Last weekend on opening day, I saw the new movie, “Moneyball,” starring Brad Pitt. It was No. 2 at the box office pulling in $20 million and just a shade behind “Disney’s 3-D Lion King.”
While more viewers probably went to see another Brad Pitt vehicle rather than a baseball movie, “Moneyball” has apparently touched something of a nerve with many. The book by Michael Lewis of “Blindside” fame, created something of an uproar with many fans of America’s pastime when it was first published in 2003 and championed the cause of a new kind of baseball analysis.
Early in the movie, there is a scene in which young baseball statistician Peter Brand proclaims, “The problem is that baseball has a fundamental misunderstanding of the game.” He goes on to explain that baseball folks have traditionally believed that the game is about hitting and home runs and other behaviors when, in fact, it is much more about OBP (on base percentage) and runs scored.
Nothing else really matters.
This new way of thinking is later credited in the movie (beware spoiler alert!) with helping the Boston Red Sox win the World Series two years later.
So what does this have to do with Christianity as we know it? As I watched the movie it struck me that in baseball the old guys say it’s how you play the game that counts most, not this newfangled “Moneyball” way of looking at things. The “Moneyball” way says strikes and strike outs don’t mean so much … .
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