The Oakland A’s have rallied to win two in a row under new manager Bob Melvin, but with a 30-40 record, they are on pace to go 69-93. Thus, when the Sony Pictures film version of Michael Lewis’s “Moneyball”, starring Brad Pitt as Billy Beane and Sir Anthony Hopkins as Art Howe (just kidding about that last part; the always dynamite Philip Seymour Hoffman portrays Howe) comes out on Sept. 23, they could well be limping to the end of a horrible season. (The portrayal I’m anxious to see, honestly, is Royce Clayton as Miguel Tejada. I covered Clayton as a player and I can totally see him as an actor.)
How the A’s struggles will impact the Moneyball storyline of Beane’s genius in exploiting market inefficiencies remains to be seen. Here’s the movie synopsis provided by the studio:
Based on a true story, Moneyball is a movie for anybody who has ever
dreamed of taking on the system. Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the
general manager of the Oakland A’s and the guy who assembles the team,
who has an epiphany: all of baseball’s conventional wisdom is wrong.
Forced to reinvent his team on a tight budget, Beane will have to
outsmart the richer clubs. The onetime jock teams with Ivy League grad
Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) in an unlikely partnership, recruiting bargain
players that the scouts call flawed, but all of whom have an ability to
get on base, score runs, and win games. It’s more than baseball, it’s a
revolution – one that challenges old school traditions and puts Beane
in the crosshairs of those who say he’s tearing out the heart and soul
of the game.
Not quite sure why the Paul DePodesta character, played by Jonah Hill, is named Peter Brand in the movie, but that’ s Hollywood for you. (And my friend Mr. Google helped me find the answer).
After watching the trailer, I have the sense that I’m either going to really hate or really love this movie. But I have a stronger sense that the scouting community will not be happy.