There is a very noticeable disconnect between the MLB and Hollywood when it comes to making a baseball movie. There have been numerous discussions and reasons tossed out that have tried to explain away this phenomenon but really the only thing that really needs to be said is that Hollywood does things their way. It’s a very noticeable difference between Hollywood and the MLB when it comes to conducting the games, but those differences that fans don’t understand are what make the movie a little more desirable at times. The comedy and the fact that such things wouldn’t happen in a regular game are what make Hollywood baseball movies that much more exciting.
So let’s get started on calling out the differences and what Hollywood tends to let slip.
The games in the MLB aren’t always that fast-paced.
If you notice in baseball movies you’ll miss a lot of the action because they cut from one scene to another. This is largely because baseball games are not as fast-paced as the movies. Just watch a regular season game and you’ll note that despite being nine innings it takes a while to get through the whole game. In movies you’ll get the best action sequences and the hardest hits but you won’t ever get the whole game. This tends to make people think that baseball games are about as quick and engaging as football or other sports where the action is fairly constant.
Some of the penalties that go uncalled are outright ridiculous.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the MLB, the minors, or even just little league games, sometimes the umpires seem to go blind for several crucial seconds while actions that should result in a player being ousted are let go. The comedy of it is what people enjoy, but the actual actions are just too much to ignore. A great example would be The Benchwarmers when Richie launches himself through the air to slam both cleats into the catcher’s face. The catcher is an adolescent boy by the way and Richie is a fully-grown adult. The comedy is obvious, but the reality is that Richie would be ejected and likely thrown in jail for assaulting a minor.
There’s no such thing as a mass conference at the pitcher’s mound.
Maybe it’s something that used to be allowed in the minors but I’m fairly certain the scene in Bull Durham in which nearly the entire team is standing at the mound discussing a number of things is not allowed. Not only would it delay the game but it seems ridiculous to think that outfielders and everyone on the infield would feel the need to converse with the pitcher at the same time. It’s comedic and it’s insanely useful for all the problems that need to be solved but it’s not realistic.
The point of all this is that baseball in real life is nothing like what you see in the movies. There’s a good reason for it though. The MLB is very concerned with its image and as a result will not always confide in Hollywood as much as it would need to in order to make a completely realistic movie. That is entirely on the shoulders of the directors, producers, and anyone else that has something to do with the creative process. If you want a realistic ball game, go the ball park.