Let’s talk about ‘A League of their Own’ and the worst in-game managing decision of all time


What an absolute joke.

In between changing diapers of my two-month-old son and intermittent bouts of crying (mostly from me) I’ve been watching a ton of TV. IFC has played “A League of their Own” nonstop over the past week, and I’ve found myself watching chunks of it at a time to keep the nagging thoughts out my head that all new parents experience (such classics as: Why did I ever want a kid in the first place? Will he ever stop crying? Could I make it to the Canadian border before my wife notices that I’ve abandoned her? You know, harmless things like that).

It’s a great movie. The gals play some baseball, everyone has a grand old time, the Americans single handedly win World War II and the girls show that a sister’s love conquers all. Great stuff. The women come from cities near and far. There are Canadians, Irish ones and Swedes. They were all for one, and one for all, they’re all American.

Tom Hanks also plays a delightful, drop-dead drunk, who if we’re being real here, probably would have smacked a few of the women around for dropping fly balls, but Hollywood just wasn’t ready to go there yet. Thank you very much, Penny Marshall.

HOWEVER, we need to talk about the Racine Belles head coach, Don Davis. If you’ve never seen the movie, the Racine Belles play the Rockford Peaches in the first ever All-American Girls Professional Baseball League championship in the final 20 minutes of the movie.

Let me set the stage for you. Tied up three games a piece in the best of seven series, the Racine Belles are clinging to a perilous 1-0 lead going into the top of the 9th inning. Kit Hinson is pitching a complete game at this point, but promptly gives up two singles to put the leading run on base.

She’s laboring, it’s obvious to anyone with eyes at this point that she should be taken out, but this fool leaves her in the game! After a sacrifice bunt moves the runners up to second and third, big Dottie Hinson (older sister to Kit) strides to the plate for the Peaches.

Now, here is where my gripe comes into play. Dottie is batting about .800 on the season with 79 home runs. She’s an absolute beast at the plate, the best player in the league, and she doesn’t want to get shown up by her kid sister, who by the way is completely pitching on fumes at this point.

First base is open, so why in god’s name are you pitching to Dottie in this situation? YOU PUT HER ON, DON, JESUS CHRIST. Are you telling me that you’d rather pitch to Dottie “Big Dick” Hinson instead of  Betty fucking Spaghetti on deck? Her nickname is Spaghetti. Fuck her. She’s not getting a clutch hit.

Sure enough, Dottie smokes a line drive into center field and plates the go ahead run. If it weren’t for her dropping a tag on purpose in the bottom of the 9th inning because she felt badly for her lame-duck sister who would have committed suicide if Racine had lost, then he would have gone down as one of the worst managers of all time.

Don, you’re an asshole. Jimmy Dugan out coached and outclassed you that entire series, and if Big Dick Hinson had played the entire series instead of just the last game, you would have gotten crushed.

And fuck off, I know it’s a movie, but maybe Penny Marshall should bone up on her Sabremetrics instead of focusing on directing a feel-good women’s baseball movie.

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