The instant that David Freese lofted a triple over the flailing glove of a stumble-drunk Nelson Cruz to tie the game in the ninth, all was revealed to me. The Cardinals were going to win the World Series. There was no doubt. Even when Josh Hamilton slammed a two-run shot in the top of the tenth to put the Rangers ahead, I thought “What a waste of time.” It turns out it was actually a cruel trick. Hamilton later said that God told him he was going to hit a home run; he simply didn’t tell him it wouldn’t be enough. That’s the way God rolls sometimes. Once the Cards tied it again in the tenth and won on Freese’s home run in the eleventh, Game Seven was merely a tiresome formality. The Cardinals were going to win the World Series.
Perhaps I was just preparing myself for the worst, the spectacle of Tony Freaking La Russa parading his genius around the field with a trophy in hand. But as loathsome as the prospect was, I also had to admit something plainly obvious: Game Six of the 2011 World Series was an instant classic.
History will tell us whether post-season heroes like Freese and Allen Craig were flashes-in-the-pan or young talents just emerging, but it’s already clear that the Series represents a storybook ending of an era for Cards fans. Tony Freaking La Russa would retire on top of the world, and the greatest player in franchise history (yes, even over Stan the Man) would take his talents to Anaheim a few months later. I suppose the shock of losing Albert Pujols to the O.C. was softened by the still warm memories of the Series victory.
The 2011 Cardinals were on absolutely nobody’s radar in early September. Even calling them an afterthought for the playoffs would be an exaggeration, but the historically laughable collapse by the Braves opened the door just a crack and Tony Freaking La Russa had just managed to jam his big fat hairy toe into it and sneak his 90-win squad into the post-season. What happened next is something of which I shall not speak, though I offer this link to express my opinion about furry rats. After stomping the Brewers in the NLCS, the Cards were somehow, some way in the World Series, and Mr. Freese would earn himself free Bud for life.
This combo pack includes both the Blu-ray and the DVD releases of Game Six, presented in its entire 3 hour, 45 minute broadcast; that’s without commercials but including about fifteen minutes of post-game celebration, interviews and wrap-up.
I’m not sure there’s any real need to watch a baseball game on Blu-ray but there is certainly a difference between the BD and the DVD, most notably in the richness of the colors which actually look a bit “unnatural” on the BD for those of us not accustomed to watching games in high-def. In any case, while many MLB releases are surprisingly mediocre in image quality, this one is sharp in both formats.
One of the best features MLB consistently offers on their home releases is a range of audio options. You can choose to listen to the network broadcast audio (in BuckCarver 5.1), the Cardinals radio broadcast, the Rangers radio broadcast, or the Spanish radio broadcast. The radio audio streams don’t always start when the image does, but they are usually well synched-up. Obviously Cardinals fans are going to want to enjoy this one with some home-cooking.
None. With the Blu-ray case, we don’t get the usual SleeveStats graphics on the case and in the liner notes, only a line score on the back.
Twice the Cardinals were down to their last strike and trailing by two runs. Twice they rallied to tie it. Yeah, it’s one of Baseball’s Greatest Games, even if it means Tony Freaking La Russa gets to say “I told you so” to all the doubters.
MLB has also released the entire 2011 World Series in a boxed set, so obviously there’s no need to buy this if you already own it unless you really need that high-def image for just one game. At $24.95 full retail, this is pretty pricy for a single game, but it’s a heck of a game.