The new movie Moneyball staring famous actor Brad Pitt has baseball fans around the world pleased with an incredible film based on a true story.
Moneyball is not just a typical sports movie or a baseball movie; it’s about how the front office of the Oakland Athletics tried its hardest to analyze statistics in order to win games with up-and-comers as opposed to writing a big check to an already over paid baseball player.
The film helps audiences comprehend the financial side of baseball, as well as what front office workers will gamble, with their jobs on the line, to make a better, more efficient franchise.
Billy Beane (Pitt) is the general manager for the A’s and he is trying to keep his team competitive while dealing with a payroll of barely $40 million compared to that of the New York Yankees, which can, without even flinching, put $125 million in their payroll budget.
After a chance meeting in Cleveland with an unassuming assistant Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), Beane decides to try a new strategy for fielding a team, based primarily on combining the right statistics to fill certain needs.
For example, using Brand’s affinity for stats, early in the season he projected the number of games needed to win in order to reach the playoffs.
After the team got off to an atrocious start, the fans, manager, and front office all were fuming at Beane. They contended Beane was discrediting all the hard work of scouts and messing up what everyone knew about baseball.
Nobody, especially the owners of the team, appreciated this, but then something began to happen unexpectedly: the A’s started winning baseball games.
The movie is solid in acting and is incredibly entertaining. A word of warning to sports historians, there are some differences for “Hollywood” purposes. For example, the character of Peter Brand is fictional. He was loosely based on assistant general manager Paul DePodesta, but the character of Brand is used as a tool to introduce a complex philosophy based entirely around stats according to the director of Moneyball, Bennet Miller.
Moneyball is open in theaters and is receiving many positive review. I give it three of a possible four stars.
Burke is a student in Media Comm 132. He may be contacted at [email protected]