Revolutionary Infighting

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Fiefdoms abound; tribal loyalties clash; desire for power and credit pits allies out of convenience into bitter enemies; turf wars explode.

No. I’m not talking about Libya.

I’m talking about stat guys who are already starting to bicker amongst themselves about the film Moneyball.

Keith Law wrote a negative review of the movie and was under siege for having the audacity to betray the community of which he’s supposed to be a founding and main member—the Ivy Leaguers who were meant to take over baseball front offices like a pack of roaches after a nuclear holocaust.

I have no idea who’s telling the truth in the hilarious back-and-forth between Law and Moneyball writer Michael Lewis; Law didn’t like the film; Lewis retorted to Law’s negative review. This is the first salvo of infighting and we’re going to see much, much more as the movie enters theaters. It’s going to spread like the rage virus from 28 Days Later. Fast.

It will be enlightening to see the reactions to the book and movie from people who still think the book is non-fiction and what really happened rather than a twisted bit of creative non-fiction designed to present Billy Beane and the stat “revolutionaries” as being “right”.

I’ll say this: if people are going to see the film expecting to see a direct adaptation from the book to the movie, they’re going to be disappointed.

If they think that they’re going to get a true portrayal of Beane, they’re going to be disappointed.

If they’re expecting anything other than slight flashes of recollection from the book with things that were kinda-sorta in there, they’ll be disappointed.

My advice is to enter the theater without any preconceived notions and watch the film as a film.

And that’s the same advice I have for people who will read the book before and after.

As a book, Moneyball is an impressive and skillfully presented story by a very good writer.

It just so happens that the writer had an agenda that was missed or ignored in the heady days following its publication as the so-called “revolution” was at its height.

Such is no longer the case.

I like baseball movies and am interested in the film, but am not expecting anything close to the book because the book was absurd to start with and the movie isn’t going to resemble the book in anything but the most general way.

Just watch the movie if you’re interested in seeing it and don’t think you’re getting a fly-on-the-wall treatment of what and how the legend of Billy Beane came to be. That’s something that neither the book nor the movie are going to give you because it doesn’t actually exist and never really did. Not even as Brad Pitt.

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