Perhaps you should ignore anyone who uses the word “classic” in conjunction with the words “Adam Sandler” to lead off a baseball blog post. But here goes nothing.
In the classic Adam Sandler comedy “Happy Gilmore”, Mr. Sandler plays a hockey player turned pro golfer, who struggles with – ahem – anger and control issues. While he can certainly drive for show with adrenaline fueled 400+ yard drives, he struggles with the putt for dough part of the game. His one-handed pro instructor and mentor Apollo Creed (maybe I’m mixing movies up here) encourages Happy to find his Happy Place when facing challenges on the golf course. So, Happy visualizes a wonderful imaginary place where he wins the girl, his grandma is taken care of and a dwarf rides around on a horse like it’s a David Lynch movie.
And so today, the assignment is to visualize your own happy place as an Astros’ fan, the place that gives you comfort and hope heading towards the last month of the regular season and turning the corner into the playoffs.
Here’s what Dan P’s happy place looks like……
- Dallas Keuchel, who has been the most dominant pitcher in the AL, except for his first three starts coming off the DL, continues to punch out the opposition, much like Bob Barker did to Adam Sandler about half way through the movie.
- Lance McCullers Jr. returns from his minor league rehab with a healed body and a healed psyche and pairs a calmer head with nasty stuff, exactly like Happy Gilmore learned to do.
- The best SS in the game, Carlos Correa works through his rehab and returns to the lineup allowing his pals to find their correct place in the offense. Similar to Happy Gilmore finding out that he was a much better golfer than hockey player, Jose Altuve will find he is a much better Jose Altuve than a Carlos Correa wannabe.
- Will Harris returns to a bullpen that has already been deepened by the acquisitions of righty Tyler Clippard and lefty Francisco Liriano (Hey, Liriano has not given up an earned run in the last 6 appearances and actually stranded one runner in his last 4 appearances) and the sudden improvement of Joe Musgrove in high leverage situations. Mr. Harris makes this an even more formidable bullpen against the evil forces in the world – evil like Ben Stiller’s character, which turns Happy’s grandma’s retirement home into a sweat shop.
- Charlie Morton and Brad Peacock morph into a 9 inning tandem team that can hold the opposition to a run or so every time out. This is like how Happy and his coach, Chubbs, work together to make a golfing champion out of a guy with some limitations.
- Finally my happy place has the Texas Rangers watching the Astros winning the World Series they have been chasing since 1961. In “Happy Gilmore” the bad guy, Shooter McGavin, gets to watch his worst nightmare up close as Happy takes home the golden jacket and the girl and wins back his grandma’s home and I can only imagine this would be how the Rangers would feel if their cousins to the south take home the whole enchilada.
So what does your happy place look like?