I believe in the Church of Baseball. I've tried all the major religions and most of the minor ones--I've worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan...That's the voiceover that opens Bull Durham, setting you up for an articulate, surprising and randy movie that delivers in a way that few romantic comedies these days do. Writer/director Ron Shelton was Oscar nominated for this screenplay. The Academy passed Sarandon by but she was so great in the movie that the cinematic gods rewarded her with a long-term relationship (she met Tim Robbins on set) and six more years of an A-list career immediately thereafter.
I know things. For instance-- There are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary. And there are 108 stitches in a baseball.When I learned that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn't work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology.You see, there's no guilt in baseball...and it's never boring.
Which makes It like sex.
There's never been a ballplayer slept with me who didn't have the best year of his career. Making love is like hitting a baseball--you just got to relax and concentrate. Besides, I'd never sleep with a player hitting under .250 unless he had a lot of R.B.I.'s or was a great glove man up the middle. A woman's got to have standards.
The young players start off full of enthusiasm and energy but they don't realize that come July and August when the weather is hot it's hard to perform at your peak level. The veterans pace themselves better. They finish stronger. They're great in September. While I don't believe a woman needs a man to be fulfilled, I do confess an interest in finding the ultimate guy--he'd have that youthful exuberance but the veteran's sense of timing...
Y'see there's a certain amount of "life-wisdom" I give these boys.I can expand their minds. Sometimes when I've got a ballplayer alone I'll just read Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman to him. The guys are so sweet--they always stay and listen. Of course a guy will listen to anything if he thinks it's foreplay.
I make then feel confident. They make me feel safe. And pretty. What I give them lasts a life-time. What they give me lasts 142 games. Sometimes it seems like a bad trade but bad trades are part of baseball -- who can forget Frank Robinson or Milt Pappas, for Godsakes! It's a long season and you got to trust it.
I've tried them all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul --day in, day out-- is the Church of Baseball.
Monday, March 05, 2007
No not the little orphan! "Annie" as in the baseball groupie played by Susan Sarandon. This formidable star famously paid for her own intercontinental travel arrangements to audition for the memorable role in Bull Durham. Killer instincts, Susan! The role and film (a major league hit) proved career elevating in 1988. I'm often close to calling it her best work ever even though she also rocked the screen in Lorenzo's Oil, Dead Man Walking and Thelma & Louise among others.