Moneyball Proves It’s Hard Not To Be Romantic About Baseball

Baseball season is officially underway which means summer is right around the corner. Having already put out a top five baseball movie list, albeit to some controversy for leaving out Field Of Dreams, it’s time to take a deeper look at the movies on the list and we will include Field Of Dreams when we look at each movie.

“It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball” could have easily been the best line in a baseball movie in sometime and basically summed up last summer’s great movie and Brad Pitt’s best movie in a while, Moneyball.

Moneyball is the true story of the second poorest team in the major leagues in the Oakland A’s and their determined general manager Billy Beane and how he changed the way teams are built and players are evaluated. Sabermetrics is a mathematical system that evaluates the hundreds of stats that baseball has kept track of for 100 years and finds the most productive player at each position and for the best value. Sabermetrics was developed by Bill James many years ago and he was nearly ostracized from the game for trying to change the way people look at this beloved game. Billy Beane’s very controversial use of this system to try and put a winning team on a minimal budget was not well received until it started to work. The A’s of 2002 shocked the baseball community by being competitive and setting records, most notably winning an astonishing 20 games in a row.

Written by Academy Award winner of the previous year, Aaron Sorkin, Moneyball is one of the finest made movies of the year and certainly one of the finest baseball movies in many years. Brad Pitt’s wonderful performance as the beleaguered GM is one of the best of his career. With near perfect dialogue delivery and a comfortableness with his role, Pitt makes you forget you are watching an actor and draws you in and has you pulling for him and the A’s within minutes of the movies beginning.

Moneyball truly shows how romantic baseball can be and how deep the love of the game goes and shows the parallel business side of the game which can be as heartbreaking as any postseason loss there is. Baseball is first and foremost a business despite the passion it’s fans have and the love of the players. It can be a hard and ugly business that shows that unfortunately in the baseball world money talks and money walks. It is near impossible for the poor teams like Oakland and Kansas City to compete with New York and Boston. Beane mentions early on, it’s an unfair game, and it is but that doesn’t curb it’s fan’s love for the game and doesn’t stop it from having those feel good stories like Oakland and Tampa Bay.

Billy Beane changed the near 200 year old game of baseball. He has no ring or banner or pennant to show for it. He turned down the largest contract in GM history after his historic 2002 season because of his love for his team and the game.

Baseball has a special place in Hollywood, it has made some of it’s most romantic scenes and movies. Hollywood makes everyone see how special it is. Hollywood has not made nearly as many memorable football or hockey or basketball movies as it has about baseball.

Moneyball may be a niche movie that could easily be lost on people who don’t like sports or baseball or the statistics that go along with baseball but its a great movie non the less. Pitt and Jonah Hill are a great unlikely team and they make you root for them and the team the whole time.

The movie did show one thing, Billy Beane was right, it’s hard not to be romantic about baseball.

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17 thoughts on “Moneyball Proves It’s Hard Not To Be Romantic About Baseball”

  1. I have a special fondness for Moneyball, not just because I’m a huge baseball fan but because my friend’s son played David Justice in the movie!

    Having read the book, I was surprised that they could make a compelling movie out of it. After all, the story is really about math and economics. However, they turned it into a story that even non-fans could love. The cast is terrific, and Pitt owned the screen.

  2. This was a GREAT movie!! I was so upset that I had never heard this story before. Summer is near and I’ve just pulled out all of my baseball movies to watch over the next few months – I’m glad to be able to add this to my summer movie collection. If anyone has not seen Moneyball, whether you like baseball or not, you’ll be impressed with the behind-the-scenes management that goes on. Plus, the performances are top-notch.

  3. I am not even a baseball fan but this film was one of the best I have seen in quite a while! I know lots of people said that they didn’t want to go see it because it was about baseball but if you give it a chance it will definitely surprise you. Very good review

  4. Billy Beane didn’t change anything. And he didn’t win.20 wins in a row are a mere footnote, they lost the last game they played that year. He took Bill James concepts and tried modifying them. An “a” for effort, but the Twins and most recently the Rays have suceeded with Bill James ideas. Applaud him for putting family and team first, but not for winning. As he was won the same amount my beloved Cubs have. Squat.

  5. Good review! Moneyball got me too. I don’t follow sports, but I really enjoyed this movie. Sorkin’s got chops. I wasn’t interested in a movie about Facebook either, but he managed to make that one of my favorite movies of the year.

    PS — Thanks for reading (and liking) my latest post. Hope to hear from you again!

  6. MONEYBALL is indeed a fascinating, well made movie. But you want to know the one thing that really amazed me about the movie? Brad Pitt gives the best Robert Redford performance in years. I read somewhere that they became good friends when making “Spy Game” and if so, maybe Brad Pitt intended this performance as a homage to him because there were plenty of scenes where Pitt’s mannerisms were a lot like Redford’s and many scenes where he sounded exactly like him as well

  7. I am an English curmudgeon. Ergo:
    The word “its” is a pronoun like hers, his, and ours.
    The term “it’s” with an apostrophe is a contraction of “it is”. The comma is ONLY used when saying “it is, not when using “its” as a pronoun. “Its fans” for instance is the correct usage.

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