Just got a press release announcing that the Brian Helgeland film, “42,” the Jackie Robinson story, will open next year on April 15, the anniversary of Robinson’s entry into the big leagues. They accompanied the announcement with this pic of actor Chadwick Boseman, who will play Robinson. Harrison Ford plays Branch Rickey.
I’m pretty stoked for this, not just because it’s a Robinson story, but because of Helgeland. He did the adaptation for one of my favorite flicks ever: “L.A. Confidential.” Based on how sprawling the book was, it was NOT an easy trick to get it into a workable motion picture, but he pulled it off. People’s lives — especially complex people like Robinson — aren’t always well-suited to the movies either, as a pile of good-but-flawed biopics over the years shows. Here’s hoping that Helgeland can work that same kind of magic again.
We’re just gonna forget that he also wrote the Kevin Costner disaster “The Postman,” OK?
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.