Saturday, September 24, 2011


The Flick: Moneyball

The Peeps: Well, Brad Pitt, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright, Nick Searcy, Arliss Howard, etc.

The Dealio: The-mostly, I'm sure- true story of the GM of the Oakland A's, Billy Beane, and his quest to prove that great baseball can be found at a discount. After watching how the deal is made behind the scenes- with an unknown quantity of Peter Brand, Pitt's Beane decides to follow that self-same UQ by taking on the newbie, a recent Yale econ grad, as the person most likely to turn this team around. And, maybe, just maybe, turn baseball on its ear.

The Grading Session: 4.951 pengies out of 5. No demerits here for the soundtrack, but hellfire, this was a long movie. Coulda, shoulda, woulda benefited from a taddy bit of editing. Not every word is as sacrosanct as every other one. Y'know? But, all in all, I must say, this is a must-see. I loved the worn-in, baseball glove weariness of Pitt's face, the naturalness of his relationship with Hill's eager-to-succeed, yet tentative about his skills Brand, and the intrigue of what goes on behind closed doors. I am always appreciative of behind-the-scenes scenes. From the fencing training in The Duellists, to the on-the-spot workshop on customising a suit in The Tailor Of Panama, it is always a jolt of adrenalin to see behind the mystical curtain. C'mon. You know what I mean: what the ordinary person doesn't get to see. The VIP Isn't that what we all crave? I know I do.

Notable Quotables: 'These are baseball players. Just tell them up-front what is happening.' Also this: 'So, you and Google Boy sit there making decisions about this team, while I have 29 years experience, and that's...what? nothing?' Lastly this one: 'It's like the Island of Lost Toys. They are largely unknown guys who have something that the American public may not want to see. But they can win games. And they are in your price range.'

Lessons Learned: Wow. So many. First of all, for America's fave sport, there sure is a lot we never get to see. And, maybe that's for the best. I am not sure we are ready to look beyond the smoke and mirrors. And this: always bothered me that players of a sport got way more bank than those protecting our lives and our futures- like police, firemen, military. Baseball is a sport. A great sport, but it is a sport, when all is said and done. Why the huge pay-bump for these folk? Why do we think this is okay? The fact that fielding a team- a winning team- for a tenth of the standard operating cost is not only possible, but practical, in this economy. And this is something the leaders in the arena of sports need to fully and rapturously embrace. Hey! Attention baseball player shoppers! Start now.

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