If Hollywood seriously intends to film Michael Lewis' book "Moneyball," let Nick Swisher of the New York Yankees play himself in the movie.
It won't happen, though.
While Swisher, who played his prep baseball at Parkersburg High School and collegiately at The Ohio State University, is not a professional actor, he is a very funny guy and would do an admirable job on the set, because he's never at a loss for words.
He's also a fast learner, but...right now he's playing right field and first base for the Yanks. And, production for the flick was slated to have started in Phoenix, Ariz., this past Monday. It's been put on hold, though, due to "cost and script concerns."
If things do eventually get ironed out, the movie, with a projected budget of $57 million, could possibly be released tentatively in 2011.
To be honest with you, the only reason I ever read 2003's "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game" in the first place was because Swisher - who was drafted No. 18 in the opening round by the Oakland Athletics in 2002 - was in it. It's not every day that you can get to read about someone in a best-selling book that you actually know in person.
Briefly, "Moneyball" is essentially about A's general manager Billy Beane who attempts to construct a competitive major league baseball team with very few dollars.
Needless to say, that's pretty hard to do in this day and age for small market MLB ballclubs.
It's an interesting concept, though, with some merit, especially in the use of sabermetrics and statistical analysis. Without boring you any further, I guess you'll just have to read the book to appreciate it.
How a movie will be made based on "Moneyball" sounds like it might be a real challenge.
Actor Brad Pitt is certainly an interesting choice to play Beane - who has to be very flattered. I would've preferred Ray Liotta to Pitt, though, because the resemblance is closer.
Plus, Liotta, one of the leads in "Goodfellas," is a quality actor.
As for Swisher...hmmmmmm, that's a tough one. He obviously won't be able to play himself, so who does?
How about Jim Carrey? Seriously. He's a comedian, and this movie isn't exactly any drama or a love story.
Speaking of which, baseball films as a rule aren't exactly moneymakers for Hollywood studios for the most part. In fact, I read where "A League of Our Own" has been the only diamond flick to top $100 million in ticket sales.
Oh, for what it's worth, Beane's Athletics are currently in last place in the American League West Division. In 2007, Swisher was dealt to the Chicago White Sox in the Windy City, where he played last summer.
Playing ball in the Big Apple, now, it's doubtful Swisher even gives a "movie career" a second thought. He's having too much fun as it is, and is currently on pace, barring any injury, to hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs this summer.
Also, the word is, "Moneyball" author Lewis is considering a follow-up book. Be that as it may, he certainly won't have any difficulty getting any quotes from Swisher.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441 or at firstname.lastname@example.org