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Moneyball, Jonah Hill at NorthPark Wednesday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    If you want to experience a great baseball story, read Michael Lewis' 2003 book "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game".

    If you want to experience a great baseball story in 133 minutes, go see Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman next Friday when it hits theaters nationwide.

    Or, you can hit up the special advance screening tonight at NorthPark AMC at 7:30 p.m., which Jonah Hill will be attending.

    The movie is based on the book, which is about Oakland A's general manager and minority owner Billy Beane (played by Pitt), a former MLB top prospect who never made it big as a player but got into the front office game and changed the way baseball teams are run.

    Beane's theory has always been to go cheap, using statistical analysis and sabermetrics to obtain undervalued players on the cheap.

    In 2006, the A's payroll ranked 24th out of the league's 30 teams, but the team finished the season with the fifth-best regular season record.

    In 2009, Sports Illustrated named Beane No. 10 on its list of the top 10 GMs in sports of the decade.

    Hill, who will be in attendance at the screening, plays Peter Brand (pseudonym for the real-life Paul DePodesta, Beane's assistant GM in Oakland).

    If you see the movie, watch for the appearance by some portly version of the Old School Brotha playing Rangers mananger, and former A's assistant coach Ron Washington. It looks NOTHING like him.