So yesterday, the Yankees announced the signing of Burt Reynolds. No, really.
It feels a little bit like entering the Twilight Zone, because the Yankees once upon a time really did sign Billy Crystal, who got one at-bat in a spring training game, only this Burt Reynolds isn't that Burt Reynolds, so he'll theoretically have more than once chance to swing the bat. Unless, of course, he's somehow not driven to Tampa, in which case he might indeed have a hard time.
You might be tempted to say, "Well, an indy leaguer, what can he do?", let's remember that a little hustle can go a long way, and he did hit a career-high 13 home runs last season. Okay, so maybe he won't be the Yankees' man from left field, but with a good spring, he could land himself on one of the farm teams, and organizational depth is never a bad thing to have. Reynolds will be 23 through most of the season, so there's a chance, however minor, he could stick somewhere, and even if it's a bit like starting over, the end result (though likely only in the low minors) could still be worth it.
Now, don't get me wrong, you can certainly catch plenty of heat in spring training; it's hard to go from being rough cut to the land of luxury hotels; you need to show the physical evidence that you belong—like getting a good time on the cannonball run—and that you won't cause those watching you to be switching channels, and the battle can seem like it's uphill all the way. Still, every professional baseball player has that dream of deliverance, and there's still the idea that baseball is simply love, the American style of it.
So whether you're the man who loved cat dancing or the lucky lady, whether you're among a bunch of amateurs or you know what the deal is, get ready for some boogie nights, go pop in the Smokey and the Bandit DVD, have some (Sam) whiskey, and then when you're done, make sure you remember that if you name your kid after a movie star, it could one day come back to haunt you.