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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

April 21, 2009 at 10:50 PM

Casting the Mariners’ movie

It looks like “Moneyball” is coming to the silver screen, with Brad Pitt playing Billy Beane and now Demitri Martin signed to play his lovable sidekick, Paul DePodesta. (I have a feeling I should have heard of Demitri Martin, but alas, I haven’t. But I’m sure he’s going to be very good). Steven Soderbergh, who brought us Sex, Lies and Videotape as well as Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen, is set to direct.

It struck me that if the Mariners somehow keep on rolling and wind up, let’s just say for the sake of argument and a blog post, winning the World Series, Hollywood just couldn’t resist that classic rags-to-riches story. There would have to be a Mariners’ movie, right?

So if Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, who plays Jack Zduriencik? How about Chuck Armstrong? Don Wakamatsu? Ichiro? Ken Griffey Jr.? Howard Lincoln? Lee Pelekoudas? Bill Bavasi? Geoff Baker?

To cast the Mariners’ movie (Working title: “Don With The Wind”) , I solicited suggestions from the Seattle Times sports staff, and racked my own brain. Here’s what I came up with. I welcome your suggestions and comments. (And Mariners’ folks, if you see this, please be assured that this is all done in good fun, with no malice intended).

1. JACK ZDURIENCIK

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Assuming that Mike Myers (the actor, not the former lefty reliever) isn’t available…

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…then the candidates are: Ben Kingsley, who won an Academy Award for Ghandi.

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Action star Bruce Willis.

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And the first runnerup, Michael Chiklis, star of “The Commish”:

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The role of Jack Zduriencik goes to…from “Sex and the City,” Evan Handler:

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2. DON WAKAMATSU.

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Second runnerup is former “Saved by the Bell” heartthrob Mario Lopez.

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First runnerup is “Last Samurai” actor Ken Watanabe:

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And the role of Don Wakamatsu will be played by “Superman,” Dean Cain:

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3. HOWARD LINCOLN

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There seems to be a surprising consensus on this casting decision. (But it might not have been so easy if the great Jason Robards were still alive).

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The nod goes to veteran character actor James Cromwell, most noted for “Babe” and “L.A. Confidential”:

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4. CHUCK ARMSTRONG

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Armstrong’s part, of course, requires a distinguished-looking, silver-haired actor. Because I’m old, I immediately thought of Jack Cassidy (disregard the mustache).

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Someone else mentioned Ted Knight (Ted Baxter from the Mary Tyler Moore Show, and, of course, his masterpiece, Judge Smails from Caddyshack):

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But for the role of team president Chuck Armstrong, I’m going to go with two-time Academy Award nominee,, Charles Durning:

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5. BILL BAVASI

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One vote went to the versatile Chiklis, another to pro wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin:

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Someone else said Vincent Price. Price died in 1993, so he’s not eligible, but he would have been a strong contender:

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For some reason, Billy Zane from Titanic was the first image that popped into my head:

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If you want to stay in house, you can go this route:

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But the role of Bill Bavasi goes to (and I give full credit to Percy Allen for seeing the connection)…the great actor, John Malkovich:

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6. LEE PELEKOUDAS.

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Of course, the obvious pick is Tom Bosley from “Happy Days.” I have a hunch Lee has gotten that his whole life.”

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Keep in mind, however, that Bosley is now 81 years old. So I’m going to go outside the box and consider versatile Broadway and television star Mandy Patinkin:

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Close, but the trademark Pelekoudas hair is just not right on Patinkin. So I’m going to with another Broadway star, Nathan Lane. Not a perfect match, but the best I can do:

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7. KEN GRIFFEY JR.

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You’ve got to have a role for Junior in this epic, right? My first thought is Chris Rock, because when he’s on a roll, Griffey can be as funny as Rock.

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But I’m not sure Rock could pull off the baseball scenes, so I’m going with Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx:

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8. ICHIRO.

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No Mariners’ movie would be complete without a prominent role for Ichiro. My office experts suggested every Asian actor imaginable– Tony Leung, Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Daniel Dae Kim, among them. But there’s only one person who can truly do Ichiro justice:

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9. GEOFF BAKER

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The gonzo blogger extraordinaire would be an obvious foil in a Mariner movie. Now, some of you have likened him to childhood singing star Donny Osmond:

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But far more of you look at Geoff and see Office Space actor Ron Livingston, so he gets the part.

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10. LARRY STONE.

It’s my idea, so I’m writing in a part for myself as the dashing young (ahem) reporter.

This guy’s all tied up:

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And this guy is booked:

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So I have no choice but to go with this guy — once he’s done shooting “Moneyball,” of course:

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,

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