The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, June 30, 2003

damn them born damned
Looking to replicate the success of the musical-to-movie adaptation of Chicago, the big wigs at Miramax are going to take a swing (pun intended, thankyouverymuch) at a remake of Damn Yankees.

Now, I'm sure many purists will take these words by Miramax main man Harvey Weinstein with a painful groan:

"I see us updating Damn Yankees, modernizing it, and really having fun with the role of the devil," said Weinstein in a released statement.

Especially the "modernizing" part. But let's face it, unless they want to make a period piece--and I'm taking "modernizing" to mean that they don't--it makes little sense to keep the no-longer-in-existence Washington Senators in a new version. (Qualifier: The Senators do indeed still exist, but in entirely different uniforms and surroundings.) Of course, there are some people who think the D.C. area will once again have a baseball team to call it's own, perhaps by the time this remake hits theaters. But if I were a betting man, I wouldn't put any money on it.

But, let me make a modest proposal--assuming this didn't already occur to Weinstein and his boys. There happens to be an American League team that's proudly carried on the old Senators' tradition of ineptness. A team that not only shares the same division as the Yankees, but also shares the same hometown as me. And to top it off, the team nickname just happens to have the word "Devil" in it. (If all that doesn't clue you in, take another gander at the second logo at the top of this post... I'll wait...)

Yessir, it's a natural. A 21st Century version of Damn Yankees, with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as Lucifer's team! How can this not come to pass?

There are certain obstacles to overcome. One is, believe it or don't, the Rays try not to emphasize the "Devil" part of their name. Why? They don't want to seem family-unfriendly, and they don't want to turn off any more fans than their stinky play already does. (It makes you wonder why they opted for "Devil Rays" in the first place; the name was unpopular with the fans from the get-go, and they even halfway considered going with "Stingrays", "Manta Rays" and even just "Rays" before sticking with it.) Also, it's not like the D-Rays are such a popular team that they'd add much to being in the movie. And there's always the possibility that MLB won't want to play ball (yes, I'm full of puns tonight).

But I think it would be a boffo idea, baby. Consider this, on top of everything else. If this happens, it would give the Rays not one, but two major motion pictures based on them: Damn Yankees would join 2002's The Rookie in plastering Tampa Bay's boys of summer all over the silver screen. Imagine! The Bucs may have their Super Bowl championship, but they can't say that!