Tom Brennan - WHIPLASH
His foibles. His predilections. His faux pas. His infatuations.
I just read that he is excited to see Ruben Tejada in great shape and ready to compete for the starting SS job vs. Wilmer Flores. Actually, the article I read did not mention Wilmer Flores. So is this another case of Terry the Infuriator? Or…
Is he channeling J. K. Simmons?
If you don't know him, J. K. Simmons just won an Oscar for best supporting actor in Whiplash, a story centered on an elite music school where the band he is instructing/orchestrating is ruled by his whiplash.
The main actor, an incoming drumming student, has great aspirations, and Simmons sees a spark and so the kid is immediately put under Simmon's full array of psychological warfare. Simmons' style is to drive students beyond their limits. No tiptoes thru the tulips. And Simmons has the mouth, and sheer intimidation, to make or break those under his tutelage.
After an early "do I have your complete f---ing attention" series of moments with his new drumming student (and not to tell too many details in case you make the right decision to see the flick), the kid feels he's locked down a lead part in the main ensemble...only to walk in one day and be told by Simmons that he's trying out Connelly for the part.
Which got the right reaction from our lad: pissed, bewildered, driven and not backing down.
A conversation later in the movie shows Simmons telling our drummer that Connelly was just added to the mix to drive our drummer in competition. Simmons says he is trying to create the next great musicians, and so few have the potential, and those that do settle for less than what they’re truly capable of.
But…maybe this team needs a Whiplash to bring out its greatness.
Let’s hope some of that seeps onto our ball field in 2015.