The Old Potato Game

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It's the eve of the World Series and the Couch Potato is in the zone. This time, he's going to play within himself. It's a long series, but anything can happen in seven games, so he's just going to take it one game at a time. But before the first pitch, there's couch time and, God willing, it will all work out.

It certainly has worked out for the team from the Bronx this year, a scrappy squad that won early, won often and puzzled teams so much that frustrated players could only spit tobacco juice and mutter appreciatively "Damn, Yankees" (1958). The musical, starring Tab Hunter, is notable both for its solid choreography (from a young Bob Fosse, who also gets a cameo) as well as a plot that Padres fans just might want to consider: Small-team fan sells his soul to help his guys beat the mighty Yanks. Great fun, especially since (the Yankees losing? Preposterous!) it's so obviously fiction -- a sure double with legs enough to stretch it to third.

Still, the Mark McGwire of Series movies is John Sayles' story of the Chicago Black Sox, "Eight Men Out" (1988). The tale of how eight Chicago White Sox players threw the 1919 World Series has everything -- high rollers, legendary ballplayers and a fall from grace that gave Bernard Malamud the inspiration for "The Natural." It's a homer, Simpson.

On the other hand, every big-league hitter knows that sometimes you have to lay off a pitch. That's the case with "Major League (1989), a minor-league effort that features Tom Berenger as a broken-down Cleveland Indians catcher, Rene Russo as the Woman He Loves, and Bob Uecker as, well, Bob Uecker. How bad is this film? "How's your wife and my kids?" is the best line of the movie.

Whatever. CP is just happy to help the team. As for the (non-celluloid) Series: Forgive me, Padres -- it's the Yankees in seven.