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TV & Film

The Bad News Bears

Ellen Adair July 16, 2020

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This week on Take Me In to the Ballgame:

Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss the 1976 classic “The Bad News Bears,” grading its tools on the 20-80 scouting scale. They introduce the film (2:03), summarizing its premise (3:23), and providing background on the director, writer, and some of the cast (5:00). After a description of the 20-80 scouting grades for those unfamiliar (11:00), they launch into Amount of Baseball (12:18), also discussing shooting conditions and set practices, the difficulty of filming exteriors, and Ian Kinsler having 55 WAR. Baseball Accuracy (17:25) touches on rules kids would be confused about, ad-libs in the film, the 2018 Phillies defense, pitching low and outside, some Catfish Hunter history and the implications of this comparison, Vince Velasquez, and the Ellen Adair Breakdown of Amanda’s purported curveball vs. curveballs in MLB. Storytelling (33:49) includes a discussion of the film’s depiction of childhood, generational differences, and the appropriateness of Denny’s as a sponsor to the Yankees team. Pizza Hut and Book It also fondly remembered. The racism and intolerance depicted are discussed at length, along with the different kinds of beer, Kelly Leake’s hustling, Coach Buttermaker’s journey, montages, surprises, contradictions, and the ending of the movie. The musical Score (1:09:40) is debated before Acting (1:13:18) looks at the performances of Walter Matthau, Tatum O’Neal, Joyce Van Patten, Vic Morrow, and other child actors. Delightfulness of Catcher (1:18:42) and Delightfulness of Announcer (1:20:35) follow. Ellen has many conflicts grading Lack of Misogyny (1:21:36), with a brief diversion into an interesting fact about the Mexican characters on the team. No spoilers on the following segments: Two Surprise Questions (1:25:41), Yes or No (1:28:38), Six Degrees of Baseball (1:34:21) Favorite Moment (1:35:36) with a small shout-out to Maria Aitken, Least Favorite Moment (1:37:51), Scene We Would Have Liked to See (1:39:47), Dreamiest Player (1:41:53), Favorite Performance (1:45:02), Review Thank You (1:45:02) and Next Week (1:45:04).


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