Letter to the Editor

Spittin' image of baseball exec. unnecessary in film

Friday, September 30, 2011

To the Editor:

Last Saturday my fiancée and I went to see "Moneyball," starring Brad Pitt. It's a movie about the general manager of the Oakland A's and their use of statistics to build the team that won 20 games in a row.

I'm not an avid baseball fan, but I like the sport and will happily chow down on a hot dog anytime I'm at a ballpark. I thought the film was great, despite some of the reviews I'd heard, and told a great story.

There was one problem though. Through the whole movie, Brad Pitt's character walks around with a mouth full of dip and a spit cup. The character spits in the middle of conversations, while he's on the phone, while he's thinking ... almost the entire course of the movie.

I understand this is a Hollywood portrayal of a historical figure and an attempt at historical accuracy, but is it necessary? Would the audience have noticed if the character had not had a spit cup?

The portrayal of tobacco use in movies, be it smoking or "smokeless," is still an issue in our society. As we attempt to move away from a nicotine-addicted social life, movies and TV shows keep it in front of us.

I'm proud of the 2002 Oakland A's for setting a new standard in baseball. I only wish it had been done without a spit cup.

Chris Shuck

Putnam County Tobacco

Prevention and Cessation Director