Tag:Moneyball
Posted on: February 26, 2012 12:18 am
Edited on: February 26, 2012 2:39 pm
 

Athletics hope to start season with Oscar win

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
Posted on: September 21, 2011 6:04 pm
 

Love Letters: Remembering 9/11, and Bush's pitch

I wrote a 9/11 rembrance column on President Bush's first pitch at the World Series, and then you wrote. And you wrote. And you were so touching, I wanted to share some of your thoughts. So if you don't mind, I'm going to roll the tape here, stand aside and skip my usual replies. ...

FROM: Coleman
Re.: Bush walked out alone -- with a whole country beside him

Scott,

The article you wrote on President Bush's first pitch after 9/11 was phenomenal. You powerfully evoked all of the emotions I felt that night watching him tell our country and our enemy that we can handle any pressure or obstacle. Thanks for that.

FROM: Robert B.

You captured the moment. I'm a 64-year-old, life-time Red Sox fan who was proud to be an American that night ... and every day since!

FROM: Brian S.

Bush walked out alone -- awesome article, simply awesome. Nice work.

FROM: Ruth L.

Magnificent!!!!!

FROM: Kevin F.

Scott,

I loved your article about President George W. Bush's first pitch before Game 3 at Yankee Stadium. The perfect strike symbolism didn't escape me at the time and it resonates 10 years later. Thank you for reminding me what a moving and inspiring moment it was. And Jeter is one funny you-know-what.

FROM: Steve O.

I have tears in my eyes and a huge lump in my throat.

FROM: Andrew

Based on how Obama threw the pitch at the All-Star Game (in St. Louis in 2009), let's be glad he wasn't out there trying to throw the ball.

FROM: Neal J.

As we look back, we see that Bush had one singular response to the horrific attack, to start a meaningless war and to pitch a baseball. He and his pals are laughing all the way to the bank.

FROM: Joe L.

Scott,

Thanks for such a well-delivered, poignant article. It is a good brick in the wall of remembrance. Evil can take away a lot what is precious, including the lives of the innocent, but it cannot touch our freedom. Thank God for all the strong and the brave who still stand up for it.

FROM: Mark H.

It moved me to tears thinking back about that night. In some ways, I wish we could go back to that feeling where we were a true United States.

FROM: Eric

Damn right it was a strike. Thank you for this article. It reminded me how important it was to do what he did. We forget how he helped bring unity as a leader. No matter what anyone says, we had never been through a moment like that before Pearl Harbor, then 9/11. Nobody can talk about how it was to be in that position but him.

FROM: Ian M.

Scott,

An absolutely awesome column. That pitch for me ranks one step higher than Kirk Gibson's HR in the 1988 World Series. A single first pitch that gave the nation a sense of strength and unity. Unbelievable!

FROM: Art

The best article I've read on this, or any other, site. Beautifully written, Mr. Miller.

Likes: Where the Yankees stand on things was exhibited again when Derek Jeter said after the team clinched a playoff spot in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday that there would be no celebrating. To the Yankees, it's about the AL East title -- and the World Series. ... Oakland giving manager Bob Melvin a three-year contract. He'll help the Athletics. ... Looking forward to seeing Moneyball. I'm sure I'll have some issues with it, but my I hear its very well done and the writing is snappy -- which is no surprise, with Aaron Sorkin writing the script. ... If you're on I-94 driving between Chicago and Milwaukee, pull off the freeway for lunch at the Mars Cheese Castle. Great cheese, lots of free samples, terrific deli and, hey ... bottom line is, you can tell everyone you've been to the Mars Cheese Castle. ... Both Gino's East and Giordano's deep dish pizza in Chicago. ... Bob Seger on iTunes. ... Glad to see Hawaii Five-O back for a new season. Fun show. ... Here We Rest, the disc from Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit that was released in the spring, is fantastic. You should check it out.

Dislikes: That is one ugly new logo for the Florida Marlins. ... The massive conference re-alignment/expansion scramble. All of these colleges should be ashamed of themselves, throwing traditional rivalries away like used napkins to flee for big paydays. ... Rough start for the Falcons of Monroe (Mich.) St. Mary Catholic Central. They're 1-2 so far, with, hopefully, a win on deck against Milan this week.

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"I've been stuck here in this town, if you call it that, a year or two
"I never do what I'm supposed to do. I don't even need a name anymore,
"No one calls it out, kind of vanishes away
"No one gives a damn about the things I give a damn about
"The liberties that we can't do without seem to disappear like ghost in the air
"We don't even care, Until it vanishes away"

-- Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Alabama Pines
 
 
 
 
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