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.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.