Intelligence Equals Isolation: Peter Brand is frequently depicted as working in his office alone on his computer (this portrayal is apparently what led DePodesta to withdraw permission to be portrayed). Beane has to coax him to go on a road trip with the team, where he sits next to David Justice still typing away. It Will Never Catch On: The concept of Sabremetrics, which drives the plot. Jerkass: Art Howe. In real life, Beane fired him following the loss to Minnesota. Unsurprisingly, the real Art Howe was one of the movie’s most vocal critics. Also head scout Grady Fuson. He belittles Beane and Brand every chance he gets, refuses to even consider their new approach, accuses Beane of doing it for personal reasons, then takes to talk radio after his firing and slams Beane mercilessly. Jerkass Has a Point: While all the old school scouts are mostly playing guessing game when it comes to picking potential new players, at least part of their critique against Beane’s picks are to the point. Like Hatteberg’s irrepairable elbow damage (making him a disabled player by default) or Jeremy Giambi’s tendency to party hard, which affects his trainings and performance during games. Giambi eventually starts to cause problems due to his excessive lifestyle, just like predicted. And not even his statistical value can counter it. Occam’s Razor: Brand and Beane revolutionary idea of assembling a team boils down to statistics everything that can’t be turned into numbers is simply ignored, and everything that can be turned into numbers is counted, compared and sorted. This allows them to look through things that traditional scouts would consider as a liability or a flaw, while simultaneously exploiting the fact all those “flawed” players are undervalued and thus cheap.
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