“Moneyball” nominated for Best Picture

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The Oscar nominations came out this morning. I’ve seen three of the Best Picture nominees. That is easily the most I’ve seen by nomination time in years. Maybe a decade. Having kids sort of kills your moviegoing mojo.

There’s a decent chance I would have posted about this anyway because, hey, it’s the offseason and why not, but I have a bona fide baseball reason to post about it too: “Moneyball” was nominated for Best Picture.  As was Brad Pitt for Best Actor and Jonah Hill for Best Supporting Actor. It also got nods for Best Editing, Sound Mixing and Adapted Screenplay.

Observations:

  • I liked “Moneyball” enough, though I have to say that not once while I was watching it did I think that it was Best Picture material. If they had nominations for “Neat Picture,” maybe, but whatever.
  • Brad Pitt’s performance had a lot of Oscar-bait to it, so that’s not a big surprise.
  • Jonah Hill was good too, but I’m not sure that “stare blankly, act befuddled and provide exposition” is the stuff of acting awards. He has good comic timing as a straight man. And now that he has lost a freaking lot of weight, he will likely never be offered the kinds of roles that got him his Oscar nomination, so there’s that.
  • I liked “Midnight in Paris” an awful lot. I thought “Tree of Life” was the most boring, pointless and self-absorbed beautiful movie of all time. No reason for that, but I wanted to mention it somewhere; and finally
  • I didn’t see “The Help,” but I am happy to see the Academy’s habit of nominating movies about pretty white women discovering that racism exists and sorta kinda thinking about doing something about it is still going strong.

Enjoy the comments. It’s not often I give you a forum to b.s. about movies all day, so make the most of it.

Odubel Herrera went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts today

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Did you have a bad day? It’s OK. We all do sometimes. It’s just part of life. Even ballplayers have bad days. Even the good ones.

Odubel Herrera is a good one. He’s only 25, but he’s already got two seasons of above average hitting under his belt. Dude gets on base. He could be a regular for tons of teams, so there’s no shame at all in him having a bad day. And boy howdy did he have a bad day today. He went 0-for-5 with five strikeouts in the Phillies extra innings win against the Rockies.

“I feel that I am making good swings but I’m just missing the pitches,” Herrera said.

Well, that is how strikeouts work.

Four strikeouts in a game is known as a Golden Sombrero. Players don’t strike out five times in a game very often so they don’t have an agreed upon name, but I’ve seen it referred to as the “platinum sombrero,” which seems pretty solid for such a feat. Six is a titanium sombrero or a double platinum sombrero, though there are references to it as a “Horn,” for Sam Horn, who deserves something to be named in his honor. Horn is like Moe Greene — a great man, a man of vision and guts — yet there isn’t even a plaque, or a signpost or a statue of him!

But I digress.

The last time a Phillies player did it was when Pat Burrell K’d five times in September 2008. The Phillies won the World Series that year, of course, so maybe this is an omen. [looks at standings] Or maybe not.

Anyway, get a good night’s sleep tonight, Odubel. Shake it off. Tomorrow is another day.

Rachel Robinson to receive O’Neil Award from the Hall of Fame

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NEW YORK (AP) Rachel Robinson will receive the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award from baseball’s Hall of Fame on July 29, the day before this year’s induction ceremony.

She’s the wife of late Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who broke the major league color barrier in 1947. Rachel Robinson created the Jackie Robinson Foundation in 1973, a year after he husband’s death. Rachel Robinson, who turns 95 in July 19, headed the foundation’s board until 1996.

The O’Neil award was established in 2007 to honor individuals who broaden the game’s appeal and whose character is comparable to that of O’Neil. He played in the Negro Leagues, was a scout for major league baseball teams and helped establish the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.

The award was given to O’Neil in 2008, Roland Hemond in 2011 and Joe Garagiola in 2014.