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What happens when movies and TV shows shoehorn baseball into the plot? GIFs.

Movies about baseball don’t do a very good job showing what baseball players look like. With some exceptions, the pitchers usually have slow windups and lollipop fastballs, the batters swing like they’re chopping wood, and the defenders are filmed in short segments that disguise their lack of agility. But those guys are all Royce-Clayton-in-Moneyball good compared to the baseball players in movies and TV shows that aren’t about baseball.

This came up recently when a reader named Tom sent me a YouTube clip from the movie Hook, in which Bob Hoskins throws a pitch and the kid who played the nerd in Can’t Hardly Wait swings and misses. “I stumbled upon it tonight, and was floored that Spielberg would allow that,” Tom told me. But of course Spielberg would allow it, because Hook is not a baseball movie. There are no baseball consultants hired. Everybody just phones it in.

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March 31, 2011 9:00 am

Fantasy Beat: Scoresheet Lineup Tips


Rob McQuown

With rosters due today, Rob takes a look at some thoughts to keep in mind in your bullpen and your lineup.

One of the fundamental truths of Scoresheet leagues is that good teams get a much lower percentage of their innings from starting pitchers than their MLB counterparts. This was probably a lot more important 20 years ago, when the Starter-Reliever ERA difference was 0.36 (1990 - 3.89 to 3.62), or 0.44 (1989 - 3.85 to 3.41), than in 2010, when it was just 0.22 (4.15 to 3.93). Still, the increase in reliever usage in real life (up more than 2000 innings since 1990) leads to a wealth of suitable pitchers in the bullpen. Recently on Scoresheet forums, in fact, there have been discussions about one team which is trying a “no starters” strategy, allowing “AAA Pitcher” to start every game, and get pulled after just one inning. And Baseball Prospectus founder Gary Huckabay was asking for ideas on how to set lineups for an AL squad he has with the following sickeningly good collection of relievers:

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