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Mike Rizzo on why he won’t watch “Moneyball”

May 4, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

Adam Kilgore spoke with Nats GM Mike Rizzo, who is apparently boycotting the movie “Moneyball.”  Why, Mike?

Or, I suppose it’s possible that it depicts a man with whom you made a major trade this past offseason as really smart, but if you want to get all upset that a couple of old baseball guys with dated ideas actually existed and were depicted on film, hey, don’t let anyone stop you.

  1. The Dangerous Mabry - May 4, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Next thing you know he’ll be boycotting articles like this one, because “They depict General Managers as defensive, closed-minded individuals who speak foolishly about the content of things they haven’t seen”

  2. akismet-e6748cca3a16ea6e8283008d25583adc - May 4, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    You’ve seen the movie. What part of this quote is inaccurate? “It depicts baseball people as dummies who sit in a room and spit tobacco and say stupid things.”

    The movie makes all the Oakland scouts, Art Howe and pretty much every other person that Beane interacts with look like a moron.

    I’d say that’s a fair reason to not bother purposely raising your blood pressure to watch it.

    • burnsy - May 4, 2012 at 3:17 PM

      Damn, I wanted that user name. Guess I’ll have to settle for akismet-e6748cca3a16ea6e8283008d25583adc2.

      • heyblueyoustink - May 4, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        A swing and a long drive there, sir.

    • djpostl - May 4, 2012 at 6:41 PM

      Well, the assholes saying “he’s got a good body type” and “he’s got an ugly girlfriend, you know what that means” did exist at that point lol. If you think that was just some sort of dramatic license you’re kidding yourself.

  3. trevor123698 - May 4, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    I haven’t bothered to watch this steaming pile of garbage they passed as a movie, but simply by looking at every movie that has been released in the past 10 years (few exceptions) you know that you would need to be paid to go see movies.

    The days of Apocalypse now are gone. its a sad state of affairs we live in. Sports coverage these days is insanity.

    • hammyofdoom - May 4, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      Really? Every movie ever in the past decade? Honestly?

      • trevor123698 - May 4, 2012 at 4:51 PM

        I said almost every movie. There were very few exceptions like “The Informant” or “Burn After Reading” but in reality the rest is utter garbage. And when factor in what I learned during William Cooper’s Hour Of The Time Broadcast which exposed “The truth about the Lion King” the movie industry gets really disturbing. Of course one can block out the immorality brought forth by movies, but the majority contain no intellectual prowess whatsoever, and the only clown who could enjoy something as asinine as “Ironman” are braindead clowns

        [audio src="" /]

      • Mark - May 4, 2012 at 5:36 PM

        Hang on there. Somebody actually enjoyed The Informant? That might have been Damon’s worst movie, ever.

    • skerney - May 4, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      Your life must be awful.

      • trevor123698 - May 4, 2012 at 4:46 PM

        Actually it is awful being stuck around a bunch of fucking retards

      • pbsenerchia - May 4, 2012 at 5:01 PM

        Hey, good one, Trevor! Learn that from Groucho Marx?

      • djpostl - May 4, 2012 at 6:43 PM

        Lol, Trevor has some serious daddy issues and a huge ego for a guy licking the window in his mom’s basement.

  4. mrwillie - May 4, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    And i refuse to watch ”Field Of Dreams” because it makes players look like imaginary people who live in corn fields.

    • nightman13 - May 4, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      I refuse to watch “A League of Their Own” because it makes Rosie O’Donnell look like a woman.

      • psuravens19 - May 4, 2012 at 3:43 PM

        HAHA…. I seriously can’t stop laughing!

      • nightman13 - May 4, 2012 at 4:09 PM

        I’m curious what the thumbs downs on the jokes are for. Do you not like the jokes or are you an offended imaginary person or Rosie O’Donnell?

    • superpriebe - May 4, 2012 at 5:27 PM

      I refuse to see ‘Field of Dreams’ because it depicts James Earl Jones as unable to choke people by pinching his fingers together.

      May the 4th be with you

  5. jonirocit - May 4, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    Now that’s funny

  6. joecool16280 - May 4, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Are you happy dude? Whenever I check this site out you seem to have a negative vibe to your writing. You work in the toy dept. of life.

    • The Dangerous Mabry - May 4, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      The headline 2 posts below this one:

      “Jeff Francoeur continues to be an awesome human being”

      Super negative stuff.

  7. shaggylocks - May 4, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    I’m not going to watch Rookie of the Year because it makes pitchers look like pre-teen boys who make fun of the size of the opposing pitchers’ butts when they get on base.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 4, 2012 at 4:53 PM

      Pedro Gomez never denied that all pitchers are pre-teen boys who make fun of the size of the opposing pitchers’ butts when they get on base.

  8. grizz2202 - May 4, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Who cares if he’s seen the movie? Has he seen The Avengers yet? What did he think about The Artist? Who does he tag for Best Actor? What is this, Mike Rizzo At The Movies™???

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 4, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      Mike Rizzo would never see The Artist because it depicts all French people as not being able to speak.

  9. florida76 - May 4, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    The “old guys with dated ideas”, are the same people who won numerous pennants and world titles over the years. How many pennants has Beane won with the A’s?

    • someguyinva - May 4, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      Beane’s sh*t don’t work in the playoffs; it says so right in the Moneyball book (which I’ve read in lieu of seeing the movie).

      • professorperry - May 4, 2012 at 4:31 PM

        When Beane revealed all his secrets to Lewis, it changed the game. But it also took away Beane’s advantages and gave them to teams with both money and brains. The consensus (from the baseball folks I know) is that Beane told Lewis all this stuff out of ego and was a fool to do so if he cared about continuing to win.

      • djpostl - May 4, 2012 at 6:59 PM

        The Red Sox ’04 and ’07 titles say “hi”.

        Beane never won because no matter how good the philosophy is, 40 million in talent cannot beat 175 million in talent. Too steep a battle.

        Look what has happened since though.

        ’04 & ’07 Red Sox titles. The White Sox in ’05 were a team built on pitching, mashers and walks…not little ball. The Phillies in ’08 were a low average, high OBP team that played station to station in the same way as Beane’s “Moneyball” concept was laid out. A Yankees title in ’09 fits into the same idea (and tell me high OBP, station to station baseball isn’t what they have played for some time now).

        If people get up in the entire “bargain bin” aspect they are missing half the story. Beane needed to do that because he simply didn’t have the cash to do otherwise.

        OTHER CLUBS took notice and applied the tactical decision, station to station, few to no sacrifices, timely hits & mash the ball. They have employed Beane’s strategic approach rather well, mostly because they had more payroll/more talent than Beane could have ever dreamed of.

        The BEST assessment of his approach isn’t to compare titles. It’s to compare his record using it versus other teams with same payrolls who didn’t.

  10. pilferk - May 4, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    I refuse to go see Abraham Lincoln-Vampire Hunter because it makes old honest Abe look like a Vampire Hunter.

    Seriously, is it not clear that Moneyball is a fictional dramatization BASED ON real life occurances? Historical FICTION, to some extent.

    And I’m not sure his depiction IS accurate. I didn’t see them as morons so much as people who were entrenched in a very specific, very traditional, way of thinking. There wasn’t anything WRONG with it, per se. They just didn’t “get” BB’s way of thinking. That doesn’t make THEM morons so much as it depicted BB as a visionary. I think there’s a large, and noteable, difference between the two.

    • trevor123698 - May 4, 2012 at 5:14 PM

      i have no idea what you just attempted to say.

      • djpostl - May 4, 2012 at 7:03 PM

        And we are the “retards”. Priceless.

  11. natstowngreg - May 4, 2012 at 3:43 PM

    Somehow, I suspect that when Mike Rizzo watches Gio Gonzalez pitch, he isn’t osbessing on how smart Brad Pitt — er, Billy Beane — is. He recognizes that he gave up a lot, and got a lot.

    Wasn’t the movie’s central dramatic premise the tension between Pitt/Beane and the baseball lifer troglodytes? Thus, dismissing Rizzo’s complaint as just about “a couple of old baseball guys with dated ideas” is a bit of a cheap shot. As a career scout and the son of a career scout, painting career baseball guys as the bad guys hits Rizzo close to home.

    That said, I care about what Rizzo does to improve the Washington Nationals’ performance on the field. What he thinks of movies is irreleveant.

  12. pbsenerchia - May 4, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Keith Law on Moneyball:

    “Oakland’s scouts, who are all idiots, and Art Howe, who was a stubborn idiot (this is the movie, not my opinion)”

    “the lampooning of scouts, which draws from the book, isn’t any more welcome on screen (where some of the scouts are played by actual scouts) than it was on the page; they are set up as dim-witted bowling pins for Beane and Brand to knock down with their spreadsheets. It’s cheap writing, and unfair to the real people being depicted.”

    So, yeah, Rizzo and the other baseball dinosaurs just didn’t like the portrayal of how they actually are …

    • pbsenerchia - May 4, 2012 at 4:33 PM

      Forgot the link to Klaw’s review:

  13. Reggie's Bush - May 4, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Honestly, I kind of have to agree with joecool16280 up there… Sure there is the Francoeur article but how about these:

    This one we are commenting on
    So, is there gonna be a rumble in wash.
    Carlos marmol has lost his job
    Keith olberman article
    Way to kill the “baseball is dead” narrative
    Chone figgins era over yet?

    Sure some are very true (paging Mr. Figgins) but these are just examples I was looking for from today. The articles always have a negative overtone – also snark, but I like snark.

    Go in the past and look for attacks on Kiss Cams and way over the top I hate pink bookbags for rookies! That amount of hazing is way over the top! Major blah to those.

  14. stex52 - May 4, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    I am not boycotting, but I will say that I haven’t seen it and am ambivalent about the prospect of seeing it. I read the book, and it did change the way I thought about some aspects of baseball. In other areas, I thought Lewis either misunderstood some items or was hoodwinked by Beane. It just didn’t strike me as something that would stand up to dramatization very well. And the characterizations of some people, Art Howe in particular, were grossly unfair. I understand the movie made that worse.

    Historical fiction is that way. You can either buy into the concept or not. In this case, it didn’t interest much. Overall, I love most movies. And who knows? Some day I may get around to seeing it.

  15. rosesacl - May 4, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    haven’t seen a movie since that Sheen guy played “the wild thing”… forget the name of that one…

  16. finfan88shark - May 4, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Because the movie sucks with bad acting and plot. And besides nobody cares about the A’s

  17. jimmymarlinsfan - May 4, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    I boycotted watching the Sandlot because James Earl Jones’ gigantic took my Babe Ruth autographed ball as a chew toy, and his death star didn’t destroy Alderaan

    May the fourth be with all of you, until tomorrow

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