“The Battered Bastards of Baseball” impresses Sundance

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You can pay obsessive attention to baseball for years and still come across something you’ve never seen or heard of before. So it is with the Portland Mavericks and the documentary “The Battered Bastards of Baseball,” which chronicles their brief, colorful history.

I had heard of a minor league team in Portland in the 70s called the Portland Mavericks and knew Jim Bouton played for them for a spell (and that he co-invented Big League Chew with teammate Rob Nelson at the time). I had no idea, however, that the Mavericks were an independent team that played in an otherwise affiliated league: the class-A Northwest League. I also didn’t know that they were owned by actor Bing Russell, father of Kurt Russell and grandfather of former big leaguer Matt Franco. And that Kurt played for the team himself. And that the batboy was Todd Field who would later go on to direct “In the Bedroom” and “Little Children.” Or that, despite being unaffiliated, the team had no small amount of success and drew excellent crowds.

The documentary just played at the Sundance Film Festival and its rights were bought up by “Fast and Furious” director Justin Lin who plans to adapt it into a feature length film. You have to figure the documentary itself will get some extra exposure as well some point soon. If anyone sees where it may be playing on TV please let us all know.

Here are your World Series Umpires

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The men in blue. Although it often looks black, yes? They still wear blue sometimes though so it probably doesn’t matter. Let’s just call ’em the baseball cops and not worry too much about what they’re wearing.

Here are the baseball cops for the 2019 World Series: Alan Porter, Doug Eddings, Gary Cederstrom, James Hoye,
Lance Barksdale, Sam Holbrook, and Jim Wolf.

Cederstrom is the Crew Chief and will have second base in tonight’s Game 1, after which they rotate as they always do.

Wolf will serve as the Replay Official for Games One and Two, after which he will join the on-field crew as the left field umpire for Game Three. Porter, the home plate umpire for Game One, will shift to Replay Official duties from Game Three through the conclusion of the World Series. The Replay Assistant throughout the Fall Classic will be regular season crew chief Jerry Meals.

The umpires will wear a uniform patch in memory of umpire Eric Cooper, who passed away over the weekend. The patch will say “Coop.”