“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.

Report: Blue Jays and Marco Estrada nearing agreement on contract extension

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Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.

Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.

J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.

Video: Jackie Bradley, Jr. robs Chris Davis of a home run

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Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.

This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.