Ep. 18 – Baseball is Weird

This week we’re talking about sports (YAY!), and specifically, we’re talking about baseball. That’s right, America’s (dullest) pastime. The World Series is happening right now, and the Chicago Cubs are trying to overcome a crazy-long drought. They haven’t won since 1908, which is rather nuts. We didn’t even have Facebook in 1908!! Jeff and I talk a little about Major League Baseball in general, and our perspectives on “Canada’s Team”, the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays last won a World Series when we were in our prime fandom-incubating years, but that didn’t really stick on either of us. The fact that the Blue Jays are suddenly good at baseball again fits in with the nostalgia cycles that Hollywood is cashing in on right now.

pcr_lauren_podcast_baseball_edwing2 Baseball
It’s Edwing!

We then talk a little about this year’s Blue Jays team and some notable heroes and villains that make for good television. We’re talking about Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Kevin Pillar, and Rougned Odor. Side note: Dave Bautista did indeed appear in Guardians of the Galaxy. His massive physical form is really better suited to rugby than to baseball. Here is the Michael Shur (of Parks and Recreation) article on Jose Bautista’s epic batflip, and here is the promised GIF of Rougned Odor’s slo-motion punch.

pcr_lauren_podcast_baseball_odor BaseballWe touch a little on the weird superstitions that baseball men take part in, and Jeff made a super observation about the overlapping habits of sports players and serious Bingo enthusiasts.

pcr_lauren_podcast_baseball_bosox Baseball

I have more tips about How to Watch Baseball if You are Forced to Do So, including watching out for super weird behaviors like extended handshake routines, and superstitious at-bat protocols.

In our second half, we’re talking baseball in pop culture. Both Jeff and I enjoyed baseball movies for kids when we were kids, including The Sandlot (which is legitimately great) and Rookie of the Year (which is not). I made the common mistake of confusing Nick Nolte and Gary Busey. It was Busey who starred in Rookie of the Year.

pcr_lauren_podcast_baseball_sandlot Baseball

My recollection of sports movies of the time is flawed pretty much throughout the segment, as Patrick Renna (the kid from The Big Green wasn’t in any of the things I described, but was in The Sandlot). Talk then turns to Angels in the Outfield, which has a surprisingly strong cast (Danny Glover, Christopher Lloyd, Tony Danza, Brenda Fricker, Matthew McConaughey, and freakin’ Adrien Brody all star). Jeff schools me that it was the great Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a tyke in Angels in the Outfield, and that he isn’t half Asian as I wrongly assumed. I’m not usually that wrong about stuff, so please enjoy feeling superior to me for a while.

This man has an Oscar. Baseball
This man has an Oscar.

I can’t help myself and do go on a small rant about how great A League of Their Own is, which can’t come as a surprise to people by now. The thing is, that movie is important. The work Geena Davis does is important. If just one of you would tweet at me about it (@laurencheal), I swear I won’t talk about it for another 3 episodes. This is my solemn vow. I’m also interested in FOX’s new show Pitch about the first woman to play in Major League Baseball, and I hope that it helps athletes (who happen to be women) make strides in fixing some of the weird gender garbage that is so entrenched in professional sports.
pcr_lauren_podcast_baseball_pitch Baseball

We then move on to a quiz I created that tests Jeff’s knowledge of the weird baseball team names of the minor leagues. Turns out those River Cats we were so confounded by used to be a Vancouver team, so we have only our own neighbours to blame for that weird name.

Kool-Aid Picks

Jeff has a backlog of great Kool-Aid Picks to share with you, including a keystone in the Quentin Tarantino canon: Jackie Brown. He also highly recommends the new Marvel comic books about Darth Vader that bridge the gap between the Anakin of the prequels and the Vader of the original trilogy. This sounds like something many people would be interested in. Check it out here. He’s also caught up with the phenomenon of Stranger Things, and has Opinions™ about Barb.pcr_lauren_podcast_baseball_jackiebrown

My pick this week is a comforting re-watch of any movie you enjoy. For me, it’s 2015’s The Martian which has a super cast (Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Sebastian Stan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, Kristin Wiig, etc), and has a positive, problem-solve-y tone that is soothing. Find your own version of this, #SelfCare.



Everything I said in the baseball in pop culture segment (see above). ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Thanks so much for joining us this week! Don’t want to miss an episode? Go ahead and subscribe on iTunes or on Google Play! Our next episode will come to you on November 24th, and we’ll be talking about Doctor Strange.

We’d love to hear from you! If you want to get in touch, Jeff is @jlabryan, and I’m @laurencheal.

You can find more great stuff from The Pop Culture Reference (like articles about Fat Baseball Players) on Twitter @ThePopCultRef, on Facebook, and on Tumblr too.

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