden might have about Gipson (or any other player he likes) might sound something along the lines of “Now, that’s a football player! When you see him playing on the football field, you know that you’re watching a football player in the National Football League!”

The rest–Paul Krueger, Craig Robertson, Barkevious Mingo, Tramon Williams–just collect paychecks and add no value. What good is a defense that can’t stop the run, can’t tackle well, and is never in the right place at the right time? The joke is really on me, us, the fans, but we watch, we cheer, and hope we’re still around when it gets better.

landslide

Sweet Dee progressed on the local comedy circuit, to the point where she was opening for local legend Landslide. All you needed to know about Landslide, played magnificently by the guy who played Hewell on Breaking Bad, is that he specialized in fart and diarrhea jokes. Speaking of poop, did you see the cast of characters that John Harbaugh brought into First Energy Stadium for Monday Night Football this week? While the Ravens have done their fair share of cutting the cheese, it was the Browns that were revealed, after their 33-27 loss at home, to be the big, giant ball of flatulence shaped like a professional sports organization.

ANTdkMH

For years, while suffering through 4 and 5-win seasons every year, all I asked for was that one big break, that year where they could win 6 games in a season. Last season, it happened, but not in fashion that could be described as glorious or given any semblance of a positive superlative. We don’t live in that dream world where the Ravens are the opening act and the Browns are the headliners; our world is where a promising 7-4 start is the catalyst for disappointment. Our big break is nothing but devastating blow after devastating blow of dysfunction hidden under the guise of moderate success.

Sweet Dee thought she had her break when she got booked on Conan, but it was all for not. Our big break is nothing more than being put in a position to win a game over a lousy team, and the Ravens, like Landslide, are nothing more than garbage men. Meanwhile, the broken Browns fans are left to sit there, eat month-old dumpster-cake, and take the abuse in perpetuity.

References
1 Or, let’s face it, the clothes she’s been wearing for a couple days or weeks now.
2 No mistaking it, the Browns are worthy of said jabs.
3 She was in that sweet spot between suicidal and actually dead. The show claims most comedians really thrive there.
4 You may not know me, but soccer really isn’t my bag. I looked at the EPL Standings and picked two teams from the middle.  I won’t be taking any follow-up questions on this.
5 This is a reference to the movie Major League, the character is played by Corbin Bernsen.

More Than A Friday: Cubs in the Movies and For Actual

On Wednesday evening, we said good-bye to the 2015 Chicago Cubs, the latest we’ve ever bid the north-siders adieu in a calendar year, but that didn’t make things any easier for those who have suffered through elimination in ’84, ’89, ’98, ’03, ’07, and 2008. I felt bad for them, and then I made it about myself.

Poooooooooor Cub fans.

Poooooooooor Cleveland fans.

You know what though? It’s just a game, and while we love it, we shouldn’t lose sight of that fact. The players make a lot of money, and sports, in general, make money hand-over-fist. They do that because we pay to be entertained by the games. It’s a lot like the movies, except the joy and anguish we experience at the theater doesn’t stay with us for days, you know, the way the games do.

Back to the Future: Part II lied to us

You buying that?  I sure as hell don’t subscribe.  By now, I’m sure everyone is well aware that October 21, 2015 was the day the 1985 characters from the first installment of the Back to the Future franchise arrived 30 years into their future.  I’m as aware as anyone, as I prepare to attend a theme party about 15 years in the making this Saturday.  So, of course, we watched what Robert Zemeckis envisioned yesterday’s world would be like.  We did so on digital media, a bonus of technology developed a few years back, from “Digital Copy” discs that accompanied our Blu-Ray box set of the trilogy.

The beginning of the movie is basically a series of jokes about what the next 30 years might have brought to the world, and how much of 1985 would be outdated by then.  We didn’t quite make it to flying cars, dehydrated Pizza Hut, or Jaws 19, but we’re far beyond scenes in window screens, fax machines, and printed newspapers.  And while, most Pepsi isn’t going to set you back $50, that Pepsi Perfect promises to fetch quite a bit more.

cubbiesworldseries

Today’s news was supposed to feature the beginning of the slamball playoffs, Queen Diana’s arrival in Washington DC, and the Cubs taking down a Miami baseball team to sweep the World Series.  Well, Slamball is a real thing, the late Princess didn’t outlive her mother-in-law, and few months after Diana’s tragic death, not only was there a team in Miami, but they won it all.  In fact, that Miami team has once the whole shebang twice, while the Cubs have a lot of years between them and their last World Championship in 1908.

The joke there was clearly about the contrasting viewpoints of people in the present tense of 2015 being intrigued by the Cubbies finally getting it done, to the point of congratulations somewhere in California, versus Marty’s amazement with the existence of a team in Miami.  While Chicago wasn’t quite the 100-to-1 shot the movie said they were, they are a far cry from what they were when the 2014 season, and in a good way.

Instead of being pissed that it didn’t happen, fans should rejoice that they got to carry the storyline beyond the regular season and three rounds into the post-season.  Remember, this was a third place team that sent the first and second place teams in their division to the golf course, while they got an honest crack at the Mets and were a step closer to the World Series than Pittsburgh or St. Louis.

Mark Grace was Taking Care of Business

We didn’t actually see the World Series in Hilldale, just the reporting of what happened in their fictional world.  Twenty-five years ago, we actually put them on the field in Anaheim against the Angels.  Mark Grace actually hit a home run that Jim Belushi broke out of prison to catch, and the most unreal thing about that premise was the Cubs playing the Angels in the Series.  Down the road a few years, Gracie would hit a World Series bomb, in Game 4 of the 2001 World Series, which his Diamondbacks would win in 7 games.

belushiball

The Rookie of the Year bests the Mets

So, a kid breaks his arm, it heals, and the catches the eye of the Cubs brass when he throws a home run back at Wrigley.  Preposterous?  Perhaps, but no more unrealistic than the Cubs sweeping an American League team in Miami, right?

The Cubs rival in that flick was the Mets, and why?  It’s because we were in the days before interleague play and there was no one exciting enough from the National League back then, so they went with New York’s JV squad.  Of course, the kid loses the magic right before the big inning and manages to get it done anyhow.  Kids movie send viewers home happy.

Actual Cubs make adults cry in their beer.  We actually get to see Mr. Henry Rowengartner later in life, crying to his single high school friends about getting nothing more than head from Tara Reid.  This is the adolescent sex-comedy equivalent to how Cleveland fans ultimately feel seeing the sorrow of Chicago fans.

We get it, the Cubs mean more to most of them than any other sport, if not thing, in the world.  Still, I’m left to think about the last thirty years, which saw the Bears win a Super Bowl, the Bulls win six titles, and the Blackhawks take home three Stanley Cups, even if we disregard the White Sox winning the World Series in 2005.

At least we got the best of the sports movies.

A Major League Hit

I like a lot of sports movies, and I think there are a lot of good ones.  Even the bad ones have their moments, but not the sequels to Major League.  Remember The Titans, Hoosiers, Miracle, and BASEketball are among my favorites.  Kevin Costner movies don’t do it for me, though Tin Cup has its moments.  However, Major League is all the way there for with timeless adult humor and, of course, my Cleveland Indians.

There actually ended up being a lot of real life parallels from the 1989 flick.  We ended up getting our speedy lead-off Willie Mays Hayes-type in Kenny Lofton, our beleaguered power-hitting outfielder in the form of Albert Joey Belle, and our ultimately unlikable third basemen in Jim Thome.  Just imagine the graffiti clean-up on a Roger Dorn statue.

However, while the big screen gave the team that beat Miami, Jim Belushi, and Tara Reid’s sexually predatory high school boyfriend World Series wins, Cleveland still got shit on, with the sequel revealing that magic playoff clincher against the Yankees was followed up by an excruciating sweep at the hands of the White Sox.  Screw you, Hollywood.

Your movies may lie to Cub fans, but you do a number in telling my hometown the truth.  Cleveland can’t catch a break on either side of the camera.

My Two Cents on The Mudsummer Classic, the Akron Aeros and Mothers & Sons

by Ryan Isley

Well, this certainly was a busy week in sports.

There were multiple Ohio State football players in the news, with investigations pending that could affect the upcoming season. There was a major suspension in baseball due to PED use, with more certain to come. The New York Yankees and Alex Rodriguez continued their ridiculous soap opera. Aaron Hernandez was back in court, and a photo that seems to be pretty bad for his defense surfaced.

And oh yeah, the Indians started the second half of the season 2-4 and the Browns started training camp. If you follow me on Twitter, you know my feelings on those two stories and their relationship to each other.

Anyway, on to this week’s topics for My Two Cents:

On “Mudsummer Classic”:

When NASCAR announced last November that they were going to bring a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race to Eldora Speedway to race on the dirt, there is no way they could have foreseen the success of the race. While fans seemed excited when the announcement was made, NASCAR had to be cautiously optimistic until the race actually happened.

Other than making this an actual points race for the season, I thought NASCAR handled this race and the format perfectly. Having the five qualifying races plus the last chance race to set the field for the main event had the feel of what happens at tracks all around the country every weekend.

The race was so much fun for racing fans to watch, as could be told by the number of tweets that were blowing up my timeline on Twitter Wednesday night. The tweets weren’t just from normal fans, either. There were numerous tweets from NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers throughout the evening as well.

Speed Channel also announced that this was their highest-rated race all season, eclipsing even the truck race at Daytona. How rare is that? Eight of the 10 highest rated truck races have been at Daytona, with the ninth one being at Talladega. That means of the ten highest rated races, nine were at superspeedways and one was on a dirt track on a Wednesday night.

Now, it is time for NASCAR to take my suggestion and have the Sprint Cup Series race in a Monday night…

On The Akron Aeros:

While the main point of minor league baseball is for players to work their way to the Major Leagues, the goal of the team is to make the game as fan-friendly as possible. This is exactly what new Akron Aeros owner Ken Babby and his team did a couple of weeks ago on Saturday, July 13.

The Aeros had planned a night with Corbin Bernsen in which the team was giving away a Roger Dorn Snow Globe to the first 1,000 fans, Dorn being the player that Bernsen portrayed in the Major League movie trilogy. Unfortunately, the Aeros were informed on the afternoon of the game that the snow globes were not able to be delivered in time for them to give the fans their giveaway.

The team acted quickly, making it right for the fans by offering those who would have received a snow globe a ticket for the next day’s game, in which they would be able to get their giveaway. They also gave these fans an 8×10 glossy of Bernsen as Dorn to get signed, as Bernsen signed autographs for fans in the second inning. The team made sure to make it clear to fans what was happening, posting plenty of signs around the outside of the stadium.

When I tweeted a question to the Aeros to inquire if fans who were in line Saturday couldn’t return on Sunday would be able to still acquire their snow globe, they quickly sent me a direct message and said I could pick it up anytime in the coming week at the stadium. In fact, they decided to give fans two weeks to pick up their snow globes to ensure that those who were there in time were given every opportunity to get one.

Under Babby, it seems that the Aeros are focusing on doing whatever it takes to make sure the fans are satisfied. And isn’t that what minor league baseball is all about anyway?

About Mothers & Sons:

It is funny how things happen sometimes.

I have had the ESPN “Nine for IX” episode about Pat Summitt (Pat XO) on my DVR for weeks and on Wednesday of this week, I decided to finally sit down and watch it. Little did I know that by the end of the hour, I would be reaching for the tissues to wipe away tears.

Let me explain…

This Saturday would have been my mom’s birthday. As those of you who have read my work on here or follow me on Twitter or know me personally, you know my mom passed away two years ago this past February. I have written about what she meant to me and about the relationship we had.

This brings me back the Pat Summitt story. It was told through the eyes of those who know her best, but also through the eyes of her son, Tyler. The main focus is Tyler and Pat sitting on a couch going through a scrapbook with Tyler helping his mom remember all of the memories from her career.

You see, Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with early onset dementia.

Watching the relationship between Tyler and Pat reminded me of the one I had with my mom, especially over her last couple of years. You have the sense that Tyler would drop anything to help out Pat when she needs him, the same way I was willing to do so for my mom. There is just something to be said about relationships like that. It goes beyond being mother and son and becomes a friendship.

While I have always respected Pat Summitt, because of this show, I have a newfound respect for Ross Tyler Summitt as well.

Comments? Questions? You can leave them here or email Ryan at ryan@morethanafan.net

Life, The Cleveland Indians and #Batmagic With @Jobu_Lives

The rare 1988 Jobu rookie card. He hasn't aged a bit.

A funny thing happened at the beginning of the 2011 Cleveland Indians season; the Tribe started winning.  They pitched well, they fielded well, and they hit.  And hit and hit and hit. The Indians were mashing, but they weren’t supposed to be.  Sure, Shin Soo Choo was going to hit and Grady Sizemore always has pop in his bat, but missing the beginning of the season while still rehabbing his knee injury left his situation a little uncertain.   No one knew what to expect from Travis Hafner, Carlos Santana was too green to predict and, well, I’m a die hard Tribe fan, but the rest of the lineup wasn’t exactly known for it’s prolific offensive production.

As it turns out, there may be more to the Indians offensive success than meets the eye.  On April 24th, 2011, the world was re-introduced to the legend behind the home run stroke of Pedro Cerrano and the success of the 1989 movie, Major League.  Jobu himself joined twitter, and it hasn’t taken long for Indians fans, players and management to embrace #batmagic.

#2: Lawyers in the Infield

Continuing our series in Top Ten things Tribe Fans Should Watch for in 2011

Our Things To Watch For In 2011 series is quickly drawing to a close, and before anyone had to endure the rest of spring training without new things to watch for, I wanted to make sure that everyone knew how dedicated I would be when it came to making up ridiculous nicknames for Tribe players.  We’ll start with the middle infield, The Fabulous Cabreras, A-Cab and O-Dog, or, for the sake of a witty title, Cabrera & Cabrera and Associates.  (LaPorta, Nix, Valbuena, and Donald are only associates, hopefully one of them makes partner, but I’m not holding my breath.)

Continue reading #2: Lawyers in the Infield