Coming into the film ‘No No: A Dockumenatry’ there were only two things I knew about former Major League Baseball pitcher Dock Ellis. The first was that he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the second was that he once pitched a no-hitter while tripping on LSD. It’s what he’s most known for and was the main reason why this documentary was made. I figured there wasn’t much else to him however the no-hitter was only a small part of his life and career.
The film tells us a bit about Ellis’ childhood and how he was a perceived troublemaker. This was the same reputation he’d get while pitching in the big leagues as he was a bit of a social renegade during the tumultuous 1970s. Rather than driving loud cars like when he was in high school, Ellis was a bad boy in the sense that he stood up and more importantly spoke out about racial prejudice in baseball. About 25 years had passed since Jackie Robinson‘s first game yet those biases still existed. Ellis was apparently one of the few to acknowledge it and it made him a leader.
Ellis was far more than a man who took acid and played sports. He was eccentric in many parts of his life during a time period when black men weren’t allowed to have soul. Ellis had plenty of it and the influence spread across the Pirates’ locker room predating the “We Are Family” teams of the latter part of the decade.
The story of Ellis was shocking at times. Included was a violent outburst that almost loses any sympathy for the film’s hero. Dealing with fact, the filmmakers appropriately moved onto Ellis’ redemption post playing days. One thing we are never told about Dock is how much he helped others dealing with the same addictions he had. After playing baseball and having to lie about all of the behind the scenes with drugs and alcohol, Ellis was finally allowed to be honest and do some good.
Unfortunately not enough footage of Ellis playing was available in the archive as we are treated to what feels like the same clips over and over. At times it felt like Ellis documented his road trips on acid more than the MLB did their games. This is to no fault of the filmmakers as they had to work with what is available. This will certainly not be a challenge with any of today’s players as every error or outburst they have on the field is recorded.
More than a story about a junkie athlete, this was a film about the culture. I found it most fascinating exactly how many players were using greenies and the affect they had. It made me further appreciate how much concentration just one cup of coffee can give me.
This is a movie for baseball fans and historians. While the story isn’t completely set on chronological order and comes off a little strange, this is something worth adding to your Netflix queue.
It’s never a good feeling when one of your favorite baseball players refuses to sign an autograph for you. I had it happen plenty through my younger days. Gary Sheffield completely ignored me, Frank Robinson gave me a flat out “no,” and Brian Giles drove by the fans outside PNC Park all week long during my trip to Pittsburgh over a decade ago. Professional athletes are not obligated to sign autographs and it absolutely sucks.
Chipper Jones, an idol of many kids growing up in the 1990s, apparently spurned an autograph seeker back in the late 1990s. I don’t doubt that it happened and I’m sure it did ruin the young fan’s day. During this time the Atlanta Braves were a very good team. Usually when teams are winning there are a lot more fans wanting their autographs and not even can get one. Worse than this excuse, their heads inflate and they don’t feel the need to please the fans.
Since I wasn’t there I can only assume the former Larry Wayne fan is legitimate based on my own experiences. Twice I attempted to get autographs from the Braves outside of Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia around the same time period. The first opportunity nobody signed and I only remember a few of the players waving (as if that’s what anyone wanted). The second time around included the Sheffield shuffle (that’s what I call the way he swiftly entered the stadium as if no one was around). A few players did sign including Javy Lopez, Rafael Furcal, and Tim Spooneybarger. Jones was never even spotted as it would have been a madhouse to get his ‘graph.
The way Jones responded to this bitter fan upsets me a little bit because he’s supposed to be the role model here. I’m sure a whole army of 1990s kids will agree Jones never signed for them either.
The next time Jones gets called up it’s probably best he has a sense of humor about it and not sink down to the fan’s level. I’d also like to see his grammar improve. Then again, that’s too much to ask for a guy nickname Chipper, isn’t it?
I held out on a fantasy baseball trade proposal made to me last week involving outfielder Carlos Gomez for one of my best pitchers, James Shields. It was the second time this season Shields was targeted by that owner and both times I ignored it because I felt I was being insulted. This time, offering me Adam Jones got my attention.
Jones is a guy I remember best as the one who got a 2-run double on a Sunday afternoon and cost me a win two years ago in fantasy baseball. To steal him away, I feel a little better about things even if it cost me a good pitcher. I hate to lose Shields and probably didn’t need another outfielder. Admittedly, this trade was made largely because it makes things more interesting.
One of the teams in my ESPN Fantasy Baseball League is obsessed with getting James Shields from me. This is the second trade proposal this season involving Big Game James and certainly not the last. The first time he wanted to give me catcher Salvador Perez for Shields. He was smart in that he did it immediately after Jonathan Lucroy hit the disabled list. He did this without realizing my backup catcher was Russell Martin, a very formidable replacement. This time the offer was for Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez.
In any other season this is a find trade. In 2015 it’s a dumb one for me to accept. Shields is pitching in the National League now in a pitcher-friendly park for the San Diego Padres. Even though he hasn’t been terrific, all signs point toward a better season ahead.
Gomez, on the other hand, has struggled after returning from the disabled list. He’s also playing for a bad team right now which will surely limit his run production. Gomez was never supposed to be this elite fantasy baseball player that he has become so when he plays poorly I’m going to wonder how much time he has left.
I’ll so no to this trade, but not before letting the other team sweat it out and think there’s a chance I could be so silly.
To save time, I finally figured out how to add the RSS Feeds of two other sites I have been writing for onto the Widget section of this site. I had already secured Liberty Phanatics, a site about the Philadelphia Phillies, and now have Innings Eaters up there too.
I’m still unsure what type of writing I will do here as both of those sites have me pretty occupied. I’ll likely keep up with some Fantasy Baseball stuff and do plan to write more about my old little league teammates when I get around to it.
To help you with your Daily Fantasy Baseball Picks today, because we know damn well that you’re busy and enjoying the nice weather or the big boxing match (not the Kansas City Royals’ game by the way) here are some players you should and should not pick in your league today.
Anthony Rizzo – The Chicago Cubs first baseman is playing well and comes into the game 5 for 7 with a home run against Milwaukee Brewers’ starter Mike Fiers. Fiers has struggled this year and he will do so again when Rizzo steps up to the dish.
Melky Cabrera – Cabrera is not having a particularly good season, but facing Ricky Nolasco could give you some fantasy baseball points. Cabrera is 7 for 19 against Nolasco and might be able to break out of his slump.
Michael Cuddyer – A pair of home runs in the last 3 games makes Cuddyer a fine choice tonight against Gio Gonzalez. Adding more to the argument is Cuddyer’s 6 for 17 career against the lefty.
Adam Jones – Facing a very hot Chris Archer, whom he’s only 1 for 14 in his career against, there’s absolutely no reason to take Jones today. Better yet, stay away from all of the Baltimore Orioles.
Kyle Seager – Normally Seager is a very good pick at third base, but today he’s not. Seager is 1 for 16 against Houston Astros’ starter Colin McHugh with 6 strikeouts. McHugh is pitching great and at home should handle Seager as usual.
Dee Gordon – Gordon and the Miami Marlins host Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies tonight in what could very well turn into a frustrating evening for Hamels if he doesn’t get much run-support. One guy he has handed well, though, is Gordon. Gordon is 0 for 9 against Hamels in his career with 5 strikeouts.