Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"How can you not be romantic about baseball?"

I really enjoyed Moneyball. It's a baseball movie, but it depicts very little action on the field. I'm not a big Brad Pitt fan, but he's very good in the role of Billy Beane, the GM of the Oakland A's, who successfully introduced an approach to the game that has been adopted to a great extent by the Cubs' new GM, Theo Epstein.

When you play the Moneyball way, there's less emphasis on stars and more on stats, less on the glitz and glam of homeruns and more on grinding it out and getting on base, any way possible. It's about hating to lose even more than you want to win.

Most of all, it's about looking at familiar things in a new way. "Adapt or die." 

Through it all, baseball remains the eternal, mysterious, infectious metaphor for life. When one player gets an unlikely second chance to stay in the game after every other team else has written him off, you smile. When another is told his career is over and sent packing, your heart breaks. As Billy asks at one point, "How can you not be romantic about baseball?"

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