Blu-ray Review: MLB Presents The 2019 World Series

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Fight finished, indeed. A couple months ago, the National League's Washington Nationals made the first World Series appearance in franchise history (that includes their years in Montreal as the Expos, 1969-2004, before relocating). It went the full seven games, but they also beat their American League opponents, the mighty Houston Astros. While the Astros were looking to "take it back," having won back in 2017, it wasn't to be.

A classic World Series for the ages, neither team won a single game at their home stadium. All four Nats wins were road games, as were the three taken by the Astros. In the end, however formidable Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole (now the $324 million man, relocating in 2020 to the Bronx), and Alex Bregman (the league's true deserving MVP; c'mon guys—Trout played only 134 games due to injuries!) and company were during the regular season, they proved no match for Nats manager Dave Martinez's roster.

As they have been doing each year, Shout! Factory has issued the official MLB-produced feature-length documentary, The 2019 World Series (no prize for Most Inventive Title here) as a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. While this one is another straight-forward affair—essentially a compilation of series highlights, skillfully edited and this time narrated by NBC newsman Craig Melvin—the turnaround on this film is as impressive as ever. Seriously, game seven was played on October 30, 2019. MLB and Shout! have this documentary available for baseball fans to purchase well in advance of Christmas.

Now, for the even more-rabid baseball maniac, Shout! and MLB have also partnered to issue the eight-disc 2019 World Series Collector's Edition: Washington Nationals. That set (not available for review) presents all seven games in their entirety, with Game 4 of the NLCS (wherein the Nats defeated the St. Louis Cardinals to clinch the pennant) thrown in as a bonus. Now that's the way to literally relive the series (with either/or the Nationals or the Astros broadcast commentary available).

But back to the Reader's Digest version, it may not be fancy filmmaking but for baseball fans it's a great way to remember the Fall Classic of 2019, with dramatic highlights contributed by Juan Soto, Trea Turner (though not enough time devoted to his controversial "interference" play), Howie Kendrick, and ace hurlers Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer. Behind the scenes interviews with various players provide a healthy dose of deeply-felt emotion.

Extras are generally short, but nice to have: "Regular Season Highlights" (if you haven't seen the footage of Scherzer bunting to break his nose, be prepared to wince), brief featurettes covering the World Series Parade as well as Soto's rookie season, and "Clinching Moments." A must-have to tide MLB fans over until Spring Training.

 
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Chaz Lipp is a Las Vegas-based musician and freelance writer. His new jazz album 'Good Merlin' is now available.

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