Excerpt: After a debilitating loss to the Yankees in 2001, the Oakland A's lose three of their star players leaving their general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) trying to find a way to fill his roster and create a winning team with a meager amount of money. Along comes Yale economics major Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) who has some unconventional ideas on how to pick up undervalued players and train them to become a winning team, creating tension between Beane and the team's main...
Excerpt: For the first fifteen years of my life I wanted to be a baseball player. I suspect that most kids did at one point in time. Ironically enough, as I got older, I did play sports but they weren’t team-oriented. I swam, played tennis and golf. Still, baseball is, has been and I venture to guess that it always will be the American past time. And, above everything else, baseball is a game of statistics and numbers.
Excerpt: Moneyball is the example of how sports movies should be made. It strays from the game it portrays, using it as a book-end, and when needed, a beautiful visual metaphor. Cinematographer Wally Pfister wastes no chance to portray the game with the utmost glamor and visual acuity. Baseball under the lens of a film camera has never looked better.
Excerpt: The Film The sports genre is riddled with underdog stories. We get attached to the players, cheer for them from the sidelines, and (typically) they overcome the odds. In some ways, Moneyball is the typical cinematic Cinderella story. However, the difference here is that the film is focused on the action off the field and behind the scenes. And that's just one of the reasons that it's so darn interesting.
Excerpt: In baseball, as in life, there are no sure things. For all the prognostication and declarations of pre-game chatter, once the players take the field there's no telling what will happen. A top-tier player might go 0 for 4. An untested rookie might hit the game-winning homer. An 11 run lead might vanish over the course of a brutal half inning. Baseball is a game of statistics and calculations, but it's also a game of chance. That's what makes it exciting.
Summary: Nobody reinvents this game. Throughout the ages, from reconstruction to Reagan, from Omaha Beach to Obama, baseball has remained a constant, a game of skill played by people but easily broken down into a series of numbers and statistics that tell the entire story of a single game, an entire season, an era, or even the sum total of a player's career.
Excerpt: There's really no reason Moneyball should have been a good movie. It's an adaptation of a nonfiction book about an obscure economics practice called sabremetrics, the story of a baseball team that was only moderately successful, even a starring role from Brad Pitt, an actor who usually turns into a bland husk of himself when playing an everyman.
Excerpt: For baseball traditionalists, the principles described in Michael Lewis’ great book Moneyball were an apostasy comparable to the Atkins’ diet, a rejection of decades of received wisdom. In detailing how Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane fielded a competitive small-market team with less than a third of the New York Yankees’ payroll, Lewis notes a top-down shift in team-building philosophy.