No one comes off more poorly in the movie "Moneyball" than Art Howe, the former Athletics and Mets manager who is portrayed as a stubborn dinosaur who won't give Billy Beane's newfangled approach a fair shake.
As with many things in the movie, it's an oversimplified version of reality, but it's certainly true there was tension between Howe and the Oakland front office.
Howe discussed the matter Friday with Chris Russo of Sirius XM Satellite Radio. He said he had not yet seen the movie but he did read the book and heard from several people how he is depicted in the film by Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Art Howe: “Considering the book wasn’t real favorable to me to start with I figured it would be something like this but to be honest with you it is very disappointing to know that you spent seven years in an organization and gave your heart and soul to it and helped them go to the postseason your last three years there and win over 100 games your last two seasons and this is the way evidently your boss feels about you.”
Howe: “They never called me to get my slant on things as far as the movie was concerned. So, I mean, it’s coming from someone. I don’t know who it is but maybe it is Hollywood to make it sell, I guess. I don’t know. It’s disappointing. I spent my whole career trying to build a good reputation and I think I did that but this movie certainly doesn’t help it. And it is definitely unfair and untrue. If you ask any player that ever played for me they would say that they never saw this side of me, ever. Like I said, I haven’t seen the movie but I’ve read the reviews and several people have talked to me about it. It’s very disappointing.”
Howe: “[‘Moneyball’ author Michael Lewis] came in my office for about 10 minutes one day and that’s all the time he spent with me. And put yourself in my position. He’s asking me about my boss. Now, what can you say? (laughs) He ran some things by me and I verified some things and gave my slant to different things but they never got into the book, my slants.”
Howe: “The thing that bothers me about the movie is that, you know, I think everybody in baseball knows who I am but so many people who are going to be seeing this movie really don’t know me. This is their impression of me probably the rest of my life so that’s disappointing.”
Russo: “You’re most disappointed in Beane, Hollywood or the book? Which one bothers you the most?”
Howe: “How about all three?”