Thursday, May 10, 2012

MOVIE RANT: Moneyball

Moneyball was a hit. It made a killing at the box office, it garnered an Oscar nomination, and most importantly, it restored some much needed dignity to the baseball movie genre. After being subjected to out-of-touch flops like Summer Catch and The Scout, Moneyball was a breath of fresh air for baseball fans, and personally, I loved it.

With regard to baseball, the film was authentic. I deem myself a stickler for attention to detail and Moneyball passed the test with honors. Everything was just right, from the baseball lingo to the elephant logo-ed BP hats - Brad Pitt even packed a few dips for good measure. The film reeked of baseball accuracy - for once, my nit-picking skills sat idle and I was able to simply enjoy the show.

As a movie itself, I found it entertaining from beginning to end. The writing was witty, the acting was spot on, and the story was balanced in a way that enabled both baseball fans and those foreign to the game to follow and enjoy. The film also shed light on the front office side of baseball, a perspective never truly featured or explored in the past (sorry Little Big League).

The movie, anchored by the chemistry and banter of Pitt and Hill, was an all-around success - but really, what fun is that? Here are some thoughts that went through my head while watching Hollywood's latest take on baseball.

World's sexiest GM: Seriously, how cool do you think Billy Beane tried to play it off when he found out Brad Pitt was playing him? Probably acted all nonchalant like he didn't even know who he was: Brad Pi...Pitt? Oh yeah, I think I know that name. He was voted World's Sexiest Man in 1995 and 2000 or something, wasn't he? Yeah, I guess he'll do - I mean whoever you guys think best captures my essence, I'm good with.

Perfect role in jeopardy: I was legitimately upset that Philip Seymour Hoffman played Art Howe in this movie because I have been saying for years that he would kill it as his voice twin, Buck Showalter. With the blond hair he's already a spitting image of him, but the voice similarity puts it over the top, it's uncanny. If having already played a manager in a baseball movie prevents PSH from taking a future role as Buck I will be devastated.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

SMALLS TALK: Cole Hamels does the unthinkable!

I still can't believe it. Premeditated, unwarranted, just disgusting. For those of you who haven't heard, Cole Hamels recently launched a harpoon from the pitcher's mound at rookie sensation Bryce Harper, piercing the slugger's right shoulder and placing him on the DL indefinitely. The wound will likely keep Harper out for the rest of the season and sources are saying his future in baseball may be in jeopardy.

In light of the incident, Hamels has been reviled by both local and national media for such a reckless act of cowardice, and rightfully so - there is no place for such violence in Major League Baseb...

Wait, what? You're saying Hamels just hit Harper with a pitch? Well still, it was probably gruesome. You heard what he said, there was clear intent - where'd he hit him, in the head? See, that's what I thou- wait, in the back??? Hm - but I mean, it knocked him out of the game, right? I'm sure he was real banged up, no way he stayed in the game and felt healthy enough to steal home just minutes later, that obviously goes without saying.

Having worn out my use of the sarcasm font, I'll cut to the chase: the entire Hamels-Hits-Harper situation has been blown way out of proportion. It's baseball - pitchers occasionally throw at batters, it's part of the game. Hamels, for whatever reason, wanted to knock the 19-year old off his high horse. Perhaps he was annoyed with the praise and attention the young player has attracted since his call-up, or maybe he took offense to Harper's blowing a celebratory kiss at an opposing pitcher after a home run last summer - whatever it was, he decided to send a message, and that message was delivered right between the 3 and the 4 on Harper's back, right where any coach tells his pitcher to hit a guy. No intent to injure, nothing scary - simply put, and I quote Hamels: "Welcome to the Big Leagues."