Clint Eastwood is the fucking worst. We’re all in agreement there, yeah? We all think his Super Bowl commercial about “yay america and old-timey cars!” was reactionary bullshit. We all think Million Dollar Baby is one of the least impactful, most soap-operatic Oscar winners of all time, and hold a little extra special hate for it in our hearts because it was part of the chain reaction that led to Crash. We all think he’s a middle-of-the-road, pandering director who has become completely overrated despite a string of garbage movies like Space Cowboys and The Bridges of Madison County. We think he wins awards and everyone loves him because he’s an entrenched firmament in the Hollywood establishment, and there’s nothing Hollywood loves more than jerking itself off. We all think his wrinkled charm and gruff bravado as an actor wore thin like 40 years ago.
So we’re all on the same page? Good. Because:
Oh yes. This is happening. Clint Eastwood is starring in the movie that will show us all Moneyball is wrong.*
*Moneyball cannot actually be wrong because it is not a theory or a style of play, it is a nonfiction account of a general manager’s actions over the course of a season. Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone.
Clint Eastwood is playing an old baseball scout who’s going to show these kids a thing or two about the 20-80 scale. (And help his daughter find love along the way!) Robert Lorenz directs his first feature film — he’s previously been Eastwood’s right-hand man on a bunch of the big dog’s productions.
Trouble With the Curve looks like it’s equal parts idiotic, insulting, anachronistic and cloying. Eastwood’s character is going to prove that there are some things about baseball, America and humanity that you can’t learn from a Baseball Prospectus or a nerd spreadsheet equation. The film can likely be summed up by two Eastwood quotes that appear in the trailer:
It’s feng shmay, don’t you know anything?
I can’t even.
You see, it’s hilarious because Eastwood is so fucking old school he doesn’t have time to learn your bullshit new age terms for furniture placement or pseudo-mystical garbage. In America, you only need to learn American words. And Eastwood’s going to bring that same kind of crusty, macho attitude to baseball scouting. Just wait until you hear how he mispronounces “BABIP”!
You don’t know anything about the game. A computer can’t tell if a kid’s got instincts.
That sound you hear is Ned Colletti orgasming. (Yes, it’s a disgusting sound. I know you thought it was a moose being ritually slaughtered.)
It’s like the entire baseball traditionalist community got together for a party and a burning of Michael Lewis in effigy, and this screenplay and character jumped from their collective subconscious like when the Care Bears’ love rays or whatever would all rush from their chests into one Care Bear superpower.
Essentially, Eastwood is playing the villainous scout from Moneyball, but he’s playing him as a hero. He’s playing the racist old dude from Gran Torino, but with a knack for spotting raw power on skinny frames. He’s playing the people who insisted the earth was flat even after they saw satellite imagery of a sphere. Why? Because math is scary. Computers are scary. Love is scary. 17-year-old catchers with cannons for arms — they just make sense, y’know?
Good ol’ baseball is supposed to make you feel like 9/11 never happened, like women never entered the workforce, and like the Greatest Generation still matters. When nerds try to spoil baseball with inane acronyms and fucking reason, for god’s sake, they bring all that ugly stuff right back to the forefront of your mind. Don’t you worry, though. Clint’s gonna fix things.
We’ve seen the extended trailer, and here are some additional excerpts of dialogue, all from Eastwood’s hardscrabble scout:
- “You wanna talk to me about this kid’s WHIP? How about if I ‘whip’ your ass instead?”
- “I care about home runs and runs and RBIs. You care about Bleep Blorp Bleepity Doop. Which do you think wins some damn baseball games?”
- “Moneyball, eh? More like Pussyball.”
- “I once watched Ty Cobb run to first base in less than three seconds. I bet if he were here today, you’d tell him his SAT scores were too low. Baseball ain’t for brainiacs.”
- “Heart and hustle. That’s what I watch for when I see these kids play. And a nice bulge in the groin, tells me they’re virile.”
- “So you don’t like his peripherals, huh? Well, does your fancy spreadsheet whachamacallit there tell you that this kid is an orphan, and that he raised six brothers and sisters all by himself on his family farm in Kentucky, and that he learned to throw a fastball by pelting the rabid, attacking wolves that lived nearby with apple cores, or that he found out when he was 15 that he had cancer and he cured it with the strength of his heart? Does it tell you all that?”
- “Since when did they let Puerto Ricans start playing in the big leagues? Smooth but lazy, those guys.”