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Sunday 18 September 2011


Two confessions:

1) I love baseball movies.

2) I love baseball, but haven't been following for many years.

The Moneyball trailer was entertaining, even though it showed that Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) was successful. Even the synopsis gives it away:

The story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.

For those of us who don't know or remember the real story, we know from both the trailer and the synopsis that Billy Beane has somewhat of a happy ending. The cool thing about baseball is that success isn't always measured by winning the World Series, though it's the ultimate reward for a team. The Major League Baseball website states that "Beane continually remolds a team that has posted one of the majors' best records over the last past decade..." Yes, it really says "last past."

Wait a minute... this "true story" is as fresh as the bottle of Farnese Sangiovese (cheap, but tasty Italian red wine) I had with my pizza. Speaking of Italian, the wife and I went to see the opera Pagliacci last night. I was offered tickets and, thanks to Seinfeld, I knew that Pagliacci was the tragic clown. Glad I went and very thankful for the subtitles above the stage.

So, Moneyball is a fresh, true story that has nothing to do with Pagliacci. Field of Dreams is the only movie that made me cry. That whole having a catch, while making peace with your dad stuff gets me every time. Bull Durham. Major League. A League of Their Own. Bang the Drum Slowly. The Natural. Eight Men Out. Fever Pitch (even though Nick Hornby wrote it as a soccer story). The list of baseball movies goes on and I liked or loved every one.

There's something about baseball, at least there used to be, that is part of the American cultural landscape. It used to embody the essence of the working man. I don't think it does any more. But there used to be something very special about it.

I'll see Moneyball and I'm sure I will like or love it.

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