Major League Baseball presents The 2020 World Series, the official 85-minute documentary of the six-game series played between the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had won six of the previous 23 times that they played in the World Series, and the Tampa Bay Rays, who didn't win in their single previous appearance.
Narrated by former Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster, the legendary Vin Scully, who retired after 67 seasons in 2016, the documentary presents highlights of the six games of the Fall Classic held at Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, which opened in 2020. The neutral location was used because of the Covid-19 epidemic.
There was pressure on the Dodgers who had continuously won the NL West since 2013, had gone to three out four past World Series, but hadn't won it since 1988, and they rose to the challenge. The Rays are a young, talented team on the rise, anchored by RF Randy Arozarena who set the MLB record for home runs in a single postseason with 10 this season.
Augmenting the story is input from players through footage from media sessions and interviews conducted for the film where they offer insight on what took place. Unfortunately, rather than getting views from both sides during a game, director Jed Tuminaro focuses on the team that won for comments about it.
Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell was frustrated to come out of Game 2 when he ran into a rough spot in the bottom of the 5th inning. He gave up two runs to make the score 5-2 and was about to go through the line up a third time. The bullpen went on to win the game, so manager Kevin Cash's choice, which was how he managed throughout the season, proved to be successful. Circumstances were very similar in Game 6 and Cash made the same choice, though with different results.
Infamously, folks would be reminded of the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic as Dodgers 3B Justin Turner was pulled before the eight inning for testing positive. The documentary spends little more than a mention about it and doesn't show him celebrating with his teammates on the field, which briefly became a story bigger than the series' outcome.
The video is presented at an 1.78.1 aspect ratio. Colors shine in strong hues, Blacks are inky. The image offers a sharp focus and good depth. Dialogue and crowd noise comes out the front center channel. Some of the radio-broadcast audio have a slight distortion. The music plays in the surrounds. Strike-outs are punctuated with a little extra bass in the subwoofer.
Bonus Features are all in HD:
- “How They Got There” (5 min) - Unfortunately, we only see clips of how the Dodgers did it and not the Rays.
- Season Highlights (8 min) - Include Betts contract signing, Opening Day of the shortened season including how the first run was scored, various home runs, etc.
- Clinching Moments (9 min) - Scenes of them clinching a spot in post season, the division, and against every playoff opponent. Playing against the San Diego Padres, the clips are inexplicably out of order.
- World Series Postgame Interviews (14 min) - Dodgers players on the field talking to different interviewers.
The 2020 World Series, available in a Blu-ray/DVD set, is an an enjoyable documentary, especially for Dodgers fans. For those looking for a more complete story, The 2020 World Series Collector's Edition: Los Angeles Dodgers, an eight-disc set that includes all six complete games of the 2020 World Series plus NLDS Game 3 and NLCS Game 7, will be available on February 9, 2021.