By John Kruk
Page 2

I have to tell you, I couldn't name even one of the big summer movies coming out, and I'm sure that comes as bad news to all the actors and actresses out there.

These new movies are all about special effects and all that junk. If you've seen one, you've seen them all.

And it isn't just the science fiction movies. I'm not a fan of the sappy dramas, either. I don't go to the movies to be touched. I go so I can come out thinking that there are people out there more messed up than me.

I'm talking about the goofy movies. As far as I'm concerned, nothing is better than the three "American Pie" movies.

You never see the casts of those movies on TV, talking about how they "became the character" and how making the movie "was real hard work." Work? Please. It's hard to hear people talk about their "work" when they're getting paid $20 million for a couple of months of "work."

Tara Reid
Kruk's a big fan of the "American Pie" movies, starring Tara Reid.

When I drive up to Bristol on Sundays to do "Baseball Tonight," I tell my son I'm going to work. What else am I supposed to tell him? But when I say it, I feel like an idiot. I'm going to sit around with a bunch of guys and talk baseball. It's more like being at a bar than going to work.

Getting back to all you actors out there: You're not going to work. You want to know why? I don't know anybody who gets a do-over at "work."

There's no "cut, let's do that take again" at any office I know about. Same thing for sports. I'm sure there are plenty of pitchers in the majors who wouldn't mind a do-over now and again.

What about Martha Stewart? Or Enron? I bet those guys would take a mulligan if they could.

I'm not trying to kill all the entertainers out there. It's a pretty good job, and a great living. I know they have to study and do a lot or preparation for some of their roles, but there certainly isn't the same amount of pressure that the rest of the world feels.

You want to see a real movie? Watch one where they film the movie being made. Not just the funny outtakes that they show during the credits sometimes. Show the bad and the ugly, too, and let people watch it live. I'd love to see how Keanu Reeves would react if 20,000 people booed him when he messed up his lines.

That would give these people a little perspective on what work is.

I did the movie "The Fan" with Wesley Snipes back in 1996; and I'll tell you, these guys can act. But under pressure? Forget it.

There was one scene where Snipes was up at the plate, and I was on deck. To make it look real, the director had about 5,000-to-10,000 people in the stands. So Snipes is at the plate, and I notice his leg is shaking.

The director yells "Cut!" for whatever reason, and I went up to Snipes to see what was up. He tells me he's nervous. He's never done anything in front of this many people.

I tell him this is nothing. In any season, you have crowds five times this big watching you. Still, he tells me there's no way he could ever do it.

Wesley Snipes
Wesley Snipes struggled to perform in front of the fans.

Yeah, well there's no way I could be an actor. I could never sit around for months and do nothing.

Here's one more reason why making movies isn't half of what actors say it is. Let's go back to "American Pie." With the exception of Tara Reid, they took a bunch of minor league actors no one had heard of and made a hit. You could never do that in sports.

Every year, someone in the media asks if the No. 1 college team in the country could beat a team like the Chargers. Here's your answer: No. Never. That goes for every sport. You can't take a bunch of no-names and play at the highest level. It's impossible.

So next time an actor wants to come on TV to talk about how he's saving the world by making a movie, maybe he should just stay in his trailer, instead.

MIAMI VICE
It's not a happy time in Marlin Land.

What's wrong? Well, what isn't wrong? Where should we start?

Let's go with Josh Beckett and A.J. Burnett complaining about management.

Beckett got put on the DL for a blister he has on his hand. Needless to say, Josh wasn't happy. That was pretty evident when he said, "Now I have to spend two weeks with some jackass trainer."

Now, I don't think a team should air its dirty laundry in public, but I have to respect Josh for speaking up like that. After all, this blister problem isn't something new. He had the problem last year. After his starts, he would put this lotion on it; and by the time he started again, he was fine. So Josh's issue is this: Why not wait a while before putting him on the DL?

Well, Josh, that's a pretty good question.

If I were Josh, I wouldn't even complain about a stomach ache in the future.

As far as A.J. Burnett goes -- he was pretty ticked off that he couldn't come off the DL in Florida.

Jack McKeon thought he'd be too pumped up to make a home debut. Thought he might hurt his arm again. So instead, A.J. came back againt the Mets in New York Thursday night.

That sent A.J. over the edge. He ripped the GM and McKeon. According to him, no one from the team asked him what he thought, and no one came to watch him pitch in the minors, anyway. So how do they know what's going on?

Josh Beckett
Josh Beckett's not a happy camper because he's on the disabled list.

Sounds like the world champions' clubhouse is a fun place to be right now.

OK, so a couple pitchers are ticked off. That's nothing new. But what happened last week with their catching situation is just inexcusable.

Ramon Castro went into a game knowing he had a bad toe. Hell, the team knew he had a bad toe. Anyway, he tried to make a go of it and he couldn't do it. He's out. Well, their backup had a bruised forearm. So who do they go with? Mike Mordecai! Are you kidding me? It's hard enough on a pitcher to throw to the backup guy, but Mordecai? Brad Penny couldn't have been too pleased with that one. He gave up a couple runs that night that I'm sure he was thinking about after the game.

First off, let me say I have nothing against Mike Mordecai. There's a reason this guy has been in the league for so long -- he's asked to do something for the team and he does it. No questions asked.

But this shouldn'e even be an issue. Everywhere I've played ball, a catcher who gets hurt goes on the DL right away. Why? Because you can never get caught without a catcher.

Castro is on the DL now, but it's a little late for that. Add that to the Beckett situation and you have all sorts of guys in the clubhouse shaking their heads.

The whole deal was a bad move by management.

As far as calling someone up, yeah, I know their Class Triple-A team is in Calgary, but you still have to think ahead. And while you're at it, try moving your Triple-A team a little closer to Florida. Is there a farther place from Miami than Calgary? Why don't they just put the team in Japan?

Are things unraveling with the Marlins? No. They still have great pitching, speed and hitting -- but things like this can add up. After a while, some guys will reach a breaking point and they'll start questioning the front office. If they do it in the media? Look out. Now everyone isn't just second-guessing things, but they're looking for things to rip apart.

I'm telling you, things like this can snowball. McKeon and Co. need to nip this in the bud.

Come out and say you messed up. Tell the team, the media.

I don't care what they do, but I'll tell you one thing: You never get caught without a catcher. Ever.

WINNING ATTITUDES
There's something to be said about the way Atlanta is playing this year. I know they're only hovering around .500, but look at what they lost in their lineup.

For starters, they lost Javy Lopez, Vinny Castilla and Gary Sheffield in the offseason. Now Chipper Jones is down with a hamstring again and Adam LaRoche is out for a while with a bad shoulder. Marcus Giles hasn't been playing for a while. Not to mention the veteran leadership Greg Maddux brings to a team.

That's over 100 homers from last season that aren't in the lineup now. You take three of the first four hitters out of a lineup and most teams are done.

Bobby Cox
Bobby Cox doesn't get the credit he deserves.

When I say done, I don't mean they will only be OK. I mean call up the minor leaguers to get a look at them, because this season is over.

Take any team in the NL East and see what would happen. If Florida lost Juan Pierre, Mike Lowell and Miguel Cabrera, how good would the Marlins be? Or how about another .500 team. How would the Mets be without Mike Piazza, Cliff Floyd and Kaz Matsui? Forget it. It's over.

Anyone who thought Bobby Cox was just a lucky manager who got some great players to work with better step back and take another look. He's one of the best in the game and one of the best ever. You don't keep your team at this level for this long by being lucky.

I was talking to Cox last week, and he said he's more proud of this team than any other team he's had. These guys go out there knowing there are two options -- winning and losing, and one of those is just not acceptable.

These guys are winners. When they put that uniform on, they expect to win. It doesn't matter what their lineup is. That's what this team is made up of. Guys like Nick Green, who had two huge homers for them last week. Who's Nick Green? Exactly. It doesn't matter to these guys.

No, I'm not going to pick them to win it all just because of their attitude. But when you see a team pull together like this? Man, I have the ultimate respect for them.

John Kruk is an analyst for ESPN's "Baseball Tonight."




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CHEWING THE FAT