PHOENIX -- If they don't all gather around their television sets Sunday evening, the Oakland A's will nonetheless be keeping one eye toward Los Angeles as they root for Moneyball to win Best Picture and Billy Beane, er, Brad Pitt to win Best Actor at the Academy Awards.
"I think we need to pull for it," A's second baseman Jemile Weeks said Saturday morning. "The movie got some good feedback. There's some credit due, I guess."
"If [Pitt] brings Angelina Jolie up on stage, that would be cool," quipped Jonny Gomes. "If not, I think it's all for the birds."
On a serious note, Gomes said that "Billy and Brad are both way ahead of the curve in what they do."
Most of the Athletics attended the red carpet opening of Moneyball last September. Gomes, who played for the Reds last year, saw the movie on his own. Impressive thing is, a group who could be awfully critical about areas where the movie was exaggerated, corny or just plain wrong mostly loved it. Credit director Bennett Miller with getting so much of the baseball part right.
"I think it would be pretty cool to see a movie made about our organization and our GM win," catcher Kurt Suzuki said. "You talk about the Oscars, you're definitely aware of what a prestigious award it is.
"It definitely would be cool if Moneyball won. It's a great movie. You've got Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, some front-line actors. It's pretty cool."
Beane is in Los Angeles this weekend to attend the Oscars.
Alas, he didn't bring any of the A's with him.
"No, I've got work to do," Suzuki said, chuckling.
"Apparently, he's a fan of Honorable Mention," Braden said in mock outrage. "I feel like I could have added to his chances, him and Brad Pitt.
"But it's exciting to see."
I've seen seven of the nine movies up for Best Picture, all but The Artist and War Horse (and it's my shortcoming that I failed to catch up with The Artist). My amateur film critic ranking of the seven I saw:
1. Hugo. Totally and unexpectedly charming. You feel like this is real, old-time movie-making. I normally am strongly anti 3-D, figuring it's just a scam to soak more money out of our pockets, but I even loved that aspect of this film.
2. The Help. Terrific acting and a meaningful story. I know it's taken a beating by some over sort of a sanitized racial story, but if it helps further the conversation in that area, it has value.
3. The Descendents. Some laughs, some moving moments and some really good acting. George Clooney is always good, though as a friend of mine says, he always seems to be playing George Clooney. But as the widowed father of two daughters who sometimes seems beleaguered and overmatched, he's perfect and the film really captures life's messy family relations and small moments.
4. Midnight in Paris. Wonderful time-travel of a film back to 1920s Paris. Though my pal Jim Caple is steamed that Corey Stoll did not get a Supporting Actor nomination for his outstanding work as Ernest Hemingway. And Jim is right.
5. Moneyball. Much better than I thought it would be. Really well done, and I don't mean to diss it by ranking it fifth. But enjoyable as it was, it's not a Best Picture. That said, Pitt really nails Beane, just a terrific job of acting. And one of the best, most underrated parts is Kerris Dorsey, the 13-year-old actress who plays Beane's daughter, singing Lenka's The Show -- "I'm just a little bit caught in the middle. ..." Absolutely perfect.
6. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Cannot believe I saw a movie tied to 9/11 and felt very little emotion. But I did. This was an absolute clunker, thoroughly mawkish and ham-handed. Embarrassing for the Oscars that it's anywhere near Best Picture category.
7. Tree of Life. Either I'm not smart enough to understand it, or it was utterly dreadful. I'll volunteer the former. Some people think it was brilliant and spiritual. I'm not an action-movie guy, I prefer quieter films that tell a story. But this lost me even before the dinosaurs appeared. And what was that about?
Sunblock Day? Great day, 79 degrees, got out for a much-needed long run. But the cooldown is coming to the desert. By Tuesday, the predicted high is only 61.
Likes: Friend Bill Chuck in his Billy-Ball blog notes that the only Oscar in the Hall of Fame is Oscar Charleston, who was inducted by the Negro League Committee in 1976. ... Also according to Chuck's research, infielder Oscar Grimes and pitcher Oscar Judd are the only two Oscar All-Stars in history. ... According to my own research, the greatest Oscar afro ever belonged to Oscar Gamble. ... The Jukebox of Dy-no-mite on the Sirius/XM '70s channel. Pure cheese, but fun. ... Thai Elephant in Tempe.
Dislikes: Arizona not having a helmet law for motorcyclists. I don't ride a bike, but I do not exactly want to see some biker's head explode like a pumpkin on the freeway, either. I was driving the other day for a time next to a bald-headed biker, and just imagining what could happen gave me the chills.
Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"I'm just a little bit caught in the middle
"Life is a maze and love is a riddle
"I don't know where to go, can't do it alone
"I've tried and I don't know why
"I'm just a little girl lost in the moment
"I'm so scared but I don't show it
"I can't figure it out, it's bringing me down
"I know I've got to let it go and just enjoy the show"
-- Lenka, The Show