Part of the Moneyball script which did not make it to the screen

In the film there’s a scene near the beginning when, after the heartbreaking 2001 ALDS loss, Billy Beane heads to Steve Schott’s office to talk about payroll and replacing players. The scene was revised significantly from the original script, so when I ran into the script today I had to give it a look. One of the cute touches shown is how Beane drives his truck over the Bay Bridge to Schott’s office, which is presumably in San Francisco. Schott’s company, Citation Homes, is actually based in Santa Clara. Nevermind that, there’s little scenic about the drive down 880 (or 680 for that matter).

Anyway, the original script’s longer discussion between Beane and Schott is interesting, though in the end not very necessary. Take a look and decide for yourself:


It’s a very nice office, and we’ll notice that amidst the other knick-knacks are some photos of SCHOTT with the Oakland A’s. It’s raining outside.

Once the door closes, SCHOTT looks at BILLY–

SCHOTT     Damn, right?
BILLY      Yeah.
SCHOTT      How’re you holdin’ up?
BILLY      I’m fine. I’m also sorry.
SCHOTT      You don’t have to be sorry to me.
BILLY      Come on–
SCHOTT      No–
BILLY       Steve–
SCHOTT      Billy–
BILLY     Okay.
SCHOTT     Well I just wanted to say you had a helluva season and we’ll get ‘em next year.
BILLY     Thanks, but we’re gonna have a problem getting ‘em next year.
SCHOTT     Why?
BILLY      We’re gonna lose some players.
SCHOTT     Who?
BILLY     Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi for sure and probably Jason Isringhausen.
SCHOTT     We’re losing Damon and Giambi?
BILLY      Yeah.
SCHOTT     Where do they rank on the team in terms of RBI’s and Runs-Scored?
BILLY      One and Two.
SCHOTT      Really.
BILLY      Yeah.
SCHOTT     Where are they going?
BILLY      Giambi probably to the Yankees and Damon probably to the Red Sox.
SCHOTT      Can we match the offers?
BILLY      The Yankees’ll offer Giambi 17-million.
SCHOTT (beat)      17-million a what?
BILLY      A year.
SCHOTT      Bullshit.
BILLY shakes his head that it’s not.    
SCHOTT       You don’t pay our whole infield 17 million dollars.
BILLY      I know.
SCHOTT       For 17 million dollars you should be able to get a first baseman and an F-16 Tomcat. What’s Damon gonna get from the Red Sox?
BILLY       He’s gonna get a lot, Steve, he’s gonna get what he’s worth.
SCHOTT       Well I’m confident that you’ll be able to replace them and Isringhausen too.
BILLY       I need more money.
SCHOTT      You should take a couple of weeks, this just happened.
BILLY      I’m still gonna need more money.
SCHOTT      Take your wife and go to Hawaii.
BILLY      When I come back from Hawaii I’ll need more money.
SCHOTT      I’m saying just relax for a minute.
BILLY      I appreciate that but none of this calamitous week is going to melt away with the spirit of mahalo. I’m trying to beat the Yankees and the Red Sox with a third of their payroll. I need more money, Steve.
SCHOTT      Siddown.
BILLY sits.
SCHOTT      I’m building some middle-income houses along Jane St.
BILLY      Steve–
SCHOTT      They’re nice houses. For what they are, they’re nice houses. You know what faucets the cost? It doesn’t matter. You turn them on and water comes out. The same water that comes on at my house. It costs a hundred dollars but works just like the one that costs two-thousand.
BILLY       I understand.
SCHOTT      I care what it costs because it’s a cost to me.
BILLY      Yes.
SCHOTT      But the family that moves into the house doesn’t care what it costs.
BILLY       I get it. Look–
SCHOTT      And they don’t care that the counter-tops weren’t imported from Italy–
BILLY (how much longer)      Wow.
SCHOTT       And they don’t care that the molding is 2- inches instead of 6-inches and–
BILLY       Due respect, Steve, I’m gonna blow my brains out.
SCHOTT       You don’t like my analogy?
BILLY       Your analogy falls apart because the people who move into your new houses know the difference between winning and losing. And so do I. I can’t lose anymore. I just–I can’t.
SCHOTT      Our house is in Oakland.
BILLY      All of this could have been accomplished by just saying we’re a small-market team.
SCHOTT      It’s not in New York–
BILLY       But feel free to persevere.
SCHOTT      –or Boston or Chicago or LA or–
BILLY       –other big cities.
SCHOTT       Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon are appointments that are too expensive for our house.
BILLY       You can’t ask me to be okay with losing. That’s too much to ask a professional athlete.
SCHOTT     You’re a professional general manager now. I’m asking you to be okay with not spending money I don’t have. And I’m asking you to take a breath and shake off the loss. And then I’m asking you to get the fuck back in a room with your people and figure out how you’re going to replace these guys with the money I do have.
(beat) Got it?

SCHOTT can go from milquetoast to ruthless in a blink and he just did. 

Schott mentions Beane’s wife, Tara. That part, played by Kathryn Morris, ended up on the cutting room floor. I suppose they did it to further Beane’s seeming isolation from others and his obsession with the job. It’s too bad. This scene, and another in which Tara consoles Billy over the loss, is classic rat-a-tat Aaron Sorkin at his best. I hope Bennett Miller has a Director’s Cut that includes more of these scenes.

5 thoughts on “Part of the Moneyball script which did not make it to the screen

  1. Another missing scene from a previous script: Billy and Pete sit down in a Cleveland Friday’s, Pete explains sabermetrics, Billy makes eyes with the waitress and the next thing is women’s clothes and a Friday’s name badge on the floor of his hotel room. I guess it didn’t go with the image they were portraying.

  2. Off topic, but, I thought this quote by Susan Slusser in the SF Gate was interesting:

    “According to one person familiar with the team’s thinking, the A’s would be likely to cut back on spending should they get the OK to go to San Jose, rather than increasing payroll. Were San Jose approved, the club would go into all-out rebuilding mode to put together a potential up-and-coming contender.

    If the A’s do not get the all-clear for San Jose, they’d be more likely to spend money in the short term to try to increase the gate – and, possibly, to make the club more attractive for potential buyers.”

  3. That was in regards to re-signing Willingham, btw.

  4. @eb–interesting. Why not spend more money right now to try to increase the gate regardless on where they wind up.
    Too bad BB wan’t doing his thing under the Haas ownership. They’d loosen their purse strings no prob if they think it would help win and hang on to fan faves, which these last two ownerships have failed to do year in and year out. Not signing Tejada still pisses me off to this day. He loved being an Oakland Athletic, being the man, a total game.

  5. a total gamer….arghhhh!!!!

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