spackler

The NL Central is Caddyshack

(h/t to Baroness Wezenhausen for coming up with this idea)

During Friday’s game, there was a little discussion on Twitter about how the NL Central was like the movie Caddyshack. A lot of the ideas people threw around were pretty funny, and I got around to thinking about the similarities a little more.

I’ve seen the movie once or twice, but I’m guessing there are people here who know it a lot better than me. So, if you have anything to add (I couldn’t come up with a match for Lacey Underall), don’t hesitate to tweet (@n_prill or @TheBrewersBar) or leave a comment.

The 2012 Brewers are Danny Noonan. Danny is a good kid who hasn’t figured out what he’s going to do with his life, and (I still think) the Brewers are a good team who is yet to hit their stride. However, they both have their eyes on a big prize: For Danny, the Caddy’s Scholarship, and for the Brewers, a playoff spot.

Like the Brewers, Danny has an antagonist at the top standing in his way. For the Brewers, this is the first-place Cardinals. For Danny, this is Judge Elihu Smails, a rich dinosaur who controls the scholarship fund. Judge Smails has been pretty successful over his life, but — perhaps as a result —  is rather pretentious and grumpy, and often goes out of his way to show that he’s better than everyone else. However, everyone around him is having tons of fun, and heCardinals_Smails isn’t able to stop all of it, no matter how hard he tries. Examples:

“Don’t you people have jobs?”

“I’ve sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn’t want to do it. I felt I owed it to them.”

“You’ll get nothing, and like it.”

“Well, the world needs ditch-diggers, too.”

(Read: “Well, the world needs fifth-place teams, too.”)

Ron Roenicke is Ty Webb, who Danny turns to for advice and guidance. Ty is likeable and easygoing, but really isn’t an ideal mentor. At times, he does things that lead you to believe he’s a really smart guy, perhaps even an innovator. Just as often, though, he shows a complete aversion to rational decision making. Like Roenicke, he also has a tendency to attach a “y” to the end of people’s names, and frequently clashes with St. Louis/Judge Smails. And he says things like this:

“I’m going to give you a little advice. There’s a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball.”

Ty: “I like you Betty.”
Danny: “It’s Danny, sir.”
Ty: “Danny.”

“You don’t have to go to college. This isn’t Russia. Is this Russia? This isn’t Russia.”

There’s one person Judge Smails hates more than anybody, and that’s Al Czervik, who in this scenario is Nyjer Morgan. Like Morgan, Czervik is an eccentric millionaire who is known for his excited outbursts. He plays the game in his own unique way, which irritates Judge Smails, creating a rivalry that sometimes balloons into a full-blown physical altercation. In the end, however, cooler heads prevail and Danny and Al come out on top.

If we’ve gone this far, we might as well fill out the supporting roles, too:

- Kameron Loe is Carl Spackler, the assistant greenskeeper. Carl is good at killing rodents with explosives, just like Loe can generate grounders and get right-handers out. However, Carl doesn’t have much ability beyond that, just like Loe gets pounded by left-handers time and time again. Unfortuately, their bosses seem oblivious to this fact and continue to hurt themselves by asking Loe and Spackler to do things they just aren’t cut out to do.

- The Cubs are the gopher. They really shouldn’t be dangerous to anyone, but they have been able to successfully bother Al/Danny and Judge Smails enough to make rivals out of both of them.

- The Astros are Spaulding Smails, the Judge’s nephew. Spaulding, like the Astros’ roster, is pretty young, and isn’t very good at the game yet. He really doesn’t belong in the country club yet, but he’s there.

- The Pirates are Bishop Pickering. So many things have gone wrong for them that they don’t have faith in anything anymore.

There’s one more moral to this story: The Brewers might not look great right now, but there’s still plenty of time. We’re currently 33 games into the 2012 season, which would roughly correspond with the twenty-minute mark in Caddyshack.

Twenty minutes into the movie, Danny was trying to obtain the scholarship by sucking up to Judge Smails and Al Czervik was just another weird guy. Carl Spackler hadn’t yet handled an explosive, still mumbling about the time he caddied for the Dalai Lama. The Brewers, like Danny, Al, and Carl, have time to figure things out, and if the last two games are any indication, they’ve already took care of the gophers.

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