Friday, December 3, 2010

People Whom I Have Known Part I : Baseball

About a month ago I was watching Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The guest was Jonah Hill, an actor best identified as Seth Rogen's mini-me. Hill discussed filming a movie called Moneyball starring Brad Pitt. Hill will play a character based on Paul DePodesta.

Paul DePodesta is a baseball executive who rose to fame in 2004 as the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, making him one of the youngest general managers in Major League history, at the age of 31. Unfortunately, as best I can understand with my feeble knowledge of professional sports, things, um, didn't quite work out right, and he was fired in 2005. He then worked for the San Diego Padres as a "front office assistant", which is presumably more prestigious than it sounds, before being hired by the New York Mets as the "vice president of player development and scouting", in which role he does important baseball stuff.

I am not a baseball fan, and indeed all that I know about managing a baseball team I learned from George Costanza. What makes all this interesting to me is that from around first or second grade until eighth grade, I went to school with Paul. I was even the campaign manager in his failed run for sixth grade class president. (Do not trust me for political advice.)

Of course, there are probably hundreds of people out there who went to school with Paul at one time or another, but that's not important, because none of those people is me (or, more grammatically, none of those people is I, although that sounds weird). And I would like to take this opportunity to wish Paul well in his future endeavors, and to thank him for giving me this brush with fame—fame in its most modern sense, which translates as someone having his own Wikipedia entry.

In a final odd sub-coincidence, while researching this post I learned that, before the DePodesta-derived role went to Jonah Hill, it was set to be played by an actor and comedian named Demetri Martin. I didn't know him, but he was in my class in college.


  1. How is this like Depo?

    The story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget, by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players.

  2. Depo was Billy Beane's assistant during that period of time, before going to work for the Dodgers.