Shout! Factory // 2004 // 47 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 19th, 2005
Inside tips from MLB greats.
Major League Baseball: MLB Superstars Show You Their Game is a compilation of interviews and features from the long-running show This Week in Baseball. Superstar softball pitcher Jennie Finch is the correspondent for the program, and she hosts this disc as well. Her travels bring her into contact with a slew of Major League stars, all willing to chat it up and offer a few baseball tips.
Again, this is a compilation, with the producers having cherry-picked interview snippets where the players offer batting, training, and fielding tips. This isn't a specially produced DVD featuring in-depth how-to lessons by pros. It's a gleaning of bits from This Week in Baseball.
Not to say that renders the disc worthless. Not at all. MLB Superstars Show You Their Game is a short (47 minutes), enjoyable, kid-friendly romp around the bases. It's not a training video, as the misleading title would suggest, but there are a fair number of helpful tactics from the pros to keep the young baler satiated. A few examples:
* Roger Clemens runs through his training routine, showing some of his exercises.
* Pitcher Ben Sheets opens up about different ways to pick off a base runner.
* Catcher Ivan Rodriguez (who is really short!) lets fly the methods of throwing out a runner at second base.
* Alex Rodriguez (both as a Yankee and Ranger) offers fielding tips and hitting exercises.
* Cal Ripken Jr. shares some shortstop fielding drills.
So this is not an exhaustive investigation into baseball strategy, but a quick, fun overview of basic mechanics from the pros themselves. The hitting section in particular could have benefited from some more articulation, as the players were talking about specific hand positioning without actually showing what they were talking about. That would have been nice.
The last fifteen minutes of the program abandons the "teaching tips" theme and focuses on Finch. I have to admit -- this girl has the goods. She's a renowned softball fast-pitch pitcher, and the spots with her fanning a number of big leaguers are amusing. I would have liked to see more time spent on actual MLB superstars showing me their game, but Finch is a pleasant persona with a charming personality, so none of it was grating. Plus she's hot.
Finally, we come to the most provocative portion of the DVD: "Bonding with Barry." This lengthy segment has Finch hanging out with big-time slugger and steroid user Barry Bonds. And it doesn't take long to discover that this guy isn't merely a major-league ballplayer but a major-league dingleberry. He constantly berates Finch, making fun of her pitching, showing how he can hit anything she throws, even kneeling down on home-plate, taunting her. He covers it all up with a jokesy attitude, but it's transparent -- the man is a yahoo.
A set of in-game action clips for the various ballplayers comprise the special features. It's not much, though still a decent supplement to the kid-oriented feature.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 47 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Footage