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Happy Truck Day!

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The Super Bowl is over — congratulations, Philly Pholk — and today is Truck Day. Well, it’s Truck Day for the Red Sox anyway. A lot of other teams have a little celebration for the day their trucks full of baseball gear leave the cold north and head to their spring training facilities, but Boston did it first, so they get the capital T and D in Truck Day. 

In honor of Truck Day — and in honor of there continuing to be no baseball news of note — I am going to revisit a post I did two years ago that is just as necessary now as it was then: We need a Truck Day heist movie. It’s a fabulous idea that, if Hollywood had the guts, would have been made already.

Here is how I described it back in 2016. Everything in it still stands. Indeed, I think we need it now more than ever.

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This morning I was greeted with the first images of a team’s Truck Day, in which semis loaded with baseball equipment leave the home city on their journey to the team’s spring training site. Today it was the Cleveland Indians, who have started to make a pretty big deal out of their truck leaving:

When I saw the pic the first thing I thought was how easily identifiable it is as the Indians’ truck and how neat that must be when fans pass it on the highway or whatever. The second thought: “Man, if you wanted to hijack a baseball team’s truck, they sure are making it easy.”

Third thought: “Why on Earth would anyone hijack a major league equipment truck?” It’s just full of baseball bats, jock straps, icy hot and pallets of sunflower seeds and Dubble Bubble. But I’m so taken with the idea of some heist flick involving a baseball truck that I tried to work out the details of it via a bunch of tweets of my own and the contributions of other people on Twitter. I now think there’s a core of an idea to it!

For starters, it has to be set in the 1970s. All the best heist flicks are set in the 70s. Modern heist flicks are too focused on beating some unbeatable security technology. I don’t want any scenes where a hacker in a headset says “I’m in.” I don’t want a scene with some impossibly-complicated drill that probably cost more than the actual haul from the safe would be. I don’t want bearer bonds or codes to Swiss bank accounts or suave Euro-dudes running around in nice suits. I want some shlubby Walter Matthau-types and a lot of guys driving Dodges. I want a plot point that involves “getting to the county line” because for some reason that was always a plot point in those movies, as if extradition hadn’t been invented yet. It was marvelous.

As for why anyone would knock over a baseball team’s equipment truck? Man, I had no idea. At least until Adam Morris of Lonestarball came up with a great one:

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Which is PERFECT. For one thing it makes this a comedy or at least a movie with a lighthearted center. The heisters are a group of parents of Little Leaguers, not hardened criminals. More significantly, it totally puts it in that Ford-Carter economic malaise era when, man, maybe it WAS more plausible to hijack a truck than to expect a local kids’ league to have any funding. It could be some fantastic mix of “Smokey and the Bandit,” “Honky Tonk Freeway” and “The North Avenue Irregulars.” Classics, all. There would be so many C.B. radios in it that Cobra Electronics or someone might even underwrite half of the thing.

Anyway, the truck leaves, it goes through some part of small town America, a crazy heist plan is hatched, zaniness ensures, a crooked sheriff is involved, lots of Dodges crash and, at the end, the Boston Red Sox or the Cleveland Indians all show up at some super dusty Little League Field and play a game with all of the local kids and families around while the moms and dads drink domestic beer out of steel cans with pull-top taps. In short: perfection.

I’m offering this to Universal first since they are owned by my employer, but if they don’t bite with a big advance for the screenplay in the next ten days, I’m putting it up for bids. Have your girl call my girl, movie executives. This will make a mint.

Rays acquire C.J. Cron from Angels

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The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.

Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.

Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.