The Sandlot, Angels in the Outfield, The Rookie. All of these movies have something in common, they are about baseball, the game we all know and love. Trouble With the Curve is one of many movies in the rotation that catches a lot of heat, but is also loved at the end of the day. While this is less of a movie review, and more of an analysis of the message, I would definitely say to give it a watch if you have never seen it.
A quick synopsis of the movie itself, Gus Lobel is a baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves. He has signed some of the team’s greatest and most talented players, and his eyesight is starting to go. His contract is almost up, and many of the other people on the Braves’ management team believes that it is time for him to retire. Gus goes to scout Bo Gentry, a kid in North Carolina that everyone is predicting be the first pick in the draft. Gus’ closest friend and coworker calls up Mickey, Gus’ daughter to join him on the trip because his job is on the line. While out scouting and spending quality father/daughter time together that they had never had before, Gus and Mickey run into Johnny Flanagan, a former baseball player turned scout, who is gunning for a job in the booth with the Boston Red Sox. Everyone thinks that Gentry is the real deal and a necessary asset to any major league team. But, Gus sees (or rather, hears) that he cannot hit a curveball. The Braves do not listen to him, though, and take Gentry when the Red Sox take someone else with the first pick. The movie concludes with the Braves realizing that Gentry cannot hit a curveball after Mickey brings in an unlikely hero who can pitch stupendously. In addition to that, Gus extends his contract and we get a blissful ending in the world of Mickey and Johnny, whose romance sparked while they were in North Carolina.
(Here is a link to one of the movie’s trailers, if you want to visualize all of the words that were spewed above.)
Trouble With the Curve is by no means a nonpareil movie in the world of baseball. It is not difficult to see that there are inconsistencies and things that do not really make much sense. But, there is a message in the movie that is undoubtedly important. Baseball is timeless. While the scouting can change because of technology and other programs that make it more efficient, baseball itself is everlasting. It can even be seen just by watching this movie that baseball scouts are extremely paramount to the process. Yes, the amount of technological advances that have been made are astonishing. But sometimes, the best way to see if a player will fit properly in your club, is to see them play in person. There is a happy medium between the new found technology and the roots of scouting that made the game of baseball what it is today.
When I was in high school, I did the hitting stats for the Varsity baseball team. Scouts would come to our games and they would find me to get a roster. Some of them were very kind, and would even sit near me and talk with me. It was so obvious how much they absolutely adore their job, and seeing them stand behind the plate with their radar guns and notebooks made me realize that the aforementioned “roots” are really important to a lot of them. One even told me that “this is the best job in the world, doing anything else after this would just not be worthwhile”.
I guess the overarching point of this is actually quite simple. To some, baseball may just be a slow, boring game where a bat hits a ball. But to those who really see it, baseball is a game of intricate details and intelligence beyond just the basics.