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Sunday, September 25, 2011

‘Duk: Art Howe isn’t happy about his portrayal in ‘Moneyball’

We didn’t get it today, but we battled and we will be back at the Oscars next year!

Former Oakland Athletics manager Art Howe (above, right)  hasn’t seen ‘Moneyball’ yet, but he’s talked with people who have and he says he isn’t thrilled with the way he’s portrayed in the film.

Here’s Howe on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio:

  “Considering the book wasn’t real favorable to me to start with I figured it would be something like this but to be honest with you it is very disappointing to know that you spent seven years in an organization and gave your heart and soul to it and helped them go to the postseason your last three years there and win over 100 games your last two seasons and this is the way evidently your boss (Beane) feels about you.

  Art Howe isn’t happy about his portrayal in ‘Moneyball’“They never called me to get my slant on things as far as the movie was concerned.  So, I mean, it’s coming from someone.  I don’t know who it is but maybe it is Hollywood to make it sell, I guess.  I don’t know.  It’s disappointing.  I spent my whole career trying to build a good reputation and I think I did that but this movie certainly doesn’t help it.  And it is definitely unfair and untrue.  If you ask any player that ever played for me they would say that they never saw this side of me, ever.”

...But Howe doesn’t see it quite the same way.

  “The thing that bothers me about the movie is that, you know, I think everybody in baseball knows who I am but so many people who are going to be seeing this movie really don’t know me.  This is their impression of me probably the rest of my life so that’s disappointing.”

Repoz Posted: September 25, 2011 at 04:31 PM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, awards, books, media, reviews

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   1. Tricky Dick Posted: September 25, 2011 at 05:15 PM (#3935655)
I just commented in the "review" thread that I had mixed feelings about the portrayal of Howe because I liked Howe as a player and, as a baseball professional he seemed like a decent guy. (As a manager, I think he is just OK, but rather non-descript.) I think this is partly a case that the movie needs a foil for Beane, and Howe is a convenient character for that. So, I wouldn't be surprised if Hollywood exaggerated the negative aspects of his character.

This version of Moneyball made me wonder how Soderbergh version of the movie would have treated the Howe character. Howe was going to play himself in that version. Howe is an analyst on Astros' post-game shows, and last year (or the year before that?) he mentioned that he would miss a few home games because he was flying to Arizona to start the filming of moneyball. He said he didn't know what to expect. Shortly thereafter, the news came out that the filming would not start, because the movie was being re-written.
   2. rr Posted: September 25, 2011 at 05:32 PM (#3935687)
Hoffman is an excellent actor, but he also looks/sounds nothing like Howe (I thought Ed Harris would have made a good Howe), so it seems Howe should have tried to go the DePodesta route and have his character be named "Sparky Thompson" or something.
   3. The District Attorney Posted: September 25, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#3935691)
it is very disappointing to know that you spent seven years in an organization and gave your heart and soul to it and helped them go to the postseason your last three years there and win over 100 games your last two seasons and this is the way evidently your boss (Beane) feels about you.
Billy Beane should never have written that screenplay.

Personally, I thought Howe battled out there.

(EDIT: Whoops, Repoz beat me to it. Ehh. Leaving it.)
   4. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: September 25, 2011 at 05:43 PM (#3935697)
Hoffman is an excellent actor, but he also looks/sounds nothing like Howe (I thought Ed Harris would have made a good Howe)
Howe *was* skinny when he managed the A's, right? I was surprised that Hoffman looks so big, not like he hasn't been much trimmer in other roles. I think.

But Ed Harris would have been a good choice, and he's also an excellent actor.
   5. rr Posted: September 25, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#3935702)
@ 4

Yeah. Howe was basically totally bald even when he was a young man, but he is actually a rugged-looking, kind of impressive older guy--like Ed Harris. Physically, Hoffman would seem better suited to the Jonah Hill part, (too old, though) but Hoffman is the kind of guy who can pull off different parts.
   6. Flynn Posted: September 25, 2011 at 05:51 PM (#3935705)
FWIW, Rob Neyer said he hated Hoffman's portrayal of Howe. Not only was it largely fictional, but he said he couldn't get over how totally unathletic Hoffman looks, basically nothing like somebody who would have played baseball. Neyer's a big movie buff so he's not just talking as a baseball fan.
   7. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 25, 2011 at 05:51 PM (#3935706)
Couldn't they at least have added a scene at the end where Art Howe sacrifices his life by taking an experimental but risky serum that will one day help generations of children? That's how Babe Bendix got to go.
   8. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: September 25, 2011 at 05:56 PM (#3935709)
FWIW, Rob Neyer said he hated Hoffman's portrayal of Howe. Not only was it largely fictional, but he said he couldn't get over how totally unathletic Hoffman looks, basically nothing like somebody who would have played baseball.

That's a pretty stupid criticism. Has he seen some of the guys that come rolling out of dugouts?

Even if the argument isn't that Hoffman should be lean and spry to appear athletic, and that there is still an athletic "look" to the frumpier managers of the day, I disagree. I am not able to look at Charlie Manuel and see the former athlete within. Same with a bunch of other guys.
   9. JE (Jason) Posted: September 25, 2011 at 06:02 PM (#3935716)
Posnanski observed that the actor playing a "young" Billy Beane shared zero resemblance to Pitt.
   10. Swedish Chef Posted: September 25, 2011 at 06:15 PM (#3935734)
. Has he seen some of the guys that come rolling out of dugouts?

To be fair, Leyland is 150 years old.
   11. Bourbon Samurai Posted: September 25, 2011 at 06:24 PM (#3935738)
Posnanski observed that the actor playing a "young" Billy Beane shared zero resemblance to Pitt.


Umm...Posnanski is crazy. The guy is a very good match for a young baseball playing Pitt.
   12. Bruce Markusen Posted: September 25, 2011 at 06:42 PM (#3935759)
For crying out loud, DUSTIN Hoffman would have been a better choice to portray Howe.

I have not seen the movie, but if Beane thought so little of Howe, why did he employ him for seven seasons? Isn't that more of an indictment of Beane than it is Howe?
   13. Robinson Cano Plate Like Home Posted: September 25, 2011 at 06:49 PM (#3935765)
I think it's an indication of how unimportant Beane thought the manager was.
   14. Maury Brown Posted: September 25, 2011 at 07:08 PM (#3935783)
Posnanski observed that the actor playing a "young" Billy Beane shared zero resemblance to Pitt.
True. I had a hard time with it. The young Beane looked very much like the man. Pitt, of course, doesn't (got the hair close, but that was it). But, the gap between young and old Beane in the flick wasn't very good.

There was some other stuff.... The DePo character played by Hill says to Beane in a scene that reminded me of All the President's Men (can't talk in the Indians front office so take it out into the parking garage) that the loss of Damon is actually good because the Sox overvalue him. Then, at the end of the flick, they show dialog in which "Red Sox go on to win the World Series in 2004 using the same approach A's did." Huh? Sure, Bill James helped. But to say that the 2004 Red Sox team was built on Moneyball principles is taking it a bit too far. Last I checked, Damon was on that 2004 team.
   15. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: September 25, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#3935791)
The fact that Will Ferrell wasn't cast as Adam Dunn is the biggest oversight.
   16. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 25, 2011 at 08:05 PM (#3935855)
Howe's comments in the article is reflective of his portrayal in the movie. In his comments, Howe seemed to have been more concerned with his reputation and his next job and he was in trying to get with the program, and Hoffman's Howe comes across exactly the same way in the movie.
   17. Curse of the Graffanino (dfan) Posted: September 25, 2011 at 08:10 PM (#3935862)
Last I checked, Damon was on that 2004 team.

Yes, that is still true.
   18. Paul D(uda) Posted: September 25, 2011 at 08:55 PM (#3935904)
I thought that the Young Beane looked pretty close to what a young Pitt would look like.
   19. Tricky Dick Posted: September 25, 2011 at 08:56 PM (#3935909)
Howe wss just interviewed during the Astros' broadcast. Apparently he has watched Moneyball now and he is unhappy. He doesn't like being portrayed as selfish or self-centered. He said he never talked about his contract extension with Beane. He said that he had to break the news to Magnante, not Beane. Etc.
   20. Tricky Dick Posted: September 25, 2011 at 09:46 PM (#3935932)
Just to clarify in the post above, Howe said his agent is the only one who discussed contracts with the club.
   21. Squash Posted: September 25, 2011 at 10:46 PM (#3936037)
There was some other stuff.... The DePo character played by Hill says to Beane in a scene that reminded me of All the President's Men (can't talk in the Indians front office so take it out into the parking garage) that the loss of Damon is actually good because the Sox overvalue him. Then, at the end of the flick, they show dialog in which "Red Sox go on to win the World Series in 2004 using the same approach A's did." Huh? Sure, Bill James helped. But to say that the 2004 Red Sox team was built on Moneyball principles is taking it a bit too far. Last I checked, Damon was on that 2004 team.

Having just come from the movie, they didn't say Damon was a bad player (though they didn't say he was great, either) - just he was being paid more than he was worth. And the 2004 Boston championship at the time was very, very widely considered to be an emulation of the Moneyball A's (which back then essentially meant using OBP as the most important stat) - I'd go so far as to say the notion was completely ubiquitous. "Moneyball with money" is what pretty much everyone was saying.
   22. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 25, 2011 at 10:59 PM (#3936068)
I thought the movie presented Howe as a man with integrity, even if he didn't share the vision with Beane.
   23. OsunaSakata Posted: September 25, 2011 at 11:48 PM (#3936159)
I agree with QFtDTA. Howe was portrayed as a principled opponent. I thought Grady Fuson was portrayed as the villain.
   24. Don Malcolm Posted: September 26, 2011 at 12:00 AM (#3936176)
Seems that the primary quality the scriptwriters wanted to portray in the Howe character was passive-aggressiveness. Perhaps Sorkin and Zaillian, a couple of Robert McKee acolytes, sensed the lack of such a force in their film, and put it all into Howe.

What the film doesn't convey at all, of course, is that Howe was actually playing Hatteberg at the time of this so-called "tug of war"--he was DH'ing him.
   25. valuearbitrageur Posted: September 26, 2011 at 04:43 AM (#3937049)
I thought the whole film didn't make sense if you thought too hard about it, the writers lazily stuck in a standard Hollywood plot cause they couldn't figure out how to dramatize what really happened, and Howe got cheap-shotted in it. Obviously the writers are super talented, but they couldn't even give Beane's opponents dignified motives for their intransigence.

I told my wife it was probably a much better film to those who didn't read the book, but she didn't really like it too much either.

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