Filming for the "Moneyball" movie is underway in Oakland

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that the “Moneyball” movie has started filming in Oakland with scenes from the A’s record-setting 20th straight win in 2002.
Scott Hatteberg delivered the game-winning homer in real life and actor Chris Pratt (who plays Andy in the super-awesome “Parks and Recreation” on NBC) is portraying him in the movie. And that’s when hilarity ensues:

Pratt, playing Hatteberg, didn’t exactly have the same result in his at-bat that Hatteberg did when his pinch-hit homer beat the Royals 12-11 in the bottom of the ninth on Sept. 4, 2002. …
“They said, ‘No matter what, if it’s in fair territory, act like it’s a home run,'” [A’s batboy Jordan] Iserson reported. “His first swing was a weak broken-bat ground ball and everyone rushed out there like it went into the fifth row.”

Ah, Hollywood. I suspect they’ll have the opposite problem when it comes to shooting the 2001 scene where Derek Jeter’s flip to Jorge Posada nails Jeremy Giambi at the plate, because no actor is going to believe not sliding in that spot is realistic.

Report: Shohei Ohtani has sprained UCL in pitching elbow

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The Angels signed Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani for a $2.3 million signing bonus last weekend. They may have damaged goods on their hands. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Ohtani underwent a physical that revealed a first-degree sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament. As a result, he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on October 20. This was made known to teams after Ohtani entered MLB’s posting system, so it wasn’t like the Angels went into this blind.

Ohtani’s report said, “Although partial damage of UCL in deep layer of his right UCL exists, he is able to continue full baseball participation with sufficient elbow care program.” It also said Ohtani “will most likely be available to start his throwing program approximately a month from the PRP.”

Passan notes that the report also mentioned that a “small free body” floats in Ohtani’s elbow near his UCL.

Ohtani isn’t without other injuries. He battled hamstring and ankle issues throughout 2017 and underwent right ankle surgery back in October. Thankfully for the Angels, this diagnosis is about as good as it could be considering the circumstances. However, if Ohtani does exacerbate his UCL issue, he may ultimately need Tommy John surgery at some point, which would take him out of action for at least a year.