MLB Official 2013 World Series Film Blu-ray l DVD l Instant
A&E Home Video
RELEASE DATE: November 26, 2013
So you may be saying to yourself, “A sports-related Blu-ray review? On Geeks of Doom? What is this madness?! Geeks don’t like sportball!” And you might just be right. But you’re not. In fact many geeks are not only into sports, but can be quite fanatical about them. Being born and raised in New England, it was nearly impossible for me not to be. And so, as you might have imagined, I was extremely excited at the opportunity to review these two new releases celebrating the Boston Red Sox and their recent World Series Championship victory.
The first release is the MLB Official 2013 World Series Film. The movie, which is narrated by Boston native and Red Sox fan Ben Affleck, begins with a tragedy and ends in triumph. Just a couple of weeks into the season the Boston Marathon bombings happened, and everything changed. When something so devastating occurs, people look for a distraction, something good to latch onto and escape with. The Red Sox were that something.
For those who don’t know, the Sox play a 10 a.m. game on Marathon Monday every year; always an eventful and exciting day around here. After a thrilling walk-off win, the team was on the way to the airport to head out to the next city on their schedule, just starting to find out what was unfolding not far from them. As details emerged, they, as a team, started talking about what they could do. The options were limited, of course, but never underestimate the power of having a sports team to rally around. It was no longer about baseball; it was all about the city, the victims of this unspeakable act, and those who responded immediately to help those in need and to find whoever was responsible.
It didn’t end with Boston, though. Support rained down from all over the globe. I saw New York Yankees fans happily singing Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” Do you have any idea how surreal that is? A reminder that the two cities are not, in fact, hated rivals, but siblings who intensely compete against one another often…as most siblings do. It was one of the most memorable—and emotional—single seasons of any sports team I’ve personally experienced, and this film captures some of that through various footage and interviews.
After some highlights from the season and the team clinching the top spot in the A.L. East—etching their successful journey from worst last year to first this year in stone—the film then shifts to the playoffs, showing highlights from the ALDS, ALCS, and then the big show, the Fall Classic, the World Series, which is covered much more in-depth than the former two series, including interviews with both the Sox and Cardinals players.
After the championship is clinched, the movie ends on the highest of notes, showing footage from both the post-game celebration and the massive duck boat parade that followed a few days later, highlighted by one of life’s rare perfect moments: a symbolic Boston Strong jersey, draped over the World Series trophy, which had been set on the Boston Marathon finish line. One cannot ask for a better ending.
Those who aren’t fans of sports or who hate the Red Sox obviously won’t get much out of this movie, but for everyone who was part of it, everyone who was cheering the team on along the long road from April to October nights, needs to own this one so they can always go back and re-live just how very, very special it all was and will always be.
My grandfather lived his entire life a Red Sox fan, served in World War II, tried out to play for the Sox way back when, and was even pen pals with some of the greats—including the legendary Teddy Ballgame, Ted Williams—but never saw them win a World Series championship. I have now seen not one, but three of them. Each special, and each reminding me that I wish he could have experienced what I’ve experienced. That’s what makes these home video releases so special to me, and what makes them so essential for many other New England sports fans with similar stories to own.
Clinching Celebrations — Though it sounds like this bonus feature shows off all of the champagne and Bud Light-soaked celebrations had after each clinching victory, it’s actually just the final out of each clinching game: the A.L. East, ALDS, ALCS, and World Series.
World Series Highlights — 10 minutes of highlights from the six World Series games.
World Series Parade — A closer look at the celebratory parade, mostly with two of the team’s most charismatic figures: Jonny Gomes and Mike “Boomstick” (that’s what I call him anyway—gotta fit in geek references wherever I can) Napoli.
Mission October: Red Sox — A fairly random but entertaining short featurette showing the great Pedro Martinez hanging out with David Ortiz in the weight room, Daniel Nava testing out a massage chair, and late addition to the team Jake Peavy (who would go on to purchase one of the Boston duck tour duck boats after the championship parade) trying to figure out the password for the wifi at Fenway Park.
MLB Player Poll: Pedroia/Ortiz — Some other players from around the league talking about Red Sox 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia and designated hitter David Ortiz.
Hall of Fame: 2013 World Series — Some of the things from the 2013 World Series that were donated to the Hall of Fame, including jackets and bats and gloves.
“This Beard Came Here to Party” Music Video — Something I had somehow never heard of, this is a special Red Sox version of the song “This Beard Came Here to Party” by Tim Montana and the Shrednecks, featuring the legendary Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top fame. You can check it out here.
President Obama Calls John Farrell — Just as it sounds, the president calls Sox manager John Farrell to congratulate him on the victory.
2013 World Series Collector’s Edition Blu-ray l DVD
A&E Home Video
RELEASE DATE: December 3, 2013
The second release is the 2013 World Series Collector’s Edition, and it’s a doozy. This is for the big time fans who are willing to drop a decent little chunk of coin to be able to relive the ups and downs and drama of a World Series run.
Not only does it include every second of each and every World Series game played between the Red Sox and St Louis Cardinals, but also the entire Game 6 between the Sox and Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series. Each game comes on its own disc (though I’m sure they could have fit a couple), making it quite the set.
Also, to make things even more awesome, there are multiple audio options for each game, so you can use the unbearably anti-electric calls of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver most of us heard on Fox, the Boston Radio Network for exciting Red Sox calls, the St. Louis Radio Network calls for Cardinals fans or those who want to see what the other side thought of certain plays or calls by the umpires, and Spanish.
There’s not a whole lot to actually review as these are literally just the full games with the few bonus features listed below, but that’s what makes them so good. Sometimes the highlights aren’t enough; to be able to go back and watch the entire games as they aired on TV is very cool. I’ve already gone to multiple significant points of these games and watched them with the various commentary options to see how the different sides reacted.
Walk-Off Wins — A look at every walk-off win the Red Sox had this past season, beginning with one against the Tampa Bay Rays early in the season in April when many seats at Fenway were still empty—something fans of the team had not seen in many years after a lengthy, record-breaking sellout streak that began in 2003 was snapped.
Milestones — Highlights of the various milestones reached this season, mainly by David Ortiz, who reached 2,000 hits and became the all-time hits leader for DHs.
Red Sox Clinch AL East — A look at the team clinching the AL East and solidifying their worst-to-first run.
Postseason Highlights — Highlights from various postseason games, including ALDS games 1, 2, and 4, and ALCS games 2, 3, and 5.