Ball one to Johnny Damon and we are under way.
Damon has eight hits in 18 at bats... a double, a triple, a couple of stolen bases.
He had four hits in the series opener.
Down the right-field line, fair off the bat of Damon.
It rolls by Spencer.
And Damon will coast into second base with a leadoff double.
Into right-center field, broken bat, it'll fall, a base hit.
They wave around Damon. He will score.
And Jason Giambi delivers... with a run-scoring single here in the opening inning.
And the Athletics have taken that 1-nothing lead.
Go, come on, now. We gotta spin it.
Let's go, Yankees! Let's go, Yankees!
Let's go, Yankees!
The Yankees have the tying run at second, down 2-nothing.
The A's are kicking it and throwing it all over the field.
And it might lead to their elimination if they don't get it right in a hurry.
Hammered down the right-field line. Justice!
The Yankees have taken the lead.
They're standing, anticipating another trip... to the League Championship Series.
The Yankees one out away.
Eric Byrnes, never with an at bat in Yankee Stadium... and they don't get much bigger than this one.
Or more hectic when you're up there trying to get a job done.
And they're a strike away.
And they're roaring in the Bronx.
Losing the first two games at home in the best-of-five series... and roar back to--
The Yankees will defend their title.
It's okay, Joe, you can leave it on.
I don't need to watch. Joe, leave it on.
Imagine how bad it'd be if you were a Yankee player... and didn't like the taste of champagne.
Better ask to get traded.
You gotta give the Yankees-- win the big game.
What a series that is gonna be in the next....
You know how many kids are wearing Giambi's--?
You know, Oakland Giambi's jerseys and hats and pictures and posters?
Those same kids will be booing in July when the Yankees come here.
Is it Giambi that's stabbing the back or the Pinstripes on the East Coast?
You can't blame them for pilfering the hen house.
- The hen house is there. I can't blame them?
They're offering $120 million over six years.
The Yankees have deeper pockets and they're willing to give him money.
They're pilfering our players.
It's like we're a farm system for the New York Yankees.
How are the guys doing? That was a killer.
That was a killer. It's a tough one to swallow. It's...
They played great. They played their hearts out.
They did. They played fantastic. It just didn't fall our way.
You'll do better next year. But we were close, though.
We were so close. Right there.
Almost had it. You gotta feel good about that.
I feel great about it. I feel great about it.
We're not gonna do better next year.
Why not? Well, you know we're being gutted.
We're losing Giambi, Damon, Isringhausen.
Done deal. We're in trouble.
You'll find new guys. You found Jason, you found Damon.
I need more money, Steve. Billy.
I need more money. We don't have any.
I can't compete against $120 million with $38 million.
We're not gonna compete with these teams that have big budgets.
We're gonna work within the constraints we have... and you're gonna do the best job that you can recruiting new players.
We're not gonna pay $17 million to players.
I'm not asking you... for 10 or 20, 30 million dollars.
I'm just asking for a bit of help.
Get me a little closer and I will get you that championship team.
I mean, this is why I'm here. This is why you hired me.
And I gotta ask you, what are we doing here...
Billy, I... if it's not to win a championship?
I wanna win just as much... That's my bar. My bar is here.
My bar is to take this team to the championship.
Billy, we're a small-market team, and you're a small-market GM.
I'm asking you to be okay not spending money that I don't have.
And I'm asking you to take a deep breath... shake off the loss, get back in a room with your guys... and figure out how to find replacements for the guys we lost... with the money that we do have.
I'm not leaving here. I'm not... I can't leave here with that.
What else can I help you with?
It's a good offer, and you gotta match it. I...
I need another day.
His mind's pretty made up. I just think you should know that.
I got a call. I'll get you back. - I'll let him know.
Yeah? - Billy, Scott.
Just got off the phone with Dan. You didn't.
I was surprised he called me.
Stop. I got Johnny for 7.5 or he doesn't play anywhere else.
That's the deal you made. Boston just upped it to 7. 75.
We had a deal, Scott. - We have a deal, if it's 8 million.
Oh, man, you played me. - I'm just doing my job for my client.
No, you're playing me, and you're still playing me.
Congratulations, asshole. You win.
I like guys that got a little hair on their ass.
He looks like a Mantle or a Mays, quite frankly.
He's got a baseball body. Matty, who do you got?
I like Geronimo. Yes.
The guy's an athlete. Big, fast, talented.
Top of my list. Clean-cut, good face.
Yeah, good jaw. Five-tools guy.
Good-looking ballplayer. Can he hit?
He's got a beautiful swing. The ball explodes off his bat.
He throws the club head at the ball, and when he connects... he drives it, it pops off the bat.
You can hear it all over the ballpark. A lot of pop.
If he's good, why doesn't he hit good?
He is a good hitter. He'll be ready.
He's gonna be a good hitter against big-league arms?
Could be great. I don't think so.
Kid needs at bats. Give him 400 at bats, he's gonna get better.
He can play. He's hit everywhere along the line.
He's one of our guys.
Okay, let's move on.
Artie, who do you like? I like Perez. He's got a classic swing.
It's a real clean stroke. I don't know. Can't hit the curveball.
There's some work to be done, I'll admit that, but he's noticeable.
Got an ugly girlfriend. What's that mean?
Ugly girlfriend means no confidence.
You are full of it. Artie is right. This guy's got an attitude.
An attitude is good.
He walks in a room, his dick's already been there for two minutes.
He passes the eye-candy test. Got the looks.
He's ready to play the part. He just needs playing time.
I'm just saying, his girlfriend is a six at best.
Look, if we're trying to replace Giambi, this guy could be it.
I agree with you.
Damn, Billy, was that a suggestion?
Guys, you're just talking.
Talking... like this is business as usual.
We're trying to solve the problem.
Not like this. You're not looking at the problem.
We're very aware of the problem. I mean...
Okay, good. What's the problem?
Look, Billy, we all understand what the problem is.
We have to... Okay, good. What's the problem?
We have to replace three key players in our lineup.
Nope. What's the problem?
We gotta replace these guys with what we have...
No. What's the problem, Barry?
We need 38 home runs, 120 RBIs and 47 doubles to replace.
The problem we're trying to solve is that there are rich teams... and there are poor teams, then there's 50 feet of crap... and then there's us.
It's an unfair game.
And now we've been gutted. We're like organ donors for the rich.
Boston's taken our kidneys, Yankees have taken our heart.
And you guys sit around... talking the same old "good body" nonsense like we're selling jeans.
Like we're looking for Fabio.
We got to think differently.
We are the last dog at the bowl.
You see what happens to the runt of the litter? He dies.
Billy, that's a very touching story and everything... but I think we're all very much aware of what we're facing.
You have a lot of experience and wisdom in this room.
You need to have a little faith and let us do the job of replacing Giambi.
Is there another first baseman like Giambi?
No, not really. No.
If there was, could we afford him? Nope.
Then what the fuck are you talking about, man?
If we try to play like the Yankees in here... we will lose to the Yankees out there.
Boy, that sounds like fortune-cookie wisdom to me, Billy.
No, that's just logic. Who's Fabio?
He's a shortstop. He's a shortstop from Seattle.
Now, this is no time to push the panic button.
Our scouts will find players, Player Development will develop them.
We'll teach them to play Oakland A baseball.
With all due respect, we've been doing this a long time.
Why don't you just let us be responsible for replacing Giambi... with who we know that can play?
Easy power. And loose.
This son of a bitch is going in the first round.
You're a premium player, Billy.
You can run, you can field, you can throw, you can hit... you can hit with power.
That doesn't come along very often.
This is Tom Martinez, national cross-checker.
How you doing? Nice to meet you. Billy Beane.
It's been a while since I've seen a five-tool guy that can do everything.
I'm hopeful your interest in professional baseball... is as strong as ours is gonna be in getting you in this upcoming draft.
Mark is ready to see you now.
How you doing? I'm fine.
How are you? Good.
Hey, Billy. Hey, Mark.
Good to see you. Please sit down. You too.
These are the guys. Guys, Billy. Boys.
How's it going? All right. How you been?
You're filling out that chair nicely. I got three weeks in it right now.
Good, good, man.
Yeah, man. How you doing? Fantastic.
Awesome. Couldn't be better.
That's good to hear. I'm not gonna waste your time.
You just tell me what you're looking for.
Fifty million dollars in additional payroll.
You should try Giambi.
I'm sorry. Too soon, right? I want this to be a friendly meeting.
It's not all on your shoulders.
Where's Steve in this? Steve's great.
He's supportive in rebuilding this team.
That's what we're gonna do.
So, what are you looking for? A left-handed reliever.
I'm thinking Ricardo Rincon.
That's not gonna happen.
Not even a discussion?
Billy, even if you could afford him, respectfully, we love him.
We're not about to let him go.
You got this Venezuelan kid coming up.
We had him. We moved him to Detroit.
What else you thinking?
To replace Damon? Yeah.
In your price range? No disrespect. Enough, Mark.
All right, tell me about Garcia. To replace Johnny Damon?
Mark, is he healthy? Yeah, he's healthy-ish.
He had that back thing.
He'll be ready for spring ball. I'll tell you what.
I can give you Guthrie if you kick in some cash.
Mark Guthrie? Yeah.
How much cash? Two hundred K.
So Garcia's gonna be a no. You're kidding me, right?
You're kidding me. I'm not.
Okay. Straight up, Garcia for Guthrie, no kicker.
No kicker? Straight up.
I think it's gonna be a hard no on Garcia, but let's just keep going.
What else you thinking? What are we doing? Is this business?
This is the way we do business in Cleveland.
Hello. Who are you?
I'm Peter Brand.
What do you do?
I'm special assistant to Mark Shapiro.
So, what do you do?
Mostly player analysis right now.
Been on the job long? First job in baseball?
It's my first job anywhere.
Wow, congrats. Thank you.
First job. Whose nephew are you?
Why does Mark listen to you?
I don't think...
I don't think he does very often.
He just did.
Well, in that circumstance...
I think he was more listening to Bruce than myself.
Who are you?
I'm Peter Brand.
I don't give a rat's ass what your name is.
What happened in there?
What happened in that room?
I'm not quite sure what you're asking me, Mr. Beane.
What did you tell Bruce?
I just told Bruce I like Garcia. You like Garcia. Why?
I don't know.
There is an epidemic failure within the game... to understand what is really happening.
And this leads people who run Major League Baseball teams... to misjudge their players and mismanage their teams.
Okay. People who run ball clubs, they think in terms of buying players.
Your goal shouldn't be to buy players. Your goal should be to buy wins.
And in order to buy wins, you need to buy runs.
You're trying to replace Johnny Damon.
The Red Sox see Johnny Damon... and they see a star who's worth $7.5 million a year.
When I see Johnny Damon... what I see is... an imperfect understanding of where runs come from.
The guy's got a great glove.
He's a decent leadoff hitter. He can steal bases.
But is he worth the $7.5 million a year... that the Boston Red Sox are paying him?
Baseball thinking is medieval.
They are asking all the wrong questions.
And if I say it to anybody, I'm ostracized. I'm a leper.
So that's why I'm cagey about this with you.
I respect you, Mr. Beane, and if you want full disclosure...
I think it's a good thing that you got Damon off your payroll.
I think it opens up all kinds of interesting possibilities.
Where you from, Pete? Maryland.
Where'd you go to school? Yale. I went to Yale.
What'd you study? Economics.
I studied economics.
Yale, economics and baseball.
You're funny, Pete.
Tell me, why Billy?
What is it that makes him special?
Very rare do you come upon a young man like Billy... who can run, who can field, who can throw, who can hit... and who can hit with power.
Those five tools, you don't see that very often.
Most of the youngsters that we have an interest in... have one or two tools... and we're hoping to develop an extra one.
Your son has five.
We're looking at a guy that's a potential superstar for us in New York.
The time is now to get him started.
We're prepared to make a sizable financial commitment.
The Mets are gonna stand behind Billy... because we expect him to be our big-league center fielder.
This check here represents the offer... that the New York Mets would be making to Billy.
You do know that he's been accepted to Stanford on a full scholarship?
So he can do both?
Unfortunately, he can't do Stanford and professional baseball.
He would have to pick one or the other.
If he wants to be center fielder for the Mets... wants to be a baseball player... he really needs to accept this as life's first occupation, first career.
We're all told at some point we can no longer play the children's game.
We just don't know when that's gonna be.
Some of us are told at 18, some of us are told at 40, but we're all told.
But this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
We want you badly... and we think that this amount of money expresses that desire.
Billy, this is your decision, and whatever that decision is... you know it's fine with your mother and I.
- Hello? Hey, it's Billy Beane.
Hey, what time is it? - I don't know.
Listen, would you have drafted me in the first round?
After I left, you looked me up on your computer.
Would you have drafted me in the first round?
I did, yeah. You were a good player.
Cut the crap, man.
Would you have drafted me in the first round?
I'd have taken you in the ninth round. No signing bonus.
I imagine you would've passed and taken that scholarship.
Pack your bags, Pete.
I just bought you from the Cleveland Indians.
Is it attached to that clamp? Yeah, let me unhook it.
Slide it up right there. To the left. I did.
Yeah, yeah. Hang on, it's wet.
Morning, Suzanne. Coffee on? Yes.
Billy Beane's office. Hey.
Peter Brand. Billy.
How are...? Hi, how you doing? Nice to see you.
Good to have you here. Boy, you move in fast.
Yeah, yeah. I got here early this morning.
All moved in. Yeah.
I wanted you to see these player evaluations... that you asked me to do.
I asked you to do three.
To evaluate three players. Yeah.
How many did you do?
Actually, 51. I don't know why I lied just then.
Why don't you walk me through the board?
Using this equation in the upper left...
I'm projecting that we need to win at least 99 games... in order to make it to the postseason.
We need to score at least 814 runs in order to win those games... and allow no more than 645 runs.
This is a code that I've written for our year-to-year projections.
This is building in the intelligence that we have to project players.
It's about getting things down to one number.
Using the stats the way we read them... we'll find value in players that nobody else can see.
People are overlooked... for a variety of biased reasons and perceived flaws.
Age, appearance, personality.
Bill James and mathematics cut straight through that.
Billy, of the 20, 000 notable players for us to consider...
I believe that there is a championship team... of 25 people that we can afford... because everyone else in baseball undervalues them.
Like an island of misfit toys.
Billy, this is Chad Bradford. He's a relief pitcher.
He is one of the most undervalued players in baseball.
His defect is that he throws funny.
Nobody in the big leagues cares about him because he looks funny.
This guy could be not just the best pitcher in our pen... but one of the most effective relief pitchers in all baseball.
This guy should cost $3 million a year.
We can get him for 237, 000.
That it? Yeah.
Can I talk to you before you get started?
I'm a bit busy right now. I know.
I know. Okay.
Morning, everyone. Art.
Peter Brand. Nice to meet you. Where the hell's Pete?
Grab a seat. I'll be right back.
All right, where did you say he's at? Okay. He's on...
Who's the kid? A friend of mine.
I can't manage this team under a one-year contract.
Well, sure you can.
No, I can't.
Okay. I gotta put a team on the field.
After that, I'll take a good long look at your contract.
Deal with the manager's contract, then put a team on the field.
At this moment, if a grounder's hit to first, nobody's there to stop it.
It's not easy doing what I do under the cloud of a one-year contract.
Okay, I understand that.
I've been there. I know you have.
A one-year contract means the same thing to a manager as to a player.
There's not a lot of faith there.
Which is strange after a 102-win season.
If you lose the last game of the season, nobody gives a shit.
So it's on me now? No, Art, it's on me.
And the kid is the new assistant GM.
Okay. Okay, fellas.
You can't deny his offensive output. He can play.
And we need people that can play.
Who do you wanna talk about first?
None of them.
Billy, we got 38 home runs, 120 RBIs to make up for.
Guys, you're still trying to replace Giambi.
I told you we can't do it, and we can't do it.
Now, what we might be able to do is re-create him.
Re-create him in the aggregate. The what?
Giambi's on-base percentage was .477.
Damon's on-base, .324. And Olmedo's was .291.
Add that up and you get...
Do you want me to speak?
When I point at you, yeah.
1 .092. Divided by three.
.364. That's what we're looking for.
Three ballplayers... Three ballplayers whose average OBP is...
Wait, that doesn't come out right. It's right, Artie.
Billy. You gotta carry the one.
Billy. Scratch this out.
Yeah? Who's that?
Does Pete really need to be here? Yes, he does.
Okay, here's who we want.
Number one: Jason's little brother, Jeremy.
Oh, God. Billy, that's trouble.
Billy, look, if I... Yeah.
Billy, if I may, he has had his problems off the field... and we know what he can't do on the field.
He's getting thick around the waist.
There's reports about him on weed, in strip clubs.
His on-base percentage is all we're looking at now.
And Jeremy gets on base an awful lot for a guy who only costs 285,000.
Jeez, Billy... Number two:
David Justice. Oh, no.
His legs are gone. Not a good idea.
Old Man Justice? Why is that?
Steinbrenner's so pissed at his decline... he's willing to eat his contract to get rid of him.
Exactly. Ten years ago, Justice, big name.
Been in big games.
He's gonna really help our season tickets early in the year... but in the dog days in July, August, we're lucky if he's gonna hit his weight.
Billy, his legs are gone, and he's a defensive liability.
I question whether the bat speed's there.
His legs are gone. Grady.
We'll be lucky to get 60 games out of him. Why do you like him?
Because he gets on base.
What is this? What are we doing?
Okay, number three:
Scott Hatteberg. Who?
He sounds like an Oakland A already.
Yes, he's had a little problem with... Little problem? He can't throw.
He's a career .260 hitter. The best part of his career is over.
It's just getting started. Boston wants to cut him.
No one wants to pick him up. Good. He's cheap.
Let me get this straight. You're gonna get a guy... that's been released by half the organizations in baseball... because he's got non-repairable nerve damage in his elbow and can't throw.
He can't throw and he can't field. But what can he do?
Check your reports or I'm gonna point at Pete.
He gets on base. He can get on base.
So he walks a lot. He gets on base a lot, Rocco.
Do I care if it's a walk or a hit?
You do not. I do not.
I got 37 free agents that are better than those three guys.
Wait a minute, let me get this straight.
So you're not gonna bring in one... but three defective players to replace Giambi?
You're not buying into this Bill James bullshit?
This is the new direction of the A's.
We are card counters at the blackjack table... and we're gonna turn the odds on the casino.
I don't see it. Seriously, guys.
I think we have to remember this is the man.
He answers to no one except ownership and God.
And he doesn't have to answer to us.
We make suggestions, he makes decisions.
That's all fine and well, but we've been working our asses off... for weeks to make this club better, and you're shitting all over it.
This is not a discussion.
What are we discussing? Barry, not a discussion.
Billy, man... there's one thing you're forgetting.
None of those three guys knows how to play first base.
Well, you're gonna have to teach one of them.
This is really the kickoff to the holiday season here in downtown Seattle.
It took weeks of planning... to lead up to the big event, but it was well worth it.
The weather was ideal. People are still having a great time.
Thousands of people were out earlier.
We have a nice recap for you... of all the great events taking place downtown in Seattle...
Hello? - Scott?
- It's Billy Beane of the Oakland A's Yes.
- Can we talk? Yeah.
Do you wanna let us in?
Pardon me? - We're out front.
What? - On the curb.
Oh, thank you. Thank you, ma'am.
How's the elbow, Scott?
You know, it's good. It's really good. It's great.
I can't throw the ball at all. Yeah.
You've thrown your last ball from behind home plate.
That's what I'd say. Well...
Good news is, we want you at first.
We want you to play first base for the Oakland A's.
I've only ever played catcher.
Scott, you're not a catcher anymore.
If you were, our call wouldn't have been the only one you got.
Yeah. Hey, listen, no, I appreciate it. You're welcome.
But the thing is, is... You don't know how to play first base.
Scott. That's right.
It's not that hard, Scott.
Tell him, Wash. It's incredibly hard.
Hey, anything worth doing is. And we're gonna teach you.
Wait a minute here. I mean, but what about...?
Jason's gone, Scott.
You want me to take Giambi's spot at first base?
Yeah. What about the fans?
Maybe I can teach one of them. The fans don't... Good one.
Fans don't run my ball club. Honey, what are you doing awake?
Sweetheart, can you...?
That's my daughter.
You got kids?
Yeah, a daughter.
Scott, this is a contract to play ball for the Oakland A's.
A copy's been sent over to your agent.
Discuss with your wife, let us know.
Oh, and, Scott. Yeah?
Don't tell anyone about the first-base thing.
Yes, sir. Okay.
Happy holidays. All right.
Hey, Sharon. Hi, Billy.
Is she ready? She's out with friends.
But she'll be back. Come in.
Okay. Yeah, she's right here. Hold on.
Here you go.
Here, wanna have a seat? Yeah.
You good, Billy? Yeah. How are you, Alan?
Good. Really good. Things are peaceful around here.
It's good to see you.
I haven't got to see you since play-offs.
I wanted to say that New York was heartbreaking.
I'm sure for you too.
Not many teams make it that far, and to watch you go that far was...
It was really an accomplishment. Well, that's nice.
How is the team shaping up?
Team's good. Rebuilding. Good.
I read you lost Giambonni and Damon.
Yeah. Damon, Isringhausen.
They're really...? They're gone? Gone. Yesterday's news.
That's terrible. No, but that is a tough situation.
You're gonna be fine, though. You always figure something out.
Where is she? Where was she? Down the street or...?
Oh, sorry, yeah. I just talked to her on her cell. She's coming up the hill.
She's got a cell phone?
Yeah. A 12-year-old?
Big parenting decision.
But it's something that, you know, we, you know, all should discuss... because if you have any objections, of course...
Her mother and I will discuss it.
But thank you.
Any of these?
I don't know.
Do you...? This one's cool.
Is that good or bad? Butterflies. They're okay.
Look, that one's pretty. I like the red. Should we try?
Oh, I like this one. Yeah?
Dad, look at this one.
Look how it's red. It's beautiful.
This one's pretty. Let's try it out.
Just right here? Why don't we go over there?
Can we go over there?
Oh, honey, you need to sing. That's so good.
Sometimes I sing.
It's fun to sing with your song, but I don't want people to listen to me.
Well, honey, I think people would love to listen to you. That's beautiful.
Would you sing a little for your dad?
Right here in the middle of the store?
Little bit. Little bit.
You ready? I'm ready.
Billy Beane was taken in the first round of the amateur draft.
I think this is a steal, to get Billy Beane.
He's young, he's talented.
A true five-tool player with speed. This guy is a can't-miss prospect.
This is a great sign for the New York Mets.
And it could be the turnaround that they've been looking for.
I'll take Billy Beane over Strawberry.
Billy Beane, an interesting pick, turned down a scholarship.
He could've gone to Stanford.
Sometimes you don't find out till you get to the big leagues....
This guy has never failed at anything. He's coming out of high school.
Billy was gonna go to college. He could've been a great quarterback.
There's not an organization in baseball... who would not have taken a chance on this young guy.
He didn't pan out. That happens every year.
Some do, some don't.
I mean, if you're having any doubt at all about this....
Having the scholarship....
Your son was born with a God-given ability.
Few scouts can go into the mind of a young man... and determine whether he's really confident... about what he can do.
A very special player.
So you can sign him based on his ability... but then he's gotta be successful to be confident.
And once he becomes confident, that's when you've got something.
You make a decision on what you see.
And if things don't pan out, you move on.
Many are called, few are chosen.
Billy, that is Kevin Youkilis. That is the Greek God of Walks.
That's my hero.
That man gets walked more than anybody in baseball... except for Barry Bonds.
I tried to convince Shapiro to pick him up last June... but he said he waddled like a duck.
Yeah, Boston snagged him.
I think they wanna wait and see.
Are you okay, Billy? Billy?
Can we talk? Yeah. Yeah.
You're unhappy, Grady. Why?
May I speak candidly? Sure, go ahead.
Major League Baseball and its fans, they're gonna be more than happy... to throw you and Google Boy under the bus... if you keep doing what you're doing.
You don't put a team together with a computer.
Baseball isn't just numbers. It's not science.
If it was, anybody could do what we're doing, but they can't.
They don't know what we know.
They don't have our experience and our intuition.
You got a kid in there that's got a degree in economics from Yale.
You got a scout here with 29 years of baseball experience.
You're listening to the wrong one.
Now, there are intangibles that only baseball people understand.
You're discounting what scouts have done for 150 years?
Adapt or die.
This is about you and your shit, isn't it?
Twenty years ago, some scout got it wrong.
Okay. Okay. Now you declare war on the system.
Okay, okay, my turn. You don't have a crystal ball.
You can't look at a kid and predict his future any more than I can.
I've sat at those kitchen tables with you... and listened to you tell parents, "When I know, I know.
And when it comes to your son, I know."
And you don't.
Okay. I don't give a shit about friendship... this situation, or the past.
Major League Baseball thinks the way I think. You're not gonna win.
And I'll give you a nickel's worth of free advice.
You're never gonna get another job... after this catastrophic season you're about to set us all up for.
You'll have to explain to your kid... why you're working at Dick's Sporting Goods.
I'm not gonna fire you, Grady.
Fuck you, Billy. Now I will.
Good luck, Art.
Kubota. You never played ball, right?
I played a little T-ball. You're the new head scout.
So Boston's gonna wait and see?
Yeah. It's just you and me, Pete.
And we're all in.
It sounds like you're apologizing for what they're doing.
I'm not. I just don't know what you're gonna do... with the budget that the A's have. Who are you gonna get?
I'm looking at the spring-training roster.
- You gotta be kidding me. How so?
- He looked like a clown out there. Who?
- Chad Bradford. Tell me about Bradford.
I like him a little bit, but he's a specialist.
He's not a guy that you say, "The eighth inning is yours... lefties vs. righties."
In my opinion.
I don't know what Billy Beane and management... understands about him.
He only throws the ball about 82, 83 miles an hour.
- There must be something... He is a freak, and not in a good way.
- Let me ask you this. Talking about trying to win a division.
We're counting on David to be the guy he was.
I have my doubts. He's gotten old.
That's why he's not in New York anymore, not in Cleveland anymore.
We paid him the money we should've been giving to Johnny Damon.
- Hey. Jeremy Giambi.
That's the one to worry about.
He gets comps up and down Vegas more than in Oakland.
That should tell you something right there.
- Isn't that the deal with these guys? He has one good year.
And he gets a huge offer and then he gets traded.
Bob. Harder. Hatteberg.
Billy, we have to talk about Hatteberg.
Go. There's just no feel for the spot.
I think it's a long shot that he can be a big-league first baseman.
It's day one of the first week. You can't judge this yet.
No, I think we can judge it.
I mean, I like him, you know, but I can judge him.
First base is the moon to him.
It wasn't to Giambi. Giambi's the worst first baseman in baseball.
Gonna compare him to Giambi? What are we talking about?
What do you think, Wash?
The nice way to say it is he lacks confidence.
Well, give him some.
I'll do that, but we got Peña, who can play first.
And he's looking mighty good out there.
We wanna go with Hattie.
We got six weeks.
Get down in it.
There you go. Scotty H.
That's what I'm talking about. Picking machine.
It's only baseball.
This better work.
I'm just kidding you.
Let's go, Oakland!
Let's go, Oakland!
What is wrong with this thing? It's a dollar, man.
What? Welcome to Oakland, D.J.
Oh, you gotta be shitting me.
I think this year, we're gonna show that it takes a team to win... not any individual guy, just a team.
And I think we got a hell of a ball club here.
Chad, are you intimidated at all today?
I wouldn't say I'm intimidated, really. I'm just really excited, like you said.
Jeremy, how's the team gonna fare without your brother, Jason?
Well, you know, the organization did a great job... of bringing in good young guys to fill that role.
Let's face it, they're getting a deal with you.
The Yankees are paying Jason a lot of money.
You are coming here on a dime. How does that make you feel?
I feel good.
How are the nerves in your fingers? You know.
Gotta start with the age, 36 years old.
How do you think your body's gonna hold up?
You spend a lot of time at strip clubs, partying.
Do you resent the attention you get off the field?
I love it.
You spend a lot of time in Vegas. I do.
I feel great. I did a lot of work to get... Excuse me. Get out of my shot.
Sorry, go ahead.
There have been questions about my age... and my declining skills, some say, but I'm here to prove that wrong.
I asked if you were 100 percent.
Excuse me, Mr. Beane? Hey, Chad.
Hey, I'm not disturbing you, am I? Not at all. What's up?
I wanted to say thank you for this opportunity.
Well, we enjoy having you. It's gonna work out well for all of us.
I appreciate it, sir. Nobody's ever given me a chance like this before.
Well, just you, sir.
Well, it's a big day, one you won't forget.
Appreciate it. And I wanna let you know...
I'm gonna be praying for you and your family.
Well, here we are just minutes away from the season opener of 2002... for the Oakland A's.
The first pitch is moments away.
We'll come back with the national anthem.
Opening day is upon us.
All right, fellas, smile. Here we go.
I'm going in. Text me the play-by-play.
I don't watch the games.
And forward face!
That's the third Ranger batter to be hit today.
Twice Alex Rodriguez was nicked. The ninth...
I should've made you a bigger part of the conversation from day one.
It'd be clear what we're trying to do.
That was my mistake, Art. I take responsibility for that.
What are you trying to say? Doesn't matter what moves I make... if you don't play the team the way they're designed to be.
Billy, you're out of your depth.
Why not Hatteberg at first? Because he can't play first.
How do you know? Not my first baseball game.
Scott Hatteberg can't hit. He gets on base.
Still keeps us in the plus column. We need to be seven over .500.
Yeah. I would've rather seen Bradford in the end than Magnante.
Bradford's a righty.
I don't care about righty-lefty. I do.
Could this be about your contract? No.
This is about you doing your job and me doing mine.
Mine's me being left alone... to manage this team you assembled for me.
I didn't assemble them for you, Art. No shit.
Every time we talk...
I'm reinvigorated by my love of the game.
We got Grady Fuson, former head of scouting with the Athletics.
And, Grady, can you interpret for us what's going on?
- They call it Moneyball. Moneyball?
Yes, and it was a nice theory, and now it's just not working out.
Billy Beane has built this team on the ideas of a guy, Bill James... who wrote an interesting book on baseball statistics.
The problem is that Bill James never played, never managed.
He was in fact a security guard at a pork-and-beans company.
Do you see this as a decimation of the organization?
He bought a ticket on the Titanic. - Oh, boy.
He's tried to come up with a new approach.
My hat's off to him. It won't work.
One-two pitch. Tejada strikes out.
And that is the game.
The Seattle Mariners win both games on this series, Ray.
They've won 10 in a row. Seattle is 13 and 3.
I can't watch this shit.
Go on the road with the team.
You don't go on the road with the team.
That's why I want you to do it. Why don't you?
I can't develop personal relationships with these guys.
I gotta be able to trade them, send them down, sometimes cut them.
Which is something you should learn to do, by the way.
I would never have to cut a player, unless you...
Oh, come on. "Come on" what?
Let's practice. No.
Yeah. I'm a player. You gotta cut me from the roster.
What do you mean, no? No.
Do it. This is stupid.
Part of the job, man.
Billy, please have a seat. I need to talk to you for a minute.
You've been a huge part of this team.
But sometimes you have to make decisions for the team.
I'm sure you can understand.
You're cutting me? I'm really sorry.
I just bought a house here.
Well... In Oakland.
"Well... Well..."? That's all you got to say?
My kid just started a new school.
They made friends. That's...
You shouldn't pull them out in the middle of the year.
You should wait. What the hell are you talking about?
I don't know. I shouldn't have...
I'm not gonna do this. I think this is stupid.
I'm not gonna fire anybody, and this is dumb.
They're professional ballplayers. Just be straight with them.
No fluff, just facts.
Pete, I gotta let you go. Jack's office will handle the details.
You rather get a bullet to the head or five to the chest and bleed to death?
Are those my only two options?
Go on the road with the team.
Let me ask you a question. Yeah.
How come your boss doesn't travel with the team?
He doesn't like to mingle with the players.
Is that supposed to make us easier to cut?
I don't know. I don't know.
And how come soda is a dollar in the clubhouse?
I never seen nothing like that.
Billy likes to keep the money on the field.
Where on the field is the dollar I'm paying for soda?
It's hard to see exactly... but it's there, yeah. Yeah, it is hard to see.
Hey, Dad. Hi, honey.
How are you? I'm good.
Was it bumpy? It was okay.
So with this loss tonight, the Oakland Athletics... incredibly, have lost 14 of their last 17 games.
They are 10 games back in the American League West.
Is it fair to say the experiment has failed?
Well, absolutely. It was predictable.
You don't wish anybody a lack of success...
- but the facts are in front of you. You can't blame Art Howe.
- No. The fact of the matter is... this is not about statistics, this is about people.
Art Howe is not the problem.
The problem is in the general manager's office... with Billy Beane.
The root of the problem for me is philosophical.
I said it before. This is fantasy baseball.
Billy is just not thinking.
Start thinking about a new GM, making changes.
He never goes to the games.
- This was very predictable. He needs to look at what's going on.
- The man needs to get real. I want Billy Beane gone.
Calling for Beane's head. I want your thoughts.
The past 18 games, they've been shut out or scored one run four times.
They're just not scoring enough.
It's not just the offense, not Thad Bosley and the hitters.
It's everything. if there was one thing you could pick out, you'd try to fix it... but just everything is in a funk right now.
What the hell am I doing?
I believe in what we're doing.
The record doesn't reflect the strength of this team... or where we're gonna be at the end of the season.
Now, Pete and I here feel very strongly that we stay on the track we've chosen.
Our sample size has been too small. It's too...
Early. It's still early.
Where do we expect to be by the All-Star break?
Our goal and our expectation... is by mid-July to be within seven games of first.
That would be this working.
That keeps us in the hunt. Exceptionally well.
By July. July.
And what's gonna prevent you from accomplishing that?
What are you afraid of?
Nothing. That's why we're here, Steve.
That's why we get up in the morning. That's all we do.
More? Yeah, a little more.
Don't tell your mother. I won't.
Chocolate sauce? Yes.
Big spoon or little spoon? Little spoon.
Dad, there's no way you're gonna lose your job, right?
Well, I don't know. I'm just wondering. Where'd you hear that?
Well, I go on the Internet sometimes.
Well, don't do that. Don't go on the Internet.
Or watch TV or read newspapers... or talk to people.
I don't talk to people. I just read stuff.
Honey, everything's fine. Everything's fine.
Really, you don't have to worry.
But if you lose your job, will you have to move away?
Honey, I'm not gonna lose my job.
You don't have to worry.
There's no problem. Okay.
All right? I got uptown problems, which are not problems at all.
You're not worried, right?
No, I'm not worried. Okay.
I want Dye in right...
Justice DH-ing, Peña on the bench...
Hatteberg at first... and anyone but Mags first out of the pen.
You want Peña on the bench?
That's right. So you can play Hattie.
Peña is not only the best first baseman... he's the only first baseman.
Hattie gets on base more than Peña.
In fact, 20 percent more. And his fielding?
His fielding does not matter.
I've heard enough of this. Have you?
I disagree with you, plain and simple.
And moreover, I'm playing my team... in a way that I can explain in job interviews next winter.
Hattie. Not Peña.
What's up, skip?
How you doing? Good, how you doing, man?
Get some sleep last night?
As the A's hit the field, we are ready for baseball.
First one out of the dugout is rookie sensation Carlos Peña... one of the few bright lights in this lineup, taking his spot at first base.
Billy, quick question. Do you expect these guys to produce more or...?
Not now. What's the reason for the slump?
Is losing fun?
Is losing fun? No.
What are you having fun for?
That's what losing sounds like.
Are you okay, Dad?
You're doing it again. What?
You're worrying about me.
You're in last place, Dad.
Do I look worried? Yeah.
Because you're getting on an airplane, and those things crash all the time.
Please stop worrying about your dad.
We're all set. Okay.
I love you. Love you too.
All right. Your dad's not in trouble.
Suzanne, get me Ed Wade. Okay.
Coffee on? Yes.
Good morning. Good morning, Billy.
Oh, hi, Louisa.
I need Ed Wade for Billy Beane. Hi.
What's up? Wade's on 2.
Ed? - Hello?
Ed, it's Billy. - Billy, what's up?
Look, I need a little help on defense. - Okay.
I'm willing to trade Jeremy Giambi for it.
- Really? What?
Who you got? What?
Well, let me think. What are you doing?
- Mabry? Maybe what?
No, Mabry. Hold on.
No. Why not?
Because you can't trade Jeremy Giambi.
He'll be fine, Ed.
Why do I get the feeling you're picking my pocket?
I'm not. You're picking mine. Giambi's name alone is worth more.
- What's wrong with him? Nothing.
Can we say it's done in theory and start drawing up the paperwork?
Okay, but you're gonna have-- Great.
He was gonna say something else.
When you get the answer you're looking for, hang up.
David Dombrowski. Okay.
And Peña's going too. I don't think you should do that.
I really don't think you should do that. I want Hatteberg in the lineup tonight.
You need to take a minute.
I think you seriously need to think about what you're doing.
Because you're upset. Okay.
What am I missing?
These are hard moves to explain to people.
Why is that a problem, Pete?
Don't make an emotional decision, Billy.
David Dombrowski's on 3. Look, we're gonna shake things up.
Dave. Peña's going on the block. You're my first call.
Because he's making the rest of the team look bad.
He's gonna be a Rookie of the Year.
Probably an All-Star. He's an All-Star, Dave.
No. I want a reliever and cash.
Okay. You got five minutes, Dave. I'm not waiting.
Billy, Peña is an All-Star, okay?
And if you dump him and this Hatteberg thing doesn't work out... you know this is...
This is the kind of decision that gets you fired.
Yes, you're right.
I may lose my job.
In which case I'm a 44-year-old guy with a high school diploma... and a daughter I'd like to be able to send to college.
You're 25 years old, with a degree from Yale... and a pretty impressive apprenticeship.
I don't think we're asking the right question.
I think the question we should be asking is... do you believe in this thing or not?
It's a problem you think we need to explain ourselves.
Don't. To anyone.
Now, I'm gonna see this thing through, for better or worse.
Just tell me, do you project we'll win more with Hatteberg or Peña at first?
It's close... but theoretically, Hatteberg.
What are we talking about, then? Dombrowski's on again, on 3.
Okay, that'll work.
Great. I need one more thing.
Soda. Yeah, I don't want my guys paying for soda.
I want you to stock my machine for three years.
Great. It's a deal.
Go tell Peña he's gotta pack.
You want me to tell Peña? Part of the job.
What about Giambi? You want me to tell him too?
I'll tell him.
Excuse me, Carlos? Yeah?
Can I speak with you a minute? Yeah.
Carlos, you've been traded to the Tigers.
This is Jay Palmer's number.
He's the traveling secretary for the team.
He's expecting your call. He'll take care of everything.
Is that it? Yes.
Art, you got a minute?
Yeah. Take a seat.
You can't start Peña at first tonight. You'll have to start Hatteberg.
I don't wanna go 15 rounds, Billy. The lineup card is mine, and that's all.
That lineup card is definitely yours.
I'm just saying you can't start Peña at first.
Well, I am starting him at first.
I don't think so. He plays for Detroit now.
You traded Peña?
And Menechino, Hiljus, Tam are all being sent down.
You are outside your mind. Yeah. Cuckoo.
You wanted to see me? Yeah, Jeremy, grab a seat.
Jeremy, you've been traded to the Phillies.
This is Ed Wade's number. He's a good guy, the GM.
He's expecting your call.
Buddy will help you with the plane flight.
You're a good ballplayer, Jeremy... and we wish you the best.
Jeremy's gone too.
You're killing this team.
Art, I can do this all day long.
You agree with this?
You want this door closed?
Scotty H. Sir?
Go field some grounders. Yes, sir.
Everybody, listen up.
You may not look like a winning team...
but you are one.
So play like one tonight.
When you're getting your pitch, you're hitting .625, massive.
You're crushing the ball.
But when you swing at things... Your pitch is middle-in.
When you're swinging low and away, you're batting. 158.
Every at bat's like a hand of blackjack.
Every card that's dealt, your odds change.
So every first-pitch strike, your batting average goes down about 75 points.
He should throw 100 pitches before the fifth.
You wanna knock that starter out.
I want you taking at bats off the 10th and 11 Th pitcher by the end.
This is your basic breakdown of the pitches... where you should be hitting them, why.
So you want us to walk more? Good question. Yes.
Had a few thoughts. Yeah?
Yeah. Gonna teach me some things?
Never seen a GM talk to players like that.
You never seen a GM who was a player.
We got a problem, David? No, it's okay.
I know your routine.
It's patter. It's for effect.
But it's for them, all right? That shit ain't for me.
Oh, you're special?
You're paying me 7 million bucks a year, man, so, yeah... maybe I am, a little bit.
No, man, I ain't paying you 7.
Yankees are paying half your salary.
That's what the New York Yankees think of you.
They're paying you $3.5 million to play against them.
Where you going with this, Billy?
David, you're 37.
How about you and I be honest about what each of us want out of this?
I wanna milk the last ounce of baseball you got in you.
And you wanna stay in the show.
Let's do that.
I'm not paying you for the player you used to be.
I'm paying you for the player you are right now.
You're smart. You get what we're trying to do here.
Make an example for the younger guys.
Be a leader.
Can you do that?
All right. I got you.
Yo, what's up, D.J.? Picking machine.
How you liking first base, man?
It's coming along. Picking it up.
You know, tough transition, but I'm starting to feel better with it.
What's your biggest fear?
A baseball being hit in my general direction.
That's funny. Seriously, what is it?
No, seriously, that is.
Well, hey, good luck with that.
Be social out there.
Social. Social. Like a greeter at the Gap.
Guy steps into your office, chat him up.
You're well-read. You went to school.
Yeah. Have some fun. Relax.
Everyone wants to attack. Quit trying to attack.
Let the game come to you, man. There's no clock on this thing.
This is a war of attrition.
If I take more, I could even take a few strikes, but I'll get walked more.
You get on base, we win. You don't, we lose.
And I hate losing, Chavvie. I hate it.
I hate losing more than I even wanna win.
And there's a difference.
No bunts. Bunts is an out.
Even if the third baseman is back? No bunting whatsoever.
If someone bunts on us, throw it to first.
Don't be a hero and go to second.
Let them make the mistakes.
When your enemy's making mistakes, don't interrupt them.
They're giving you an out. Just giving it to you.
Take it. Say thank you.
Another thing. No more stealing.
That's what I do, what you pay me to do.
I pay you to get on first, not get thrown out at second.
This is a process. It's a process, it's a process. Okay?
Jason takes it, goes to second for the only out, and the A's get a run.
Jermaine Dye homers again, his second in two games.
And the A's are still hanging in. We'll get you scores here.
The A's pull within two of the Angels for the wild-card chase.
The Reds have now dropped five in a row... as Oakland beats them in the beginning of this series 5 to 3.
Ball four and Hatteberg walks.
What is happening in Oakland? The A's have won seven in a row.
A lot of excitement. What a winning streak.
But how about the calming influence of Art Howe?
When you say "your source," if it's not me or Peter, they don't know.
He's managing an unorthodox team.
Right. - It's not a perfect roster.
But right now, Art Howe is the reason this team is winning.
He deserves the credit. Great, thanks. Bye.
Did you hear that?
I heard "seven in a row." You get the Cleveland matchups?
Yeah, right here.
That smell is getting worse. I'm on it.
What are we doing? Splitting it in half?
Both sides of the plate. Got it.
Huddy. Mix it up. Yes, sir.
Trust your slider, yeah? Yes, sir.
You guys quit distracting him.
You couldn't hit that shit last night with a paddle.
You gotta see more pitches.
All right, Billy. Patience.
Hey, David. Hey, Billy.
Great at bats. Thank you.
Really quality. Thank you.
Base hit to right field. Tejada scores.
Chavez coming in. The ball gets past Guiel.
The A's, from 5-nothing down, now lead 6 to 5.
The Oakland A's are completely out of hand at the moment.
They are an AL-best 17 and 4 this month.
They also took back-to-back series at Boston and at New York.
Remember when they traded Jeremy Giambi in June... and everyone thought they’d just given up?
Actually, not so much.
Suzanne, get Shapiro on the phone.
You thinking Rincon? His season's done. He's lost faith.
I think he's gonna dump him. Hard-core.
Shapiro on 2.
Mark, Billy. Let's be honest.
A premier setup man isn't gonna get you closer to the play-offs.
- Are you referring to Rincon? He's a luxury you can't afford, man.
And you can? There's half a million on his contract.
And we've got at least one other suitor.
By "at least one," you mean one.
Who is it? - I'd rather not say.
San Francisco. San Francisco.
I'll call you back.
What do you think we can get for Magnante?
What's left on Venafro's contract? Two seventy-five.
Suzanne, get me Sabean on the line.
Get the Giants interested in Venafro, Mark's only got one buyer for Rincon.
Us. On 3.
Saby-Sabster, it's Billy. What do you think of Venafro?
I can let you have him for almost nothing.
- Why would you do that? Because I'm amazing.
I want a couple bucks and a sweetener.
Throw in, say...
I like Anderson. No, you don't. Nobody likes him.
I don't know why I'm doing this. But let's do it.
Venafro for Michaelson. Anderson. I don't know his name.
I'll think about it. Think about it and call me back.
Get Shapiro on.
Shapiro's on 2.
Mark. You can't afford him, Billy.
You sure about that?
I get the impression the market for Rincon is softening.
I could be wrong, but I'd call whoever's interested... and see if they're still interested. Call me back.
What about the Mets for Venafro? You offered him to the Giants.
Suzanne, Steve Phillips.
Between Bonds, Kent, Nen, Snow, San Francisco's never gonna do it.
Totally agree. We just need them to cool on Rincon.
Phillips on 2. Steve-o, it's Billy.
I hear you're looking for a reliever. I can give you Venafro.
I can make it quick and easy. - What's the angle?
No angle. - Who am I getting fleeced for?
Hang on a sec. Bennett, maybe?
How old? Twenty-six.
Twenty-six, Double-A? Forget it.
No. Furbush, no.
Eckerton? Eckerton? Eckerton.
Eckerton. - Eckerton? I like Eckerton.
You don't even know who Eckerton is. - ls Venafro hurt?
No, he's fine, he's fine. It's just an issue for us.
Last couple times, he got hammered. Not his fault.
That was us. We misused him. It's Steve.
I'm almost done. Steve Schott.
Look, Steve-o, let me be straight with you.
Here's the deal. I'm getting Rincon. It's a done deal.
I heard the Giants-- Giants want Venafro for Michaelson.
Anderson. I'd rather deal with you.
You can give me Eckerton and $225,000 in cash... and the Giants can't.
I'll think about it. Think about it.
But whoever calls me back first gets Venafro.
Schott hung up.
Oh, I want this one.
Why isn't anybody calling?
Shapiro's on 2.
Okay, let me talk to my owner. I'll call you back.
Get Steve on the phone. Schott or Phillips?
Why would we call Phillips? Phillips has gotta call us.
Tell him I'm on the other line.
Hi, Mr. Schott, it's Peter Brand. I apologize for putting you on hold.
Billy asked me to call you back. Tell him we want 225,000 for Rincon.
Billy says he needs $225,000 for Ricardo Rincon.
Yes, I added the "please" at the end.
Okay. Let me... Hold on one second, please.
Tell him I'll pay for him.
But when I sell him back for twice the amount next year, I keep the money.
Okay, so Billy says he'll pay for Rincon himself.
But when he sells him for more money next year, he's keeping the profit.
Thank you very much. We'll call you back. Thank you.
Come on. Come on.
Suzanne, call Shapiro Ba... Never mind, I got him right here.
Listen, I don't want Rincon pitching against me tonight.
Tell him to change clothes and send him over. I got you the money.
I don't wanna dampen the mood at all, but since we picked up Rincon...
We gotta send someone down.
Mags. Hey, Billy.
I know I've been struggling lately.
But second half of the season, definitely turn it around. Ricky and I...
Mike, I need you to stop getting dressed.
I'm sorry for the crap news.
I know it hurts.
Mike, I can't have 26 guys in the clubhouse.
I get it. I get it.
This must be a bit of a shock, I guess.
Mabry hits one deep to right-center field.
Racing back, Fick can't get it.
It bounces to the wall. One run is in. Two runs are in.
Mabry, on one pitch, has shot the A's in front.
Strike three called. Twelve straight wins for the Athletics.
Man alive, was it hairy.
Something strange is now happening in Oakland.
- You cannot argue that point. Twelve straight.
They're making a joke out of the American League.
- They were in Detroit today... He throws to first.
And that's the sound of 14 straight victories.
Fourteen, the longest run this year.
It has slingshot the A's into first in the AL West.
- A nice streak. This team was written off.
How do you explain, otherwise, the victories they've come up with?
The Oakland A's are gonna win 16 consecutive games.
This is the longest win streak in baseball, folks, in 25 years.
- The A's have won 16 in a row. We're going to 20! We're going to 20!
To have a winning streak of this duration, you have to be good... but there's an element of randomness to it.
The 1927 Yankees, Ruth, Gehrig...
Murderers' Row, some people still say the best team ever.
Longest winning streak for them that year? Nine.
You guys try to analyze it from a numbers standpoint.
I'm telling you, there is no explanation for what's occurring right now.
Do you have superstitions going on?
Do you do things so you keep the streak alive?
The all-time record of 20 does not seem impossible anymore.
The A's were on page one of the New York Times.
They are the story in sports in this entire country.
Two-two pitch, here it is.
Swing and a miss! Struck him out! Number 17!
It's taken 71 years.
The Oakland A's have tied the Philadelphia A's.
The all-time franchise record 17 straight... and baseball's longest winning streak since 1953.
The A's are two wins away from tying the American League record.
It's gone! It's gone! Tejada wins it! Do you believe it?
Eighteen wins in a row!
You could replay these 18 games a hundred times over.
And nobody wins 18 straight again.
It defies everything we know about baseball.
The most amazing thing you could imagine... happened over the last four days at the Coliseum.
Tejada, up the middle. The A's have won 19 in a row!
The 1906 White Sox... the 1947 New York Yankees have company.
Nineteen in a row. The A's have a date with destiny.
They're going for the all-time American League record...
20 games in a row.
We're going to 20!
We're gonna take the AL record to 20, baby!
Don't tell me the score, Pete.
No, Billy, it's me.
Sharon? - Yeah.
- You have a second? Yeah, what's up?
Well, I didn't actually expect you to pick up.
I was gonna leave a message.
Casey and I, we're here and watching the game at home.
And I just wanted to say... you did good, Billy.
We're really proud of you.
I appreciate it, Sharon.
Thank you. - Good luck.
Oh, Casey wants to talk to you. Hang on.
Are you on your way to the stadium?
No, I'm on my way to Visalia to see our minor-league team.
Turn around, please, Dad. No way, Jose.
Turn around. Come on, Dad. Nope. Not gonna happen.
You're not gonna jinx it.
I'll talk to you later, sweetheart. I love you.
One out here in the fourth, and if you're just joining us... you missed a lot.
And the pitch to Raúl Ibañez. Strike one.
I think my recap will be simple.
The A's scored six in the first, one in the second, four in the third.
And people would be shocked if you just did that.
Eleven to nothing, the A's do lead.
Shit. Foul off the foot of Ibañez....
Let's go, Oakland!
Let's go, Oakland!
Let's go, Oakland!
Now batting, number 2, catcher, Brent Mayne.
Oakland! Here we go, Oakland!
Now batting, number 18... left fielder Raúl Ibañez.
And the A's now lead by a score of 11 to 3.
A nice cushion, but you don't wanna give teams life... and let them wedge their way back in, even when you're...
Nobody out, the bases loaded.
And Art Howe on the way to the mound to make a pitching change.
And this game is still in a state... where it could get out of control for the Athletics.
We're all told at some point we can no longer play the children's game.
We just don't know when that's gonna be.
Some of us are told at 18, some of us are told at 40, but we're all told.
Mike Sweeney with runners at first and third.
It's an 11-to-7 game, the A's in front.
Tam peering in for the sign.
Two out. Runners at first and third.
And the 3-2 delivery.
It's weird, Billy.
You wanna give up baseball to become a scout?
I'm not a baseball player.
Are you sure this is what you want?
The crowd is roaring. Koch is ready. One-two pitch.
Alicea puts it in play, a looper to left field for a base hit.
Around third, tearing for the plate, here comes the tying run.
Sliding safe. And the ball game is tied at 11-all.
The A's have blown an 11-to-nothing lead.
This is the specter of a development that has been lurking now... ever since the five-run fourth inning by the Royals.
And the A's date with destiny is on hold right now.
Grab a bat. You're hitting for Byrnesy.
Come on, let's go. Get yourself loose.
Hitting for Eric Byrnes... number 10, Scott Hatteberg.
In your typical A's fashion, they want a base runner here.
Scott Hatteberg is so adept at drawing walks.
He's looking for Hatteberg to get on base... maybe bring in a pinch runner.
Let's go, Oakland!
Let's go, Oakland!
That one is gone!
And it's 20 consecutive victories for the Oakland Athletics... on an unbelievable night... when they lost an 11-to-nothing lead... and now they win it.
The crowd comes back to insane life.
How do you explain it?
Crazy. Just plain crazy.
Hatteberg is mobbed at home plate.
In 103 years of American League baseball... the Athletics have accomplished what no one has before.
They have won 20 consecutive games.
It's hard not to be romantic about baseball.
This kind of thing, it's fun for the fans.
It sells tickets and hot dogs.
Doesn't mean anything.
Billy, we just won 20 games in a row.
And what's the point?
We just got the record.
Man, I've been doing this for...
I've been in this game a long time.
I'm not in it for a record, I'll tell you that.
I'm not in it for a ring.
That's when people get hurt.
If we don't win the last game of the Series... they'll dismiss us.
Billy... I know these guys.
I know the way they think, and they will erase us.
And everything we've done here... none of it'll matter.
Any other team wins the World Series, good for them.
They're drinking champagne, they get a ring.
But if we win... on our budget, with this team...
we'll have changed the game.
And that's what I want.
I want it to mean something.
The A's going to the play-offs with the West Division title.
Forgive the A's if they're not celebrating.
They have been here before... when Oakland went up two games to none on the Yanks in the ALDS... and went nowhere after losing three straight.
With a win today over the Twins, Oakland moves into the ALCS...
- for the first time since 1992. But remember one thing.
Percentages hold up over a season, but for one game, one at bat... throw the percentages out the window.
What the Minnesota Twins exposed is the fact that the Oakland A's... were fundamentally not a sound baseball team.
They had a flawed concept that started with the general manager... and the brain trust thinking they could reinvent baseball.
You can't approach baseball... from a statistical, bean-counting point of view.
It's won on the field with fundamental play.
You have to steal, you have to bunt, you have to sacrifice.
You gotta get men in scoring position, and you gotta bring them in.
And you don't do that with a bunch of statistical gimmicks.
Nobody reinvents this game.
Due respect to the Coliseum, but this is a ballpark.
Yes, it is.
We're gonna have some lunch in a little bit.
Why don't I have some coffee sent up?
Thank you, Denise.
Thanks. You're welcome.
You know, it's her birthday and I need to get her a present... but she's usually the one that does that for me.
So do you have any ideas?
You mean like wool?
No, I meant what women wear with... You know, decorative.
And where would I get something like that?
No disrespect, I just lost in five for the second year in a row.
Get her a bowling ball for all I care.
Well, Steve told me he's offering you a new contract.
So why did you return my call?
Because it's the Red Sox.
Because I believe science might offer an answer to the Curse of the Bambino.
Because I hear you hired Bill James. Yup.
You know, why someone took so long to hire that guy is beyond me.
Well, baseball hates him.
Well, baseball can hate him, you know.
One of the great things about money is that it buys a lot of things... one of which is the luxury to disregard what baseball likes... doesn't like, what baseball thinks, doesn't think.
Well, I was grateful for the call.
You were grateful? Yeah.
For 41 million, you built a play-off team.
You lost Damon, Giambi, Isringhausen, Peña... and you won more games without them than you did with them.
You won the exact same number of games that the Yankees won... but the Yankees spent 1 .4 million per win... and you paid 260,000.
I know you're taking it in the teeth, but the first guy through the wall... he always gets bloody.
Always. This is threatening not just a way of doing business... but in their minds, it's threatening the game.
Really, what it's threatening is their livelihood, their jobs.
It's threatening the way that they do things.
Every time that happens... whether it's a government, a way of doing business, whatever... the people who are holding the reins... they have their hands on the switch... they go batshit crazy.
I mean, anybody who's not tearing their team down right now... and rebuilding it using your model... they're dinosaurs.
They'll be sitting on their ass on the sofa in October... watching the Boston Red Sox win the World Series.
I want you to be my general manager. That's my offer.
What was that?
Sorry. I don't know. What the hell was that?
How was Boston?
Did Henry make you a good offer, at least?
Doesn't matter. Doesn't matter. What was it? What was it?
Doesn't matter. What was it?
That makes you the highest-paid GM in the history of sports.
I made one decision in my life based on money.
And I swore I would never do it again.
You're not doing it for the money.
You're doing it for what the money says.
And it says what it says to any player that makes big money.
That they're worth it.
What a dump.
I really wanted to win here.
I really did.
I think you won pretty big, Billy.
Pete, we lost.
It's only been a few days. Give yourself some time to get over it.
Man, I don't get over these things. Ever.
Come with me to the video room. I wanna show you something.
No, man, I'm not up for film right now.
Come on. Seriously.
Come on, Billy. Come on.
The Visalia Oaks... and our 240-pound catcher, Jeremy Brown... who, as you know, is scared to run to second base.
This was in a game six weeks ago.
This guy's gonna start with a fastball.
Jeremy's gonna take him to deep center.
Here's what's interesting... because Jeremy's gonna do what he never does.
He's gonna go for it.
He's gonna round first and he's gonna go for it.
This is all of Jeremy's nightmares coming to life.
They're laughing at him. And Jeremy's about to find out why.
Jeremy's about to realize... that the ball went 60 feet over the fence.
He hit a home run and didn't even realize it.
How can you not be romantic about baseball?
It's a metaphor. I know it's a metaphor.
Pete, you're a good egg.
I'll call you.
Hey, Dad, this is the song I told you I'd record.
Please don't show it to anyone else.
Let me know if you change your mind and stay in California.
If not, you're a really great dad.