It’s a big weekend for Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane.
His Athletics, out of the playoff race since the first pitch of the season, open a three-game road series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Friday night. That’s not exactly a big deal for Beane, a GM under incredible amounts of fire as his team hasn’t cracked a spot in the postseason since 2006.
On Friday night, the baseball movie about him opens nationwide. Brad Pitt portrays him in the film. Talk about crossing stuff off the bucket list before you hit 50.
Beane’s life is baseball. He made it to the majors in the mid 80’s, scuffling with four teams in five seasons. Beane’s career average lingers just below .220 with 29 career runs batted in. Cooperstown isn’t exactly on hold. He became a hit in the front office with Oakland as he helped usher in a way of looking beyond the box score and applying a players worth to different statistics. Think of Billy Beane as a fantasy baseball manager with the very real job of running a ball club.
Beane didn’t have time to speak with me on Monday afternoon. The A’s director of public relations said that “in the media world we live in, this won’t be possible.” And to think, no one wanted to talk with this guy two decades ago.
In 2003, Michael Lewis wrote a book about him. And then they made a movie about him. He has yet to make a World Series, winning one postseason series in his lengthy stay in Oakland. His cost-effective way of running a baseball team comes across as a very short-term solution without any long-term payout.
It will be interesting to see if Billy Beane’s movie about Billy Beane does well at the box office. One must think the release date around the start of the playoffs could turn a pure baseball movie into a base hit in theaters. Then again, it could fade away after a couple of weeks.
That actually sounds more like the Oakland A’s in the past few seasons.
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