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Not so perfect 'Tenth'

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  September 30, 2010 09:29 AM

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I've got most of it on DVR, but did make sure to catch at least the 2004 portion of Ken Burns' "Tenth Inning" last night, and while I won't exactly complain too much about the ubiquitous ramblings of Mike Barnicle and Doris Kearns Goodwin, I will point out that my wife and I nearly made a drinking game out of every time they waxed poetic until we realized the rapid nature in which we'd run out of beer.

That aside though, the bits and pieces I've seen of the sequelmentary I've enjoyed, if only because they reminded me just how good Ken Griffey Jr. and Barry Bonds were in their primes, how rightfully angry the general public was at baseball following the 1994 strike, and, really, anything that has Pedro in it at length has my undivided attention.

But maybe it's because we've digested it so completely over the past six years, but I found the '04 portion lacking. Granted, it's difficult to encapsulate the emotion of that month in a mere snapshot of a larger picture, but it still felt rushed. For instance, Game 5 of the ALCS is the greatest game I have ever had the pleasure to watch, and yet the endless story lines in that epic showdown were glossed over. Burns also ignored "The Slap," a transcendent moment in the rivalry.

Then again, I haven't been crazy about any of the filmed documentation of the 2004 Red Sox, simply because we lived it, we experienced it, we felt it, and it's difficult for anyone else to convey those personal emotions. ESPN is up next with its "30 for 30" take next week, and while it seems intriguing, I have to wonder if Lenny Clarke is an upgrade over Goodwin and Barnicle. No, wait, does "upgrade" mean worse? Because that's what I meant. Maybe.  

Loved "Chalkdust Torture" though, kicking in right when Varitek slugged A-Rod. "Punch You in the Eye" would also have been acceptable.

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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