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TCB Movie Club: Bull Durham

Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend and came prepared to discuss another modern baseball classic. Well, it's sort of a modern baseball classic. After all, it deals as much with the relationships as it does with the baseball. We can discuss the relative merits of it's position as a baseball movie or a Sports Chick Flick in the comments (or how many sports movies function in the same way), but what I really wanted to talk about in this one is Crash Davis himself.

Is Crash a good defensive catcher?

We know he's good with handling a staff, right? That's why he was bought out and sent to Durham in the first place. We know he's a pretty big power hitter, since he's getting close to breaking that record and all. So, why hasn't he spent more than a cup of coffee in the majors? Heck, doesn't he sound just like John Buck, who signed a three-year contract this winter?

There are a couple of possibilities with him. First, Crash is a three true outcomes player. He either strikes out, walks or hits a home run. That's sort of borne out in the movie, since we never really see him hitting doubles, or singles for that matter. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that he can in fact walk a good percentage of the time, but he seems like the classic .240 hitter with 25 homers a year.

As for his defense, we get to see him throw down to second in one of those montages, but it's not all that impressive. Crash's real value comes as a leader for this young team. He must have a weak arm or something that has held him back all these years. Otherwise, a decent defensive catcher with some pop but no contact skills would be a major league backup somewhere, right? That makes me think he's considered pretty bad behind the plate by the scouts.

So, I ask you, is that enough to keep him in the minors so long? It can't be because he's slow. After all, Bengie Molina is proof you don't need wheels to play catcher. Are there any other flaws in his game that you noticed that would have kept him in the minors all those years?