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Case Number 09205

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Red Sox Vs. Yankees: The Ultimate Rivalry

Shout! Factory // 2006 // 66 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // May 8th, 2006

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson likes to laugh, but he doesn't know how he'd handle it if Don Zimmer charged at him with murder in his eyes.

The Charge

Yankees _______.

Opening Statement

As a relatively recent transplant to New England from New York, I can see this intensity between the Yankees and the Red Sox is a true geopolitical marvel. I consider myself just "merely" a baseball fan, but when then these two teams battle it out—especially in the playoffs—I find myself drawn into the fracas and emotionally reacting to even the smallest minutia of the game. Shout! Factory has released another fine baseball DVD, in conjunction with MLB, taking a closer look at what fuels the unbridled fury of Yankee and Red Sox nations.

Facts of the Case

The program runs about six minutes north of an hour and begins with an overview of the rivalry, then examines the historical foundation of the bitterness between the two clubs and their fans. Of course, it all starts with two words: "Babe" and "Ruth." When the Red Sox sold Ruth to the Yankees, it ignited a firestorm and brought upon the dreaded Curse of the Bambino, the ethereal malice that many forlorn Boston fans have blamed for their decades of despondency.

>From the early duels between Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams to the resurgence of the rivalry in the '70s to Bucky F***ing Dent and the gripping playoff match-ups of the new millennium, The Ultimate Rivalry reveals the joy and despair that each team faced.

The Evidence

Another high-quality sports release from Shout! Factory and Major League Baseball. For such a divisive and compelling subject like the vaunted Sox/Yanks rivalry, the producers have mined the conflict well and ended up capturing the essence of the feud. By essence, I of course mean "hatred with the fire of a thousand suns."

I do think the coverage tilts slightly more towards the Red Sox, with their miraculous comeback against the Yankees in 2004 commanding the most screen time out of any other segment, but that was high drama, so I can see why.

Here's how the program is broken down:

• History of the Rivalry
• 2003 ALCS: The Rivalry Explodes
• 2004: A Rivalry Reloaded
• 2004 ALCS: The Ultimate Red Sox Comeback
• 2005: The Rivalry Continues
• 2005: Race Within a Race—The MVP
• 2005: Season Ends and Another Begins

As you can see, much of the rivalry action centers on the 2003-2005 theatrics. But with such righteous grist as Pedro throwing Don Zimmer down to the ground, multiple staff defections, A-Rod's fisticuffs, Mariano Rivera's choke job, and Sheffield's fan assault, this period in the feud perfectly crystallizes the animosity. Mixed with the game footage, is commentary by regular Red Sox fans, team officials, journalists, sportscasters, players, and Denis Leary. And as a nifty inclusion, you can watch the program with either Joe Torre or Terry Francona narrating. There's not much difference between the scripts, except for some pronoun changes, but the variation is enough to make it a unique offering.

Supplementing the main feature is a nice slew of extras:

• 1949 Newsreel: Final Weekend of Regular Season
• 2004 ALCS Game 7: Final Out and Celebration
• 2001: Carl Everett Breaks Up Mike Mussina's Perfect Game
• 1986: Roger Clemens' 20 Strikeout
• 2003: Roger Clemens' 4,000th Strikeout and 300th Win
• July 1, 2004: Red Sox vs. Yankees Game Highlights
• Joe Torre's Safe at Home Foundation PSA

Closing Statement

The Ultimate Rivalry is a slick disc: lots of highlights, candid moments, and interviews gleaned from the greatest rivalry in all of sports. Yankees and Red Sox fans may hold the most interest, but I don't see why any old baseball fan couldn't enjoy this DVD.

The Verdict

Not guilty, Big Papi.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 85
Audio: 85
Extras: 85
Acting: 85
Story: 90
Judgment: 88

Perp Profile

Studio: Shout! Factory
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 66 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Documentary
• Sports

Distinguishing Marks

• 1949 Newsreel: Final Weekend of Regular Season
• 2004 ALCS Game 7: Final Out and Celebration
• 2001: Carl Everett Breaks Up Mike Mussina's Perfect Game
• 1986: Roger Clemens' 20 Strikeout
• 2003: Roger Clemens' 4,000th Strikeout and 300th Win
• July 1, 2004: Red Sox vs. Yankees Game Highlights
• Joe Torre's Safe at Home Foundation PSA
• Optional Joe Torre/ Terry Francona Narration
• Trailers








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