Saturday, January 21, 2012

Moneyball Film Review

For a movie that is pretty straight forward and should be based around a true story, I found some things to be completely off. While I did enjoy the film at the time of viewing, I pretty much ruined it for myself by doing some research after the film.

In the movie some of the key players are Carlos Pena, Jeremy Giambi, Chad Bradford and Scott Hatteberg. Some of the biggest discrepancies in the movie are based around Pena and Bradford. The movie revolves around the 2002 season.

A key storyline in the movie revolves around submarine throwing, Chad Bradford. In the off season the A's are going after the service for Bradford, who apparently has not had a real shot at the majors. Too bad in real life, Bradford was already on the A's and pitched pretty well for them appearing in over 30 games.

Another side story line in the movie revolves around how Beane wants Art Howe the A's Manager, to play Hatteberg at first base, while Howe keeps playing so called superstar rookie Carlos Pena. But wait, is this the same Carlos Pena who at the time of the trade was batting just .218 and played a big chunk of the season in the minors? I think so.

I'm starting to get angry, so I won't even get into the real players. The biggest issue that really bothered me was that no where in the movie do they mention that the A's had an incredible pitching rotation. The only time you see any of the pitchers in the movie is when the A's are about to win there 20th game in a row and Tim Hudson is seen getting lit up when the Royals start making a comeback against the A's.

While these parts of the movie really bothered me, I really did like that a major storyline revolved around the A's setting there major league record of 20 wins in a row. I vaguely recall this happening at the time and it was neat to see them use this storyline to reach the climax of the movie.

My actual favourite part of the movie though was how they showcased the rise and fall of Billy Beane as a top playing prospect in the 80's. The flashbacks of Beane's playing career throughout the movie were very short, although they really highlighted the highs and lows of finding your way as a pro athlete. Beane was offered a nice amount of money to enter pro ball and turned down a full baseball scholarship to a prestigious school. Later in the movie, Beane was shown being offered a large contract to join the Boston Red Sox. He turns this down after learning from his past mistake over making a decision based on money. At one point in the movie Beane talks about (and expresses disappointment) only having a High School education. For any aspiring ball player, I think this movie can be a great influence.

Moneyball is quite long (about two hours) and while the movie is not entirely accurate, it is a must for any true baseball fan.

1 comment:

  1. THe book barely mentions the pitchers either. I judge history, the book and the movie each on their own merits - not vs each other. I liked bot the book and the movie but thought the film was overrated.

    Rob Neyer does a pretty thorough job of filling out the history vs the story telling in this post: