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Nordling here.

My friend Joe is a baseball fanatic, and when he heard this particular book (written my Michael M. Lewis) was being adapted he went nuts, as this is one of his favorite sports stories of the past ten years.  The Oakland A's were a struggling team until Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) discovered a new way to pick players.  The end result was a wildly successful baseball franchise.  Steven Soderbergh was originally attached to direct but left the project, and Bennett Miller took up directing the Steven Zaillian/Aaron Sorkin script.  The trailer debuts today on Yahoo! Movies, and I'm really excited to see this one, a new take on the sports film genre: 

MONEYBALL opens September 23, 2011.  Nordling, out.

Readers Talkback
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  • June 16, 2011, 1:35 p.m. CST


    by terrence horan


  • June 16, 2011, 1:37 p.m. CST

    MONKEYBALL? The SEGA game?

    by Ricardo

    They made a movie of a encapsuled monkey that repeteadly fails to reach a goal due to impossibly difficult moving levels?

  • June 16, 2011, 1:39 p.m. CST

    The older Brad Pitt gets

    by Francis Begbie

    the more he looks like Robert Redford. It's eerie!

  • He just has "Young Redford" written all over him in this trailer. Just uncanny, to my eyes.

  • June 16, 2011, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Looks pretty good.


    Too bad Oakland never won shit with "moneyball."

  • June 16, 2011, 1:42 p.m. CST

    Looks Interesting

    by Wcwlkr

    I actually know the story. And like the Social Network when I first heard about it I was like who and the hell would want to watch this. But this actually looks pretty interesting. I'll definitely give it to Aaron Sorkin the man can freaking write. I'll probably actually check this out. And dead on Pitt is looking like Redford.

  • Getting pretty trite.

  • June 16, 2011, 1:44 p.m. CST

    francis begbie

    by WriteForTheEdit

    I KNOW, RIGHT?!?!?!?

  • But I think this looks excellent. Sorkin is a genius.

  • June 16, 2011, 1:45 p.m. CST

    2 Billy Bean(e)s

    by theBigE

    2 decades ago the Detroit Tigers had two players named Billy Bean(e) on their roster. One left the playing field to run the Oakland A's, the other came out of the closet and opened a restaurant in Florida with his life-partner. Both have written books. Interesting coincidence.

  • June 16, 2011, 1:46 p.m. CST

    I wont see this because of Jonah Hill

    by sunwukong86

    I simply cannot stand him

  • June 16, 2011, 1:49 p.m. CST

    A's have sucked for the past few seasons

    by donkingkong

    with Billy Beane as GM, I think today his Moneyball system has now been bettered by others. Still as a huge A's fan I'll be watching this for no other reason then seeing actors play my boys in green and yellow.

  • June 16, 2011, 1:50 p.m. CST

    I will be seeing this because of Jonah Hill

    by HelmetBoy

    He looks perfectly cast in this role.

  • June 16, 2011, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Robert Redford

    by Randy

    Not only does Pitt look like him here, it even looks like a film he would have been in between 85-95.

  • June 16, 2011, 1:51 p.m. CST

    I loath sports

    by biglou114

    But I picked up a copy of this book while my friend was reading it, and I was hooked. I'm definitely excited by this movie, it has too much talent to ignore.

  • June 16, 2011, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Looks like a dramatic version of Major League

    by Bass Ackwards

    Surprised actually that it looks like a good movie, just as I was surprised by Social Network. Maybe I should stop underestimating Sorkin when it comes to him adapting seemingly un-cinematic non-fiction stories.

  • June 16, 2011, 1:52 p.m. CST

    looks totally generic and vanilla

    by Browncoat_Jedi

    Soderbergh would have kept this from looking like Joe Sixpack mainstream fare. A pity.

  • June 16, 2011, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Jonah Hill

    by Jay_Lenos_Ugly_Wife

    On-base percentage? More like On-PIE Percentage!!

  • June 16, 2011, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Boo Oakland A's

    by shran

    Boo Oakland A's. Let's count the World Series rings moneyball won them................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... How many are you up to?

  • June 16, 2011, 1:59 p.m. CST


    by Darth Busey

  • June 16, 2011, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Pitt has no range

    by elsewhere

    He plays himself in movies. No wonder he's never won an Oscar.

  • June 16, 2011, 2 p.m. CST

    looks awesome.

    by BILLY

    I'll see it.Could've used some words from Phil Seymour Hoffman though.

  • June 16, 2011, 2 p.m. CST



    Yeah, because ERIN BROKOVICH and the OCEAN'S films were so fucking avant garde. CHOPPED.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:01 p.m. CST

    And Bennett Miller, director of CAPOTE, is a real mainstream hack.


    Jesus. Do you fuckers even try anymore?

  • June 16, 2011, 2:02 p.m. CST

    I vote "yes".

    by Royston Lodge

    I love "goofy Brad Pitt". (12 Monkeys. Burn After Reading. Etc.) I cannot stand "serious Brad Pitt". (Meet Joe Black. Legends of the Fall. Etc.) This movie looks like it gets the balance just right. It looks like a "serious" story that makes room for Brad Pitt's goofier side. It's also been way too long since there's been a proverbially "good" baseball movie.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:02 p.m. CST

    didn't win shit?

    by gbc204

    @the_choppah - they won multiple divisions. The whole concept of Beane's strategy was to gain wins over a 162 game season. +1 win here, +2 wins there. As Beane himself is quoted saying in the book "My shit doesn't work in the playoffs." Because the system is supposed to play out over months, not over 6 or 7 games.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:03 p.m. CST



    Surely you haven't seen 12 MONKEYS or FIGHT CLUB or TRUE ROMANCE or BENJAMIN BUTTON or KALIFORNIA. Right?

  • June 16, 2011, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Division titles? Who gives a fuck?


    So if his "shit doesn't work in the playoffs," what's the fucking point?

  • June 16, 2011, 2:05 p.m. CST

    12 Monkeys

    by elsewhere

    Actually that's probably the only movie I've really liked from him.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Pitt has some great work under his belt

    by NightArrows

    FUCK the Oscars.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Beane's system worked

    by gbc204

    Of course, trying to tell someone on an internet message board that a plan is supposed to work over the long-term, and to have patience, is even more futile than trying to win the World Series with Oakland's payroll. And Moneyball changed the game of baseball forever. No more Cy Youngs just for winning 20 games. More relevant stats are being counted now besides wins and batting average.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:07 p.m. CST

    They haven't even made it to a World Series under Beane.


    At least the Braves made it to a few and actually won one.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Sorkin? Isn't he the guy famous for.......


    doing mushrooms, weed and crack in the Burbank Airport. Fucking love this guy.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:09 p.m. CST

    I'll grant you that, gbc.


    The old stats argument was getting fucking crusty and useless.

  • It's a big boy's game, as CHOPPAH's dad told him, so if you're gonna play, bring your big boy stick.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:11 p.m. CST


    by Jay_Lenos_Ugly_Wife

    The point of the Moneyball wasn't that it guarantees you a championship. The point was that it made the Oakland A's more successfull that it would've been if they had used traditional methods. I mean there are tons of great arguments from both supporters of detractors of Moneyball but you seem more the "Call me when Lebron has six championships!!! That's the only argument I need!!" type of fan.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Activision's Bobby Kotick is in this?

    by ManaByte


  • June 16, 2011, 2:14 p.m. CST

    I'm no Joe Morgan, but I'm just pointing to facts here.


    The point of these sports is to win a championship.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:16 p.m. CST



    Philip Seymore Hoffman BITCHES! :P

  • June 16, 2011, 2:17 p.m. CST

    A movie of "shucks, could've done it"

    by knowbuddy

  • Is Dan Marino worse than Trent Dilfer? Of course not. Can LeBron still end up the greatest player of all time without winning six championships? Absolutely. But we're talking about entire organizations here.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:20 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    It's true that diving has started to ruin football. It's something that's mainly seen in the Italian, Spanish and German leagues, although over the last couple of decades it's starting to creep in elsewhere, even in the UK, where the fans HATE diving.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:23 p.m. CST

    For those who haven't read Lewis's "The Big Short"

    by Keith

    I recommend it. It's funny and very entertaining, as well as being a terrifying story about how US taxpayers have gradually been co-opted as a machine to prop up the leveraged betting of Wall St banks, while many people think - deludedly - that because firms such as Goldman Sachs "make money" they must be good for the US economy. (They aren't.)

  • June 16, 2011, 2:33 p.m. CST


    by BlackBauer0320

    No one's arguing that point. The fact, as stated above, is that Beane's plan was never about championships, thus you can't really use that "against him." Sure, maybe that takes away from the overall poignancy of the movie. But does that make his ideas any less great or altering to the sport? I don't think so. In fact, I think it'll be nice to watch a sports flick that clearly won't end with any proverbial cliche, etc. Love the Joe Morgan call though.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:36 p.m. CST



    I'm with you there. This movie looks pretty damned fun. And, yeah, fuck Joe Morgan.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:44 p.m. CST

    Is that Seymour Hoffman as Art Howe???

    by Mr Soze

    Wow...that'll be cool

  • June 16, 2011, 2:53 p.m. CST

    This looks amazing... The sequel can be about the Tampa Bay Rays

    by Andrew Coleman

    A movie about the 2008 Rays would work. They basically do the same thing but they play in a division with the two empires: Yankees and Red Sox. In 2008 when they beat the Sox in the ALCS... Movie right there. Love the book and this movie looks pretty solid. I'm there. Nice to see a movie about the A's too.

  • June 16, 2011, 2:55 p.m. CST


    by CreepyThinMan

  • June 16, 2011, 2:56 p.m. CST

    Yes - Sorkin is a genius, and Pitt does look like Redford

    by john

  • June 16, 2011, 3 p.m. CST

    larsson: Your World Series would have held water years ago.


    But now MLB is heavily populated with the best baseball players from around the world. So, yeah, "World Series" is appropriate. CHOPPED.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:01 p.m. CST

    depodesta gonna be pissed

    by john

    that he is being portrayed by a short, fat geeky, wannabee funny man moneyball as a concept is great...the problem lies in the fact, that in developing great cant keep them...which is why beane has been unable to sustain a winning team and org doesnt help that wolff is a cheap sob, and davis destroyed the a's ballpark but beane's theories hold....the sf giants won a ws based at least partially on the moneyball theme strong pitching wins championships

  • June 16, 2011, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Best thing about baseball? It's not soccer.


    Soccer: The preferred sport of EuroTrash and Latin American metrosexuals.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:02 p.m. CST


    by john

    its called the world series because of its first sponsor, a dumbass

  • June 16, 2011, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Pitt is looking more and more like Redford every day

    by Billy_D_Williams

    its pretty freaky

  • June 16, 2011, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Holey shit ebert Liked green lantern

    by eric haislar

  • June 16, 2011, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Everyone knows this is a failed system in the long run, right?

    by shutupfanboy

    Where are the As now? Sucking.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Second best thing about baseball? No vuvuzelas.

    by WriteForTheEdit

  • Not sure why this movie exists. See, the problem is that the book and the movie focus on the A's hitting and their on base percentages. However, the A's had a terrible offense during this time and they won because they were in a terrible division of only 3 other teams (which they played 19 times each) and they won with pitching - something that isn't even mentioned in the book. It's nothing but smoke and mirrors. Teams have had success with mediocre hitting and great pitching - anyone ever heard of the god damn Braves? The A's didnt win a world series. They didnt even get close. It doesnt matter if they won more games than the Yankees. Its not like the Yankees won more games than everyone EVERY year. And by the way...the Yankees had a $250 million dollar payroll last year and the $50 million dollar Rangers beat them - and it had nothing to do with on base percentage. That alone made this Moneyball book obselete.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:26 p.m. CST


    by DrMorbius

    Baseball is only marginally better than your national 'pastime'... Castrating goats with your teeth . . . But hey, you've held the personal record for ten years running . . . So, you got that going for ya!!! What.A.Malodorous.Cunt.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:27 p.m. CST


    by AzulTool

    I'm an Oaklander. I grew up going to A's games. I went to many, many games during this period. Those were good times. I now boycott the games because of the owner, and his insistence on alienating the existing fanbase. Basically, the movie Major League is being played out right now at the Coliseum. Either way, it'll be interesting to see how they pull this flick off, considering that there was no feel-good championship happy ending.

  • theres nothing wrong with going after guys who have good on base percentages. Guys who walk a lot and dont strike out much. However, the A's had good pitching and played in a weak division, which isnt mentioned in the book. And they had arguably the best defense in the majors - which is funny because according to the book/movie they were the worst.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:30 p.m. CST

    We weren't debating relative popularity of sports, larsson.


    That there isn't an international household name in baseball speaks more about the sport itself. But you can't deny that it's an INTERNATIONAL game, with deep roots in Asia and Latin America. Europeans don't wanna play baseball? Fuck 'em.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:30 p.m. CST

    myphdisdoom, the Rays were completely different...

    by Mel

    The Rays had success because they had 10 years of misery and tons of first draft picks that finally started paying off. The only reason their payroll wasn't through the roof is because those players hadn't become free agents yet. Once they did - look what happened. Most of those draft picks bailed this past offseason. You might say the A's did the same thing, but the A's didn't have those #1 picks year after year. They had to go after guys that no one else wanted. The irony is that the guys they went after became very mediocre players in the end and the A's won with pitching - but as I said, they dont talk about that in the book.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Ah yes, the inner workings of a baseball franchise. Yawn.

    by 77AD

  • June 16, 2011, 3:32 p.m. CST

    lars son (who isn't in your inbred country?

    by DrMorbius

    truth hurt?

  • The movie looks nothing like the reality of it. It's overly dramatic and it will ignore why the A's REALLY won. But that's fine. It actually looks like a fun fantasy movie. I'll be seeing it. Sometimes reality just isn't as fun....see Tombstone as an example of something that was very much a fantasy re-telling of history.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:34 p.m. CST



    There was similar scoffing about the "Facebook movie." Many a talkbacker dined on crow for months after Fincher served it up.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Does America even care about baseball anymore?

    by claxdog

  • Lebron James is on the court for 44/48 minutes with only 4 other guys. In football it's 1 guy out of 50+. In baseball it's 1 guy out of 25+. You can't put total blame on baseball/football players when so many are accountable. However in basketball, 1 guy can make the biggest difference.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:39 p.m. CST

    melgibsoncalledmethenword: Fair point.


    Still, much depends on the roster around him. Of course, that point makes his colossal failure this year even more humiliating. LeBron has been CHOPPED.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:40 p.m. CST



    No, not really. Baseball can be a great game, but there are too many fucking teams and the prices to see a game, of which there are so goddamn many, are ridiculously astronomical. It's still better than soccer, though.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:42 p.m. CST

    Wildly successful?

    by rahtard

    No World Series appearences. 4 division titles and 1 wild card birth in 13 years, oh and they are horrid this year. I don't know why nerds who don't follow sports are excited about this.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:45 p.m. CST



    Someone can be the world's best at something without being a household name. Like you, for instance. You're clearly the best in the world at being an illogical, pedantic douche. And, trust me, CHOPPAH's seen his fair share of illogical, pedantic douches, and not just on these boards. But I can't imagine anyone outside of your household and these TBs knowing who you are. CHOPPED.

  • Remember when that guy made movies that people watched? Or did he? I can't remember. I don't think he's a real person. I think he's like big foot. People claim to have seen him but there's no evidence.

  • There's room for both in the game.

  • Oh, because there are more fun and interesting games to be played.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:55 p.m. CST you like do anything else?

    by ajt2111

    Every time I come here, you're commenting multiple times on every all the time. I'm not trying to offend, I'm just curious if you do anything outside of posting on a movie news websites talkbacks all day every day.

  • June 16, 2011, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Are we really having a "Which sport is better" debate on AICN?


    Oh AICN, how you've changed.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Wait, wait, people watch baseball?

    by Ricardo

    Without a gun pointed to their heads?

  • June 16, 2011, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Cheers, larsson.


    It's been a pleasure.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:20 p.m. CST

    If Soderbergh had stayed on...

    by HansBubi

    ...a talkbacker commented that this movie would have been better for being unconventional if Soderbergh had stayed on. I don't know...I just read that one of his big ideas was to integrate interview clips of real baseball players into the film. You know what that reminds me of? Jerry Maguire. Hell, even Up in the Air used a similar method for a little bit of the movie. Yeah, I don't want a cookie-cutter test-marketed movie, but I think I would take Sorkin's writing over Soderbergh trying to make an unconventional baseball movie.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:21 p.m. CST



    Yes, I, like, totally do all sorts of neato stuff. Like, yeahhhhh! Hello! Like, radical, awesome, neato, supercool stuff.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:25 p.m. CST

    If it wasn't for Charlie Choppah, these talkbacks would be half as long


    The way in which multiple versions of Choppah spring up and natter away, perfectly resembles the psychological arena of a patient suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder. Clara Norton Fowler would be utterly fascinated with Charlie Choppah and his army of Choppah screen names.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:28 p.m. CST


    by Rebeck2

    How insecure and miserable must you be to go on an American site and try to start a pissing match over Baseball just to make yourself feel better? How small can your penis be? It's fucking sad, mate.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:31 p.m. CST

    /\ Disgruntled Baseball Fan


  • June 16, 2011, 4:33 p.m. CST

    I hate sports that allow the game to end in a tie

    by Cureguy

    So boring and lame! So is every one of those Euro trash players who every time they barely get touched roll around the pitch in phony agony.Nothing macho about that. I will admit that sometimes I put a soccer game on to take a nap to if golf doesn't happen to be on.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:35 p.m. CST

    Wow, There is A LOT of misinformation going on in this discussion

    by OldDickLemon

    1-Post season baseball is a crap shoot. There's a reason that despite their massive payroll, they Yankees still don't win every year. It's also why the Mariners can win 116 games and get bounced in the first round, or how a relatively mediocre team like the Giants can get hot at just the right time, and ride that wave to a ring. Beane built a club that won more games over a 5 year stretch than any other team in the league on incredibly limited resources. The problem was, Beane brought this thinking to light (and filled the league with disciple GMs) and clubs with far greater resources (Boston, Anaheim and Philly come to mind) used this model AND their vast wealth ensuring they could also afford to keep their talent once developed as well as acquire a supplemental free agent when necessary. 2-People really don't understand the Moneyball concept to begin with. It's not about building around pitching, or OBP, it's about identifying things in the current market that are undervalued, and leveraging those. At the time this book was written, it was OBP, but that isn't the whole of the concept. 3-Someone mentioned Paul DePodesta likely being pissed at being played by Jonah Hill. The roll was originally cast with Dimitri Martin as DePodesta, when Martin dropped out and Hill took the roll, DePodesta demanded that the character be renamed, and he's now known as "Peter Brand". 4-During the run covered in Moneyball (barring 2002 after Giambi left and Moneyball focal point Scott Hatterberg arrived) The Athletics had the BEST offensive in field in the game. Giambi, Tejada, Chavez and Ellis (also the middle of the lineup at the time) were far and away the best infield in the game. It was the outfield that was their lone weakness at the time (also the area where players were most frequently overpaid). Moneyball isn't an infallible piece of magic. It's about identifying value in players. A small market team like the Athletics simply doesn't have the resources to compete annually like a Boston, New York or Philly does, especially as long as their stuck in the Coliseum. While timing would have been nice for the A's to be peaking again when this film was released, rest assured that with the AL's best starting rotation (when healthy) and a number of young bats currently climbing the system, Oakland is 2-3 years away from another 5-6 year run with a serious shot at winning a ring.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:42 p.m. CST



    Those fuckers are imitators, especially that short-lived son_of_the_choppah, the_choppah_strikes_back and genderblender. There can be only one.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Baseball is sooooooooooooooooo fucking boring

    by IAmTommyWiseau


  • June 16, 2011, 4:46 p.m. CST

    I wonder if they're go over how they celebrated not taking Prince Fielder

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    Swisher gone before he did anything and Jeremy Brown really worked out

  • Dramatic/Comedic licence there.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:51 p.m. CST



    I suspect that it's more likely that a showdown occurred between your various personas, much like in the plot of IDENTITY, and you were the ultimate victor. "Whores don't get a second chance".

  • June 16, 2011, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Was Beane wildly successful, quick answer YES!!!

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    People are looking at the A's record in the last few years and questioning this, but they are only showing their ignorance. Beane says it in the trailer, if they win they will change the game, and they did! A huge part of their theory was to find players that were undervalued, but the problem is, when you are successful you will be copied, and so the same guys you got on the cheap will be gobbled up by the rich teams once they catch on. How do you think the Sox won? They played Moneyball, with Money. Theo Epstein absolutely understood the same dynamics Beane employed, but the difference was that he had money. In fact one of their keystone guys, Youkilis, is a dude referenced in Moneyball "The Greek God of Walks" Beane's problem is that he changed the game and now can't afford to play with everyone else.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Who knows how successful Beane could have been...

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Had Moneyball not come out or his strategies not been "outed" in the mainstream. I mean one of the ways he negotiates is clearly documented in the book, which must have put a huge target on his back once the book came out. Except for "brilliant" guys like Joe Morgan who didn't need to read the book, they just intuitively understood it wasn't true.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:56 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    I can't believe there are still people pushing the urban myth about the World Series being sponsored by the "New York World" newspaper. This is total bullshit. It's called the world series for the exact reason one might expect: because it's the "world championship series of baseball". Everyone who pushes the "it's from a newspaper, you dumbass!" line exposes themselves as being a truly world-class dumbass. As for whether or not you can truly have a world championship where only the teams from two countries can compete...well, yeah, I suppose maybe you can, in the same way that Calvin would be able to host the "World Championships of Calvinball" in his back yard.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:56 p.m. CST


    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    A typical comment from an ignorant nube. The same comments are made about soccer, or even Football, by those who don't know the game. I fully admit that I don't really watch soccer, so if Barellaga makes a perfect pass to BeanSalsa, the beauty and the majesty is lost on me. But if Kershaw ever finally puts together a no-hitter (something he is bound to do) I'll be standing and cheering on in awe.

  • June 16, 2011, 4:58 p.m. CST

    a wildly successful baseball franchise?????

    by joel007

    Has Nordling actually ever been to a baseball game, or perhaps seen one on TV? Heard one on the radio?... The end result was not a "wildly successful baseball franchise"-- that team is as deep in the toilet as is possible in professional sports and has been for YEARS. They had 2 or 3 successful years win-loss wise, and that was it. Most of the folks Beane drafted in the so called moneyball drafts didn't pan out at all. in fact, it is very safe to say that the Beane's entire approach has been a dismal failure. That's why I'm so curious about this movie. The book was a sycophantic love letter to Beane-- but time has shown that "moneyball" was a complete and total failure-- I wonder if the movie will even approach that. But given the way the baseball scenes appear to be shot-- which is to say in the dark-- I'd imagine Bennett Miller has been to about as many baseball games as say, Tony Scot. Baseball is not played in the dark!!!

  • June 16, 2011, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Sorry olddicklemon, you said it better

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    I missed your comment when I posted, you said it perfectly! But too many morons are posting here to understand what you are saying.

  • It's been awhile(probably about 7 years) since I read the book, but I don't remember there really being any thematic strings to tie the story together for a film adaptation. I know the book delved into the lives of some of the players featured in the book, but it seemed to be more of a fact-based retelling of the rise of sabremetrics and how they developed in correlation to Billy Beane's arrival in Oakland. So, to see Sorkin turn it into something that seems to actually play out like a film is pretty impressive. Don't really think its a necessary film, but impressive nonetheless. I'm at least happy for Michael Lewis. I'm sure the man made a fortune off of "The Blind Side"'s film adaptation, but they took that book and shit all over it before letting Sandra Bullock squat down and wipe period blood on it. A great, insightful book about football(with a minor footnote about the story of Michael Oher) turned into one giant, heaping, Lifetime Movie Network, right-wing, Christian circle jerk... still makes me want to throw up when I think about it P.S. Why do soccer fans always feel the need to stroll into discussions about other sports, screaming "___ SUCKS, AMERICA IS STUPID, FOOTBALL IS THE #1 SPORT IN THE WORLD!!!"? Yeah, we get it, its the #1 sport in the world. I don't live in "the world." I live in America. I like American sports, I don't like soccer. Buzz the fuck off before I have Charles Oakley drop a red card on your face.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Funny, they used to call me Moneyballs.


    I was young, pretty, occasionally short on cash, and more than willing to monetize my natural assets. I'd completely forgotten about that until I saw this article.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Hey joel007 read olddicklemon's post before you prove your stupidity

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    He explains exactly why you can call the A's a wildly successful franchise, at least formerly. I agree with you about the "baseball in the dark" element, but I hate to break it to you, Moneyball isn't the first to do this. Countless sports movies do this, including basketball movies like He Got Game, which is a game played indoors, with the lights on! Its called dramatic license, they do this to heighten the emotion, because just like much in the movies, the scenes are played out less for realism's sake and more for the emotions they evoke.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:05 p.m. CST

    ...and Beane didn't change the game...

    by joel007

    "moneyball" was an approach born out of necessity for a team that was in fact not broke, but had and still has an owner who refuses to spend anymore than the minimum he has to to field a team. The Sox did not employ it, nor do any other teams. The Sox never found an undervalued player with skills seemingly hidden and exploited them-- they overpay everyone just like the yanks.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:08 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    "I hate sports that allow the game to end in a tie" So don't watch them. Re: "soccer". The two most common pieces of bleating against soccer from people who rarely if ever watch it are: 1. It's boring! 2. The players play-act all the time! #2 is increasingly true, sadly, although it's mainly a rational response to incentives: it works, so many players do it. If it didn't, they wouldn't. Many people like to think that it's purely a cultural thing ("We'd never pull that shit in the US!") but this is unlikely to be the case. It's just that simulation doesn't gain much in most North American sports. The only one where it does is hockey, and indeed you can see simulation creeping into hockey more and more (especially exaggerating the effects of accidental high-sticking). Hockey is also the most macho of the North American sports, though, so the cultural aspect does keep it in check to some degree. #1 is mainly the result of the viewer not understanding the game. Most sports seem boring unless you understand the game, its patterns of play, the subtleties, the sense of ebb and flow. I've been with naive audiences watching World Cup games whose sense of threat in the game was completely miscalibrated because they couldn't read what was going on: they'd get excited just because one team was far up the field even if there was no real goalscoring opportunity available, and show no response when suddenly a passing channel for a dangerous through-ball opened up from midfield but the ball was still near the centre circle. If you don't understand the language, you won't be entertained. I mean, imagine you spoke no English and you watched a Hitchcock movie and then a Michael Bay movie back to back. You would tell your friends that the Bay movie was quite entertaining but that the Hitchcock movie was terrible, because all the characters just stood around talking for ages, and only once in the movie did somebody get shot. Booooring!

  • June 16, 2011, 5:08 p.m. CST

    Nice post Kammich!

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Sandra Bullock's period blood??? Jeebus Crispies that is funny! Lewis pens witty, insightful tomes that take fairly mundane or seemingly boring topics and turn them into brilliant page turners. They make best sellers so Hollywood figures they ought to make big time movies, but then when they try to break down the story, they go the route they always do, the tearful, emotion lead story. That said, I have faith in Sorkin and figure this could be pretty decent. Have you read Lewis' recent book, The Big Short? That thing is just asking to be made a movie, great characters, real drama, and something that Hollywood would love to do, trash the Wall Street elite. I think they should get Rainn Wilson to play the one -eyed Asbergers investment broker in the book.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Cant stand the A's

    by thefreeagents

    Because they are in the same division as my Texas Rangers. But, this looks really really good.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:09 p.m. CST


    by john

    beane and depodesta changed how the game is viewed by the fan...and how moves are made from the fo the a's are a failure for many reasons...least of which has to do with beane's philosophy

  • June 16, 2011, 5:10 p.m. CST


    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    The Red Sox use Sabermetrics to value their players. They may overpay, but they are using the same types of statistics that Beane used, which flew in the face of the old guard scouts who used "the gravel in their guts and the spit in their eyes" to determine if a player was good or not. Why do you think the Red Sox employ Bill James?

  • June 16, 2011, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Moneyball In New York...

    by Reasonaxe

    ...with money! And as a Mets fan I can't wait for DePodesta and Alderson to work their magic

  • June 16, 2011, 5:26 p.m. CST



    That's why I smoke out of a bowl. I'll only hit a J when it's offered.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:29 p.m. CST

    Schott and Hoffman were not broke...They were cheap.

    by AzulTool

  • June 16, 2011, 5:30 p.m. CST


    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    I hear you, but disagree. You said: #2 is increasingly true, sadly, although it's mainly a rational response to incentives: it works, so many players do it. If it didn't, they wouldn't. Many people like to think that it's purely a cultural thing ("We'd never pull that shit in the US!") but this is unlikely to be the case. It's just that simulation doesn't gain much in most North American sports. The only one where it does is hockey, and indeed you can see simulation creeping into hockey more and more (especially exaggerating the effects of accidental high-sticking). Hockey is also the most macho of the North American sports, though, so the cultural aspect does keep it in check to some degree. Actually, we see acting coming into the NBA in an increasing amount, but it isn't by American players, its from the Euros. It started with the biggest flopper of all time Vlade Divac, and it continues to this day. Most American players shy away from this play, if they can, because they see it as a punk way to play, in short, only pussies play the game that way, also short men who can't compete with the larger athletes around them. Also, if soccer recognizes that "acting" and flopping is a problem, why not change the rules to enforce penalties for this type of behavior?

  • June 16, 2011, 5:31 p.m. CST



    Fuckin' kids. Ah well, it's worth it in the end, I guess. I do have 12 of them.

  • As every single talkback is half you bitching about this or that...I can't see how you could possibly form anything resembling a real life if you spend the majority of your time and energy bitching about movies

  • June 16, 2011, 5:46 p.m. CST

    Bitching wasn't the right term...forgive me

    by ajt2111

    I guess you do have a lot of actual discussions, but my point is, go outside man, do something with yourself other than waste away being the talkback attention whore.

  • maybe ESPN should be covering this...oh wait, they're on lebron's nuts. maybe no one should cover this.

  • June 16, 2011, 5:51 p.m. CST

    Thanks ajt2111

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    I will...see ya! (clomp clomp clomp...door slams!) Okay, now that ajt2111 thinks I've left we can get back to banter, witty, witty banter. ajt2111 isn't here anymore, he wouldn't spend his time being a talkback attention whore, so I can guarantee he is no longer reading this. And if he is, well then, WHAT A HYPOCRITICAL PIECE OF SHITE! By the way, is that the attention you were hoping for ajt2111, cause if so, mission accomplished.

  • June 16, 2011, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Chopping is a full time job

    by HansBubi

    Someone has to do it in these difficult times.

  • June 16, 2011, 6:14 p.m. CST

    mel gibsteinberg??

    by joel007

    See, I don't need to read someone else's post to pretend I know something about baseball. I live near Oakland, go to games, have seen this team operate, and can tell you that in no quantifiable way is that a "wildly successful franchise." Moneyball did not change the way teams operate. Billy Beane is an egomaniac who has pushed that idea. The idea that every other team in the league operated solely on the advice of old school scouts that just don't "get" what Beane does is LAUGHABLE. The book pushed that notion simply because that was Michael Lewis' belief. Clown.

  • June 16, 2011, 6:17 p.m. CST

    and incidentally...

    by joel007

    I actually do realize baseball movies have been filmed that way before. which is why I referenced Tony scot. You may not know this, but Tony Scot is a movie director. He's made many, many films. One of which was The Fan, a movie in which the baseball scenes were filmed in the dark. Guess you didn't get that one. On me I suppose. Dramatic license? Yeah, it's worked so well in baseball movies. People have an unconscious expectation of how baseball is presented to them visually-- as the center field shot in particular is how baseball has been shown on TV for so long.

  • June 16, 2011, 6:26 p.m. CST

    what I mean to say is...

    by joel007

    2 or 3 years of positive win/loss results (and yes, they went to the playoffs and I in no way begrudge the team those few years) is not wild success in baseball. It's a flash in the pan. Wild success is world series trophies. Wild success is a full stadium, not 7 to 10,000 in attendance for home games. and what has happened in the years since is even worse. Came off like a dick before. On me again. Baseball fires me up. sorry.

  • June 16, 2011, 7:10 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    "Also, if soccer recognizes that "acting" and flopping is a problem, why not change the rules to enforce penalties for this type of behavior?" The key problem is that it's difficult to detect at the time, without replays. A lot of the time, simulation is an exaggeration of a genuine foul to bring it to the ref's attention: it looks ridiculous and disgraceful, but the guy doing it is actually trying to get the correct call made, because lots of football players are experts at committing fouls that the ref probably won't detect, so play-acting is a form of counter-measure. So whenever you see a guy roll over three times, you can be sure that he's a douche, but you can't be sure that he's pretending that a non-existent foul took place: the foul may indeed have happened. My opinion is that even if you're not going to use replays in the game (and that's a separate debate), retrospective video evidence should be used, and if it's obvious that a player has engaged in pretending a foul has been committed, he should receive a draconian punishment - a 12-game ban, something like that. And, personally, I do think that any OTT reaction brings the game into disrepute and should be punished even if some kind of foul was committed. It's just fucking embarrassing.

  • June 16, 2011, 7:20 p.m. CST

    Why Soccer will never make it in America.

    by tailhook

    Here is the thing, when Americans look to sports they look at 2 things. Either you were faster than the other guy, or you overpowered him. Preferably the latter. As such, what appeals to the American is upper body strength and sports that test that strength. Take a look at the American version of Football... feet come into play exactly twice... kickoffs and field goals.. and the people who are adept at them get absolutely 0 respect. The problem with Soccer is that its primarily lower body and basically a game of Keep Away with your feet and do so long enough to get to the other end and put the ball in the goal. That, does not a manly sport make. The reason Football (i'll use the world term when talking about the world) is so popular overseas is two fold. The first is that its an obsenely cheap sport to field a team for. Get 5 guys down to K-mart for some uniforms and boom.. you have your team so long as someone etches out the field dimensions, throws up some nets and tosses out a ball. The second is the inferiority complex of most nations. They use Football as an ego booster. It isn't that your team won, its that your Country Won. That makes you "top dog". The problem with that is Americans don't have an inferiority complex. We know we're #1. And furthermore, if you want to challenge us for that on the field of play, do so in a sport that is actually considered manly. Playing Keep Away for 90 minutes is frankly a dull afternoon. Long story short, anybody who thinks that Soccer will make massive inroads in America and overtake the 'manly' sports(Football, Baseball, Basketball), is just kidding themselves. Auto Racing gets more respect. Table Tennis gets more respect. Badminton gets more respect. If it doesn't involve the upper body, you're pretty much DOA when it comes to sports Americans actually give two craps about winning.

  • June 16, 2011, 7:26 p.m. CST


    by flclhack

    Slightly biased, though very good points.

  • June 16, 2011, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Joel, success is subjective...

    by OldDickLemon

    While Beane's teams haven't won a championship, within the scope of their budget and market, 5 trips to the post season over a 7 year period is something any team not from New York or Boston would kill for. From 2000-2004 they were the winningness club in all of baseball, winning their division 4 times and grabbing a Wild Card. In at least two of those seasons they were the "best" team in the game. Accomplishing this while posting a budget between 50-70 million while the competition is spending 150-200 is absolutely wildly successful. Instead of comparing them to what free spending teams have done, compare them to the equally budgeted: Pirates? It's been 19 years since they had a season with a finish above .500 Royals? It's been 18 years Tampa? They've been to the post season twice in recent years but it took a decade of #1 picks to get there, and theyre on the verge of falling apart as that talent heads for richer pastures. Now let's look at the futility of clubs that routinely spend more: Cubs? 3 division wins in 22 years, no rings. Orioles? 14 years since a .500 or better record Brewers? 1 playoff appearance in last 28 years Seattle? 4 playoff births in their 34 year history The list goes on and on. It's a very bleak time to be an A's fan, but that in no way diminishes what was accomplished from 2000-2006. Unless you're one of the top 5 spenders in baseball, you won't be a perennial contender. In a success vs cost, the A's were and remain the leagues most efficient team. Let us not forget that before sending 6 starting pitchers to the DL, and some serious underperformance by free agent veterans, this team was picked by many to win the West. Keep Cahill, Anderson and Gonzales together, and a few of Weeks, Sizemore, Carter, Taylor, Stassi, etc pan out, and this team is going to make a very serious run in a couple of years. It's frustrating, but it's small market baseball, and while it stings now, and hurts the credibility of the film to those that don't understand this, none do it as well as Beane does.

  • June 16, 2011, 7:44 p.m. CST

    I dont really think it makes me a hypocrite at all

    by ajt2111

    It's a Thursday evening, Im actually having people over in an hour or so for a fire outside..I really fail to see how commentating on the fact that Choppah spends an incredible amount of his time trying to get people to pay attention to him on the talkbacks makes me a hypocrite. If I were doing what he does, I'd see the validity in your point. As it stands I'm just making an observation.

  • June 16, 2011, 7:44 p.m. CST

    tailhook --

    by MooseMalloy

    -- the MLS has been going (and growing) since '96. To me and many others in the U.S. that's good enough.

  • June 16, 2011, 7:48 p.m. CST

    You can't mention "manly" sports and excluse hockey! Bah!

    by Kammich

    Hockey is the manliest sport of them all. Football is certainly a game of violence, but its first and foremost a game of strategy and athleticism. You don't need either to play hockey. If you can skate backwards and knock a motherfucker out, you could probably be a 4th-liner on an AHL team. I think thats why Hockey has such a stronghold in perceived "blue collar" U.S. cities(Detroit, Philly, Boston), but really nowhere else in the country. Which is a shame. Brilliant fucking game. If Soccer ever becomes more popular in the States than Hockey, I'm going to have Charles Oakley slam dunk me to death.

  • June 16, 2011, 7:48 p.m. CST

    err... that would be "exclude"

    by Kammich

    take me now, Charles Oakley

  • June 16, 2011, 7:48 p.m. CST

    Pitt shoulda bailed when Soderbergh did


    This looks extraordinarily bland. It doesn't help that the A's are having a catastrophic losing season right now. This is a disaster, will be a huge failure.

  • June 16, 2011, 7:50 p.m. CST

    I mean, read olddicklemon


  • June 16, 2011, 7:52 p.m. CST

    olddicklemon's post


    that sounds so fuckin boring! they were good for the budget they had? a movie based on that? and they didn't win anything. nobody is gonna watch this thing.

  • The one where he eats dinner where his white friend, Dicky Lemon, and Dicky Lemon's parents are like "Pass the potatoes, dear....are we going to be having sexual intercourse tonight?" <p> Because if so, that's awesome.

  • June 16, 2011, 8:20 p.m. CST


    by OldDickLemon

    Of course they will because ultimately the movie isn't about the A's. This movie is basically Jerry Maguire with Brad Pitt in for Tom Cruise and Chris Pratt in for Cuba Gooding Jr. What happened to the Cardinals in that film? For those that may not be aware in 2002 the A's set the AL record for consecutive wins at 20. That 20th game was won on a ninth inning, pinch hit homerun by Scott Hatteberg (the Chris Pratt character). This moment can give the film he same "defining moment" that Rod Tidwell's game winning, and playoff clitching touchdown that concludes Jerry Maguire. This movie will almost surely move very quickly away from the statistical analysis side of things, and be far more about the characters, with Hatteberg the poster child for identifying the under appreciated value in a player. Bobo, I actually stole it from 30 Rock (who very possibly stole it from Pryor). Liz's dad played by Buck Henry is called "Old" Dick Lemon, which resulted in a very nasty joke where he utters the phrase "it ain't a lemon party without old Dick", which if you've ever had someone subject you to the "lemon party" clip, you'd know, is quite upsetting.

  • June 16, 2011, 8:25 p.m. CST

    Bradbert Pittford.

    by blackwood

    Jesus. It's just so... there. Anyway, movie looks good. I like feeling ways about stuff and when people who shouldn't win do, because fuck you everything.

  • June 16, 2011, 8:51 p.m. CST


    by tailhook

    There are sports right now with leagues all the way down to Dodgeball and Wiffle Ball. Name the sport and there is probably a league for it here in the States. The whole point of the Soccer in America movement by those that seek to push it is that it can be as popular here as it is overseas. And that, is something that will never happen for the reasons I specified. As per Hockey. Its roughly the same style of game as soccer so it gets equated. But note that one of the first things they did when creating the game is force the player to move the puck through the use of the upper-body and a stick. Furthermore, the referees don't shit their pants every time somebody gets checked into the boards and actual fighting often is encouraged to build your rep and show you aren't soft. As such, the players tend to build upper body strength. Both those things are reasons why Hockey works and is considered 'manly'. Lets put it this way, most guys could handle David Beckham or Lionel Messi in any type of fight. Those same guys I would give very poor odds on lighting up a below-average hockey player. Thats why Hockey, while not exactly the top tier of sport here, still thrives and gets coverage while Soccer struggles to even get noticed.

  • June 16, 2011, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Well tailhook, it just sounds like you're an MLS hater --

    by MooseMalloy

    -- I mean come on, there are weekly games on ESPN & ESPN2. And hockey is great, but I was talking about soccer.

  • June 16, 2011, 9:18 p.m. CST


    by Teddy Artery

    I had the exact same Robert Redford comparison thoughts when I watched the trailer. Clearly Pitt has been influenced by the time he and Redford have spent together. Hey, if it makes for better movies, I'm all for it.

  • June 16, 2011, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Lol MLS.

    by tailhook

    I could really care less about MLS. I was referring to Soccer in general. You're the one hungup on MLS. And the hockey response was towards the guy who brought it up.

  • June 16, 2011, 9:29 p.m. CST


    by joel007

    In my opinion, sports success is measured in titles. Period. The Giants had an even longer run of best record in baseball from the nineties into the 2000's. They won divisions, they won the NL west, and they made it to the world series in a new sold out stadium. That is not wild success as I see it. It's about rings and trophies. I also think that Beane is as responsible for the A's current plight as is Lew Wolff. Once that book came out and it was revealed how arrogant he is, and how he talked about and "outsmarted" other GM's, it was over for him. His signings in the last 5 years have been disastrous, as have his trades. The practice of his theories work against other GM's when they don't see them coming. He might as well be having a parade down mainstreet now-- everyone sees him coming. The A's have a decent nucleus of young pitching-- that cannot stay healthy. The fact is this team is going nowhere until wolff sells or moves them to San Jose, neither of which are very likely right now. To call a sports team a wild success that fielded some consecutive winning seasons, but with putrid attendance and zero titles to show for it is not a success. Talk about setting a low bar.

  • June 16, 2011, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Well maybe you should watch a little tailhook --

    by MooseMalloy

    -- Henry has had some great goals, LA is a great team and my Champion Rapids are hanging around. I like that MLS has acheived a kind of underground level of coolness/acceptance. Proceed to deride...

  • June 16, 2011, 9:54 p.m. CST

    I hate soccer they a bunch of whiny bitches...

    by Norman Colson

    ok... my boy who's from the islands tried to get me to watch it. and tried to school me on arsenal and man u. and zidane and all the rules. and the qualifying matches. And im like yo the rules make no sense, the matchups even less, how is there a tie and the game ends? WTF. How do you win by one point and yet say your the best. bullshit. The only thing i liked in soccer was the chick on youtube elizabeth lambert. dirty ass bitch. that's what i like to see... lol. I majorly cant stand these little whiny bitches, who get slapped in the chest and crawl around and dramatize like they dying while on camera they barely got touched. im like no blood no foul. they cry, trying to get the ref to notice. OMG ive never seen anything so whimpy in my life! lol. Also when they fight they fight like little bitches, they kick at each other and dont fight like men... If your gonna kick, kick like your in ufc or something, do some damage, dont run away like some little bitch. ground and pund these little assholes out. (no homo.) I just cant see myself playing soccer it's like a bunch of pussys on the field with stamina saying i scored one field goal and didnt fall and won. Give me a break, america doesnt need it!!! And my future kids wont be playing that shit. id rather basketball, football or even karate martial arts. Soccer. im sorry but you just dont cut it where im from!

  • June 16, 2011, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Haha, hilarious rant ghost!

    by MooseMalloy


  • June 16, 2011, 10:12 p.m. CST

    Billy Beane introduced Canseco to steroids

    by Arcadian Del Sol

    THAT is how they won games - they doped their busted minimum wage players on roids.

  • June 16, 2011, 10:28 p.m. CST

    How long before Pitt and Clooney remake "The Sting"?

    by Joaquin_Ondamoon

    And I am sick of Hill. Period.

  • June 16, 2011, 10:38 p.m. CST

    Ghost-of-Chainsaw, you sound like a parody of a soccer hater.

    by Lenny Nero

    Alas, it's probably not an act. Sheesh.

  • June 16, 2011, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Lol.. you say so.

    by tailhook

    I mean.. you're obviously a fanboi. And one thing all leagues have in common is there is someone out there that likes them. I'd really like to say i hate MLS.. but i really don't. Hate would imply love on some level. The fact of the matter is, as I said.. I just don't care. Its not, nor will it ever be relevant in this country. It can stay the obscure sport it always has been and the extremely small minority of American sports fans that like it.. I /salute you.

  • June 16, 2011, 10:58 p.m. CST

    and ghost-of-chainsaw...

    by tailhook

    proved my points explicitly. If it doesn't involve above the waist and a test of manhood, its too wimpy for the American audience.

  • June 16, 2011, 11:18 p.m. CST

    I get it -- Soccer doesn't need you, you don't need soccer

    by MooseMalloy

    -- but since I like most sports I just don't understand all the whining. I don't like Rugby all that much, but I don't whine about it.

  • June 16, 2011, 11:34 p.m. CST

    All i know is....

    by Norman Colson

    I just dont get it, I tried and tried. but dont see the sports relevance in this day and age. And im not a parody of a soccer hater. i just hate soccer... I've tried watching it, but just dont see the excitement that all these overseas fans see... In basketball football baseball, hockey we had these momentous plays, throws, home runs, It's amazing. soccer has none of that. None of the amazing one kick down the field and final goat with only 3 seconds to go.... They dont have it. the miracle plays which define sports...

  • June 16, 2011, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Wow some of you just read before you post...

    by Andrew Coleman

    Sure the A's haven't won the world series during this run that's not the point... By the way it's hard to do that especially with teams that use other countries GDP to build teams(Yankees, Red Sox). Beane's way of looking over players is what changed. Now the thing is the A's can't pay way over the top numbers like other teams. That's why the story is interesting. If you think he failed... You have no concept of what you're even talking about.

  • June 16, 2011, 11:47 p.m. CST


    by jsfithaca

    the reason soccer is popular around the world and baseball is popular in america, is because america is better and that helps us realize baseball is better. and also the only reason it gets watched is cuz its on in the summer, as basketball, football and hockey are on fall-winter. the only other sport on in the summer is soccer, and soccer sucks.

  • June 16, 2011, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Also MLS will never become big time...

    by Andrew Coleman

    The fan bases are intense but that's not enough. The playoffs make no sense. The divisions are silly. They've mirrored everything off the Europeans. Dumb. Should have made it like the sport divisions here. That's why in the MLS cups you usually see more fans for the hosting stadiums team than for either of the teams playing. A year or two ago it was in seattle... Seattle wasn't playing yet like 80% of the fans were Seattle fans. I know the league isn't as old as the others but I think it pretty much has met its ceiling. Which is fine really.

  • June 16, 2011, 11:52 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    Complete load of crap, although nicely argued. Football became popular when Britain ruled the world. The reason it didn't become popular in the US is pure historical accident: eastern prep schools modeled themselves after British private schools, which tended to play rugby, so the US schools played and adapted a rugby-style game, and the prestige of those schools and interest in their sporting contests built interest in the game. You don't even know US football very well, btw: "feet come into play exactly twice... kickoffs and field goals" Total nonsense. You forgot punts and PATs. (And, no, a PAT is not a field goal.)

  • June 16, 2011, 11:53 p.m. CST

    Brad Pitt's physique in the Puma shirt...

    by ennio

    Would it have killed him to give up the Troy physique to play a baseball GM? Jesus man, have some humility. I'd gain more respect for him if he put on a little gut or changed his appearance once in a while. Plus it would not make me feel like such a yutz when I look in a mirror.

  • June 16, 2011, 11:55 p.m. CST

    Oh, sorry, to clarify...

    by Keith became popular in the UK at the height of the British Empire, so the "inferiority complex" argument holds no water. In addition, it was through the vast reach of the British Empire that British sports came to dominate the world. Despite the US supplanting the UK as military and economic top dog, the US has NEVER had the global cultural influence and prestige that the British Empire enjoyed at its zenith, and it never will. This is not a criticism, by the way, just a fact about how the British exported their culture (imposed it in various places) whereas the US has never really done this despite it exporting more popular media than any nation has ever done.

  • June 16, 2011, 11:59 p.m. CST

    The other key reason soccer won't ever be popular in the US

    by Keith

    It has no space for commercial breaks. US sports are built around stoppages for commercial breaks. Fifa would never allow them, so it doesn't fit into the US's commercial model, which requires commercials roughly once every six minutes.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:04 a.m. CST

    And btw, as for the US being #1

    by Keith

    Sadly, not for much more than another decade. It's clearly in decline. Most indebted nation in human history, and now lacking the economic potential to grow its way out of it. I take no pleasure in pointing this out - I think the US is a great country in most respects - but the short-sighted policies that began with Nixon will lead to the US being supplanted, even though it still has a lot going for it (the world's best universities and silicon valley being its greatest assets).

  • June 17, 2011, 12:21 a.m. CST

    JK Simmons should have played Howe.

    by mjgtexas

  • June 17, 2011, 12:36 a.m. CST

    A 1986 Mets biopic would be fun.

    by mjgtexas

    Just for the Kevin Mitchell cat decapitation money shot alone...

  • June 17, 2011, 1:29 a.m. CST

    Baseball from a non-American viewpoint

    by Darth_Scotsman

    Waste of time. Would rather watch paint dry. I enjoy Shinty and Curling, though.

  • June 17, 2011, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Bobby Kotick?

    by Super Joker

    Fuck! Off! You have ruined videogames and now you are infecting movies. Great.

  • June 17, 2011, 3:15 a.m. CST

    misterdarcy . . . moosemalloy

    by DrMorbius

    As you can tell by now, your arguements for football are falling on 'deaf' ears here. As mentioned, 'most' Americans fail to understand certain things about the beautiful game, such as strategy, nuance, finesse, e.t.c. My problem with that lardasson up above stemmed from his assinine post . . . "...worst hobby ever created by you dumb fucks" if he would have said he didn't like baseball, or that he preferred soccer I would have respected that . . . but the 'you dumb fucks' was inexcusable. I would rather watch football over baseball any day of the week. Living so close to Mexico, we get 'friendlies' with El Tri and other first division clubs here a few times a year at least. And as moose stated above, the Home Depot Center and the LA Galaxy play a little up the road from me. Have an online mate from Manchester ( he likes City over United). I will get crucified for this but am looking forward to the Womens World Cup starting later this month. Not all Americans hate football, just seems like there are few supporters here at AICN. Cheers.

  • June 17, 2011, 7:45 a.m. CST

    olddicklemon vs. joel007

    by emvan

    OK, I was a Baseball Operations Consultant for the Red Sox from '05 to '09 (recruited directly by owner John Henry off of a Red Sox fan board). So I may possibly know what I'm talking about when I say that odl nails it (and saved me quite a bit of typing) and that joel's ignorance of the game is laughable.<br><br> "The Sox never found an undervalued player with skills seemingly hidden and exploited them." The probable regular-season position player MVP and real World Series MVP of the 2004 Sox was 2B Mark Bellhorn, who was so much a Moneyball-type player he makes Hatteberg look like Derek Jeter. They signed David Ortiz after he was released by the Twins (who couldn't figure out that he'd been terrific whenever he'd been healthy). Bill Mueller and Bronson Arroyo (let go by the friggin' Pittsburgh Pirates), too ... They may have just stolen an elite pitcher from the Marlins in Andrew Miller because they alone figured out why a former top 3 pitching prospect in all of MLB was sucking, and turned him back into what he used to be.<br><br> The Sox don't have to exploit market inequalities, but they are absolutely a Moneyball-type team in that all entrenched conventional wisdom is subject to challenge, which is a very big part of it.<br><br> And of course Beane changed the game. He made it clear to nearly all the owners in the sport that they wouldn't be able to compete unless they hired at least one geek with a spreadsheet. Once that happened, Beane lost his edge.

  • June 17, 2011, 8:01 a.m. CST

    One of Countless Reasons Baseball is the Greatest Sport

    by emvan

    In football and basketball, each game is limited to one play that could decide and end the game in either direction -- the attempted buzzer-beater, or field goal with no time on the clock. And they are rare as hell. (In hockey, they're impossible).<br><br> In last night's Red Sox / Rays game, Jonathan Papelbon threw nine straight pitches, any of which could have resulted in a Rays victory (via 3-run homer) or Sox victory (via GDP for the first three pitches, via any kind of out for the last six). And this happens routinely. There is no sport that has even a tiny fraction of baseball's sustained tension and drama.<br><br> (The two reasons: no clock, and the greatest possible scoring play is worth 90% of the average game score.)

  • June 17, 2011, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Right on, mjgtexas. The '86 Mets were an intriguing and foul crew.


    Ever read "The Bad Guys Won" by Jeff Pearlman? It's all about that squad. What a great read. And, yeah, it would make for a damn good movie.

  • Franchises like the Florida Marlins, and Minnesota Twins small market clubs, heck even the Tampa Bay Rays that did make it to the world series. Can attribute the way they pick players to this system. It still looks like a really good movie.

  • I'd love to see Aaron Sorkin adapt the book Boys Will Be Boys the story of the 90s Cowboys.

  • June 17, 2011, 8:41 a.m. CST


    by OldDickLemon

    You know Canseco was traded away from Oakland nearly a decade before Billy Beane became GM, right?

  • June 17, 2011, 8:42 a.m. CST

    OK so it's not about the A's


    and it's not about the World Series. The scenes shown in this trailer are very dry and a bit lifeless. It looks like someone trying to mimic a Soderbergh film and missing some key ingredients. The fact that the A's are dreadful right now is going to be bad for this movie financially. That was my main point. It's the A's in the trailer, they are featured pretty prominently. The Cardinals were obviously far in the background of Jerry McGuire. The main plot point is what, is that this guy was a wizard with free agency? Lol or what? That's directly tied into the A's. Theres more to the story, I get that. It just doesn't sound like a great story to me. This is a total disaster. Sure it had a low budget and Pitt likes to do these types of films but judging from the trailer I bet you the movie sucks too.

  • June 17, 2011, 8:53 a.m. CST


    by OldDickLemon

    In return you've saved me the trouble of replying about '04 Boston. Aside from Pedro, Schilling and Manny, that entire club was a mess of rag-tag, undervalued producers. Millar, Nixon, Mientkiewicz, etc. Heck, Kevin Youkilis is still Beane's wet dream, even referenced in Moneyball while still in the minors as "The Greek God of Walks". If not for the emergence of Beane, a guy like Theo (Ivy League genius) never gets the job that turned around an organization. Some people just don't get it, to them success is only measured in rings, not understanding that the World Series Champion 9 out of 10 times is a club that gets the breaks and gets hot at the right time, and is not the best club in baseball. Heck, the Giants last year were probably the weakest of all the post season clubs.

  • June 17, 2011, 9:27 a.m. CST


    by OldDickLemon

    Honey, you wanna go see that Brad Pitt drama about baseball?

  • June 17, 2011, 9:29 a.m. CST

    WTF is up with the talk back?

    by OldDickLemon

    I wrote multiple paragraphs and all that's posted in a single line that looks like I'm asking winona_ryders_pussy_juice on a date. The fat guy really needs to upgrade this shit.

  • June 17, 2011, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Trying again.....

    by OldDickLemon

    Hey Honey, wanna go see the new Brad Pitt drama about baseball?

  • June 17, 2011, 9:56 a.m. CST

    One last times...

    by OldDickLemon

    Winona, what I tried to say before this crappy site ate all the words was: If the movie is decent, and Pitt is good in it, the baseball elements will just be uplifting moments. The fact that it's based on real events I think, honestly, will be lost on most of it's potential audience. They'll just see a good-looking brash guy trying to change a game perhaps a little too steeped in it's own tradition. You won't see a lot of: Hey Honey, wanna go see the new Brad Pitt drama about baseball? Hang on, let me check the standings, well, the A's aren't doing to hot right now, so no thanks, let's see Transformers 3 The A's current performance, while not optimum, isn't likely going to have a major impact on this films performance one way or another. It would make for a nice footnote if 9 years later, the club was still contenders, but it's just not landing during the right part of the inevidible small-market refresh cycle. The Indians sucked when Major League was made, the Yankees have been portrayed as the Evil Empire in a number of films during periods when the club was struggling and the Giants were pretty bad when "The Fan" was made. I really don't think it's going to matter much.

  • June 17, 2011, 10:06 a.m. CST


    by joel007

    Of course you worked for the sox. Everyone here belives that. Absolutely. Why is it when everyone wants to prove moneyball they start throwing out the names of a bunch of role players that happened to pan out? Every team since the beginnings of baseball has hac role players. Often times they play above their heads and end up major pieces of championship teams. Look at the 2010 giants. Beyond their pitching staff it was pretty damn close to all role players. That team was not put together using moneyball tactics. Each signing they made was a reult of replacing a player due to injury or taking the best player. On the market available to them. My contention from the get go has been this... to say the a's were a wildly successful franchise is way off base and that if beanes tactics were and are so brilliant then why has he been not only innefective, but also detremental for the last 7 years? His trades and free agent signings have been disatrous. Ask the rockies how they like a certain pitcher beane gave up on to get matt holiday for part of one pointless season. But you're right. I clearly haven't watched baseball for 30 years or anything. Jackass.

  • June 17, 2011, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Another reason why many Americans hate soccer

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Because the "soccer" fans in this country often go overboard in their love of "the beautiful game" to try and appear sophisticated and European. Instead of trying to adopt the sport and find their own cultural voice, American soccer enthusiasts just want to carbon copy the Euro soccer culture and transplant it here. Any of you with douchebag soccer fans as friends know exactly what I'm talking about. These buttholes will say things like "I'm sooo excited for the friendly this Saturday between the Holyhead Harpies and the Montrose Magpies. It'lll be brilliant! Cheers mate!" Please, no one in the States uses the terms "mate" "cheers" and "friendly" we use terms like "fool" "f- you" and "angry". The soccer poseurs in this country are what make those of use who don't care about soccer, suddenly become antagonistic. Its not that we hate soccer, its that we hate you, Mr. "Soccer is THE beautiful game!" dickhead.

  • June 17, 2011, 10:17 a.m. CST

    and i'm not saying

    by joel007

    Sabremetrics and beanes ideas and tactics don't have some merit. I never have. Without sabremetrics timmy doesn't win his second cy young. Period. I'm saying the book inflated them and beane. Beane made a bunch of great moves early on until the league started to see him coming. But explain why he seems to have completely lost the ability to identify undervalued free agents anymore. I think what he and depodesta did was add a new wrinkle. That's all. The a's didn't win jack. Their attendance was putrid. That is not success. Trophies and rings. And I'm sorry, but 'lets find a guy with a really high on base percentage' isn't reinventing the wheel. It' common sense. Did beane exploit that, sure.

  • June 17, 2011, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Sorry joel007

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    But both emvan and olddicklemon schooled you and showcased your baseball ignorance. I don't care if emvan worked for the Sox or not, HE'S RIGHT!

  • June 17, 2011, 10:20 a.m. CST

    Joel, if you're going to bag on the Holliday deal....

    by OldDickLemon

    There's far more weight in pointing out the success of Carlos Gonzales than the epic mediocrity of Huston Street. Closer is far and away the most overrated position in all of sports, and Beane proved that during the Moneyball era when 4 different closers had 40 saves in consecutive years. That said, superstar acquisitions have never been Beane's forte. That's pretty well documented. In the Holliday deal, when it became public that he was being made available by the Rockies, Lew Wolf went to Beane and insisted he make it happen. Ownership in 2009 pushed Beane away from his current rebuild model and insisted he try to contend. He was forced into the Holliday deal, which then necessitated the Carbrera, Giambi and Garciaparra signings of that year, and ultimately resulted in a delay in the current rebuild. If your lone definition of success is rings, there's not really much point in continuing this discussion. Though I find it odd that you point to last years Giants team because, in reality, it is very much like a Beane built team. Strong starting pitching, a blue-chip prospect and several role-players that were obtained affordably because their were undervalued. Burrell, Huff and Ross are VINTAGE Beane style acquasitions.

  • June 17, 2011, 10:22 a.m. CST

    and on the sox...

    by joel007

    Take away manny and papi and schilling and other players with huge salaries they had in addition to all the "scrappers" they had and tell me what they win. Stars and role players.

  • June 17, 2011, 10:23 a.m. CST

    You are a fool joel007

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    And I'm sorry, but 'lets find a guy with a really high on base percentage' isn't reinventing the wheel. It' common sense. That's exactly the point! No one else was looking at stats like OBP before Beane and DePodesta started employing these metrics. So that's how he found undervalued players. You are right that the genie is out of the bottle, but the point is that Beane pioneered the use of these types of metrics in a sport notorious for relying on tradition and old school gumption. To this day old guard baseball "purists" like Joe Morgan still hate Beane for the way he approached the game, by breaking things down mathematically and using computational statistics versus using old school scouts "guts" and intuition.

  • June 17, 2011, 10:29 a.m. CST

    Olddicklemon's right, again

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Joel, you can't say that rings and championships are the sole indicator of success. By that token, then only teams with multiple championships in the last several years would really be successful, read: Yankees and Red Sox. The fact is, once the playoffs occurr, its often a crapshoot as to who wins. How did the Giants beat the much more favored Phils? The reality is that in a series, versus a long season, a lot can change. A team gets hot, someone gets hurt, exhaustion sets in, whatever. The point is, putting together winning seasons is something a GM can have influence on, after that its really up to that team to win.

  • June 17, 2011, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Hey ennio, re: Pitt's Physique

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Beane was an ex-player, he wasn't just some front office schlub. It isn't ridiculous to have a guy in shape playing this guy, remember the movie takes place nearly 10 years ago. If anything, Pitt is too short to be playing Beane, but honestly who cares about body type. By that measure Hill, as mentioned, looks nothing like DePodesta. They should have gotten someone like BJ Novak.

  • June 17, 2011, 10:56 a.m. CST

    gibsteinberg's failure to grasp the point

    by joel007

    So let me understand this. My contention that the A's weren't a wild success, and my saying that sabremetrics and moneyball brought a new wrinkle to the game but was not sustainable by Beane or the A's, and that identifying valuable role players was not something Beane invented makes me a fool? Please bring up someone other than Joe Fricking Morgan to make your point. Your contention that "no one" looked at stats like on base percentage before Beane and Depodesta is flat out stupid. THE POINT, little girl, is to be found in my original post. The A's weren't a success.

  • June 17, 2011, 10:59 a.m. CST


    by joel007

    I was hoping you'd bring up last year's Giants by the way. You know who says Beane's tactics and the "moneyball" philiosophy has never been something he's utilized? GM Brian Sabean. I've seen him say it in person. Heard him say it on KNBR numerous times. But you're probably right, what does the GM who put the team together know anyway?

  • June 17, 2011, 11:01 a.m. CST

    And again, what is your measure of success

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    You said: THE POINT, little girl, is to be found in my original post. The A's weren't a success. Maybe I have missed all the "nuance" and "brilliance" of your posts, but it seems I'm not the only one reading your posts and coming away with the same conclusion: You don't know what you are talking about. Every baseball point you make has been refuted by Olddicklemon and emvan, yet you continue on with your contention that the A's weren't successful. But by what measure? Rings? Like I have said, if you only measure success by rings then only a handful of teams can be considered successful, and I don't think a majority of baseball followers would agree with that.

  • June 17, 2011, 11:03 a.m. CST

    my goal is to get kicked off this talkback

    by joel007

    so here goes. Fuck both of you. Please complain now.

  • June 17, 2011, 11:04 a.m. CST

    know who doesn't measure success in championships?

    by joel007


  • June 17, 2011, 11:05 a.m. CST

    and incidentally

    by joel007

    the opinions of a couple of moneyball whores doesn't refute anything.

  • June 17, 2011, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Brian Sabean

    by OldDickLemon

    I never expounded the virtues of Brian Sabean, I said the team he ended up with fits the Beane model, and it absolutely does. Brian Sabean is an idiot who got lucky, lucky that guys he hired as backups and 4th outfielders were more valuable than he had realized. I'm not sure why you feel the need to get so aggressive, that's usually a sign of "I've got nothing of substance to say". The fact that you felt Huston Street was the lynchpin of the Holliday trade I think offers all of the necessary insight as to what you actually understand about baseball.

  • June 17, 2011, 11:08 a.m. CST

    i know nothing about baseball

    by joel007

    like I don't know the balk rule, I don't know why numbers say pitch lefties against lefties, I don't know anything about WHIP or OBP, I don't know anything about why wins for a starting pitcher are overrated, or why it's all about the ERA (and a little WHIP too)... I know nothing about baseball. Clearly.

  • June 17, 2011, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Ahhhh, I get it now

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    joel007 is a massive Giants fan, ergo he's a MASSIVE TOOL. He's an ardent follower of KNBR, he hated The Fan because it showcased Giants fans as psychotic losers, and now that his team finally won a single championship (after more than 50 years!) he's loving the fact that he can finally crow. Just like many other Giants fans, their constant jealousy of the team to the south, and feelings of insecurity and bitterness comes through clearly. So by your measure of success, the Dodgers are a VASTLY more successful organization than the Giants because of all the rings they have, right?

  • June 17, 2011, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Huston Street???

    by joel007

    So you're saying that was a good trade?? Closer is not the most overrated position in baseball. Ask the Giants where they'd have been without Brian Wilson last year, or this for that matter.

  • June 17, 2011, 11:14 a.m. CST


    by joel007

    Yeah, I would say the hated rivals down South are a wildly successful franchise. Absolutely. Storied. Successful. Rings. Absolutely. And I hate them. Although The Fan?? Come on, don't step in and try to champion that movie. I don't really say I've given it a second thought til I saw the dark baseball scenes in the Moneyball trailer. I don't like it because it's a piece of crap and after doing True Romance and Crimson Tide, it was a gigantic misstep for Tony Scot. There is no envy where the A's are involved. There is apathy. How could one be envious of the Pirates west?

  • June 17, 2011, 11:15 a.m. CST


    by joel007

    I get it. so you're saying it's moneyball even when it's an accident. Good argument.

  • June 17, 2011, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Just like a Giants fan

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    The more you desperately try to prove your baseball wisdom, the more obvious it is how insecure and frustrated you are. You see, Giants fans are miserable because they have felt sidelined and ignored for years. They hate the Dodgers and their fans, far more than the Dodger fans hate the Giants. They have a huge inferiority complex stemming from the fact that their team has failed for so long, up until the last year. Even when they put together a winning team in '89, they were nearly sold and shipped off a few years later. Its worse than anything the Sox or Cub fans felt, it was more like Charlie Brownism. And now that they have won a single WS, they want to shout it from the rooftops. "SEE WORLD! We are good! We are relevant! Bow to us, kiss our ass, we DESERVE IT! Especially you Dodger fans, YOU MUTHAFUCKERS NEED TO RESPECT OUR AUTHORITAIIIIIIII!!!!" Dodger fan: Huh? Wuzzat? Oh yeah, the hippies won something, hmm, how bout that, okay, good for you hippies, nicely done, we'll still earn more than you. ~goes back to taking a nap.

  • June 17, 2011, 11:27 a.m. CST

    you actually made a salient point

    by joel007

    I'd say that applies to entire regions, not teams. Northern Californians are raised to despise So Cal, and Southern Californians are vaguely aware that Northern California actually exists. 100 percent true. I'd say Giants fans have had a definite inferiority complex til now, and have felt like Cubs West to a large extent. And we now feel like the Giants are building something here. Great pitching nucleus and we're gonna be relevant for a while here. I could say we also don't like it when Dodgers fans put one of ours into a fucking coma-- HOWEVER, even I would say whichever douchebag did that is not a baseball fan at all, and have in fact been touched by the way the usually soulless So Cal-ites have rallied around our guy.

  • June 17, 2011, 11:33 a.m. CST


    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Now that I understand your love of all things Giants, I think I understand you better. And mockery and name calling aside, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. So truce? Some of my best friends are Giants fan, and as a lifelong So Cal native and huge Dodgers fan, I certainly see the same sentiment in some of your posts. Also, no one, and I mean no one, who is a Dodger fan was happy to see the tragedy of what happened to Stow. If anything it has made us hate and resent that bastard McCourt all the more. Fans are literally boycotting the stadium and the team because of what he has done, lack of security included. Hope their able to put the criminals who did this away, and would love to see Stow make some recovery. I guess there may be some doubt about the guy the LAPD arrested, but who knows.

  • June 17, 2011, 11:37 a.m. CST


    by joel007

    I get pretty pissy about the G-men. For some reason the whole moneyball thing has always gotten under my skin. Maybe it's Beane. Maybe it's my distaste for the A's. I just think it's a part of the game, not the game itself. A's and Dodgers are in somewhat similar straights right now-- dire need of new ownership. To be honest, I actually like it better when the dodgers are good-- better rivalry on the field. I travel back and forth between the bay area and LA probably twenty times a year for my work in the biz-- soul-less was probably a stretch. How about Soul-ish?? He he.

  • June 17, 2011, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Another point we can agree on

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    I far prefer it when the Dodgers and Giants are battling it out. Padre fans don't get it, but I don't care about their team, same with the snakes. I mildly care about CO, but only as a team that is always something to fear, they seem to have a solid organization and look to be around for a long time. Also, as much as I hated what happened to Stow, and thought it was good for the teams to address it, I sort of didn't like the way the teams were a little too "lovey dovey" during that PSA they did before the next game series in SF. What did you think? Also having Uribe come celebrate on field with the Giants during the rings? Hmmm, not so sure about that. By the way, thanks for nothing with Uribe, I knew that would be a bad deal and sure enough old Juan is living up to standards. Every time, EVERY GODDAMNED TIME, the Dodgers pick up a player coming off a good season or two with the Giants, they overpay em and they turn into shite. Thank you also for Jason Schmidt while I'm at it. Ridiculous!

  • June 17, 2011, 11:59 a.m. CST

    But back to Moneyball Joel

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Have you read it? I have to say, its a worthy read whether you agree with Lewis or not about Beane. And given Lewis' ability to weave great narrative out of seemingly dry storylines, you actually get excited for Beane, despite his arrogance, he becomes someone you root for. It may be hard for those who are closer to the organization to understand why others around the country made a hero out of Beane, but when you see what he is doing in the book (assuming it is 100% true) it really is hard not like him.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:03 p.m. CST

    this is turning to a love in!!

    by joel007

    You know what's funny-- everyone here is lamenting the fact we DON'T have Uribe as our infield has been so nailed by injuries. I agree on the lovey dovey crap. Good for them to address it, but let's not pull back the curtain too much on the field. funny about the Padres-- I said the exact same thing last year. Someone asked me if I hated the Padres. How can one really have an opinion on the Padres? It's like hating clown shoes, or the Mainers, or other inconsequential things I've never really given a second thought to...

  • June 17, 2011, 12:07 p.m. CST

    You want Uribe???

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    You can have him, we have the mighty midgets in Dee Gordon and Jamey Carol leading the way, all Uribe does is show up for a few games before straining some new muscle or joint cause he's too fat. Pathetic. He's also hitting like .215, he's worthless. He's got an arm on defense, but he's slow.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:09 p.m. CST

    I get it now Joel....

    by OldDickLemon

    You have such rage against "Moneyball" because you're the very type of person who it somewhat mocks. Statistical analysis in baseball has moved on to things like WAR and UZR, and you're still stuck in the "ERA is how you measure a pitcher" era. So a movie about a guy who changed the landscape of professional sports by moving it all to the next level, and making the truths you held so dearly to be irrelevant, is certainly going to rub a nerve with someone like yourself.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:11 p.m. CST

    I did read it

    by joel007

    finally, after everyone told me I had to. Thought it was a hell of a read actually. I think the reason I resisted it, was the movie The Blind Side. Soured me on Lewis, which it shouldn't have. So I finally picked it up and liked it. Funny, though, how people see what they believe instead of believing what they see sometimes. My pre-dispositions made him nothing but arrogant. And to a lesser extent some things I've heard from a few folks who have been-- admittedly-- only associated with him on the periphery. Regardless though, was a cool book. I hope the movie's good. Tough one to adapt.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    mel gibsteinberg??

    by joel007

    I'll take Uribe if you'll take Tejada!

  • June 17, 2011, 12:28 p.m. CST


    by joel007

    I wouldn't say I held any of the old school stuff dearly at all. I get how WAR works-- figuring how many wins a player helps his team get over a season when compared with a theoretical replacement player. I understand all of that stuff. I think stats do matter. And I think finding new and creative ways of looking at stats, and frankly creating new ones is also valuable. But to say ERA and WHIP aren't big factors in how a pitcher is measured-- you know that's not true. I can also talk about peripheral ERA's, inherited runners and quality starts... so what? I am not an "old school" baseball guy where it's all about gut instinct and toughness and grit. Hell, I want them to adopt a better rule for collisions at the plate (for admittedly self serving reasons)...

  • June 17, 2011, 12:32 p.m. CST

    On base percentage

    by gbc204

    The biggest mistake people make with "Moneyball" is that the strategy revolved around on-base percentage. It did not. It revolved around finding under- and over-valued commodities. At the time the book starts out, talent evaluators are still looking at things like batting average to judge players. As is stated in the book, the point of the game is to get 27 outs, so Beane looked for people who made the fewer outs, regardless of batting average. So he could get guys on the cheap. This is the key to the moneyball strategy. Basically, making your dollars count. He also realized how over-valued closers are, and basically looked to trade his closer every chance he could, once they were established. The A's can't afford to pay 10 mil a year to a guy who pitches 60 innings a year. And it's true that the A's played in a weak division. But Beane's point was to win the division, then hope to get lucky in the playoffs. Any team has a chance in a best-of-7 or, especially, a best-of-5 series. There's only so much planning you can do before luck becomes a factor. So Beane did his job. Obviously, everyone is using OBP more now. But like I said, OBP was not the 'secret' of Beane's success. It was just finding value where other teams did not. Of course, it's been tougher for Beane now that he's been so exposed. Even in the book, there are scenes where other GMs are hesitant to deal with him because they're afraid they're gonna get ripped off and look like idiots later. But I'd love to see what he could do with a team that actually spends money.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:34 p.m. CST


    by joel007

    The reason I brought up ERA and WHIP, was to cite the as an example of wins no longer being as relevant for a starting pitcher in the age of sabremetrics. Lincecum and Jimenez' Cy Youngs being proof of that. Not like the old days when 20 wins and a 4.02 ERA could get you a Cy Young. You obviously know more about sabremetrics and Billyball than do I. But I just don't think those things are all baseball is.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Oh lord, don't get me started on Posey.....

    by OldDickLemon

    29 other catchers that happens to, and it's a non-story. Nick Swisher snaps a reserve infielders leg in 1/2 at 2nd, and it's a non-story because it was a nobody. It was a very unfortunate injury, but it needs to be chalked up as "one of those things". Having your GM and broadcasters calling of beanings and fights isn't do a bit to help the situation, or the public image of what has historically been a rather classy organization.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Exactly gbc204

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    You nailed it. And again, Beane wasn't the genius who invented these statistics, he was just the pioneer who saw how he could utilize them to make a difference. Keep in mind, the book was published in 2003. That means for the last 8+ seasons, Beane has been working against other teams who know what he is up to, which makes it very hard to do what he has to do.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Sabean was off base

    by joel007

    He should have kept his mouth shut about the whole thing. Yep. It's a situation where he was just too honest for his own good, which was stupid. He was pissed, took it out on Cousins. It was already a dying story, he blew the lid back off of it. If Posey caught the ball he would have been in a decent position, but he wasn't. His leg was under him and he was in bad position. I've never liked collisions at the plate. But again, I'll always see it colored orange and black. Rookie of the year, one of our best players is out. I don't like it.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:48 p.m. CST

    this is AICN right?

    by joel007

    Shouldn't we be talking about how awful Green Lantern is? What is it about sports man?

  • June 17, 2011, 12:49 p.m. CST

    One other point Joel

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Besides the Posey thing, have to agree again with Olddicklemon on that one as well. But you said you didn't care for Lewis after the Blind Side. You should read that book as well, you'll see that it wasn't really well represented in the movie. The movie chose to focus solely on the story of Michael Oher, but in reality there was more to the book than that. Like the value of the left tackle in the NFL and why they are paid so much. Finally, I have heard so many Giants fans utter these words "I've always hated collisions at the plate, obviously I'm upset now, but seriously we should look at the rule." Bull f-ing SHIT! I've rarely, if ever, heard of Giants or any other fans mention collisions at the plate. This is SOLELY due to the fact that Posey is out. Look if Tulowitsky gets nailed in a hard slide into 2nd on a DP ball, and goes out for the season, you'll hear all these CO fans saying the same thing. But c'mon, be honest, if you are as passionate about the game as you say you are, you know this has been as much a part of the game as the spit ball, signal stealing, and all those other "minor cheats" that the game lives with.

  • June 17, 2011, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Its just like a political movie

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Movies are the forum for people talk other stuff. Herc puts some post about a Fox News TV show, and immediately it becomes a lib v neo-con flame war. No different here, the movie is about sports, a true sports story, so it arouses the passions of the sports fan, and apparently the American soccer fan (he of the pinot swilling, nose in the air, scarf wearing, hipster glasses donning, Portlandia douchebag characterization living).

  • June 17, 2011, 1:48 p.m. CST

    The American soccer fan

    by Keith

    I love how ignorance of other cultures is regarded as manly in the US, and how any whiff of the foreign is automatically the mark of a pretentious douchebag. Ignorance and insularity are celebrated in the US as in no other country. (The Brits in general have a strong taste for continental Europe, but they can't avoid knowing about it through their outward-looking media, and in any case have a lot of shared culture.) It's funny; the US is propped up by its islands of intellectual brilliance on the west coast and in the northeast, yet it's these people whose attitudes are derided even as their disproportionate contribution to the US's power leads the ignorant to chant about how "We're Number One!" etc. If CA, WA, NY and MA seceded from the union, the US would be fucked as an economic power.

  • June 17, 2011, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Misterdarcy, are you a Brit?

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    If so, then you really don't understand how obnoxious "said soccer fan" is here in the US. Its not the fact that they embrace European culture, I have no issue with that at all. Its the fact that they flaunt it as some elitist badge of honor, a way to distinguish themselves as a bastion of intellectualism and cultural sophistication, despite any actual evidence to the contrary. I'm not knocking Europeans for loving soccer, and I don't even knock all Americans who love soccer, but there is a particular douchebag here in this country who, I believe, doesn't love soccer so much as they love the idea of soccer. For further evidence, see: Now if you are actually an American, well then you may in fact be the very douchebag I am talking about, but I'll reserve judgement for now.

  • June 17, 2011, 2:25 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    No. I'm an Australian living in Canada. And I know plenty of North American soccer fans, both Canadian and American. Maybe you just hate the idea of people getting "above their station" by getting to know something you don't know very well, and you're projecting a superiority complex onto them when none applies? "a way to distinguish themselves as a bastion of intellectualism and cultural sophistication, despite any actual evidence to the contrary" You keep using that sentence. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • June 17, 2011, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Further more Darcy

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    The idea that Americans corner the market on arrogance and blind adherence to a sense of cultural superiority, is patently absurd. Want proof, look no further than France. As easy as it is for Americans, and British for that matter, to mock the French, it really is true that they are unwavering in their assurance that their culture reigns supreme. Their food is the best, their music is the best, their architecture, schools, history, etc. is all the best. Don't believe me, just ask a Frenchy, I just hope you don't have anywhere to go for about 4 hours cause once you open that can of worms, get ready to sit down for a long ass schooling in all things French and how they dominate everything. Now Americans also have a strong sense of superiority, no doubt, but with good reason. We were the reigning super power in the world for the last 60 + years. Does that make every other countries culture and history irrelevant? No, but it does give reason to why Americans believe this about their country. Finally, talk to just about any 1st world nation and you will find some level of cultural superiority. Italy, Greece, Brazil, England, Germany, I could go on and on, these countries all believe they are culturally superior, and I don't even know if you can consider Greece 1st world, but that doesn't stop them from believing they are awesome. The only difference between the US and those countries, is that globally the US typically has the largest megaphone to pronounce our superiority (read: Hollywood) and so it seems like we cry louder, but c'mon. Oh and the fact that you are on a US website is yet another reason why you face this fact, you are talking to Pats, so consider these things before you go too far.

  • June 17, 2011, 2:29 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    "Though you may be waiting on bated breath for your favorite sport on a global scale, white people like the World Cup because it allows them to pretend they are European for a few weeks, and more importantly, it allows them to get drunk at odd hours." Most white people ARE European. For fuck's sake...(shakes head). This book should really be called "Stuff White Americans Like", rather than assuming that all its readers are American. (Hey, maybe only Americans can read or afford to buy books?)

  • June 17, 2011, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Fine Darcy

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    You know soccer fans, I know soccer fans, we all know soccer fans and from your POV they are all brilliant, well meaning chaps with pure intentions and aligned actions. I happen to know a different breed of soccer snobbery, and I'm not alone in this. Check out that link I sent you, written by a self proclaimed liberal intellectual, so this is not mud flinging from across the fence, this is someone gently mocking his own who sees the laughable hypocrisy every day.

  • June 17, 2011, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Darcy the site is American

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    I think it is implied that it is talking about White Americans, and not just any white Americans, but ultra-liberal, ultra-hip white Americans. I think the cultural barrier of your Aussie-Cando upbringing might be blinding you to certain assumed understandings here stateside.

  • June 17, 2011, 2:37 p.m. CST

    I agree about the French

    by Keith

    To some extent, at least. They remain bitter about the fact that they lost the chance to dominate the world in the 18th century, and have never recovered from it. One of the major cultural differences between the French and the Germans is that the Germans, despite being a very cultured people, are not precious about it, and are very pragmatic about their adoption of English when it makes sense. Having said that, I do admire the French in certain respects for having the balls to fight hard for their culture, although where you draw the line between fortitude and arrogance is a tough call. I also find that Americans are very disrespectful of the French and treat them almost universally as military pussies, whereas it was of course the French who were absolutely vital in securing victory in the Revolutionary War: without the French, you'd all have the queen on your money. But instead Americans treat them as cowards in WWII, whereas they were simply the first in the firing line and had no chance of resisting the Wehrmacht. (Vichy France and its collaboration is a separate matter from the surrender in 1940.) Americans in the same situation would have done no better, but it's easy to talk brashly when your nation was safe across thousands of miles of ocean and taking an isolationist stance. And that after having persuaded the French and British not to remove the German threat in 1919 by taking away their industrial capacity, promising that America would guarantee peace in Europe, a promise that vanished subsequently, leaving the Brits and French with a revitalized menace right on their doorstep.

  • June 17, 2011, 2:41 p.m. CST

    A US website

    by Keith

    "Oh and the fact that you are on a US website is yet another reason why you face this fact, you are talking to Pats, so consider these things before you go too far." Do you do the same if you ever post on IMDB, i.e. take into account that it's a British website? I bet you a million bucks that you don't. And why would you? It's a ludicrous notion: it was founded by Brits and hosted in the UK originally, but it transcends all borders. The internet is global. I do not consider myself somehow to be in some imaginary American's home when I post here. I afford Americans no more or no less respect than anyone else; I respect individuals for what they write, with the place they come from being of zero importance. Your position is a variant of an appeal to authority, i.e. a rhetorical fallacy.

  • June 17, 2011, 2:50 p.m. CST

    History lessons shouldn't cloud the issue Darcy

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    I actually don't entirely disagree with you. Americans, by and large, tend to unfairly decry the French due to a perception that they gave in too easily (though there is some evidence to support that as well). Its just that when you contrast the French response to German invasion with the British, there is a bit of a difference. But all that aside, the real issue is this. There are Americans in this country, typically young white affluent hipster urbanites who have glommed on to the idea that the NFL is for violent rednecks and the masses, the MLB is a sport for old dust farters and crazies in New England, and the NBA is for rich celebrities and white suburban kids who wish they were black, so as a result they have landed on soccer as their sport of choice. Why? Because they love the game? Because they find the sport thrilling? Because they have played it since they were young and understand the nuances? Nope. Because they love the idea of raising a pint at a local pub, wearing a multi-colored scarf, singing some cherished fight song from some obscure team in the English countryside, but most of all they love the idea of it because it sets the apart, its different, it isn't what everyone else follows and watches, its hard to engage, the Premiership is not on during prime time TV, and so therefor it = cool/hip. Is that all American soccer fans, no. But there are definitely a lot of these poseurs, enough that it gets sort of obnoxious. The fact that you don't live here means you may not have run into these dorks, but trust me, they are in every city and every town, and come World Cup season they show up in force to tell the world that they have always been "huge fans of Walt Rooney...errr Wayne Rooney, yeah I knew that, I've always known that, he's brilliant!"

  • June 17, 2011, 2:50 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    "We were the reigning super power in the world for the last 60 + years. Does that make every other countries culture and history irrelevant? " So the more powerful your military, the less incentive you have to learn about the rest of your world? The US has a number of factors that make its general population fairly ignorant about the rest of the world. Geographic isolation coupled with the size of your own nation; the fact that your country's popular media is dominant, so you see few movies and TV shows made elsewhere; the fact that the US's political decisions are more important than those of any other nation; no history of strong links with far-flung places (unlike the UK and other European nations); TV news rarely shows stories about other countries (consequence of previous two factors); little participation in international sporting contests due to the isolated development of parochial domestic sports; one of the smallest average vacation allowances in the western world, which is a real tragedy given that the average American is richer than most people from nations who travel far more extensively. There is of course also a certain degree of laziness that is rationalized by the "This is the best nation on earth; why would I care about any of the others?", but I think the other factors are more important, especially the vacation bit. None of this should be interpreted as me saying that the US is a terrible place or that Americans are assholes; I love the States and find its people to be generous, polite and friendly in the main, just not very knowledgeable about other places as a general rule. This isn't necessarily their fault, though.

  • June 17, 2011, 2:56 p.m. CST

    No Darcy, you miss my point altogether, as usual

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    My point is not that "This site is fer Americans, all others get lost!" My point is that this site was started in the US, with a huge focus on US cinema and television and US culture. I'm happy that Harry actually focuses as much as he does on international films and culture, but my point was that due to the nature of how this site was established, a majority of posters tend to be American, which means you are going to get an American centered view often. So you shouldn't get so offended if American cultural views pervade, yes the internet is global, but its still regional. And by the way, Amazon has owned and maintained IMDB for years.

  • June 17, 2011, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Darcy you keep reading what you want to read

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    I didn't say that America's reign as a super power meant we should be allowed to be ignorant about the rest of the world, I simply posed it as a reason for why a certain level of cultural superiority exists. If I went to visit your countrymen in Australia I wouldn't expect them to know who the LA Dodgers are. They might, do to the prevalence of American movies or TV, but if they showed little to no interest in American baseball, I wouldn't think twice about it. So how do you define cultural awareness? Being aware of other countries's national interests? Their sporting teams? What are we debating here. You are pissed that Americans don't like soccer and think we are arrogant for not liking it. I'm telling you that we don't have to like soccer if we don't want to, and that doesn't make us wretched people. Would you castigate the Dominican Republic because they are a baseball obsessed culture? They don't give a rip about soccer compared to the rest of nearby Latin America, they are too focused on Beisbol. Does that make them ignorant and self focused? I don't know, I'm still struggling with your point.

  • June 17, 2011, 3:05 p.m. CST

    btw the Brits are an interesting bunch

    by Keith

    Some part of their hearts retains a notion of cultural superiority, but unlike the French they don't buy into this fully; it's more a defense mechanism, deployed when they look jealously at other nations that have a higher standard of living (e.g. Australia) or are simply more powerful (the US). But they're also very self-deprecating, know that certain aspects of their country are rubbish, and although they can be very patriotic when major sporting contests are taking place, they are very suspicious of jingoism. Something very fundamental changed in the British psyche after the first world war: the Brits never trusted their rulers again, not in the same way. Anyone who flies a British flag outside their home is regarded as a nutcase, as somebody to be avoided. The Brits are extremely skeptical of most flag-waving. The Aussies are generally prouder of their country than the Brits are, although they are also not as jingoistic as the Americans. Their watershed moment came in the second world war, when the "motherland" proved useless at protecting her antipodean daughter, whereas the Americans kicked ass and took names in the Pacific. After that, the Australians were much more cynical about the Brits and took a more global perspective re: alliances, trade partners etc. The Aussies don't think of themselves as being "the greatest nation on earth", but they do perhaps think that their country is the greatest place to LIVE on earth; slightly different things.

  • June 17, 2011, 3:17 p.m. CST

    Darcy, I think the difference with other countries jingoism

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Is that it can often become unintentionally racist in some ways. The French have thousands of years of racial and cultural lineage. Same with the Germans, and to some extent the Brits. Sure there has been some migration, cultural integration and assimilation, but for the most part their nations are also rooted deeply in a national sense of who they are. This is very different in America. You have very proud Irish, Italian, Mexican, African, and Asian Americans who celebrate both their current country and their national country of origin. By saying "yay America" you aren't necessarily celebrating a race or a people group (although some do, I fully recognize that) you are celebrating a concept, whether it still holds true or not, regarding certain liberties, freedoms, ingenuity, success, and lifestyle. I think that is what the flag waving tends to be about. Its a means to unify, it was during WWII, it was during 9/11, and it can continue to today. Now when nutcases like the Tea Party or other crazed groups get a hold of that notion, it can turn ugly real fast, but its not always a bad thing. I consider myself a proud American, who supported Obama, who believes in liberties and freedom for all in this nation, but who is also proud of my heritage, not necessarily race or religion.

  • June 17, 2011, 3:35 p.m. CST

    How the hell did we get on this topic

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    The topic was baseball, and in fact Moneyball to be precise. Darcy, do you have an opinion regarding this, I'd have to go back and find one of your other posts.

  • June 17, 2011, 3:41 p.m. CST

    So Darcy, in reading through the talkbacks

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Apparently you came on this board to: A.) Give some defense for soccer, don't know who started to throw crap around soccer on a baseball movie topic and B.) Pimp for Lewis' book The Big Short. I'm with you on B, that should absolutely be made into a movie, I think I commented on that somewhere here. There are so many good characters, and the scam of what went on needs to be better communicated to the masses, I think the whole fiasco is still so convoluted that a lot of people don't understand it, and they don't realize that we haven't fundamentally changed things to protect ourselves in the future. If anything we may have made it worse.

  • June 17, 2011, 4:06 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    Re: the post-2008 fiasco. I could not agree with you more. I have no idea where to set Obama's degree of blame. Obviously he didn't cause the mess. But he had a once-in-a-lifetime operation to seriously sort some shit out, the same way FDR did, and he did next to nothing. Whether or not he really understood the issues is an open question. But when he appointed Geithner as treasury secretary, there was only one way this was going to pan out. A subset of Wall St's activities are vital, and wealth-enhancing. However, I think those now represent a minor part of Wall St's overall activity, which is principally about finding ever-smarter ways to game the system, siphon off tiny amounts of money billions of times every day (like Gus Gorman) and lobby Washington to keep the dice loaded in its favour by sending the bill to the US taxpayer.

  • June 17, 2011, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Interesting point re: American flag-waving

    by Keith

    In some respects it can be thought of as anti-nationalist: it represents the active rejection of "the old country" (whatever that happens to be) and the embracing of a newly-invented collective whose roots are philosophical/intellectual (the constitution) rather than based on blood, soil and inherited power. At the same time, I find it curious that in some respects the US behaves more like an aristocracy now than Canada, Australia and the UK do: you find more dynastic power in the US, more de facto inherited privilege, and you have a head of state with executive power, focused in one individual in a way that you will not find in any Commonwealth country. It's a fascinating place.

  • June 17, 2011, 4:31 p.m. CST

    Im not into sports..

    by lucky slevin

    and this looks fantastic. plus brad pitt is fantastic when given the right material and this looks like the right material.

  • June 17, 2011, 4:42 p.m. CST

    My knowledge of baseball, by the way...

    by Keith pretty weak. It's the North American sport I know least well, although I have watched several live games (minor leagues) and quite enjoyed it. It seemed to be a game not so much about action as about tension: the game often felt coiled like a spring, with the potential for one dramatic play to turn the game on its head. Ninth innings, in the lead by two but with all bases loaded against you: not much was happening, but I was not at all bored.

  • June 17, 2011, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Some other things

    by Keith

    "You are pissed that Americans don't like soccer and think we are arrogant for not liking it." No, I'm not. I just find the level of vitriol leveled against it by some Americans weird: they actively *hate it*, and use the topic as an opportunity to talk about eurotrash, pussies, wussiness, douchebags etc. I find this ridiculous, especially when the people in question don't know the game, just as I find it brainless when some Aussies and Brits dismiss US football as "rugby for wimps", and talk out of their arses about the armour being just to protect American pansy players, not understanding that the frontal impacts of the offensive against the defensive line would cripple players within minutes were it not for the armour. In both cases, it seems to be some combination of ignorance and nationalism serving to dismiss what are (in both cases) great sports. "My point is that this site was started in the US, with a huge focus on US cinema and television and US culture." The world being as it is, American pop culture is global pop culture. The average Brit or Australian knows just as much about Hollywood movies as the average American. This site attracts a world audience, or at the very least attracts the whole of the anglosphere. That Americans are a majority here is merely an expected statistical fact (Americans make up more than 50% of the Anglosphere) rather than a reflection of the site's US hosting location.

  • June 17, 2011, 5:28 p.m. CST


    by HamburgerEarmuffs

    This is the kind of movie that will have end titles about what happened after the movie ends. Hope it reads something like this, “The A’s never did win a World Series and all of their relative success was due in large part to Eric Chavez, Miguel Tejada and Jason Giambi — three juice heads.”

  • June 17, 2011, 6:07 p.m. CST

    Gibsteinberg is charging the plate!

    by joel007

    No, I get how it comes off totally hypocritical, right? My guy went down, I want the rule change. I really have never liked it. When i see one coming I look away or turn the channel. always have. There was no real chorus around here for it until posey got done, that's true. But were I asked I was always for the rule change. I saw what a collission did to ray Fosse and more recently, what being a catcher in general did to Mike Matheny when he ended his career as a Giant. His concussion-forced retirement was not a result of getting charged, but taking too many foul balls off the mask. Just made me feel like these guys weren't protected enough. They take enough of a beating back there without having to take on Prince Fielder coming right into them with 90 feet worth of momentum. That's football to me. Anyhoo.

  • June 17, 2011, 6:11 p.m. CST


    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    On our aristocratic leanings: Agreed. Our President has become more of a King figure than I believe was ever intended by the original framers. My theory, and I could be wrong, is that all peoples, countries, and nations tend to shift towards aristocratic leadership, if simply because they desire to either lead unconditionally or to be lead. The complex and confusing bureaucracy that is created through more representative forms of government, while seemingly better, is ultimately rejected for simpler leadership. This isn't something anyone would overtly agree to, I'm just saying deep down people tend to display these attitudes unconsciously. Also, your assessment of baseball is pretty apropos, a coiled spring is exactly how I would characterize the excitement of the game.

  • June 17, 2011, 6:17 p.m. CST

    Fair enough Joel

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    I'll take your word for it that you have always hated it. But again, I would point out that catchers don't have to block the plate. They could make the decision to give up a run for the sake of a longer career. A coach with a long term vision would understand that over the course of a season, the potential 3 or 4 runs you save may not be worth the wear and tear, and potential for injury, or your backstop. Although I will say, the other day Rod Barajas blocked the plate with his leg while pulling in a ball, a play that ultimately saved the run, was pretty exciting, and didn't seem to leave old Rod any worse for the wear. It was a pro play, but not without its risk. I bet WR's hate going across the middle to get a pass in the NFL, but when the play goes right, they can have a huge play, but often when it goes wrong, they get creamed.

  • June 17, 2011, 6:24 p.m. CST

    On soccer Darcy

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    I don't know who made the first shot across the bow in this talk back, so you have a fair point. I don't hate soccer, and will never claim "it's BORRRRRRRING!" as that displays a pretty arrogant and ignorant attitude. I was merely remarking that there are some pretty obnoxious soccer fans here in the US, and they display hypocrisy and douchebaggery quite often. I will say that outside of World Cup, I'm not an overt fan. I fully admit I don't understand the nuances of the sport, and don't truly "get" everything that is going on. Its not just the low scoring either. I can watch a low scoring US football game, because each play is set up as its own contest. Soccer just seems to have so much constant set up with little payoff. If you shoot 8 times on goal but miss, have you gained anything? Where as if you move the chains down the field in US football, you are at least getting closer towards a potential score. But I suppose that's just cause I don't "appreciate" the beauty of an amazing futbol trap, or a gorgeous slide tackle, or a brilliant header pass.

  • June 17, 2011, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Oakland's success = steroids

    by Dan Halen

    Giambi, Tejada, Chavez, Eric Byrnes... throw Zito in there. Enough circumstantial evidence to strongly suspect that crew. This movie is a special thing - it brings baseball stat nerds together, briefly, with the geeks of aint it cool.

  • June 17, 2011, 6:26 p.m. CST

    But Dan Halen...

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Couldn't you say that of every successful team from 94/95 to 2007? So what's the point? The team was still successful while maintaining a grossly low payroll compared to the rest of the league.

  • June 17, 2011, 6:27 p.m. CST

    check this out Mel (and oldlemondick too!)

    by joel007 Just read this great article on SI about the A's and San Jose and the Giants and all of the crazy machinations going on between them and Selig. You guys clearly are clued in on baseball, thought you might like it...

  • June 17, 2011, 6:29 p.m. CST

    good point Mel

    by joel007

    That's why beane told Suzuki to NEVER block the plate. Apparently Posey was told the same. Heat of the moment though, right?

  • June 17, 2011, 6:38 p.m. CST

    dan Halen...

    by joel007

    Joel007 decides to stay out of the roids argument, whistling innocently at the ceiling as he thinks of oh, say a name or two or three or five or seven that have been linked to roids on his beloved Giants through the years...

  • June 17, 2011, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Interesting article Joel

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    You have a similiar situation with the encroachment of The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's Real Housewives of Orange County's Only Baseball Team. They have clearly stolen away some of the Dodger's fans, fans that the Dodgers had neglected and hadn't considered at risk of losing, but Arte Moreno showed that quality ownership, a family friendly confine, and a perennial contender mattered to baseball fans in so-cal. Who'd a thunk it? What's also interesting with what is going on right now with the Dodgers, is that MLB is deathly scared that McCourt might try and sue and force the MLB to open up their books and re-engage the courts on a decades old question: Why is Baseball allowed to exist outside of anti-trust laws? Its definitely an old boys club, and its why upstart groups in Silicon Valley (your article) are being ignored, and why someone like Mark Cuban will never be allowed to own an MLB franchise, at least not for the foreseeable future.

  • June 17, 2011, 6:56 p.m. CST


    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    I was being a bit facetious, I think you missed my sarcasm. My point was in mocking those Americans who use European (read British) vernacular to try and impress others with how "serious" they are in their soccer love, when they really only get excited about soccer when it is culturally relevant to do so. An American analogy is this. In 2004 when the Red Sox finally beat back the Yankees in the improbable ALCS, you had people coming out of the woodwork claiming they had "always been HUGE Red Sox fans" ever since they were little, cause their dad's 2nd cousin's wife had once lived in Boston, or whatever. The point was, they were bandwaggoners who were thrilled by the story and wanted to pretend that they could experience the same thing. So too with soccer. Come World Cup time, in the states, you have a bevy of fair weather fans who dust off the old soccer jersey, hit their local British or Irish pub at 6 am (because they can justify it now) and then act as though they have been die hard soccer fans "forever" I'm simply crying foul on these people. There are those who follow MLS regularly, I admit it, but then they too can't shut up about it. I'm a HUGE Dodger fan, but I recognize regularly that a lot of folks find baseball boring. I don't walk around trying to show off my knowledge of baseball stats or game dynamics. I just accept that the sport isn't for everyone and let it be. My experience, so take it for what its worth, is that soccer enthusiasts in the states tend to operate like evangelists for the sport, like they have to tell everyone who cool it is and how much they should all like it. This is 1 parts true enthusiasm, but 2 parts - just trying to show off how hip and cool they are cause they are into soccer. Like someone who just opens up and says "I'm really into Jazz, I know not everyone likes it, but its just cause they dont' get it, what can I do, I just love that sweet sweet sound. It's who I am." It just reeks of pousership.

  • June 17, 2011, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Curious Joel

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Do you really think that the Giants, coming off a WS championship, who play in a gorgeous stadium (sigh, I can admit it) and have a century of tradition, would lose that much fandom to the A's, just because they moved to San Jose? Seems odd to me. I suppose the casual fan might decide its worth it to drive over to Cisco Field instead of making the trek to Phone Company Park, but how much are they really spending on the Giants franchise anyway? Just curious your thoughts.

  • June 17, 2011, 7:26 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    "I will say that outside of World Cup, I'm not an overt fan." Sadly, World Cup games are frequently disappointing, as the focus tends to be on not losing rather than on winning, and the national teams are frequently not on each other's wavelength the way club sides are, so flowing moves aren't as common. They are often nervy battles of attrition, and playacting is more common because teams shut up shop at the back and hope to win free kicks or penalties up front instead of committing men forward. The Spanish or English leagues are best for entertainment value. It's quite difficult to evangelize soccer, because until you've watched several games, you won't see the appeal. So it requires a bit of a leap of faith. Your brain needs time to start reading the state of the game properly. I found this when watching hockey as well: at first, I couldn't really tell when a dangerous situation was about to arise, but now my brain is clued in, and my subconscious can identify a dangerous moment before my conscious mind has recognized it: it's about that pass that is just too slow, or the anticipation that one player will reach the puck first and flick it ahead using the boards, so now I smell danger and opportunity where before everything felt a bit random. Soccer is a slower, chewier version of hockey. I like the high-octane, non-stop action of hockey, combined with the fact that it's relatively low-scoring so every goal really means something and is an explosive release of tension for the fans (or a cause for serious dismay). A good game of soccer can be really hypnotic and mesmerizing, and no, that doesn't mean sleep-inducing. :) It's the same way that in boxing, you can have two great fighters who are probing for weaknesses, and when you know the sport you can sense a subtle shift of power even if no big punches have been thrown yet. The midfield passing triangles lampooned in the Simpsons episode with the "soccer riot" ("who is the greatest nation: Mexico....or Portugal?") are all about pulling the opposition out of position and waiting for a moment of weakness. That never goes on for very long, though; most teams lose patience in short order and commit to an attack even if no channels look particularly promising. (Barcelona are clear exceptions; they are terrifyingly patient and make so few mistakes that it's like playing a team of robots.) All I can advise is trying to watch several games and see if your brain latches on to the patterns of play and starts buzzing you with alpha waves as you feel the ebb and flow of the game. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. But soccer fans are not benighted simpletons from poor countries; the game would not be successful if it were dull rubbish. Every country has plenty of rival sports. And, of course, it really, really helps if you have a team to root for. Choose one at random from the Spanish or English leagues, try to watch five games in which they take part, and see if you still find it dull at the end. If so, fair enough. I remember disliking both (NFL) football and hockey before I chose a team from each and tried following them. I grew to love both games.

  • June 17, 2011, 7:45 p.m. CST

    Me, the Red Sox, and Moneyball

    by emvan

    "Of course you worked for the sox. Everyone here belives that. Absolutely" -- the genius (and spelling ability) of joel007<br><br> Google "Eric Van Boston Globe." (Online anonymity is for wimps.)<br><br> Ultimately I think your assertion that the Sox were not a Moneyball team is partly semantics (too narrow a take on what that means), and partly your unwillingness to believe what's been widely reported in the media. Yeah, Mark Bellhorn was a role player of the sort that every successful team has. I'm telling you that the attitude towards picking up Bellhorn was "we're almost the only team who realizes how good this guy can be." That's pure Moneyball.<br><br> It's now essentially impossible to do the Moneyball thing in terms of player evaluation, because 25 or more teams are doing it. So Theo has turned to thinking outside the box in other ways. He traded for failed pitching uber-prospect Andrew Miller (once ranked just ahead of Lincecum), who was due to receive more money than he would be worth in arbitration and was thus going to be non-tendered (made a free agent) by the Marlins. He then established a relationship with Miller, non-tendered him himself, and got Miller to turn down major league deals from other clubs in order to sign a minor league deal with the Sox. He gave Miller a June 15 opt-out date and even put in a clause guaranteeing him a $3M salary if he's waived by the Sox and claimed by another club, in case they decide he needs to be sent back down to the minors after they first call him up. Just thinking rings around the other GMs Everyone else realized Miller was a resurrection candidate, but Theo figured out how to get him on his team.

  • June 17, 2011, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Darcy, I hear you but

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    I just don't know if I have time to commit to yet another thing right now, maybe later. Also I'm not sure about "alpha waves buzzing" me. Perhaps you are describing something I'm not verbalizing, but whether its watching a movie, a tv show, or a sport, I feel like I am watching a story play out. I'm not grooving to some hypnotic vibe, I'm engaging with the action as it unfolds before, eagerly anticipating each next action. But I fully admit because I don't know the nuances of soccer, I can't engage as easily. I totally think of that Simpsons episode when I think of soccer, with the trapping play. Sure you or some other soccer fan might understand what they are doing, but I couldn't tell you what or why they are making the plays they are.

  • June 17, 2011, 7:51 p.m. CST

    Pretty fascinating emvan

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    But then again, we (the Dodgers) had Paul DePodesta come in as our GM and he didn't work out at all. That could have been that he wasn't given time to work through his plan, or maybe he didn't get the resources he needed, but it sure felt like a giant failure. Part of Moneyball, as you have correctly asserted, is more than just finding undervalued players, its the ability to get them when other teams want them as well. The negotiations and wheeling and dealing is at least 1/2 if not 3/4's of the whole thing.

  • June 17, 2011, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Alpha waves

    by Keith

    I'm talking about the feeling you get in a great game of [your favourite sport here] or a really well-made movie where you lose track of the outside world and are just pulled into the universe you're watching, just become a part of it. Yes, absolutely it's about getting absorbed in a narrative. I think it's more than that, though. The brain - especially the male brain - enjoys spatial analysis, particularly geometry and physics. Not at a theoretical level, just at an intuitive level. We enjoy analyzing motion and positioning. It gets something humming in our head. I understand the "no time" thing. I follow three sports and that's enough for me. But I won't knock sports that I don't follow, although I do know that there are some I probably won't ever love. Cricket is just too damn slow for me, although I understand why some people like it. It can be fairly epic, especially in test matches. Sometimes people guffaw at the idea of a test match taking place over several days, but to be honest this is little different from a post-season playoff series lasting for two weeks. If you think of a seven game series as one giant game, then this is close to what test cricket ends up like. Shit, I even learned to appreciate curling when I had a girlfriend who played that. Again, when you don't understand the game, it's easy to knock it, especially if the actions look slightly foolish. (All the brushing with the brooms.)

  • June 17, 2011, 7:59 p.m. CST

    The Simpsons episode

    by Keith

    It makes me laugh, but it isn't of course anything like real soccer. It's a ludicrous, exaggerated outsider's view of what the game's like. If a British cartoon did a similar treatment of US football, it'd be a bunch of guys smashing into each other randomly with no structure or objective at all: that's what the game can look like to the uninitiated: lots of hitting, and maybe (?) some kind of game behind it. Now when I watch it all I see are the QB in the pocket, gaps in the offensive line and receivers running quick slant plays. The crashing of the nose tackles and linebackers seems incidental now.

  • June 17, 2011, 8:04 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    This is another great "outsider's concept of a sport" sketch, of cricket in this case:

  • June 17, 2011, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Just to be clear Darcy

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    I don't hate Soccer. And I don't even hate people that truly love the game (I'd be hating on a whole mess of people if I did) I simply get annoyed at some of the poseurs I come across who seem to love soccer simply so they can tell others they love soccer. I don't know if you caught some of the US made marketing for some of the past world cups, but I just remember the one with Bono waxing poetic about Football, how its healed the world, stopped wars, brought nations together, blah blah blah. Even the idea of calling it the "Beautiful Game" it just smacks of pretentiousness. Make no mistake, Baseball can sometimes suffer from the same dusty old commentary. If you watch Ken Burns doc (and most of it was good) there was definitely some old dildo heads taking themselves and the sport far too seriously. So now imagine you live in Europe somewhere, and there is this annoying crowd of people who sort of love all things America. And they talk about baseball as though it was a religion, and then you see some of Burns documentary, and you know nothing of the sport, you'd probably say "what the hell is this rubbish? these dudes sure take themselves way too serious." That was, and is, my only point.

  • June 17, 2011, 10:25 p.m. CST

    Actually, I the Simpsons have mocked American Football

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Many times, and yes they exaggerated it, but it was still pretty funny. There was one where they show the players ridiculously awful leg injury get replayed over and over again in gory detail. Something somewhat true of NFL coverage, but it was still exaggerated. I had no problem with it.

  • June 17, 2011, 10:57 p.m. CST

    Mr. Gibsteinberg

    by joel007

    You know, it's interesting. I think the Giants are worried about the more casual fan and the corporate sales of luxury boxes. The Giants do in fact have an extremely heavy presence in that area-- their single a affiliate is in San Jose, they do numerous events in the area, corporate and otherwise. When they toured the world series trophy, that was their first stop. They even considered having a second parade there. And a very large number of their box sales are from Silicon Valley. Also, I think a pretty decent number of season ticket holders are from the san jose area. The line is always that no one who lives in SF goes to Giants or Niners games. so i can see their argument. From a competition standpoint-- they want to be the only beautiful new stadium in the area. This area used to belong to the Niners. It belongs to the Giants now. I do feel like the A's moving to San Jose would harm them a bit, but not to the extent they claim.

  • June 17, 2011, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Let me ask you this emvan...

    by joel007

    If part of moneyball is getting undervalued players when other teams want them as well... do you think that's why Beane was able to do it successfully at first, and not able to pull it off later? That he was doing it through trades as well as signings-- the trades essentially giving the player no choice as to whether he was on the A's or not? And later when everyone was trying it, everyone saw him coming so they didn't trade with him, and the other teams were able to make the undervalued players better offers? By the way-- the spelling thing is tiny droid keys-- I used to win spelling bees as a kid for chrissake!!!!! Not that I still cling to it in any way.

  • June 17, 2011, 11:08 p.m. CST

    another question emvan

    by joel007

    To what would you attribute the last six or seven years of Beane's track record? From my point of view, it's been a lot of moves and signings that haven't panned out, though I would concede they have strong young pitching (when it can stay healthy). What has stopped working for him do you think? Or do you think it still works for him?

  • June 17, 2011, 11:41 p.m. CST

    Not like Redford , more like...

    by lisa

    the asshole that raced travolta in "grease", yeah!!! say no, go ahead. One other thing, pitt has NEVER had a "great" performance, FUCK YOU!!

  • June 17, 2011, 11:56 p.m. CST

    The Simpsons/ soccer/ American football

    by Keith

    Oh, I have absolutely no problem with The Simpsons. It's one of the most even-handed satirical shows of all time. (Or, at least, was at its zenith; I haven't watched since around season 12.)

  • June 18, 2011, 3:03 a.m. CST

    I totally disagree, olddicklemon


    Oakland is 2nd to last in the American league. I think the trailer sucks. So in my opinion we got a movie that looks kinda bland about some dude who supposedly made the A's good even though they totally suck. Jerry Maguire was a romantic comedy. That filled the seats. This is a drama about a dude scouting for a mediocre baseball team. No one is going to see this.

  • June 18, 2011, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Hey Winona

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    No one is going to see this.