Casting a Summer Blockbuster: The Cleveland Indians in Major League 2010
I realize I'm not the first guy to recast the defining baseball movie of my generation, Major League, with present-day big-league ballplayers.
But honestly, the movie featured the Cleveland Indians and should only be recast with Cleveland Indians.
So after an exhaustive casting call and audition process, I am pleased to announce the cast of Major League 2010.
Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn
The role of the talented yet wild flame-throwing pitcher will be played by Fausto Carmona. Like Vaughn, Carmona will need to harness his powerful arm and keep his head together to be successful.
While Fausto didn't spend the previous season playing in an orange jumpsuit in the California Penal League, he did have a stint in the Arizona Rookie League, which is essentially the same thing.
The similarities between Tribe catcher Mike Redmond and Taylor are astounding. Both are journeyman backstops in the twilight of their careers and are looked upon to dispense leadership through a youthful, inexperienced clubhouse.
The role of the "diva" infielder not willing to sell out for the team is ideal for Jhonny Peralta. So distraught at the prospect of having to play third base last year, Peralta pouted his way through an atrocious offensive season, the worst of his career.
Like Dorn, Peralta can be dangerous when committed. If not, be prepared for more signature half-effort swings on two-strike breaking balls three feet out of the zone.
Willie Mays Hayes
Nobody but Michael Brantley was suitable for the role of the talented speedster and table-setter. As was the case with Hayes, the Indians have done everything (short of placing his bed in the parking lot while he slept) to prevent him from making the 25-man roster.
While they don't want to start his arbitration clock too early, Brantley's talent is undeniable, and he can do so many more things for the club than Austin Kearns or Russell Branyan.
The savvy veteran pitcher role belongs to Jake Westbrook. With a few miles on the odometer and a Tommy John surgery under his belt, Westbrook will need all the veteran tricks to get batters out this season. If the umps are watching him closely, don't be surprised to see Jake slip a little jalapeno up his nose to get it running, just to get another inch or two to drop on his sinker.
The role of the slugging foreign player who brings a unique culture to the team is filled by Shin-Soo Choo. Word is that Choo has altered his stance a bit to be able to get around on the breaking ball better, so his bats will be less afraid. The breaking ball has been his only weakness. As we all know, straight ball he hit very much.
Who else could play the role of voice-of-the-team but the legendary Tom Hamilton? Like Doyle, Hamilton makes use of subtle, deadpan comedy to lift spirits during a blowout. I'm sure we are all looking forward to seeing if the addition of a bottle of whiskey to the broadcast booth provides a noticeable change in Hamilton's play-by-play.
Playing the role of the manager's trusty sidekick is pitching coach Tim Belcher. Like Leach, Belcher will have to work closely with manager Manny Acta to transition a group of young arms into a bona fide major league staff. It will also be his responsibility to provide a bucket of chicken to anyone who may need it.
The role of big-city nemesis of the Indians belongs to Kevin Youkilis of the hated Red Sox. In 100 career at-bats against the Tribe, Youkilis boasts a 1.035 OPS, a .340 batting average, and 24 RBI. That's not to mention his facial hair. When this guy sneezes, he looks like a party favor!
So there you have it. Live screenings of Major League 2010 will take place all summer long at Progressive Field.
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