Mark Mulder is a Moneyball Genius


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Moneyball is a term used in baseball as the practice of buying undervalued players at cheap prices so that low-revenue baseball clubs have a chance at beating the Yankees. Moneyball, the practice, made sabermetric, Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s all household names. The whole story of the 2002 Oakland A’s scrub roster winning became a book, and eventually a movie with Brad Pitt.

Moneyball, the movie, was released in 2011 and starred Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. It documented the Oakland success story by tying in highlight clips and actor reenactments. Most of the players from that 2002 Oakland A’s team are no longer playing baseball 12 years later, including pitcher Mark Mulder. Last night Mulder decided to watch the film for the first time while live-tweeting his reactions and opinions. After the film Mulder engaged with fans individually for their reactions.

This is a great ideas for combining sports and film, or TV. ESPN produces hundreds of sport documentaries, Disney makes movies all the time either based on the true story or a near-documentary version of a story. Players, coaches, actors and sometimes front office staff have massive followings and could promote the film. Not only does it create a unique experience for fans, it creates a watch party capable of over a million viewers.

Film promoters might want to keep this idea in mind the next time they release a sports blockbuster. I believe it would be time better spent to host a Twitter release party rather than a Hollywood theater premiere.

Another aspect to keep in mind is the possibility for sponsors and teams to get involved. Teams or players could negotiate payment for live-tweeting during the party. Sponsorships in Hollywood and sports arenas are nothing new. Not to bastardize a good idea, but if a brand is already paying millions for product placement, why not join the conversation?

The coolest aspect of this was how candid and honest Mulder is. He goes through the film and points out fictionalized accounts of the season. Fans get an in-depth look at just how special that 2002 season was, including how Mulder felt after losing Game 5 in the ALDS.

Here is Mulder’s live-tweeting transcript while watching Moneyball for the first time:

Mulder retired at the end of the 2010 season after the St. Louis Cardinals chose not to re-sign him. He then signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim but tore his achilles tendon during spring training, ending his comeback abruptly. Mulder has also served as an analyst on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.