Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|MLB Vintage World Series Films - Toronto Blue Jays 1992 1993|
Actors: Joe Carter, David Cone, Cito Gaston, Dave Winfield, Roberto Alomar Jr.
Genres: Television, Sports
All the glory and classic moments of these two Blue JaysŪ World SeriesŪ Championships are now digitally preserved on this official DVD.
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The "Salad Jays" Of 1992-93
TODD KAY | 06/19/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is a comforting familiarity to the layout of these MLB Productions World Series DVDs (those that were originally on VHS have not changed an iota in content, although in the bad old days they were sold singly, not conveniently bundled two-or-more to a package for repeating teams, as here). The narrator gives a sense of context to the season, and there's a race through the respective League Championship Series. Then it's off to the main event, with game-by-game WS recaps that alternate between on-field highlights with the original broadcast commentary, talking-head interstitials with players/managers, and shaping narration (provided in this instance by the redoubtable Len Cariou) with a sprinkling of bad puns. Once one team has prevailed (here, it is Toronto in six games both years), we get a musical montage (usually of the inspirational-ballad variety, with loving slo-mo of key players doing their things on the field, on the mound, at the plate, or on the base pads) to wrap things up, and...credits. It's nothing fancy, and the choices rarely surprise, but it does the job: an unremarkable World Series (relatively speaking) can be skillfully massaged and distilled into something that seems more tense and electric than it was in the event, while a truly exciting one can be presented in a way that recreates some of that excitement for the viewer -- the next best thing to seeing the games again in their uncut form.
Neither the 1992 nor the 1993 Series is, perhaps, widely considered among the greatest of all time, but both were good, memorable contests that give the documentarians more than enough material from which to extract a solid hour apiece. The 1992, in which Canada's pride handed "America's Team" (the Atlanta Braves) its second consecutive Series defeat, was the better-played series all around, for across-the-board excellence in pitching, hitting, and defense. But it has been overshadowed by the 1993, in which a substantially altered lineup of Jays overcame the rough-and-tumble Philadelphia Phillies. This series, although not *without* good pitching (a quality start from Pat Hentgen in game 3; a gripping pitcher's duel in game 5, in which Curt Schilling's complete-game shutout overcame the efforts of Juan Guzman) or stellar work in the field (the Jays' Devon White and Roberto Alomar, among others), is best remembered as a slugfest, exemplified by the unforgettably bizarre game 4, in which a platoon of ostensibly talented pitchers failed to get anyone out, the lead seesawed improbably all night, and 29 cumulative runners (very muddy ones; it was raining) crossed the plate, the Jays finishing ahead 15-14.
Comparing the two included docs, the wilder 1993 series gets the slicker, snazzier treatment (the editing also gets a booster shot of wit -- for example, a female spectator's exasperated exhortation to Phils pitcher Mitch Williams is followed by a quick cut to what appears to be, but is not, Williams's irritated reaction to same). For the 1992, although each WS game is given its proper due, the preceding NL and AL Championship Series are given such short shrift that a viewer ignorant of history will have to look fast even to know which other teams were in those series. Without a loss of anything vital from the 1993 Series itself, we get a much fuller account of the corresponding LCSs of 1993, especially on the AL side, where our guide is no less than ALCS MVP Dave Stewart, he of the formidable death glare when on the mound, and the incongruously high voice when off it. There is a greater emphasis on "local color" (e.g., candid reactions of fans and players' family members in the seats) and player interviews throughout the coverage of 1993; we hear from a wide range of baseball immortals and comparative unknowns, with less gap-plugging to be done by the narrator -- all to the good.
Although the 1993 series is remembered above all for Joe Carter's momentous series-ending three-run homer (a staple without which any "great Series moments" montage is incomplete), the deserving Series MVP was his teammate Paul Molitor, and there really could have been no other choice. The future Hall of Famer was heroic; he was 37, past his chronological prime, but seemed only to have improved since his one prior Series appearance with the Brewers eleven years earlier. It certainly was among the most stunning postseason performances I had ever seen or probably will ever see -- 12 for 24 (fully half of those for extra bases), 10 runs, 8 RBI, *no* strikeouts, and flawless fielding at both first and third in the three NL games, this from a DH whose days of playing third were several years behind him at the time. Philadelphia's Len Dykstra, nearly as brilliant in defeat as Molitor was in victory, is one of a handful of players who captivated two nations that October but turned out to be nearer the end of his playing days than we might have guessed (he never played another full season). Indeed, I was struck, rewatching this, by how many of the players of both teams were having a sort of "last hurrah" in October 1993: Dykstra; Stewart; Philadelphia's ingratiating lug of a 1B John Kruk (never the same after a diagnosis of testicular cancer the following spring); the erratic but oft-overpowering Philly reliever Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams, instrumental in getting his team to the postseason, but never able to live down two losing efforts in this series, especially that crucial long ball to Carter in game 6; the widely-feared Toronto closer Duane Ward, who collected another key save here and, sadly, saw his career effectively end when he underwent carpal tunnel surgery in the offseason.
This 1992-93 period was the culmination of a decade of winning seasons for Toronto, and attendance both years exceeded 4,000,000, a figure the team has not come close to matching since. After this, an unaccountable decay set in. Though many of the same players would return, the magic would not (holes on the pitching staff were usually blamed), as the team limped to a sub-.500 record in the strike-shortened '94 season. The resurgent Montreal Expos suddenly had made the Jays a distant second for best MLB team in *Canada*. Toronto fared still worse in a truly dismal '95 campaign, by which point the Yankees and the Red Sox had reestablished themselves as the teams to fear in the AL East. To this day, Toronto has yet even to make a return appearance to the playoffs. But none of that could have been foreseen in 1992-93, and one can relive here what was surely a high-water mark in franchise history, when this was the team Canada loved, and much of America loved to hate: a team as modern, efficient, and corporate-cool as the monolithic Skydome that was its home base. However one felt about the Jays, it was beyond argument that -- as deep-pocket teams tend to do -- they fielded much of the finest talent of the era in both of these seasons, and both times out they had worthy opponents to test their mettle. And that's really what it's all about.
Video quality is lackluster but not problematic."
Re-living Blue Jays glory
Nicholas Hill | Sydney, Australia | 11/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the ultimate purchase for any true Blue Jays fan who wants to re-live those amazing back-to-back World Series wins. They were two truly wonderful teams and it was a thrill to see them play again. Joe's homer still sends shivers up my spine every time I see it."