Open Letter To Art ...


Dear Artie,

It is OK to call you Artie?

Anyway, I’ll get to the point.

Your rush to join the talk-show circuit after the debut of “Money Ball” generated some good news and bad news.

Let’s start with the good news.

You didn’t send your wife to do your bidding and talk to the media.

Thank goodness you’re a student of history. That’s how you so deftly navigated the righty-lefty match-ups, right?

I bet you analyzed how playing the wife card didn’t work for Nicolas Sarkozy and decided to take a pass on this tactic.


Now the bad news.

You came off as silly, publicly discussing how “Money Ball” wronged you.

C’mon, it’s a movie.

This is Hollywood, not C-SPAN.

Nuance and shades of gray don’t play well on the silver screen.

Making a sports movie that sells requires good guys, bad guys and the occasional f-bomb.

Geez, you worked under Bobby Valentine, so you saw firsthand the gap between a good narrative and reality.

Yes, I can understand your unhappiness with Philip Seymour Hoffman’s physique. Why he decided to channel Jack Black in “School of Rock” and put on 20 pounds is beyond me. If it’s any consolation, I always thought you cut a rather svelte figure in your green and gold unie.

Look, I know this isn’t easy.

You want to defend your honor.

I get it.

But Artie, you were in the game for over 30 years. If you felt this strongly about your rep, call some of your compadres to put out the word that the real Art Howe got the most out of his talent and if Billy Beane is such a genius, why has it been five years since the A’s produced a winning record?

It sounds so much better when your buddies say you’re a great guy than when you say “I’m great.”

Better yet, how about reaching out to some of those players you managed on the A’s to share their perspectives on your managerial acuity?

That’s really the advice I wanted to share.

I don’t mean to rub salt in the wound, but even your Wikipedia profile is flagged with the words:

“Please help by adding reliable sources.”

Short of showing your stuff again – can’t quite see the Red Sox calling – third-party validation is the next best thing to setting the record straight.

Good luck and if you decide to continue down this path, we do happen to offer media training.




  • Dude

    First of all, Tom Hanks said it best;

    “There’s no crying in baseball.”

    And there’s no whining either:

    “If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it.”
    ~Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book

    “You can overcome anything if you don’t bellyache.”
    ~Bernard M. Baruch

    Frankly, when I read/heard about this former manager complaining about the movie (NOTE: If you were so concerned, why didn’t you ccmplain about the book when it came out ten years ago? Could it have been job- or money-related [then AND now]?), it smacked of whining.

    Secondly, I thought, “Hey, you’re just giving the fil-m [sic] more publicity. Is that what you want?

    Why not treat it with humor and kindness, e.g., “Who wouldn’t want an Oscar-winner portraying you? Next time he’s here, I’d like to see Philip Seymour Hoffman in the batting cage or on the bench with me making decisions – with you reporters around – just so he knows it’s a tough job managing the team, the egos, and the physical demands of athletes . . . ”

    What’s the baseball mantra? Never show emotion; never show up your opponent. Well he violated both.

    Ultimately, he missed the real opportunity: demonstrate some personal and professional *class.* In doing so, you’ll receive more accolades and admiration. And if you’re really, really unhappy, write a better book than “Moneyball,” help some people out, and make a difference in the world. The latter is what makes someone great. Not whining.

    Hey Art: is there a reason you’re no longer the manager? Maybe it’s because, “There’s no crying in baseball.”

  • Lou Hoffman

    Great stuff/points.

    Your riff could have been a guest post by itself.

    Forgot about that line from Tom Hanks.

    Thanks for weighing in.

  • Dude

    I prefer to post on other people’s Blogs. Then I don’t have to be good or regular. Just irreverent.

    Peace out!


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