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Take Me In to the Ballgame

The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience

Ellen Adair November 10, 2021

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This week on Take Me In to the Ballgame:

Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss the 2019 Lonely Island special, “The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience.” They introduce the “visual poem” (2:04), with an overview of the story, cast, and filmmakers, and review the 20-80 baseball scouting grades for rating the film (9:39). Amount of Baseball (14:28) includes whether or not our scouts have to swear on a holy book and their ruling on whether or not eating the brains of a baseball counts. Baseball Accuracy (16:28) addresses the central premise, with reference to 80s raps from the Mets and Chicago Bears, before moving on to Alf, Alex P. Keaton, Steven Segal, Kathy Ireland, and IHOP. Were they Gold Glove Goliaths? The scouts dive in on 40/40 players (Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Alfonso Soriano), Canseco’s career homers and stolen bases, Vince Coleman, Mickey Mantle, Mark McGwire’s home run to at bat ratio, plus years leading the league in BBs, OBP, SLG and OPS. Tax evasion, Jose Canseco’s martial arts career, issues with fathers, the Athletics’ “Monster Bash,” side effects of steroids, and Canseco and McGwire’s relationship today are all discussed. The scouts have different nits to pick with the expansion teams that are included and not included in the baseball team verse. Storytelling (44:24) addresses the history of visual albums such as Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night,” and Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” and enjoys the overlap of Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire with the fandom of Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer, referring in particular to Kirk Gibson, and his homers off Dennis Eckersley and Goose Gossage. The videos’ aesthetics reference Def Jam, Bad Boy, Hype Williams, Busta Rhymes, TLC’s “Creep,” and home movies. They assess the non-traditional storytelling, with appreciation for the Terrence Malick tropes and heroic grandiosity. They lavish The Score (59:07) with unambiguous praise, with some conversation about similarities to the Beastie Boys, the Fugees, A Tribe Called Quest, the Sugarhill Gang, Janet Jackson, and the Lonely Island’s own “We Like Sportz.” In fact, they are still listening to the score. Acting (1:12:40) praises Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer as well as the supporting players (Jenny Slate, Hannah Simone, Sterling K. Brown, Jim O’Heir). Delightfulness of Catcher (1:18:52) isn’t, but Delightfulness of Announcer (1:19:32) discusses, again, a nonzero amount of Vin Scully, and others. Lack of Misogyny (1:20:32) weighs the misogyny of the 1980s sports world and hip-hop culture, versus the Lonely Island’s lampooning of it, and some structural anti-misogyny. No spoilers on the following segments: Yes or No (1:29:19), Six Degrees of Baseball (1:34:27), Favorite Moment (1:35:14) Least Favorite Moment (1:36:52), Scene We Would Have Liked to See (1:39:09), Dreamiest Player (1:41:33), Favorite Performance (1:43:38) and Next Time (1:45:18).


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