August 24, 2011
The Change Up
Guillermo Hernandez, 1989 Score
Guillermo Hernandez. Wait … a … second! Southpaw Tigers pitcher with big glasses and a full ‘stache? This guy is reminiscent of Willie Hernandez, southpaw Tigers pitcher with big glasses and a full ‘stache! And hey—what ever happened to Willie? WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!
Yes, Guillermo is the former Willie Hernandez, once the toast of the Tigers bullpen.
Movie idea: Two long lost identical twin brothers. One is poor, and a playboy, and goes by the book. The other is rich, has kids, and doesn’t play by the rules, and … pitches for the Detroit Tigers? Sure. Whatever. They have to switch bodies because … Guillermo needs American citizenship or something, so they make a wish, or have a dream, or something happens that is magical. We’ll call it: “Trading Places!” No, “Freaky Friday!” No, wait, “Brothers in Arms!” No, better, “Twins!” No, wait, “Twins Switch Bodies!” No, “Body Double Part II!” No, wait, I got it: “The Change Up!” Because of the pitch! Hilarity ensues but each man eventually realizes not to take his own life for granted! How has nobody thought of this??!! I am going to explode!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He simply preferred to be called by his given name in 1988.
New movie idea. Guy pitches for the Tigers. Everyone is calling him “Willie.” Guy doesn’t care, keeps pitching. One day, guy is like, “Crap. My name is Guillermo. Better issue a press release.” The end. Oscar!
Is it safe to assume that this “Guillermo,” whoever he is, is no longer “the toast of the Tigers bullpen?” That would be sad, because every kid who plays baseball dreams of growing up one day to become the toast of the Tigers bullpen. To have attained that (as Willie) and then lose it (as Guillermo) would be devastating, I imagine.
The name change appeared to help Guillermo’s fortunes.
? (Addition to original movie idea: Fortune cookie is involved.)
Throwing his tantalizing screwball with gusto, he gave the Tigers quality relief.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Mid-July game, Tigers up 3-1 on Angels, with two runners on and two outs in the seventh inning. Hernandez pitching, laboring. Matt Nokes visits the mound.
Nokes: (Removes mask.) Listen—don’t think I don’t know what’s going on here. You’re not Willie. That guy threw changeups and didn’t play by the rules. You guys switched bodies or something.
Hernandez: How did you know?
Nokes: I realized it last week, after you went by the book by ordering exactly what was on the menu at dinner. Didn’t want to say anything.
Hernandez: Thanks. But now look at this mess we’re in!
Nokes: Alright, listen—I’m gonna get us out of this. You may be “Guillermo,” but you’re still a Hernandez, right? I say we change our fortunes (flashback to fortune cookie).
Hernandez: Talk to me.
Nokes: Got anything tantalizing you can throw?
Hernandez: Well, I got a tantalizing screwball …
Nokes: Screwball? What is this, 1938? Sheesh, well, it’ll have to do. Here’s the thing though—can you throw it with gusto?
Hernandez: I can try.
Umpire comes out to mound to break it up … Nokes goes back to plate, gives Hernandez the sign for tantalizing screwball, which is a thumbs up … Hernandez strikes out batter on three pitches … Montage ensues of Hernandez striking out many batters from different teams for the remainder of season, signifying quality relief. Matt Nokes pumps his fist.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Only four years earlier, Guillermo
You mean “Willie.” Continue.
Was the best in the business when he was 32-for-33 in save situations and won both the Cy Young and MVP Awards.
Willie Hernandez won the Cy Young and MVP Award and was the toast of the Tigers bullpen. Then he switched bodies with Guillermo, who changed his fortunes for the better by providing quality, although not necessarily toast-worthy, relief. This movie is confusing. But remember, this is Hollywood, and we must suspend our disbelief sometimes. And in this body-switching dramedy, we are asked to suspend our disbelief, mostly, by acknowledging that a relief pitcher wins the MVP.