September 23, 2011 |
Winning isn't everything, voracious Vince Lombardi used to say, it's the only thing. But what if Lombardi was wrong? What if other things mean more, last longer, have more significance than victories, not only in life but also in the particular lives of the people who play the games? This is the heretical premise of the thoughtful and entertaining "Moneyball," based on the equally iconoclastic bestseller by Michael Lewis. Starring Brad Pitt in top movie star form, it's a film that's impressive and surprising.
September 20, 2011 |
He first appears in the movie as he first appeared with the Dodgers, a wallflower pulled reluctantly into the spotlight, a nerd suddenly tapped on the shoulder by the cool kids. The character that is supposed to be Paul DePodesta is a rumpled and bespectacled figure leaning against a wall whispering trade vetoes to a Cleveland Indians colleague. The character that is supposed to be Billy Beane openly wonders who he is, and why everyone thinks he's so smart, and so begins a journey that Dodgers fans will instantly and painfully recognize.
September 11, 2011 |
The champagne flowed easily, and so did the toasts. The San Francisco Giants had just won the World Series, and the shouts came from all corners of the clubhouse. To Willie Mays! To Tim Lincecum! To Aubrey Huff's rally thong! And this, from around a corner, from Giants executive Tony Siegle: "So much for 'Moneyball.' " The book that polarized an industry hits the big screen next week, with Brad Pitt starring as Billy Beane, the maverick general manager of the Oakland Athletics.
September 9, 2011 |
Reporting from Toronto — In June 2009, just a few days before Brad Pitt, director Steven Soderbergh and others were set to board a plane for Phoenix to begin shooting the film version of Michael Lewis' baseball bestseller "Moneyball," the unthinkable happened. Despite the months spent preparing the shoot and the star wattage involved, Sony Pictures Co-Chairman Amy Pascal pulled the plug on the movie. Soderbergh was leaving the project, the studio announced, and the film's future was in serious doubt.
June 2, 2009 |
I have to admit that when Michael DeLuca called me earlier this year, saying he was finally going to get "Moneyball" made into a movie, I figured he must've been smoking the proverbial Hollywood crack pipe. Anyone who loves baseball has read Michael Lewis' bestseller about how Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane almost single-handedly upended the traditional way baseball evaluates athletic talent.
March 25, 2008 |
This wasn't about the money. You hear someone in sports say those words, and skepticism is the natural reaction. But Billy Beane zigs when baseball zags, with enough success to suppress the skepticism. Eric Chavez is the survivor within the Oakland Athletics' clubhouse. He watched Jason Giambi go, and Miguel Tejada, and Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder and Barry Zito. "It always seems like we're reinventing ourselves yearly in Oakland," Chavez said. "This is obviously to the extreme."