[to Billy] It's about getting things down to one number. Using the stats the way we read them, we'll find value in players that no one else can see. People are overlooked for a variety of biased reasons and perceived flaws. Age, appearance, personality. Bill James and mathematics cut straight through that. Billy, of the 20,000 notable players for us to consider, I believe that there is a championship team of twenty-five people that we can afford, because everyone else in baseball undervalues them.
[to Billy] I know you are taking it in the teeth, but the first guy through the wall... he always gets bloody... always. This is threatening not just a way of doing business... but in their minds, it's threatening the game. Really what it's threatening is their livelihood, their jobs. It's threatening the way they do things... and every time that happens, whether it's the government, a way of doing business, whatever, the people who are holding the reins - they have their hands on the switch - they go batshit crazy.
Billy Beane: Guys, you're just talking. Talking, "la-la-la-la", like this is business as usual. It's not.
Grady Fuson: We're trying to solve the problem here, Billy.
Billy Beane: Not like this you're not. You're not even looking at the problem.
Grady Fuson: We're very aware of the problem. I mean...
Billy Beane: Okay, good. What's the problem?
Grady Fuson: Look, Billy, we all understand what the problem is. We have to...
Billy Beane: Okay, good. What's the problem?
Grady Fuson: The problem is we have to replace three key players in our lineup.
Billy Beane: Nope. What's the problem?
Pittaro: Same as it's ever been. We've gotta replace these guys with what we have existing.
Billy Beane: Nope. What's the problem, Barry?
Barry: We need 38 home runs, 120 RBIs and 47 doubles to replace.
Billy Beane: Ehh! [imitates buzzer] The problem we're trying to solve is that there are rich teams and there are poor teams. Then there's fifty feet of crap, and then there's us. It's an unfair game. And now we've been gutted. We're like organ donors for the rich. Boston's taken our kidneys, Yankees have taken our heart. And you guys just sit around talking the same old "good body" nonsense like we're selling jeans. Like we're looking for Fabio. We've got to think differently. We are the last dog at the bowl. You see what happens to the runt of the litter? He dies.
Peter Brand: There is an epidemic failure within the game to understand what is really happening. And this leads people who run Major League Baseball teams to misjudge their players and mismanage their teams. I apologize.
Billy Beane: Go on.
Peter Brand: Okay. People who run ball clubs, they think in terms of buying players. Your goal shouldn't be to buy players, your goal should be to buy wins. And in order to buy wins, you need to buy runs. You're trying to replace Johnny Damon. The Boston Red Sox see Johnny Damon and they see a star who's worth seven and half million dollars a year. When I see Johnny Damon, what I see is... is... an imperfect understanding of where runs come from. The guy's got a great glove. He's a decent leadoff hitter. He can steal bases. But is he worth the seven and half million dollars a year that the Boston Red Sox are paying him? No. No. Baseball thinking is medieval. They are asking all the wrong questions. And if I say it to anybody, I'm-I'm ostracized. I'm-I'm-I'm a leper. So that's why I'm-I'm cagey about this with you. That's why I... I respect you, Mr. Beane, and if you want full disclosure, I think it's a good thing that you got Damon off your payroll. I think it opens up all kinds of interesting possibilities.
Scott Hatteberg: [Responding to being asked to play first base for the Oakland A's] I've only ever played catcher.
Billy Beane: It's not that hard, Scott. Tell him, Wash.
Ron Washington: It's incredibly hard.
Billy Beane: Would you rather get one shot in the head or five in the chest and bleed to death?
Peter Brand: Are those my only two options?
Grady Fuson: Billy, can we talk?
Billy Beane: Yeah.
Billy Beane: You're unhappy Grady. Why
Grady Fuson: Wow. May I speak candidly?
Billy Beane: Sure. Go right ahead.
Grady Fuson: Major League Baseball and its fans...they're gonna be more than happy to throw you and Google boy under the bus if you keep doing what you're doing. You don't put a team together with a computer.
Billy Beane: No?
Grady Fuson: No. Baseball isn't just numbers. It's not science. If it was anybody could do what we do, but they can't cause they don't know what we know. They don't have our experience and they don't have our intuition.
Billy Beane: [dismissively] Ok.
Grady Fuson: Billy, you got a kid in there that's got a degree in Economics from Yale. You got a scout here with 29 years of baseball experience. You're listening to the wrong one. Now there are intangibles that only baseball people understand. You're discarding what scouts have done for 150 years, even yourself?
Billy Beane: Adapt or die.
Grady Fuson: This is about you and your shit, isn't it? 20 years ago some scout got it wrong. Now you're gonna declare war on the whole system.
Billy Beane: Whoa! Ok! Ok! Ok! Ok! My turn. You don't have a crystal ball. You can't look at a kid and predict his future any more than I can. I've sat at those tables and listened to you tell those parents "When I know, I know. And when it comes to your son. I know." And you don't. You don't.
Grady Fuson: [sighs] Ok. I don't give a shit about friendships, this situation or the past. Major League Baseball thinks they way I do. You're not gonna win. And I'll give you a nickel's worth of advice, you're never gonna get another job when Schott fires you after this catastrophic season you're about to set us all up for. And you're gonna have to explain to your kid why you're working at Dick's Sporting Goods.
Billy Beane: I'm not gonna fire you, Grady.
Grady Fuson: Fuck you, Billy.
Billy Beane: Now I will.
David Justice: Why doesn't your boss travel with the team?
Peter Brand: He doesn't like to... mingle with the players.
David Justice: Is that supposed to make us easier to cut?
Billy Beane: I want Dye in right, Justice DH'ing, Peña on the bench, Hatteberg at first, and anyone but Mags first out of the pen.
Art Howe: You want Peña on the bench?
Billy Beane: That's right. So you can play Hatty.
Art Howe: Peña is not only the best first baseman on the roster, he's the only first baseman on the roster.
Billy Beane: Listen to me, Hatty gets on base more than Peña. In fact, twenty percent more.
Art Howe: And his fielding?
Billy Beane: His fielding does not matter.
Art Howe: I've heard enough of this.
Billy Beane: Have you?
Art Howe: And I, uh... I disagree with you, plain and simple. And moreover, I'm playing my team in a way that I can explain in job interviews next winter.
David Justice: Scotty H.
Scott Hatteberg: Yo, what's up, D.J.?
David Justice: Pickin' machine.
David Justice: How you likin' first base, man?
Scott Hatteberg: It's, uh... it's coming along. Picking it up. You know, tough transition, but I'm starting to feel better with it.
David Justice: Yeah?
Scott Hatteberg: Yeah.
David Justice: What's your biggest fear?
Scott Hatteberg: A baseball being hit in my general direction
[Hatteberg and Justice share a laugh]
David Justice: That's funny. Seriously, what is it?
Scott Hatteberg: No, seriously, that is.
[uncomfortable pause; Hatteberg leaves]
David Justice: Well, hey, good luck with that.
Billy Beane: Art, you got a minute?
Art Howe: Yeah. Take a seat.
Billy Beane: You can't start Peña at first tonight. You'll have to start Hatteberg.
Art Howe: Yeah, I don't want to go fifteen rounds, Billy. The lineup card is mine, and that's all.
Billy Beane: That lineup card is definitely yours. I'm just saying you can't start Peña at first.
Billy Beane: Well, I am starting him at first.
Billy Beane: I don't think so. He plays for Detroit now.
Art Howe: You traded Peña?
Billy Beane: Yeah. And Menechino, Hiljus, Tam are all being sent down.
Art Howe: You are outside your mind.
Billy Beane: Yeah. Cuckoo.
Jeremy Giambi: [knocking on door] You wanted to see me?
Billy Beane: Yeah, Jeremy, grab a seat.
[Jeremy sits down]
Billy Beane: Jeremy, you've been traded to the Phillies. This is Ed Wade's number. He's a good guy, he's the GM. He's expecting your call. Buddy will help you with the plane flight. You're a good ballplayer, Jeremy, and we wish you the best.
[Jeremy sighs, and exits]
Billy Beane: Jeremy's gone, too.
Art Howe: [shaking his head in disbelief] You're killing this team.
Billy Beane: It's hard not to be romantic about baseball. This kind of thing, it's fun for the fans. It sells tickets and hot dogs. Doesn't mean anything.
Peter Brand: Billy, we just won twenty games in a row.
Billy Beane: And what's the point?
Peter Brand: We just got the record.
Billy Beane: Man, I've been doing this for... listen, man. I've been in this game a long time. I'm not in it for a record, I'll tell you that. I'm not in it for a ring. That's when people get hurt. If we don't win the last game of the Series, they'll dismiss us.
Peter Brand: Billy...
Billy Beane: I know these guys. I know the way they think, and they will erase us. And everything we've done here, none of it'll matter. Any other team wins the World Series, good for them. They're drinking champagne, they get a ring. But if we win, on our budget, with this team... we'll have changed the game. And that's what I want. I want it to mean something.