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Forget the Home Run Derby — Watch ‘Moneyball’

Have you grown a bit weary of the overly long, overly saccharine Home Run Derby? Does the thought of watching what has become a self-conscious and dull contest provoke a roll of the eyes? Then skip it, because there’s a better representation of Major League Baseball, “Moneyball,” the 2011 film about Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane playing tonight at the Crystal Screen outdoor venue at 1851 S. Bell Street in Arlington, Va.

What Beane was able to do, chronicled by Michael Lewis’ book and Bennett Miller’s film, was fundamentally change the way baseball was administered, played and viewed at every level, legitimizing the use of statistics to construct a contender with a lean budget. Once a revolutionary concept, it’s now common practice in baseball. Oh, and Brad Pitt’s Academy Award-nominated performance doesn’t hurt either.

So skip seeing Bryce Harper’s dad pitch fungoes to the Washington Nationals’ all star tonight as part of the 15-hour (it only feels that short) Home Run Derby. See a movie. It’s a better use of time.

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