The trailer for "Moneyball," the Brad Pitt flick based on Michael Lewis's best-selling book of the same name, hit the Web this week, and it looks promising. Pitt plays Billy Beane, the Oakland A's general manager who's credited with using sabermetrics - a stats-heavy approach to evaluating talent - to turn around the formerly moribund franchise. The movie is co-written by "Social Network" scribe Aaron Sorkin and stars the always entertaining Jonah Hill as a character based on former A's exec Paul DePodesta. (Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman also show up as former A's manager Art Howe.) In the trailer, there's a scene shot at Fenway Park between Pitt and a character that vaguely resembles John Henry. Is it supposed to be him? Yes. In an email today, the Sox owner told us he's seen the movie and he is, in fact, in it. But - get this - he can't remember who plays him. "Forgot the name of the actor," Henry wrote. And darned if we know. The guy looks like a cross between John Heard, Ted Danson, and William Hurt, but it's none of them, and the Internet Movie Database is no help at all. Last fall, when the movie filmed at Fenway, we asked the Sox owner who he'd like to play him. His reply: Sam Shepard.
Dicky, Alice, and Micky
Alice Ward, mother of Lowell-bred boxers Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund, has died. We're told the matriarch played by Melissa Leo in "The Fighter" passed away early this morning at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, surrounded by her family. In failing health for some time, Ward had gone into cardiac arrest in January and stopped breathing for more than 30 minutes before doctors at Brigham and Women's Hospital revived her. Her recovery amazed doctors and nurses. Ward, who also has seven daughters, managed Micky's career in his heyday, and comes across in "The Fighter" as a fierce, sometimes foul-mouthed defender. She was not happy with Leo's portrayal, but Academy Award voters were, and the actress won the Oscar for her performance.
Youk gets a rare smile from Bill Belichick (Photo: Rick Bern)
Kevin Youkilis hosted a benefit for his charity, Youk's Kids, at the Liberty Hotel's Catwalk Bar the other night, and the Sox first baseman hung around afterward to check out a fashion show featuring looks by Hudson Jeans. (Hudson is owned by Fireman Capital Partners, one of whose principals is Youkilis's friend Dan Fireman.) Also stopping by Youk's event were Pats coach Bill Belichick and girlfriend Linda Holliday, Sox owner John Henry and wife Linda Pizzuti Henry, and Celtics Delonte West and Von Wafer.
Tom Brady's supermodel spouse is making a super-sized donation to the relief effort in Japan. A source close to Gisele Bundchen tells us she's written a check for $1 million to the earthquake fund created by the Japanese Red Cross Society. We're told Gi, who a year ago donated $1.5 million to the Haitian relief effort, is also sending $250,000 to the Pacific Tsunami Fund and Save the Children and another $250,000 to a Japanese Red Cross earthquake fund...Brady, meanwhile, is a little richer after finally selling his condo at the Time Warner Center in New York. The New York Observer reports that No. 12, who paid $14 million for the pad in 2006, has sold the 74th-floor spread for $17.5 million. The best part is the buyer: Robert Stiller. Who? Stiller is a hero to stoners around the world because, in 1971, he created E-Z Wider rolling papers, a favorite among hand-rolled cigarette aficionados (wink, wink). (Maybe he'll turn Brady's place into a spliff-level apartment?) Stiller later owned Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and oversaw the coffee company's expansion. The three-bed, three-bath luxury abode has sweeping views of Central Park and the Hudson River.
Longmeadow lass - and Tom Brady's ex - Bridget Moynahan brought her main squeeze, director Joseph McGinty Nichol -- better known to McG -- to the premiere of "Battle: Los Angeles" in LA on Tuesday night.
While NFL players and owners are hard at work trying to hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement, Tom Brady and his bride are busy partying in Rio. The QB and his supermodel spouse Gisele Bundchen took part in Carnival, with Bundchen appearing as the goddess Venus on a sumptuous float. During the festivities, which drew an estimated 800,000 people to the Brazilian city, Brady and Bundchen were photographed wearing T-shirts emblazoned with corporate logos. (Pantene for her, Oral-B for him.) Brady, who's wearing his hair these days in the style of a European soccer player - is that a ponytail? - shook hands with Ronaldinho as the famous Brazilian footballer danced past. Here's a little video of TB moving and grooving it at Carnival.
New Kids on the Block made it official today. The Boston-bred boy band will be strutting their stuff in centerfield this summer when they join Backstreet Boys for one night, and maybe more, at friendly Fenway. Wearing Red Sox jerseys and joking that they're now official members of the Olde Towne Team, Donnie Wahlberg, Joey McIntyre, Danny Wood, and Jordan and Jonathan Knight confirmed what's been rumored for awhile: Following in the footsteps of the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, the Police, Dave Matthews, and Aerosmith, among others, NKOTBSB will perform at Fenway June 11. (The ballpark has permits for a show June 12, too, and the boys bands have a sold-out show at TD Garden June 4.) "We've been walking around downstairs just sort of overwhelmed," said Wahlberg, who took a break from filming his TV show "Blue Bloods" in New York to be at today's Fenway press conference. "I'm kind of starstruck to meet Larry (Lucchino). I was looking for Theo (Epstein), but I couldn't find him." Joining NKOTB were Backstreet Boys Howie Dorough and Brian Littrell, who said it'll be an "honor and a thrill" to perform at Fenway with the New Kids. "Every little boy on a field somewhere dreams about playing at this park," said Littrell. "Mom, we made it!" (He added that his Backstreet bandmate A.J. McLean, who recently checked himself into rehab, is doing well.) The Fenway show is part of longer tour for the two bands, and there seems to be genuine camaraderie between the crews. Huddled in a suite overlooking the snow-covered field after today's announcement, the bands promised a no-holds-barred spectacle this summer. "We're going to pull out all the stops," said Donnie. While New Kids have played to packed stadiums all over the world, Joey Mac said it'll be a special treat to play at fabled Fenway. Is he intimidated that some of the biggest bands in the music business have played there? "A bunch of nobodies," he said with a smile.
What's oft-injured Jermaine O'Neal been doing while on the shelf. Starting a clothing line, apparently. Women's Wear Daily reports that the Celts center is launching a line of men's wear, called Le Jaunty, that he'll roll out in 2011. (Knicks star Amar'e Stoudemire recently teamed with Rachel Roy to launch a line of women's and men's wear at Macy's.) According to WWD, Le Jaunty is designed by Michael Chew Shaw, formerly of Sean John, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ecko, Guess, Starter/Nike, Jockey and Barry Bricken, and is being billed as a "bridge between streetwear and contemporary." "I've always been into fashion," O'Neal told the mag. "I'm from Columbia, S.C., and my family is very religious. We'd go to church and Sunday school and we always had to dress up. I enjoyed that." He said his interest in fashion intensified when entered the NBA. O'Neal, who's 6-foot-11, said he "couldn't find things that fit me, so I had to have everything tailor made." His collection of casual sportswear, which will retail for between $30 and $130, is being sold by a few reps and the company has an office in New York. "We did a soft launch, but we want to move into bigger retailers like Macy's...We really think the brand can live there."
Gisele Bundchen and son, Ben, take a stroll in Miami in October (bauergriffinonline.com)
Tom Brady's supermodel spouse is back after a brief trip to Brazil. The Brazilian web site Glamurama.com reports that Gisele Bundchen was back in her native country to look at a few properties with her sister Patricia in Jurere Internacional, the beach resort in southern Brazil. Over two days, Bundchen visited five waterfront mansions with a minimum asking price of $6.5 million. Nice neighborhood. Apparently, Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho, a friend of Bundchen's, has a place nearby.
Over 55,000 people are expected at Ford Field in Detroit Saturday to celebrate native son Kid Rock's 40th birthday. A long list of special guests will join the rapping rocker on stage, including, we're told, Peter Wolf, who played a few dates with Rock in '08. (We wouldn't be surprised if they do the Geils tune "Detroit Breakdown.") Others rumored to be kicking it with Kid include Sheryl Crow, Martina McBride, and Reverend Run. One person who won't be there is Steven Tyler. Rock recently criticized Tyler's decision to become an "American Idol," saying it's the "stupidest thing he's ever done." And, last summer, Wolf and Tyler nearly came to blows before the Aerosmith/J. Geils show at Fenway because Tyler tried to restrict Wolf's access to the stage.
About this blog
Follow on Twitter: @GlobeNames, @MarkAShanahan
Follow on Twitter: @GlobeNames, @MeredithGoldste