Moneyball–Right on the Money

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Since I left my job last fall, I must admit one of my greatest guilty pleasures is being able to go to a movie matinee on opening day. I get to see it before anyone else, but don’t have to fight the crowds. Moreover, even though I no longer work, there is still something so special, almost forbidden about seeing a movie at a time where I would have been working.

Ross and I caught the 3 p.m. showing at our local “small town” theater. I had thought since it was at 3 on a Friday, that it would be relatively empty…it wasn’t. (I think this is a sign of how well it will do) I would say that the top half of the theater was about 1/2 full and the bottom had a few people.

The movie centers around Oakland A’s General Manager, Billy Beane. Beane had been one of the hottest prospects in his day. The Mets actually picked him higher in the draft than Darryl Strawberry…but he never panned out. After floundering in the majors for several seasons he asked the A’s, whom he was playing for at the time, to hire him as a scout.

After several years, Beane moved into the front office and was eventually promoted to general manager. After losing in the playoffs in 2001, Beane went to Cleveland to attempt to make a trade, but what he found was “Peter Brand” a Yale graduate with a degree in economics.

At this point, I have to mention that “Peter Brand” played by Jonah Hill in the movie, was a pseudonym for Paul DePodesta, a Harvard graduate who went on to be a general manager/assistant general manager for several other major league teams.

Brand used “sabermetrics”, a method of statistical analysis, to help Beane to pick players based on their statistics more than their “money value”.

The movie portrays their meeting and how they used this statistical analysis to take a group of low value players and turn them into a winning team.

As far as Philly connections, Ed Wade is mentioned as Beane negotiates a trade and Raul Ibanez is “shown” playing in a key game scene. I am willing to guess what whomever casted this movie was not a baseball fan as the “Raul Ibanez” in the movie appeared to be African-American as opposed to Ibanez’ Cuban heritage.

While I like sports, I’m not necessarily a big fan of sports movies. That being said, it gives more credence when I say, “I really liked this movie.” I thought it was really well paced. I always say a good way to judge a movie is by how many times you check your watch. I didn’t look once…meaning I was entertained, interested and the movie moved at a good pace.

I was also tickled to snag a free movie poster at the theater…another bonus of going to a matinee on opening day. so now, right above my computer is a picture of Brad Pitt. How great is that? 😉

My Rating:
Moneyball–Gets 4 1/2 balls out of 5.

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