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A Player to be Named Later

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I know I'm way late to the game on this one and people have discussed this before on AN, but in case you didn't know, there is a documentary movie out there featuring our very own Marco Scutaro called A Player to Be Named Later. If you haven't seen it, stop reading this right now and go add it to your Netflix queue or go buy it from Amazon.com.

It's a fantastic movie that charts the course of four different minor league players through a season. They play with the Indianapolis Indians, the minor league affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. It's basically a look inside a real Bull Durham with the cast of characters closely resembling that of the classic comedy (and one of my all-time favorite movies).

What is interesting about it is watching the ups and downs of Senor Clutch, especially knowing that he would became such a big part of the Oakland A's eventually. You almost want to give the guy a hug during an especially poignant part of the movie and tell him that things are going to work out for him and his family.

The most painful part of the movie is watching a career minor leaguer named Brad Tyler continue to hang on by the thinnest of hopes that he'll still get his shot despite the fact that he's 32 years old. There is a part of you that is completely behind this guy who has spent his life trying to get to the show but there is also a part of you that wants to scream at him to give it up and take care of your family. Especially when you see him missing his daughter's first birthday party because he's still pursuing a dream that is more than likely gone. It almost makes you think of the doctor character in Field of Dreams and you wind up wishing that there is a magical place where Tyler can go to get that long-sought taste from the magic waters of the majors.

It also makes you realize that Allen "Meat" Levrault was traveling a path that so many fail to conquer. Levrault, who wound up pitching in the A's system for a little while, gets the biggest opportunity to make an impact at the pro level. Course, Levrault does wind up flaming out by the end of the movie and I'm not sure where he even is today.

I don't want to give away anything more about the movie, but you should see this movie (although be forewarned, Miss Jackie is no Susan Surandon). It was a delight from start to finish and I could not give it a higher recommendation. Especially to A's fans who know Scoot so well now. It's hard to be impartial about the guy after watching his struggles to get the bigs in such vivid detail.

By the way, spring training games start tomorrow! Woo hoo. The long wait is over and the games are finally here. Sure, it's going to be the same thing day in and day out for the next month; aka pitchers just getting their work in, batters just trying not to get hurt, but we're so close to opening day 07 that I can almost taste it now. And it's oh-so-delicious.