Sunday, October 02, 2011

So Hollywood ruined Moneyball...

I finally got around to seeing Moneyball last night and can't say that I loved or hated it. For anyone who hasn't seen it, stop reading now, but know that if you go and enjoy the movie as a Hollywood fulff piece, you should like it...if you're a hardcore fan of the book, fan of sabrmetrics or want to see lots of baseball scenes...forget it.

Why didn't I like it? Because the movie essentially starts in Mark Shapiro's office where Beane is negotiating for a player, Shapiro agrees only to have his fat special assistant disagree, and Shapiro agrees...this stuff happens in baseball, the GM can't know every player on the office. BUT then Billy Beane finds this fat assistant, figures out he's a disciple of Bill James and hires him away. This is where the movie lost me, for the benefit of short attention spanned movie watchers, Aaron Sorkin has molded together Paul Depodesta and JP Ricciardi into one character that is hired by Billy Beane during the off-season immediately before the "Moneyball season". Worse, "Beane" immediately buys into what Peter Brand is selling. Choosing to listen to him before his top scouts 3 weeks into his tenure into the front office and choosing the replacements for Giambi, Damon and Isringhausen on what seems like a whim.

I wasn't expecting a great history of sabrmetrics or anything but to make the most difficult decisions in baseball seem as easy to make as they do in this movie is like if "The Social Network" had Zuckerberg create the facebook we know today in 5 minutes.

Don't get me started on the fact that Beane all of a sudden begins speaking to players and making them buy into the whole OBP thing. They chose and trained these players to do exactly that, it's not like the players would all of a sudden listen to their general manager because he knows all.

So if you want to see an entertaining movie, go ahead go see Moneyball but don't expect anything like the book. The best chapter "the Trade Deadline" is portrayed in the movie and is a great scene that ssticks to what was written in the book. But there is a lot of silent brooding parts meant to get Brad Pitt an Oscar nomination including an awkward drive at the ending. However, the newly added ending scene is a great nod to real life. Ironic that I saw this movie minutes after my blackberry went off telling me that Theo Epstein may no longer the Red Sox gm.

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