Daily Archives: September 7, 2011

Casey Bond Guest Blog: From Giants Prospect to Moneyball Star

Wednesday September 7, 2011

 

MLB reports:  Baseball movies have been part of the culture of the game for as long as most of us can remember.  Classic films include The Natural, Bull Durham and Major League, among countless others.  When baseball fans are not watching games at the ballpark or on television, they can often be found at the theatre or popping in a disc at home to watch a baseball movie.  Fans also enjoy baseball documentaries, including the Ken Burns series.  If not watching baseball in some capacity, a good baseball book is not usually far behind for a diehard baseball fan.  Lovers of the game cannot get enough of their favorite sport and enjoy the game in many different capacities.

At MLB reports, we are big supporters of baseball books.  We try to read as many new ones as we can to review on our site to encourage readership.  Those books that we enjoy can sometimes also end up on the big screen and come to life.  One of the most popular and talked about baseball books of all time, Moneyball by Michael Lewis, has in fact been made into a Hollywood movie.  Starring Brad Pitt as Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane, Moneyball has all the makings of being the next all-time classic baseball movie.  Due out in theatres on September 23, 2011, Moneyball is a movie that everyone must see!

We are very fortunate today to have Casey Bond, one of the stars of Moneyball the movie, on MLB reports today.  Casey in part one of a two-part feature, prepared a guest blog sharing his journey from outfielder in the San Francisco Giants organization to starring in Moneyball with Brad Pitt.  In part two coming this week, we will be publishing our interview with Casey Bond.  We appreciate Casey taking the time out of his schedule in preparing this feature.  Casey portrays former Oakland A’s pitcher Chad Bradford in Moneyball and will be promoting the movie this week in Toronto as part of the Toronto International Film Festival, starting September 8th.  For the very first Hollywood star on MLB reports, we proudly present actor Casey Bond, with his journey from San Francisco Giants prospect to Moneyball star:      

 

  

Casey Bond (Guest MLB Blogger):  For a little history on myself, I grew up in the south in the town of Peachtree City, GA, which is a golfing community about 30 minutes south of Atlanta.  As a kid, all I ever wanted to do was play baseball and other sports, and to someday play professionally.  Although I always had an interest in movies, I kind of put that interest to the side to concentrate on my athletic abilities.  I was a multi-sport athlete in high school, and went on to play Division 1 baseball for both Birmingham Southern College (Birmingham,AL), and Lipscomb University (Nashville,TN).  My first dream eventually came true, and I was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 25th round as an outfielder from Lipscomb University in 2007.  I played for the Giants Organization for two seasons.

At the end of my time with the Giants, a very unique opportunity arose for me in the acting world.  I began to take acting classes in Nashville, TN, as this was always something that I had an interest in, and felt like I had to at least pursue it to some degree.  I told my great-aunt, who lives in Santa Monica, CA, that I had begun to dive into acting a little bit.  The reason I told her was purely for conversation because she used to be an actress back in the day.  She was in some things here and there, and I thought she would appreciate my effort.  Well, she told her friend, who told his agent, about myself.  I knew she was going to do this, but thought nothing of it because after all, I was still living in Nashville.  For whatever reason, this agent decided he would call me up and tell me that he had an audition he could get me in.  Being as fresh and naive about this entire acting and auditioning process, I didn’t realize that there were thousands of auditions happening every day in L.A.  

So, I asked him what I needed to do to audition for this role in a national commercial.  He told me that I had to be inL.A.tomorrow, and that he would get me into the audition.  I took that as a great opportunity, and because I was so naive, I actually flew out toL.A.and went to the audition, and then flew back the same day.  A week after this, the agent calls me again and tells me that they want to have me back to a callback, and that I had to be there the next day.  So, I hopped on another plane to go to this audition, thinking how lucky I was to have an opportunity to even have an audition inL.A. I met with the casting director and producers, did the audition, and then literally flew home again the same day.  Needless to say, my friends thought this was pretty cool stuff, and so did I because I really had no idea that this was happening constantly every single day inL.A. However, thanks to my foolishness, and perhaps drive to succeed when given a chance to do something special, I ended up booking the commercial, and flew out about a week later to film it.

This commercial was a national commercial.  It got me into SAG immediately, which is such a hurdle to many actors in itself, and it basically gave me the opportunity to have this agent take me on full-time, move toL.A., and pursue acting with a full passion and pursuit.  Long and crazy story, I know, but it is entirely the truth.

The inspiration to act was within me from the time I was little, but it wouldn’t reveal itself to me fully until I was done pursuing my first dream of playing professional baseball.  Once I moved to L.A., I very quickly learned about the in’s and out’s of industry, and through my love of meeting new people and building relationships, I have so far been able to surround myself with some wonderful people who I have gotten to work with and learn from.  

Now, I am working with the legendary acting coach Larry Moss, which in itself is an inspiring thing to be a part of.  I am fully committed and involved in everything I can do to continue to be the best actor I can be, and I know that my past with professional sports and athletics has directly related to the carry over into the entertainment industry.  Hard work and passion has paid off, and will continue to.

All of this led to Moneyball.  First off, I auditioned at Sony a few times with the director (Bennett Miller) and the casting director.  They liked me read both times, so they decided to have me go out to a baseball field to see if I could actually perform there as well.  My character, Chad Bradford, was a submarine pitcher for the Oakland Athletics from Jackson, Mississippi who was a big Christian.  You may already know, but if not, a submarine pitcher is one who nearly scrapes his knuckles on the ground when he is delivering the ball to home plate from the mound.  I played outfield, so this was not something that I regularly did by any means.  I had to go out to a field and work on this for hours before perfecting it.  Needless to say, I went out and performed for Bennett Miller, and others who were there to help determine if I was the guy. 

I passed the “baseball test”, which I was hoping to considering that was such a large part of my past.  Bennett then wanted me to come over to Sony for one last meeting.  That meeting was a personal meeting with Brad Pitt.  When I arrived, Brad immediately came up to me and shook my hand, and we went into conversation that lasted a long while.  We didn’t even read through the script but once.  We just needed to get together and hang out, make sure we were a good fit, which was no problem at all since he is such a stand up guy.  He was truly a wonderful person to be around, and an absolute mentor on set while we filmed our scenes with one another.

Brad gave me advice during our scene, which you wouldn’t necessarily expect from him, given the position he is in.  However, he was truly a mentor, and I very much learned from him.  He is a master of his craft.  To work with guys like Brad, Jonah, Philip, and Chris Pratt was definitely a game changer for myself as far as knowing that I could act on their level, and continue to develop and hone my skills as an actor.

First and foremost, be on the lookout for the film, which is going to be released September 23rd.  The world premiere is at the Toronto Film Festival on September 8th.  As for myself lately, I have been studying with Larry Moss, and have been doing quite a bit of print work lately for companies like A.D.I.D.A.S. and Muscletech.  There are also some other things in the works right now, which I hope I can divulge in the near future.

 

 

   

Thank you Casey for preparing today’s MLB Guest Blog.  Please feel free to contact Casey Bond on Twitter (@caseybond)  or through his website (http://thecaseybond.com) and Facebook Fan Page  for comments and questions.  Casey will be CONSTANTLY providing personal behinds the scenes photos, videos, etc. of upcoming events that he will be a part of such as Red Carpets and premieres, as well as Moneyball media when the film comes closer to the release!  Stay tuned for part two of our Casey Bond feature, with our interview coming up on MLB reports.

 

**Some of the photographs in today’s feature are courtesy of Peter Hurley**

Part two of our feature on Casey Bond:  http://mlbreports.com/2011/09/09/bond-interview/

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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Strasburg-mania Back With a Vengeance

September 6, 2011


 

Rob Bland (Baseball Writer- MLB reports):  The day so many people (namely the entire Washington Nationals organization) have been waiting for is finally upon us.  Stephen Strasburg, ultra phenom, who I covered his rehab here last week at the Reports, started against the LA Dodgers.  The hype that was produced was incredible, with every major US sporting website having a headline dedicated to Strasburg-mania. The twitter hashtag #MerryStrasmus has been coined and millions of people are tuning in to watch his first start since Tommy John Surgery.

Strasburg is a big, strong kid who is known for his tremendous work ethic.  It comes as no surprise that he was able to begin pitching less than a year after getting the surgery.

The weather today in Washington DC was wet and dreary, so manager Davey Johnson was close to pulling the plug on the start if the game was even delayed.  The Nationals wanted to make sure Strasburg had enough time to warm up and be ready to pitch in the game.  When the tarps were taken off the field around 6:45pm, Strasburg was in the middle of his warm-ups.

Dee Gordon led off the game with a double, but after that, Strasburg didn’t see any trouble the rest of the way.  Matt Kemp grounded out softly in between fly balls by James Loney and Juan Rivera in the first inning.  The second inning was vintage Strasburg, as he threw 3 fastballs between 95 and 97 mph with run and sink, then threw a change-up at 90 mph that Andre Ethier swung over for strike three.  Aaron Miles was then disposed of with a  99 mph heater, and Rod Barajas hit a lazy fly ball to center field.

The fourth inning saw Strasburg get two more strikeouts and give up a single to Rivera.  Gordon and Rivera’s hits ended up being the only two base runners against Strasburg.  His outing ended in the 5th inning after a fly out, ground out and foul out.

Strasburg was dominant. His 4-seam fastball was  95-99 mph throughout his 56 pitch outing, 40 of which were strikes.  His 2-seam fastball had great late life, sinking late and inducing ground balls. Only 6 breaking balls were thrown, and although they were pretty sharp and late breaking, it was clearly his 3rd best pitch.  Breaking balls are usually the last pitch to come around after Tommy John surgery, because pitchers don’t start throwing it until later in their rehab.

Strasburg’s final line reads as follows:

5IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 0BB, 4K.

My pre-game prediction was:

5IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 1BB, 9K.

Aside from the strikeouts, I was pretty close.  Strasburg is such a rare talent, that a rainy and cold Tuesday night game against a non-contender such as the Dodgers drew over 5,000 more fans than their average season attendance.

Strasburg-mania really hit Washington on a cold, damp Tuesday night.  If he continues to pitch like this, the Nationals could be close to contending in 2012, but more likely in 2013 when Bryce Harper could be in the field on an everyday basis.



 

 

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Rob Bland.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Rob on Twitter.***

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook .  To subscribe to our website and have the daily Reports sent directly to your inbox , click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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