Bill James gives thumbs up to “Moneyball” movie



BOSTON (AP) — Sabermetrics patriarch Bill James was just fine with his absence from “Moneyball,” though he admits it would have been nice to have been played by Sean Connery.

James is considered the father of the type of statistical analysis that was at the heart of the movie and Michael Lewis’ book that the script was based on. It tells the story of Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane’s attempt to win with a small-market team.

James wasn’t included in the movie. But he says he liked it anyway, even though it changed some details for dramatic purposes.

James spoke at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday. The sold-out conference brought together 2,200 people to talk about new trends in statistical analysis in sports.