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My Moneyball Movie Review!

I love movies with a predictable twist.

Okay, not really.  I hate movies with a predictable twist, actually.  But you know what I hate even more?  Movies with no twist at all.

Enter Moneyball.

 I woke up with an incredible urging to see the movie now that it’s finally out and even tweeted “Happy #Moneyball Day!”, because, as I’ve said, I really wanted to love it.  But I just didn’t.  A few things in particular…

The Types Were All Wrong

The movie didn’t delve very deep into personalities, which is fine, but I think they got all the stereotypes wrong, too.  One could argue that since it’s a fictionalized account, the characters being realistic isn’t important, but I think in this case the types are integral to the story.  Billy Beane, in particular, came across like a glorified, grown-up jock who was in the right place at the right time and put faith in Peter Brand, who was the smart one.  Brand’s character was also odd to me because his type seemed like he should have been funny, a kind of a klutz, etc.  Instead, he was pretty much a total straight man.

No Big Three

This was a gripe I had with the book, as well, but even more so with the movie.  Where was Mulder?  Hudson?  Zito?   Speaking of which…

The 20th Straight Win

I think Hudson being on the mound was a big part of that game, against the Royals, where the A’s went for their 20th straight win.  More importantly, even, was the whole thing after Hudson was taken out.  Howe brought in someone for the lefty-on-lefty matchup, if I’m remembering correctly and they totally ommited that.  I guess it was cute for the whole “Beane-jinx” storyline for it to seem like the letting in 11 runs was a fluke, but it just felt random and meaningless then.

I think that was just one place out of many where they profoundly missed the original point of Moneyball.  Which is fine, but then they needed to make their own compelling point, you know?

Sabean Doesn’t Talk Like That!

‘Nuff said.  I’m glad they didn’t include Dombrowski’s voice too or I might have ended up being That Person who yells are the screen in the theatre.

The Corn          

Not the yummy, yellow, gets-stuck-in-your-teeth-kind.  The kind that makes you roll your eyes and drum your fingers.  I think Aaron Sorkin is a really great script writer so I don’t know quite where this went wrong, except maybe that they told the story totally straight.  It was weird, really.  And the daughter storyline was undeveloped and incongruous, as far as I could tell.

The Good!

Saving it for last, because I’m a downer like that.  I thought the Hatteberg storyline was absolutely great.  It felt real enough that it made sense, but it also had a nice Hollywood twist to it and worked in a movie format.  The acting was good and the whole thing was well done.  The guy who played Wash was pretty good too.

Overall…

I didn’t hate it as much as I may have implied so far.  It was fine, really.  Just a bit confused, a bit boring and very, very flat.  Not up to its potential, neither a baseball movie or an Oscar movie or even a business movie.  One of the best movies of the year, Rolling Stone?  Eh, nope. 

Diamond Girl

p.s.  I think the Dodgers read my blog post from yesterday and were all, “Scoring eight runs is rad!  We should do it, too!”  Which was not my intent.

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3 + 3 = 3 Wins + Mandatory Low Point In Trailer When Main Character Cries Or Almost Cries If He Is Tough Guy Brad Pitt So He Can’t Actually Cry

I don’t drop “Baseball Gods” a whole lot.  But when people hit triples, they always feel like little gifts from Baseball Heaven.  And has anyone else noticed that they do tend to come to people who really, really need them?

Like Pat Burrell  who is rumored to be the odd man out later this year and Eli Whiteside who has, well, big shoes to fill.  And he isn’t really fillin’ them.  Then Billy Hall’s (am I coining Billy?) magical half hour with Bam Bam seems to have paid off, which comes at a nice time when Freddy pessimism is at a 2011 high.  I am all for the holistic, natural approach and have (some amount of) total confidence that the shoulder can heal on its own but it’s good to have some, ahem, backup.

Which means that this night of three basers notched MadBum his third win of the year and a 3.21 ERA.  Sometimes I have the urge to bang the heads of the offense together but then I remember that they do things like hit key triples and I go to my punching bag (laptop keyboard) instead.

We are on our way to sweeping the Diamondbacks, which is a phrase I would have been petrified to utter a few days ago.  This is good.

Zito is moving up in the world and will be starting in AAA Fresno tonight.  I guess this must be his first time pitching for the Grizzlies and I think he’ll fit in.  No snarky-ness there.  Barry and Chuckchansi Park just seem like a match made in heaven.  Still, I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel like the clock is ticking down to doomsday.

The first Moneyball movie trailer hit the web yesterday my skepticism about it is fading.

I think it looks really good, actually.  The hairdresser captured Billy Beane’s vaguely volumized hair perfectly and even if they look nothing alike otherwise (yeah, that’s a big cause of mine) they do kind of make the same expressions.

And am I the only one who thinks doing this looks incredibly fun?  Even if that is the mandatory Low Point In Trailer When Main Character Cries (Or Almost Cries If He Is Tough Guy Brad Pitt So He Can’t Actually Cry).  So I don’t think it’s supposed to look fun.  But it does.

Someone else commented that the field looks suspiciously dark in this walk scene and why doesn’t the stadium have any lights?

True.

I will be in the theater opening day, I think.  I’ve only done that for one other movie, Takers, and it was unwarranted.  That was a terrible movie (not to mention Hayden Christensen’s character was the first of the bank robbers to die, which tempted me to demand my $8 back, but that seemed petty).  I have hope, though.  I kind of think this might be my first baseball movie love.

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Congratulations to former Giant/Grizzly Jesus Guzman on his call-up to San Diego!

I remember seeing him during his two weeks up at AT&T Park in 2009 and enjoying watching him play.  Wishing him much success.  I mean, some success.  Enough for him to have a happy career but the Padres to keep on their last place, sub-.500 ways.

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Happy Anniversary to Me! And The Scoop On The Really Very Odd Roadtrip.

I can’t believe it’s been a year.  It’s been an incredibly fun- and fast- 12 months for me and my blog and, you know, the Giants.  They, um, won a World Series.  I harbor a (secret?  No longer.) belief that it has to do with me and my li’l blog.  But don’t tell anyone I said that.  I’m also guessing the Really Very Odd Roadtrip is somehow attributable to me.

They won in an injury-ridden train wreck tonight in Los Angeles, as luck would have it.  No wonder Bochy is so into leaving his starters in too late.  Wilson blew the lead and then came back, got maybe injured, and got the win.  Huff made atrocious defense plays.   But people hit, which is always in improvement.  And Rowand got injured.  I hope it’s not serious.  Please.  Please.  Please.  Then there was Mark DeRosa weirdness.  Everyone’s saying that’s his last Major League at bat, but I’m hoping against it.  The Giants still owe him piles of cash and it’s in everyone’s best interest if he’s available to perform in some dimension.  Never mind those 0-fer numbers.  I’m aware.  But him and his freaky wrist sittin’ out all year just isn’t a positive alternative, to me.  We shall see.

Otherwise, today was depressing because Armando was DFA’ed (something I blissfully failed to notice until my brother broke the news to me, with remarkably little tact.  He could have done it more gently).  Remember when I said the Giants should pick him up in one of my personal favorite blog posts (check it out because it’s my anniversary and I can bully you into anything for a few more hours) that I’ve written?  Same thing applies.  They can ditch MadBum or Vogelsong or Lincecum or whatever and make room for Armando.  Okay.  Maybe not.  Now that I think about it, the Giants probably aren’t the best fit for him right now.  But I hope he finds a job.  And succeeds.  I really do. 

And then I read that Billy Beane had shoulder surgery today.  I’ll resist the insane urge to make some cracks about the A’s (hell, look at the Giants) and their injuries and suffice to say that I hope he gets better real fast and that when he becomes a total celebrity after Moneyball comes out, a la Mark Zuckerberg after The Social Network, I will say I was a fan before.  You’ll vouch for me, right?  Thanks.

And I ever so slightly retract my sarcasm about Cody Ross’s brilliance.  I see it, a little.  But don’t say I told you so.

Diamond Girl

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My 100th Post: Feat. Jon Daniels Extension, Ryan Braun’s Graffito and Billy Beane’s Burberry Scarf

It’s not even over yet, but today has been a really good day.  Topped off by the fact that I logged in to post this and saw that I have 99 posts.  Meaning this is the 100th.  (Fittingly, perhaps, MLBlogs is being a little odd.  Bear with me and the strange spacing.)  Wow.  I never really thought I would get as into this as I have, but I love every moment of it.  Thank you all for reading some (maybe even all?) of my 100 posts.  5 Other Great Things That Have Happened Today:

5.  The Rangers agreed to a four year extension with GM Jon Daniels.  I hugged everyone in the immediate vicinity when I read the news.

 

Thumbnail image for jon daniels2.jpg
 

4.  Someone brought my attention to this cover story from M Magazine, 12 of Milwaukee’s Most Interesting Men“.  It alerted me to the (much-needed) re-name of Ryan Braun’s restaurant, from Ryan Braun’s Waterfront Restaurant to Ryan Braun’s Graffito (did you snicker when you read that?  I did too).  I really want go to Milwaukee now.  Maybe I could squeeze it in on my Detroit-pride trip?

Braun- M magazine.jpg

3.  There has been no uncomfortable Zito news today.  The #75 storm is blowing over, people.  Blowing over.

Zito.JPG

2.  Matt Cain is planning to throw tomorrow.  I am channeling every bit of positive energy I have to him (and that’s a lot, because this is, of course, a really good day).  And Brandon Belt.  Brandon Belt.  He doesn’t need any positive energy, I guess.  No belting it out jokes, please.

 

belt.jpgcain.jpg

1.Go check out the Giants box score.  Just go check it out.box score.PNG

Diamond Girl

p.s.  Billy Beane has a Burberry scarf?  I Googled that and realized it’s old news but he is on track to unseat Daniels as best-dressed GM unless Jon can produce some designer items of him own.   

 

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Diamond Girl’s Plan of Attack for the A’s New Stadium

So how was everyone’s holiday weekend?  Mine was nice, aside from an unpleasant reminder that it isn’t exactly baseball season yet.  My little brother had a baseball tournament and after being rained (and snowed.  Snow around Fremont.  So weird.) out the first day we went down the second day in 40 degree weather at the hottest point.  Only for me to open up my purse and take out one black glove and one black sock.  Giant oops.  My hand nearly froze off until someone finally lent me a full pair.  These tournaments also schedule 10 year olds starting their games at 9PM.  Which is weird, seeing as the games then go til 11.  Can we say way past bedtime right about now?

In MLB news this weekend has brought Brian Wilson conspiracy theories (aka, TMZ says he was partying with Charlie Sheen), A-Rod-might-be-an-okay -guy-after-all theories, Jon-Daniels- would-love-to-walk-in-and-hug-everybody-every-day-but-that’s-not-critical-to-winning-and-other-strange-assorted-quotes-from-Rangers-and-Michael-Young.   And a what-the-heck-is-interesting-cardio, Brian Wilson?  You know. Stuff like that.

But the (arguably) biggest news is that me and my better half (The Older Sister) came up with a brilliant plan.  So you know how the A’s are trying to move to a new city?  Las Vegas had been thrown around, as has San Jose, but the Giants continue to block that.  However.  Since I can convince Brian Sabean to do almost anything (voodoo dolls and all that), I started thinking, They should move to Berkeley!  And the reason Berkeley is better than any other city?  Well, a. Diamond Girl lives here.  And b. We have a location and a neighborhood that way needs some, ahem, re-hab.  People’s Park.  Telegraph Ave.  We could call them the Berkeley Batty Bats.  Or the Everlasting Gobstopping Sea Lions.  Or something.  I’m not really great with names.  None of the players would have to move because it’s so near to Oakland but maybe Berkeley would be a better city for a baseball team…?  Huh.  If you put it that way, Oakland seems like a fine home.  Berkeley can’t even re-pave a block of a street.  Billy Beane would have to become mayor and re-vamp the whole city.  This plan is getting real complicated.  I think I actually just vote for Vegas.

Diamond Girl

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