A Scholarly Guide for Watching “Major League” in 2015

  1. Screen shot 2015-05-13 at 1.10.36 PMWhile Vegas-showgirl-cum-Cleveland-Indians-owner Rachel Phelps was seen as a saboteur of her own team in 1989, today she is seen as one of the *earliest adopters—and perhaps the inventor—of Sabermetrics baseball, by drafting undervalued players who are “past their prime” or rough around the edges. In fact, many scholars consider Major League the prequel to Moneyball, with Jonah Hill reprising the character of Cerrano’s Voodoo locker god, Jo-bu. When asked about this historic role, Hill responded, “Hats for bats, man!”
  2. Major League is now famously known as the first film to be comprised exclusively of montages. When asked about this creative choice, writer/director David S. Ward said, “You know, it was a real challenge, not writing any scenes or dialogue, not explaining any extremely important plot points, like how catcher Jake Taylor escaped his alleged paternity suits or how Ricky Vaughn’s multiple counts of rape and murder got reduced to community service. But we did it. We really did it.” He added, “We wanted it to look like real life, ya know?”
  1. Though deleted in the final edit, the producer’s cut includes a twenty-minute sequence of washed-up catcher Jake Taylor in jeans and his signature white linen dress-up jacket pantomiming striking out three times in a row to an empty field, then delivering a monologue from Death of a Salesman, before collapsing on a mound full of women’s underwear, which had been mailed to him in a previous scene. Producer Chris Chesser says, “What can I say? Emily left me. She finally left me.”
  1. Jake Taylor’s estranged wife Lynn, who declined to state her last name or her reasoning for ever offering her alcoholic, emotionally abusive husband an easy entry back into her heart by giving him the goal of reading a Moby Dick comic book, was an Olympic alternate swimmer whose life consisted solely of “books” and really feeling good about her vanity license plate, reading, “READ.” Books. Reading. That’s about it!
  1. The Cleveland Indians mascot is fucking racist.*
  1. While the producers settled on Randy Newman’s ode to the flaming trash heaps in Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River, “Burn On,” for the film’s opening song, former Brewer broadcaster and actor Bob Uecker had actually offered up a jazz scat recording, featuring Uecker himself scatting the dialogue of episode 76 ofMr. Belvedere, entitled, “Marsha’s Secret,” over a track Ken Burns would later use as a soundtrack for the entire 18 ½ hours of his award-winning series, Baseball. Asked recently in an interview for SBNation, Mr. Uecker said, “No, I haven’t died, yet.”

__________

* After I had the Sabermetrics though, I looked up the production of the film. According to Wikipedia, Rachel Phelps was intentionally written to be using Sabermetrics, but audiences hated that she wasn’t an evil bitch, so they just made her hate baseball. Women! Can’t live with ’em, can’t even make fictional ones tolerable!

* This whole movie is more racist than I remembered. See: Jo-bu.

I’m distracting myself, so I won’t have to go to the TimeWarner office today.

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3 responses to “A Scholarly Guide for Watching “Major League” in 2015

  1. 7. Major League is fraught with spiritual tension on screen and off. Surprisingly, the adoption of the Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn persona was too much for promising Christian actor Charlie Sheen to embody off-screen. The public has long overlooked both Sheen’s extensive humanitarian work and his years spent considering a retreat to the Mount Baldy Zen Center. It has been suggested by several sources that Sheen went into hiding for fear of the curse of Jobu. Because the director, David Ward believed in pushing his actors to the limits of their sanity (see his “Wild Thing” haircut for evidence) in order to insure the most realistic performances, no one informed Sheen that Pedro Cerrano’s (played by future-Allstate spokesman, Dennis Haysbert) dabbling in the supernatural was in fact scripted. Many fans still fear Jobu, but moreso after several rum drinks.

    All fans should fear Corbin Bernsen, especially in his crowning cinematic achievements, The Dentist (1996) and The Dentist II (1998). But Bernsen is on his own spiritual quest. His recent run of faith-based films, including 2013’s, Christian Mingle: The Movie feature he’s not only an actor, but the writer. Roger Dorn still has what it takes to tell people what to do. For several years, rumors has been circulating of a Christian-themed Major League reboot with the subitle, “Strike this devil#@*ker out.”

  2. The Dentist 2: Brace Yourself – wherein the aforementioned dentist dabbles in an encouraging mentorship of your DIY orthodontic dreams. Apparently.

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