I had been looking forward to last night for about a week. When I was watching the Caribbean World Series (it’s live baseball in February, you bet I watched it!) and I saw a commercial for the “2004 MLB Season in Review” I was stoked. What Sox fan wouldn’t be? Watching highlights of the 2004 season is the television equivalent of crack for a Sox fan: you always are hoping for more footage that helps you relive how great October 2004 felt.
However, I realized very quickly that this was no “Faith Rewarded.” Within the first five minutes we’d been shown the 2003 Aaron Fucking Boone home run footage no less than four times, and then we had to listen to Dan Shaughnessy’s “insight” into the 2003 season. Not exactly a way to pander to your audience there, Major League Baseball.
It felt like this was the season on fast-forward; blurring by way to fast to appreciate anything. There were a lot of great things that happened in the 2004 season, but they never gave any setup for the highlights. For example, when they discussed the Sox-Angels ALDS they didn’t mention that Schilling hurt his ankle in the first game. While showing game one of the ALCS, they just said he had gotten hurt. Doesn’t really give you a lot of perspective there, does it? They talked about the Rangers getting off to a good start in the season, and then just ignored them the rest of the way. They showed Steve Finley hitting the walk-off grand slam against the Giants to clinch the NL West, but failed to mention that the Dodgers entered the inning down 0-3 and if they lost were going to have to play the next day in a winner-take-all game for the divisional crown. Sports in a vacuum is extremely boring, especially baseball. You would think that the director would have known this, but instead he just squeezed in as many worthless highlights as he could without giving them any frame of reference.
But this is the 2004 season, how can anyone really screw this up? If they show Boone’s homer four times, imagine how often they’ll show the July 24th heroics, Papi’s three playoff walkoff hits, A-Rod slapping Arroyo, Damon’s grand slam, the comebacker to Foulke, etc. etc. Wait, they’re only going to show each of those once? And they’re not even going to show Mr. April slapping the ball like a little girl? And they’re going to end with video of the MFY holding up the 2009 World Series trophy? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?? I didn’t think it was possible to fuck up a 2004 montage this badly.
They bookended the video with MFY highlights, didn’t give anything the proper perspective, and used expert commentary from Dan Shaughnessy and a bunch of MFY beat writers? Did Hal Steinbrenner direct this?
If you missed this the first time on MLB Network, don’t bother. Get your 2004 fix from your DVD of Faith Rewarded or the 2004 World Series Highlights and enjoy that. I’m sure I’d get more out of reading Johnny Damon’s autobiography than to watch this.