What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions

The Best Movie Baseball Managers

Charley Pegler – Brewster’s Millions

Charley Pegler would the perfect manager for the Cubs, as he knows how to deal apparently self-destructive people. If you don’t remember the plot, Richard Pryor plays a minor-league pitcher who inexplicably inherits a shitload of money on the proviso he wastes $30 million in 30 days. Naturally, everybody thinks the cheese has slipped off his cracker, but it is Pegler who is able keep the focus on baseball, at least on the diamond. Who better for a dysfunctional organization like the Cubs?

Jackie Robinson ‘J.R.’ Cooper – The Kid from Left Field

Only in the movies can the “What Choo Talkin’ ‘Bout, Willis” kid lead the San Diego Padres to a World Series. Or is it the San Diego Padres can only win a World Series in the movies?

Uchiyama – Mr. Baseball

In order to get this reference, you have to understand the actor who played Uchiyama, Ken Takakura, is regarded as the “Clint Eastwood” of Japan. Let’s be honest, just how freakin’ awesome would it be to have “Dirty Harry” as a manager? Get your bets down on the first umpire he would waste (I’ve got “dibs” on Joe West)

Jimmy Dugan – A League of Their Own

Sometimes the coach is the one who needs to learn some leadership. Dugan is a former slugger put out to pasture because a knee injury and the fact that he is a liquor sponge ended his productive days, but he remains a big enough name to serve as a box-office draw. Somehow, he sobers up enough to utter the classic line “There’s no crying in baseball!”

Dutch Schnell – Bang the Drum Slowly

In a movie that mixes the Americana of baseball with the reality of  slow, debilitating death, Schnell is always looking for ways to reveal that he is a rough diamond with a heart of coal. Even though his catcher is dying, Dutch believes he is the game, and the team, and the all the hopes therein. Schnell permeates the movie with a comic diligence that denies the character even the semblance of second-rate decency. In other words, he is Billy Martin, the quintessential Yankee manager.

Pop Fisher – The Natural

Here’s the part where I’m going to sound like some fruity-cup English Lit major who smokes clove cigarettes and oozes smarminess, but Pop Fisher represents almost a perfect baseball version of the Arthurian “Fisher King.”  He is the ailing king with the strange and inexplicable illness and there is an inextricable link between his health and that of the land.  Without the Holy Grail (the pennant), Pop can never be truly healed. While the team is in last place, their field is desiccated waste land; the players are all depressed, even the water in the dugout isn’t fit for drinking. However upon Roy Hobbs’ first hit, the clouds burst forth with rain for three straight days, Pop’s health improves as the Knights do better and better. However, Hobbs is an anti-Percival, and when he ultimately leaves, Pop is left with his waste land.

Joe Riggins – Bull Durham

Just on the strength of one of the greatest baseball scenes ever…”You guys…You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry! Lollygaggers!”

Lou Brown – Major League

Most of Brown’s memorable lines are delivered in the salty, burly manner you want in a baseball manager.  Just looking at some of his classic lines on the page, you can just hear them coming out of his mouth…

“Let’s give ’em all a big shitburger to eat!”

  • “Nice catch, Hayes. Don’t ever fuckin’ do it again.”
  • “I dunno”
  • “Give ’em the heater”
  • “Shut up, Dorn!”
  • “Well, you can run like Mays, but you hit like shit. With your speed, you should be hitting the ball on the ground and be legging them out. Every time I see you hit one in the air, you owe me 20 pushups.”

Morris Buttermaker – The Bad News Bears (Walter Matthau, not Billy Bob Thornton)

What better choice is there for a team of misfits than a short-tempered, foul-mouthed, alcoholic? Despite the fact he throws a beer can at one kid and calls another a ”booger-eating moron,” he ultimately gets it across to these kids in his own drunken, slovenly way that perseverance, teamwork, and self-respect are more important than winning.

About J-Dub

What your view of sports would be if you had too many concussions

7 comments on “The Best Movie Baseball Managers

  1. brouhahasports
    November 11, 2010

    lou brown rules.

    The whitewall tires scene is pretty good as well.


  2. JL
    December 25, 2010

    Uh, what “The Natural” did you watch? The one that I watched ended with Hobbs winning the pennant for Pop. Man that book sucked. Otherwise; Great list. Fun read.


  3. J-Dub
    June 2, 2013

    Reblogged this on Sports Blog Movement and commented:

    In honor of Comedy Central showing “Major League” for the 5,000,000th time, here’s a little something from the Dubsism archives.


  4. Ryan Meehan
    June 6, 2013

    “Besides kid, seeing’s the important thing”!


  5. I’d also like to give a shout out to William Devane who encouraged an entire AstroDome (remember that building?) of fans to “Let Them Play!” in “The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training.”


  6. Ryan Meehan
    June 8, 2013

    I bet that in real life, getting Richard Pryor to spend $30 million in 30 days would not have been a very tall order.



  7. Pingback: Dubsism’s 10 Greatest Baseball Movies | Dubsism

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This entry was posted on November 9, 2010 by in Baseball, Movies and tagged , , , .

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