04 August 2010

Black Dynamite, Moneyball, and a Rare Win

I spend my weekday mornings working at a children's publishing company. While that may sound just as soulless as Joseph Gordon-Levitt's greeting card gig, it's actually rather nice and I get a lot of time to myself in the storage office, where I can engage in many non-work activities... like watching Black Dynamite while balancing on a medicine ball.

If you're in the mood for a fun time-waster, Black Dynamite's your movie. A Technicolored contemporary take on the 1970's blaxploitation genre, Black Dynamite deftly drifts between homage and farce. Michael Jai White's title character is both hilarious and badass. It's one of the more original comedies in years.

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Michael Lewis' Moneyball, the book that introduced a broader baseball audience to sabermetrics, is being adapted into a feature film. Anyone who has read the book probably wonders like me how they'll manage to turn source material that was mostly based on mathematics and theory into an entertaining feature.

I guess a start would be to put some big names on the package. The main character, Oakland A's GM Billy Beane, will be played by Brad Pitt. I'm sure Billy is flattered... and insufferable. Philip Seymour Hoffman will don an A's uniform and portray former Oakland skipper Art Howe. The jury's still out on that one. And, definitely most baffling, is the Paul DePodesta character (a man who would go on to have an ill-fated run as the Dodgers general manager), whose name has been changed to "Peter Brand" because of DePodesta's qualms with the casting choice. I'd probably feel the same if Jonah Hill were chosen to play me.

Best of all, the film's baseball consultant is none other than Dodger legend and fan site webmaster Chad Kreuter, who also has a role as the A's pitching coach. Quite a few of the A's players will be portrayed by legitimate former major leaguers, including Royce Clayton as Miguel Tejada. Clayton's previous claims to fame were as Ozzie Smith's replacement in St. Louis and the stiff who Dennis Quaid struck out in The Rookie.

No one really knows what to expect from the Moneyball movie. It might do for baseball films what the book did for baseball literature. It also might be a huge snoozefest. Time will tell for this interesting adaptation of a book every baseball lover should read.

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Oh shit, I almost forgot. The Dodgers actually won last night, squeaking by those pesky Padres 2-1.



The abysmal offense only scored 2 runs and rode the coattails of Ted Lilly's dominating debut, but a victory is a victory I guess. Lilly only gave up two hits in 7 innings pitched and retired the last 20 batters he faced, all while looking rather - I don't know - boring, I guess. He's kind of just a weird looking dude.

Despite Jonathan Broxton's best efforts to make things interesting in the 9th, the defense turned a game-ending double play to seal the Dodgers' first victory in 7 games (also the first of the Scott Podsednik era, who in a typical "Juan-For-Four" Pierre fashion, went, well, one-for-four).

The big story of the night though were the injuries to Rafael Furcal (big deal) and Russell Martin (not so much). Martin would insist on playing (poorly) if he had his entire leg blown off, so I'm not worried about him. But Furcal has been the Dodgers' best hitter since Andre Ethier's amazing tear was halted by the Great Pinkie Break of 2010.

He left Monday's game with tightness in his back. That tightness diagnosis has since been elevated to a strain, never good news with Furcal, whose back has kept him out of hundreds of games since his arrival in L.A. He'll likely go on the DL (as Jeff Weaver did yesterday, though his diagnosis was merely "sucks"), and I'd expect that either Chin-Lung Hu or Juan Castro gets the call up to replace him.

I cannot wait for the Carroll, Castro/Hu, Theriot, Belliard infield to make its debut before the end of the season.

Finally, with last night's win, the Dodgers' run differential for 2010 is +1. That's just dandy.

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Update:

Chad Moriyama, blogger extraordinaire, has updates on Dodgers draft pick signings over at Memories of Kevin Malone. So shocked to see Zach Lee hasn't been signed...

2 comments:

  1. How would you like to be these dudes that just got traded to the Dodgers? They're probably thinking to themselves "why me!" They get traded from what ever crap team they were on, only to be uprooted and sent to another crap team, who their former crap team could probably beat 2 out of 3 from.... and the hits just keep on coming, did you see Juan Pierre go yard last night?

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  2. Ned is probably thinking of a way to reacquire Pierre now that he's a bona fide power hitter.

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