Ken Rosenthal gets 'Moneyball' for what it is: an entertaining movie. It's about time someone in the baseball industry does. As Rosenthal explains in his review, he brilliantly puts what everyone should expect heading into the theater.
My advice if you're seeing "Moneyball": forget your expectations, leave your preconceived notions at home. Enjoy the film as you would any other, not as a historical document or even as an adaptation, but as entertainment.
Baseball fans, if they nitpick every detail of "Moneyball," will drive themselves batty. The film, if intended to settle the Stats vs. Scouts argument, would put most of America asleep. But the 133-minute drama actually introduces sabermetrics to a mass audience and presents a fuller portrayal of Athletics general manager Billy Beane than you normally see in the media. Baseball fans and non-baseball fans alike will get something out of it.
It's Hollywood, folks. It's a story, just as the book was. Author Michael Lewis, for all his brilliance - and the book is beyond brilliant, perhaps the most influential sports book ever written - also downplayed critical details to support his narrative. That's what writers do, presenting the points they believe are the most relevant to convey a larger message.
This is where Rosenthal hits the nail on the head. This movie is not a documentary, nor is it even supposed to be close to one; the purpose is to entertain viewers while explaining one of the most revolutionary ideas in professional sports in the last few decades.
My advice: Follow the advice of a Lenka song that Beane's daughter sings in the film and actually was released in 2008, well after the events depicted on screen.
Let it go and just enjoy the show.
Enjoy the show, indeed. There are reportedly multiple flaws in the film -- everything from inaccuracies in the plot and timeline to slight differences between the cast and the people they portray -- but they should not take away from a movie that has been liked by just about everyone who has seen it.
As for the film itself, it will be in theaters everywhere on September 23.
Be sure to check back with SB Nation Bay Area as we keep track of any and all reviews of the film. For more Athletics coverage, check out Athletics Nation.