So, first day of practice for the Bears and Rudi Stein volunteers to pitch. Though he seemed quite eager to pitch, jumping off the bleachers to inform Buttermaker of his desire to be the team's ace, he was just that: a volunteer. No one else in the yellow and brown wanted to be the hurler that would inevitably give up 27 runs and take seven comebackers off the shins per game. No one wanted to be the face of that team, and my goodness did that team have some faces.
There just weren't many options on day one of spring training:
* Engleberg is eating candy through the bars in his catcher's mask
* Lupus is getting hay fever out in RF
* Tanner Boyle falls down every time he does anything
* Ogilvie is in a windbreaker and jeans, didn't even bother to bring a glove
* Buttermaker is already nine beers in
* Kelly Leak is still weeks away from joining the team
* They've got a left-handed third baseman in a velvet jogging suit who is afraid of the ball
It's a mess of a first day of practice,
and there's no one else to get on the mound and take the daily
shellacking, so Stein volunteered, and that's fine for a non-serious
little league where the kids and coaches are getting some fresh air and
But this isn't just any little league.
The players have a genuine hatred for each other. The coaches are either
drunks or psychotic (I seriously was hoping they'd release a new Bad
News Bears DVD with extras where in one of the deleted scenes the Bears
come back and beat the Yankees and Ron Turner is shown having hung
himself in the dugout while Cleveland sobs in front of the body).
Anyway, Stein of course gets lit up. He's historically
bad - bouncing pitches, can't field his position, throwing to the wrong
bases, accidentally swallowing whole the rosin bag while attempting to
field a bunt.
The Bears struggle. But Buttermaker
finds Amanda Whurlitzer in a lawn chair handing out maps and remembers
"this kid's got a curveball and I used to have sex with her mother.
Maybe I can somehow get her t......." (passes out on the side of the
Soon the Bears have an ace: tons of
innings, putting wear on her right arm, sure, but she's dominant and the
best pitcher in the league. The Bears pass everyone into second and get
a shot at the Yankees. Unfortunately Whurlitzer gets hurt in the
Buttermaker has to go to the pen.
Who does he turn to?
He goes right back to Rudi Stein?! There's no one else?!
At no time during the season, during
practice, did he see if ANYONE ELSE could pitch? Ogilvie is the team
statistician, refuses to play, he just wants to count foul balls and
chart pitches. He couldn't at one point say "hey, Buttermaker, I know
Amanda is pitching great, but let's say she gets hurt....you know, STEIN
is the only other pitcher we have. Want to try to see if anyone else
Maybe Ogilvie tried and Buttermaker was
sunbathing nude in right field, who knows. But I still put this on
Ogilvie - he should've done something.
And now we're in a tie championship game in the late innings, and Stein gets the ball again.
Ahmad Abdul Rahim?
Either of the Agular brothers?
The lefty they moved from 3rd to 1st? He
can't give it a shot? Sure that might've meant bringing Jose Agular
back to first, and we saw how poorly that went in the first
practice.....but they're not going to even see if the lefty can get some
Hell, give Boyle a shot, Jesus. He may
have been 3'4 and a horrible racist and bully, but he MUST'VE BEEN
BETTER THAN RUDI STEIN.
If the fans are yelling out for anyone, EVEN THE RACIST, to pitch instead of the kid you currently have on the mound, you might have the wrong kid on the mound.
Kelly Leak can't pitch? He's the best
athlete in the area and he can't pitch?! Why the hell not?! This kid is
all-area and he's stuck in the outfield for the entire season?!
The Bears deserved that runner-up trophy.