Moneyball: Movie Review

People who follow baseball even sometimes forget Billy Beane.  Now we have “Moneyball” to allow non sporting fans to learn the story of Billy Beane and his story to rebuild a franchise with a bunch of misfit toys.  Here is a review for “Moneyball.”

The Oakland A’s just finished their season ,which ends with a loss in the Post Season to The New York Yankees.  The A’s are looking at a  difficult off-season where three of their top all-star notable players are all demanding top dollar in free agency.  Top dollar is the last thing General Manager Billy Beane has at his disposal.  With teams like the Yankees and the Red Sox offering multi-million dollar contracts to his free agents his franchise is unable to match these deals with a  limited payroll, actuality one of the smallest payrolls in all of baseball.

General Manager Billy Beane(Brad Pitt) is a younger GM who played professional baseball for multiple organizations, but never really panned out as a great player.  More hype than anything else,  Billy was a top rated prospect out of high school and when the New York Mets offered Billy a contract to big to refuse, Billy Beane passed up a full ride scholarship to Stanford and college all together.  After his playing days were over he offered his services as a talent scout and eventually worked up to the General Manager position with the A’s.

The Oakland Athletics are faced with a hurdle that appears to big to even be a competitive team with really an unfair playing field when it comes to how larger market teams can afford big league talent.  Even with a table of scouts with over a hundred years of experience in recognizing talent Billy recognizes their old ways of finding players demands a change.  While visiting his friend and fellow general manager in Cleveland for a  proposed trade he runs into his next general manager assistant who after he meets buys him away from the Indians as he sees what he needs and that’s a new approach.

Peter Brand(Jonah Hill) is that young assistant who will help Billy change the way teams’ evaluate talent forever.  He has designed a formula based upon mathematics and arithmetic that predicts player performances.  Peter recognizes that the talent that just left can not be replaced, but their numbers that they produced can be replaced with not only good talent but talent that is affordable to the Oakland Athletics.

This new idea Billy and Peter proposes to the rest of the scouts and management sound”s preposterous.  Peter has never even played baseball and was an economics graduate at Yale.  How can he actually determine success with a  bunch of no name talent? Well he is so determined by his theory that Billy pus all his faith in Peter and Moneyball has begun.

The season turns worse before better as the A’s are starting to be  the new joke of the major leagues.  However after Billy changes some of his old habits and Peter helping break down player statistics and analysis the two do find magic in a bottle.  The Oakland A’s would be the first team ever in baseball history to string along a 20 game winning streak and “Moneyball” had a big reason behind the success.  Not even the 1927 Yankees “who old baseball historians call the greatest team ever assembled,” were to come up with a streak even close to this one in the 2001 season.

Overall “Moneyball” is an excellent movie and have to give it a five star rocking rating.  I am a huge baseball fan and enjoyed the movie from start to finish and the story is well told and appeals to everyone.  All of the performances were top notch and Brad Pitt deserves his recognition for this role, but how about Chris Pratt as Scott Hatteberg? Jonah Hill is awesome and  Phillip Seymor Hoffman as Art Howe is one of the fellow antagonists who disbelieve’s this system projected by Billy and Peter will work.    The movie gives you that feel of when we used to watch “Major League,” “The Natural,” or “Field of Dreams” for the first time as you just want to see the underdog have their day in the sun one time.   Make sure to check out “Moneyball.'”

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