Category Archives: Movies

Little Big League. Great Baseball Movie

I watched Little Big League tonight; since I was bored and MLB Network has neglected to show anything other than Bad News Bears lately, I broke down and paid the $3.18 on Vudu movies to see this classic. It’s always been one of my favorites.

You know are jones’ing for the season to begin when you are paying to rent and watch Little Big League.

I Somehow missed Adam Dunn in The Dallas Buyers Club


I saw The Dallas Buyer’s Club over the weekend – excellent movie by the way – and I was so busy paying attention to the storyline that I completely forgot that our boy Adam Dunn had a cameo in the film as a bartender.

The film was so strong it will win many Oscars, and Adam Dunn will be present at those awards most likely.

The slugger has an invite, a ride and a reason to attend the 86th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, but he wouldn’t go if the team has an issue. Dunn said Monday that manager Robin Ventura has spoken with him about the trip, but Dunn hasn’t made up his mind.

Dunn is part of the production company Truth Entertainment that helped to create “Dallas Buyers Club,” which is nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture. Matthew McConaughey is up for Best Actor, and Jared Leto is nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Dunn has two scenes but no lines in the movie that also is up for Best Original Screenplay as well as achievements in hair and makeup and editing.

To my knowledge, Dunn didn’t hold a speaking part in the film and there was no straight on shot of him that makes you say ‘my gosh, that’s one of baseball’s best sluggers’. But it’s pretty cool to know that Adam Dunn made an appearance in one of the best films of 2013.

Let’s hope Dunn’s follow up performance in the 2014 season ends with similar rave reviews. We want Dunn to go out strong!

Adam Dunn is a Hollywood Movie Star


Adam Dunn has long been one of our favorite athletes of all-time. Nothing can ever change that, not time nor space or argument from opposing fan about him being wortless defensively or a beer league softball player. He is spoken of as icon status on this blog, do you understand?

We always knew Dunner was capable of big things, and now he’s about to delve into a new realm and unleash his talents on the silver screen. Adam Dunn is going to be in a movie directed by Matthew McConaughey this summer.

Matthew McConaughey has a new movie coming out this summer called “Dallas Buyer’s Club” that, according to IMDB, tells “the true-life tale of Ron Woodroof, a drug taking, women loving, homophobic man who, in 1986 was diagnosed with full blown HIV/AIDS and given thirty days to live.”

Dallas Buyer’s Club sounds like an unbelievable movie in the mold of Boogie Nights or something close. I would want to see it even if Dunn’s part was played by Casey Affleck or someone else who can’t act. To get Dunn is just a bonus. Hopefully he’s one of Ron Woodroof’s skirt-chasing, hard drinking sidekicks. This would be a natural role for Dunn that he played well in his years in Cincinnati before he settled down (it happens to us all around age 30).

This is the highlight of my very sad, boring day.

UPDATE: Dunn is cast as a bartender in the movie. This is perfect.

Movie Review: Chasing 3000

Last night on Netflix I took a chance on Chasing 3000, starring Rory Culkin and one of my favorites Ray Liotta. At this point, is there any doubt that Liotta likes baseball?

This movie is described as “Two brothers drive across country to see their hero, Roberto Clemente, get his 3000th hit.” As I began to watch the movie, and the way these two brothers grew up on sandlots and collecting cards of their idols; I remembered back to my days as a kid in the summer playing tennis ball baseball games or incrediball baseball with the boys out in the front yard. Hit it over the road, and it’s a homer. And remember–ghost runners only were as fast as the lead human runner.

The movie also had another tie-in to my personal life. The brothers pass back and forth a book about their idol, Roberto Clemente. A generational talent right-fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates; Bobby Clemente was one of those guys who you wish you could climb into a time machine to go back and catch a glimpse of.

When I was a kid, I won a book at the school carnival titled Pride of Puerto Rico: The Life of Roberto Clemente. We were forced in 2nd grade to bring in a chapter book from home that we would need to read over the course of the semester. Little did I know that this great story about Roberto Clemente would be my very first baseball book that I read; and that it would be a book I ended up reading three times! In the back, in small 2nd grade hand-writing I wrote ‘times read’ and put a tally mark for every time I made it through. And then I exaggerated a few more for some odd reason that I cannot tell you why.

When the brothers are forced to move from their roots in Pittsburgh to Los Angeles due to a health ailment that affects the younger one, they’re taken away from the things that matter to them most in life: their grandfather, the Burgh’, and their hero Roberto Clemente.

This is not a comedy by any means–but a drama that shows the importance baseball can have in impacting and shaping the lives of family and young men.

When Clemente is just several hits from the magical 3,000 the older brother decides through some homesickness that he’s going to venture back to his roots in Pittsburgh to see his hero get the historic hit. His younger brother is played by Macaulay Culkin’s younger brother and decides he will go along for the ride in the journey that becomes the best week of their lives.

Some of the footage shown early on in this movie of the kids playing baseball in the street with their neighborhood friends reminds me so much of summers growing up in my childhood. And if you had summers like that I promise you will grin at a lot of it.

Chasing 3000 is a really good story centered around baseball that will make for a really nice watch for you and might bring back some heartwarming memories. It’s a story about how a generational talent taken too soon from us (stuck on exactly 3,000 hits for eternity) shaped one region of the nation for an era.

Diamond Hoggers Rating: 8.5 baseballs out of 10

Diamond Hoggers Favorite Baseball Movies

With time running short on the off-season and Spring Training beginning soon we wanted to make sure we got this up before it’s not a technically legal topic. Your favorites or ranking differences go in the comments–and please don’t mention the Bad News Bears.

1. 61*

Probably our favorite baseball movie. Billy Crystal did a good job on this lesser known classic a few years back on HBO. It’s pretty accurate historically, and the two guys who play Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris are dead ringers. You get to know the personality of these two figures pretty well and they end up each being guys that you root for. Also have to love how they villain-ize Mrs. Claire Ruth. And the commissioner of baseball. (Remember that gleam in his eye when he talks about Ruth?). When the Reds pull off a big win during the heat of the summer, I pull out *61 and pretend we’re back in that summer before we had to worry about gas prices, inflation, and too many pesticides ruining the foods we eat. Times were a lot purer back then. The game was as well.

2. The Natural

Probably the greatest single scene from any baseball movie in my opinion. “Pick me out a winner Bobby” with blood and guts coming out of the uniform should be known by every baseball fan who lives. Roy Hobbs walks up to the plate and hits a one-armed home run that crashes out the old light tower in the movie. The explosion that follows matches the climax of the entire movie. It’s just a ‘moment’. We would all of loved to have had our Natural moment but the bottom line is none of us probably have. But if you played the game or if you watch the game when we re-tell a big home run that’s the moment we would all like that re-told story to be re-incarnated as. It’s perfect in so many ways.

3. Little Big League

I watched this movie about 120 times one summer when I was in 8th grade. Cameos from Carlos Baerga, Randy Johnson and the immortal Ken Griffey Jr. made it a classic to me back then and the thought of me as a kid owning a big league team made it one of my favorites. I love when Billy is in negotiations to acquire Rickey Henderson.

4. The Sandlot

Again, a classic I was lucky enough to have come around during my childhood. This movie was special to me because it was my childhood. Every endless summer day we spent in the front yard playing ball for hours on end. We used ghost runners and gloves as bases until our dad started running over them with the lawnmower and we played until we ran out of baseballs. And tennis balls. And those amazing Incrediballs which played better in backyard baseball than an actual baseball because you couldn’t hit them through windows in the house across the street. We were a lot like those kids in the Sandlot.

5. The Babe

It’s actually amazing how good John Goodman was in this movie as Babe Ruth. He was sloppy, he ate and enjoyed sex in abundance, and he had that big staggering punch-drunk swing of George Herman Ruth. This movie is incredibly underrated. No baseball fan could say that it sucked. For instance, if you went home from work and didn’t have much to do and you were flipping through the channels and it happened to be on USA, you would definitely let it play out. Wouldn’t you? I haven’t seen it in a long time but I definitely enjoyed it and the depiction it gave me (even in a PG-rated sense which is hardly possible) of Babe Ruth.

6. Cobb

“Georgia Peach? Georgia Prick is more like it”. And I immediately liked the movie. Tommy Lee Jones delivers a great performance of the hardened soul that was Tyrus Raymond Cobb. A drinker, a womanizer, and a guy who grew up in hard times. Arliss before he was Arliss does a nice job as Al Stump–and as history would have it he did finish the book. Cobb comes in spikes high with this underrated movie.

7. The Fan

Another underrated classic where Robert DeNiro plays the role of obsessed fan Gil Renard. We’ve all been there, sort of. Guy has nothing going for him except the club that he roots for (the SF Giants) are surging. At the heart of it all is his favorite player Bobby Rayburn. And Gil is responsible for all of it. After all he sneaks into the showers mid-season and kills the teammate who wouldn’t cough up Rayburn’s prized #11. Then Rayburn’s slump ends! Along the way Gil fails at selling custom made hunting knives and slanders his ex-wife and her new husband openly! Family fun for everyone.

8. Hu$tle

After you watch this movie you’ll be certain of two things. One, Pete Rose is a schmuck of rare breed. And two, he definitely bet not only on the entire sport of baseball but his own team the Cincinnati Reds and probably everything else including sunrise and sunset. It was a made for ESPN movie but I suggest seeing it somehow. It’s especially interesting to Cincinnati Reds fans and gives a pretty accurate depiction of the events that occurred just before Pete was ousted. There’s no A-list actors but the guy who plays Rose in the movie does a really good job of mastering the mannerisms of Pete Rose.

9. Eight Men Out

I owned this movie forever without actually watching it. Then one day I took it out of the package and finally gave it a shot. It’s not the greatest baseball movie ever made, but it’s a really good historical education of the 1919 Black Sox scandal and if you’re a baseball fan and like the history of the game, you’ll like it. D.B. Sweeney makes you fall for Shoeless Joe Jackson and his all-out grit.

The Definitive Goodfellas Post

Because it is our favorite movie of all-time, we had to get this on the blog somehow. “Yes, indeed, The Godfather is masterful. The Sopranos? We never missed an episode. But you want to talk about a movie that leaves a mark? Twenty years after the release of GoodFellas, the good people behind it—Scorsese, Liotta, De Niro!—re-create the making of the truest, bloodiest, greatest gangster film of all time.” []

The Reds have got something for ya

There’s just a little bit of season left, and the Reds are going to have to employ a secret weapon or two to hold off the Cardinals’ charge. It reminds me of an epic scene from one of my favorite Paul Newman movies; The Color of Money.

Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 10.57.55 PM
“What’chu got in there?”
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“In here?”



HT: YouTube

Roy Hobbs does his best Jay Bruce impression

And THIS is why I love baseball. You’d be surprised how many times real life imitates the Hollywood script, no?

Hope everyone is having a nice little Saturday (the best day of the week). It’s surprising how little I’ve thought of the impending NFL and NCAA football seasons. That’s all for now, heading to the ball park in the Queen City to see the Redlegs take on the Cubbies. Full report tomorrow.

Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers.

DH Video Select: Clear the Mechanism

So here we have one of the most underrated baseball movies of all time. Most people get caught up in the love story between Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston (and she is a babe, so how could you not); but this movie was very well done from the standpoint that it gets you into the mind of a Major Leaguer.

This was one of my favorite scenes from the movie. If you’ve played sports at any level above middle school you can relate to this. It seems that when you enter that zone, you can block out everything else in the environment around you and just zone in on your concentration.

The very best, the guys who make money to play this child’s game for a living; well we’d be willing to bet that they’re the masters of ‘clearing the mechanism’.

DH Video Select: Little Big League

This is one of the all time great baseball movies, Little Big League. Someone was nice enough to put the music scenes of the movie on YouTube for us. This is kind of a bland video of the day but it will have to do.

If you’ve never seen the film, you really should. It’s a feel-good baseball story about a young kid who inherits his grampa’s baseball team. And how sweet ass would that be? Talk about great Christmas gifts. I’d love to inherit the Minnesota Twins.

I always think back to the scene in the movie when one of this 7th grade buddies says “So let me get this straight, you’re the manager…..and the owner?”

Baseball Movie Review: Hu$tle

Title: Hu$tle
Other Reviews:
Diamond Hoggers Rating: 6.5/10

This was a Christmas gift. And while we will probably never get the use out of it of the $10 it was afforded for we figured because we love the Reds and because of Pete Rose’s historical signifigance to our favorite franchise, we should probably celebrate it as part of our official collection.

This movie was originall made back when ESPN thought it was going to expand the company into the movie production business. It was aired on ESPN as an ‘ESPN Original’. Aparently they thought that Tom Sizemore as Pete Rose was a good fit. I did not. Sizemore–while capturing the schmuck and shallow points of Pete, actually went overboard at times during this film–tough to do we think but he managed.

This movie didn’t have anything breathtaking as far as behind the scenes historical footage in the movie. Most of the stuff in the film the casual fan would not walk away from feeling informed about the situation. I.E. the ‘Dowd Report’ or the significance of a character like Paul Jansen. All one would know is that Paulie Jansen was Pete Rose’s bitch boy who ended up on the short end of the stick.

Scenes/Stuff I enjoyed:

-The conversation Pete had with former owner Marge Schott, although ol’ Marge wasn’t nearly haggard enough.

-Pete rolling around on the bed in an LA hotel with a buxom blonde, only to throw the blonde in Paul Jansen’s room when Pete’s angry wife shows up knocking on the door. Then, go figure that Pete’s wife gets pissed at Paul warning Pete that he is ‘nothing but trouble’! Again and again in this movie old Charlie Hustle makes his ‘buddy’ take bullett after bullett for him and amazingly he just keeps on taking them.

-Pete watching a basketball game late into the night, only to see the shot he needs to fall not fall and OH GOD HE LOSES AGAIN. God, don’t we know that feeling. We didn’t lose future mortgage payments or anything, but this is one situation where we could relate to Pete.

-Rose actually bets on the Reds to win in the movie, filling out his betting ticket with Cincinnati circled several times. We did not realize that this ever took place, later realizing that he bet on his own team several times. It’s also when he gets completely out of hand. WTF was he thinking?

-Paul Jansen sits front row above the Reds dugout at old Riverfront Stadium (ESPN did a decent re-make of the old stadium we grew up in) and Rose constantly looks at Jansen during games to check on the scores of his bets. Jansen then gives Rose a series of 6 thumbs up (wins) or thumbs down (losses). Oh God what that must of felt like. Suddenly we began to wonder: how does a guy like Rose go through life without a heart attack or any type of cardiac episode? There he is, managing big league ballgames; not the most stress free job to begin with. Then you’ve got Rose betting on the side for ‘fun’ and being chased by shadeface gangster types.

-I heard a few Dave Parker and Eric Davis references.

If I heard Pete Rose (Tom Sizemore) say “Who’s better then us” one more time I was going to pull the trigger.

Stuff I could have done without:
-Rose’s shmuckness was over the top we feel. Now, no doubt he’s a shadeball. But no one could be quite as shady as Tom Sizemore portrayed Rose as, could they?
-The whole thing seemed hurried and had the feeling of ‘could use more detail’. For a movie produced by a network built on sports footage, and archives and such; there just wasn’t enough meat and potatoes here.
-The damn thing just kind of…..ends. I mean, give us a little more, would ya?
-I wish there was more footage of actual downtown Cincinnati. The Queen city has been very kind to us. The downtown is very elegant. Would it have been too much to ask to actually produce the movie there?
This movie will never go down as a classic, but it’s definitely solid. Like the man it was based on, it’s far from unblemished. But it gives you an overall peek into the life of baseball’s all-time hit king, and what a degenerate gambler he was.

Holiday Haul

I didn’t get this above pictured Jay Bruce game-used bat for Christmas. I still did pretty well. I got the movies Hu$tle and Pride of the Yankees (reviews to come on those soon). I got a baseball calendar of America’s finest ball parks (both Major and Minor leagues). I also got a DVD/VCR recorder that I will be able to record the games on this upcoming season.

The main item of the haul was a Sony Bravia 26″ flat screen HD television. Ya know, to watch the Reds and all other baseball on this upcoming summer. All aspiring baseball journalists should have one.