One of the most successful baseball films of all time is available on Netflix. Moneyball, which stars Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, began streaming on Netflix on Oct. 14. And in the latest Netflix Top 10 rankings in the U.S., Moneyball sits at the fifth-most watched film or show.
Moneyball is based on a true story and focuses on Billy Beane (Pitt), the general manager of the Oakland Athletics. In order for Beane to assemble a competitive team on a limited budget for the 2002 season, he hires Yale economics graduate Peter Brand (Hill) to be the assistant GM. The duo starts to acquire undervalued players such as pitcher Chad Bradford and outfielder David Justice. And while scouts are not happy with the strategy, it works as the team goes on a 19-game winning streak, which was an American League record at the time. The A's end up losing to the Minnesota Twins in the 2002 American League Division Series.
"He was a guy who had been devalued by the sport as a player and now is working as a GM for a small-market team," Pitt said in an interview with NPR back in 2012. "After an unsuccessful big-league career, Beane struggles to find a level playing field in a sport where money tilts the table. "There is such a gulf in what these teams have to spend on talent [that] they can never play equally — they can never have a true competition."
Beane was the A's GM until 2016 and became the team's executive vice president of baseball operations. He's also a minority owner. Beane, who played baseball with multiple MLB teams in the 1980s, is a three-time winner of Sporting News Executive of the Year and was named MLB Executive of the Year in 2012 and 2018. One of the things that stands out in Bean's career is he turned down to be the GM for the Boston Red Sox after the 2002 season, and that team went on to win four World Series titles in the last 18 years.
"Turning it down meant that Theo Epstein was in charge," Bene said in a 2017 interview. "And we know the rest of the story. I knew that the Red Sox, with John and Tom and Larry [Lucchino] were the best. They had built the best organization in the game and they had this bright young man in Theo who had great ideas of how to build a baseball organization. So no regrets."