• James Rutherford

'Moneyball' The Captivating Tale of Billy Bean's Integration of Quantitative Analytics into Baseball


Movie poster for the film Moneyball starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill

"Moneyball" (2011) is a highly entertaining sports drama starring Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, real-life general manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team circa 2002. The storyline follows Beane's high-profile experiment in integrating quantitative analytics into recruitment and strategic deployment of players.


Facing an uncertain roster in the summer of 2002, with several of their prized players due to depart in free agency, Beane is forced to confront the daunting task of wholesale change on an exceedingly limited budget. On a scouting trip to Ohio, Beane first encounters Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), a young Yale graduate who specializes in empirical analytics, and is convinced to hire the young savant as his assistant general manager. Their partnership provides the framework for a wonderfully engaging tale of innovation and unlikely achievement—Beane's fervent belief in Brand's system ultimately engendering a whole new era of recruitment strategy throughout professional sports.


Adapted by by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin from Michael Lewis's 2003 non-fiction book "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game", with pitch-perfect direction courtesy of Bennett Miller ("Capote", "Foxcatcher"), "Moneyball" is a fresh and surprisingly touching tale of accomplishment and accord. Kudos to Miller, Zaillian and Sorkin for seamlessly fashioning such challenging subject matter into an altogether charming story of perseverance and reclamation. Sharp, engaging and often quite amusing, it's not only a top-notch sports drama—it's an entirely superior human-interest story brimming with insight, intelligence and enormous heart.

 

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