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.
Thank you for reading
This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.Subscribe now