Chris: Other than Red Green and “Sesame Street,” a Ken Burns baseball documentary is about the only program that can get me to watch PBS. So I have not exactly been ingurgitating in much of the Public Broadcasting Service since Burns’ original 1994 “Baseball.”
Joe: The original Ken Burns’ documentary was truly a work of due diligence, exhaustive research and art. His reputation is such in the wide variety of topics and subjects that he has documented. I would expect no less in the upcoming “The Tenth Inning.”
Ralphie: We must be talking about a documentary for Joe. My grandparents always watch documentaries.
Joe: That being said, I am weary of the continuing preoccupation with steroids, Barry Bonds and company and their tarnish on the sport. The owners wanted more excitement (more ticket sales). They got it.
Brad: The only stories Joe can remember about baseball happened before my parents were born. I sadly, have never seen the original “Baseball” documentary. I have my parents to blame for this because of my military-like childhood. But I am very excited about the new documentary and am very interested to see what Ken Burns thinks about these past few decades.
Ralphie: I didn’t see the original. How can I write about something I wasn’t alive for? Oh wait, maybe I can channel it . . . get it channel it? I don’t know but I am guessing that there will be some mention of drug use among players.
Chris: I was Brad’s age when the original documentary came out. Brad was Ralphie’s age. Joe had just started receiving social security. And Barry Bonds’ shoes were two-and-a-half sizes smaller.
Brad: The biggest story since 1994 really has been this year and the dominating pitching that we have all witnessed. Seeing baseball played in its purest form was a welcome relief from watching juiced-up sluggers yank every other pitch.
Joe: I would like to see a comparison between the pitchers proved, or alleged, to be on steroids and the hitters. How did the pitchers perform against the “steroid hitters” compared to other hitters? Maybe, though, we should just assume that anybody hitting above .300 in those years was juiced.
Chris: I was somewhat disappointed that the only references to the Texas Rangers were the supplements of choice for Pudge Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmeiro. Ken Burns could have at least unearthed footage of the Rangers’ rare six-game winning streak in 2002 or scenes from one of their raucous Dollar Hot Dog Nights.
Ralphie: I think Chris is slacking.
Brad: Chris doesn’t want to remember the past because of his favorite team’s lack of success. I am much more of a baseball fan since 1994. Mostly because I was just 2 way back in 1994, and the only sport I understood was keep-away from my brothers; but with age I have gained an appreciation for the sacrifice required it takes to play the game everyday, and I have fallen more and more in love with it everyday.
Joe: I am just as much a fan today as I was in earlier years. Look at it this way, the reason there are different divisions in boxing and wrestling is that the bigger guys shouldn’t play against the smaller guys-just another way of saying “level the playing field.” So too in the steroid era, go Barry, go Roger.
Chris: I watched every minute of “Baseball” over a period of two weeks with my dad in 1994. I watched every minute of “The Tenth Inning” this week. After the program ended each night in September 1994, I would have checked ESPN for the nightly baseball scores, had there been games being played. Since that strike, the World Series was canceled, there was almost another strike in 2002, virtually every player who made an All-Star team was rumored to be or admitted taking either steroids or women’s fertility drugs, I quit collecting baseball cards and Kenner stopped producing Starting Lineup figures. Nevertheless, I will still eat ice cream from a helmet cup on occasion.
Ralphie: Since I didn’t exist in 1994, I guess you could say I am more of a baseball fan now than I was then.
Brad: Ralphie can’t sit still long enough to enjoy baseball.