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Inside the Mind of Casey Bond: From Moneyball to Ring the Bell, Is Portraying Josh Hamilton on the Silver Screen Next for the Hollywood Star?

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Wednesday May 8th, 2013

Slick, big-city sports agent Rob Decker has it all. But on his latest mission to sign a high school baseball superstar, Rob becomes stranded in a small town where the simplicity of life—and the faith of the people—stands in stark contrast to his own fast-paced, win-at-all-costs mindset. Torn between these two worlds, will Rob have the courage to let faith transform his life? Sometimes the next big thing isn't what you expect. Starring Ryan Scharoun and Ashley Anderson McCarthy, RING THE BELL features Christian music artists Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Matthew West, along with baseball legends Rick Sutcliffe, John Kruk, and Ben Zobrist. This heartwarming story of redemption will entertain and inspire the whole family.

Slick, big-city sports agent Rob Decker has it all. But on his latest mission to sign a high school baseball superstar, Rob becomes stranded in a small town where the simplicity of life—and the faith of the people—stands in stark contrast to his own fast-paced, win-at-all-costs mindset. Torn between these two worlds, will Rob have the courage to let faith transform his life? Sometimes the next big thing isn’t what you expect.
Starring Ryan Scharoun and Ashley Anderson McCarthy, RING THE BELL features Christian music artists Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Matthew West, along with baseball legends Rick Sutcliffe, John Kruk, and Ben Zobrist. This heartwarming story of redemption will entertain and inspire the whole family.

Jonathan Hacohen  (Lead Baseball Columnist, Oakland A’s Correspondent and Website Founder):  

They say once you go Hollywood, you never go back. So appears to be the case with our very good friend, Casey Bond. From life as a professional baseball player to Hollywood actor, Bond has done it all and seen it all when it comes to the many worlds of baseball.

I originally interviewed Casey Bond during the release of Moneyball. Destined to become a baseball movie classic, Moneyball was nominated for an Academy Award. Also included an actor that you may have heard of, a guy by the name of Brad Pitt.

Moneyball was a tremendous opportunity for Bond, who portrayed pitcher Chad Bradford in the film. Since Moneyball, Bond has been acting on both the big and small screens, as well as producing. But given the baseball roots he comes from, Casey Bond – Baseball – and Hollywood certainly go hand-in-hand. Evidence? Bond’s latest project, the baseball film “Ring the Bell”.

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Expanding the MLB Postseason: More Wild Card Teams Coming

Friday October 21, 2011

MLB reports – Rob Bland:  Expanding the playoffs has been a hot topic for many years now.  While the move will not be as drastic as when the MLB added the first wild card team in each league, it has drawn the ire from a lot of critics.  In 1994, MLB was to use the postseason system currently in place; however the season was cut short due to a player strike.  It was then that the MLB went to three divisions in each league (East, Central, and West) as well as a wild card team (the best non-divisional winner record in the league).  The American league Divisional winners would have been the New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox in the Central and Texas Rangers in the West (with a record of 52-61).  Conversely, the Cleveland Indians would have been the wild card winners at 66-47.  In the National League, the East would have been won by the Montreal Expos, who had the MLB’s best record of 74-40.  The Central and West would have been won by the Cincinnati Reds and LA Dodgers, respectively, while the wild card winner would have been the Atlanta Braves.

However, due to the strike, which also shortened the following season, 1995 was the first year this system actually came into play.  This season saw a shortened 144 game schedule.  The NL East winners, Atlanta Braves had to go through the slugging Colorado Rockies; the first NL wild card team.  They then faced the Reds, and the eventual World Series Champions Cleveland Indians.  The Indians took a very peculiar path to the World Series.  After leading the MLB with a 100-44 record, the Indians faced the Boston Red Sox, winners of the AL East, who had the 2nd best record in the American League.  The Yankees were the wild card winners, who were defeated by the Seattle Mariners in the AL Division Series.

The current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the commissioner, Bud Selig, with the MLB and its players’ union expires in December of this year, and an extension of five years is expected to be reached any day.  One of the main hold-ups to a deal is the addition of another wild card team.  The 2nd best non-divisonal winner would get into the playoffs.  This may not seem like much, where every other major sports league in North America has at least 3 “wild card” teams, but in baseball, tradition is always at the top of people’s minds.  Adding a team to each league’s postseason picture could lengthen the MLB season, which is something that is a major concern to most people involved in the process.

One option that was bandied around was to have the two wild card teams face off in a best 2 out of 3 series.  The advantage of this short series is that both teams that didn’t win their division would have to play extra games while the winners get a short break to recuperate their injured players.  Also, the extra games give opportunities to more teams to earn extra postseason revenue, which benefits the league.  However, the extra 2-4 days off that the other teams would have to endure could also cause a team to lose its momentum gained at the end of the season.

However, it is believed that the MLB will go to a one game sudden death playoff between the two wild card teams.  In my opinion, the biggest advantage to this is that it gives the winner of the game a monumental disadvantage going into the second round.  The wild card teams would be forced to pitch their ace in the playoff, and therefore would not be able to pitch until at least game 3 of the next round.  This means the team’s best starter would only get one start in a best of 5 series.  Not only would the team with the best record in the league have home-field advantage, but they would see their opponent’s best pitcher in only one game.

In the current state of the MLB postseason, ten wild card teams have made it to the World Series, out of a possible 34 teams going back to 1995, including 2011.  Roughly 29% of wild card teams make it into the World Series.  If you figure that 1 out of 4 teams in each league make it to the World Series, or 25%, then you have a better chance of making it as a wild card than as a divisional winner.  Four World Series have been won by wild card teams.  25% of World Series have been won by a team that should have a distinct disadvantage, but obviously do not.  It is due to this that MLB must make it a bigger hindrance for not winning your division.  Playing an extra game, extra travel and burning your ace are ways to weaken a wild card team’s chance of making it to the World Series.

With the union and MLB reps meeting every day trying to hammer out the extension for the CBA, you should see the added teams in the playoffs in 2012 or 2013.  It is widely expected that the deal will be reached in the middle of the World Series to take advantage or the added publicity it would gain.  I am fairly certain that the new playoff format will come into effect for the 2012 season, and there will be a lot of teams looking to push the envelope and make an appearance.

 

 World Series:  Game 2 Recap

Game 2 was a bit of a surprise, as Jaime Garcia, whom many picked to implode in this guy, had a great start.  Through 7 solid innings, he gave up only 3 hits and 1 walk to 7 strike outs.  Colby Lewis was equally as impressive until the 7th inning, where he was able to strike Matt Holliday out to lead off the inning.  David Freese then singled and Yadier Molina flew out.  Nick Punto then hit a ground ball towards first base that went off of Michael Young’s glove and into right field, moving Freese to third.  With runners on the corners and one out in the 7th, Alexi Ogando came in to face the hitter in the pitcher’s spot.  That hitter: Allen Craig.  The same hero of game 1 that hit a single to right field that scored the go ahead and eventual winning run.  Craig promptly lined a ball to right field to score David Freese, breaking the dead lock.

What would a playoff game be without drama? Jason Motte came in the 9th to close out the 1-0 game.  So far in the postseason, he had given up 1 hit in 29 plate appearances.  Ian Kinsler led off the inning with a bloop single off the end of the bat.  Elvis Andrus came up to the plate and looked to get a sac bunt on the ground, but Kinsler decided to take matters in his own hands, and stole second base by the smallest of margins.  Andrus then lifted a 2-2 pitch to center field for a single.  While Kinsler was held at 3rd, Cardinals CF Jon Jay threw the ball wide of the cutoff man, which allowed Andrus to slide safely into 2nd base.

Manager Tony La Russa then yanked Motte for lefty Arthur Rhodes to face Josh Hamilton.  On the first pitch, he hit a fly ball to right that scored Kinsler and advanced Andrus to third.  Even more like La Russa, he brought in Lance Lynn to face Michael Young, who hit a 3-2 curveball deep enough to center to scored Andrus, and the Rangers lead the game 2-1.

Rangers closer Neftali Feliz took the mound in the bottom of the 9th and walked Yadier Molina on 5 pitches 97 mph or faster, hitting 100 on the radar gun with the first pitch.  Nick Punto came to the plate, bunted two balls foul up around his eyes, then swung feebly to strike out.  Feliz then struck out Skip Schumaker and induced a fly ball off the bat of Rafael Furcal to seal the victory.

With the series tied at one game apiece, an off day tomorrow and game 3 slated for Saturday night in Texas, this series is only going to get better.  Keep checking MLB reports for your daily fix of updates on the World Series.

 

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 onFacebook .  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.

Tigers get the “Purr-fect” Comeback: Recap of Game 3 of ALCS

Wednesday October 12, 2011

 

 

April Whitzman (Blue Jays Writer – MLB reports):  After losing the first two games of the series to the Rangers, the Tigers headed home, needing a win. Thankfully, with the hometown crowd of 41,905 behind them, they got exactly that.  Here is a recap of ALCS Game Three: 

 

New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers:  ALCS Game Three

It didn’t start off good for the Tigers, however, as the Rangers started the game with three singles, the last of which was Josh Hamilton’s RBI single that scored Ian Kinsler.

While the Rangers then had the 1-0 lead, Victor Martinez didn’t let it stay that way in the forth as he crushed a home run to right field to tie the game.

In the following inning, the Tigers added some more with three 2-out hits, one of which was a 2-RBI double off the bat of Miguel Cabrera that scored Austin Jackson and Ramon Santiago.

With Fister now in a groove, there was no looking back. Evidently, Jhonny Peralta thought so too, as in the sixth, he also belted a home run to left field. Still in the same inning, Austin Jackson scored Andy Dirk, and with that the Tigers had a 4-1 lead.

Cabrera wasn’t done yet, though, as in the seventh inning, he also hit a home run, the Tigers’ third of the game, and his third RBI of the game. With that the Tigers had a 5-1 lead.

The Rangers tried to catch up in the eighth when Yorvit Torrealba started off the inning with a double, and scored on Ian Kinsler’s groundout, but the damage had already been done.

Jose Valverde came in to pitch the ninth, allowing a leadoff double by Josh Hamilton, but nothing more, as the Tigers went on to beat the Rangers 5-2. They now trail 2-1 in the series.

Doug Fister earned the win, going 7.1 innings pitched, allowing two earned runs on seven hits while walking none and striking out three. Rangers’ Colby Lewis, on the other hand, received the loss, going 5.2 innings pitched, allowing four earned runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out six.

Tigers’ Rick Porcello hopes to have a similar fate as Fister with the hometown crowd, but Texas’ Matt Harrison is hoping for a different outcome.  Stay tuned as game four is coming up shortly.

 

As always, I look forward to hearing from you. Comment below, email MLBreports@gmail.com and follow me on Twitter at @Alleycat17.

 

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter (@MLBreports) 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

2011 MLB Playoffs: Recap for Monday October 10th

 

Tuesday October 11, 2011

 

 

Sam Evans (Intern – MLB reports):  Monday was a fun day of baseball.  These two games had strong performances from superstar players who led their team to victory.  One team took a defining step forward by winning their 2nd game of the series, while one team fought to even their series up.  Let’s start with the first game of the day which was a thrilling ballgame in Texas.

 

Detroit Tigers at Texas Rangers:  ALCS Game Two

The Rangers jumped out to an early lead thanks to Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre who both hit RBI doubles in the bottom of the first.  They both jumped on Max Scherzer‘s fastball, which he was consistently throwing early in the count.  Derek Holland showed the poise of a veteran, getting Ramon Santiago to ground out with the bases loaded in the second.  Things weren’t exactly easy for Holland on Monday, as evidenced as Ryan Raburn‘s three run homer in the third.  This was a crucial hit because it gave the Tigers an early 3-2 lead.  Ron Washington had a very short rope with Holland, he pulled him after Holland had only thrown 2.2 innings.  Holland really struggled to throw even two innings, he just didn’t have his command.  He did nothing to dismiss chatter of his inconsistency by throwing 76 pitches in his limited appearance.  Still, Scott Feldman played the role of dominant long reliever needing only 49 pitches to throw 4.1shutout innings in relief.  Scherzer surrendered a 1-2 fastball to Nelson Cruz who hit out to left field to tie things up.  Scherzer had just thrown three straight sliders and Cruz must have just been waiting back on the fastball.  Going into the season, Nelson Cruz was my dark horse MVP pick.  He is just a monster, i seriously believe he could have a .300 AVG, 45 HR, 100 Runs, and 100 RBI type season.  The main thing holding Cruz back for superstardom these past couple years has been injuries.  In particular, his hamstring injury stints have been lengthy and costly to his ballclub.

In the top of the ninth, Neftali Feliz escaped a bases-loaded jam by getting Victor Martinez to hit an infield fly.  Then, in the bottom of the ninth, the Rangers had the bases loaded with no outs!  The sometimes annoying, but overall effective, Jose Valverde got David Murphy to fly out to shallow left field, which was not enough for Beltre to tag up.  Next, he made a huge 2-2 pitch to get Mitch Moreland to ground into a double play to retire the side.  In the top of the 10th, the Tigers had a runner on second with only one out, but they just couldn’t drive the run in.  This game was really an offensive struggle for both teams, especially trying to drive runners in scoring position in.  In the bottom of the 11th, Ryan Perry came into the game to pitch for the Tigers.  He gave up three consecutive singles to load the bases.  Then he threw a 1-2 slider to Nelson Cruz who crushed it to left field to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead in the series.  This was the first ever walk-off grand slam in postseason history.  This was an amazing game, and i feel sorry for you if you missed the chance to witness history in the making at the Ballpark in Arlington.  The series will shift to Detroit where the two teams will face off Tuesday at 8:05 ET.  Colby Lewis will start for the Rangers while Doug Fister will start for the Tigers.  It should be a pretty fun game, and a vital game for the Tigers to get their first win of the series.

 

St.Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers:  NLCS Game Two

Fresh off a tough 9-6 loss on Sunday, the Cardinals came out and dominated the Brewers on Monday.  Albert Pujols got things started with a two-run home run in the top of the first.  Then, when Pujols faced Shaun Marcum again in the third, he ripped a two-run double off the center field wall.  In the top of the fourth, Nick Punto singled to center field scoring Yadier Molina from third.  The Brewers weren’t completely mute, Rickie Weeks belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth.  Shaun Marcum had another rough outing, he has given up 13 runs in 8.2 innings this postseason.  He has been hit hard in both of his outings, but after the game Manager Ron Roenicke suggested that Marcum would pitch again this series if the Brewers needed him.  In the top of the fifth, Albert Pujols collected his third extra base hit of the day, an RBI double to score Jon Jay.  Pujols came around to score on a Marco Estrada wild pitch.  The Cardinals also strung together six straight hits in the 7th to really blow open the lead.  Prince Fielder hit a moonshot in the bottom of the eighth, and David Freese also homered in the ninth.  Edwin Jackson turned in another decent start.  Despite getting hit around a little bit, he only gave up two runs in 4.1 innings.  The real stud of this game was debatably the best hitter in baseball, Albert Pujols.  Pujols finished 4 for 5 with 5 RBI.  The series will move to St.Louis all tied up.  Yovani Gallardo will start for the Brewers against Chris Carpenter for the Cardinals. The game is Wednesday at 8:05 PM  ET.

 

 

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Intern, Sam Evans.  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 Sam 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.

2011 MLB Playoffs: Recap Monday October 3rd

Tuesday October 4, 2011

 

 

April Whitzman (Blue Jays Writer – MLB reports):  With the National League taking the night off, we were treated to game three in both ALDS series.  Here is a recap of the scores and highlights from Monday’s games: 

 

New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers:  ALDS Game Three

It may not have been the pitching duel that everyone expected, but Monday’s game between Yankees’ CC Sabathia, and Tigers’ Justin Verlander was still an exciting one.

While Verlander pitched a strong 120-pitches-eight innings hitting 100MPH continually, striking out 11 and allowing four runs, six hits and three walks.  Sabathia, on the other hand, never made it through the sixth, allowing four runs and seven hits with six walks in 5 1/3 innings.

After the first inning, however, one would not have expected that outcome.  Derek Jeter hit the first pitch he saw for a single, scored on Curtis Granderson’s triple, who then scored on Alex Rodriguez’s groundout. T he Yankees had an early 2-0 lead.

The lead didn’t last long as Sabathia had control issues right away, walking four of the first six hitters he faced.  Double plays proved to be the Tigers’ Achilles though, as they grounded into a double play to end both the first and second innings.

In the third, however, things turned around for the Tigers.  Brandon Inge started the bottom of the inning with a double, Austin Jackson walked, Santiago scored Inge on a single, then Young singled, loading the bases for Miguel Cabrera – who homered in game 2.   He grounded into the Tigers’ third double play of the game, but still tied the game at 2 apiece.

While the Tigers were continuing to put numbers on the board and grabbing the 4-2 lead, Verlander was dominating.  He also proved his excellence on this night by striking out the side on 10 pitches in the fifth.

Yankees’ Brett Gardner finally got to the 24-game winner in the seventh, hitting a two-run double.  Delmon Young, who also homered in Monday’s game off Sabathia, allowed the Tigers to regain the lead with a home run to right field that gave Detroit a 5-4 lead.

That would be the way the game ended, as a shaky Valverde struck out Derek Jeter with runners on 1st and 2nd to end the game, giving the Tigers a 2-1 series lead.  In today’s must win game for the Yankees, A..J. Burnett is on the mound against Tigers’ Rick Porcello.

 

Texas Rangers at Tampa Bay Rays:  ALDS Game Three

The Rays and Rangers match was just as tight and nerve-wracking for the fans.  Tampa Bay’s David Price hit the mound against Texas’ Colby Lewis.  Both pitchers were dominant through seven, as the Rays held a 1-0 lead thanks to Desmond Jennings leadoff home run in the 4th.

But in the top of the 7th, the Rangers answered back.  Once Adrian Beltre got on with a leadoff single, Mike Napoli hit the next pitch he saw over the centerfield wall to take a 2-1 lead.  Josh Hamilton would later hit a 2-RBI double to increase their lead to 4-1.

But the Rays werenot going to go down without a fight.  They got a run back in the bottom of the inning, when Sean Rodriguez grounded out but scored Johnny Damon.  The Rays cut the Rangers’ lead to 4-3 in the eighth, when Desmond Jennings hit his 2nd home run of the game.

Neftali Feliz kept the score intact though in the 9th, inducing a Kelly Shoppach double play with Jennings on deck  to end the game, earning his 2nd save of the playoffs.  The Rangers took a 2-1 lead in their ALDS series.

In today’s game, Matt Harrison for the Rangers faces off against Tampa Bay and Jeremy Hellickson.  It is a must-win game for the Rays, but after their historic win against the Yankees to make it to the post-season, my gut says this series should go the distance.

 

As always, I look forward to hearing from you. Comment below, email MLBreports@gmail.com and follow me on Twitter at @Alleycat17.

 

 

Please e-mail us at: MLBreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter (@MLBreports) 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

Casey Bond Interview: Moneyball Movie Star

Friday September 9, 2011

 

MLB reports:  In part two of our series on Casey Bond, we feature today our interview with the “Moneyball” star.  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.  Tonight is Casey’s big premiere at TIFF.  Before the release of the movie, we had a chance to talk with Casey about his baseball and acting careers.  From playing minor league baseball with the San Francisco Giants, Casey moved to acting and appeared on the Gene Simmons reality show “Family Jewels”.  With the launch of his upcoming movie, MLB reports is proud to present our interview with Casey Bond:

 

MLB reports:  Welcome to MLB reports Casey.  It is a pleasure to be speaking with you and thank you for taking the time for us.  From baseball player to movie star.  You were originally drafted by the Giants in the 25th round of the 2007 draft.  You made it all the way to AAA in your 2nd season.  Tell us what it was like to be drafted by a major league team and play professional ball.  What was the process like for you from the time you were drafted to joining your first team?

Casey Bond:  Have the opportunity to play professional baseball for the Giants was a childhood dream come true.  All I ever wanted to do as a kid was play professional baseball (like most kids).  I worked hard, and took my talents and abilities to the professional level.  A life long goal accomplished. 

The process for me after I was drafted was just like most other guys that get drafted.  The Giants called me and congratulated me, and then eventually gave me dates that I would be reporting to spring training.  I continued to practice and prepare myself for spring training until I had to leave.  Once I left, I joined everyone else with the organization, and we began to practice and train until we were told which team we would be on after we broke from spring training.  It was very exciting getting to display my baseball skills on the highest level.

 

MLB reports:  Your playing career ended in 2008.  Why the decision to end your career so soon after getting drafted?  Were injuries a factor?

Casey Bond:  I was released by the Giants, after coming off a fairly productive season as an everyday starter, and had a decision to make.  I had offers from other teams to play, but the acting world was starting to pull me in its direction, so I decided to consider baseball a goal accomplished, and moved on to another goal in my life.

 

MLB reports:  After baseball, you jumped into the acting ring.  Were you always planning to be an actor?  How did you get started in the business?

Casey Bond:  Honestly, I can’t say that I always had plan on being an actor.  It was something that I always had an interest in, but I never really pursued it until I started to take classes in Nashville during the off-season. 

 

MLB reports:  Before Moneyball, you were in the Gene Simmons’ show “Family Jewels”.  Tell us a little more about the show and your role.

Casey Bond:  My role on Gene Simmons Family Jewels was as the “Handsome Handyman.”  I was hired to come in and help fix things around their beautiful home.  It was a reality show, and I was able to put my craftsman skills to work on the show.  They were a wonderful family, and I really enjoyed being a part of the show.
 
 

MLB reports:  Interestingly, you were an outfielder for the Giants back in your playing days.  Yet you are playing Chad Bradford in the movie.  How did you get picked for the role?

Casey Bond:  It is a very strange coincidence that I am portraying an Oakland A’s player for the film.  I always tell people I made it to the Big Leagues with the Oakland A’s it seems.  I had to audition for the role, reading with the casting director and director first before displaying any of my baseball talents.  I really had to bring my “A-game” acting in the room before I was able to show my skills as well.  For whatever reason, when the baseball came along, I was able to teach myself to mimic Chad Bradford’s very unique submarine form.  It just worked for me, and I almost wish I had pitched like that.  Maybe I would have been set apart even more from the rest of the crowd.  I was actually very accurate and effective against batters.  After I displayed the acting and the baseball skills, I had a personal meeting with Brad Pitt, where we read the script and basically hung out for a while just talking about life, baseball, etc.  It was basically a meet and greet.  After this, I found out I was offered the role.

 

MLB reports:  Did you get to meet the “real” Chad Bradford in preparing for the role?  Tell us about the process you experienced from getting the part to preparing for the role of being Chad Bradford.

Casey Bond:  I haven’t met Chad yet, but I talked to him on the phone for quite some time, gathering information that I could use toward playing the character.  I asked him everything from his mental approach pitching, to the way he acted on the team and his time with the A’s.


 
MLB reports:  Can you give us some background on your director Bennett Miller?  How did you find the experience working with him?

Casey Bond:  Steven Soderbergh did not direct the film, even though he was originally slated to direct it a few years ago.  Bennett Miller directed the film, and he was a pleasure to work with.  His most well-known work before this film was the movie “Capote.”  It was very well received, and he was highly acclaimed for the work.


 
MLB reports:  Which cast members did you work the most with during the filming of Moneyball?  Who did you become closest with during and after the filming?

Casey Bond:  I worked with a very large number of cast members.  Brad Pitt, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jonah Hill, and Chris Pratt were among those.  All of which were wonderful to work with, and a pleasure to be around.  Brad really was a mentor on set, and through advice and sheerly through working with him, I was able to step up my acting game even further.  I developed a lot of great relationships on set, as I was on the film for most of the duration of filming.  I’m not sure if I could honestly say who I was closest with because it was such a great group of people, of which I was around everyone and interacted with every day.


 
MLB reports:  Can you share one or two good stories from the set of the movie that readers would otherwise not hear about? 

Casey Bond:  There were some great times had on set.  Plenty of practical jokes, especially since there were baseball players involved.  Brad and Jonah pulled pranks such as altering each others golf carts on the Sony lot to “embarrass” the other person while they drove their cart to the set.  Things such as putting the picture of their faces on the other persons cart, or altering the cart to make it stand out in the crowd.

Brad being a mentor to myself is another great story.  A person in his position doesn’t necessarily have to reach out and help the other person with their advice or opinions as that can be left to the director, but he very openly did.  He is obviously a legend, and any and all advice from him was wonderful, and I was so thankful for his kindness and thoughtfulness.  Truly a very down to earth person who is there to work hard every day and put his best foot forward, which is how I feel a handle my business as well.

 

MLB reports:  Mr. Brad Pitt.  One of the last people I imagined becoming Billy Beane.  Fans are interested as to how he did in the role.  Tell us about Brad the baseball general manager?  Is there an Oscar in his future?

Casey Bond:  This role  played by Brad could be one for the ages in my opinion.  He made some fantastic choices, and I think they will come across very well on the big screen.  He truly has so many talents and abilities.  If you just look at all of the different roles he has played, and played so well, those alone are a true testament to his versatility.  All of the components are there for this film to be a huge success, and the way he plays Billy Beane shows his ability to be funny, serious, heart-felt, and compassionate.  I’m excited to see the response to his performance, along with all of the other cast members on this film.
 

 

MLB reports:  I am a huge fan of baseball movies.  The fine line is maintaining an authentic feel.  Having real players in the roles helps a great deal, including yourself and Royce Clayton.  What did movie producers do to keep the feel and flow of the movie from a baseball perspective as being “real” rather than looking like a movie? 

Casey Bond:  I don’t say this lightly…this film has the potential to be the most authentic baseball movie of all time.  The individuals involved with this film were top-notch baseball players.  I was fortunate to be an actor who had the professional baseball ability in my back pocket.  The guys brought on this film even as extras all had experience from college to professional, and it will show on the big screen.  Obviously, Royce had the most experience with around 10 years in the big leagues.  I’ll put it this way…if we were to field a team from the people on set, we could most definitely compete with a lot of people.  Truly some great talents in this film, which was so important.  We have all seen the baseball movies which just don’t cut it as far as believability goes.  This will be the one to outshine them all in the authentic department.

What was great was the fact that Bennett Miller, Brad, and everyone else wanted to make sure they got the baseball part right.  They wanted to hear our opinions, and stuck with them.  I was more than happy to add any and all of my baseball knowledge to this film, especially due to the fact that they listened intently and respected all of the intricacies of the game.

 

MLB reports:  Was the real Billy Beane a part of this movie?  Did he visit the set and have input into the movie?  What about author Michael Lewis, was he a part of the movie as well?

Casey Bond:  Billy Beane was on set multiple times.  I’m sure he had plenty of input in the sense that he was the man they could go to if there was a question.  After all, his character is what the film is centered around.  Michael Lewis was on set too, and I had a wonderful conversation with me.  He noticed me right away and knew who I was playing (Bradford).

 

MLB reports:  I don’t recall a baseball movie that was more anticipated than Moneyball (I personally cannot wait to see it).  Where will this movie rank about the greatest baseball movies of all time?  What is your favorite baseball movie of all time?

Casey Bond:  This movie has a lot of hype, and all for good reason.  It has an all start cast, and a wonderful story to back it up.  Moneyball was a best-selling book, and it brings baseball, business, and life all together into one.  Something everyone can relate to.

All baseball movies are different, and this one, for myself, will be the most authentic of all time.  My favorite baseball movie of all time (at this point) is Bull Durham.  It depicted the minor leagues perfectly, which is obviously something I am very familiar with.  The language, interaction, and relationships were done so well.  It’s just an amazing movie, especially if you have played baseball at that kind of level.  It all makes sense.

 

MLB reports:  You are in Toronto this week for the Toronto International Film Festival promoting Moneyball.  How has the promotion circuit treated you thus far?  Where are you off to after Toronto and what are the promotional plans for Moneyball?

Casey Bond:  The promotional circuit for Moneyball has been wonderful.  I have been doing red carpets, radio shows and interviews, interviews with all kinds of media, and am now off to Toronto for the Toronto International Film Festival, where I will be walking the Red Carpet as well. 

After Toronto, I head back to L.A. for  few days before going to Oakland, CA for the U.S. Premiere to walk the Red Carpet, as well is doing other promotional events in Oakland centered around the film.  Its been a very exciting and busy time, and I love every minute of it, and can’t wait to do this with other projects in the future.

 

MLB reports:  What is the future of Casey Bond?  Do you have any projects currently in the works?  What are your plans following the movie? 

Casey Bond:  The future for myself is to continue to work hard, and apply myself to the acting world (as I have been) just like I applied myself to being a professional athlete.  Passion and hard work will translate into success.  That is how it has always worked for me, and that is how life tends to work.  If you work hard, and are passionate about what you do, you will be successful.  I plan on never doing anything but that.

Lately, I have been doing quite a bit of print work for different companies like A.D.I.D.A.S., Muscletech, and others, along with doing commercials and constantly having other auditions.  Lately I have also been working with legendary acting coach Larry Moss.  Always have to be working on the craft.  I have also started a small production company with a few friends out here, which has been a fun process.  I love being a part of all sides of the entertainment industry.  It has been busy since finishing up Moneyball, and once the film drops, I hope to gain even more attention and go work hard on other projects.

 

   

Thank you to Casey Bond for joining MLB reports today.  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 one of our feature on Casey Bond:  https://mlbreports.com/2011/09/07/bond/

 

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.

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:  https://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.

Moneyball the Movie: An Inside Look to Beane and Pitt

Friday, June 17, 2011

MLB reports:   In 2003, author Michael Lewis released one of the most famous baseball books of all time:  “Moneyball:  The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.”  After years of discussions and rumors, the baseball book of our generation is now coming to the big screen.  Not since Major League and Bull Durham has a baseball movie received this much buzz.  Brad Pitt, not Kevin Costner, will play the main character Billy Beane, General Manager of the Oakland Athletics.  The movie is set to be released on September 23, 2011 and we guarantee that MLB reports will be there opening night to prepare a review.  We may even catch this one early, as we are known to have a trick or two up our sleeve.

Before the movie is released, we will be reading the book again and posting a book review on the Reports in anticipation of the movie.  It has been a number of years since many of us have read “Moneyball” and a good refresher is in order.  It has been argued by many that Moneyball was a landmark book, as it changed the complexion of baseball in many ways.  Moneyball brought the use of statistical analysis to the forefront of baseball and created the statistics vs. scouting debate, which still continues till this day.  Billy Beane was hailed as a genius following the release of the book.  Aside from remaining the General Manager of the A’s, Beane is a highly sought-after public speaker and has grown to become a minority owner of the team as well.  One of the highest profile executives in baseball history, it is only fitting that actor Brad Pitt would be playing Billy Beane in the movie.

For all the years that it has taken to get this movie off the ground, there have been concerns that the final product may not be up to par with the level set by the book.  After watching the trailer, I have to admit that I am very excited to watch the movie in the theatre.  Even if you are not a fan of Billy Beane or the Oakland A’s, Moneyball the Movie appears to be a must see for all baseball fans that would like to catch a glimpse into the world behind the game.  We took a look at the current status of the A’s and its new manager last week on the Reports, which you can read by clicking here.  With the anticipation of the upcoming movie and the Athletics as a team sitting at the basement of its division, the team needed a change.  If nothing else, to turn around the fortunes of the ballclub and help build hype leading to the release of the movie.

There is no denying that we all love baseball movies.  Baseball fans, when not watching games in person or television, will often be found reading about baseball and watching baseball movies every chance they get.  There have been countless baseball movies over the years, including:  Major League, The Babe, Eight Men Out, Mr. Baseball, Mr. 3000, Field of Dreams, A league of Their Own, Rookie of the Year, etc.   The list goes on and on.  I have to admit that as a supporter of the game, in my opinion there is no such thing as a bad baseball movie, only some movies that are better than others.  Moneyball the Movie will be released in approximately three short months.  We can’t wait.  Until then, to get your appetite wet and satisfy some of your curiosity, we present the recently released trailer.  Watch it, enjoy it and let us know what you think.  Will you be at the theatre to watch Moneyball the Movie?  We hope to see everyone there.

Click “Moneyball” to watch the trailer for the most anticipated baseball movie in recent history.

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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