The website Hollywood Elsewhere has a couple of movie reviews from a sneak preview screening of the “Moneyball” movie. The first one consists of the gut impressions of a person who seems not to be a baseball fan. They suggest to me — along with the fact that there are three (3) prominent female roles in a movie about a baseball team — that it’s a broader movie, designed for more of a non-sports audience. Which is sort of what I expected following the success of the other Michael Lewis book-turned-movie, “The Blind Side.”
The second review however, which starts below the Brad Pitt pic, is a more conventional review, which, in contrast, says it’s all baseball:
“Director Bennett Miller, writers Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, and Sony Pictures have gone ahead and come up with something truly unique and special. Moneyball has little concern for things like drama, character arcs, or third-act thrills. There are elements of each of these things to be found in the film, but it is first and foremost a movie about baseball, about the intricacies of sports and statistics, and how a passion and deep understanding of the minutia can lead one down the possible path to victory.”
Hurm. What to make of two vastly different impressions from what appear to be the same screening? I’m not sure.
But if Sony wants to fly me out to a preview screening someplace (someplace nice, please) then I can settle this once and for all.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.