A Player to Be Named Later
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The player's wives are, to a degree, the stars of the show. Marco Scutaro's wife in particular is just a joy to watch. Not just because of her sunny personality, but also because of her grounded perspective - that they are ALREADY living the dream. They've come to America to play baseball, after all. Her grounded optimism and her fierce love for her husband are beautiful.
Of course, as a Red Sox fan who kicked things when they traded him to the Rockies, Scutaro is the one I came to watch. I loved seeing his different batting stance and hearing the numerous ways in which his last name was pronounced (if I ever meet that guy, that'll be the first question I ask him).
I don't want to reveal any spoilers, but one of the players struggling to make the Major Leagues during the 2001 minor league season documented in this film is now a cult hero and fan favorite with one of the San Francisco Bay Area major league teams.
That sort of set the tone for the rest of the documentary, which focuses on the Indianapolis Indians, the AAA farm club of the Brewers. It follows the team during the 2001 season. Specifically, we follow a handful of players and see the struggles they and - in most cases - their wives go through.
As far as I know, most of the guys never made it. I know of Marco Scutaro who now plays with the Boston Red Sox. He's a shortstop/utility guy who hails from Venezuela. His wife is beautiful and both are well-spoken for two people raised in a different language than English. Actually, all the players profiled are well-spoken. One is a Stanford grad.
We also meet Micah Franklin, Kyle Peterson, Brad Tyler and other players. One of them, who I believe is playing in Seattle as of 2009, is Allen "Meat" Levrault, a big pitcher
Some of the stories are kind of sad, like Peterson, who has arm problems and didn't play after the season shown here on the documentary. Brad Tyler and his wife, I think, were the most impressive people. Peterson, Tyler, Franklin and others are about at the end of their dreams and it's a shame. You feel for the people in this film. Baseball is a "field of dreams," and for most, those dreams are never realized.
We also meet "Miss Jackie," the number one fan of the Indianapolis team for 40 years, a woman who bakes cookies for the all the players.
All in all, anyone who loves baseball should enjoy this film.
To hear the wives speak is at some times heart-breaking as they have to follow their husbands around and endure their injuries with them. When the players struggle they have to come up with a reason/excuse to explain their lack of production and/or they get replaced. Akin to Sugar, Bull Durham, and Eastbound & Down: The Complete Third Season. Some swearing. Well done. Some swearing.
Definitely baseball's version of that classic basketball documentary. Although not a perfect analog--the players in HD were younger and these baseball players are one step away from the Majors--the quixotic pursuit of that elusive, oft-times unrealistic dream is a common thread between the two movies. Most of these players never make it to the Majors, and of those who do, few stick. Particularly heartbreaking are the players in their late-20s and 30s who are having trouble facing the reality that it's time to move on. There is the player who gets released not long after building a house, and the power hitter who can no longer get around on a major-league fastball, or the first-round pitching prospect who never quite makes it back from shoulder surgery. And then there is Marco Scutaro--why else would I have chosen this moment to watch this classic?--who is in the early stages of his journey to Major League playoff stardom. Even for this future post-season MVP, the path to the Major Leagues is uncertain making the viewer wonder whether the sacrifices of being a man playing a little boys' game is worth it. Unfortunately, I fear that the answer in my case is that if I had had the talent, I would have milked it for as long as they'd let me.
Truly heartwarming and bittersweet. I highly recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nice for Giants fans of Marco Scutaro to see how things turned out for him.Published 19 months ago by Ray J Nalangan
Marco Scutaro is my favorite baseball player, and it was great to see what he was like at the very start of his career. Read morePublished on August 24, 2013 by Kennon States
Great Movie! Shows you how the grind in Triple AAA takes a toll on the players and their families. A must see for the True baseball fan!Published on April 28, 2013 by Chasmack
I love MLB books - this one was good to see the inner workings of trades. Great seein Marco Sucarto highlighted - he was one of my favorites when he played for BoSox.Published on February 18, 2013 by Mike Welch
Could have used subtitles, but still a great little documentary. Did not know that only 6% of minor leaguers ever make it to the bigs. Brutal.Published on February 9, 2013 by Jeffrey Baird
i love this doc. i have watched this several times and it gets better ever time. if you love baseball, watch it.Published on January 1, 2013 by michael hadley
From trade throw in "player to be named later" to NLCS MVP. Incredible journey by a great player. He was doing it back in 2006 with the A's vs. Read morePublished on October 23, 2012 by mook