Major League Baseball has repackaged a couple of titles released separately years back and has issued them together here as an "MLB Bloopers Doubleheader". The blooper is really on fans, because there are none of the extras (good, bad or otherwise) found on those standalone releases, and all that's here are the two features, presented as potential fodder for your very own rain delay theater the next time Mother Nature puts the clampdown on your favorite team. As a doublebill, this one is wobbly and uneven, a mixed bag of sometime entertainment. The thing is baseball bloopers are essentially mindless filler, a grandly silly reminder that for all the big bucks and idol worship MLB players receive they are still prone to the same kind of bonehead mistakes the average joe might make in the local sandlot. Unfortunately only one of these titles is truly blooper-esque.
Things kicks off with MLB Bloopers: Baseball's Best Blunders (01h:02m:08s), narrated by John Webber. As the title might indicate this is the closest to the titular theme of the disc, and the easily the better of the two features, focusing more on the "blooper" element of the game and less on the wacky antics of players. Broken up into bite-size thematic chapters, the clips move quickly, whether it be Jose Canseco's serving up a homerun off his head, fans in the stands making spectacular catches or assorted animal/insect invasions that have cause their own special delay. I imagine most baseball fans have seen many of these clips before, but there's a dumb fun to it all, and things like Paul O'Neill kicking a ball in from right field (after bobbling it repeatedly) to prevent a run from scoring is a hoot no matter how many times I see it. Players, managers and sportscasters - past and present - occasionally contribute some insight, adding some background to what we've just seen.
In The Funny Side of Baseball (01h:00m:33s) Chris Kattan serves as narrator, though his presence is remarkably bland, and the voiceover gig really could have been done by anyone else and it wouldn't make this any better or worse. This segment is much less "bloopery" and looks more at the players/coaches, and how they fill their time with nutty shenanigans like the old standby the shaving cream pie or with elaborate post-victory handshakes. A chapter on players being wired up with microphones mixes random pre-game wisecracks with a few actual in-game bloopers, as if they're commenting on the action. It's rather unfunny and cloying, and seems to signify much of what makes The Funny Side of... not so, well, funny. Especially when the disc is billed as a "bloopers doubleheader", which this just isn't.
Legendary Cardinals/White Sox/Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray used to love reminding fans that "you can't beat fun at the old ballpark." I suppose that is still the central theme here, and there's nothing wrong with that. Seeing Ryan Dempster hiding the tires of a teammates SUV around the stadium is the sort of silly thing most fans would never get to see, but my anal-retentive nature reminds that type of activity is not technically a blooper that this disc seems to want to promise. The "head-scratching hilarity" that is proclaimed on the backcover is served handily in MLB Bloopers: Baseball's Best Blunders, because that's where we get to see authentic and natural miscues, flubs, falls and dropped balls that define the word "blooper" to me. The rest: not so much.
It's a mixed bag with the video transfers, and both are ported over from their previous standalone releases; MLB Bloopers: Baseball's Best Blunders is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, while The Funny Side of Baseball is issued as letterboxed fullframe. Despite the anamorphic inconsistencies neither is dramatically great or awful, and both use a mixture of new and old clips, with image quality fluctuating accordingly dependent on the source material. Colors generally look bright, and there's not any measurable detritus to detract from the barebones video presentation.
Both features are presented in simple, no-muss-no-fuss 2.0 stereo. Voices are clear, though there's little in the way of anything especially noteworthy - good or bad - to merit a mention.
There are no extras here.
This budget-priced doublebill of baseball's wacky side isn't especially deep, but it's a fun, sometimes uneven little diversion.