Sugar’s a gem

Office readers had good things to say about “Sugar,” and you were right. What a great flick, free of the romanticism that tends to bog down most baseball movies. Great performance by Angelis Perez Soto in the title role. He’ll have you thinking twice the next time you boo the likes of Manny Acosta or Luis Valdez.

I’ve written before about my week spent at the Braves’ Dominican academy in San Francisco de Marcoris, which serves as a weigh station for budding prospects. Most of them wouldn’t make it off the island, and the pressure was evident, with one notable exception. Here’s what I wrote about Neftali Feliz, 17 at the time:

His body is built for mound success, lean but muscular with oversized hands. You’ll never meet a more affable kid; he’s always smiling, that is, until he takes the field.

That confidence doesn’t come easy, especially when the stakes are so high. For most, it’s a choice between baseball player and rice farmer. “Sugar” tells their story, and does so beautifully.

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2 thoughts on “Sugar’s a gem

  1. This movie made me rethink everything I always thought I knew about Latin ballplayers. It’s real easy for one of us to bitch and moan because they don’t learn English or they seem arrogant or whatever else… I’ve been telling every baseball fan I know that they need to watch this one.

  2. We watched this movie the other night and really liked it, although I have a slight quibble with it. Although the scenes of culture shock rang true, the movie made it look like the character was on his own with regard to interacting with the locals and dealing with inevitable pitching difficulties. That may have been the case up until recently, but I have to believe that most, if not all minor league teams are now stocked with Latin coaches who are able to help Latin players adjust both on an off the field. Also, it seems that because the teams have invested both time and money into talented young players, they would work with them to make adjustments, rather than having them get frustrated and quit.

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