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Burns on Baseball 2005: 'Utterly Reflective of Who We Are'
2005-04-08 10:46
by Jon Weisman

From Nick Christensen of the Las Vegas Sun:

Ken Burns knows about perspective. So when an audience member at a lecture by the famed documentarian asked Burns about the escalating salaries, he had an easy response.

"If an outfield stays together when you're 10, 11 and 12, that's a quarter of your life," Burns said. "It's the relativity of time."

It was 11 years ago that Burns' 18 1/2-hour documentary on the history of baseball became the most-watched show in the history of PBS, and in the interceding time, the game has seen a strike and the recent steroids scandal.

Yet, when asked if the current time was the "Civil War" of baseball, Burns scoffed.

"Did you watch the World Series and playoffs last year?" he said. "It's never been better. It's utterly reflective of who we are right now, the good and the bad."

2005-04-08 11:19:17
1.   Ken Arneson
Interesting. I'm sure it is indeed useful to take a step back and look at the baseball issues in the larger context of society as a whole.

Perhaps, then, we'll look back at this age not as the "steroid era", but as merely the first time baseball dealt with an issue that will have a huge effect on society at large in the 21st century: the ethics of bioengineering.

2005-04-09 18:02:11
2.   Suffering Bruin
I remember Ken Burns being interviewed before his documentary on jazz. He said he was looking forward to doing something serious as opposed to something like baseball. I'm going to try to find that interview and place my dimly remembered quote in context because if that's what he said, it explains why the baseball documentary wasn't nearly as good as the one he did on the Civil War.

The Jazz documentary was, IMHO, the worst of the three.

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