Dan Haren has become one of my favorite pitchers to follow in the bigs. Some of that has to do with his great pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but a lot of it has to do with the fact that he seems like a pretty chill guy.
Case in point: He's such a fan of movies and he sees so many of them on the road that he wants beat writer Nick Piecoro to post some of his reviews this season.
Haren's first turn as a desert-dwelling Ebert is lengthy, but also enjoyable. I particularly liked the part where he discusses the situation that every moviegoer inevitably faces — cutting one's losses in the middle of a stinker.
"Yeah, what sucks is when the thought of walking out creeps into my mind, the movie has no chance. It's pretty tough to get out of that. I'd say about 45 minutes to an hour, if it's bad, I'll think, this is just a waste of time. The last time I walked out on, and it really wasn't *that* bad but I was just so disinterested and I didn't like the acting, was "The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3." I thought John Travolta was awful."
Hey, I actually liked "Pelham" — not only because it was a special kind of bad, but because it also included an unexpected appearance from Chris Partlow — but I can relate to ditching a movie in the middle. My early theater escapes include "Johnny Mnemonic," "The Avengers," "Gangs of New York" and "Ali." That number jumps a lot if we start counting Netflix, though hitting the escape hatch is quite a bit easier when you're sitting at home and can do something else.
Back to Haren (who's off to a middling start at 3-1 with a 4.50 ERA): He admits to being one of those guys who buys dozens of DVDs at Best Buy and then finds them on a shelf months later, still in their original wrapping. I've never understood people who blindly buy DVDs of movies they've never seen, but I'm sure they still bankroll a summer home or two a year for the studio heads.