The Phillies as Characters from Baseball Movies
Roy Halladay is Henry Rowengartner from Rookie of the Year
Roy Halladay has dominated baseball for a long time. An eight-time All-Star, two-time Cy Young winner, a perfect game in 2010, and a no-hitter in his first-ever playoff start. Not to mention over 2,000 career strikeouts that led to just as many (if not more) broken faces. The city has been enamored with his professionalism and work ethic since he came to town in 2010. He was the inspiration for the world's greatest and most awesomest bolg in the universe (duh).
Seriously, who doesn't like Harry Leroy Halladay III? If you know someone who doesn't, go pour a hot bowl of soup down their pants. Seriously, I'll wait ... (checks watch) ... (eats a cheesy gordita crunch and lives mas) ... OK, back from the soup pouring? Good.
To get to the point, Halladay has been one of, who are we kidding, THE best pitcher in baseball for some time now. Much like how Henry Rowengartner dominated fools in the movie Rookie of the Year after he broke his arm and it morphed into a rocket launcher. Henry went along doing his best Doc impersonation in the big leagues until he rolled on a baseball, fell to the ground, and the tendons in his arm snapped back into place. He simply lost his mojo.
As sad as it is to say, Roy Halladay has lost his mojo. But you know what? Henry was still able to record the final three outs with the help of the hidden ball trick and a solid floating underarm pitch. The kid was still able to produce despite losing what made him who he was throughout the movie. Halladay has been struggling for the past year, but who is to stay he can't find other ways to get it done? If Henry and the BUTT SNIFFIN’ CUBS were able to get World Series rings, the hardest working guy in baseball should get one too. Don't worry, he'll pull a "Rowengartner" once he’s back.
Jimmy Rollins is Willie Mays Hayes from Major League
Just to be clear, I’m talking about Wesley Snipes' Oscar-worthy performance in the original film. (“Don't you guys go anywhere. I plan to put on a hitting display.") Not that dweeb Omar Epps from the second movie.
Willie Mays Hayes oozed confidence. The guy had swagger for days. The same can and should be said about Jimmy Rollins. Hayes had a penchant for stealing bases, and I bet a young Rollins also nailed batting gloves to a wall in his house for each base he swiped.
Rollins also, like Hayes, tries to hit for power when he should probably use his speed to leg out grounders. And what does it often lead to? A stuuupid popup. The only difference is Rollins jogs it out instead of plopping down for a set of push-ups. Charlie Manuel should take a page out of Lou Brown's book and make Rollins hit the dirt following an easy out.
Kyle Kendrick is Smalls from The Sandlot
At the beginning of The Sandlot, Smalls is pretty lost when it comes to baseball. "I thought you meant the Great Bambi," he famously said during a conversation about "The Great Bambino" Babe Ruth. He also, literally, kept his eye on the ball when having a catch with his step-dad which led to a big slab of beef to the face to hold off swelling around his eye. But after Benny Franklin Rodriguez perfectly places a well-hit ball into Smalls' glove, the little dude is one of the gang. And for the rest of the movie he is a pretty good baseball player. Like... WHAT?! That's it?
For a good portion of his career, Kyle Kendrick has been, metaphorically speaking, holding a slab of beef around his eye to prevent swelling. He's shown signs of being a solid major-league pitcher, but he's also looked like Smalls trying to throw a baseball for the first time.
Around the 2012 All-Star break, Kendrick must have had a Smalls-catching-Benny-the-Jet's-fly-ball-like moment because he's been a pretty darn good pitcher since. Seriously, like... WHAT?! Kyle Kendrick?
Kyle Kendrick is Mel Clark from Angels in the Outfield
Seriously, is Kyle Kendrick getting help from angels like Tony Danza's character, Mel Clark, in Angels in the Outfield? I mean, KY-LE KEN-DRICK is the most consistent starting pitcher for the Phillies right now? (pounds head against keyboard)
Michael Young is Gil Renard from The Fan
Roberto De Niro plays a murdering, kidnapping maniac named Gil Renard in The Fan. When Michael Young signed with the Phillies he, well…
Ruben Amaro Jr. is Billy Heywood from Little Big League
When Billy Heywood’s grandfather dies in Little Big League, he leaves Billy the Minnesota Twins. As owner, Billy quickly runs into problems with the team’s manager and fires him. The search for a new manager goes awry because apparently NO ONE wants to work for a preteen, so the smug little punk ends up making himself manager. The 11-year-old even tells the players, guys who have been playing baseball their whole lives, that if they listen to him and don’t get any better (smug cloud rolls over), he will resign.
Heywood makes a few good moves. He makes a few bad moves. Trials, tribulations, blah blah blah. The Twins ends up in a one-game playoff for a Wild Card spot but lose to the Mariners. Little Billy ends up resigning as manager because it’s what is best for him and the team.
Ruben Amaro Jr. became general manager of the Phillies after former GM Pat Gillick stepped aside following the team’s World Series win. Amaro served as the club’s assistant GM for 10 years, so he didn’t exactly fall into the job. But the general smugness of Amaro is where he is similar to Heywood.
Amaro has made some pretty great moves since becoming general manager (i.e. signing Roy Halladay [duh], trading for Cliff Lee [twice], locking up Cole Hamels). He has also made some pretty bad ones (i.e. Ryan Howard’s contract extension, Chad Qualls, Hunter Pence, trading away Cliff Lee). Throughout everything, as the team has gotten worse and worse, Amaro’s smugness has remained, if not grown.
Cliff Lee is Kelly Leak from The Bad News Bears
Ryan Howard is Marla Hooch from A League of Their Own
The first time we see Marla Hooch in A League of Their Own, she’s crushing the ball during her tryout. Midway through, she proves she can switch hit and blasts away from the other side of the plate. Ryan Howard may not be able to switch hit, but the first time we saw him he was destroying the ball. Howard hit 22 homers in 88 games and won Rookie of the Year in 2005. The following season, he crushed 58 on his way to an MVP award. And while his numbers have been on the decline, the guy can still put the ball in the second deck from time to time.
Another similarity between Hooch and Howard is they are both hitched. Marla meets her hubby, Nelson, when the ladies sneak off to a bar during a road trip. She drunkenly sings her way into his heart. (“It had to be youuuu…”) Howard tied the knot with Krystle Campbell, a former Eagles cheerleader (yeah, Ry Ry!), in December 2012. And I’m not entirely sure he didn’t meet her by drunkenly serenading her in a bar. I mean, he has been known to belt out the occasional tune.
Chase Utley is Roy Hobbs from The Natural
Both Roy Hobbs and Chase Utley are natural born baseball players with careers marred by injury. At the rip age of 20, Hobbs leaves his family's farm for his first big-league tryout in Chicago. His dream of becoming the best baseball player of all-time gets shattered when some crazy lady shoots him in the gut. Sixteen years later, he gets a second chance with the New York Knights. After riding the bench for a few weeks, Hobbs gets thrown into a game (AGAINST THE PHILLIES, ZOMG!) to pinch-hit for Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs and ends up literally tearing the cover off the ball on his way to a triple.
Hobbs gets another curve ball (baseball pun!) thrown his way when upper management poisons him because he won’t help them throw the season. Despite all that’s happened to him, Roy manages to come back for the final game of a playoff series. The Knights win the game, and the pennant, after Hobbs smashes a two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth that knocks out all of the lights in the building.
In Chase Utley’s first major league start he walked up to the plate, ran his hand through his hair, and crushed a grand slam. OK, the hair part might be a lie but the grand slam happened. Like Hobbs, he made his presence felt in a big way during his first big-league game. The second baseman has been making his presence felt ever since.
Utley may not have gotten shot or poisoned, but he once broke his hand and has been battling knee problems for years. This season, Chase has come back and shown us that, despite those whack knees, he is still one of the best players in baseball.
Besides all of that, Utley and Hobbs are both a hit with the ladies. (/cues Kashmir)
Cole Hamels is Ryan Dunne from Summer Catch
Ryan Dunne is a hotheaded Southpaw plagued with self-doubt in Summer Catch. He constantly lets others get into his head and affect his game. At one point in the season, he even gets into a bar fight with a teammate. But he goes on to land a total hottie in Tenley Parrish, played by Justin Timberlake’s pusher love girl Jessica Biel, and eventually learns to control his self-sabotaging ways. In the end, Dunne scores a contract with the Batavia Muckdogs, a (now former) minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Holy butt! That is basically the life story of Cole Hamels.
Hamels is a hotheaded Southpaw who got into a bar fightin 2005. He struggled mentally during an inconsistent 2009 season and just happens to be a homegrown Phillies product. Plus, he landed a total hottie in his wife Heidi. (Way to go, Colbert!)
One thing we know for certain, Cole Hamels gives abetter interview than Ryan Dunne ever would.
Erik Kratz is Rube Baker from Major League II
In Major League II, new catcher Rube Baker has trouble adjusting to life in the majors. He is sensitive and, at times, pretty clueless. He becomes the starter after troublesome Jack Parkman gets traded to the White Sox. Rube struggles at first, especially when it comes to throwing the ball back to the pitcher. With the help of mentor Jake Taylor, Baker overcomes his problem by reciting lines from a Playboy magazine and a Frederick's of Hollywood catalog.
Phillies backup catcher Erik Kratz, like Baker, fell into the role of starter after Major League Baseball slapped Carlos Ruiz with a 50-game suspension. Kratz seems sensitive and, at times, pretty clueless. Just check out some of the commercials he has made.
And I’m not saying the reason he is able to throw the ball back to the pitcher is because he’s reciting the ingredients to Godshalls Turkey Bacon, but I’m not exactly not saying it either.
Ben Revere is Air Bud from Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch
Ben Revere is fast. Like, really friggin’ fast. And he’s made some fantastic catches this season, including what will likely be the catch of the year. There are also those (no names mentioned) who have poked fun at Revere’s personality for being kind of all over the place. (To his credit, Revere thought it was hysterical and even Tweeted about it.)
The awesomely hilarious animation of Ben Revere meeting Cliff Lee made me think of Dug from Up. Dug doesn’t play baseball, but Air Bud did. And he’s fast. Like really friggin’ fast. And makes awesome catches, just like Revere. Then the poor dog gets kidnapped by an evil raccoon. (Seriously, go watch this movie.) Hopefully Revere keeps an eye out for evil raccoons.
Charlie Manuel is Jack Elliot from Mr. Baseball
In 1992, Tom Selleck’s glorious mustache made an appearance in Mr. Baseball. Selleck played Jack Elliot, an aging baseball player who ends up being traded to a team in Japan. After some time, he finds success at the plate and helps his team win the pennant. In the end, Jack returns to Major League Baseball as a coach. Sound familiar?
Charlie Manuel’s baseball career took off when he left the United States to play in Japan. After a successful career overseas, which included a few pennants and an MVP award, Manuel returned to the U.S. and eventually began a career as a manager.
In 2005, Manuel started his first season as manager of the Phillies. Three years later, he would lead the team to their first World Series championship in 28 years.
But in all honesty, Manuel made this list because I was curious to see him in a Selleck-esque mustache.
(As a sidebar, here's Inquirer Phillies beat writer Matt Gelb with a mustache.)
Delmon Young is the kid from the Pizza Hut commercial that plays before the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie
He plays right field and loves Pizza Hut. No further explanation necessary.
“Off in the distance, the game’s dragging on. There’s strikes on the batters. Some runners are on. Then suddenly everyone’s looking at me. My mind has been wondering ‘what could it be?’ They point to the sky and I look up above, and a baseball falls into my glove. I play right field. It’s important, you know? You gotta know how to catch. You gotta know how to throw. That’s why I play in right field, way out where the dandelions grow.”
HEY SPEAKING OF CATCHES: Don't forget to snag the ***Delmon Young shirt*** you've been waiting your whole stupid life for!!!
Domonic Brown as Isuro Tanaka in Major League II