I just rented Moneyball on VUDU this weekend and was pleasantly surprised with it. I umpired baseball in the minor leagues for 10 years and ran across Billy Bean during my time on the diamond. I’m sure he doesn’t remember me, but I remember him as being a decent guy (can’t say that about all of the boys I met on the field). So I was extra curious about this movie.

Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane (I bet Billy was happy with the casting) and is cast along side mostly character actors. I love how the actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who played Art Howe (A’s manager) portrayed his character. I’m not sure if the real Art Howe was too thrilled, word was he wasn’t. The sidekick to Beane is artfully played by Jonah Hill. He made me believe he was a numbers nerd from Yale!

The movie begins with the loss to the Yankees in 2001. The next year the A’s lose their big time players: Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon being the two biggest losses. The A’s must fill the roster spots, but of course can not pay what the Red Sox and Yankees can afford to pay, so they have to come up with a different method: moneyball.

The kid places a premium on guys that get on base using a complicated numeric formula and behold, you have the theme for the movie. I won’t ruin it for you (of course you can look up how the A’s did in 2002), but we are led to believe this is the future. I liked it, and if you like baseball you should check it out. Let me know what you think.

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