Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Zen of Bobby V

Saw this film last night on the Deuce (ESPN2) thanks to a heads-up yesterday afternoon from The Hardline's big-time baseball-head Rhynes (Mike Rhyner) on my favorite sportsradio station 1310AM The Ticket. One part "Lost in Translation", one part "Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the NY Cosmos", this is a great sports documentary from a couple of rookie NYU filmmakers. It's too bad ESPN2 saw fit to chop it up with sloppy commercial break editing. You see an American thriving in a foreign country, paying respects annually at Hiroshima, and truly immersing himself in all things Japanese (Bobby Valentine even looks slimmer from all that sushi!). And the film provides a great perspective on just how serious the Japanese fans are about their "baseboru". Would love to see Bobby V return to Arlington to try and get the Rangers back in business. Wishful thinking probably...

My brother and I were lucky enough to take in a Yomiuri Giants game at the Tokyo Dome 8 years ago. It was one thing to see how closely the Japanese follow baseball in America. It was another experience to see their devotion to the game in person. The games are much faster-paced in Japan and are very exciting to watch because the whole crowd's involved in every little detail. I was surprised at how small the Tokyo Dome is. So it's no surprise that Bobby Valentine advocates a new showcase stadium for Japan's premiere baseball club.
Turns out that interest in Japan's national pastime has dwindled somewhat in the face of a strong challenge from soccer.
I'm disappointed to find out that footage of Bobby V singing karaoke was cut out of the final edit. Maybe that will make it into the DVD release.