Baseball's official World Series film shows that the Giants still win
12/16/10 01:01 PM
By ED BARK
To the victors go the spoils. For the San Francisco Giants that means a starring role in Major League Baseball's official 2010 film, newly available on DVD from Shout! Factory.
Even so, it still hurts so good to be a Texas Rangers fan after the team magically made its first ever World Series appearance by punching out the defending champ New York Yankees. That makes this well-produced film a nice last-minute keepsake/Christmas gift for either longtime or jump-on-the-bandwagon supporters of the North Texas Nine.
San Francisco native and diehard Giants fan Rob Schneider capably narrates his team's march to improbable World Series gold. Neither team was picked by anyone to get to the Fall Classic, let alone the preceding playoffs. The Giants reveled in their "misfit" trappings while the Rangers finally found a pitching staff to match the team's reliably brawny offense.
Running for nearly 125 minutes, the film spends the first 19 of them on the Giants' regular and post-season march to baseball's biggest stage. The Rangers in contrast get only a four-and-a-half minute buildup. It's the difference between winning and losing.
It's nice to hear the occasional voice of Rangers' radio announcer Eric Nadel during both sections of the film. He's most evident in Game 3, exclaiming his trademark "That ball is history!" when Rangers' rookie third baseman Mitch Moreland hits a three-run "jimmyjack," as Nadel put it, to give Texas a 3-0 lead in the early stages of the team's first and only World Series win.
"I kind of blacked out goin' around the bases," Moreland says in a subsequent interview for the film.
Meanwhile, it's perhaps cold comfort to remember that the now departed Cliff Lee coughed up the bit in Game 1 of the Series, blowing a 2-0 lead before getting pounded out in the fifth inning. And Lee, of course, also couldn't match the continued artistry of the Giants Tim Lincecum in the closing Game 5.
There are no fresh reminiscences from Lee. But relievers Darren O'Day and Neftali Feliz, and general manager Jon Daniels join Moreland in reflecting on the Rangers Game 3 victory.
"It kind of felt like we had a Series going," Daniels says.
Additionally, the Rangers' David Murphy and Matt Treanor are caught off the cuff during Game 4 action, in which Texas was shut out 4-0.
"Throw the hangin' breaking ball right here," Murphy say hopefully from the dugout. But rookie pitcher Madison Bumgarner instead struck out Vladimir Guerrero in the clutch.
Giants catcher Buster Posey's home run to center field, putting the Giants ahead 3-0 in Game 4, initially looked like a long fly ball out from catcher Treanor's bullpen perspective.
"I didn't think he hit it that good," he says after the ball leaves the yard. The film also goes behind the scenes with a young Rangers fan who caught the rookie Posey's home run ball and had the class to return it to him after the game.
Another wound is re-opened in Game 5, when Lee gives up a three-run, two-out homer to Giants shortstop Edgar Renteria after matching six shutout innings with Lincecum. Renteria's death blow is recaptured from a variety of angles while the basic question remains: Why didn't they walk him with first base open and two outs? The Giants went on to win 3-1, with bizarro closer Brian Wilson ending the series by striking out Nelson Cruz.
"I had tears in my eyes for the guys," Giants great Willie Mays says.
The Giants' cable car victory parade is also included. Way to rub it in. But winners take all, and the Rangers came up short, both in the Series and in the time spent on them in this film.
An interesting postscript notes that Texas received two post-Series consolation prizes. Among the items acquired by baseball's Hall of Fame is the bat used by Moreland to hit the Rangers' first ever World Series home run and some pitching mound dirt from the first World Series game played on the team's home field.
It's not much. But it's a start.