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Baseball's Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6(TV) (2008-2010)
The drama and unforgettable images of baseball are the World Series moments etched in our minds and celebrated from generation to generation. These dynamic events are preserved and commemorated in MLB's annual World Series films.
For more about Baseball's Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6 and the Baseball's Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6 Blu-ray release, see Baseball's Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6 Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on March 20, 2012 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Joe Buck
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Baseball's Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6 Blu-ray Review
Stranger than fiction.
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, March 20, 2012
It may not exactly have the makings of a fantastic drinking game, but it might at least provide some passing amusement to count how many times the Fox Sports anchors ask "Can the Cardinals come back from this?" as the epochal sixth game of the 2011 World Series between the St. Louis Cards and the Texas Rangers plays—and plays and plays—out. This game has already gone down in the history books, and in fact ESPN deemed it the greatest game in the history of baseball, which may or may not be debatable, but which at least helps to highlight just how amazed both the public at large and industry professionals were the day after the game aired in late October 2011. The entire 2011 World Series was summed up in the excellent Major League Baseball release 2011 World Series Champions: St. Louis Cardinals, but that release covered everything from the regular season to the post season to the actual World Series and thus couldn't spend a huge amount of time on just the sixth game of the Series, despite its mind boggling aspects. This new release simply reproduces the Fox broadcast from the evening, minus a few bumpers and including a couple of fairly clunky edits in and out of what were commercial breaks. It's a "you are there" sort of release, one which features a cascading series of incredible events which are met with a certain amount of appropriate incredulity by the on air personalities. The game originally ran four hours and thirty plus minutes, with commercials, and even here, shorn of those revenue producing breaks (well, mostly anyway—more about that later), this release runs well over three and a half hours, some indication of what an epic battle was waged that frosty night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
The sixth game actually got off to a somewhat comical start, and as one of the wrap up commentators mentions at the close of the evening, it was almost like watching a slow motion train wreck, where you know something horrible is happening but you can't take your eyes off of it anyway. The Cardinals chalked up three errors and the Rangers managed to make two of their own, but even beyond these "official" mistakes, the opening innings looked like something out of a badly choreographed, really badly thought out baseball musical. But even with the bungling aspect, the sixth game seemed to be the Rangers to lose, something that seemed to be slowly but surely inexorable as the evening stumbled toward its ninth inning.
In fact you could skip the first two and a half hours plus of this broadcast and not miss anything too exciting. It isn't until the game gets to the ninth inning that all improbable hell breaks loose, as one incredible come from behind moment after another pushes the game into extra innings and ultimately grants St. Louis a victory, moving the Series to a seventh deciding game. The Cardinals spend so much of the final hour or so of this game on the brink of extinction that it almost becomes comical after a while. The Rangers side of the stadium looks excited but cautious. Conversely the Cardinals camp is dejected but oh, so hopeful—could yet another miracle visit their team?
And the answer is of course, yes—and more than one miracle at that. In the ninth the miracle was courtesy of hometown favorite David Freese, who lived the fantasy of any baseball loving boy by rescuing the team he grew up worshiping from a two out, two strike, two RBI triple that tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. Watching this play is an exercise in disbelief all around. The sportcasters are dumbstruck, the Rangers look instantly dejected and the grandstands are full of wildly disparate reactions, depending on which team any given group of people is rooting for. But the craziness doesn't end there—not by a long shot.
The 10th inning was another seesaw battle of the Titans, with the Rangers battling back and once again regaining a two run lead, only to see it evaporate yet another time in the bottom of the inning as the Cardinals refused to cede the game. In a way, the 11th inning is almost an anti-climax after all that has gone on before, especially in the preceding two innings, but once again David Freese elevated himself to permanent hometown hero status by driving home the winning run in the 11th, after the Rangers weren't able to score. Freese's walk off winning run was only the fourth time that has ever happened in a sixth game in the entire history of the World Series.
In the opening paragraph above, I alluded to the fact that while the actual commercials are removed from this Blu-ray presentation of that evening's Fox broadcast, there is still rampant branding going on throughout the game, some of which just gets to the ridiculous level. Even with the "real" commercials excised, we still get little moments like the opening pitch brought to us by Budweiser, the starting lineup brought to us by Taco Bell, and various other advertisers like DirecTV linked to various elements of the game and not so coincidentally further promoted by cutaways to the Goodyear blimp flashing a message about them on its billboard. Baseball might be America's pastime, but advertising may in fact be our real national game.
This unbelievable game was seen by millions, many of whom will no doubt delight in being able to relive it in all its glory on this new Blu-ray. Other dunderheads (like yours truly) who stupidly forgot to set their DVRs that afternoon or evening will now finally be able to finally see what sports fans the world over were raving about the next day, and in fact for weeks afterward. Though the sixth game gets off to a comedic and slow start, those last three innings are the stuff of legend, and it's still a thrill to see them now months after they happened.
Baseball's Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Baseball's Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6 is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of A + E Networks Home Entertainment with an AVC encoded 1080i transfer in 1.78:1. This port over of Fox's broadcast of that evening looks appropriately sharp and well defined, with excellently saturated color and decent overall contrast. There are some niggling issues to contend with here, including passing flare from some stadium lights and minor shimmer aliasing on some close cropped patterns like the chain link fence surrounding the bullpen. Otherwise, though, this presentation offers great fine detail and features a wealth of really fantastic coverage, a testament to the floor (stadium?) director for this broadcast, who manages to catch an amazing amount of action on the fly (no pun intended).
Baseball's Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Baseball's Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6 features a really nicely rendered lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that offers some fantastic immersion in terms of the roar of the crowds filling the stands of St. Louis' Busch Stadium, as well as nicely directional moments when close-ups catch various groups of guys either on the field or in the bullpen. Fidelity is very strong throughout the broadcast, and the Fox Sports anchors' voices are clear and easy to hear throughout, even over some of the manic reactions of the crowds as the ninth through eleventh innings play out in their increasing improbability. There are some clunky audio edits at places where the original broadcast segued to commercials, but otherwise this is a very solid and involving track that really nicely recreates not just the original broadcast ambience but also what it must have been like to have been in the stadium for this game.
Baseball's Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Three alternate play by play radio broadcasts are included as other audio options, one from St. Louis Radio Network, one from Texas Radio Network and a third Spanish Language option. These play by play broadcasts do not always synch up perfectly with the television broadcast, and so there are some long pauses of no audio. Therefore don't be alarmed if you chapter skip ahead while listening to one of these alternate broadcasts and don't hear any audio for a while. For the record, the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 audio specs listed above refer to these radio broadcasts.
Baseball's Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Baseball's Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6 is a hugely enjoyable way to revisit one of the most improbable games ever played in the long, storied history of baseball, let alone a championship. Things may get off to a slow and even comical start, but anyone who loves this game (and maybe even those who don't care one whit for it) will find their hearts in their throats at the bottom of the ninth, and then again in the bottom of the tenth. Watching David Freese work his magic not once, but twice, is certainly among the most memorable moments ever in the history of professional sports. This release has excellent video and audio, as well as some nice alternate play by play broadcasts in the audio options, and it comes Recommended.
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• Baseball's Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6 Blu-ray - March 7, 2012
Next month, A&E Networks Home Entertainment will bring Baseball's Greatest Games: 2011 World Series Game 6 to Blu-ray. This feature covers the fiercely competitive World Series bout between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers. Baseball's Greatest Games: ...
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