Steroids

Ken Burns: Deregulators Ruined Baseball, Too!

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They're not saying "Youkilis," they're booing!

As someone whose single proudest moment as a baseball fan this year came when I lustily (and drunkenly!) booed the shit out of Ken Burns at an opening pitch ceremony in Washington D.C.'s taxpayer boondoggle of a stadium, I did not expect to not hate last night's opening half of "The Tenth Inning" as much as I did (didn't? I'm lost….). But that doesn't mean there weren't some howlers, particularly in the opening pitch from Keith Olbermann (!) claiming that modern baseball is played by the same basic rules as the baseball of 1860, which would definitely come as a surprise to overhand pitchers and base stealers, among others.

But since Burns is begging us to see 1994-2010 baseball as a mirror of our national politics and culture, it behooves me to call shenanigans on the one-liner voice-over about Mark McGwire using Androstenedione during his record-breaking 1998 home run binge:

You can see, but you can't unsee!

Thanks to government deregulation, it was sold over the counter.

Burns has elaborated on both the claim and the broader symbology during his promo tour, insisting that:

in a pharmacological society, a society built on a winner-take-all mentality, in which globalization has made us all not just consumers but exploiters, where deregulation has fueled the kind of liberties that have created more problems than opportunities—all of that contributes not just to the strike, but the kind of mentality that would allow steroids to grow out of control and unchecked as long as it did.

And:

But more to the point, this was in a climate of deregulation everywhere in the United States. And, in fact, the availability of these drugs had to do in large measure to deregulation. And baseball was unregulated, and these players without rules were free to do whatever they wanted to do without punishment. Just as in our larger society we have had our comeuppance as a result of deregulation, financially and in many other aspects of our national life, so too is baseball coming to terms with that as well.

Leaving aside the question of whether there has been meaningful deregulation in the financial sector and otherwise over the past 15 years, is Burns at least right about his favorite subject, base-ball?

Er, no.

Anabolic steroids were regulated (i.e., made illegal without a prescription), by the the Anabolic Steroids Control Act of 1990. States also began regulating steroids like crazy in the late '80s and early '90s. Andro, which isn't anabolic in nature, was reportedly introduced on the market as a dietary supplement in 1996. In April 2004 the Food and Drug Administration banned Andro as unsafe, and in case that wasn't enough, Congress mis-classified it as an anabolic steroid when it passed the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004. It's possible that I'm missing a nuance somewhere, but WHERE THE FUKUDOME IS THERE A "DEREGULATION" IN THIS STORY? Burns' treacly nostalgia is painful enough without the bald-faced, politically motivated BS.

Reason on steroids in baseball here.

UPDATE: Alert commenter Dr. Manhattan flags the suspected bit of deregulation, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, which brought a whole host of dietary/nutritional supplements under the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration. How was that a deregulation? Because, according to this skeptical take, the supplement industry "evade[d] the law's intent" by promoting medicinal benefits not on labels (which were where the FDA had strongest authority), but "through books, magazines, newsletters, booklets, lectures, radio and television broadcasts, oral claims made by retailers, and the Internet."

So "deregulation" was a regulation that didn't regulate far enough, is my best guess. FWIW, here's a publication called Obesity, Fitness & Wellness Week writing in 2001 about two DSHEA "myths":

Myth: Dietary supplements are virtually unregulated.

Fact: The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), enacted in 1994, gives considerable powers to the Federal government to assure the safety of dietary supplements as well as the accuracy of their claims and labeling. Under DSHEA, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has the same powers to regulate dietary supplements as the agency exercises over commonly used foods. This means that, like most other foods, it is the manufacturer's responsibility to ensure that the company's products are safe and properly labeled prior to marketing.

Myth: The passage of DSHEA has weakened the FDA's enforcement powers over the dietary supplement industry.

Fact: Its passage actually maintained and increased the FDA's enforcement powers by establishing new labeling and potency standards and by making violations of these standards a crime.

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  1. No way…Ken Burns is still alive?

  2. Matt, you are obviously clinging to a hopelessly anachronistic definition of ‘deregulation’ as the process or act of removing existing government regulations.

    These days deregulation means “things are not going as I would like them to”.

  3. This is too ridiculous for words. I am glad I changed the station after the first five minutes and watched Dirty Harry instead.

    1. Dirty Harry is totally not ridiculous!
      And Clint’s hair! So dreamy…

    2. I watched two hours of The Office.

  4. That face isn’t punchable. It’s too pathetic to even punch.

      1. I read that as shovelable.

  5. “And baseball was unregulated, and these players without rules were free to do whatever they wanted to do without punishment.”

    That makes sense only in terms of the fact that until recently the was no rule IN BASEBALL that prohibited the use of anabolic steroids. But since baseball is just entertainment it’s like saying their is no rule against steroids in the movies or Broadway shows.

    1. There’s no Warner Brother’s or MGM rule that actors can’t use cocaine or heroin!

  6. What is that thing he wears on his head? Is it dead?

    1. It’s dying. The EPA is investigating. They are concerned. Could be the last of its kind.

  7. When did Dave Foley start making documentaries?

    1. Dave Foley’s annoying-as-all-shit PBS documentary director character is good, but it’s no Hecubus.

      1. Be fair, how the fuck do you top Hecubus?

  8. Ken Burns has reached that unfortunate status of Icon. He produced one good series – The Civil War – and therefore, everything else he produces must be a ‘masterpiece’ according to his worshippers.

  9. I wanted to like the original documentary, as a huge baseball fan. I didnt.

    I saw his interview on Colbert the other night, I think he mentioned baseball’s segregation 17,322 times.

    Jackie Robinson was a pivotal character in both baseball and american history, but Burns cant leave it the fuck alone. EVERYTHING relates to it. How the fuck steriods relate to JR I have no fucking clue, but Burns thinks it does.

    1. Jackie Robinson but he is no more important than Joe Louis. Boxing was every bit as big as baseball in the 1930s. And the heavy weight champion was the biggest sports star in the world. And Louis, unlike Jack Johnson, wore the title as an incredibly popular champion. Louis set the stage for Robinson.

      And the last baseball team desegregated over 50 years ago. Baseball never had a position like middle linebacker or quarterback that people said blacks couldn’t play. By my childhood in the 1970s no one cared about blacks playing baseball anymore. The last major racial barrier in baseball was Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record. And that was thirty six years ago. Burns is a moron.

    2. In addition, where is the love for Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Dodgers who brought Robinson first to Montreal, and then to Brooklyn? Not to take anything away from Robinson, but without Rickey, he would have been a Negro League star.

      Note: I haven’t seen the doc. If Rickey is mentioned, I wouldn’t know.

      1. And they never say a damned word about Larry Doby, who integrated the American league all of three months after Robinson debuted. They don’t think Doby went through a lot of bullshit?

        1. Nobody loves the guy who finished second.

          1. Tell me about it…

        2. At least he got a hwy. named after him in NJ.

    3. Don’t forget Marion Motley who broke the color barrier in professional football the year BEFORE Jackie.

  10. Matt:
    Burns and the narrators may have been thinking of the Federal Supplementation Act of 1994 – see item 4 in this. (Not that the claim is correct.)

    1. Thanks; am updating the post.

  11. I caught about ten minutes of last night’s documentary, and the entire time was focused on the ’96 Yankees. Oh my gosh! A team breaks a FIFTEEN-FUCKING-YEAR DROUGHT and it becomes the fucking story of the decade. I turned it off after that.

    1. More evidence Burns is a moron. The team of the decade or really the last 20 years was the 1998 Yankees. They won a hundred and fourteen regular season games for God’s sake.

      And I shudder to think of the amount of bilious bullshit that must have been spilled over the 2004 Red Sox, especially given the amount spilled over the 55 Dodgers in the first one. I bet they had Dorris Kerns Godwin actually having an orgasm on camera for that one.

      1. They didn’t get to 2004 in last night’s installment. Though I don’t see how the 2004 Red Sox would not be considered one of the major stories of the last 20 years in baseball.

        1. For sure. But Burns was absolutely over the top in the first one talking about the 55 Dodgers. It was nauseating. For some reason many reporters love the old Dodgers and the Red Sox. So I would imagine the 04 story is going to be equally nauseating. It is like they are the only two teams ever to end years of frustration. What about the Phillies? They had never won a single championship and they had been playing since 1884. They had only been to two world serious in the entire 96 year history of the franchise before 1980. But somehow Boston fans’, who got to multiple world series and have Ted Williams spend his entire career there suffering is special.

          1. I’m a Red Sox fan, but the 2005 (?) White Sox win was just as big, as far as baseball history goes.

            1. It was 2005 and yes it was. And so was the 1980 Phillies win. And if the Indians would not have blown the series in 1997, that would have been a big deal to.

      2. I bet they had Dorris Kerns Godwin actually having an orgasm on camera for that one.

        I swear, I would so kick you in the nuts for this visual. How does a person bleach his memory?! Whiskey bottle, here I come!

    2. I caught about ten minutes…the entire time was focused on the ’96 Yankees

      For those 8-10 minutes, yes. But not the rest of the two-hour episode. Relax, and get a grip. Burns is no Yankees fan.

      1. I sort of gathered that Burns didn’t dedicate all two hours to that particular Series. Nonetheless, there’s something to be said for maintaining some sort of dynamic, and given that the schlock-o-meter was turned up to eleven for the ten minutes I watched, I could only reach two possible conclusions: 1.) Burns really thinks this championship was the pinnacle of the ’90s or 2.) the schlock-o-meter never dips below eleven. I figured it was probably the latter, but that still doesn’t make me want to watch the rest of it.

        1. Contrary to popular belief and hate, the Yankees do not and did not win the World Series every year. The ’96 team was the first to win it all since ’78. That was probably Burns’s point. Small comfort to the fans of loser teams with loser ownerships like the Giants and Cubs and Indians, I know.

          1. This has nothing to do with hating the Yankees (I was actually a fan of them in the ’80s and rooted for the ’96 team). My point is that ending an 18-year drought isn’t that noteworthy unless you’re a Yankees fan, and if Burns treats such a non-historic World Series like that then it’s hard to emphasize the significance of more notable World Series (like the one before where a team ended a 38-year drought and brought a city its first World Series, or the one after which brought an expansion franchise–and an entire state–its first World Series).

          2. Also, while Steinbrenner certainly wasn’t a loser, he is incredibly overrated as a manager. The Yankees won championships at a higher rate before he bought the team, he was banned from baseball when the Yankees acquired the key pieces to their late ’90s dynasty, and given how much he spent on the team over the past ten years his lone championship in the new millennium is quite unimpressive.

    3. You caught 15 minutes of a 2-hour film, and the “entire” time it focused on a single but seminal topic? No way.

  12. Like with Michael Moore, Burns doesn’t need fact to back up his agitprop. Whatever he says goes.

  13. First, McGwire used a lot more than andro. Second, I wonder if Burns has considered why steroids were so rampant in baseball while every other professional sport had testing dating back to the 1980s. If he did, he would know that baseball never adopted testing because baseball has the strongest union in professional sports. It wasn’t deregulation, it was the union that caused it.

    Third, steroids were always regulated. They have never been over the counter. That is why Barry Bonds’ trainer went to jail for contempt and was the subject of an FBI investigation. If baseball players’ use of steroids is the result of “deregulation” then NBA players’ well known love for the Chonic is the result of “deregulation”. Did anyone bother to tell this douchebag that steroids are fucking illegal and people like Marion Jones and any number of trainers have gone to jail over them?

    1. Facts, matter they do not

  14. I told you that at heart, liberals are major drug warriors.

    1. Drug use is very unfair.

    2. Say it with me now: “It’s for the children.”

    3. Thank God we finally have presidents who have done drugs, so we can finally get some sane, reasonable drug laws…

      1. You can’t be the “Party of Healthcare” and allow people to put just anything they choose in their bodies.

  15. I like how the Giants passed on Barry Bond’s request for a $75k contract (they offered $70k) in 1986, only to end up paying him $43.75 million to sign in 1993.

  16. WHERE THE FUKUDOME IS THERE A “DEREGULATION” IN THIS STORY?

    I thought they blew the FUKUDOME up to make room for a new open air stadium?

  17. What a dumbass. Doping is as prevalent if not even more so in European athletics as in baseball. Spain is like a doper’s paradise right now. How does that jive with the whole deregulation and society argument?

    1. Deregulation has been a major problem in Spain since Franco left office.

      1. Sigo muerto.

  18. In high school, I played third base, and I could not imagine doing it without being stoned or even occasionally coked up. I gave the crowd what they wanted, slides and dives, essentially numb to the pain, pushing and shouting, and a fast curve ball to first that caused the runner to stop ten feet from the plate to avoid getting his head knocked off. It’s for the crowds man, and whatever hypocritical crap they profess to believe, they love the drama and entertainment, not how the stats were obtained.

  19. Who does this Ned Flanders think he is? He’s anaboloididdly nuts.

  20. YOUK, YOUK, YOUK!!

    Love the reference… As a die hard Boston fan however, I am surprised that there was a game last night. I thought the season ended about three weeks ago when Boston dropped out of the running for the wild card and pennant.

    1. As a die-hard Cubs fan, I didn’t even realize there was a season this year. I figured they just canceled it once the Blackhawks won the Cup.

      1. No worries, mate. Only 562 more years until you finally return to victory and the world ends.

    2. I thought the season ended about three weeks ago when Boston dropped out of the running for the wild card

      That didn’t happen till last night, when the Yankees defeated the Jays.

      1. You’re right – I guess I’m not that die hard having lost faith when they were about 7 games back with about 15 to go.

        1. Give ’em credit. They held on with half their stars on the DL. Unthinkable that they’d still be in it in the last week of the season. They showed some heart.

  21. Jesus, look at the level of hate some of you guys have for the guy and his show because he talked a little about regulation.

    It’s a serious sign of fanaticism when you have this strong of an animosity over such a little thing guys…

    1. “Jesus, look at the level of hate some of you guys have for the guy and his show because he talked a little about regulation.”

      He made absolutely factually untrue statements. And he tried to inject his bullshit political ideas into a sports documentary. Yeah, when you allegedly are doing a historical documentary and you intentionally distort or ignore facts to score cheap political points, you are going to get some deserved hate.

      1. He deserved hate because he mentioned deregulation of a substance that figured prominently in a major baseball scandal and focused on segregation in baseball?

        I can enjoy plenty of entertainment products where there are a few dumbass political points I disagree with inserted without having a two minute hate on the artists…

        1. “He deserved hate because he mentioned deregulation of a substance that figured prominently in a major baseball scandal and focused on segregation in baseball?”

          The deregulation of what? Andro? You really think that people were hitting 60 homeruns a year in the late 1990s because they were on Andro versus illegal steroids and HGH? He acts like the deregulation of andro is what caused the problem when the problem was people using illegal steroids and HGH because the Union wouldn’t agree to testing. And what the hell does segregation, that ended in 1947, have to do with a documentary on baseball in the 1990s?

          You are really bringing the stupid on this one MNG.

          1. And Andro was never deregulation. Andro is a steroid precursor. It was something that was invented to get around the ban on steroids.

          2. Supplements in sports have had a big spotlight on them recently, and the Reagan administration did, in a much ballhooed moment, assert they were going to “deregulate” the stuff. Now you may “really” know that more than Andro was being used, but Burns may have wanted to stick to more provable stuff than what you “really” know. Either way it is not patently dishonest, and certainly not so much to be worked up about…

            As to race, race continues to be a big deal in sports, if only because so many participants and fans feel it is.

            1. “Either way it is not patently dishonest, and certainly not so much to be worked up about…”

              We know what people were using. Read Game of Shaddows for God’s sake. Read Andy Pettite’s grand jury testimony. It wasn’t about supplements. It was about steroids. Supplements don’t put zits on your back and make your head grow two sizes (both of which happened to Bonds and McGwire). And McGwire admitted to using supplements during the 1998 season. It was only later when questioned about steroid use that he “didn’t want to talk about the past”. And we know now that McGwire was using steroids, he has admitted it. So have numerous other players form the era. Jesus Christ did you miss the Mitchell Report that named like 80 players who used steroids? Did you miss the 100 players who tested positive in 2003 including some of the biggest stars in the game?

              We don’t know they used steroids? Are fucking kidding me? Just shut up and stop showing your ignorance.

        2. IT WAS NEVER DEREGULATED.

          PRIOR LACK OF REGULATION IS NOT DEREGULATION.

          Can you hear me now?

      2. bullshit political ideas into a sports documentary

        Were you born yesterday, John?

    2. It’s the hair. Nasty tricksy hobbitses. They hates it forever.

    3. Jesus, look at the level of hate some of you guys have for the guy and his show because he talked a little about regulation.

      It’s a serious sign of fanaticism when you have this strong of an animosity over such a little thing guys…

      The cognitive dissonance is astonishing. You have a man, whose fanaticism of a game, makes him lament fictitous “deregulations” and propose outright falsities concerning a supplement, all because he wants to protect his fantasy of the game.

      It’s idiots like Burns that demand Congressional hearings and criminalization of victimless acts all to promote their vision of a game.

      1. It’s idiots like Burns that demand Congressional hearings and criminalization of victimless acts all to promote their vision of a game.

        Well put.

  22. Was it I who said that documentary film-making is the most dishonest art? I forget.

  23. Just heard Adam Carolla interviewing Ken Burns on his podcast. Burns is apparently doing a documentary on Prohibition, and he compared the Tea Party to the prohibitionists.

    For a documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is a good propagandist.

    1. He’s a pansy. Everything he does has the substance of a Barbara Walters interview. Please cry.

      1. He also said that one of the biggest, if not the biggest, public issues in the country was race.

        Who knew Ken Burns was an HBDer?

    2. What exactly is the Tea Party trying to prohibit?

      1. David Brooks from ever working again.

  24. So, is he going to cover the Astros v Whitesox series? That entire sweep was decided by 6 runs over the 4 games. There was the controversy of not letting the roof stay closed in h-town, etc. I bet it might get mentioned because Roger Clemens was on the team, but that’ll be about it. Where’s the whole segment about Biggio getting 3000 hits, etc. Bullshit north easter bias against all things Texas. Fuck you Burns.

    1. So, Spence…may I call you that? First of all, it’s White Sox, not Whitesox. I assume you are drunk, so no worries. Second (of all), were you hoping that I would cover every stinking thing that has happened between 2004 and the present?

      1. Not drunk, but wouldn’t mind it right now.

        No, but I was hoping you would pay attention to the tightest world series sweep in history, the milestone only reached by a couple of dozen other players in the HISTORY OF THE GAME, and the impact that new stadiums actually had on the quality and play of the game.

        Oh, but none of that stuff happened in new york, boston, or la.

      2. Make that 1994. Stupid proxies.

    2. Astros Red Sox Series. And yeah, only Dodger, Met and Red Sox and maybe Cubs fans suffer in Burns world. The rest of you proles are there to provide dramatic losses to the important people in the NE.

  25. [Me again]

    All documentary is propaganda.

  26. Andro was used by the East Germans as a cover for the “real” stuff. They could point to elevated levels of test and say “well, it’s just this stuff over here” which wasn’t banned. In other words, it was a masking agent. Why no one has picked up on this with Big Mac and the rest is beyond me. Andro wouldn’t have given Mac the muscle he got – it’s not juice. But it was a slick cover.

    1. Andro was used by the East Germans as a cover for the “real” stuff.

      The East German woman became the New Communist Man.

  27. At some point in the documentary last night, one of the talking heads also mentioned something about capitalism creating distinct groups of winners and losers, implying baseball and capitalism alike were zero-sum games.

    1. Baseball is hardly capitalistic, but it’s still the closest thing to it when compared with the other major sports (and I know, I know, they suck the teat of their host cities in many ways; that’s not the focus of my point here). The lack of an artificial salary cap alone recognizes the principle that players and teams should be able to make as much money as they can. What the perennial baseball whiners and losers want is egalitarianism in the sport. They already have a form of socialism with revenue sharing and payroll penalties. But they want more. They want a guarantee that all teams at all times must be able to compete for the title, regardless of their talent and management and ownership and city and fan base. That’s why so many of them hate the Yankees. It’s talent envy.

      1. it’s still the closest thing to it when compared with the other major sports

        Soccer is fundamentally Hayekian. Discuss.

        On second thought, keep your thoughts to yourselves.

  28. So basically, the anti-deregulators, as it were, think that nobody should be allowed to discuss the alleged benefits of dietary supplements “through books, magazines, newsletters, booklets, lectures, radio and television broadcasts, oral claims made by retailers, and the Internet.”

    In other words, the want the government to forcibly suppress all evidence or suggestion that something other than a prescription drug tested and approved by the FDA might have health benefits.

    1. For fucks sake anyway, it’s hard enough to find out what sort of things various herbs might be good for already.

      Do we really need more authoritarian boot stomping suppression of speech?

      Even if the clains are scientifically unfounded, does anyone think that stopping people from debating these claims is the way to keep people from believe them?

    2. You give progressives way too much credit there if you think they put any thought into their wide eyed sentiments.

  29. Burns is a total hack, but his stuff is pretty watchable (to my taste; I tend to prefer boring television). It really isn’t difficult to make a reasonably interesting documentary from stock footage.

    1. His stuff can have a narcoleptic effect, no doubt about it. I can’t make it through 10 minutes of The Civil War without nodding off. I blame the music, and that one song in particular. It’s deadly.

    2. Lewis & Clark was the only good one he did, and that was despite the whimpering, teary-eyed Dayton Duncan.

      1. I don’t know his name, but I know who you mean. He seemed always just on the verge of breaking down. Was Ken mean to him? Or did his doggie just die?

  30. It never ceases to amaze (and appall me) how there are so many people who are completely sincere in their belief that people are too stupid to control their own behaviour without some regulation.. Conservatives and liberals are basically the same in my view, they just come from different angles on why they want infringe our rights with some fucking rule. I get the same blank look from both when I point out that what they’re saying is “people are too stupid to take care of themselves without some rule/regulation/law” Fuck it I quit

  31. I can’t wait for tonight’s episode of The Tenth Inning when we discovered that Barry Bonds used Steroids/PEDs because of our country’s history of racism.

    Also, that the only teams to win a World Series in the last fifteen years are the New York Yankees & Boston Red Sox.

    I could have sworn that the Arizona D’Backs & Florida Marlins won the series at some point? I have to be mistaken?

    1. the only teams to win a World Series in the last fifteen years are the New York Yankees & Boston Red Sox

      Close! Almost half.

      Yankees: 5
      Red Sox: 2

    2. Local sports talk personality at the time claimed Bonds was being targeted in the steroid investigations because he was black, instead of because Bonds was an asshole to the press (and the fact that he did it).

  32. So the Steroid Era of the 1990s was the product of de-regulation.

    And all along I thought the Steroid Era was the product of the Famous-and-Popular-People-Can-Get-Away-With-Things-Regular-People-Can’t Mentality created when President Clinton was allowed to keep his job despite dangling his pee-pee in a woman’s face, groping the boobies of a job applicant, having oral sex with an intern, and similar acts that would have you or me on the unemployment line in a heartbeat if we had done it at work!

    Guess I was wrong.

  33. I lustily (and drunkenly!) booed the shit out of Ken Burns

    I thought you were saying “Boo-urns”.

    (I’m still baffled that nobody’s said this yet. Did I miss it above?)

    1. The alt-text might be a reference to it.

  34. I’d be interested to see who in politics Ken Burns compares to Steve Bartman.

    1. Katherine Harris, of course.

  35. It’s so much easier to keep track when you divide MLB into “Baseball” and “Designated Hitter-ball”. Only half the teams to follow and the season ends at the NL championship!

    … Hobbit

  36. I’m an admitted baseball geek who fell in love with the original Burns film as an 11-12 year old. Shit shaped my life. And I usually like Welch just as much as any of the regulars.

    But for real, shut the fuck up. You’re talking about a single sentence in a four-hour documentary. Fuck. How many incredibly entertaining pieces of art are created by even-more incredible douchebags?

    The Burns series is simply enthralling. The production values are second to none, the interviews are insightful, the storytelling is compelling.

    That Ken Burns is a limp-wristed lefty is no more relevant than the fact that John Lennon was a douchebag hippie. Does it make Rubber Soul any less of a badass trip? How about David Simon and The Wire? Still the best show ever.

    1. We live in a world where the president of the United States campaigns on a daily basis against a phantom George W. Bush “deregulation” that never happened. He’s able to continue this lie because people in the broader culture mouth it without thinking about it. Ken Burns makes documentaries–not albums, not crime dramas, but documentaries–that scores of millions watch, and he perpetuated this pernicious myth. I edit a libertarian magazine. Why the hell WOULDN’T I mention this?

      And if I wanted to talk about more than one sentence, I might begin with the fact that the Florida Marlins, who won just as many Champeenships as the Bostonians after ’94, were barely mentioned. Or that the the tens of billions of taxpayer money that were spent on building these stadiums–based on colossal lies, corruption, and worse–were never engaged. Or that the end of last night’s program was a love-letter to federal intrusion into the locker rooms of a private industry. Or that Bill James was mis-labeled as a “statistician.”

      Burns is talented, and I don’t mean to piss on your nice memories, but I wrote about this sentence because it has direct impact on our work here. If I was writing a more proper review I might roast it for a dozen other reasons.

      1. Hey Matt, no reason to worry about my memories, I just wanted to acknowledge my bias.

        Ken Burns makes documentaries–not albums, not crime dramas, but documentaries

        A documentary isn’t history proper, especially coming from a pop-documentarian like Burns. It’s somewhere between true historical inspection, and making a movie “based on a true story”. I take the Burns films for what they are: really well-told stories with what I consider an irresistible sense of nostalgia and meaning. It’s about baseball, but it’s also about father and son, and fame and fortune, and agony and ecstasy, and death and rebirth. These aren’t critical components of accurately-documented history, but they make the film fun to watch.

        I’m not saying there is no room for criticism. When they moved right from the ’03 ALCS to the ’04 ALCS, I said to myself “where the shit are the two Marlins teams?” And yes, public stadium financing is a major part of the game now and should have been addressed. And yes, though there was some talk of “grandstanding”, the political intervention in the steroids business got off way too easy. Agreed on all counts, and more I’m sure.

        But still, that was four hours of damn fine entertainment. I know I’m hopelessly in the bag for Burns, and you can write me off entirely based on that; but I still think some of the criticism misses the main point: that it’s a beautiful freaking film.

  37. Though anabolic steroids, HGH and others are forbidden sportsmen all the same by them use, I am ready to argue that hard-athletes acting at different competitions use in not measured quantities steroids

  38. Though anabolic steroids, HGH and others are forbidden sportsmen all the same by them use, I am ready to argue that hard-athletes acting at different competitions use in not measured quantities steroids

  39. Though anabolic steroids, HGH and others are forbidden sportsmen all the same by them use, I am ready to argue that hard-athletes acting at different competitions use in not measured quantities steroids

  40. Though anabolic steroids, HGH and others are forbidden sportsmen all the same by them use, I am ready to argue that hard-athletes acting at different competitions use in not measured quantities steroids

  41. Though anabolic steroids, HGH and others are forbidden sportsmen all the same by them use, I am ready to argue that hard-athletes acting at different competitions use in not measured quantities steroids

  42. HGH have other healthful uses aside from helping athletes maximize their performance. It can be used to slow down aging and fight other diseases!

  43. HGH has other uses aside from helping athletes maximize their performance. They can also help slow down aging and combat diseases!

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