Before Bartman there was Glenn Close

Yeah, I’m writing about The Natural again.
Sue me.

Remember the great scene when Roy Hobbs is in a huge slump and heads to Chicago? Glenn Close, who played his childhood sweetheart stands up in the crowd. Roy sees her, with the sun behind her creating a halo effect.
Then he hit a home run right through the clock in the centerfield fence and the Knights went on a big winning streak.
It’s a great scene in a great movie.
But it doesn’t take into account that Glenn Close was a Chicago fan who helped the Cubs lose AT Wrigley Field.

She was the Steve Bartman of The Natural!
If she sat her butt down and didn’t have her hat become a halo and remind Roy Hobbs of the promise of his youth and the purity of his natural abilities then he probably would have struck out and the Cubs would have won.
Remember The Natural takes place in 1939, a year AFTER the Cubs won the pennant. Now I grant you I can’t take the time line TOO literally. There was no team called the Knights. (I wondered if there was a team called the Giants in The Natural‘s universe.)
But if the Cubs won the pennant that year, who knows? Maybe in the The Natural‘s universe they could have won the World Series and in that parallel existence there would be no Curse of the Billy Goat.
Would Cub fans turn on Glenn Close as they turned on as they turned on Bartman?
Would some Cub fans boil a rabbit on HER stove?
Of course they shouldn’t blame HER. It was the pitcher who let up a meat ball of a pitch to Roy Hobbs!
But then again, they shouldn’t have blamed Bartman either.
Enjoy the scene from the movie…

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OK… so it wasn’t Roy Hobbs’ debut

After being kicked around to 4 different organizations in a calendar year, Brett Wallace can finally be called a major leaguer.

And the guy who since last July has been a phenom for the Cardinals, A’s and Blue Jays breaks in with the Astros.

And the anticipation was met with his lone highlight… dribbling a ball to the pitcher and reaching on an error.

When you think about it, it actually did resemble Roy Hobbs’ debut in that his first at bat, his hit the ball back to the pitcher.

The difference was it was only the cover of the ball that was hit up the box. The rest of the ball was hit into right center field.

Ah well… there will be lots of other opportunities for Wallace to hit one into the light towers.

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What if Garrett Jones is for real?

Last February, I suggested that the Pirates take a flier on veteran Jermaine Dye.

One of the reasons I felt that Pittsburgh would be a good fit was I thought the Pirates needed a power hitter.

At one point I said “Yeah, the Garrett Jones story last year was great… but are you really expecting a career minor leaguer to keep up his torrent second half pace?”

And why wouldn’t I say that? Jones was a minor leaguer who hit 21 homers in 82 games… but I thought “Come on! I remember Sam Horn and Kevin Maas who launched homers left and right and then they throw him some curve balls and he’ll show why he’s a career minor leaguer.”

Well guess what? He homered twice on opening day. And he homered already today.

What if he is for real? What if he is a Jake Taylor, Roy Hobbs or Crash Davis? A really talented guy who just never did get his shot!

What if suddenly the Pirates have a legit slugger in the middle of their lineup? And along with McCutchen and Milledge the Pirates might have a super outfield.

Can you imagine that?

I can.
And what does that mean?

That means that this trading deadline, Garret Jones will be traded by the Pirates for some minor leaguer you will never hear from again.

Ahhhh Pirates baseball.

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