Moneyball – the movie edition which featured Brad Pitt, who looks nothing like Billy Beane – came out on a fall Friday during my senior year of college.
I had already read the book a couple times, getting lost in the poetic phrases Michael Lewis provided, such as “Nine Scott Hattebergs are, by some measure, the best offense in baseball.”
Safe to say, I was thrilled to see the movie, which I went to see in Savoy with my friend, Pat.
The film was in the very least entertaining. I know the script had been drafted, torn apart, drafted again, put through a shredder and then re-written. For all the struggles the movie had in just being made, it turned out quite well. After all, how can you not be romantic about baseball?
Towards the end of the movie, after the declined job offer from the Red Sox Beane watches the clip of (The Blue Plate Special) Jeremy Brown hitting a home run in the video room. He then is seen driving his car. Beane slips in a CD into his stereo and its of his daughter singing. It’s the attempt to pull at the heartstrings a little bit.
Time to make fun of myself a little bit: it’s also at that point, that my eyes tend to get extremely stressed from staring at a screen for an extended period of time (we’re pushing more than two and a half hours when you factor in opening credits). My eyes dry out, and if I begin to rub them, I start to produce tears.
For some reason, my eyes were extremely dry at the end of the movie, and I was rubbing them a lot.
Instead of thinking of something clever to say to Pat about why I was tearing up – like that I was just so upset Jonah Hill was cast to play ‘Peter Brandt’ – I explained to Pat that “it’s just my eyes! I swear!”
I like that the film tried to get your emotions going. But it tried to do too much. It wanted to establish a relationship between Beane and his daughter that made you care. It wanted to introduce math into the game. It wanted to remind you how beautiful a game that baseball can be.
Nothing compares to how special a moment is to actually living in it. Every re-creation will ultimately fail.
Just look at this past World Series between the Royals and Giants. You couldn’t have asked for much more as a fan.
How can you not be romantic about baseball?
After watching Moneyball again today, I already miss watching games. Thank goodness these next couple months are intriguing.
We’ve already had an interesting offseason with Joe Maddon departing the Rays for the pastures as green as the Wrigley Field ivy on a July afternoon. [An aside: if Maddon was going to leave the Rays for any team, I’m glad it was for the team I grew up watching.] We have a ton of free agent pitchers that are salivating to get paid. We have excitement in markets that haven’t had any in so long (except you, Mets fans – sorry to admit it, but it’s true).
Best of all, we just a few more months until pitchers and catchers report to see it all come to fruition.
And even if we do get disappointed, there’s always next year, and I can’t wait.
I have a big week this week. I don’t want to dish out all the details, but baseball is involved once again. How do you say thank you to something that has given you so much already? Stay tuned….