Wednesday, September 29, 2010

PBS: Ken Burns: "10th Inning" follows "Baseball"

Ken Burns has continued his “Baseball” documentary with a two-part, 4-1/2 documentary with “Tenth Inning”, giving a chronicle of baseball in the past two decades (at least since 1993), with particular coverage of the 1994 baseball srike, with the cancellation of the playoffs and world series, and the rebuilding of baseball since. In the late 1990s, the steroid scandal would start to develop, after home run records were broken. But still, with all the new ballparks made to look like old inner cities stadiums with asymmetrical outfields, but skyboxes for rich people, the sport would come back stronger than ever. The first of these “old” new stadiums was Camden Yards in Baltimore; the most asymmetric of all is probably MinuteMaid in Houston (when the old Astrodome was so boring)!

The PBS link for the story is here.

In the second half, some famous games of this decade, like Boston's comeback against the Yankees from a 3-0 deficit, and the Cubs loss to the Marlins after fan interference in 2003, are covered. Ms. Goodman says that baseball is a good way to live through future generations.

I went to a baseball game in Denver in the old Mile High Stadium on August 5, 1994, on a vacation trip, and saw the Rockies lose to the Dodgers, 5-4. The right field line then was 370 feet. The next day would turn out to be important to me because of a decision I would make, and the baseball strike would begin one week later.

George Will appears in the documentary and criticizes baseball’s economic model as from the 19th Century, even though Will himself is generally regarded as a conservative.

Picture: At Nationals Park in Washington; the Nats lost this game to St. Louis, 4-2.

For the latest on Nats pitcher Stephen Strasburg after his Tommy John surgery (story by Dave Sheinin), see the Washington Post, here.  In the meantime, he has gone back to finish college.

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