Beefing Up "Baseball" - Suggestions For "The Tenth Inning"


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Ahhhhh, America's Pastime. Such a lovely game.

Ken Burns’ 1994 documentary “Baseball” pretty much wrote the book – or, rather shot the film – on America’s Pastime. But what of all the pastime that’s gone on since 1994? Who’s going to zoom in on sepia-toned photos and melodiously comment on that? Ken Burns, of course. That’s right. Burns is back with an addition to “Baseball” called “The Tenth Inning.” We suppose “Baseball 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear” was taken.

The Tenth Inning,” which debuts on Sept. 28th, will be a two-day, four-hour documentary that will pickup where “Baseball” left off, covering all the stuff that’s happened since 1994. You know, like the 1994-95 players’ strike, the insane home run chases, a stadium building boom and, oh yeah, that whole steroids thing.

There’s no doubt that Burns, who has won seven Emmys in his day, has done the series’ addendum justice and filled it to the brim with all kinds of highlights from the Summer of 1998 to the Congressional Hearings on Steroids of 2005 and everything in between. But there are a few themes, trends, and milestones we’re afraid Burns might miss. So we thought we’d do him a solid and list ‘em out, because if Burns did happen to forget one – hey, he still has a week and a half to fix it, right?! Oh, that’s not how it works? Well, anyway … .

Pies In The Face

A segment covering the rise in “Face Pie-ing” in the Majors, tracing its origins from slapstick comedy to the baseball diamond. Interviews with A.J. Burnett, who may or may not have started the trend, are a must. Questions to ask include whipped cream or shaving cream? In the dugout or at the plate? And of course – cue the dramatic music and dark lighting – an in-depth look at When Pie-ing Goes Wrong.

Sausage Races

How has this all-important part of the game evolved since its birth in the early 1990s? The film would do well to look at the Racing Sausage’s move from the JumboTron to live racing, the evolution and addition of a hot dog and a Chorizo to the Original Three, the subsequent spinoffs that have popped up around the Majors, and – of course – what happens when success goes to a sausage’s head.

Rally Cries

There’s much material to be covered here, from the debut of the Angels’ Rally Monkey on June 6, 2000 to the Cowboy Up costumes worn by Red Sox fans in 2003 to Rally Fries, the inspiring bits of fried potato that became popular at Safeco in 2007. Follow up interviews with the monkey about his, um, future job prospects would be crucial in covering the topic thoroughly.