Moneyball is my favorite sports movie of the 21st century — and it’s not close. MLB The Show is my favorite sports franchise (that one is closer). Both mean a lot to me, so to see Moneyball in MLB The Show is a cool moment. All the credit for the video comes from Kasabe for cutting it together and well known creators in the community like Dr. Sublime for creating the CAPs in use for the video.
Moneyball In MLB The Show
Scott Hatteberg's home run scene from Moneyball, recreated in @MLBTheShow
— Kasabe_ (@kasabekompiles) May 26, 2022
There are so many wonderful things about Moneyball, but the beauty of what’s ultimately the last bombastic scene of the movie is that for all the other “based on a true story” heavy lifting the movie does to create movie magic that goes beyond the realm of the basic facts, the last scene is all just baseball. What happened, happened.
Hatteberg does what he does and gets ahead 1-0, and then takes a rip and history is made. Nothing needs to change. Sometimes sports movies will get in their own way and tweak facts when no tweaking was needed. The recent HBO show Winning Time recently took criticism for that, and while I ultimately really enjoy Winning Time, Moneyball still proves out how and when you should “movie it up” for the audience. (That said, Winning Time and Moneyball both wash over major components of the winning team — Jamaal Wilkes vs. take your pick of Tejada winning MVP, or Mulder/Zito/Hudson each throwing 200 innings and Lidle coming in at another 192).
But on the video game side of things, what’s special here is that MLB The Show has amazing creators of CAPs, teams, stadiums, and so on. I would say the depth of that group rivals just about any sports game out there, but NBA 2K is the one known for pulling off these sorts of crossovers due to amazing creators like MessenjahMatt.
The tools in NBA 2K are better than any other sports game, plus it’s on PC and that’s huge for ease of use. On top of that, 2K takes more pride in the general presentation and visuals than any other sports game out there. At the same time, while basketball is my favorite sport, baseball has way better movies, and there has never been a great NBA movie like Moneyball — Eddie what the hell are you doing? Sit down, I know you don’t think you were about to get praise here.
In other words, it’s a good way to stand out. This recreation could have just been from the actual game itself — again, it would basically be the same scene — but it’s a video game version of “movie magic” to do the ripoff of the ripoff because it’s just better. After all, everything’s just better in Moneyball.
It’s a movie that shouldn’t work. It died, was saved, was re-written, was stuck in purgatory, and had every reason to become one of those projects you see on IMDB as being in the “announced” stage forever. But it happened. At its core, it’s a movie about love in many forms. The most explicit being the love for one’s family, but in terms of love that video game sports fans understand, love even when there is no reason or logic behind the love. Baseball is a cruel sport, and like most sports, it makes no sense. And that’s what being a sports fan is about most of the time. It’s a life of low-grade wretchedness sprinkled in with those moments of fleeting glory. Some fans get more sprinkles on top than others, but at the end of the day, we’re all probably miserable more than we’re not.
In fact, that could be the tagline for OperationSports, though for some reason I have not been able to get the brand managers to sign off on that tagline as of yet. But we come back. We whine (a lot), or bemoan how it used to better, or any number of other things, but generally we let these video games hurt us over and over again just like we let sports do it to us. We chase the ideal even when that probably never existed in the first place.
Moneyball gets that. If Billy Beane had won a World Series at the end of Moneyball, it would have been a bad ending. It’s a movie where he pretends he doesn’t care or doesn’t want to care, he just wants to solve the problem of winning and be done with it all. I would love not to care about sports video games. I would love for all sports games to just be great forever and always, and so we just enjoy the games and never have to talk about what they need ever again. But the highs don’t mean as much without the lows, and that dejection is a core part of sports in any form.
And that’s what gives way here when watching something like this video for me. “How can you not be romantic about sports video games?”
Oh, and if I could end by saying one final thing, it’s that Moneyball has the greatest sports montage this side of any Rocky movie you want to pick.
…And don’t you forget it.