I just watched this again last week.
Watching the scene where the entire team is piled into Buttermaker’s converatble with kids sitting on the top of the back seat I caught myself thinking “But they don’t have seatbelts on!!!”
Aside from that I have to say for a goofy little film about misfit kids playing a team sport (Now cliched) it was really, really well done. Matthau had some really interesting subtle moments and the best thing is that the film doesn’t try to make the kids loveable or remotely likable. Aside from the Amanda/Buttermaker scene there is no attempt to bring in outside stories trying to show the problems of the kids that need to be resolved by the final reel.
The characters are consistant and seem real. Buttermaker is a washed up alcoholic loser and nasty cuss who takes the job for money and only moderatly changes (He doesn’t give up drinking he just hold off during later practices).
The scene where he throws beer into Amanda’s face is a real moment.
Even the Yankee’s coach isn’t entirely evil. (I agree with him taking his son to task on trying the bean ball but not how he dealt with it)
Heck even Taner being defending Lupus wasn’t really a moment of understanding just a moment of sticking up fo a weaker guy who happened to be on the same team.
I was suprised by how good this film is.