MONEYBALL, by the numbers (9, of course).
1. I’ve played baseball since I was 5 years old. I love the game more than I should love a game. I cried the night I thought I played my last organized game of ball. Thankfully, Atlanta has a very competitive and active men’s league, so I can keep on playing until my body (probably my shoulder) gives up on me.
2. As they say in this movie, which is ostensibly about the nitty gritty stats of the game, it’s really hard not to be romantic about baseball.
3. And it is. Anyone who knows the game knows that. The way the history of the sport reflects the history of America. The sounds. The way it feels to hit the ball off the sweet spot of the bat. The intensity of the pitcher vs. the batter, where every pitch is a battle of the wills. The beauty of a double play. The thrill of scoring the winning run.
4. So I was impressed by the way they melded the romanticism of the game (without it getting cloying) with the cold hard facts, front office dealings, and stat compilings of the Business of Baseball. It was fascinating stuff. Who knew watching a baseball GM work could be entertaining.
5. And that’s mostly due to Brad Pitt. The dude is a movie star. He carries this movie. Not that it needs carrying, but he did.
6. And he (and the rest of the cast) handled this strange new take on the scrappy underdog story particularly well.
7. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin also seemed to have subdue his worst tendencies, making for a much more natural feeling movie. (While I love THE SOCIAL NETWORK, it does get to be too much at times.)
8. Even though I knew the story of Billy Beane and sabermetrics, and I knew about the 2002 Oakland A’s and the eventual outcome of their season before I saw this movie…
9. I was still fascinated by this movie. This is a very good film.
My 10 best albums and by 10 or so best films of the year!