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“Moneybull”: An Inquiry Into Media Manipulation
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moneyball2 The film Moneyball was well-received by both audiences and critics and an Academy Award contender for best film at the 2012 Oscars. It was based on Michael Lewis’ 2003 nonfiction book by the same name and directed by Bennett Miller from a screenplay written by Aaron Sorkin (who I understand was the guiding force behind the film) and Steven Zaillian. Moneyball recounts the story of the 2002 season of the Oakland A’s major league baseball team. The film centers on A’s general manager Billy Beane’s efforts to put together a winning team that year despite a limited budget. The thesis of this writing is that Moneyball is a good illustration of how the media distort reality and transmit negative perceptions of white people and their ways.

The dramatic conflict in Moneyball revolves around Beane, portrayed by Brad Pitt in a superb performance, trying to interject new ways of assessing players and thinking about game strategy amid strong opposition from the tradition-bound A’s player personnel people and field manager. Beane is advised in this effort by his young, mid-twenties, assistant, Peter Brand — short, pudgy, non-athletic, baseball outsider. Brand is portrayed by Jonah Hill in an impressive performance — both Pitt and Hill were nominated for Academy Awards. The Brand character, the only one who doesn’t go by his real-life name, is based on Paul dePodesta, an assistant to Beane at that time.

Brand makes the case to Beane that statistics should guide player selection and game decisions rather than the experience and judgment of the team’s baseball-lifer scouts and field manager. Beane, in his early forties, is himself a long-time baseball man as a player and front office executive.

Brand underscores the importance of OBP (the percentage of times at bat a hitter gets on base by any means — hits, walks, and being hit by a pitch) as a key indicator of a player’s productivity. The numbers reveal, says Brand, that the more times on base the more runs, and the more runs the more wins. Brand points out to Beane that, contrary to accepted thinking in the game, bunts, stolen bases, and fielding count for little in producing victories. He also makes the case that productive players have been overlooked when putting together the team in the past because they didn’t look or act like ballplayers by the conventional standards of the A’s scouting department. Outcomes, Brand insists, which statistics measure objectively, are what matter in winning games, not antiquated notions about the physique or face a player needs to possess, or requisite personality traits or personal habits.

Beane finds Brand’s perspective particularly appealing given his limited financial resources, because the kinds of players Brand is hyping are available on the cheap since their skill sets are currently being overlooked by teams putting together rosters. He says to Brand, let’s you and I get it done. He signs a washed-up catcher whose arm is shot and who is basically immobile by the name of Scott Hatteberg to play first base. He brings on board aged outfielder David Justice, whose legs are gone and whose fielding range is virtually non-existent. Why? They are high OBP types. He promotes to the A’s major league roster a minor league pitcher, Chad Bradford, whose progress has been blocked because he throws funny, just about underhand. In baseball argot, he’s a submarine pitcher, and you need to come over the top (throw with your arm raised high) to make it in the big show according to traditional baseball thinking.

None of Beane/Brand’s maneuvers go over with the crusty A’s scouts and their beer-bellied field manager, Art Howe. It’s important to note in this context that these are white guys; there is something really white about the antagonists in Moneyball, it jumps out. In fact, they are archetypal white guys: from small town or rural backgrounds or the South and of the sort likely to be fundamentalist Christians, in stark contrast to the Peter Brand character played by Jonah Hill (born Jonah Hill Feldstein), who comes across as distinctly Jewish. The Brand character also contrasts with the real person, Paul dePodesta, a tall, lean, and athletic gentile, who played both football and baseball in college. Unlike the Brand character, who is new to baseball, dePodesta was a baseball insider who had worked as a major league scout before assuming a front office position with the A’s. It appears that the makers of Moneyball inserted a Jewish protagonist into the 2002 Oakland A’s story.

In any case, we have our heroes and villains in the movie: our man Beane and his smart Jewish advisor representing enlightenment and progress on one side and, on the other, the dim, anachronistic, vaguely malevolent white scouts and field manager saying what the hell is going on, Beane, we thought you were one of us, and who is this fat little alien handing you file folders?

Since Beane is higher up in the A’s chain of command, he wins the day and things are done his way during the off-season. The 2002 season begins, but he soon runs into a major problem. The manager Art Howe wants to play somebody else at first base rather than Beane/Brand’s guy Hatteberg. Beane solves that problem by trading the player Howe prefers to another team. Another problem comes up — the A’s turn out to be a pitcher short. A lengthy, and very well edited, scene in the film has Beane working the phones with aplomb to wrangle a pitcher, Ricardo Rincon, from the general manager of another team.

The season progresses. Beane, edgy and unsettled but a good guy and highly appealing (imagine Brad Pitt), pumps iron to deal with the stresses of the season and does his best to stay in contact with his teenage daughter as a divorced parent. The underdog A’s go on a winning streak and win the American League West division championship (imagine the last scenes in Rocky with everybody cheering ecstatically and the music blaring). They lose to the Minnesota Twins in the first round of the playoffs, but that doesn’t detract from the victory of Beane and his sidekick Brand and their modern ways over the ignorance and rigidity of the past as represented by the scouts and field manager.

Quite the guy that Billy Beane. And Peter Brand too — being obese and nerdy and “other” didn’t obscure his superbness in our discerning eyes. We were there with both of them every step of the way. We knew what those loser baseball throwbacks couldn’t get through their thick heads.

Moneyball is a well-crafted mass-market film. I’m prone to quit on DVDs these days, and I lasted all the way to the end. That said, this writing isn’t about Moneyball as an entertainment or a work of art (for certain, it’s not a work of art). It’s about Moneyball as a depiction of reality: what it leads viewers to believe happened in Oakland, California in 2002 and what it meant.

Moneyball is based on a non-fiction book. With the exception of the Brand character, everybody in the film goes by the name of the real person involved. What is on the screen is presented as being what truly happened back then. But really, the film isn’t true; or better, it is true here and there but fundamentally untrue. Moneyball obscures significant truths. It portrays things as lucid and simple and resolved that are in fact muddy and complex and open to debate — also the case with the book.

From what I can tell, both audiences and critics unquestioningly accepted the film (and the book too) as an accurate account and valid interpretation. But there is enough fraudulence and slick propagandizing in Moneyball for me to dub it “Moneybull.” The way people were taken in by this film needs to be understood, both for itself and to help us get a clearer sense of how media socialization, education, indoctrination, conditioning, salesmanship — whatever the best word for it — operates. I’ll offer some thoughts on that.

To begin, it’s important to keep in mind that a great percentage of our contact with the world is mediated rather than direct (thus the term “media”). That is to say, we weren’t there — in this case, in the A’s front offices and locker room in 2002 — someone showed us and told us about what went on and why and what it all meant. I wasn’t in the Civil War or World War II, I never met John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King, I’ve never been to Iraq and Iran or met their leaders, I’ve never been in the presence of President Trump. Anything I know about any of that list I’ve gotten second hand; I didn’t experience it with my own senses, directly.

If upon examination it turns out that Moneyball can’t be trusted, it surfaces the question of what other mediations, call them that, are one-sided, distorted, or outright misrepresentations? I hope this focus on a single film and its creators prompts your critical, analytical, examination of other mediators, interpreters, of reality, among them, public intellectuals, writers and artists, interest groups, political and religious figures, television and music industry owners, producers, and performers, magazine and book publishers, news organizations, journalists, teachers and professors, and internet communicators. Who are these people and what are they selling and how do they go about it?

Let’s look at Moneyball.

It’s grounded in the premise that bringing high OBP-type players to the A’s roster will result in more runs scored and thus more wins. The film leads us to believe that the A’s went in that direction and it worked and that’s why they won the division championship. Good for Beane and Brand. The reality is that the 2002 A’s scored the fewest runs of any team in their division. They scored 800 runs over the course of the season, which was a whopping 84 fewer runs than the A’s scored in 2001. The A’s didn’t win the division in 2002 because they were scoring runs — no team was as bad as they were at doing that.

The A’s won in 2002 because they prevented runs. The statistic that jumps out when you review the A’s record in 2002 is team earned run average (ERA is the average number of runs pitchers give up per nine innings). It was the best in the division, an excellent 3.68. That accomplishment didn’t result from the performances of the pitchers Beane brought on board, Chad Bradford (with the funny throwing motion) and Ricardo Rincon (the pitcher obtained in the trade). They won a total of four games between them. It was due to three superb young starting pitchers, Barry Zito, Tim Hudson, and Mark Mulder, who collectively won 57 games. You will be hard-pressed to find three pitchers on any team, any year, that won that many games. Who scouted those three remarkable pitchers? That’s right, the out-of-touch white guys.

Something else that leaps out when you review the A’s 2002 season is the performance of two young position players, shortstop Miguel Tejada and third baseman Eric Chavez. Who found them? You got it.

I follow baseball closely and I’m trying to think of a collection of better young players drafted by a major league team than the ones on the A’s in 2002. And yet the player personnel people who signed those players were very effectively made to look like morons, dinosaurs, in Moneyball.

The first baseman our hero Beane traded away to force misguided manager Art Howe to play Scott Hatteberg, one of Beane/Brand’s big accomplishments according to the film? Twenty-four-year old Carlos Pena, who went on to make the All-Star team, lead the league in home runs, win a Gold Glove (best fielder) Award, and play for twelve more years in the major leagues — all of these accomplishments for other teams and not the A’s because of Beane/Brand’s put-down of Art Howe the manager that the movie theater, DVD, and streaming audience cheer on in Moneyball. What happened to Scott Hatteberg, who no one has ever claimed was more than a non-descript journeyman player? Gone from the A’s in three years.

Moneyball promotes the idea that there is but one criterion for assessing success in baseball: the number of wins in a season. The game is about winning, says Brand: do whatever it takes to win. By that measure, the A’s were successful in 2002. They won the division championship, although the movie disingenuously leaves the impression that the A’s became big winners that year compared to prior years because of Beane and his clever advisor. Exactly how many more games did the A’s win in 2002 than in 2001? One. One.

Lewis in the book and Sorkin and Zaillian in the screenplay stayed clear of two valid measures of success other than winning:

The first, profits. The Oakland A’s are a company. The company’s product is baseball exhibitions they charge people to watch and television and radio stations to transmit. And it sells concessions and paraphernalia, hats, jackets and so on. That’s how the company makes money. The bottom line in professional sport is, well, the financial bottom line.

How did Beane do when measured by the profits he generated in 2002? Commercial sport companies don’t go public with their profits, but we can get a sense of them from looking at attendance figures. The A’s had the worst attendance in the American League West division that year. Average attendance was up a bit in 2002 compared to 2001, 26,788 versus 26,337, about 450 people a game. Attendance didn’t increase dramatically that year as the movie’s increasingly large and frenzied crowd scenes imply, and the A’s 450 person-per-game increase over 2001 was worse than every other team in the division save one, the last place Texas Rangers. Any increase in revenue from attendance has to be considered in light of the 21% increase in the A’s player salaries in 2002 over 2001. A scene in the film with Beane and the owner leads us to believe that Beane didn’t have more money to work with in 2002 — not so.

Something — say, Scott Hatteberg and his on-base percentage — could win a game here and there, but at the same time not put people in the seats or increase television ratings. Whatever his merits, and I can personally attest to this, Scott Hatteberg standing at the plate looking for a walk, and pretty much guaranteed not to give the ball a ride, and lumbering from base to base if he did get on base, was a yawn to spectators. That year I went with a friend to an A’s game; bored stiff, we left in the sixth inning. In contrast, Carlos Pena, the player Beane and his advisor traded away, blasting the ball over the outfield wall makes the turnstiles spin.

Beane remained the A’s general manager through the 2015 season. Attendance under his watch was consistently nothing special. Near the end of his time, the A’s ownership went public that their revenue had hit rock bottom, the worst in the major leagues, although some argued that it was a ploy to support their desire to move the franchise to San Jose. Whatever the case is on that, I see no evidence that Beane contributed positively to the A’s profits as a corporate entity.

The second valid measure of something’s success is its effect on the game of baseball. Baseball isn’t simply about its final result — winning or losing — it about its process, what happens during the game. It is about the experience of both players and spectators during the game. It is about the quality of the game as an activity. Most fundamentally, baseball is about playing baseball.

Sabermetrics, the use of statistics to guide operations, arguably has hurt the game of baseball as it is played. The emphasis on on-base averages has resulted in batters taking strikes and waiting pitchers out in an attempt to get walks and thereby increasing their OBPs. Seldom these days does a batter swing at the first pitch. Pitch counts run up. An already slow game gets even slower. Action is replaced by inaction. Assertion is replaced by passivity. The joy of the game is diminished for both players and fans. Steal attempts are fewer and the excitement of the game is diminished for both players and fans. Bunts are fewer and strategy goes out of the game. Like life, baseball is not just a destination, this and that outcome; it is also, and most basically about, a moment-to-moment experience. The quality of the moments of our lives, including the time we spend playing and watching baseball, needs to be taken into account.

Beneath the particulars of the story, the larger, tacit, message in Moneyball is that the whole of America, not just baseball, is messed up and needs to be transformed. And who is standing in the way of that? Whites, that’s who. More specifically, as demonstrated in Moneyball, gentile white men of northern European heritage. Simply, their time is up. They’ve got to step aside, or be pushed aside. Moneyball gets across the idea that one good way to make that happen is to “expertize” things — that is, let our enlightened betters (Peter Brand is what they look like) call the shots and get things to where they need to be.

A message, lesson, of Moneyball is that the experience, personal judgment, and instincts of average (white) Joes can’t be trusted. These scouts had come to conclusions about the physical characteristics and personality traits that give a young player the best chance of being successful at the major league level, and the field manager had decided what contributes to wins on the field. Well, they were wrong, says Moneyball. It’s Peter Brand, who by the looks of him never swung a bat in his life, who has it wired.

This “don’t trust your perceptions” message in Moneyball squares with the message coming at the public with regard to every area of American life: don’t believe your own experience and thinking; instead, go by what I’m telling you. Politics, history, morality, foreign policy, education, gender, race, art — reality is what I say it is, not what you think it is. It’s like the old Lenny Bruce joke: A guy’s wife walks in on him in the heat of a romantic interlude with his secretary. She’s aghast. He says to her, “Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?” If you get across the lesson that connections with reality and the inferences drawn from it and one’s own reasoning can’t be trusted in baseball, you pave the way to getting people uncritically to buy what the Peter Brands are promoting in other, more important, areas of American life.

A message in Moneyball: have faith in the numbers I put in front of you. Peter Brand says his statistical data indicate the insignificance of fielding. To the contrary, statistical measures developed since the early 2000s have confirmed what anybody who has ever played the game of baseball, or watched a shortstop wave at a ground ball that went through for a hit, knows in the depth of their being: fielding matters big time. Dumb (white) Art Howe was on to something.

Looking at the film from a racial angle, the hero in Moneyball, Billy Beane, aligns himself against his white kinsmen, the scouts and manager. The lesson: doing that kind of thing is good. For decades that has been a theme in the mainstream media. I recently saw Saving Private Ryan which depicts white young people slaughtering other white young people because they were evil Nazis. I’m trying to think of films about blacks heroically killing bad blacks, or Jews killing bad Jews, say, in Africa or Israel.

Why did people accept the ideas in Moneyball so uncritically? Some reasons:

Film is a literal medium. Motion pictures, and this applies to television as well, are literal representations of something. You can see and hear what’s going on right in front of you. There it is. You know there is a script and those are actors and it’s a partial depiction of a feigned reality and it’s been edited. But still, since you can see it happening and hear it, it looks real, it’s no abstraction, and thus you believe it.

We buy what attractive protagonists sell. Brad Pitt is a very appealing guy. When we look at Billy Beane in the movie we see Brad Pitt. He’s a handsome guy, and those other people aren’t handsome, and he is really nice to his daughter. The movie is about him. The camera is on him from the beginning of the film to the end. We watch him take on challenges and confront obstacles, and we see him take hits and come back from them. We come to identify with him and root for him. If someone like Brad Pitt is for it, it must be good, so we’re for it too. We transfer our positive feelings toward the attractive protagonist to the messages, or lessons, he embodies. If you have some ideas you want to propagate in a film (or want to sell beer or cars), have someone attractive represent them. I understand that Jews call gentiles, like Pitt, who serve that purpose for them “toy goys.”

We like the familiar. If you are promoting some ideology, program, whatever it is, it helps to embed it in what is familiar and thus comfortable to an audience. Stay within your audience’s frame of reference; don’t stir them up or make them stretch, keep them feeling cozy; that’s the best context for getting across your messages. Moneyball was replete with familiar themes and images: the appealing lead on a worthy quest; the unenlightened, stuck-in-the-past, establishment bad guys; the underdog storyline (the lowly, small-market A’s); the outsider who is scorned at first and then accepted (Brand); the committed dad; the ultimate triumph of the good guys.

Imagine the reverse of Moneyball: Underqualified Beane and his zero-life-experience, know-it-all, weaselly little partner in crime are the villains. Beane is played by an unattractive, anonymous character actor. The scouts—one of them played by Brad Pitt — and field manager are dedicated, hands-on-get-it-done, real men who have signed all these terrific young pitchers and position players, and here are these two suits presuming to tell them how to do their jobs. The camera follows the scouts and field manager; it’s their movie. The Beane and Brand combo bring in a lead-footed retread to play the outfield and make the fine young pitchers’ jobs tougher — balls that should be caught turn into doubles and triples. The two jerks congratulate themselves for trading for a pitcher who wins exactly zero games. They pull rank on the manager and dictate that he play a Frankenstein’s monster in the field and sleep inducer at the plate. When the manager objects, they trade a future all-star to take the decision out of his hands. They impose deadly dull, no-steals, no-bunts, no-strategy, station-to-station baseball on the team, which sends fans streaming out of the ballpark by the sixth inning. Beane’s ex-wife is given a scene where, tears streaming down her face, she relates how her husband abandoned her. The A’s win the division in spite of the two front office dickheads and the music swells and the scouts and field manager hug each other in triumph and the end credits roll.

The idea that tearing down the current ways of conducting affairs is a really good thing wouldn’t play well within that story line, and I’m saying that angle is as plausible as the one Moneyball actually employed.

We believe what makes us feel good about ourselves. Moneyball is a self-confirming experience for its audience. We get to feel in the know and on the side of the angels and linked up with a cool guy like Brad Pitt, and all we had to do to achieve that status was spring for a movie ticket or a DVD or streaming rental. And we are safe; nothing goes on that challenges or threatens us. We are nestled comfortably among the wise and righteous and don’t have to think about anything or do a damn thing.

We are basically lazy. If you are halfway slick you can tell people just about anything that is simple to understand and has a surface level of plausibility (as long as it doesn’t make them feel bad about themselves—these all go together) and be rest assured that they aren’t going to put effort into thinking about it or checking into its veracity or coming up with alternatives to it.

So what can we do?

We can take seriously my mother’s advice to me when I was a kid: “Robert, you are a nice boy, but you believe everything anybody tells you. Quit doing that.”

We can differentiate mediated from direct experience.

We can distinguish abstractions—images, words, concepts, assertions — from the concrete realities they supposedly represent.

The Lenny Bruce joke: we can trust our eyes more, our senses, our experience of things.

We can look directly at the people pushing something and ask: Who are these people? What’s their agenda? What’s in it for them and theirs if we buy what they are selling?

We can think for ourselves and not let other people do the thinking for us.

We can become mediators of reality ourselves.

And we can find better movies to watch than the likes of Moneyball.

Robert S. Griffin is Professor Emeritus at the University of Vermont. His website is He invites you to read his recent book manuscript, From Old to Elderly: A Decade of Thoughts, available on his site free as a PDF.

(Republished from The Occidental Observer by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Baseball, Hollywood, Propaganda 
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  1. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    An excellent essay. I hope it encourages more people to forsake mass media in general, and Hollywood in particular.

  2. Interesting article. I suppose that apart from Fake News we also have Fake History, propagated in part by Hollywood. Probably best to avoid movies supposedly based on true stories – or at least view such movies fully expecting to be bamboozled.

    • Replies: @DollTV
  3. it is not manipulation when you have editors picking, choosing, telling writers what to write 🙂

    it is straight up propaganda disguised as “free press”.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  4. My God, what a brilliant article. I’m most glad to have read this one.

  5. WHAT says:

    I wish there was such a great teardown for the Liars Poker as well, all more so because I read it while visiting the trading floor of Deutsche Bank branch. Crazy characters were there as depicted in the book allright, but what about the underside?

  6. It is hoped that in the future Americans will learn to trust the evidence provided by their senses over the propaganda they absorb from television and movies. We can only hope and pray.

    In the meantime, essays such as this should be propagated as widely as possible. This is a classic piece. It should be required reading for all who aspire to independent thinking.

  7. Bill Jones says: • Website

    You actually follow this crap?

  8. ChrisD says:

    Robert Griffin delivers a great article – a professor from the Uni of Vermont, whoda thunk it? I thought they would have purged clear thinkers like yourself by now?

    In terms of the substance of the article, I agree strongly and even in terms of the film, I found myself constantly thinking of Henry Clay’s line: “Statistics are no substitute for judgement”. Clear thinking requires you to find patterns, predict outcomes, and survive. In this vein, clear thinkers are often labeled anti semites for finding patterns which are undeniable (media manipulation, ideological propaganda through mainstream bodies such as film, television, news, academia, deep state etc).

    This is the struggle for the old school intellectuals who either have to deny reality to maintain their jobs or reputations, or come out and answer the JQ and receive death threats, potential prison time, and at the very least, lose their livelihoods.

    Still, good luck to you Robert and a great essay indeed. Down with the Sorkins and onward with the Griffins of the world!

  9. Thank you.
    Almost every Corporate-funded film and advert tries to pull these kinds of stunts on us. We are under attack from an enemy within.

  10. DollTV says: • Website

    Great article.

    On a similar subject, Dryden’s Essay on Dramatick Poesie:

  11. DollTV says: • Website

    Lest we forget the documentarians. A certain Kenneth Burns comes to mind.

    I do enjoy Robert Hughes though.

  12. A “smart Jewish advisor representing enlightenment and progress on one side” is the very first thing I learned about in Sunday School.

    “We can find better” examples to follow than a Rabbi who demands we abandon our own blood and soil.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  13. @Astuteobservor II


    it is straight up propaganda disguised as “free press”.

    When I saw the headline, I said to myself, “manipulation? The primary purpose of the media is to manipulate.”

    Even profits are secondary.

    Comments #2 & # are correct as well. Can’t wait to read the other comments, then the article.

  14. wayfarer says:

    Surfing, according to mother nature and the planet Earth.

    Surfing, according to fiat money and the Hollywood movie studios.

  15. Che Guava says:

    So a review of an old sports movie is an interesting article?

    Not that I was not enjoying Mr. Griffin’s second half, exposing the differences between a Hollywood ‘true story’ and reality.

    Have only seen a few U.S. sports movies, but thanks to time in a film studies group, a couple of old monochrome ones.

    Saw Jerry Maguire [sp?], Cruise is making the big effort to looking *very serious* about his deals, but I was finding it hard to be attentive.

    Three Hollywood sports movies I was liking:

    Raging Bull

    Rollerball (the original)

    The Mean Machine (if there has been a remake, the original, I recall remake was announced, US title is different, but the American football in prison movie, with Burt Reynolds)

    Since this article will be attracting baseball fans, I am not much, but recommending those who have not, watch games from the two main leagues in Japan, much fan frenzy, much to whip it up.

    Also, entry is not crazy expensive, drinks and junk food are only about one-third above the prices outside.

    The koushien, which literally means ‘child-pressing park’, the high-school competition, seriously recommended, all of the major matches are on broadcast TV in summer, many people watching,

    In the end though, baseball is rounders, plus big bats and gloves, odd unifnrms, modified as so by the Spalding company, to sell those things.

    • Replies: @CJ
    , @Delinquent Snail
  16. @Hank Rearden

    Yeah, it just had to be a rabbi, of course, who came to give us dumb goyim all the answers and grant us eternal salvation, the everlasting good life. All we have to do is have faith and do as we’re told, and the goodies will come flooding in. Typical..

    As for the article, the moral of the story was spot on, but the only thing more tedious than watching some sappy movie (which is all of them) is attempting to slog through a detailed description and dissection of the damned thing.

    I wonder what the author would say about the schooling systems we have. As far as propaganda’s concerned, schooling is far worse. They call it “education,” but that itself is a fraud fraudulent. It rarely rises above mere training or indoctrination, and what the author sez about the movies providing their versions of reality applies as well to mass schooling.

    Note the dates.

    “… a story of a powerful and wealthy newspaper having enormous influence… And never a day out of more than ten thousand days that this newspaper has not subtly and cunningly distort the news of the world in the interest of special privilege.”

    Upton Sinclair, “The crimes of the “Times” : a test of newspaper decency,” pamphlet, 1921

    Ours is a problem in which deception has become organized and strong; where truth is poisoned at its source; one in which the skill of the shrewdest brains is devoted to misleading a bewildered people.

    -Walter Lippman, A Preface to Politics (1913), quoted in The Essential Lippmann, pp. 516-517

    “I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors.”

    “He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.”

    Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, 14 June 1807

  17. “Like life, baseball is not just a destination, this and that outcome; it is also, and most basically about, a moment-to-moment experience. The quality of the moments of our lives, including the time we spend playing and watching baseball, needs to be taken into account.

    Nicely said.

    “Why did people accept the ideas in Moneyball so uncritically?”

    All of what the author offered, plus the fact that when said with such authority, most peole will accept even the most absurd statements as fact. The US sells the world billions of dollars of fizzy sugar water and Hollywood fantasy, and Lewis is one of its premiere artisans of this schlock,

    • Replies: @Delinquent Snail
  18. I’m only halfway through the article (it is good), but it’s important to point out that, since we are being honest about race and all, attendance is less the fault of the GM and more the result of the stadium’s geography. The people that go to baseball games are white. Oakland is a minority white city, with a very large black (and Hispanic) population. The A’s are also competing with the SF Giants for a fan base, which comparatively has a much larger white population.

    There is a similar situation in Chicago. The Cubs are on the north side (where most of the white people live) and the Sox are on the south side (where 1/2 the blacks in the city live) Even when the Cubs are bad, they have excellent attendance. Even when the Sox are good, their attendance is poor. Again, much of this is due to the stadium’s location relative to surrounding demographics and competing (for fan base) stadiums.

  19. wayfarer says:

    Thank-you Robert Griffin, for “ ‘Moneybull’: An Inquiry Into Media Manipulation.” This article is one of the most well written pieces of truthful journalism, that I have ever encountered.

    As a kid growing up in Burbank California, at around the age of five, I lived in a small apartment about a block away from the “Warner Bros. Studios.” I’d peak through their chain-link fences, to witness a fake reality of two-dimensional buildings and actors in costumes with painted faces.

    Since then, no mystic or mystery has remained. To this day it’s almost impossible for me to sit by a noisy television or even watch a feature film to completion. There is simply nothing real about any of it. In my opinion, Hollywood’s entertainment products are all just a waste of useful irrecoverable time.


  20. @jacques sheete

    Indeed, Christians have sold their natural birthright—that a People regard themselves as Chosen and their own Land as Holy—to a linage of professional Deceivers for a mess of afterlife pottage, storytelling that the Jews themselves do. not. believe.

    Great quotes, by the way! In regard to the latter, I feel pretty good now not subscribing to a single vapid newspaper.

  21. How the hell does Griffin still have a job?!

    You’d think that he’d be run out of any university in the country for noticing this type of truth – even with tenure.

    Good for you, sir.

  22. CMC says:

    Interesting review but it did not address another tacit message or dramatic conflict: Billy Beane and Stanford; The Signing Bonus Worth a House vs. College; Tail End Boomer/Nascent Gen X’er and College: Worth it?

    Billy Beane: Would you have drafted me in the first round?

    Peter Brand: I would have picked you in the 9th round. No signing bonus. I think that would have convinced you to accept that scholarship. quote.

    Look, college costs have outpaced inflation (or skyrocketed if you like that term) basically over the course of Beane’s adult life. And the character in the movie even mentions being able to pay for his daughter’s college as one of his major motivations or life goals. Why that instituation became so important is an interesting question.

  23. @wayfarer

    I concur with you that “Hollywood’s entertainment products are all just a waste of useful irrecoverable time,” as are all forms of “Jews First!Entertainment, as this American Founder noted:

    This Afternoons Entertainment was to me, most awfull and affecting. The poor Wretches, fingering their Beads, chanting Latin, not a Word of which they understood, their Pater Nosters and Ave Maria’s. Their holy Water—their Crossing themselves perpetually—their Bowing to the Name of Jesus, wherever they hear it—their Bowings, and Kneelings, and Genuflections before the Altar.

    -John Adams, to his wife Abigail

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  24. CJ says:
    @Che Guava

    The Mean Machine (if there has been a remake, the original, I recall remake was announced, US title is different, but the American football in prison movie, with Burt Reynolds)

    The original is The Longest Yard.

  25. gdpbull says:

    During my long life, from time to time, I have had direct experience or involvement with subject matter covered by the media. Every single time, the characterization of the events by the media have been grossly incorrect. As a result, I believe virtually nothing put out by any of the media.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @jacques sheete
  26. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Wow. Truly great article.

    A lot of the ‘discoveries’ of sabermetrics were recognized and used by Earl Weaver. Notable quote: Strategy is a three run home run. And baseball is all but unwatchable now except using fast forward on a DVR.

    I’ve always disliked Michael Lewis — since Liar’s Poker. As if fessing up to his oleaginous character when he was collecting material for the book gets him off the hook. He never lets any inconvenient facts get in the way of a story.

    One film that is bifurcated and actually outstanding is American History X. Edward Norton’s finest role. It is all very believable until his necessary 180 degree enlightenment in the last 15 minutes.

  27. Wally says: • Website

    So now you understand, now you know what is meant by:

    “The ‘holocaust’ storyline is one of the most easily debunked narratives ever contrived. That is why those who question it are arrested and persecuted. That is why violent, racist, & privileged Jewish supremacists demand censorship. What sort of truth is it that denies free speech and the freedom to seek the truth? Only liars demand censorship.”

    Face it, sooner or later the impossible ‘6M Jews, 5M others & gas chambers’ will be seen in the mainstream for what it is, impossible anti science, Jew serving propaganda that became a laughable religion.

    Don’t die stupid. Stop being a “toy goy”.


  28. I’d love to see a debate between Robert S. Griffin and Steve Sailer. Both are baseball fans. Steve Sailer is a big fan of Moneyball and sabremetrics.

  29. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Even if it isn’t true …. its a good story.

    It could have happened.

    Since when has that been not good enough.

    • Replies: @Wally
  30. Sean says:

    Steve Sailer:
    Williams never struck out more than 51 times in a season while Ruth struck out 93 times, led the league in strikeouts five times, and was the all time strikeout leader until maybe Reggie Jackson. So, Ruth is more interesting strategically/historically because he willingly accepted striking out in return for homeruns, which simply wasn’t part of the game in 1919

    There was no AI , just a man with a big belly back then. I see Griffin’s most important point as that the mediators are typecasting as idiots those who use any criterion of success other than the one their programs is predicated on. There is no doubt that the programs are getting better
    MLB Advanced Media, contains what is likely the world’s most detailed sports database. Each play has detailed textual descriptions, video clips, outcomes and positioning of player movement.

    These programs will be able to beat not just beer bellied baseball scouts at their own game, but the media corporation string pullers will be going the way of traditional gemeric whites before long. This is a huge deal beyond just bragging rights for an AI’s ability to beat the best human poker pros. AI that can handle complex poker games such as heads-up, no-limit Texas Hold’em could also tackle similarly complex real-world situations by making the best decisions in the midst of uncertainty. DeepStack’s poker-playing success while running on fairly standard computer hardware could make it much more practical for AI to tackle many other “imperfect-information” situations involving business negotiations, medical diagnoses and treatments, or even guiding military robots on patrol. Full details of the research are published in the 2 March 2017 online issue of the journal Science.

    Incipient AI is slowly but surely showing that no area of human endeavour will remain as humankind’s sinecure. For any particular goal, people can be bested by computers. We all know that profit is king in business so adios biological workforce and (eventually) many of the executives pushing AI with be paid to go and watch ball games.What’s in it for anyone “if we buy what they are selling?”

    We could thus imagine, as an extreme case, a technologically highly advanced society, containing many complex structures, some of them far more intricate and intelligent than anything that exists on the planet today – a society which nevertheless lacks any type of being that is conscious or whose welfare has moral significance. In a sense, this would be an uninhabited society. It would be a society of economic miracles and technological awesomeness, with nobody there to benefit. A Disneyland with no children.

  31. Classic case of BAMMAMA. Blacks are more muscular and more aggressive.

    France decided Africans can be French too. These Negriques would come to France, be dazzled by the glory of French culture, and read Racine and Descartes and etc.

    But they come to listen to rap, eat burgers, beat up scared white cucks, and colonize the wombs of white women.

    • Replies: @Anon
  32. Wally says: • Website

    Yes indeed, recall:

    “Some stories are true that never happened.”

    – Elie Wiesel

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @bjondo
  33. gsjackson says:

    Boy, I don’t often read anything really eye-opening any more, but this qualifies. Fascinating. It seems like life in the age of mass communication is one giant epistemology problem. What can you believe? Now sabremetrics joins the growing pile of canards. There does seem to be one fairly reliable rule of thumb, though: If the mainstream media have arrived at a consensus on anything, it is almost certainly the opposite of the truth.

    Well done, Professor.

    • Agree: Grandpa Charlie
    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  34. @CJ

    Wasnt that also a crappy adam sandler movie?

    • Replies: @bjondo
  35. Sean says:

    I have heard that sentiment expressed more than once.

    • Replies: @jacques sheete
  36. Sean says:

    One kind of scenario that one would not see on the big screen is one in which nothing unusual happens until all of a sudden we are all dead and then the Earth is turned into a big computer that performs some esoteric computation for the next billion years. But something like that is far more likely than a platoon of square-jawed men fighting off a robot army with machine guns.

  37. @Che Guava

    Hey che guava,

    Professional sports in america are for idiots. Professional football games last about 3 hours but less then an hour is actual live play. The rest of the time is used to advertise cars, beer, garbage food and show “instant replays” of a play that already has been shown multiple times.

    Basketball isnt as bad (atleast they play the whole 3 hours), but its still a platform thats used to sell useless trinkets and garbage to the masses.

    Baseball is only slightly better then football when it comes to being a waste of time. A 4 hour game with, maybe, 30 minutes of action. The rest of the time its sitting around, waiting to be told to buy a new car or jewelry or something useless that real americans can barely afford.

    Most of the athletes in the major leagues are not deserving of their position, prestige or fame. Most are overpaid jerks who are too dumb to do anything else except hyper-publicised physical activity.

    (as a side note, there are some exceptional people that play profesional sports, but they are NOT the majority, or even a large minority)

    Thats a strange name for a park. “koushien”. The word sounds nice, but the translation would trigger a lot of americans.

    High school sports are usually more enjoyable to watch because the people playing *want to play*. Its not a career move or anything like that. They play because they love what they are doing, and it shows, usually.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  38. @The Alarmist

    Its scary that “fizzy sugar water” is cheaper then plain water, and (other then the insane amounts of suger and color additives) probably better for you then water sold by the same companies.

    I can buy a liter of pepsi for one (1) US dollar, but i cant get a 20 oz bottle of water for under a buck fifty (1.50). We live is a broken time…..

  39. @Priss Factor

    Posts that keep UR followers linked up with independent alt-right media (“independent” meaning undercapped and smaller than Alex Jones’ Infowars) are appreciated. In this case — Luke Ford — I am less attracted than I have been to America First’s Nick Fuentes, but I don’t say that I won’t watch any more of Luke Ford.

    Be that as it may, about this particular thing about Jews and US politics, the interviewee seemed reasonable enough until he said that any and all Jews should be pro Israel (would be crazy not to be) even though he also said that any American Jews should or must put America first. Since I am a gentile, maybe I’m getting in over my head, but I have two objections:

    1. I recall seeing a news foto some years back showing orthodox Jews formed up to march in a protest that Israel should dissolve because it was opposed to Jewish prophecy and counter to Jewish scripture. The foto was carried nationally by AP or UP, and the anti-Israel protest march was held in Manhattan. So, if I had been the interviewer, I should have asked the interviewee about that and about his (the interviewee’s) statement that any Jew would be crazy not to support Israel.

    2. For me, as a gentile who has had Jewish friends that I would describe as wonderful and beautiful, it’s sad that I have lost Jewish friends because of the current Zionist position apparently forced on them, as follow: (a) anyone who criticizes Israel is an anti-semite, and (b) any snti-semite should be physically assaulted.


    • Replies: @Grandpa Charlie
  40. @Grandpa Charlie

    (2) in my comment above is important to me because, while I was not a member of the crew of USS Liberty, I an a veteran and, thus, I very well could have been. So, for me, I am honor-bound to discuss the true story of USS Liberty. The USS Liberty movement has done everything possible to make it clear that it is anything but anti-Jew. but it now appears that if not all Jews, then all Zionists have made it impossible for anyone who in any way supports the USS Liberty truth movement. Whatever happens, Zionists have brought it on themselves, and cannot expect any patriot to be anything but critical of Israel and Zionism.

  41. whorefinder says: • Website

    Billy Beane’s “small-market success” in Oakland has always been massively overhyped, mostly by Beane himself. He was in the only 4-team division in baseball for years, yet almost never won it or put up big win numbers. he never made the World Series, and each fall of he did make the playoffs, he would get crushed by the other teams, which Beane was always quick to blame on those teams being “big market” and thus being able to afford good players.

    However, during this time another small-market team built itself into a very strong franchise/perennial playoff contender and made the World Series and was in one of the richest divisions in baseball: the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Yet for some reason, no one talks about their long-term success; I guess they don’t have a Moneyball-like book to boost them, or perhaps they’re just too smart to reveal all their secrets and don’t court that kind of press coverage.

    Anyway, Beane has shown he’s just a huckster by his career choices. He’s been offered jobs numerous times at big-market franchises (notably, the Red Sox), but always turned them down, because with such teams he’d have to achieve results rather than press hot air. He’s ensconced himself in the A’s front office and then just whines about being small market/low attendance numbers to cover up his failures to produce anything beyond a few playoff appearances that, statistically-speaking, his team would have accidentally gotten so long as the franchise didn’t do everything too backwards.

    N.B. The A’s, despite being one of the MLB’s oldest franchises, have always been also-rans in terms of fan interest. Besides the Connie Mack heyday, they were always second fiddle to the Phillies in Philadelphia; then had their bizarro time in Kansas City, and finally became ensconced in…Oakland, which went from the violent home of the Hell’s Angels to the violent black ghetto (but I repeat myself) it is today.

    • Replies: @njguy73
  42. mhowell says:

    Great article. As a baseball fan I liked the Moneyball movie when it came out. As an Astros fan, though, I hated its treatment of Art Howe. He was a clutch, overachieving 3rd basemen in the late 70’s/early 80’s on some contending Houston teams and just a great guy. He was, and is, the polar opposite of the moody crank played by PSH. In retrospect, that should have been enough of a red flag for me to question the rest of the assumptions in the movie. Kudos to the author.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  43. As Yogi Berra said, “you can observe a lot by watching.”

  44. Anonymous [AKA "CyberNed"] says:

    In short. Brad Pitt is a career Zionist shill (World War Z, The Inglorious Bastards, Fury).

  45. Both the movie version of “Moneyball” never mentions “steroids” and the book version only mentions steroids once in passing. Yet, Oakland had been ground zero of the steroids epidemic in baseball at least since Jose Canseco arrived in the mid-1980s.

    One possibility is that Lewis’ book served Beane’s need to permanently distract from the large role played in the success of the A’s by performance-enhancing drugs, at least since Jose Canseco arrived in Oakland in the mid-1980s. I heard from a baseball agent in the early 1990s that “Jose Canseco is the Typhoid Mary of steroids,” but in Moneyball a decade later Lewis mentioned the word “steroids” only once.

    Moneyball diverted attention to obscure Oakland fringe players and away from Beane employing in 2002 a slugging shortstop, Miguel Tejada, who won the Most Valuable Player award by driving in a remarkable 131 runs.

    A couple of years after Moneyball hit the best-seller lists, Tejada was mentioned in Canseco’s memoir Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ’Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big.

    In 2009, Tejada pleaded guilty to perjuring himself to Congress regarding steroids.

  46. njguy73 says:

    “My shit doesn’t work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs. What happens after that is fucking luck.” – Billy Beane (1)

    (1) Michael Lewis, Moneyball, (New York, W.W. Norton & Company) 275

    • Replies: @whorefinder
  47. njguy73 says:

    No intelligent baseball fan, and I would think that sabermetric buffs are intelligent, would deny the usefulness of scouts. Scouts can pick up stuff that numbers can’t. Even Bill James agrees with that.

    For instance: if a high-school kid has a full beard, it means he’s stopped growing and probably won’t get any stronger than he is now. If a young pitcher has short fingers, even if he’s effective in the low ranks, he ain’t making The Show. And so on.

  48. njguy73 says:

    However, during this time another small-market team built itself into a very strong franchise/perennial playoff contender and made the World Series and was in one of the richest divisions in baseball: the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Yet for some reason, no one talks about their long-term success; I guess they don’t have a Moneyball-like book to boost them, or perhaps they’re just too smart to reveal all their secrets and don’t court that kind of press coverage.

    This probably won’t get made into a movie, but you might want to see if your library has a copy.

  49. Qasim says:

    Amazing article.

    To begin, it’s important to keep in mind that a great percentage of our contact with the world is mediated rather than direct (thus the term “media”).

    This is such a simple yet profound nugget of wisdom, it really gets to the heart of the matter.

    I started noticing the whole (analytics in sports as an ideological weapon to delegitimize conservatism/realism) thing a few years ago through basketball. Charles Barkley would often use his platform as a commentator on TNT to downplay the effectiveness of analytics, and would instead rely on the “folk” wisdom he obtained by being in the NBA and talking to other players. In particular, he was often unimpressed with the Golden State Warriors, because he believed jump-shooting teams, although they often do well in the regular season, almost always get exposed in the postseason when teams play harder defense and getting easy buckets in the post becomes paramount.

    Anyway, the vitriol the media showed towards him was really eye-opening. They couldn’t just respectfully disagree. A lot of writers began to obsessively vilify him. There were endless articles calling him out-of-touch, ignorant, hopelessly behind the times etc. On top of this, many writers started to engage in cheap-shot psychological analysis (Oh he is just jealous he is out of the limelight now and says these buffoonish things just to stay relevant). It was very obvious that these journalists had a deep-seated vendetta about this issue, and absolutely had to demonstrate that analytics was not only the best way, but the ONLY way to properly understand sports, and anyone who thought otherwise was like a flat-earther.

    To his credit, Barkley did not back down, and actually was very insightful about some of the psychological motivations of his critics (he said they were just dorks who were jealous they couldn’t play sports and that the girls in high school liked the jocks). Barkley even had a spat with Darryl Morey, the GM of the Rockets and one of the pioneers of the analytic movement (whose teams had a propensity to self-destruct in the postseason due to chemistry issues, one of those intangible things that analytics downplays).

    Anyway, when the Warriors won their first title, the schadenfreude of many sports journalists was off the charts, a new era had dawned, absolutely proving that the old received wisdom was garbage. But Barkley refused to concede, and opined that the main reason they were able to win was the insurmountable injuries of their opponents. Then when the Warriors won 73 games the next season, there were endless articles crowning them the best team in history before the playoffs even started. But Barkley refused to join the bandwagon. When he picked the Cavaliers to win the Finals, he was painted like he was insane. He was eventually vindicated when the Cavs won in thrilling fashion, much to the consternation of the sports media as a whole. Then the Warriors added Kevin Durant and destroyed everybody the next year, which ruined what could have been an epic rubber-match.

    Anyway, the whole Barkley thing illustrates the same things as this article (the media reviling received wisdom/ believing one’s lying eyes in favor of ‘objective’ new-fangled theories devised by a technocratic elite, nerds enviously attacking jocks, etc.)

    The whole thing is so devious, as the political implications are never clearly stated, but the readers who naively think they are just discussing sports are being bombarded with left-wing/elitist propaganda. Luckily sports media let the mask slip soon after with all their BLM/Caitlyn Jenner/anti-Trump nonsense.

    It is sad, all this SJW moralizing has turned me off of sports, I was looking forward to watching with my boy and teaching him all the rules and making him a fan of my favorite teams, now I avoid all this because I don’t want him indoctrinated in this nonsense. Liberals ruin everything.

    P.S. To the moderator- I post under the handle Qasim, but it suddenly stopped working several months ago, when I press “Publish Comment”, the comments just vanish, do you know why that is?

  50. @wayfarer

    In my opinion, Hollywood’s entertainment products are all just a waste of useful irrecoverable time.

    I have never had a TV and never will, I subscribe to no media printed or otherwise, listen to no radio have seen maybe 5 movies in my life, the last one about 40 years ago, and am happy about it.

    Every time I catch a glimpse of any of the stuff I’m amazed at what cerebral rot-gut it is. How anyone can listen to that sewage for more than 15 seconds at a time every few years is beyond me.

    Same goes for a large percentage of the books published after 1950 or so. Thank goodness for used book shops and a myriad of things to do otherwise.

    Regarding Hollywood, everyone should read “Supermob” by Guy Russo. Considering what owns the place, it’s no wonder the stuff is utter offal.

    Most notable is Sidney Korshak, known as “The Fixer,” who was called the most powerful lawyer in the world by the FBI. A force behind the careers of numerous celebrities, and with connections to politicians from Henry Kissinger to Ronald Reagan, Korshak brokered some of the largest and shadiest deals in Hollywood from his private table at the Bistro restaurant in Beverly Hills. As point man for the mob he oversaw a land grabs from interned Japanese Americans during World War II, helped create the casino monopolies in Las Vegas and facilitated mob domination of the film and music industries. With a colorful cast of characters and more clandestine activity than a spy thriller, Russo delivers some of the juiciest Hollywood details unearthed yet.”


  51. @jacques sheete

    Sir, Thanks for your kind response. You’d probably enjoy Jefferson’s letter which contains several other excellent quotes regarding the press. The gentleman really knew what he was talking about and the letter only takes a minute or less to read. Link below. Enjoy.

    I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers, live & die in the belief that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time;

    Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, 11 June 1807

  52. gsjackson says:

    Just to add to the professor’s thorough debunking of the Moneyball thesis: Jeremy Brown, the pudgy catcher from the Univ. of Alabama that Beane and company were so pleased with themselves about drafting in the first round, over the strenuous objections of the scouting department, because of Brown’s gaudy on-base percentage in college — a major plot line in the book — got all of 10 at-bats in the majors. No injury to speak of, he just didn’t make it.

    But the thesis has cut a swath through Major League Baseball. Now at least half the teams have a terribly, terribly bright Ivy League Jew sabremetrician as general manager, a wizard of Oz manipulating the mystical world of numbers in his ivory tower while the retrograde baseball people fumble along with only their eyes and ancient superstitions.

  53. @gdpbull

    As a result, I believe virtually nothing put out by any of the media.

    Not to try to outdo you, but having been around the block a time or two, I extend the sentiment to practically all “authority.” I do make an occasional exception here and there, but even then I look for a proven track record.

    There are ineffable amounts of bull droppings extant everywhere.

  54. @gsjackson

    If the mainstream media have arrived at a consensus on anything, it is almost certainly the opposite of the truth.

    This goes for what passes as history as well.

    What’s commonly taught as history is shockingly almost always 180⁰ from the truth and it often takes an incredible effort to get even close to it.

    Joey Stalin summed it up well.:

    “Blame others for your own sins.”
    J. V. Stalin, Anarchism Or Socialism ? December, 1906 — January, 1907

    Then we have this…from a former bureaucrat no less!

    Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.

  55. @Sean

    You guys would also like Jefferson’s letter.

    “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.”

    Thomas Jefferson to John Norvell, 11 June 1807

    Mark Twain also said similar things.

    “There are laws to protect the freedom of the press’s speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press.”

    “It seems to me that just in the ratio that our newspapers increase, our morals decay. The more newspapers the worse morals. Where we have one newspaper that does good, I think we have fifty that do harm. We ought to look upon the establishment of a newspaper of the average pattern in a virtuous village as a calamity.”

    “It has become a sarcastic proverb that a thing must be true if you saw it in a newspaper. That is the opinion intelligent people have of that lying vehicle in a nutshell. But the trouble is that the stupid people–who constitute the grand overwhelming majority of this and all other nations–do believe and are moulded and convinced by what they get out of a newspaper, and there is where the harm lies.”

    “That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse.”

    – Mark Twain “License of the Press” speech, 1873

  56. whorefinder says: • Website

    And even that he couldn’t do better than an average non-Moneyball GM.

    Is there a wins above replacement stat for GMs?

    Also, that quote by Beane shows what a loser he is. No truly great baseball mind would think that.

    • Replies: @njguy73
  57. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Why didn’t anyone notice this? Turns out that more than a few did. Here is a survey article:

    As a long, feel-good story in the September 26 Sports Illustrated details, the team that seems to have benefited most from the study of sabermetrics is the Boston Red Sox, who hired Bill James as an advisor in 2004. It was, of course, long overdue that major league front offices should recognize James’s genius, but surely Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, a James aficionado, would have made use of his talents with or without Billy Beane’s relative success in Oakland. And it certainly must be acknowledged that the Red Sox, with enormous resources at their disposal, had the money to pursue and sign high-pried free agents who the A’s and other low budgets teams could not.

    With James on board, the Red Sox finally broke the so-called “Curse of the Bambino” and won two World Series in 2004 and 2007—though they won in 2004 in the most improbable of ways, coming back from a 0-3 deficit to the Yankees in the ALCS, just as they had lost the ALCS to the Yankees in the most improbable fashion the previous season when their ace, Pedro Martinez, melted down and lost a sizeable lead in the deciding game.

    Too much detail is hell on storytelling. How many people have actually made it all the way through Moby Dick? Eliminating nuance is a core competence of Malcolm Gladwell.

    As much as I like the article, the weakness of Lewis/Moneyball’s thesis was discussed and recognized at the time. But not on the Big Screen.

    And then we have steroids.

  58. njguy73 says:

    Here’s an July 2014 article that shows how a team’s payroll can be translated into expected wins. It makes the claim that between 2000 and 2014, the A’s actual win total exceeded their expected by $1.37 billion, compared to the Royals underperforming by $783 million.

    Three months after the piece was published, those two met in the AL Wild Card game. The Royals beat the A’s 9-8 in 12 innings, and went to the seventh game of World Series, losing with the potential winning run at the plate. A year later, they win it all.

    The difference? The A’s are simply interested in buying competitiveness and staying very good year after year. The Royals built a team designed to win, just like the Cubs and Astros later did. Develop a core of stars, find the right role players around them, and let it gel.

    Maybe the only stat for GMs is rings.

    • Replies: @whorefinder
  59. Anyone who read the book knew this movie was going to be a very hard sell to the youth market and women in particular. Hence the strong casting of Pitt and Hill (for obvious reasons). I never expected a documentary or anything close really. I thought the screenplay was a good one though.

    The best scene in the movie for me–near the end–was when Beane/Pitt drove down Yawkey Way –in Boston– and moved through the green walls of Fenway Park on a tour of the field, with mist giving off an aura of magic. There Beane had to confront the fact that Oakland could never really compete with the luxury ballpark across the water in San Francisco (Giants) and he was about to get a mega offer from John Henry (Red Sox owner), in this New England shrine called ‘Fenway.’ The contract was to make Beane the highest paid GM in sports. He turned it down. And yes that was for real: it isn’t Hollywood.

  60. Che Guava says:

    I am sure the film was not cut diferently for different places, but thank you for the reminder of the original title.

    Reading it (the original title), you are also reminding me that there was a remake, and that I have watched it (or parts, I recall losing interest after five or so minutes, glancing at the screen, then leaving it on in the background, think I was switching it off before the end), and that I hated it so much that I was even forgetting that it existed.

    Repressed memory from psychic trauma.

    Thx again CJ.

  61. @mhowell

    After the 2002 season the Mets fired Bobby Valentine as their manager and wanted Art Howe to replace him. However, he was still under contract to the A’s.

    Beane thought so little of Howe that he just let the Mets have him. The Mets didn’t even have to send the A’s a minor-league or washed-up major-league player in return. When the Mets wanted Gil Hodges as their manager 50 years ago they at least had to send the Senators Bill Denehy, as well as $100,000.

  62. We can look directly at the people pushing something and ask: Who are these people? What’s their agenda? What’s in it for them and theirs if we buy what they are selling?

    Speaking of Hollywood and agenda, what’s the real agenda behind trashing Harvey W., et al. all of a sudden? Everyone has known of his and other’s behavior for decades, and suddenly there’s a great media frenzy about it. What are they really pushing?

  63. Che Guava says:
    @Delinquent Snail

    I was making a better and more interesting reply to yours, but am agreeing with you on US pro-sports, there is no *sports* left, and very boring. Would excepting ice-hoctkey.

    If you want to seeing the high-school koushien, just cut and paste this into, perhaps, utub. 甲子園 (koushien)。As said in my earlier post, which I was deleting from erroneous button press, the ‘park’ part is only from ‘ball-park’.

    Will leaving it that, excepting that the reason Japanese teams are often beating USA teams in the very occasional international games of baseball, it is so obvious one, spirit

  64. whorefinder says: • Website

    Competitiveness? They were under .500 (and thus non-competitive) for 5 years (2007-2011). That’s pretty pathetic.

    Beane may be the good at year-to-year bean-counting, but his process doesn’t look at the overall picture. The Royals’s World Series run made them popular with local fans, who aren’t going to drift away in the fallow seasons to come; they’re willing to wait now that their lust has been temporarily satiated. Beane’s approach doesn’t generate long-term fans because the championship rush that makes casual fan little boys wear your cap long into old age is never present.

    Give me the Royals or Devil Rays championship run every 5 to 8 years over Beane’s “never be in the red, occasionally make the playoffs” any day.

    • Replies: @njguy73
  65. I am not sure the articles take on either the movie or the book is accurate. Nothing about either critiques: Christianity, color dynamics . . .

    I have watched this film several times and listened to a three hour C-Span interview with the author. In short the story is about how less profitable teams can compete against teams with much higher incomes, who can afford a string of top performing players and who are able to buffer their noneffective players or management .

    Now the angle that might have been helpful would have been an examination of how “free agency” made it possible for less profitable teams to field teams that made them more competitive by reevaluating a players value to performance, regardless of star power based on hit percentage etc. now there are other factors beyond re-evaluation. A teams teal needs motivated players, consistent play, etc. but becoming more competitive, against more profitable teams that could afford to stack the decks with the best (named players) is the real story – leveling the field — it is not a guarantee to win playoff games or a sure bet to the world series.

    but what the film is not about: critiquing white western values or whites in general.

  66. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Priss Factor


    Did you mean to post this to a different article?

  67. Atle says:

    This whole scenario (a Jewish character forced into a narrative that has nothing to do with Jews) reminds me of the fun Futurama cartoon, where a character obviously based on the Three Stooge’s Curly is thrust pointlessly into a story line that has nothing at all to do with those amusing but anachronistic characters from the 40’s. The same thing, by the way, for the fabulous Simpsons and the intrusive, nonsensical character Crusty the Clown.

    This Jewish humor has its place (e.g., Seinfeld) but stay away from forcing yourself into places that owe nothing to you.

  68. Conatus says:

    A short vid with open disparagement of the Pawnshop TV show genre. Mediated by our entertainment elite.
    Now, I guess, Middle America depends on pawnshops.
    Har har hardy har har!

  69. bjondo says:

    the lies by weasel are true and happened.

    tried watching moneyball.
    lasted 20 minutes give or take a few.

  70. Hibernian says:
    @Hank Rearden

    He concludes by saying “I wonder how Luther broke the spell.” The entire letter is much more sympathetic than the excerpt you have presented above.

  71. njguy73 says:

    Beane’s approach doesn’t generate long-term fans because the championship rush that makes casual fan little boys wear your cap long into old age is never present.

    Yes. The A’s don’t have an Eric Hosmer, an Evan Longoria, or a Jose Altuve to whom the fans can look at as the face of the franchise.

  72. I read Moneybull here or somewhere else a week ago. Although I’m not much for sports I went to his website to check him out.

    What I found was a very simple site, not commercial at all, and hundreds of writings from a remarkable man. A professor of education for 50 years, now retired for a couple of years at 77. Suffers poor heal including acute deafness.

    He taught his students to think for themselves. In this day and age, that is definitely not the role of the University. He suffered greatly for his independence and clear thinking. But tenured, he was not ousted. This week I have been reading his works several hours a day and feel the rush of a breath of fresh air. I hardily recommend you check him out. Here is a simple quote to his students that you don’t find these days.

    The pursuit of greatness involves the intention to live an exemplary and true life. An intention is more than a goal, more than a hope; I will make this happen. Those with this intension seek to experience and manifest the finest, the best, the very highest quality, in every dimension of their existence: In physical health and bodily perfection and grace (I think of the closest possible approximation of a Greek statue or a great dancer). In self-understanding. In self-value and self-importance. In character: morality, ethics, courage, autonomy, integrity, responsibility, willfulness, dedication, persistence. In relationships—parents, siblings, friends, mates, children, racial and ethnic and religious kinsmen, humankind, animals and nature. In love and sexual expression. In art and literature and historical understanding. In grooming, fashion, and surroundings—home architecture and furnishings, work place decor. In work. For these individuals the various aspects of their being and lives reflect and give expression to their uniqueness, their singularity, at ever-increasing levels of development. And all that they do and become occurs within the context of a deeply felt awareness of their mortality–death will come and eternity will begin, and all one has is the time between now and then.

  73. bjondo says:
    @Delinquent Snail

    all adam sandler movies are crappy.

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