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PCR #326. (Vol. 7, No. 25) This edition is for the week of June 19--25, 2006.
Mike's RantMike's Bust
Hello, gang! Some news and notes during a busy week.. Shall we begin?

Thumbscan Purchases....The Is Superman Gay Nonsense....On Dan Rather Leaving CBS....Stem Cell Research Breathrough  by Nolan B. Canova
Lisa On The Left  by Lisa Zubek
Are Film Fests A Waste/Scam?  by Mark Terry
"Click"  by Mike Smith
Passing On....Lost In Translation....Ratboy....My Favorite Films, Part 25: "Bull Durham"  by Mike Smith
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As I began work on the Rant this evening the death of television producer Aaron Spelling was announced. Rather then throw something together in a hurry tonight, I'll pay tribute to one of the most influential people in the history of television next week.

This week, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was suspended by Major League Baseball for comments he made regarding Chicago area sports writer Jay Mariotti. While speaking about Mariotti on Tuesday, Guillen called him a fag. Guillen later apologized for hurting anyone, saying he used that word as a way to challenge Mariotti's "manhood." During his apology, Guillen told reporters, "I'm not going to back off on Jay. He's a piece of shit." No word yet on what Guillen was really trying to say.

This past weekend, former major leaguer David Segui came forward and admitted to taking legally prescribed human growth hormone at the end of his career. Segui recognized a conversation he had with recent snitch Jason Grimsley, who tried to save his ass by ratting out his fellow teammates. Segui went on to explain that Grimsley had approached HIM about HGH and that he had told Grimsley that if he wanted to investigate the product, he should do it the right way and see a doctor. However, Grimsley spun the story as if David had tried to get him to try HGH illegally.

I should probably add that I have known David Segui since his rookie year with the Orioles in 1991. We met at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and, after talking a few minutes, realized that he didn't live too far from my son in Kansas. Over the years I would see David at games and he would often frequent the theatre I ran in Baltimore. When I moved to Kansas in 1996, I ran into David and his son, Corey, at a Chief's game. My son was beginning to blossom as a baseball player and David would invite him to his house to hit in his batting cage. When Phillip was about to graduate, David took two hours out of his day (he was getting ready to head to spring training) to speak to Phillip and the other senior ball players about their future. He explained to them that it was unlikely that they would go on to the majors. And he stressed that they should use the talents they have to go to college and get an education.

What David Segui did this week is pretty amazing. When other players are actively trying to distance themselves from the current scandal in baseball, David has stepped forward and stated the facts. As a fan, and a friend, I am very proud of his actions. As for Grimsley, he holds the same place in my book as Jay Mariotti holds in Ozzie Guillens'.

Starring: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins
Directed by: Ron Shelton

FIRST SEEN: Columbia Palace 9, Columbia, Maryland
FAVORITE LINE: "From what I heard you couldn't hit water if you fell out of a fucking boat!"
FAVORITE SCENE: Crash argues with the umpire.

  • Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay (Ron Shelton)
  • Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song ("When A Woman Loves A Man") and Best Performance by an Actress in a motion picture - Musical/Comedy (Sarandon)
  • Writer's Guild of America award for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.
  • Shelton's script won several critic's group awards, including those from New York, Los Angeles and the National Society of Film Critics

    The summer of 1988 was a good one for baseball fans. With the release of "Bull Durham," those fans FINALLY had a genuine look at the workings of minor league baseball. Director Ron Shelton, who also wrote the script, was a player in the Baltimore Oriole minor leagues and based much of the film and it's characters on his experiences. Tim Robbin's character, Ebbie Calvin Laloosh, was inspired by Shelton's teammate Steve Dalkowski. A hard throwing pitcher, who Cal Ripken, Sr once referred to as "the fastest pitcher I ever saw," Dalkowski possessed the great speed shown by Laloosh. He also experienced the bad control problems, which kept him from ever reaching the major leagues.

    Originally conceived for Kurt Russell, Shelton gave the part of Crash Davis to Kevin Costner, who had played shortstop in college and LOOKED like a ball player. As a veteran player sent back to the minor leagues to tutor a young player, Costner is very believable as a man who knows the best part of his life is behind him. It is one of Costner's greatest performances as well as Sarandon's. Sarandon actively sought out her role of Annie Savoy and put her heart and soul into it. Rumor has it that Sarandon wept when she wasn't nominated for an Oscar for the film.

    Film memorabilia fans can still find the set of baseball cards that were released for the film. Among the four card set is a shot of Costner that has been printed in reverse, making him appear to be left handed as well as a shot of Robbins on the mound wearing nothing but a jock and garters. Because of the garter shot, the cards were recalled, making them highly coveted.

    This week's guest writer is my very own lady love, Juanita Craft:

    Bull Durham by Juanita Craft

    Favorite Line:
    Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.

    That did it for me, I fell in lust with a man I knew I could never have. In 1988 I was 25 years old, I was sitting in the third row of a theatre in Overland Park Kansas with a couple of friends, my eyes bulging and heart racing, at the site that was Kevin Costner.

    I remember the theatre was packed, not sure why when I look back now, but none the less it was packed. The minute Kevin finished that famous line I let out this big sigh and the entire theatre busted out laughing. I could not help myself. I mean come on, what woman would not like long, slow, deep, soft wet kisses that lasted a couple of minutes let alone three days from Kevin Costner. Only thing that would cap that off for me would have been those kisses in that cool classic mustang convertible.

    I have since outgrown Mr. Costner for various reasons, mostly because the dope married a woman just a few years older than his oldest daughter Annie, and he did not age well. Ouch…sorry, truth hurts Kevo!

    These days, well, I would still love long, slow, deep, soft kisses that last for three days, but, from a man I know I can have and do…and he means very very much to me!!! Yes the esteemed writer of Mike’s Rant….the “never missed an issue” guy, the “white devil” of KCPL, my googly bear, Michael Anthony Smith!! (BIG HUGS AND KISSES HONEY!!)

    Favorite scenes:
    Crash Davis is painting Annie Savoy’s toes. Something that is surprisingly erotic.

    Ebby Calvin la loush dreaming of pitching in his underwear and a garter.

    The end when Annie is returning home from a game and finds Crash sitting on her front porch swing.

    Favorite song from the movie:
    60 Minute Man

    Next week it's time for Quentin Tarentino and "Pulp Fiction".

    Well, that's all for now. Have a great week. See ya.

    "Mike's Rant" is ©2006 by Michael A. Smith.  Webpage design and all graphics herein are creations of Nolan B. Canova. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.