In 2001, Barry Bonds smashed his record-setting 73rd home run of the season into an arcade at the San Francisco Giants’ Pac Bell Park, where a bellowing mob moshed after a really valuable ball. The trippiest moment in Up for Grabs — a twisty little documentary about the aftermath of Bonds’ fat swing — comes when a short, doughy, and eerily calm Californian named Patrick Hayashi smiles wanly right at the camera while the crowd obliviously rages around him. Somewhat impossibly, and captured in a miraculous TV-news image that looks like something out of David Lynch, he’s cupping Bonds’ cannonball in his mitt. It’s as if Hayashi and his ball were dropped down among lions, but kept safe by baseball gods.
Unfortunately, a guy named Alex Popov sues Hayashi, claiming — with evidence to his credit — that he’d caught the ball first. The movie drolly documents the what’s-the-world-coming-to media circus that followed, and its ”fundamental question of property law” is a corker to chew on. I say the movie is infuriatingly unfair to Hayashi; others will cry foul for Popov. See it with an umpire.