He’s a natural for the project, wouldn’t you agree?
He starred in one of the most famous fictional baseball movies of all time. Now Robert Redford looks to play one of the most famous real-life baseball figures of all time. The “Natural” star is on board to play Branch Rickey in a long-gestating, recently jump-started version of a historical drama involving the Brooklyn Dodgers executive and Jackie Robinson, the black player he famously signed.
Of course, if Redford takes the kind of liberties with the Branch Rickey story that he took with the source material for the “The Natural,” the flick will end with Rickey, after his move to the Pirates front office, trading for Robinson before the 1954 season and, rather than losing 101 games that year, they go on to beat the Indians in the World Series, knocking out racism — in the form of a grinning Chief Wahoo — a second time.
OK, I’d probably pay to see that movie actually.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.