105 minutes | Aug 4, 2020
Angels in the Outfield (1951)
Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss the original 1951 version of "Angels in the Outfield," grading its tools on the 20-80 scouting scale. They introduce the film (1:50), providing background on the director, writer, and some of the cast, including a synopsis of the film (6:14). Some interesting facts about the distribution and the film's foreign name (8:51) lead to a funny anecdote of confusion about the film "28 Days Later." After a description of the 20-80 scouting grades for those who are unfamiliar (11:24), they launch into Amount of Baseball (12:26), with both a player comp (no spoilers) and discussion of recency bias. Baseball Accuracy (15:25) touches on baseball parks used in filming, implausible base-running errors, Only Pitcher Disease, the Pirates 1920s-1950s, the Giants in 1951, Black players and managers on the Pirates, Ralph Kiner and Pie Traynor. Some discussion of women's preference for shortstops or third basemen, citing Anthony Rendon, Matt Chapman, Nolan Arenado, Mike Schmidt and Wade Boggs. Storytelling (36:10) examines mixed angelic messaging, eating steak with ketchup, swearing in the film, Shakespeare, the rhyme scheme of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," this version versus the 1994 version, Joe DiMaggio, Ty Cobb, Bing Crosby and Harry Ruby, whether or not baseball managers can go to heaven, what is a reasonable team batting average for angels, Dusty Baker, Ketel Marte, Mike Trout, and Randy Johnson killing a bird. The musical Score (1:10:58) gives props to the angelic soundscape. Acting (1:13:20) looks mostly at the performances of Janet Leigh, Paul Douglas, and Donna Corcoran. Delightfulness of Catcher (1:18:11) and Delightfulness of Announcer (1:18:29) follow. Lack of Misogyny (1:21:22) contains references to Ray Searage, Barbara Billingsley, "Muppet Babies" and Tor Johnson. No spoilers on the following segments: Yes or No (1:27:11), Six Degrees of Baseball (1:32:00) Favorite Moment (1:33:39), Least Favorite Moment (1:34:25), Scene We Would Have Liked to See (1:35:30), Dreamiest Player (1:39:48), Favorite Performance (1:41:15), Next Time (1:43:20) and Review Thank You (1:43:57).
99 minutes | Jul 21, 2020
Million Dollar Arm
Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss the 2014 film "Million Dollar Arm," grading its tools on the 20-80 scouting scale. They introduce the film (1:38), providing background on the director, writer, and some of the cast (2:32). After a description of the 20-80 scouting grades for those unfamiliar (5:00), they launch into Amount of Baseball (6:11), both providing player comps for the amount of baseball in this film (no spoilers here!). Baseball Accuracy (9:42) touches on being able to tell the velocity of a pitch by the sound of it hitting something, differences in cricket bowling vs. baseball pitching, the athletic backgrounds of Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, Rinku's delivery as depicted, with references to Marcus Stroman, Jason Vargas, and Roy Oswalt. Storytelling (33:49) examines some real life differences in JB Bernstein's life and whose idea the "Million Dollar Arm" program actually was. Stay tuned for what the "JB" in JB Bernstein stands for! They also discuss the party scene, the visit to the villages, the Lame Romantic Subplot, "Class A Jerks," Scotch faux pas, capitalism cake, and the importance of representation. A sub-section on India Accuracy (54:25) does not include grades. The musical Score (1:02:45) may or may not have made one of these scouts get up and dance. Acting (1:08:52) looks at the performances of Lake Bell, Jon Hamm, Alan Arkin, Bill Paxton, Aasif Mandvi, Allyn Rachel, Pitobash Tripathy, Suraj Sharma, Madhur Mittal, and Darshan Jariwala. Delightfulness of Catcher (1:12:44) and Delightfulness of Announcer (1:13:44) follow, rounded out by Lack of Misogyny (1:15:33). No spoilers on the following segments: Yes or No (1:19:10), Six Degrees of Baseball (1:23:02) Favorite Moment (1:24:53), Least Favorite Moment (1:27:12), Scene We Would Have Liked to See (1:28:01) including references to Josh Bell, Didi, Ji-Man Choi, Cole Hamels, Curt Schilling, plus baseball luminaries and nemeses, Dreamiest Player (1:32:08) with a bonus Baseball Accuracy fact that makes "Pride of the Yankees" into a verb, Favorite Performance (1:34:50), Review Thank You (1:37:07) and Next Week (1:37:40).
106 minutes | Jul 14, 2020
The Bad News Bears
Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss the 1976 classic "The Bad News Bears," grading its tools on the 20-80 scouting scale. They introduce the film (2:03), summarizing its premise (3:23), and providing background on the director, writer, and some of the cast (5:00). After a description of the 20-80 scouting grades for those unfamiliar (11:00), they launch into Amount of Baseball (12:18), also discussing shooting conditions and set practices, the difficulty of filming exteriors, and Ian Kinsler having 55 WAR. Baseball Accuracy (17:25) touches on rules kids would be confused about, ad-libs in the film, the 2018 Phillies defense, pitching low and outside, some Catfish Hunter history and the implications of this comparison, Vince Velasquez, and the Ellen Adair Breakdown of Amanda's purported curveball vs. curveballs in MLB. Storytelling (33:49) includes a discussion of the film's depiction of childhood, generational differences, and the appropriateness of Denny's as a sponsor to the Yankees team. Pizza Hut and Book It also fondly remembered. The racism and intolerance depicted are discussed at length, along with the different kinds of beer, Kelly Leake's hustling, Coach Buttermaker's journey, montages, surprises, contradictions, and the ending of the movie. The musical Score (1:09:40) is debated before Acting (1:13:18) looks at the performances of Walter Matthau, Tatum O'Neal, Joyce Van Patten, Vic Morrow, and other child actors. Delightfulness of Catcher (1:18:42) and Delightfulness of Announcer (1:20:35) follow. Ellen has many conflicts grading Lack of Misogyny (1:21:36), with a brief diversion into an interesting fact about the Mexican characters on the team. No spoilers on the following segments: Two Surprise Questions (1:25:41), Yes or No (1:28:38), Six Degrees of Baseball (1:34:21) Favorite Moment (1:35:36) with a small shout-out to Maria Aitken, Least Favorite Moment (1:37:51), Scene We Would Have Liked to See (1:39:47), Dreamiest Player (1:41:53), Favorite Performance (1:45:02), Review Thank You (1:45:02) and Next Week (1:45:04).
98 minutes | Jul 6, 2020
The Jackie Robinson Story
Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss the 1950 film, "The Jackie Robinson Story," featuring Robinson as himself in this scripted version of his life. They consider the ramifications of this film being made in the era of Jim Crow, the oddity of playing yourself in your own life story, and why the heck, in a 77 minute film, any time is spared for the comic relief character "Shorty." Amidst puzzling inaccuracies and predictable omissions, they score the film on the 20-80 scouting scale.
88 minutes | Jun 29, 2020
Rookie of the Year
Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss the 1993 film, "Rookie of the Year," in which young Henry Rowengartner's broken arm heals in such a way that he now throws a blazing fastball. Ellen lists all of the reasons why the Chicago Cubs clearly have no other relief pitchers, and Eric comes up with either the best or worst little league team name. Scoring this film on the 20-80 scouting scale includes discussion of Daniel Stern's extra-zany performance, Scott White's nickname for the Mets slugger, and wondering what's up with that boat. Also, we learn the name of Eric's fictional scouting director!
83 minutes | Jun 23, 2020
Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss "Sugar," the peerless 2008 film about a Dominican pitcher trying to make it to the majors in the United States. And generally, their scores are so high that Ellen is forced to give a name to her fictional scouting director in order to personify his incredulity. As they crush on this movie, Eric attests to the authenticity of the Iowa sequences, and Ellen compares the Amount of Baseball to 2019 Josh Bell. Stay tuned for the unprecedented moment of Ellen changing a score!
89 minutes | Jun 16, 2020
Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde watched "Ed." They did it. That's the recap. ...No, of course, gentle listener, we can promise more in this discussion of the 1996 film "Ed," about a chimpanzee playing baseball. Eric is deeply unnerved by what the movie implies about Mickey Mantle, while Ellen flounders in an attempt to determine the nature of Jack "Deuce" Cooper's (Matt LeBlanc's) pitching arsenal. On their way to scoring on the 20-80 scouting scale one of the worst baseball movies ever made, they discuss the brief foray into the horror genre that is Ed eating, and the montage device hitting rock-bottom. Ellen has a brief tirade into the naming of the "Utley rule," and, as it turns out, a timely reference to Trevor Bauer.
108 minutes | Jun 9, 2020
Eight Men Out
Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss "Eight Men Out," the 1988 film about the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal. As they delve into the known differences between historical records and the film's storytelling, stay tuned for Ellen's favorite fact about how a private investigator tried to get an "in" with Happy Felsch. Eric practices his turn-of-the-century sandlot urchin voice, while Ellen wonders if the child actually said something like, "Pardon me, Mr. Jackson, please tell me that these alleged incidents did not occur." All hail use of the flyswatter in the scene with Kensaw Mountain Landis. Also included, a digression into Ellen's dad's take on the "Harry Potter" movies.
12 minutes | Jun 2, 2020
In lieu of releasing our planned episode this week, we are participating in the #podcastblackout, started by the Cult 45 Podcast, and will be reading a brief selection of names of recent victims of racist violence or police brutality. We want to support the notion that black lives matter, that we need police reform now, and that we are all responsible to dismantle systemic injustice in progress towards a true understanding of our mutual humanity. If you have any money to spare, please consider the George Floyd Memorial Fund, Black Visions Collective, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Reclaim the Block or Campaign Zero, to name only a few.
81 minutes | May 26, 2020
It Happens Every Spring
Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss the 1949 comedy, "It Happens Every Spring." Does it tho? Delving into this story about a college chemistry professor who develops a substance that repels wood, and applies it to a baseball to become a bat-missing pitcher, they have even more questions than one might expect. Grading this premise on the 20-80 scouting scale makes for plus-plus fun, although Ellen almost dies trying to keep track of what the score should be in the prof's first big-league game. And for the record, Eric agrees with Deborah's parents.
72 minutes | May 20, 2020
Field of Dreams
Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde take on one of the most classic baseball movies of all time, the 1989 film “Field of Dreams.” They manage to grade the film on its tools on the 20-80 scale, but there a lot questions about the cornfield. What happens to balls that go into the cornfield? Do they go to heaven? Does Terrence Mann (James Earl Jones) think he’s coming back once he pierces the veil between realities? And why does everyone say that Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) has plowed up all of his cash crop when he clearly still has a LOT of corn growing? Why exactly did these former hippies decide to start a farm to begin with? But Ellen always cries when characters see ghosts of their parents.
99 minutes | May 13, 2020
The Bingo Long Travelling All-Stars & Motor Kings
In their continued baseball movie podcast journey, Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde find the fame of "The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings"
101 minutes | May 6, 2020
A League of Their Own
Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss one of the best baseball movies ever, the 1992 classic “A League of Their Own.” Ellen is afraid the folks in her front office won’t believe her scouting grades once she faxes them in, but they grade the film on its tools on the 20-80 scale, along the way discussing things like what kind of switch-hitting infielder Marla Hooch seems like she should be, the infamous question of whether Dottie meant to drop the ball, and reading a whiny [editor’s opinion] letter written by Madonna during filming. Eric temporarily forgets what he is going to say while thinking about Geena Davis doing the splits.
97 minutes | Apr 29, 2020
The Pride of the Yankees
Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde discuss “Pride of the Yankees,” the 1942 film about the life of Lou Gehrig. They grade the film on several categories on the 20-80 scouting scale, along the way discussing things like the lesser known nickname for Gehrig, whether or not the footage of Gary Cooper batting lefty may have been reversed, and debate the merits of the lengthy date sequence. Also, Ellen has a crush on Bill Dickey.
91 minutes | Apr 21, 2020
Ellen Adair and Eric Gilde begin their foray into baseball movies with “Major League,” the 1989 film about a fictional Cleveland Indians team made up of the ultimate underdogs. They grade the film on several categories on the 20-80 scouting scale, along the way discussing things like how Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger) is always breaking into people’s houses, what kind of pitcher Ricky Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) is, what it must have been like to be the extras running slower than Willy Mays Hayes (Wesley Snipes), and the incomparable Bob Uecker.