「我離港前到過一間精神科醫院。當時有位病人禮貌地問,一個以作為世上最悠久民主政體而自傲的國家,如何能夠將此地交給一個政治制度非常不同的國家,且既沒諮詢當地公民,又沒給予他們民主的前景,好讓他們捍衞自己的將來。一個隨行同事說,奇怪,香港提出最理智問題的人,竟在精神科醫院。」彭定康 金融時報

“During a visit to a mental hospital before I left Hong Kong, a patient politely asked me how a country that prided itself on being the oldest democracy in the world had come to be handing over his city to another country with a very different system of government, without either consulting the citizens or giving them the prospect of democracy to safeguard their future. Strange, said one of my aides, that the man with the sanest question in Hong Kong is in a mental hospital.”Chris Patten Financial Times

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

魔球 Moneyball

魔球 Moneyball




The Show
I'm just a little bit caught in the middle
Life is a maze and love is a riddle
I don't know where to go
I can't do it alone I've tried
And I don't know why

Slow it down Make it stop
Or else my heart is going to pop
'Cause it's too much
Yeah, it's a lot
To be something I'm not
I'm a fool Out of love
'Cause I just can't get enough

Yeah I'm just a little bit caught in the middle
Life is a maze and love is a riddle
I don't know where to go
I can't do it alone I've tried
And I don't know why

I am just a little girl lost in the moment
I'm so scared but I don't show it
I can't figure it out
It's bringing me down I know
I've got to let it go
And just enjoy the show


NBA 和 NHL 的球季,每年的 preseason 熱身賽,都要等到八九月份才開展,所以夏季去到北美洲旅遊,若晚上沒有飯局,留在親友家中無所事事等眼瞓,TV Networks 可供觀看的體育,只有 Base Ball 棒球!


初初看來,棒球是很緩慢的比賽,由其是投球手 pitcher,不斷把球兒投向 first or second baseman 一壘手或二壘手處,防止經已上一壘的對方 runner 球員企圖 steal base 盜壘上二壘。


不過,一有球兒被擊出,兩球隊便立即互動起來了。由其是當進攻一隊已造成滿壘 bases loaded 時,大滿貫 grand slam 將要發生又未能發生時,兩隊十幾個球員便會互動起來,球員即時的爆發力,要求卻是很高,可說是:不動如山,動若脫兔!


經過親友解讀,再加上在網閱覽有關棒球的資料,發覺棒球比賽是一回又一回的闘智和闘力的表現,漸漸就看得津津有味。需要注意的就是隊與隊,總教練對總教練,擊球教練對投球教練,擊球球員對投球球員,右手將對右手將,左手將對左手將,左手將對右手將,相互 match up 的 statistics 統計數據。


可惜回港後,就很難看到即時轉播的棒球賽,由其是 MLB 季後賽 playoffs,最終極的 美聯冠軍 對 國聯冠軍 的 World Series,是七場終極決賽,誰先取四場勝仗,就是 World Series 冠軍。


近日有棒球電影, Moneyball 港譯:魔球 上映,嗜悲恭逢其會,那會不去捧場呢?


Starring:
Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics
Jonah Hill as Peter Brand, Beane's assistant general manager
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Art Howe, the manager of the Oakland Athletics
Chris Pratt as Scott Hatteberg, A's first baseman
Casey Bond as Chad Bradford, A's submarine relief pitcher
Stephen Bishop as David Justice, A's outfielder







【維基百科】Moneyball is a 2011 biographical sports drama film directed by Bennett Miller and distributed by Columbia Pictures.

The film is based on Michael Lewis's 2003 book of the same name, an account of the Oakland Athletics baseball team's 2002 season and their general manager Billy Beane's attempts to assemble a competitive team.



In the film, Beane (Brad Pitt) and assistant GM Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), faced with the franchise's unfavorable financial situation, take a sophisticated sabermetric approach towards scouting and analyzing players, acquiring "submarine" pitcher Chad Bradford (Casey Bond) and former catcher Scott Hatteberg (Chris Pratt), and winning 20 consecutive games, an American League record.






【雅虎電影】《魔球》改編自近年美國職業棒球界的真實神話。奧克蘭運動家隊總經理比利曾是棒球界新星,可惜鬱鬱不得志,黯然退役後轉任球會管理層。02年,球隊主力一如以往被勁旅挖角,班主又大削重整旗鼓的資金。運籌帷握的比利打破常規,運用數據分析挑選球員,與傳統智慧背水一戰,過程被球迷、傳媒甚至球員教練等人抨擊,直到球隊表演谷底反彈,上演奇蹟一幕 。。。。。



故事:
看戲前以為有很多比賽時段,兩隊在球場上互相闘戰略鬪智闘力,但原來重點放在 Brad Pitt 飾演的球隊 General Manager Beane,面對被富豪球會挖角後,如何和他新請回來的副手 Peter Brand,根據統計數字 statistics,利用有限的資金重新組建球隊。


【維基百科】Rather than relying on the scouts' experience and intuition, Brand selects players based almost exclusively on their on base percentage (OBP). By finding players with a high OBP but with characteristics that lead scouts to dismiss them, Brand assembles a team of undervalued players with far more potential than the A's hamstrung finances would otherwise allow.


可惜主教練並不同意這個方式,到了正式比賽時,沒有派出原先計劃的球員上陣,反而利用存統方式,派總教練的愛將作重心出去比賽,結果球隊成績低落。Beane 唯有釜底抽薪,把總教練的愛將交換到別隊,逼令總教練利用餘下的球員繼續出賽。




【維基百科】Beane finds that he also faces opposition from Art Howe (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the Athletics' manager. With tensions already high between them because of a contract dispute, Howe disregards Beane and Brand's strategy and plays the team in a traditional style despite their unsuitability. Beane is eventually forced to trade away the lone traditional star player (Carlos Peña) to force Howe to use the new recruits.

Early in the season, the Athletics fare poorly, leading critics within and outside the team to dismiss the new method as a dismal failure. Beane convinces the owner to stay the course, and eventually the team's record begins to improve. Ultimately, the Athletics win an unprecedented 20 consecutive games, setting the American League record.




奇蹟出現了,根據統計數字 statistics 購買返來的新球員,經過磨合後創出了 American League 美聯的新紀錄,便是連勝二十場比賽。其後,雖然球隊能夠進入 2002年度的季後賽 playoffs,卻未能進入第二圈的季後賽。


【維基百科】In closing, the film notes that Beane passed up the opportunity to become the general manager of the Boston Red Sox, despite an offer of a $12.5 million salary, which would have made him the highest paid general manager in baseball history (the implication being that his decision ultimately came down to not wanting to move away from his daughter). Also noted in the postscript is Boston's World Series victory soon after in 2004, based on the theories that Beane pioneered.


功虧一簣未竟全功,但 Brad Pitt 飾演的球隊 General Manager Beane,被邀請到富豪球隊 Boston Red Sox,波士頓紅襪隊的球場 Fenway Park,商談加盟的可能性,球隊出價年薪一千二百五十萬美元,前所未有的高薪,希望打動 Beane 轉會。


雖然 Beane 沒有離開本來球會,但紅襪隊利用同樣的 concept 概念重組球隊,卒之在 2004年度,在先輸三場後連贏四場,打敗了宿敵 New York Yankees 紐約洋基隊,代表 American League 美聯進軍 World Series 季後總決賽。紅襪隊並輕易四場連勝,橫掃 National League 國聯的冠軍 St. Louis Cardinals 聖路易紅雀隊,取得世界系列 World Series 總冠軍。





我見:
我不覺得故事很吸引,整部戲平鋪直敘沒有高潮,因為觀眾早知會有二十連勝,球隊沒有打到入 World Series 總決賽,Beane 也沒有轉會去波士頓紅襪。


還有男主角 Brad Pitt 沒有一場戲令我留下深刻印象,畢比特只是演返自己一向幹乾淨淨的靚樣,父女情的幾幕戲也不感人。金球獎有提名但沒有進賬,看來在金像獎得到提名已經盡了,要得到獎還需看看週一的結果,總的來說機會應該不高。(結果同一命運四大皆空。)


可以一提的是 Brad Pitt 飾演的 Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics,與他的副手由 Jonah Hill 飾演的 Peter Brand, Beane's assistant general manager 的一段對話:


Billy Beane: I want you to go on the road with the team.
Peter Brand: You don't go on the road with the team.
Billy Beane: That's why I want you to do it.
Peter Brand: Why don't you?
Billy Beane: I can't develop personal relationships with these guys. I gotta be able to trade 'em, send 'em down, sometimes cut them. Which is something you should learn to do, by the way.

Beane 手起刀落,把總教練的愛將賣掉,和買賣其他球員,在講價還價中,要錢又要人來交換,好像香港師奶在街市講價差不多,最後沒有忘記要求送稞蔥。球員在球會管理層眼中,好像買賣魚和鮮肉講價還價,說得過份些就像買賣奴隸,很現實沒有半點人情 involved 存在。


對於球迷的我,還可以靜靜坐下來看戲,就像看紀錄片一般,重溫一次 奧克蘭運動家隊,在 2002年球季創出連勝20場的創舉。不是球迷的當然根本沒有興趣入座,至於 Brad Pitt 畢比特影迷當然另計!


後記:
無獨有偶也有這位先生的影評


The Real Billy Beane Talk


The Moneyball 20th Win Scott Hatteberg's homerun



伸延閱覽:
Moneyball 維基百科
Moneyball 魔球 雅虎電影香港




我的舊文:
淺談美國體育產業(3.1)




6 comments:

laulong said...

棒球,我記得好耐之前有個人叫王貞治!

l.minor said...

初時見你寫時,我還以為係好精彩嘅戲,原來卻係相反

the inner space said...

劉朗兄:好像NBA書豪仔的 Linsanity,臺灣籍華人投球手:王建民 Chien-Ming Wang,曾加盟了紐約洋基隊。他在2006和07兩季擔正,在MLB突然紅了起來。可惜曇花一現,最後卻不堪頻密賽程,不久就受傷患影響,黯然轉到華盛頓國民隊,之後銷聲匿跡!

王貞治好像只在日本當過投球和教練略有些名氣!

Ebenezer said...

咁嘅題材,在香港票房好易仆直喎!

the inner space said...

I.minor兄:可能是我期望過高!不過就算不提球賽,Brad Pitt 有份投資,希望幫自己攞獎。畢比特的演技和造型,沒有進步突破,確是沒法補救。

the inner space said...

以便兄:香港票房紀錄有幾多沒法窺考,我看個場又不是少到小貓三幾隻,可能正如我說,有畢比特迷購票入場捧場!照維基百科投資了五千萬美元,收入過了一億美元,還是賺錢的!