All I really need to know I learned from Mister Baseball

With a hat tip to Robert Fulghum, I’d like to take a break from the “current affairs” format of this blog, and touch on some of the deeper lessons from American cinema.  In this classic parable from 1992, Tom Selleck plays a New York Yankee who, two years before had been the World Series MVP, only to somehow be found ailing and past his prime now, and is sent to Japan for a while, sort of like Moe Berg, only not at all.  If you haven’t seen this film, I highly recommend it.  It is a lovely, poignant tale of love, live, and besuboro. In it, we are taught many lessons by Mr. Selleck, not the least of which follow:


1:  When Tom Selleck asks if you have any naked pictures of your wife, he doesn’t actually want to know if you have any naked pictures of your wife.  He doesn’t care.  Rather, he wants you to know that she has already been photographed in the nude – by him – and he appreciates this.  After all, sharing is caring, and that’s why mine and Fulghum’s first rule is always:  Share everything – Especially that boring whore you call a wife.


2:  Be aware of wonder.  If you ever find yourself flying into Narita International Airport, always be looking over your shoulder, lest Tomjira be lurking in the shadows of your flight, waiting to ravage and destroy vibrant downtown Tokyo.  From a different perspective, though, if you happen to be a monstrously tall person, sightseeing in a foreign land should be a breeze, and will provide a nice break from eating the villagers.


3:  When your brain is tired, you can’t speak good.  Thus, rule #3 – take a nap every day.  That way, when you’re trying to make your peace with the Japanese guys you just spent the last hour and five minutes of the movie pissing off, you won’t fall into some huge, embarrassing gaffe, making you look like a huge lumbering ass, confusing the shit out of your teammates, and quite possibly exacerbating the situation due to your latent racism and ignorance.  And while we’re on the subject of courtesies …


4:  When you come into my house, take off your shoes, you god damn redneck. Fulghum and I don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye on this one.  But seriously, if I wanted you to track all that snow and salt and water everywhere, you’d know.  I’d say something like, “Tom, do you think you could help me ruin my hardwood flooring?” and you’d say “Yes,” and we’d skip through the gallavant through the living room, getting sop and slosh all over everything.  But I didn’t, so howsabout you shitcan your little fantasy world, and I won’t have to hurt you?


5:  Rule 5 is actually a mix of three different rules.  By combining “play fair,” “don’t hit people,” and “say you’re sorry when you hurt someone,” we arrive at “other people should quit their whining.”  When it’s playoff time, you go hard, or you go home.  You have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, so if that first baseman thinks he’s going to beat you to that bag, you make that bastard pay.  He should have been expecting it, and if he wasn’t, he obviously didn’t want the “W” bad enough.

Seeing this movie opened my eyes to a whole new world of success.  By implementing a new Mister Baseball rule every day, I will make this world a better place – not only for me, but for all the people around me.  Mostly me, though.  I mean, look what it did for Selleck:

mbbathOh, yeah, I gotta get me some of that.

All pictures are copyright © 1992, Universal City Studios, Inc.


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