Saturday, August 23, 2003

You know I've got to defend THE NATURAL. First, I pretty much agree with Chris' points. The incredible is possible in baseball, and Hobbs is supposed to be nothing less than, well, a natural. You see him do things that make you stand up and say WOW! Because he's one of the best in the game, ever. And, like others who are the best, you have moments that stand out, that are incredible, that you'll remember as long as you love sports. Think of Bo Jackson running up the wall, or Vick impossibly getting into the end zone last year, or those great plays Chris talk about in the 80's (God bless 1980's baseball!).

I simply don't see how you can consider the love story to be "unnecessary". It's incredibly central to the story. He knows her as a child, but then falls for some tramp and pays for it. He does it again while in the bigs, and hits a horrible slump. Iris stands up in the game, and he jacks a game winner, and hits four the next day! Of course she was there. And he wins the pennant after finding out he has a son. How great is that!

It's a story about redemption, about how a good woman can change your life, about how simple, unexciting values and morals can be far better in the long run than falling for the tramp in the black dress, and about doing the best you can in a situation despite the regrets and mistakes you've made in the past. And that this will pay off, that you'll be rewarded in the end. It, for me, has nothing short of a morality tale, about how to live life. At the end, he's a baseball hero, married to his true mate, and throwing catch with his kid. Sounds like heaven.


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