Some might not consider former baseball player Darryl Strawberry an inspirational figure. Yeah, he punched a few women in the nose. Yes, he may have used cocaine a few hundred times. The prostitute/cop that busted him? That's entrapment, brother. But in 1996 (after a bulk of his legal run-ins) he also helped the Yankees win their first World Series in 18 years. See, Darryl is the American athlete. As long as he could flash the lumber, his sins would be absolved. And that's why you teach your kid to rake the hanging slider: infinite clemency. I'm not the only one to draw inspiration from the troubled ballplayer. Rebecca Gilman's play, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, recounts the trials of an artist, Dana, and her attempt to remain in a psychiatric ward by assuming the persona of Strawberry. Can you imagine researching that role? Just do massive amounts of blow and solicit prostitutes. The only difficult aspect would be mimicking Strawberry's sweet-ass swing: the high leg kick, the drop of the hands, the smooth slice through the ball. Go see if Lisha Brock, playing Dana, can pull it off at Stage West, 821 W. Vickery St. in Fort Worth. The play runs through Sunday, and tickets can be had by calling the box office at 817-784-9378.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: May 9. Continues through May 31, 2008