Up until last night, former Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Mark Mulder claimed that he had never seen the film Moneyball, which portrayed the record-breaking 2002 A’s season. His former teammate and current San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Hudson recently called bullsh*t on that claim, and Mulder Tweeted last night that he was absolutely telling the truth and even decided to nip it in the bud by watching it and live-Tweeting his thoughts on the film. If he’s taking requests, I’d love to know what he thinks about Comrades of Summer. I think that was the most underrated baseball movie ever made.
As we’ve already known since the film’s release three years ago, there were plenty of inaccuracies from the baseball perspective, including a lot of the details surrounding the key A’s players in the film, like Carlos Peña, Chad Bradford, Jeremy Giambi and the hero, Scott Hatteberg. Paul DePodesta even disapproved of his portrayal so much that he refused to allow Columbia Pictures to use his name, and the character Peter Brand, played by Jonah Hill, was created to replace him and some other Oakland officials. On top of that, plenty of people had a problem with the way that manager Art Howe was depicted, including Howe himself, as his former players and assistants have come to his defense to say that he was nothing like that grizzled, grumpy dick played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. (Except the arguing with Billy Beane, which was apparently real.)
Still, it’s always nice to have some fresh perspective from someone who was briefly portrayed in the film. After all, not everyone involved with that unlikely season could be played by Brad Pitt, even though him playing every role would have been interesting. So what did Mulder think of the movie? Plenty of things, actually.
Baseball writer Keith Law was quick to point out how the movie hilariously ignored how amazing Oakland’s rotation was in 2002, with Mulder, Hudson and Barry Zito combining for 57 wins, as Zito won the AL’s Cy Young that season. Even Corey Lidle had one of the greatest single-month performances in baseball history during that magical August. But I guess that’s not as sexy as explaining how a group of ragtag hitters came together to help win 103 games.
The funniest thing about this is how this is the first time that he has watched this movie, and all of these people are responding to his Tweets with spoilers about the movie. “PSH makes Art Howe look like a dick.” “You, Hudson and Zito are barely in it.” “They also barely mentioned Miguel Tejada, who hit .308/34/131, and Eric Chavez, who hit .275/34/109.” Okay, I embellished that one a little. There was also one dick who didn’t want to enjoy Mulder watching the film as much as he wanted to debate the idea of Moneyball by saying that the ’02 A’s weren’t Moneyball because they had “Tejeda, Chavez, and the best pitching staff in baseball.” The combined salary of those five players that season? $7.72 million. The A’s Opening Day payroll in 2002 was $39 million, the 3rd lowest in baseball. But yeah, that’s not Moneyball.
Anyway, back to the movie.
Especially Royce Clayton as Tejada. That was always so strange to me.
Adding, “In money, that is. Sexual favors was a whole different story.” But maybe it was just a really funny trick they played on David Justice since he made 17% of the team’s salary that season.
Reminder: Peter Branch wasn’t technically DePodesta, as much as he was a Voltron of the team’s nerds.
In fairness to the film’s accuracy, maybe Mulder was in the bathroom whenever Giambi cranked the stereo and acted like a douchebag.
Again, it’s very amusing to see the random people bitching and moaning in Mulder’s responses about a guy who was on the team being portrayed in the movie offering his basic thoughts about it. He’s not tearing the movie down or wiping his butt with the DVD cover, he’s just nitpicking some inaccuracies. I guess that annoys the diehard Moneyball fanatics out there. Maybe they’ll discuss it at Beane-Con this year.
When people complain about Hollywood making so many baseball movies, I sometimes agree if the movie in question sucks (Ed, for example) or is unnecessary (like another Major League). But when done right, like the winning streak montage in Moneyball, baseball movies can be the best. Also, if they have Jessica Biel getting out of a pool in her underwear.
I’ll spare him the highlights of that one.
“Like the part where I drove the Pork Chop Express right into David Lo Pan and then he shot light out of his eyes and mouth to blind me. That never happened.”
“And what was up with the script for Big Trouble in Little China anyway? That sh*t was stupid, man.” Oh sorry, I was thinking about something else.
Perhaps the biggest inaccuracy in the entire movie was how they portrayed Oakland’s equipment manager Steve Vucinich.
Maybe he was just a composite of all of the team’s other equipment staff members.