Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Robin Williams Newsbeat

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams and a baseball film he never made

Williams’ best baseball line:

 

   Sgt. Major Dickerson: [Pointing to his rank insignia] What does three up and three down mean to you, airman?

   Adrian Cronauer: End of an inning?

I fervently wanted Robin Williams to play Casey Stengel.

A long time ago, I wrote a book about the Hall of Fame manager based upon what I believed to be the central conflict of his life: That he was a very funny man who also wanted to be taken seriously. I don’t mean that Stengel liked to take off his comedic mask the way Charlie Chaplin or Jerry Lewis did, walking into walls when in character and costume and then discoursing about the high seriousness of their art when off camera and in mufti. There was no mask. Stengel loved making people laugh too much to stop and yet was too smart not to need to be respected for his intelligence. Those instincts did not coexist well in the public perception of him, could not be rationalized by sportswriters and baseball executives of the time who were brought up to think that managers should be like John McGraw or Joe McCarthy—drunk and disorderly much of the time, sure, but also imperious Leaders of Men and publicly humorless.

As I wrote the book, I fantasized, as many authors do, about the film adaptation that might follow. From the very beginning, I imagined Williams playing Casey. He could inhabit that man as well as he inhabited Popeye (in a bizarre misfire of a Robert Altman film at once more true to Elzie Segar’s original strip than any cartoon adaptation, a live-action cartoon itself, and a runaway train of drug-addled writing, direction and performance—but Williams is very good in it), Parry the traumatized homeless savant in The Fisher King, the psychologist in Good Will Hunting, or even the villains in One Hour Photo and Insomnia. A large part of Williams’ public persona, particularly as a stand-up comic, was antic, and as brilliant as his stand-up material could be, some of his worst performances in films came when directors indulged his stage/talk show persona.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 12, 2014 at 03:11 PM | 91 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball in film, casey stengel, robin williams, yankees

 

 

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Francis
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogStatcast: Posey out at the plate
(18 - 1:13pm, Oct 23)
Last: Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(3313 - 1:12pm, Oct 23)
Last: The Id of SugarBear Blanks

NewsblogHow Wall Street Strangled the Life out of Sabermetrics | VICE Sports
(21 - 1:12pm, Oct 23)
Last: AROM

NewsblogMartino: Michael Cuddyer is a perfect free agent fit for NY Mets, who like him
(13 - 1:12pm, Oct 23)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogI hope this doesn't get me fired. | FOX Sports
(10 - 1:10pm, Oct 23)
Last: Topher

NewsblogJay set for surgery — and for CF in 2015 : Sports
(7 - 1:08pm, Oct 23)
Last: Hal Chase School of Professionalism

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(354 - 1:00pm, Oct 23)
Last: Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot

NewsblogKey question GMs have to weigh with top World Series free agents | New York Post
(1 - 12:59pm, Oct 23)
Last: Bourbon Samurai

NewsblogMcSweeneys: NEW BASEBALL STATISTICS.
(24 - 12:59pm, Oct 23)
Last: Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogSielski: A friend fights for ex-Phillie Dick Allen's Hall of Fame induction
(184 - 12:50pm, Oct 23)
Last: DanG

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(880 - 12:48pm, Oct 23)
Last: The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott)

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(861 - 12:44pm, Oct 23)
Last: Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8368 - 12:41pm, Oct 23)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogSalvador Perez, Hunter Strickland Exchange Words In World Series (GIF) | MLB | NESN.com
(15 - 12:40pm, Oct 23)
Last: Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman

NewsblogNo, Ned Yost didn’t “out-manage” Bruce Bochy. His players played better | HardballTalk
(5 - 12:23pm, Oct 23)
Last: Mayor Blomberg

Page rendered in 0.9485 seconds
47 querie(s) executed