"All I know is the catcher's mitt exploded like a piñata."
True, Peter Brand gets more straight lines than wisecracks. But it's nice to see that Hill is still ... funny.
Hill threw out the first pitch at the A's-Tigers game on Sunday, the day before the movie premiered in Oakland. Lewis was also slated to be at the premiere. The writer knew from his experience with The Blind Side that once they start making the movie, the author of the book on which the movie is based is of no particular relevance to anyone. "Nobody really gives a s--- what I think," he says. "And I don't either!"
The problem, he says, is that the movie people become uncomfortable "with the writer of the book being that detached. So there's this phony social interaction that goes on where they pretend to be interested in what I have to say." He was invited to read the drafts of the scripts and visit the set and talk to the director, "all the while knowing that nothing I said made one whit of difference.
"And you know what? They shouldn't care. I'm glad they don't care. It suggests a certain level of initiative on their part."
"Having said all that," he goes on, "I'd say they got my book on the screen about as well as you can get my book on the screen."
It is done without pathos and sentimentality, which is not to say Moneyball won't awaken in A's fans—whose team will miss the playoffs for the fifth straight season—an acute nostalgia. Lewis recently watched a final cut of the movie with Beane, who leaned over at one point and whispered: "Damn, we were good."