Rays Tales: Casting a movie about the Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays and the A's share a few bonds, and that's besides trying to decipher Grant Balfour's occasional Australian jargon. Their stadiums are in need of replacement, their budgets are on the small side compared to their division rivals, their success (when they have it) stems from innovation and creativity, and their methods are the subjects of recent books. Moneyball, written by Michael Lewis and published in 2003, premieres next month as a major Hollywood movie, with A's GM Billy Beane played by none other than Brad Pitt, and a cast that includes Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman (in uniform as Art Howe) and Robin Wright. (Plus cast roles for former A's/Rays such as Carlos Peña, Jim Mecir and Chad Bradford.) The Extra Two Percent, written by Jonah Keri about the Rays and published earlier this year, is not — for several reasons — likely headed for the big screen. But if it were, how would the cast look? We asked Keri for his list of who would play some of the top characters, then asked around to assemble ours.

And just for fun, how about:

Sam Fuld played by Chris Kattan

J.P. Howell by (Fast Times at Ridgemont High-era) Sean Penn

Dewayne Staats by Alex Trebek

Rocco Baldelli by Michael Cera



the role Keri Times
Stuart Sternberg, principal owner Kyle Chandler Tom Hanks
Other suggestions: Martin Hewitt

Take: It would be the thinner, younger Hanks we see.

Matt Silverman, team president Joseph Gordon-Levitt Steve Carell
Other suggestions: Anson Williams (Potsie from Happy Days), Jason Bateman

Take: Tough casting to play a young guy who acts so, um, mature.

Andrew Friedman, executive VP Jesse Eisenberg Fred Savage
Other suggestions: Matthew Broderick, Daniel Radcliffe, Tobey Maguire, Jimmer Fredette (yes, that's from David Price)

Take: He has proven that size (of payroll) doesn't matter.

Joe Maddon, manager John Slattery Steve Martin
Other suggestions: Gary Busey, Christopher Lloyd, Malcolm McDowell, Jerry Springer, Robin Williams

Take: Takes a mix of comedic and dramatic skills for this role, and background doing standup is a plus.



the role Keri Times
Vince Naimoli, former managing partner Dan Lauria Paul Sorvino
Other suggestions: Charles Durning, (for old times' sake) James Gandolfini, John Goodman

Take: Have to capture the full essence of the role.

Chuck LaMar, former general manager Clark Gregg Tommy Lee Jones
Other suggestions: James Caan, Larry David

Take: Right personality as more than a yes(-sir) man.

Evan Longoria, third baseman Aaron Staton Matt Damon
Other suggestions: Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds

Take: Star quality is important in this lineup, too.

B.J. Upton, centerfielder Brian J. White Chris Tucker
Other suggestions: Terrence Howard, Derek Luke, Jimmie J.J. Walker

Take: When you can hear him, Upton is pretty funny.

Got a minute? | Jake McGee

Must-see TV? I've been watching Wilfred (a comedy) and Breaking Bad (an intense drama), it's like one or the other.

Band you'd most like to be on stage with? Incubus, or Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Big-night-out meal? Go to a steakhouse and get prime rib. (His birthday was Saturday.)

Worst job? Stacking coffee cup sleeves in a warehouse in the off-season, in 2006 or '07.

With your wife Morgan's permission, dream date? Probably (actor) Mila Kunis.

Rays rumblings

The Rays checked into making it a Go-Go, Goo-Goo, Gaga weekend but found out the Lady would've cost $1 million. … Whatever the "personal reasons" that kept radio pre- and postgame host Rich Herrera off the air last week, he won't be back just yet as Triple-A broadcaster Neil Solondz comes in from Durham for the Royals series. … There's chatter on South Carolina message boards that top pick RHP Taylor Guerreri might spurn the Rays and USC and go the juco route at Spartanburg Methodist; signing deadline is Aug. 15. … Commissioner Bud Selig continues his Rays-friendly push to add two more wild cards to the playoff field, telling the New York Times, "if I have my way, it'll be in time for next year." … SI.com's Jon Heyman wrote "baseball people seem to agree that B.J. Upton needs a change of scenery" and also that "word has gotten out that manager Joe Maddon is frustrated with Upton." … With Bucs coach Raheem Morris sporting red and black Rays caps in recent media sessions, Maddon may reciprocate — with a full helmet. … Former Ray Carl Crawford turned 30 Friday, hitting .254 with 13 steals for Boston in the first of a seven-year deal. … Latest Rays personality on Twitter: radio man Dave Wills, @davewills34. … An exec with Japan's Orix team, Yogo Suzuki, led a contingent to the Trop over the weekend to study how the Rays do postgame concerts. … Maddon claimed no hidden meaning to last week's comment, and Tweet, that the Rays' offensive struggles "prove one thing — that's we're not cheating at home." It might have seemed otherwise with the Jays, who have been accused of doing so, in town. … In ESPN The Magazine's player issue, OF Sam Fuld reveals his pet peeve: wayward fingernail clippings left out in public.

Rays Tales: Casting a movie about the Tampa Bay Rays 08/06/11 [Last modified: Monday, August 8, 2011 12:32pm]

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