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September 28, 2011

BP Unfiltered

Moneyball: The Poster

by Jason Parks

As someone who feeds off the baseball bosom, it’s my professional obligation to opine on the industry elephant Moneyball. I’m currently in Arizona scouting the Fall Instructional League and I haven’t yet seen the film adaptation of the book, but I did have a chance to see the adverts splattered throughout the subway systems of New York City, so I feel it’s my duty to share my thoughts with you on the subject.

In the poster, Brad Pitt is showing off his handsome face from a flattering angle while a baseball field hides itself from view in the background. Pitt, the handsome face tasked with playing Billy Beane—another man with a handsome face—finds his name headlining the poster, standing above and beyond the name of the film itself. I’ve seen the poster defaced in most subway stations, whether it’s a crudely drawn penis placed near the mouth of Pitt or a few not-so-clever tags that appear in the vast open spaces directly under the “Brad” and the “Pitt” in the composition, but I have yet to deface the poster myself; if I did, I’d probably make Pitt a little less perfect looking, either by adding some wrinkles or perhaps pushing his beautiful bangs back a few inches to show off a hairline flaw.

From what I can gather, the film is about a very handsome man with a handsome face who likes to pose for pictures while sitting in the stands at a ballpark or some other green pasture of real estate. The adventure is either about money or a ball, or perhaps both money and a ball, but I’m pretty sure that’s just a clever word created to define Pitt’s boyish charm and beauty. Speaking of, Pitt’s handsome face comes with a playful smirk, as if to say, “Yeah, this is what I have to live with. It’s such a burden. My life is almost as perfect as my face.” His overall aesthetic is congruent with the playful smirk, as his hair and fashion choices suggest he is too focused on other activities to bother with the process yet too handsome for it to really matter. When I watch the poster, I can’t help but want to mimic his choices, starting with the wispy unkept hair, to the blue jacket, to the dimples, and finally, to the confidence that stems from being better looking than everybody else.  At the ball fields in Arizona, I’m constantly looking over my shoulder at a clever angle hoping someone catches the resemblance.

The rest of the cast is listed underneath the title of the film, but all they get is a casual glance, as the face that hides the façade is all I seem to care about. I assume their role in the movie is to sit with a focused stare at Pitt, as if in awe of his handsomeness (or his money or his ball). I asked some scouts about their depiction on the poster and the unanimous reply was, “We aren’t depicted on the poster.” Typical. Hollywood strikes again.

So will I see this movie? Well, I’ve already seen it. Brad Pitt and his handsome face make a handsome poster, so I spent two hours staring at it while waiting for the train in Brooklyn. Afterwards, I tacked $12.50 to the paper poster, flew to Arizona to watch teenagers take batting practice, and waited for the first opportunity to pen my thoughts on the subject.  I feel more complete now. Professional duty accomplished. See the poster. I recommend it.

Jason Parks is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jason's other articles. You can contact Jason by clicking here

14 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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Andrew Martinez

This is why we need Jason to write more at BP. Outstanding.

Sep 28, 2011 10:11 AM
rating: 6

I can say without a trace of irony that this is the best review of moneyball (poster OR film) I've read from a baseball writer. Fantastic as usual, Professor Parks.

Sep 28, 2011 10:15 AM
rating: 3
Lloyd Cole

Wonderful. As often is the case with your articles, this was the best part of my day. But I think you should've kept the $12.50 and used it to buy a drink or two. That was the least that you could do for yourself after spending two hours staring at the visage of Brad Pitt, even to answer the call of duty.

Sep 28, 2011 10:29 AM
rating: 1

Thank you, Jason. My day is better after reading this. :-)

Sep 28, 2011 11:18 AM
rating: 1

This is the most "Jason Parks" a Jason Parks entry has been. Or could possibly be, absent a Pitt-Verducci comparison.

Sep 28, 2011 11:19 AM
rating: 3

Wonderful - Can someone link to the poster in question. I honestly don't know if we get the same posters in Canada as are seen in the US.

Sep 28, 2011 11:59 AM
rating: 0


The main difference is that VORP in inches here, as opposed to the metric system. I crack myself up.

Sep 28, 2011 12:07 PM
rating: 1

I've seen some terrible defacing of his posters. Not creative and pointlessly vulgar. At least be creative, no?

Sep 28, 2011 12:03 PM
rating: 0

Pitt's face on the 20-80? I'm disappointed you didn't go there. Your prose has slipped to a 75.

Sep 28, 2011 13:48 PM
rating: 0

Jason is just the best. I assume Pitt qualifies for The Good Face but how does he compare to Christiano Ronaldo? Pitt's an 80 (Harper / Stanton Power) and Ronaldo's a "90" (Hamilton Speed)?

Sep 29, 2011 08:51 AM
rating: 0

Thankfully, you'd never comment on a prospect's AFL performance without actually "seeing" him play.

Oct 01, 2011 05:00 AM
rating: 0
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I would if I had a good source provide me with the info. You can't see every prospect in the minors, so you have to use any available means to ac

Oct 01, 2011 23:43 PM
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

...acquire quality intelligence. Quality being the key word, as most general info found on the internet (as it pertains to scouting/prospects) is total crap. Eye-witness accounts are preferable, assuming, of course, the eye-witness knows what he/she is talking about. I think I know what I'm looking for, so when I see prospects in person I assign weight to my thoughts. But if someone with more experience and a better eye can offer a different view, I'm always prepared to be wrong.

I saw some AFL workouts last week. I'll be writing a bit about that soon, but since I didn't see any game action (yet), I won't get too heavy into the scouting. I did scout a ton of FIL action, so I'll be writing up those notes in a few days, including detailed observations of LA bonus babies Ronnie Guzman, Nomar Mazara, and first-round pick Francisco Lindor. Tons of talent out in Arizona right now. Tons.

Oct 01, 2011 23:52 PM
Replacement Cat

Thank you, Jason. More please.

Oct 01, 2011 12:28 PM
rating: 0
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Premium Article Kiss'Em Goodbye: San F... (09/27)
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