Posts Tagged Billy Beane
Posted by Keith Spillett in Articles I Probably Shouldn't Have Bothered Writing, Blithering Sports Fan Prattle on January 17, 2012
(Middle-aged woman with red hair walks on the elevator. I am pacing back and forth. My facial muscles are twitching. I begin saying “Vermont” over and over in a loud voice for no particular reason)
Woman: (frightened) Sir, are you okay?
Me: No. No. I’m not okay. I’m NOT okay. I’m not OKAY ALRIGHT!!!!
You know why? Do you? Moneyball. That’s the problem. Moneyball. I stayed up all night watching that film. Over and over. I read the book. I mean, I loved the book. It fueled my deep and undying passion for baseball stats. It was fascinating. VERMONT! I mean, Michael Lewis is a heck of a writer. But….THE MOVIE!!!! Ehhhhh!!!! Vermont!
Woman: (staring straight ahead in utter terror) The….movie?
Me: It’s absurd. Absurd! They turned the thing into a Merchant-Ivory picture! All the edge of a five-year-old butter knife. All the dullness of Out of Africa with the “fight the system”, Occupy Someplace message that Americans love. Mr. Smith Goes To Oakland. Blah blah blah. Of course, the big climax is the film is the main character turning down a whale’s colon full of money for “the love of the game”. If there was ever a part of me that didn’t want so see Hollywood attacked by human eating vultures it died in that moment. VERMONT!!!!!!
Me: Good lord! How many shots of that stupid “Awwww shucks”, wax-lipped expression on Brad Pitt’s stupid face can one man handle? Who wants to watch this guy do a 2-hour impression of the offensive line coach at Auburn? And the fat kid? What’s his deal!!?!! If I was Paul DePodesta I’d rather them got Anthony Perkins to play me. They even put hipsters in baseball movies now for godsakes. VERMONT!!!!!! And his daughter?!? Good lord! They put her in the movie twice for the sole purpose of playing that god-awful song. TWICE!!! Awful! Those noises she makes. She sounds like a porpoise giving birth…
Woman: (reaching into her purse for either a whistle or pepper spray) Sir, please…….
Me: Look! You asked me what I thought about the film! I hated it. Vermont! If you watched the film you’d think the A’s only had Scott Hatteberg, Chad Bradford and David Justice. They had Zito! Mulder! Hudson! Dye! Tejada! Harang! Ramon Hernandez! Not a one of those guys were Moneyballers. And their division sucked! Those were also factors….don’t you think??????
Me: You’d think Billy Beane had a blind second baseman and 9-year-old playing catcher. You’d think Billy Beane climbed Mount Mariah and talked the good lord out of making Abraham sacrifice his son. You’d think he cured smallpox by dialing a few numbers into his computer. VER—–MONT!!!!!
Me: And another thing, what did Art Howe ever do to become the worst movie villain since Jack Nicholson put on face paint? Sure, he wasn’t exactly a great manager, but watching this film you’d think he had Frank Menechino’s liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. He’s an American League manager! Of course, he’s cold and disinterested! You would be too if you had to watch 162 games a year without even getting to call one double switch. Let’s face it, it’s the most mind-numbing job this side of being Underwear Inspector Number 8 at the Hanes Factory.
Woman: (angrily) Are you finished?
Me: Am I finished?!? Am I finished?!? VermontvermontVERMONT! You know what stings the worst. The reviews! Reading reviewer after reviewer practically break their collective arms trying to heap praise on this piece of garbage because the director “gets out of the way and let’s the film tell it’s story.” According to most of the Gatekeepers of Good Taste, the best thing an American director can aspire to be is irrelevant. Where are the 12-minute tracking shots? Where is the juxtaposition between Billy Beane and a Chicago Slaughterhouse in the 1890s? No homage to Eisenstein’s Odessa Step Sequence? Only two films get made in Hollywood anymore, the one about the likeable but eccentric character triumphing over some overblown problem or the one about the co-ed trapped in an elevator who can only survive by gnawing off her own leg. America used to stand for something! Is this really the best we can do? VERMONT!!!!
Woman: (finally looking at me with a deeply concerned expression)This is my floor. I’m going to go now.
Me: Thanks for listening.
Woman: You bet.
Last night was a historic night at Turner Field as Braves third baseman Chipper Jones was scratched from the lineup with his 3,000th oblique injury. While taking batting practice, Chipper felt a familiar tug in between his stomach and his ribcage and knew that he had done something special. He informed the trainer and Manager Fredi Gonzalez about the accomplishment immediately and his name was removed from the lineup card. The capacity crowd of 35,000 people leaped to their feet when the lineup change was announced and Chipper was given a five-minute curtain call during which he pulled a hamstring muscle. After the game, Chipper’s entire oblique muscle was removed and sent to Cooperstown. “There are many moments that live forever in the minds of baseball fans, Hank Aaron’s 755 homerun, Pete Rose’s 4192 hit, Oliver Perez’ 10,000th wild pitch and now this moment,” said commissioner Bud Selig in a ceremony held in the Emergency Room at Atlanta’s Grady Hospital, “There is a new strained oblique muscle champion and his name is Chipper Jones!”
In other injury news, the Mets placed Jason Bay on the 15,000 day disabled list retroactive to 2004. Bay was diagnosed with a broken leg, three sprained fingers, a ruptured spleen, toxic megacolon, chimpanzee acne, male pattern baldness, mumps, gastroenteritis, Bogart-Bacall Syndrome, an ulcer, type 4 feline diabetes, colic and schizophrenia. Bay sustained all of these injuries crashing into the wall at Dodgers Stadium in a game last July. The Mets Medical Staff has ordered Bay to fly back and forth from the West Coast four times a day for the next month in order to improve his condition. Former Mets General Manager Omar Minaya responded to this latest setback by offering Bay a 5 year 100 million dollar extension. The Mets, unclear as to why a person who is no longer GM is making offers to players, responded by offering Bay a 7 year 140 million dollar extension. Mets GM Sandy Alderson said in an afternoon press conference that “As a major market team, we simply cannot be outbid by former employees who no longer run baseball teams.”
Yesterday, Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane signed 12 year old Little League sensation Ryan Murphy. Murphy had a .560 OBP in 132 at-bats for his Pony League team, The Shoprite Superstars and had a 1.230 OPS in all summer wiffleball games played between 14th and 18th Street in Columbus, Ohio. Murphy, a 5 foot 2 and 345 pound shortstop, is thought the team’s leadoff hitter of the future.
Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa debuted his new “lefty-killer” defense designed to neutralize the power hitting left-handed bats on the Phillies in St. Louis last night. The defense featured 3 second baseman, 2 first baseman and 11 rightfielders. LaRussa, a manager known for employing creative lineups and defenses, made history last week by deciding to use a designated hitter in games against other National League teams and batting Albert Pujols 2nd, 4th, 7th and 11th in the lineup.