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Top Of The Tenth

Posted by Charles P. Pierce  September 29, 2010 12:40 AM

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OK, so Part One of Ken Burns's extended coda of his Baseball event ran on Tote Bag TV last night. Brother Feeney liked it a great deal in yesterday's Globe, but he'd seen the whole thing. Maybe tonight's Part Two -- which seems to be ominously Red Sox-and-steroids-centric, meaning a perfect storm of self-important whining and self-important hysteria may be a'brewin' -- is better, but last night seemed rushed and not entirely well-organized. 

There was much too much of Joe Torre's First World Series. (Not as epochal as it is made out to be), and some really rinky-dink writing straight out of Baseball For Dummies. Did you know that Greg Maddux was a good pitcher because he could put the ball where it was hard for the batter to hit it? Golly willikers. Me, neither.

The accelerated pace really hurt the passage concerning the 1994 strike. Bud Selig was allowed to prevaricate like the used-car dealer he is about the fictitious "fiscal crisis" that necessitated the owners acting like jackasses again, and, as far as I remember, there hasn't been a single mention in the entire series of the collusion strategy of the mid-to-late 1980's, a a naked act of ensemble consumer fraud by which the owners violated a CBA they'd freely signed, and which resulted in a $280 million fine and sufficient ill-will as to make a bloody strike inevitable in the close future.

They did the McGwire-Sosa home-run chase justice. And the apparent through-line of Barry Bonds's career is a fascinating narrative tack to take. But, Ken, pal. Announcing the arrival of The Steroid Menace in your film by playing Really Scary Rap Music by Public Enemy was noxious and clumsy.

Pedro Martinez is shaping up to be a terrific talking-head. And what can I tell you, George Will still talks like your grandmother's underwear drawer.

UPDATE FROM THE SELF-CORRECTING BLOGOSPHERE -- Thanks to Commenters kfbrownfm and duhchief for pointing out that the original Baseball series did touch on the collusion years in its final installment. However, covering the '94 strike without mentioning collusion is like covering, oh, the Civil War without mentioning Dred Scott or John Brown.
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