Moneyball is about the 2002 Oakland Athletics, which is known for its low payroll and unorthodox player selection. But don’t dismiss the movie as just another baseball drama. Even those who care less about the sport can find something interesting in it.
The main guy of Moneyball is Billy Beane (Brad Pitt). He’s a former player turned general manager of the Oakland A’s. He’s having a hard time turning the team around and sees the old ways of running the team as inefficient.
Then he stumbles upon Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), who has a rating system that determines the value of the players based on stats. Billy and Peter begin signing, trading and developing talent according to the system and not on scouting This is not received well by some members of the team organization including Art Howe (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the team manager.
Through Peter’s system, the Oakland A’s starts winning games with the team composed of unlikely players, such as Scott Hatteberg (Chris Pratt) Chad Bradford (Casey Bond), and David Justice (Stephen Bishop). The nation’s eyes are all on the A’s as the team rises in the standings, on its way to a place in the World Series.
Everyone knows Brad Pitt can act and he brings his A game in Moneyball. The role requires him to be calm on the outside but you can still feel his frustration and pain in the inside. Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Jonah Hill compliment perfectly with Brad Pitt’s perky character. As Peter Brand, Jonah is shy, quiet and smart. As Art Howe, Phillip is stubborn, cold and tough.
Peter Brand (Jonah Hill): It is about getting things down to one number. Using the stats the way we read them, we’ll find value in players that no one else can see. People are overlooked for a variety of biased reasons and perceived flaws. Age, appearance, personality. Bill James and mathematics cut straight through that. Billy, of the 20,000 notable players for us to consider, I believe that there is a championship team of twenty-five people that we can afford, because everyone else in baseball undervalues them.
But the one thing that stands out from Moneyball is Brand’s system. The combination of numbers and baseball is what got my interest. Peter explains the system to Billy, which in a way breaks it down to the audience as well. This way, everyone gets how it works. It shows that player statistics is an important factor in determining the success of a team.
Billy Beane (Brad Pitt): How can you not get romantic about baseball?
Moneyball is an inspirational movie. It has elements that everyone can find entertaining. It has baseball action for the sports junkie, although most of the interesting actions are behind the scenes. It also has enough drama for the girls to love. You will enjoy it even if you don’t have any interest in the sport.