We saw Everybody Wants Some!! last Friday. We’ve been talking about it ever since, how we loved the humor, the performances, and the meandering way Richard Linklater lets his characters discover who they are (or who they might be) by jumping in and out of different social scenes that range from disco, to country, to punk.
“He really nailed what it’s like to be young,” Christina says as she turns out the lights and gets into bed.
“It’s true. But you know what else I appreciate?”
“How he nailed what it’s like to play baseball, not just the feeling of a team and all the weird personalities that gel together, or don’t — looking at you, Raw Dog! — but the play itself. He picked actors who could actually play baseball. So much more authentic.”
We talk about how my big pet peeve with sports movies is that the actors look about as natural as astro turf. But then there’s Everybody Wants Some!! which is only kind of, sort of a sports movie (the only baseball scenes are actually practice; there’s no big game), and yet the play is really convincing.
“Yeah, I loved Willoughby’s windup,” Christina says. “He looked like jello being poured into a mold.”
I’m not sure what that means, but I’m a little surprised because, for my money, Nesbit has the most visually compelling windup.
“He’s what you call a submarine pitcher.”
I explain the virtue’s of a submarine pitcher, how their windup is so unusual, how the throwing motion is actually underhand, how they hide the ball’s release point with their body, coming at the hitter almost from the baseline, and how the rotation of their pitch can jam and confound a hitter in a matchup where pitcher and batter are both lefties, or both righties. I wax poetic for a while about the crumpled/twisted delivery of baseball’s unorthodox hurlers. I reference major leaguers like Dan Quisenberry and a kid from Sherman Oaks Little League in the ’80s who gave me fits and sent me bailing out of the batter’s box with each pitch.
And then I ask: “Do you understand?”
But there is silence.
So I ask again.
Still, there is silence.
And now I know…
Mighty Christina has passed out.