Joe Versus the Volcano

The funny thing about being a diehard baseball fan is that somehow you seem to make connections to everything you see or do and somehow relate it to baseball. Take tonight as an example.

During the off-season there are only so many times that you can watch the DVR recordings of baseball games from last year especially when your favorite team lost 98 games. The positive of that is you have lots of DVR space if you deleted all of the games where the Diamondbacks lost.

joe-carter-mitchBy the end of January I have exhausted most of my stash of baseball video. I’ve even resorted to watching re-runs of the 2011 All-Star Game Home Run Derby just because it was played at Chase Field. And no matter how many times I watch that I still cringe whenever Robinson Cano wins.

From baseball game recordings I fall back on watching the DVD set of the 2001 World Series and try to remember what it was like when your team was good and their games were relevant in late October. That’s a pretty short list of highlights and then it’s off to look at the DVD collection for baseball movies. It’s now to the point where I am forced to watch programs that are not baseball related. This is yet another example of why the baseball off-season is too long.

Tonight we watched a Tom Hanks movie called Joe Versus the Volcano. You might be asking yourself, of all the recent movies that came out why in the world would I pick this particular movie? Well, it was released March 9, 1990. That is to the day exactly 5 years before the Arizona Diamondbacks would be granted a franchise. Don’t laugh, I bet you have picked movies for even stranger reasons than that.

For those who have never seen Joe Versus the Volcano let me give you a brief synopsis without actually giving away the plot (because I know that you are all going to go running to Red Box or NetFlix and see if you can find this movie). The story is about a hypochondriac played by Tom Hanks who learns that he is dying. He accepts an offer to throw himself into a volcano on a tropical island to appease the gods and save a local tribe. Along the way he learns how to truly live his life to the fullest.

As I watched this movie it struck home with me about how it related to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Today the Diamondbacks announced that former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Joe Carter had joined the team as an assistant to General Manager Dave Stewart. So right off the bat Arizona has got itself a Joe.

I’m not proposing that Joe Carter is a hypochondriac or that he is dying although after a summer in Phoenix Arizona and its 120-degree heat he may think he has died and gone to hell. I am also not suggesting that the Diamondbacks offered Carter an opportunity to jump into a volcano. Again, Carter may think he has made a leap into molten rock when he steps out of his car about the middle of August.

But just maybe the Diamondbacks are trying to appease the baseball gods by offering a human sacrifice in order to return to winning baseball. We will have to watch as this story unfolds to see whether Joe really does leap into the volcano or if he finds a way to appease the baseball gods and still keep his cool.

If he’s successful and the Diamondbacks do return to winning baseball; we may have to borrow Tom Cheek’s memorable call, “Touch ‘em all Joe, you’ll never dodge a bigger volcano in your life!”


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