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  • 09 May
    导出博客文章The Cleveland Indians are in the World Series. If someone had told you that in
    the days of Willie Mays Hayes, you wouldnt have believed it. But believe this:
    The Major League movies were mostly duds.Jim Caple looks back and reviews Major
    League, Major League II and Major League: Back to the Minors.Major LeagueThis
    movie came out in 1989 when baseball was at its Hollywood peak -- The Natural,
    Bull Durham, Field of Dreams and A League of Their Own also came out within an
    eight-year span -- and it tells the tale of a team and a city that has endured
    decades of miserable, heart-crushing losing seasons. And no, its not about the
    Chicago Cubs. Instead, its about Cleveland, which at the time had gone 34 years
    since its previous postseason and 40 years since its last world championship. If
    only the team had the sense to hire Lou Brown as its manager rather than Doc
    Edwards. Or Pat Corrales. Or John McNamara. Or...The plot is about owner Rachel
    Phelps (Margaret Whitton) intentionally fielding a team that is terrible, even
    by Cleveland standards, in the hopes of dropping attendance enough that she can
    move the club to Miami. Instead, manager and offseason tire salesman Lou Brown
    (James Gammon) is able to inspire catcher Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger), third
    baseman Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernsen), outfielders Willie Mays Hayes (Wesley
    Snipes) and Pedro Cerrano (Dennis Haysbert) and others to be a winning team. He
    even gives Rick Wild Thing Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) a pair of glasses that turns
    him into a great closer. Cleveland ties for the AL East division title and beats
    the Yankees in a one-game playoff. We do not see how the team does after that,
    but there was no need to because, of course, it is Cleveland and we know how
    they would have lost. (At least back then.)Major League has funny moments --
    particularly when Harry Doyle (Bob Uecker) is announcing or when Taylor drives a
    bullpen cart through the streets of Cleveland to go see his girlfriend -- but
    this is nowhere in the same league as those other baseball movie classics from
    that era. In other words, Kevin Costner should have been the Cleveland catcher,
    not Berenger.Best performancesUecker was splendid as the club broadcaster,
    delivering lines that were the movies funniest quotes by far. Sheens acting was
    all right, and his actual pitching ability is perhaps the best ever displayed by
    an actor -- and far more credible than, say, Tim Robbins in Bull Durham. Sheen
    pitched in high school and was able to throw 85 mph during the film. He later
    said he used steroids to prepare for the movie, which means he might have gotten
    some coaching from a bunch of players from that era.Worst performancePete
    Vuckovich appears as a Yankees slugger. He was an actual big leaguer, albeit a
    pitcher with the Brewers, not a hitter. Madison Bumgarner would have been much
    more credible at the plate. If, that is, Bumgarner had been alive at the
    time.Best quoteHarry Doyle: Juuust a bit outside. (By the way, according to
    reports, Uecker improvised this line, which is probably why he is such a good
    broadcaster in real life.)Worst quoteRachel Phelps: I hate this f---ing song.Did
    You Know?The movie is filmed at Milwaukees County Stadium, then the home of the
    Brewers, rather than Cleveland. At the time, it had been six years since County
    Stadium had hosted a playoff game -- but it never would again. Maybe Major
    League IV could be about the Brewers.RatingManny Ramirez -- Like Manny, it has
    some classic moments that people will remember forever. And like Manny, it also
    has some lesser moments that people would like to be able to forget.Major League
    IISome movie sequels can be like when a team makes the World Series one year and
    then wins it the next. Like The Godfather II or any of the Toy Story sequels.
    Others (such as the Star Wars prequels) can be like winning 111 games in the
    regular season and then getting swept in the World Series. Like Cleveland in
    1954. Put Major League II in the latter category.This sequel came out five years
    after the original Major League and tells the story of Cleveland in the season
    immediately after that first movie. The team has somehow been purchased by third
    baseman Roger Dorn, who quickly runs out of money and is forced to sell it back
    to Rachel Phelps. And despite its success in the previous season, Cleveland soon
    collapses -- literally so, when manager Lou Brown has a heart attack and is
    replaced by former catcher Jake Taylor. Rick Wild Thing Vaughn gives up enough
    home runs and Cleveland loses so many times that broadcaster Harry Doyle passes
    out drunk in the booth.The team -- shock! -- rebounds in the end to reach the
    postseason, win the ALCS and go to the World Series, but the film does not show
    us what happens in that series. Which is good because that just would have made
    a bad movie even longer -- and worse. This is a movie with so little original
    thought or character interest that it should have ended in spring training.Best
    performanceDavid Keith as catcher Jack Parkman, who gets signed by Cleveland
    before the season and then is sent to the White Sox. He actually looks like a
    real ballplayer -- good enough that I wouldnt be surprised if Cubs president of
    baseball operations Theo Epstein signed him.Worst performanceRandy Quaid as
    Johnny, one of the fans who became so passionate about Cleveland thanks to the
    season in Major League. He heckles Vaughn so often that he becomes almost as
    obnoxious and annoying as Red Sox fans did after they won the 2004 World Series.
    (Fingers crossed that Cleveland fans do not duplicate that if their team finally
    wins.)Best quoteRoger Dorn: Oh God! (Sure, that isnt an impressive quote at all.
    But how Bernsen says it in the movie after he gets hit by a pitch is very
    funny.)Worst quoteHarry Doyle: Cerrano doing some interesting limbering-up
    exercises in right. What a pansy. (Even todays anti-PC crowd would have been
    critical.)Did You Know?The home stadium is actually Camden Yards, which was just
    a year old when this movie was being filmed in 1993, which is also when
    Clevelands current ballpark was being built.RatingRocky Colavito -- The curse of
    the foolish trade of Colavito for Harvey Kuenn was about the same as the curse
    of foolishly making a completely unnecessary sequel. If only we had gone as many
    years without yet another sequel as Cleveland went between World Series
    appearances. Instead, we got Major League: Back to the Minors just four short
    years later.Major League: Back to the MinorsI watched Major League: Back to the
    Minors and laughed about the same number of times as Cleveland fans did during
    the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. Which is to say, zero
    times. A player would rather be called into Terry Franconas office and sent back
    to the minors than be forced to sit down and watch Back to the Minors.While
    Major League writer and producer David S. Ward has said he has plans to make a
    Major League III with Sheen and Berenger, he had nothing to do with this movie.
    And clearly so. Despite its name, the movie bears no real link to the Cleveland
    team of the first two movies. Instead, it is about the minor league Triple-A
    Buzz, managed by Gus Cantrell (Scott Bakula), and the Minnesota Twins, who are
    somehow owned by Roger Dorn (still Corbin Bernsen), Clevelands former third
    baseman in Major League and the temporary owner in Major League II. It is
    essentially about Cantrells Buzz trying to beat the Twins managed by Leonard
    Huff (Ted McGinley) in two exhibition games. Lets just say that rivalry is
    nowhere near as interesting or funny as the fun between the Bad News Bears and
    the Yankees.There are minor appearances by Pedro Cerrano from Major League I and
    II, and Isuru Tanaka (Takaaki Ishibashi) from Major League II. Oh, and Harry
    Doyle is the Buzz radio broadcaster, after he was perhaps fired by Cleveland for
    passing out drunk too many times in Major League II, or maybe simply demoted to
    the minors because his lines are so unfunny compared to Major League.But thats
    it for the Cleveland connections. Well, actually, there is a notable Cleveland
    link. There is very little plot, virtually no character development and
    absolutely terrible baseball play by the actors. In other words, it is
    essentially the story of Cleveland baseball from 1960-93. Or from all but a few
    of their 15 seasons previous to this one.Best performanceKenny Johnson as Lance
    The Dance Pere, a former ballet dancer turned ballplayer. He dances in a few
    mildly amusing moments. Still, hes nowhere near as good or interesting as Max
    Kepler, the actual Minnesota Twins outfielder who is the German son of ballet
    dancers.Worst performanceMcGinley as Huff. An even worse choice than Buck
    Showalter using Ubaldo Jimenez in the final inning of the wild-card game against
    Toronto instead of dominant closer Zach Britton.Best quotePops Morgan: This is
    the clubhouse.Gus Cantrell: In some places of the world, this is called a
    basement.Worst quotePops Morgan (on the closest he ever got to the majors): It
    was October. A player got sick. So I got the call. I was on the plane and a
    freak snowstorm hit. We couldnt land. Two days later: The weather is fine, so is
    the player. Twenty years in the minors, I circled The Show, couldnt land.(Ummm,
    no one gets called up in October.)RatingUbaldo Jimenez -- The starter lost a
    league-worst 17 games with a 5.40 ERA for Cleveland in 2012. Still, that was a
    better performance than this movie.
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    . -- Most satisfying to Russ Smith about No. ARLINGTON, Texas --
    While Nick Saban wants to see improvement, top-ranked Alabama was pretty
    impressive in the opening of its national-title defense -- without a proven
    quarterback and with Heisman Trophy-winning tailback Derrick Henry in the
    NFL.That Crimson Tide defense, down four players taken in the first two rounds
    of the NFL draft last spring, is still physical and dominating, too.On the
    seasons first Saturday, when two top-five teams lost, freshman quarterback Jalen
    Hurts threw two touchdown passes to ArDarius Stewart and ran for two more scores
    in a 52-6 victory over No. 20 Southern California on Saturday night.We got off
    to a little bit of a shaky start in the first quarter, especially on offense,
    Saban said. We scored a lot of points, made a lot of big plays, but still our
    consistency in execution needs to be much improved. ... My focus with our team
    right now is what can we do better.At least the Tide is 1-0, unlike No. 3
    Oklahoma and No. 5 LSU after their losses Saturday. And No. 16 UCLA lost as
    well.USC coach Clay Helton sees Alabama a little different than Saban after the
    Trojans were held to 194 yards in their most lopsided loss since a 51-0 setback
    to Notre Dame in 1966.Obviously one game does not make a season. We played a
    very good team, said Helton. They played to their potential. The cold hard truth
    is we did not play up to ours.Stewart was wide open in the end zone behind the
    secondary when Hurts hit him for a 39-yard score midway through the second
    quarter that made it 7-3 and put Alabama ahead to stay. They hooked up on a
    71-yard touchdown right after halftime for a 24-3 lead, and Hurts later had TD
    runs of 7 and 6 yards.Hopefully its a statement were still going to fight, still
    going to play, Stewart said about the teams performance.The season-opening win
    came at AT&T Stadium -- the home of the NFLs Dallas Cowboys -- was also
    where the Crimson Tide started their 2012 and 2015 national championship seasons
    with victories.The Tide are 10-0 in season openers under Saban, including seven
    non-conference games at neutral sites against Power Five teams that they have
    won by an average margin oof 23 points.ddddddddddddTHE TAKEAWAYUSC: The Trojans
    may be targeting their first Pac-12 title since 2008, but they werent ready to
    compete with the defending national champions.USC was held without a touchdown
    in a game for the first time since 1997, and for the first time in a season
    opener since 1960. It was the fewest points since a 10-6 loss to Utah in the
    2001 Las Vegas Bowl.Junior quarterback Max Browne waited three years for his
    first start, and had a tough time against the overwhelming Alabama defense. He
    was 14 of 29 for 101 yards with an interception. It certainly didnt help him
    that receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who had 89 catches for 1,454 yards and 10
    touchdowns last season, had only one catch for 9 yards when targeted five
    times.ALABAMA: While the Tide are still unproven at quarterback after playing
    two freshmen, the biggest hole on offense was left by Henrys absence. Sophomore
    Damien Harris showed the ability for some big plays with runs of 46 and 73
    yards. He finished with nine carries for 138 yards.STOMP AND YOURE GONESouthern
    Cal defender Jabari Ruffin was ejected from the game late in the first half when
    at the end of a punt return he stomped his foot into the groin area of Alabamas
    Minkah Fitzpatrick, who was on the ground. The play happened right in front of
    referee Reggie Smith, who immediately threw a flag. When announcing the penalty,
    Smith said, No. 40 has disqualified himself from the game.POLL IMPLICATIONSUSC:
    The Trojans will almost certainly be unranked before playing their next game.
    They still have a lot to prove to voters.ALABAMA: There shouldnt be any
    questions about Alabama staying the No. 1 team when the new poll comes out
    Tuesday.UP NEXTUSC: Before facing another top 10 team, the Trojans are home next
    week against Utah State. They go to No. 8 Stanford for their Pac-12 opener on
    Sept. 17.ALABAMA: The Crimson Tide play their home opener next week against
    defending C-USA champion Western Kentucky, a week before their SEC opener at No.
    11 Ole Miss. ' ' '