September 30, 2011 5:51 am by Dan Culberson, under , . 0 Comments

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No ‘Big Game’

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

Moneyball takes what some people believe to be the two most boring subjects possible–statistics and baseball–and combines them to make a movie that is disappointing in a way that most movies about a particular sport or team is not.

Starring Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics who at the start of this century revolutionized the way the teams acquired new players, the movie follows him and his team for the 2002 season and shows the success of his revolutionary method, which has come to be known as “sabermetrics.”

As a matter of fact, that revolutionary method of using statistics to rate players for their effectiveness in the game is probably now being used by all the teams in Major League Baseball, as well as many other teams in the world of sports all over the planet.

According to the movie, Beane met a young employee of the Cleveland Indians named Pete Brand during a visit there to talk about trading players.

Pete is played by Jonah Hill, and Beane notices how during the negotiations the coaches in the room were conferring with Pete, who studied economics at Yale and his first job anywhere was with the Cleveland Indians.

So, recognizing and understanding a good thing when he sees it, Beane later calls Pete and tells him, “Pack your bags, Pete, I just bought you from the Cleveland Indians.”

Back in Oakland, Beane makes Pete the assistant general manager, and now he has to convince the owner and the coaches that this new method of evaluating players will be successful, which is compared with card counting in a gambling casino.

We also see some of Beane’s personal life, the fact that he is divorced and has a 12-year-old daughter, as well as some background on his own career as a baseball player, but these scenes are merely interesting and appear to be put in just to add more time to the movie.

During the course of the season, the A’s do something remarkable in winning 20 straight games, but if you aren’t familiar with recent baseball history and are expecting an emotional “Rocky” finish, you will be disappointed in the overall movie.

Moneyball ends with a “Big Season,” but no “Big Game,” and that leaves the audience with one “Big Disappointment.”

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

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