Wouldn’t it have been delightful? I mean, I completely get why the Indians didn’t allow it to happen. He’s a perpetual liability, and the organization is already dealing with the fact that it’s got the most racist mascot and logo in baseball. Plus, from the Cubs’ perspective, who knows what would have happened? If Wild Thing had been allowed to toss one instead of [wow, I remember zero of the Progressive Field first-pitch throwers from the World Series and I was literally paid to watch all seven games], maybe history would have taken a different turn. Maybe Cubs fans would still be in their perpetual state of dissatisfaction instead of uncomfortably struggling with the feeling of “winning.” Hey, winning! This paragraph has come full circle.
Sidebar: I may not remember the names of the people who threw the first pitch at the four Cleveland home games during the Fall Classic, but I damn well remember the guy who sang the National Anthem a bunch of times at Dodger Stadium during the postseason. I love him. Francis Scott Key may not have known it, but he was writing “The Star-Spangled Banner” for Keith Williams Jr. to completely slay in 2016. Watch him and try not to feel American as hell.
Anyway. The point of this blog post is for me to tell you that I watched Major League for the first time in the same year that the Indians went to the World Series, and that’s a fun coincidence. I’d say I’m sorry they didn’t win, but I’m not, because I was rooting for the Cubs. (Though it was either team’s to lose by Game 7, and both should be wholly proud of the way they played. Rajai Davis and Coco Crisp, maaaaaaan.) And the more specific point of this blog post is for me to praise the hell out of Sheen’s “Wild Thing” hair. What a masterpiece. You can see the lightning-shaped buzz peeking out from underneath his despicable Chief Wahoo cap. Please disregard the incredibly bigoted fan costumes, if you can.
Major League is an exemplary product of its late-80s time for many reasons. One, its stars — Sheen, Dennis Haysbert, Wesley Snipes, Tom Berenger, to name a few — are at their peak and have since… well, you know. Maybe that’s unfair to say of Haysbert or Berenger. But they’re all deeply unrecognizable. Two — and this is something I can get behind — the Yanks are the enemies! Three, the topic of athletes cheating plays a prominent role, which grounds the otherwise very absurd film in something seriously real and dark about baseball. Unfortunately, and fourth, the movie shrugs off of sexism, as Berenger’s Jake Taylor courts Rene Russo’s Lynn by stalking her, yet it’s supposed to be romantic. We’re used to this by now.
But, like … it’s silly. Bob Uecker is in it. That’s fun. So is Neil Flynn. You’ll laugh, and you’ll love baseball more for not being quite as stupid as it used to be, and you’ll wish for better walk-up music from your team, and you’ll check your calendar to see how soon Opening Day is.