Baseball, Brooks Robinson, Carlton Fisk discussed on Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast
So he's the triple-A all structural basement four years on growing. He's not getting the shot in the big leagues. Well, he's back up to Brooks Robinson. And rather than sit on the bench in the majors, where he'll get rusty, he's going to be sharp playing in triple-A, and if Brooks gives her, he's ready to go, right? So for the time he gets a shot in the big leagues, he's 32 years old. And you know, that's sort of thing happens all the time and crash could have been one of those. You get 21 games and you get 5 at bats and you go zero for 5 and you hit the ball hard three times. Nobody notices. So you don't think it was that he couldn't hit a slider or something. It was that the big club had Carlton fisk behind the plate the whole time. Well, I want to keep it a mystery and an unknown so that you and I can have this conversation. Right. Speaking of how convincing Costner was, right? He's often cited as one of the better ballplayer actors and sometimes Tim Robbins gets some grief you do defend him in the book and his mechanics. But I wonder what you think matters more to a sports movie or show, actors who are athletes or who can convincingly fake it or writers who are athletes, right? Because I think I would be more likely to enjoy bull Durham with a bunch of guys who couldn't convince me that they were ball players if it was still written by you who was a ballplayer and knows that life and it's clear the authenticity that comes through there because we talk often on the show about movies or TV shows or commercials or whatever it is where if you're someone who is very clued to baseball, you watch it and you think that's not right you know something sets off an alarm in your head and you're thinking whoever wrote that doesn't know baseball, they're trying to fake their way through this thing. So I think your background is maybe more important than whether the actors could convincingly bring that to life, but what do you think? Well, you have to start with the writer and but then the other shooter fall the actors better be convinced. I mean, you can't watch a dance movie if they can't dance. So, but you can't, you know, I couldn't write a war movie. I've never been in war. The oldest adage is write what you know, of course. So it starts with that. And I think most sports films are written from the fans point of view. I think I talk about that in the book and I try to write them from the participant's point of view. Because the fan and the player see are watching a different game. Having got over that hurdle, you really have to have television covers baseball and sports so thoroughly. And so well. That we now see instant replay in slo-mo and 14 angles and 20 camera, you know, you can't fool an audience the way you could before televised sports, you know? Nobody know what it looked like in the 40s or even the 50s. So I think you've got to have athletes and there's very few actors who are good enough athletes. Very few. Yeah. Kevin's a rarest of creatures. I was going to ask you about that cliche, write what you know, which is probably what if crash Davis were an old writer, and we're schooling some young writer on the way up. He would probably tell them to say that. But it's also true. So you knew minor league baseball and you knew crash and nuke equivalents, but what made you think you knew and could write a character like Annie? Well, good question. I talk about this in the book. She based on a lot of women and she's based on no particular women. And she's a work of the imagination. She takes a little of that woman a little of that one. You know, I was in my 20s in the mid to late 60s. And 70s. And it's hard to describe the 60s and 70s to people today assassinations. The war in Vietnam, the draft, acid rock, sex, drugs, rock and roll, the civil rights movement was on fire cities were on fire. Quite literally on fire. The river in Cleveland was on fire and they couldn't put it out. I mean, the whole country was on fire. Chicago was on fire and I got political convention. So and during all that time, I'm making my living as a baseball player. And the women of that time, you know, everybody was looking for Terra firma. And women seemed to find it in some men in eastern philosophy and others found it in drugs and others found it in whatever sex political commitment. The whole range, the whole range. And now it's 20 years later. What are those people doing? And in many women had opted to not have conventional sort of marriages and families, or they'd tried and they hadn't worked. That's the more common one. And Andy's one of those women, 20 years later. And she's living alone and she's teaching in junior college and she's obviously very bright and she's people say she's a little wacky, not to me. I think she just, you know, she's got her own evolving worldview and she's on its journey in a search and that's who she is. She's fun and she's funny and she's sexy and she's open minded and non judgmental for all her eccentricities. So that's who she is where she comes from. I'm not sure, but all of that. Yeah, it's funny you mentioned that that late 60s atmosphere, the lead of the story in the Stockton evening in Sunday record about the ports beating the Orioles goes the younger generation is causing upheavals everywhere even in baseball and the Stockton ports had a quote unquote riot last night in surprising the parent Baltimore Orioles, so I don't know. Questionable lead and comparison there to other rights. I'm smiling at that because wow, young people are rioting. Yes. Odd way to put the state of the world in 1969. I mean, was it a young person who was assassinated king that happened during spring training? Is it a young people who initiated the draft and got us into Vietnam? Was it young people were interestingly though? I can't wait for the link for you to sing. How rare is it for the stars of a movie to be as invested in playing their parts and getting a movie made as Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon were for bol Durham because as you tell it in the book, the movie doesn't get made without Costner being its biggest booster and Susan Sarandon doesn't play any without going to great lengths to overcome the studio's reluctance to cast her. So they were real partners for you. They were in Kevin was I mean, she was the late partner, but Kevin was in early and very with great strength and commitment in passion. And as I say in the book, I mean, we wouldn't have got to the finish line or it's the starting line without him. And Kevin and I are still good friends and talk about another movie. So yeah, the question about movies made some time ago is always could this get made today, but boulder I'm barely got made at the time as you talk about in the book. And when I talked to authors, I try to ask them about things that they don't describe in great detail in the book, but to wet the appetites of people who haven't had the chance to read it yet. Could you just give a brief recap of the many ways that the movie almost didn't get made or almost didn't get made with you behind the camera for the duration at least? Yeah, I'll try to be brief because there's a few pages it's sort of like a thriller in the book.