Thursday, October 26, 2006


The New York Times devoted two full columns on its front sports page and more than half of an inside page today (Thursday)to the ESPN mini-series called The Bronx Is Burning, but business writer Richard Sandomir missed this corner's readership.

He did not mention the role of several Independent Baseball players for the movie which we first told you about in this space September 22.

One of the Indy players who isn't likely to be left on the cutting room floor when the eight-hour production airs next summer is Tim Keinath, who portrays fellow righthanded pitcher Mike Torrez. In the first place, the movie doesn't have an actor portraying Torrez, who hurled two complete game victories and was on the mound when the New York Yankees got the final out in their six-game World Series triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Keinath is Torrez. Why not. Both are 6-foot-5 and weigh about 220 pounds. "I have been in tons of shots", Keinath told us. And the champagne shower after the movie Yankees eliminated the Kansas City Royals in a tense five-game American League Championship Series was "really cool". After all, how many players--major league or Independent--get to be part of that event in real life or for a movie.

Keinath, still only 27 and coming off a 7-6 season for the New Haven (CT) County Cutters of the Can-Am League, played in Tampa Bay's system for a year, but has been an Indy hurler at Newark, NJ (Atlantic League), Brockton, MA (now Can-Am League) and mostly at New Haven the last four seasons.

We can identify eight other Can-Am people who have had roles in the movie, including New Haven Manager Mike Church, who has portrayed catchers Carlton Fisk and Jim Essian. We may have missed some more.

Aric Leclair of Nashua, NH plays Yankees closer Sparky Lyle and the Cutters' Horace Lawrence uses his lefty bat to portray Reggie Jackson for some shots. Catcher Matt Hackney of New Haven County and four North Shore (Lynn, MA) players have been part of the fun. Pitchers Matthew Bishop, Kevin Rival and Dennis Robinson and outfielder Rob Fischer all played for the Spirit in real life. Rival and Fischer both spent the first part of last season with another Indy team, St. Paul, MN of the American Association.

I understand the movie set food was pretty good, too.

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