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Fire Joe Morgan, Hire Demetri Martin
April 21, 2009 4:07 PM   Subscribe

Demetri Martin cast in Steven Soderbergh's Moneyball. An adaptation of Michael Lewis' controversial and influential 2003 book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, the film will begin shooting in June and will star Brad Pitt as Oakland Athletics' General Manager Billy Beane, Martin as Beane's then-assistant GM Paul DePodesta, and former major leaguers Scott Hatteberg and David Justice as themselves.

The screenplay is currently undergoing a rewrite by Steven Zaillian (writer of Schindler's List, Gangs of New York, and others). Martin, a stand-up comedian discussed before on MeFi, has also been cast in Ang Lee's upcoming Taking Woodstock.

Moneyball the book is the story of how Beane found innovative ways of keeping the A's, a small-market team with a small payroll, competitive in a league with no salary cap by using statistical data studies known as sabermetrics and finding statistics and players undervalued in the current market. Frequently misunderstood (most famously by analyist and Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan, who refuses to read the book and for a long time believed it was written by Beane himself), Moneyball challenged conventional baseball wisdom and, drawing largely upon the work of Bill James, revolutionized the sport.
posted by ORthey (48 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Interesting. This book would have about dead last on the list of books I thought would be made into a movie. Beane's gotta like being played by Brad Pitt though.
posted by vito90 at 4:11 PM on April 21, 2009


There is only one God and he is Bill James. And Nate Silver is his prophet.
posted by The Bellman at 4:15 PM on April 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


Moneyball is a great book. Highly recommended for (especially) the casual fan.

It didn't just revolutionize baseball, it revolutionized sports. The statistical era has come and basketball, hockey, and (to a lesser extent) football are now desperately trying to create their versions of "sabermetrics" to apply to their own systems.

Two baseball posts in a row? Since when has mefi wanted to please me so?
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 4:16 PM on April 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


vito90: " Beane's gotta like being played by Brad Pitt though."

I was going to snark about this being the biggest "step up" since Isak Dinesen was played by Meryl Streep. But it turns out that Beane is a handsome fellow.

Carry on.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:17 PM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Fast Food Nation" was turned into a movie and it was AWFUL. Filimg non-fiction books isn't going to have an enjoyable outcome.
posted by GuyZero at 4:22 PM on April 21, 2009


so far, demeti martin has managed to build a comedy career out of 6 or 7 jokes. perhaps he'll do better in a film.
posted by kitchenrat at 4:26 PM on April 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


GuyZero: "Filimg non-fiction books isn't going to have an enjoyable outcome."

The Orchid Thief. QED.
posted by Plutor at 4:28 PM on April 21, 2009


From wikipedia: "The film tells the story of Charlie Kaufman's difficult struggle to adapt The Orchid Thief into a film."

Meta-adaptation is cheating. I doubt MoneyBall: The Movie is going to be about writer's block and living in a seedy hotel trying to write your next play while a crazy John Goodman stays next door (ah, wrong movie, but whatever).
posted by GuyZero at 4:40 PM on April 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Billy Bob Thornton would have been a better choice, resemblance-wise.
posted by shadow vector at 4:42 PM on April 21, 2009


Pre- or Post-op Billy Bob? Because post-op looks like a young Tommy Lee Jones with tattoos.
posted by mecran01 at 4:47 PM on April 21, 2009


God, I can't stand Joe Morgan. He's very, very annoying because he talks all the time and he's very, very repetitive. Yes, Joe, I know that was a very, very difficult play for a second baseman to make. Yes, yes, I also know that that is a very, very tough pitch for a hitter to hit when the count is 1-2. With him and John Miller it's like the worst and best two announcers together at the the very, very same time.
posted by zzazazz at 4:49 PM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


God, I can't stand Joe Morgan

Me neither. And with Fire Joe Morgan now defunct, my outlet for Joe-rage is gone.
posted by ORthey at 4:57 PM on April 21, 2009


I was nonplussed about Demitri Martin's act until I saw If I, a performance he gave for the BBC. It's part comedy routine and part motivational speech. Some of it is pretty brilliant. Here's part one of six on the YouTube.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 5:07 PM on April 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Demetri Martin bothers me. No grown man should have that hairstyle.
That bowlcut, Joey-Lawrence-and-each-subsequent-Lawrence-brother thing.
posted by chococat at 5:09 PM on April 21, 2009


I'm not a big fan of Demetri Martin... he's like a Mitch Hedberg on a bad day, every time. But I'm hoping he'll make me a fan by being part of the movie version of my most favoritest book ever.
posted by ORthey at 5:14 PM on April 21, 2009


Frequently misunderstood (most famously by analyist and Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan, who refuses to read the book and for a long time believed it was written by Beane himself)
I'm pretty sure that I remember Morgan, after ranting about the book and denigrating Beane for "writing" it, being asked whether he read it or not, and responding:

"I don't read books."
posted by Flunkie at 5:15 PM on April 21, 2009


I will only see this movie if Kevin Youkilis is in it. And if he wrestles a bear. And wins.
posted by MegoSteve at 5:17 PM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Billy Bob Thornton would have been a better choice, resemblance-wise.

I... I don't know, uh... what you're... asking... I don't understand the question.
posted by Saxon Kane at 5:24 PM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah, I think I'm mixing two things in my mind. Googling indicates that he said "I don't read books like that", not just "I don't read books", about Moneyball.

However, googling also indicates that he said just plain "I don't read books" upon being asked his opinion on Game of Shadows.
posted by Flunkie at 5:25 PM on April 21, 2009


Wow, I just found out that Martin is years older than I am. That makes that thin 20 something hipster schtick even more threadbare.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:25 PM on April 21, 2009


Hopefully comedian Demetri Martin's role in this movie will be just like Chris Elliott's big break.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:44 PM on April 21, 2009


I've always thought that Demetri Martin needed a severe James-Caan-with-a-garbage-can-lid-type ass-beating--ostensibly to toughen him up a little, season him so his comedy grows and matures, but actually because I just don't like him. His man-child appearance grates on me.
posted by John of Michigan at 6:22 PM on April 21, 2009


I will only see this movie if Kevin Youkilis is in it

Youk has got to be in it. The whole "Greek God of Walks" thing is awesome, and a pretty elemental way to describe some of the concepts.

Plus, he could wrsetle that bear.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:30 PM on April 21, 2009


Well if anyone van bring the preachiness, dryness, and lack of well-developed narrative of non-fiction to the big screen, Soderbergh can.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:12 PM on April 21, 2009


MegoSteve: "I will only see this movie if Kevin Youkilis is in it. And if he wrestles a bear. And wins."

Didn't you watch yesterday's game against the Orioles? Because that happened, I think, with 1 outs in the 7th. Got 2 RBIs on the play, too.
posted by Plutor at 7:15 PM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not a big fan of Demetri Martin... he's like a Mitch Hedberg on a bad day, every time.

I like Demetri Martin, because he's like Mitch Hedberg.... Except he seems to be a lot more exuberant about life and a lot less high. But I also think that Demetri Martin is still young and hasn't quite matured as a comic yet. I think, in a few years, he will be absolutely fantastic.
posted by Ms. Saint at 7:38 PM on April 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Demetri Martin is absolutely insufferable. His Comedy Central show is just dreadful.

His stand-up routine was mildly amusing for 5 minutes or less. The rest of the time I continued watching to see if he was trying to do some sort of Andy Kaufman thing.

He wasn't.

I've yet to talk to anyone who was a big fan of his, so I've wondered what is driving his supposed popularity? Is some higher-up at Comedy Central just crazy over him?
posted by Ynoxas at 7:38 PM on April 21, 2009


I've yet to talk to anyone who was a big fan of his, so I've wondered what is driving his supposed popularity? Is some higher-up at Comedy Central just crazy over him?

Whoever you like, sucks.
posted by xmutex at 7:59 PM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


SO THIS is the reason why Important Things with D.M. has been replaced with the absolutely unattractive and atrocious RENO 911 on Wednesdays... now I know why those nights so suddenly became unimportant.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 8:08 PM on April 21, 2009


I like Demetri Martin, but then I'm kind of pleased to see, between people like him and Hedburg, standup getting more one-liner stuff.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:36 PM on April 21, 2009


Whoever you like, sucks.
posted by xmutex at 9:59 PM on April 21


Probably.

That still doesn't mean Demetri is any good.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:52 PM on April 21, 2009


I like Demetri Martin, because he's like Mitch Hedberg.... Except he seems to be a lot more exuberant about life and a lot less high. But I also think that Demetri Martin is still young and hasn't quite matured as a comic yet. I think, in a few years, he will be absolutely fantastic.

I liked Demetri Martin until I found out he's nearing 40 (well, he's 36) and his appearance is part of his act.
posted by null terminated at 8:56 PM on April 21, 2009


GuyZero: "Filimg non-fiction books isn't going to have an enjoyable outcome."

Sorry, you mean Seabiscuit? It's not Schindler's List or anything (well, I wouldn't know, having never seen Schindler's List), but it was nominated for a hell of a lot of Academy Awards, Golden Globes and SAG Awards, and it's got perfectly respectable Rotten Tomatoes and MetaCritic reviews. And, speaking as a huge fan of the book, it managed to stick to the Hollywood "sad, then happy pony movie" formula fairly well while also adapting the digressive charm of the original: "Let's talk about the San Francisco car business of the early 21st century. And jockey eating disorders. And Tijuana brothels. What do you mean, it's been four chapters already and you want to hear about the horse? Well, all right, if you're sure ... I mean, seriously, they ate tapeworms...."

Hunh, oddly enough, that's also a sports book, isn't it. I guess that makes sense, since the career of an athlete (even an equine one) lends itself well to a two-hour narrative.
posted by bettafish at 9:24 PM on April 21, 2009


I'll watch anything Soderbergh directs. His 'bad' movies can have a moment or two of intelligence sharp enough that I'll forgive all the dreck.

And Moneyball is a brilliant book/movie idea, plucky underdog, yadda yadda yadda... Personally I hate the A's and Billy Beane but only because they were so good, the Yankees so lame and, well, I was envious - the Yankees of the mid-late 90's were playing the same type of base-ball and it was insanely compelling.

And I'll pitch in to the James-Caan-trash-can beating fund, if you're short. Especially as he's over 30.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:17 AM on April 22, 2009


Cubs in Haiku on the rainout of this week's Sunday Night Baseball:

This is a blessing

We have been spared the brilliance

Of Joe Morgan’s wit


There was another that went something like:

In Joe Morgan's world,

pitcher bats ninth - in my world,

Joe Morgan's fired.

posted by Stylus Happenstance at 4:57 AM on April 22, 2009


Didn't you watch yesterday's game against the Orioles? Because that happened, I think, with 1 outs in the 7th. Got 2 RBIs on the play, too.

Beating the Orioles is a lot more like petting a kitten than wrestling a bear.
posted by inigo2 at 6:46 AM on April 22, 2009


Say what you will about Joe Morgan, but he's certainly gritty and consistent. Also, Gary Sheffield.

Agree with everyone, this is about the last book I'd ever expect to be made into a movie, but it doesn't really matter, because I'll see it in theaters and buy multiple DVD copies even if its horrendous. Moneyball, in book form, was, as far as I can tell, written explicitly for me. I would do anything that book tells me to.
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:13 AM on April 22, 2009


I'm a big fan of Bill James, Moneyball, and a card-carrying member of SABR, but this sounds like the boringest movie ever.
posted by ericbop at 8:19 AM on April 22, 2009


Filimg non-fiction books isn't going to have an enjoyable outcome.

I know this was a one-off, and you've already been beaten over the head with it, but:

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Capote
Zodiac

etc.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:55 AM on April 22, 2009


The title of the movie would be accurate even if it were called Monkeyball.

SUPER GEEK COMMENT
posted by JHarris at 10:48 AM on April 22, 2009


Winning An Unfair Game? I wonder if the movie will make it clear that none of Beane's teams actually, you know, won The World Series. I guess Moneyball: The Art of Cost-Effectively Running A Professional Sports Team That Isn't The Yankees Or Red Sox wasn't as snappy a title.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:57 PM on April 22, 2009


Say what you will about Joe Morgan, but he's certainly gritty and consistent. Also, Gary Sheffield.

Consistent, too.
posted by cortex at 2:21 PM on April 22, 2009


Winning An Unfair Game? I wonder if the movie will make it clear that none of Beane's teams actually, you know, won The World Series.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but there's a lot more to winning "at" baseball than taking home the championship. After all, only one team can: the other 29 didn't do any "winning" that year? It's been a while since I read the book--which, like the rest of you, I loved--but as I recall this is a point the author himself makes fairly well. Winning in the postseason requires winning in specific situations, and let's face it, having a little bit of luck, whereas a scientific and statistical approach will enable you to win more often on average--that is, not necessarily today, when it's game 7 of the ALCS and you either win or go home.
posted by kjh at 2:43 PM on April 22, 2009


Consistently so.
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:51 PM on April 22, 2009


This is so clutch.
posted by dirigibleman at 3:03 PM on April 22, 2009


Why doesn't Billy Beane's shit work in the playoffs?
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 3:04 PM on April 22, 2009


Red Sox seem to have done pretty well with it though.

Signed: Yankee Fan
posted by sfts2 at 3:07 AM on April 23, 2009


Red Sox seem to have done pretty well with it though.

With much much more money.
posted by ORthey at 9:44 AM on April 23, 2009


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