A limited-edition, documentary style podcast - timely and enduring - created and written by Neil Thomas Proto, author of Fearless: A. Bartlett Giamatti and the Battle for Fairness in America with guest, actor Marcus Bartlett Giamatti, hosted by Emmy-award winning broadcast journalist Diane Smith.
The August 24, 1989 decision by Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti to ban Pete Rose from Baseball was the prelude to a broader, Epic Battle to protect Baseball’s authenticity against greed and cheating that Giamatti anticipated would occur. He laid out those principles and strategy, first while president of Yale in 1986, then in lectures at the University of Michigan Law School while president of the National League, and in the Rose controversy as Commissioner. His foresight, the Renaissance practitioner’s foresight of what was to come was stunningly accurate. So, too, was his fearless preparation for battle.
DOWNFALL explores the practical, moral, and ethical concerns that Giamatti and others raised, including famed sports writer, Roger Angel, covers the anticipated, now current scandals surrounding the cheating and greed of the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox and others that Giamatti considered “snakes in the garden,” and Proto’s insightful exploration of why and how so many from commissioner to players have embraced the selfishness of the “Zuckerberg Mentality” and have invited others to do the same. That mentality has shifted the ethical and practical burden to others in the daily battle for the authenticity of the game on the field and the fate of Baseball.
Giamatti’s own voice gives renewed appeal to the words he used to express the values that he believed underpin the meaning and preservation of Baseball in America. His son, actor Marcus Giamatti adds his own voice to his father’s written words. Host Diane Smith, and Giamatti biographer, Neil Thomas Proto, lead the way.
Downfall: Baseball’s Public Trust and the Battle for the Game | Episode 2
Giamatti's principled view of Baseball’s public duty to the fans and to America; a fuller exploration of Baseball’s embrace of the “Mark Zuckerberg Mentality” that ensures a place for the “snakes in the garden,” including through the guidance revealed by movies, “Moneyball,” “The Social Network,” and “The Natural;” and the duty of those who remain - the Hall of Fame, the Little League, the Sportswriters, and the Umpires - to do Epic Battle to preserve the authenticity of the game.
Episode One: Downfall: The Threat and the Strategy
Giamatti’s confrontation with Rose and those who lent credence to the Big Lie; his moral, ethical and practical imperatives about Baseball’s authenticity, affirmed earlier in his life and by others; his confrontation with his predecessor Peter Ueberroth; the strategic foundation for the Epical Battle he believed necessary to confront cheating, greed, and the “snakes in the garden; and the manner in which Baseball has embraced the “Mark Zuckerberg Mentality” in its inherent failure to protect Baseball’s integrity.
Downfall: The Prelude
Commissioner Bart Giamatti’s decision and Rose’s lie, executed in collusion with others; the Epic Battle for Baseball’s authenticity is set.
Title is Misleading
I misunderstood the premise of this podcast and was very unhappy with what I was hearing. I now realize that if you listen for the purposes of learning about A. Bartlett Giamatti, you should be very satisfied. If you are listening to hear lots of new details about the Pete Rose case, as I did, you will be frustrated.
I’m learning a lot about Giamatti which is great. It sounds like he was a great, great, man. Fairness is something I value highly, and I appreciate when I come across people who put fairness, front and center in their lives. Giamatti certainly exemplified that. I really appreciate how he wasn’t intimidated by Rose or other enormous external influences.
So far, in the first 3 episodes, it has been about 15% information and 85% pontificating about the integrity of the game.
The creators of this podcast clearly, and admirably love and respect the game and A. Bartlett Giamatti. The title of Downfall was misleading, because that implies we will learn about the Rose Downfall in new detail. I didn’t know how to rate it due to the conflicting title and content so I gave it 3 stars as a compromise.