Indians fans should see the current Brad Pitt movie, “Moneyball,” because it’s a fascinating baseball movie with a strong Cleveland connection. It’s the true story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane’s approach to building a small market team with a tight budget. It’s based on Beane’s book which was a best seller a few years ago.
The story begins in Cleveland, where Beane discovers that the brains behind Mark Shapiro is a nerdy kid who recently graduated from Yale and who views baseball from an entirely fresh perspective. Beane steals the kid away from the Indians and the story is off and running.
So, this is the story of the Oakland A’s but it’s also the story of the Cleveland Indians. Remember “on base percentage.” It was the nerdy kid’s answer to everything and it makes a strong argument for not re-signing Grady Sizemore.
It’s also a movie that should have been shortened by at least 15 minutes. They could have tightened up the flashbacks of Billy Beane as a kid and eliminated many of the long shots of Brad Pitt’s face — musing, worried, pondering, doing all the things Brad Pitt does when he’s not talking.
Former Fox 8 sports producer Katie Rossboro said she liked the ending. “I got tears in my eyes. I’m sappy,” she said. She must have wept uncontrolably at the end of “The Natural.”
Me, I didn’t need the ending. They should have stuck to baseball. An update on the nerdy kid with the unique theories would have been nice. He was the central figure in the story. I don’t remember him as an employee of the Indians. I’m curious about him. I think everybody in Cleveland will be. But that’s not an issue I’m going to tackle here. I’m moving on.
Check back soon. Since my new book has been sent to the printer, I’m going to post more regularly from now on. We’ll also run some free chapters soon.