Moneyball Movie Poster

Trivia for Moneyball

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  • When Steven Soderbergh was still supposed to direct, he cast Brad Pitt and Demetri Martin in the lead roles and had already shot interview scenes with baseball players Lenny Dykstra, Mookie Wilson, and Darryl Strawberry to be included in the film.
  • During pre-production, director of photography Adam Kimmel was arrested in Connecticut on sexual assault and weapons and explosives possession charges. He was replaced by Wally Pfister.
  • Production was set to begin on June 22, 2009, but Columbia Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal axed the movie after objecting to changes that Steven Soderbergh made to Steven Zaillian's script.
  • Bobby Kotick, President, CEO and a director of Activision Blizzard portrays Stephen Schott, the owner of the Oakland Athletics in the film.
  • At one point, we hear that Miguel Tejada has struck out to end a game. In the original book, Tejada's free swinging ways and relatively high strikeout rate was something of a point of contention, with the Dominican shortstop telling Billy Beane and other Athletics' members that "You can't walk your way off the island".
  • Several of the actors playing ballplayers have baseball experience. Casey Bond spent time in the Giants' organization. Stephen Bishop played for three years during the 1990s, including one season playing with David Justice. Royce Clayton played 17 years in MLB. Derrin Ebert played five games for the Braves in 1999.
  • Of all the Oakland players from the season represented in the movie (2002), the only one playing for Oakland in 2011 was Mark Ellis, who was traded away in the middle of the season.
  • Despite suggestions in the movie that Scott Hatteberg was a bad-fielding first baseman, he ended the year with a fielding percentage (.994) higher than the league average for his position (.993).
  • Bill James, noted as the statistical influence for the main characters' analysis, is regarded by many to be the father of sabermetrics. This study of advanced baseball statistics is named after the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), an organization to which James and other sabermetrics pioneers belong. The film puts a heavy emphasis upon on-base percentage (OBP), though concepts like wOBA, FIP, and BABIP are not mentioned.
  • Bennett Miller told a screening audience that A's assistant GM Paul DePodesta did not wish to have his real name used in the movie, but was very generously helpful during its making. While the filmmakers had no obligation to change his character's name (to Peter Brand), they did so willingly.
  • David Justice is played by Stephen Bishop, a former pro baseball player. Bishop was a career Minor Leaguer, and as a Braves prospect was nicknamed Young Justice due to his physical resemblance and similar playing style to David Justice.
  • The Oakland A's set a new American League record for consecutive wins, with 20. The all-time Major League record is 26, set by the New York Giants in 1916, including one tie. Without ties, the record belongs to the 2017 Cleveland Indians, with 22 straight wins.
  • Several of the Oakland A's radio announcers are heard throughout the movie, but are not credited: The legendary Bill King - whose signature line "HOLY TOLEDO" punctuates the Royals rally to tie the A's from an 11-0 start during what would become the 20th win in a row - is foremost among them. At various points from the 1950s until his death a few years ago, King called Oakland Raiders, Golden State Warriors, A's and early on San Francisco Giants games. Current Oakland Raiders announcer Greg Papa was also the television play-by-play announcer for the Oakland A's from 1989 to 2003 and is the host of the San Francisco Giants pre and post games shows. Also heard are Ken Korach, then King's second fiddle who later took over the #1 play-by-play role, and color man Ray Fosse, a veteran of the 1970s Oakland championship teams who continued to call games for the A's through the 2013 season. Scott Hatteberg sometimes fills in for Ray Fosse as a color commentator.
  • All but one of the scouts in the movie were played by actual Major League Baseball scouts. Tom Gamboa is perhaps best known as the Kansas City Royals first base coach who was attacked on the field by two fans during a game against the Chicago White Sox on September 19, 2002. The father and son, highly intoxicated, ran onto the field unprovoked, tackled Gamboa, and threw several punches before being restrained by players and security. Gamboa ultimately suffered permanent hearing loss.
  • Billy Beane is portrayed as a lonely divorcé. In real life, he had remarried. Scenes were shot with Kathryn Morris as his second wife, Tara. They didn't make the final cut, though they're included as Blu-ray extras. Brad Pitt's character still wears a wedding ring throughout the film.
  • This is the first baseball movie to be nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award since Field of Dreams (1989).
  • Brad Pitt starred in and produced two movies that were nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award in 2012, this movie and The Tree of Life (2011).
  • Billy Beane refers to John Poloni as "Rocco". This is a reference to Jack McGee's father who played minor league baseball and whose nickname was "Rocco".
  • During the course of the film's theatrical release, Ron Washington, an Oakland Athletics coach seen in the movie, was managing in the World Series for the Texas Rangers.
  • The film's original director, Steven Soderbergh, intended to have all the baseball players portray themselves. When Columbia Pictures dropped the film, the script was later rewritten and the new director, Bennett Miller, hired actors.
  • When Chris Pratt auditioned for the role of Scott Hatteberg, he was told he was too fat. Pratt decided to lose weight before the role was cast. "I'd check, maybe, once a week," he recalls. "I'd say, 'They cast it yet?' And I would just keep working out. Finally I got in good enough shape that I took a picture of myself and sent it to my agent." He won the role.
  • When Aaron Sorkin agreed to rewrite the screenplay, he stated as a condition that Steven Zaillian name would not be removed from the credits, because his draft was great and Sorkin didn't really feel he could improve it much.
  • Grady Fuson, the scouting director whose termination is depicted in the film, returned to the A's in 2010. According to him, he enjoyed this movie, but "The only thing that didn't fare well with me was dropping an F-bomb on my boss. I don't think I can take my grandson to see it yet."
  • "The Show" was from the self-titled and inaugural album of Australian artist Lenka.
  • Director Bennett Miller was so impressed by Kerris Dorsey when she sang "The Show" by Lenka during her audition that he not only cast her as the protagonist's daughter but let her sing the 2008 song twice in the movie which was set in 2002, sacrificing its historical authenticity.
  • Since there was no money to shoot in all the stadiums the Oakland Athletics visited, Dodger Stadium was dressed up as eight different ballparks.
  • The crew had only one day to shoot the scenes of Billy Beane's visits to Fenway Park in Boston. It was raining that day, and the gloomy weather in was kept in the final product of the film.
  • At 41.30, when Brad Pitt is having a conversation with his ex-wife and her partner, there is a book called 'By the Sea' on the table. By the Sea (2015) is a movie starring Brad Pitt and his ex-wife (also the director from BTS) Angelina Jolie. This movie came out in 2015.
  • The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Brad Pitt, Spike Jonze and Philip Seymour Hoffman; and one Oscar nominee: Jonah Hill.
  • A person named Scott calls Billy early in the film. He attempts (with questionable ethics) to get Billy to pay his client more money, with no success. This is most likely a reference to super agent Scott Boras, who has brokered record deals for his clients throughout the years.
  • One of the most persistently negative faceless voices attacking Beane's approach to team building in the film is performed by noted character actor Ron Canada. The character who gives a sharp rebuke to the A's after the climactic playoff loss, was intended to evoke the views of baseball traditionalist like Hall of Famer Joe Morgan. In fact Canada auditioned as a Morgan voice match. Director Bennett Miller worked with Canada, a hard core fan of the game over three recording sessions to portray the broadcast scoldings from the game's conservatives. Some of that dialog is the result of mock interviews of Canada's "character" by Miller in the recording studio.Though not credited, Canada is proud to have contributed something to what he calls "a sports film for grownups.".
  • (Cameo) Spike Jonze: uncredited as Sharon's new husband, Alán.
  • Arliss Howard, who plays the owner of the Boston Red Sox, played the adult version of Scotty Smalls in The Sandlot (1993). Brad Pitt even gives the movie a nod when he mentions "the Great Bambino".
  • In interviews Art Howe objected to his portrayal in this film.
  • When Billy Beane meets with his scouts, he says, "It's an unfair game." The movie is based on the book "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game."
  • When Beane is advising his players, he says "When your enemy is making mistakes, don't interrupt 'em". This is paraphrasing advice reputedly delivered by Napoléon Bonaparte to his generals during a battle in 1805.
  • During a 2014 interview on the National Public Radio program "Fresh Air," director Bennett Miller said that almost all of the scouts depicted in the movie were also played by actual scouts: "Most of those guys are just scouts and there's a couple of actors in there. You know, we were just researching it and trying to get a sense of what these meetings are like and invited a whole bunch of scouts to just talk to us about how they approach things and you know, what these kinds of meetings are. And we brought, I don't know, probably 20 guys together when we were prepping the film and just to have a round-table discussion and to reenact something and we just stirred it up and watched it go, and you know, sitting with Brad Pitt and we'd just look at each other and wonder, why are we trying to cast actors? Let's just invite these guys back and let's just say--we'll just tell them to study that season and say, you're working for the A's and how would you go about it? And you know, that sort of in a hybrid with the script, written by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, just sort of brought it to life."
  • During a meeting with scouts discussing players, one scout dismisses a player for having "an ugly girlfriend", translating this as that the player has "no confidence." The story that an Athletics scout didn't want a player because he didn't have an attractive girlfriend is apparently true, but in real life, he cited this as meaning "bad eyesight."
  • The movie doesn't mention that the A's had three pitchers with 15 plus wins ( Mark Mulder 19, Tim Hudson 15, and Barry Zito 23) and two hitters with over 30 home runs and 100 runs battled in ( Eric Chavez 34/109, and Miguel Tejeda 34/131) In fact Miguel Tejeda was the American League Most Valuable Player for 2002.

Spoilers

  • According to the screenplay, "Against the Wind" by Bob Seger was the song to be played during the last scene, but was supplanted by "The Show" by Lenka.
  • To win the 20th consecutive game during the streak, the A's' closer Billy Koch blew the save in the top of the 9th by giving up the tying run. He then earned the win when Scott Hatteberg hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 9th. Koch saved 9 and earned the win in 3 games during the 20 game winning streak.
  • The A's won the AL west again in 2012 with the lowest payroll in Major League Baseball and a record setting 54 wins by rookie pitchers. The season has been informally called "Moneyball 2" by fans and the press.
  • According to the book, the bat used by Hatteberg in the walk-off homer in was made by a company he did not have a deal with. He wasn't supposed to bat in that game and had borrowed the bat from a teammate earlier and grabbed it on his way out to pinch hit. He later got fined for using a different brand bat.
  • Close to the end of film, right after the scene where the Oakland A's lose to the Minnesota Twins, Billy Beane is seen in his house getting a phone call from what is later revealed to be the Boston Red Sox. Just before the phone rings, Beane is shown drinking some kind of liquid from a glass. But he doesn't finish it, stopping with just a sip remaining. The whole action was filmed intentionally and is intended to symbolize how Beane is just a "sip away" from achieving his goal (like being a step away from winning the championship with the A's).
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