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Baseball Question of the Day: What’s your favorite baseball movie?

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This is some low-hanging fruit, I’ll admit. It’s Thursday during a pandemic and I’ve never been able to get the hang of Thursdays during a pandemic.

Everyone has opinions about this one. It comes up a lot. And of course half of you degenerates think that one of the worst movies of any genre to come out in the past 35 years is the best, so I don’t even know why I’m bothering here, but like I said: it’s Thursday during a pandemic.

I’ve been over this territory in the past, but I’ll observe once again that “Bull Durham” is my favorite baseball movie. Mostly because it is one of the few baseball movies — one of the few sports movies in general, in fact — which eschews the whole “Big Game” thing.

Indeed, that’s what its writer and director Ron Shelton has said on many occasions is what he was specifically trying to avoid in making the movie. The Big Game which, in almost every other movie, causes the characters to forget almost everything they did over the previous two hours of movie time in service of a big sporty climax that, invariably, feels contrived.

This is the case even in good sports movies. “Major League” is probably my second favorite baseball movie, but it in tone it tends to work more like a football movie in which a band-of-misfits come together for the one big game climax. It’s a great movie despite that because it’s absolutely hilarious and every character and actor is a load of fun, but in the end I don’t think it captures something truthful and valuable about human nature or even baseball in the way “Bull Durham” does.

I think the reason “Bull Durham” works so well for me is because it actually matches the tone of baseball as I choose to understand it and consume it: one in which baseball provides a nice backdrop to real life. It’s a story of people set to baseball. I love baseball, but it’s always part of the scenery of my life more than the foreground. It does a fantastic job of that. but the human stuff matters more. It has to.

Anyway, I’m probably overthinking that. Like I said, I love “Major League” and “The Natural” and a bunch of other baseball movies that have big game climaxes. I just think that “Bull Durham’s” refusal to go there for its dramatic stakes elevates it over all the others.

How about you?

Buster Posey has opted out of the season

Buster Posey has opted out
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Buster Posey has opted out of the 2020 MLB season. The San Francisco Giants have issued a statement saying that they “fully support Buster’s decision. Buster is an integral part of our team and will be sorely missed, but we look forward to having him back in 2021.”

Posey and his wife are adopting identical twin girls who were born prematurely and who are currently in the NICU and will be for some time. They are stable, but obviously theirs is not a situation that would be amenable to the demands of a baseball season as it’s currently structured.

Poset had missed all of the Giants’ workouts so far, Recently he said, “I think there’s still some reservation on my end as well. I think I want to see kind of how things progress here over the next couple of weeks. I think it would be a little bit maybe naive or silly not to gauge what’s going on around you, not only around you here but paying attention to what’s happening in the country and different parts of the country.” He said that he talked about playing with his wife quite a great deal but, really, this seems like a no-brainer decision on his part.

In opting out Posey is foregoing the 60-game proration of his $21.4 million salary. He is under contract for one more year at $21.4 million as well. The Giants can pick up his 2022 club option for $22 million or buy him out for $3 million.

A veteran of 11 seasons, Posey has earned about $124 million to date. Which seems to be the common denominator with players who have opted out thus far. With the exception of Joe Ross and Héctor Noesí, the players to have opted out thus far have earned well above $10 million during their careers. Players that aren’t considered “high risk” and elect not to play do not get paid and do not receive service time.