Baseball and movies: Renner looks like Peavy, Hill doesn't look like DePodesta

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Jeremy Renner was seemingly the only person involved with The Hurt Locker not to take home an Oscar last night, but as seemingly everyone in my Twitter feed pointed out at least he still looks like a dead ringer for Jake Peavy (or perhaps at this point Peavy looks like a dead ringer for him):
jake peavy and jeremy renner.JPGIn other movie/baseball news, ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer reveals via Michael Lewis (I think, unless he was joking around) that Jonah Hill is set to play former A’s assistant general manager Paul DePodesta if the Moneyball movie ever gets made.
paul depodesta and jonah hill.JPGDePodesta is a skinny former football player and Harvard graduate. Hill almost exclusively plays overweight slackers. I suppose it doesn’t matter a whole lot, since 99 percent of the movie-going audience won’t know what DePodesta actually looks like, but it’ll probably bug all the dorks like me.
The good news is that the mismatch between DePodesta and Hill means that my dream of having George Clooney play me in The Aaron Gleeman Story is still alive. It’ll have to be some of his best work yet, because the script is mostly just about a guy who sits in his underpants and blogs about baseball all day. Renner is already signed on to play Peavy, with an intense scene where I point out his extreme home/road splits.

There is, indeed, an MLB-to-Portland group

Associated Press
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On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”

There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.

It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:

On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.

“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”

One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.

None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”