I've been plowing through episodes of Breaking Bad on Netflix this past week and because of that I've neglected my usual television watching schedule. My DVR has been filling up with an eclectic mix of shows, everything from MTV's I Used to Be Fat to Antiques Road Show. In attempt to clear some space I fast forwarded through every Saturday Night Live sketch featuring Kristen Wiig, which brought me to the final minutes where there was a spoof of the Moneyball trailer called Tinyballs. The Brad Pitt impersonation is so good. "We're cheating honey, we're cheating."
I've been meaning to write a review of the Moneyball movie, but as more time passes the more indifferent I become. It's not a movie that is re-watchable or has any lasting message. There were no love scenes between Brad Pitt and a Bill James baseball abstract as promised. There wasn't much meat on the bone at all. Yet during the movie I checked my vitals and I wasn't bored and that is a great accomplishment in itself, it just doesn't make it a great movie, just an okay one.
Even with no prior knowledge of the "story" there were still no surprises for the ignorant and I didn't learn anything new, except that Billy Beane is not former Padre Billy Bean. I've never been much of a Sci-Fi fan so there was no great appeal to read Moneyball when it came out. I always said that I'd wait to see the movie first than I'd read the movie novelization so that I could peruse the glossy photos of Pitt embedded in the middle. Now that I've seen the movie I still haven't gotten the urge to read it.
I'm probably the only SB Nation baseball blogger who hasn't read Moneyball and as a result I thought I'd have a unique perspective on the movie that no one else would. Maybe I did, since those that did read the book seemed to be really enthusiastic about the movie. Maybe they were filling in the scenes with their memories from the book, where I was filling the silence with the chewing of popcorn.
I was thinking that the success (if you want to call it that) of the A's at the turn of the century was probably just fueled by steroids like their teams of the past. So the whole "The A's changed baseball" was true, from a certain point of view, it just had more to do with needles in the 80's and cream in the 90's than OBP in the 2000's. Especially since their success couldn't be duplicated. How did it really change anything? If the lesson to be learned from the book was for teams to exploit market inefficiencies then the message of the movie is not to share your proprietary secrets with a writer.