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 reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.