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TV & Film

The Scout

Ellen Adair March 17, 2021


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This week on Take Me In to the Ballgame:

Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde scout the 1999 movie, “The Scout,” grading it on the 20-80 scouting scale. They introduce the film (2:00), with an overview of the story, cast, and director. They review the 20-80 baseball scouting grades for rating the film (10:05), with a bit of a search for a metaphor. In Amount of Baseball (14:51), Eric stays on the wagon, despite personal conflict. They discuss the size and duration of shots, Cheetos for dinner, Keith Hernandez, Bret Saberhagen and a 2020 player comp. Baseball Accuracy (20:18) tackles the ability to sign amateurs, particularly college students, with reference to the Phillies signing Mike Adams and the Nats signing Bryce Harper. There’s either a huge problem with understanding how scouting works, an organizational player development problem, or both. A brief foray into players who have signed and gone straight to the majors, including Bob Feller, Harmon Killebrew, Sandy Koufax, Dave Winfield, Catfish Hunter, Garrett Crochet and Mike Leake. Tommy Lacey and Adrian Houser compare-and-contrast. Issues with Mexican baseball accuracy refer to Julio Urias and Joaqim Soria, and pitch speed accuracy refers to Nolan Ryan, Bob Feller, and Steve Dalkowski. Brendan Fraser’s form is discussed. Issues with the final game bring up immaculate innings, including Zach Plesac, Danny Jackson, Red Barrett, Ron Necciai, along with Don Larsen, Ozzie Smith as a power hitter, Billy Martin, and the number 42. Storytelling (46:57) addresses many questions: is Al good at his job? Did no one think through the King Kong analogy? What is the tone of this movie? Who thought these Mexico scenes were okay? What is the movie’s attitude towards therapy? Why won’t Steve pitch? What’s the deal with his contract? Ellen has an additional series of “WHY” questions. They also discuss Steve’s interactions with the press, Jimmy Piersall, Fernando Valenzuela, and the price of Dom Perignon. Score Tool (1:18:31) wonders if this is Bill Conti’s floor as a composer. Some discussion of “You’ve Gotta Have Heart” from “Damn Yankees,” and the Tony Bennett sequence. Acting (1:22:34) discusses the performances of Albert Brooks, Brendan Fraser, Dianne Wiest, Michael Rappaport and Lane Smith. George Steinbrenner is fine. Delightfulness of Catcher (1:26:16) weighs the various bowled-over people responding to Steve. Does Al count as a catcher? Delightfulness of Announcer (1:26:16) weighs the merits of Bob Costas and Tim McCarver versus the stupid things they are given to say. Eric fact-checks world series viewership. Ellen defends Costas/McCarver, but not John Sterling. Lack of Misogyny (1:32:07) balances Al’s misogyny with the many excellent things about Dr. Aaron, Dianne Wiest’s character. Some consideration for the character of Jennifer. No spoilers on the following segments: Yes or No (1:33:04), Six Degrees of Baseball (1:40:29), Favorite Moment (1:41:49) Least Favorite Moment (1:43:57), Scene We Would Have Liked to See (1:44:26), Dreamiest Player (1:47:50), Favorite Performance (1:48:47) Next Time (1:50:40) and Review Thank You (1:51:58).

 

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