In Bennett Miller’s biographical film ‘Moneyball,’ Peter Brand becomes a part of Billy Beane’s Oakland Athletics as an assistant general manager who relies on analytical data to scout players. With the help of Brand, Beane trades and recruits players, by standing against conventional baseball notions and scouts, to build a team that can achieve impressive heights without costing the money the team doesn’t have. Brand is a partially fictional character screenwriters Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin conceived, with story writer Stan Chervin, for the movie based on Paul DePodesta, who served as an AGM under Beane at the Athletics in reality!
Paul DePodesta and Moneyball
Paul DePodesta came into the limelight after the publication of Michael Lewis’ non-fiction book ‘Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game,’ the source text of the movie. The work explores how Beane and Paul, the general manager and an assistant general manager of the Oakland Athletics, used unconventional strategies rooted in data and statistics to buy players for the team to achieve a 20-game winning streak. The streak was the first of its kind in the American League baseball in over 100 years, which made Paul’s contributions incomparable. Paul, however, wasn’t happy with how the book portrayed him.
“When the book was released, I became something of a caricature. I think a caricature plays really well in a movie, more so than the real me. But I’m not particularly fond of the caricature, particularly since it’s not me. I never was that guy before the book came out and I’m not that guy now,” Paul told Yahoo Sports. When the movie was in development, Paul wasn’t comfortable about a partially fictional character having his name, which made the writers of the biographical drama name Jonah Hill’s character Peter Brand. “At the end of the day. I didn’t feel comfortable with my name being attached to a fictitious character,” he added.
Brand’s story arc is considerably fictitious, according to Paul. “I just didn’t feel comfortable that however I was going to be portrayed in the movie was going to be how 99.9 percent of the public imagined me to be, and would assume that whatever was in the movie was absolutely true, which it wasn’t,” he told Nautilus. “The other problem was I wasn’t all that interested in the attention. It had already happened from the book. And I didn’t necessarily need to relive it,” he added.
Where is Peter Brand Now?
Paul DePodesta left the Athletics to join the Los Angeles Dodgers as their general manager in 2004. However, the stint was short-lived as he was fired in 2005. He then joined the San Diego Padres as the executive vice president. After working for the Padres for four years, he became a part of the New York Mets in 2010 and led the latter to the World Series in 2015, only to lose the championship to the Kansas City Royals. His baseball career came to an end, at least for now, when the Cleveland Browns of the NFL hired him as their chief strategy officer. As of now, Paul continues to serve the Browns in the same position.
Paul was one of the masterminds behind the Browns’ decision to hire Andrew Berry as EVP and general manager and Kevin Stefanski as the head coach. In their first season, the Browns entered the playoffs for the first time since 2002 and marked their first playoff victory in 26 years. Stefanski went on to be named as the NFL Coach of the Year and Paul’s contribution to the successful season was rewarded by a five-year contract extension in August 2021.
In the following year, Paul caused stirs by trading 6 draft selections for the Houston Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson and the latter’s 6th-round selection of 2024. In March 2022, Watson signed a whopping fully guaranteed $230 million deal with the Browns, the largest of its kind in the history of the NFL. “This has been the most detailed and dogged potential acquisition of a player that I’ve ever witnessed. I mean, now in 25-plus years across two different sports, I’ve never been a part of anything like it,” Paul told USA Today about acquiring Watson.
Paul is a director of Sears, a chain of department stores headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. He is also an eminent speaker about sports and business. Paul is married to Karen Deicas, with whom he has three sons and a daughter. The family is based in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California.
Read More: Where Was Moneyball Filmed?