Today Steve slipped up and mentioned that they'd gotten the Sox Collector's Edition DVD Boxset in the store. Yesterday.
I commenced freaking out. "Letsgoletsgoweregoingrightnow." I babbled. "WehavetogoIneedit."
Meanwhile outside there had been a vicious thunderstorm, cracking lightning and thunder that rattled the windows.
"We're going out in this?" Steve gestured to the window.
I jangled my keys. "I neeeeed it," I whined.
"I mean, right now? Tonight?" Steve protested.
And then...yes...I began to stamp my feet like a three-year-old and moan, "I ne-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-d i-i-i-i-i-i-t."
Finally, he relented. Smart guy.
In the car, I talked to my mom. "We're going to Borders," I said.
"Oh," she said, a highly, precisely noncommittal "oh" that seems part of the Mom Kit. The "oh" that says, "I don't really know where this conversation is going, so I'm just going to roll with it..."
"Steve made the mistake of telling me that the Sox Collector's Addiction--"
My mother and Steve guffawed at this Freudian slip.
We went, we paid, we left. We got a box roughly the size of a thick book, with a dozen slim DVD cases inside.
If you're waiting to watch the DVDs yourself, don't click for more. Spoilers. Thanks.
Every game of the ALCS, every game of the World Series. Completely uncut. The ALCS in blue, the World Series in red. Each DVD case has a sleeve with statistics about the game it contains.
I decided to start with the one gray case at the end, the Bonus DVD. I often do this with DVDs, including movies--I always watch the bonus featurettes before the main feature.
Half of the Bonus DVD is the MLB World Series feature. I've already seen it, so I spent a couple of hours tonight watching the extra-bonus footage.
Here's the lineup:
- Schilling speaks with fans
- Celebrity fans on the big win: film critic Jeffrey Lyons, Saturday Night Live's Seth Myers, and comedian Denis Leary
- Arroyo: Pitcher by Day, Musician by Night
- ALCS Game 7 post-game celebration
- ALCS Game 4: Millar Makes a Prediction
- Francona takes over
- Best of Ortiz wireless
- ALCS Game 1: Timlin and Embree wireless
- Millar Speaks with Dan Shaughnessy
- Damon shaves beard
- Red Sox visit the White House
- World series locker room celebration
- 2005 ring and banner ceremony
I'm sure everyone's aware of how I feel about Schilling. And I'm sorry; I have yet to change my mind. I couldn't not eat that guy up with a spoon if I tried. I admire him; I genuinely like him. He charms me. I don't care if he's trying to or not. I just. love. the guy.
The best part of this one was when an elderly man stood up and pointed out his "NOW I CAN DIE IN PEACE" shirt. With his voice breaking, he said, "You don't even know how much this means to me."
It was supposed to be a Q & A, I think, but it wasn't much Q. Mostly, people stood up and said varying degrees and lengths of "Dear God, thank you."
My favorite part of the celebrity fans segment was, of course, Denis Leary. That guy's been one of my personal heroes since No Cure for Cancer. Denis Leary embodies everything I love about the Boston sense of humor - which at times is simply bitterness remixed. Denis Leary is a fantastic spokesman for the Nation. His shining moment was at the end -- clearly prompted to say something with regard to the Yankees, he looked straight into the camera and said, "I just want to say, to all Yankees fans, whether I know you or not, you can kiss my ass."
Then, addressing the off-camera interviewer, he says, "How's that. Can you use that?" and he grins.
I LOVE Denis Leary.
There follows a slightly strange segment of Bronson Arroyo in the studio recording Covering the Bases, specifically "Love that Dirty Water". According to a radio interview I heard, the Standelles let Bronson use the song sans royalties. It helps that one of the guys who recorded the original song also played on Bronson's version, although I forget what instrument they said he plays.
Bronson, first of all, made me realize with the silent "walking in" portion of the footage, that baseball uniforms are easily the least flattering clothing worn by anyone on the planet Earth. The baseball jersey tucked into the belt actually makes Bronson look substantive. In a T-shirt and jeans, he looks like he'd disappear if he turned sideways. That boy is bony.
And he's bowlegged. Don't know if anyone else has ever really noticed that. But I mean, he is.
Also, he drives a Hummer. What is it with everyone in the Major Leagues driving Hummers? Did Derek Lowe just give everyone a really good testimonial and test drive last year? I tell you, it was quite a sight watching that little string bean disembark from an urban assault vehicle.
His singing voice is surprising, more of a baritone than I'd expect looking at him. He did a great job on the cut the footage showed of "Dirty Water".
By the end, I'd gotten used to a lack of narration or editing on the footage. I would come to absolutely adore it later.
The best moment of the game 7 celebration was Trot Nixon. I'd never seen this before. The cameraman asks him, "You going to the clubhouse?"
"What?" Trot says, leaning in to hear among the roaring chaos.
"GOING TO THE CLUBHOUSE?" the cameraman hollers.
"No. No, man," Trot says, picking up speed as he walks away, "I'm going to be with my fans."
And then he runs, fist in the air, gesturing "number one!" to a patch of ecstatic Sox fans still hanging out in the bleachers near the black seats in Yankee Stadium. That shot...Trot, the glowing grass, running, hand up in a victory gesture...
Yeah, that's about when it got pretty dusty in my living room. What a gift that was. Worth the price of admission right there.
But we weren't even halfway done.
The feature on Millar before Game 4 was an extended version of footage I've already seen of Millar psyching up teammates before Game 4, his famous "Don't let us win tonight..."
The thing I never realized before seeing this version was that it wasn't just the cameraman eavesdropping on a random conversation Millar had with one or two of his teammates. No, Millar went around before that game to what looked like everyone he could get to listen and gave them the same speech. He even gave Dan Shaughnessy a private performance of his monologue, which is memorialized more fully in the later footage.
That later conversation with Dan Shaughnessy contained the priceless moment when Millar, looking at a skeptical Shaughnessy with a twinkle in his eye, said, "Hell, we get to Game 7, we could put you out there.
"Dan Shaughnessy, batting ninth."
Dan Shaughnessy did what I think passes for a smile on his part.
"You know. If you choke up a little." Millar mimicked the gesture. I loved Millar right then. You give 'em hell, Kevin.
Later, in the Game 7 celebration footage, Millar looks in the camera with a knowing smirk. He nods.
The Ortiz unplugged stuff was unbelievable. Precious. Priceless. It opens with a shot of Ortiz in the clubhouse, and he pulls up his jersey for the camera, peels it right up over his face like a little kid, and underneath is the CURSE OF THE BIG PAPI shirt. "Dee Curse...of dee beeg...Papi," he says, muffled behind the jersey. I've seen that before. What I hadn't seen was what came next.
"Son of a beetch," Papi laughs.
I had to stop the DVD, and rewind it, and go back. Three times. I nearly wet myself.
Timlin and Embree wireless...in general, those two reminded me of some couples or pairs of best friends I've seen, people who've been together a long time, maybe even in another life if you believe in that sort of thing. They're just completely comfortable with each other. They finish each others' sentences.
"I had a beautiful encounter with a guy over there," Timlin confides to Embree.
"Yeah?" the reticent Embree says. You can tell who does the talking in this relationship.
"Yeah," Timlin goes on. "He said I was a perennial loser, and, uh...an idiot, and..."
"Well," Embree sighs, "We're gonna hear that. Now that Johnny opened up his--opened that up." He pounds his glove.
I love them together.
The Red Sox visit the White House segment was probably the longest I've let President Bush remain on my television at least since he was re-elected. I still just cannot stand that man. But it helped that Jason Varitek...whoo, boy, he cleans up nice. He cut a stunning figure in his suit and topcoat, standing right out front with the jersey for Dick Cheney. Lovely.
The World Series locker room celebration was the absolute high point of the DVD. All raw, uncut, unedited footage, beginning with the Albert Pujols at bat in the ninth inning. All the in-game footage is shot without commentary from on the field directly behind home plate. It was the closest I've ever gotten to actually being there, in the moment, among the crowd. No calls, no out-counting by announcers, no voice-over narration, no background music. Just the events. Just what happened. It cuts back and forth between Theo and Johnny Pesky under the stadium, watching on a TV near the clubhouse, and the field where Keith Foulke is still working.
This was just such an unbelievable perspective. I've seen the cut, edited down, packaged version of just about all of this footage, but this version filled in all the blanks. This was the raw, unadulterated experience. It blew my mind. It was simply unbelievable. And rather than the "Back to Foulke..." I've grown accustomed to hearing associated with the Final Out, there was just a wordless primal roar that overwhelmed the camera's microphones. The footage of Jason Varitek leaping onto Foulke, so often captured in freeze frame in still photos or shown in slow motion, was shown for the first time I've ever seen it at full speed, from an angle I've never seen before. Varitek hit Foulke like a freight train; I don't think he knows his own strength.
In the clubhouse, they were all just...little boys. Shaking their bottles of champagne off the the side and heading off into the fray again, reloaded. Dancing. Hollering. Tiring a little, quieting, then gaining a second wind, yelling and whooping and hollering. It was just champagne-soaked pandemonium. And it was heaven.
And there are still eleven more DVDs left to watch.
Do yourself a favor, people. Go out and get yourself a copy. Now. You won't regret it.