FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
COMCAST SPORTSNET TO AIR AN UNPRECEDENTED 90-MINUTE DOCUMENTARY ON THE GLORY AND HEARTBREAK OF THE UNFORGETTABLE 2003 CHICAGO CUBS SEASON
‘5 Outs…’ presented by Lexus, premieres Tuesday, October 15 at 9:00 PM CT — Exclusively on Comcast SportsNet
Narrated by Three-Time Primetime Emmy & Golden Globe Nominee William Petersen
Chicago, IL (October 3, 2013) – On the exact date of the ten-year anniversary of the Chicago Cubs season-ending defeat to the Florida Marlins in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, Comcast SportsNet will provide viewers with a landmark documentary entitled 5 Outs… presented by Lexus, a 90-minute Comcast SportsNet Original Production chronicling the triumph and heartbreak of the unforgettable 2003 Cubs season…a season in which the team was just five outs away from heading to their first World Series appearance in 58 years. Narrated by Chicago-area native, Screen Actors Guild award winner, three-time Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe nominee William Petersen, 5 Outs… premieres Tuesday, October 15 at 9:00 PM CT exclusively on Comcast SportsNet. CSN will also re-air this documentary special on Wednesday, October 23 at 7:00 PM and on Wednesday, October 30 at 7:00 PM.
Produced, written and edited by Comcast SportsNet’s Emmy-award winning tandem of Executive Producer of Original Content – Sarah Lauch and Senior Producer of Original Content – Ryan McGuffey, 5 Outs… takes an in-depth focus on the “players and manager’s perspective” on exactly what went right and eventually what went wrong exactly ten years ago. With over 12 hours of original interview footage, along with over 100 hours of production work, 5 Outs… captures some of the most revealing stories ever told about that remarkable season…many of which will be told for the very first time.
“When we set out to embark upon this journey of delivering a story about the 2003 Cubs season, it was our goal to deliver something new and original to our viewers…I believe we have accomplished that task and then some,” said Kevin Cross, News Director for Comcast SportsNet Chicago. “I couldn’t be prouder of the dedicated effort and countless hours put forth by both Sarah and Ryan, along with our entire production team. We are excited that Comcast SportsNet will be able tell this story in a fresh new way, which will include sound bites from players that have never been told before on camera until now.”
The unbelievable, franchise-rejuvenating season of 2003, began with the hiring of manager Dusty Baker, who was fresh off winning the National League Pennant with the San Francisco Giants the year before. That coincided with the coming-of-age excellence of two of the best pitchers in all of baseball: Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. With 88 wins that year, the Cubs edged out the Houston Astros by one game to win the National League Central, which was the team’s first division title in 14 years (1989). They then faced an Atlanta Braves team that had the best record in all of the National League (101-61) in the National League Division Series…the Cubs were a long shot at best to beat them, but they did. That set the stage for the National League Championship Series vs. Florida, a series that will forever be remembered for the “Bartman game,” and this is where 5 Outs… takes viewers to not only relive that heartbreaking, turn-of-events moment in Chicago sports history, but to hear first-hand from those on-the-field and off-the-field whose lives were changed forever.
In addition to the expert narration by Petersen, among the numerous players/manager/coaches/media interviews in this documentary include candid and honest discussion from the following individuals (and their roles back in ’03):
- Dusty Baker (manager of the 2003 Cubs)
- Kerry Wood (Cubs pitcher)
- Mark Prior (Cubs pitcher)
- Moises Alou (Cubs outfielder)
- Sammy Sosa (Cubs outfielder)
- Aramis Ramirez (Cubs third baseman)
- Juan Pierre (Marlins outfielder)
- Derrek Lee (Marlins first baseman)
- Miguel Cabrera (Marlins outfielder)
- Todd Hollandsworth (Marlins outfielder)
- Ozzie Guillen (Marlins third base coach)
- Thom Brennaman (broadcaster)
- Steve Stone (broadcaster)
- Rick Telander (sportswriter)
- David Kaplan (sports talk radio host)
Please note the following quotes from the Comcast SportsNet Original Production of 5 Outs… debuting Tuesday, October 15 at 9:00 PM CT:
MOISES ALOU on booking his flight home after Game 6 of the NLCS: “I didn’t really like our chances after what happened (in Game 6)…I had a gut feeling or a weird feeling…they kept coming back…even in that game and the game before….series was 3-1 and tied up 3-3. I have the same feeling…I had a feeling they would win. I told Aramis (Ramirez) we should book a flight in case we left tomorrow (after Game 7) and we did and we left the next morning. I don’t want to sound like a negative player or person, but we did it just in case we had to leave…and it happened…we had that gut feeling.”
ARAMIS RAMIREZ on booking his flight: “Me and Moises are close and he told (me) he had a reservation just in case we lose. We always do that. We go home right after, the first flight out. We know anything can happen and just in case we lose, we are going to leave the next day.”
MOISES ALOU on the frequently-asked Steve Bartman play question: “I am sick and tired of that question…I swear man…every day in the Dominican and the States….everywhere I go…everyday…I am serious…everyday someone asks me about that Bartman situation. I do feel bad for him and I said it that day it wasn’t his fault. Someone came up with some bullcrap that they made up that I said in elevator that I would not get that ball and that is not true. I never said that.”
MOISES ALOU on the Bartman ball play: “I remember Luis Castillo hitting the fly ball. I remember not being very good at jumping and robbing a home run. That wasn’t a home run, but it was the same jump and the same play. I go into foul territory and I remember my eyes on the ball and my glove was right there and I had the ball. He (Bartman) interfered with me and I didn’t catch the ball, but that wasn’t the reason why we didn’t make it because then we had another shot…ground ball double play…right there and we couldn’t stop them.”
MARK PRIOR on the Bartman ball play: “I have heard all the theories and whatever you want to call them. I looked at the tapes. I thought it was fan interference and that is an honest opinion. I don’t think he (Bartman) changed the course of the game, history, or all the other things that have been blamed on this person. In my mind, Moises would have 100% got it, but that play doesn’t define the series or what happened after the fact.”
DUSTY BAKER on the turning moment in Game 6 of the NLCS: “I think Mo (Moises Alou) would have had (the ball) and it would have changed the outcome of the game. But, at the same time, I thought about Bartman. That poor guy, man. I mean you go to the ballpark to support your team, not knowing that four hours later, you were going to be the most maligned guy in town…I felt bad for the guy. I remember seeing his face…actually it motivated me for the next year. I wanted to win and have Bartman sit next to me in the ticker tape parade, that’s how I felt about him because that could have been anybody…anybody at any time. I mean how many people would have the presence of mind not to catch a playoff ball? Especially if you are sitting up in the stands where he was sitting…well, I just couldn’t believe what I had heard (about what happened to him) afterwards.”
DUSTY BAKER on shortstop Alex Gonzalez’ 8th inning NLCS Game 6 error that could have ended the inning before the bottom dropped out: “I felt bad for Alex because he was a guy that could pick it. He was one of our clutch players that was big time on the team. It just shows you it could happen to anyone. When the ball was hit, we were like ‘Yea!’ and then, all of a sudden, you are like ‘Uhhh!’ I think that…that would have been an inning-ending double play…and then who knows what could have happened from there.”
DUSTY BAKER on the disappointment of the 2003 season: “My family could see my unhappiness and they were unhappy. They were fearful for me sometimes to go out by myself because the people (in Chicago) are really into the team. Their whole days are consumed by the wins and losses and how the Cubs do. I had loved seeing the “W’s” hanging out the windows and everybody was just living and being with us. It’s a great thing when everybody has that same feeling and the same feeling that you’re going to win. Like I said at the end of that year, you know I was willing to come back because I wanted to come back, even though it was probably the most difficult time in my life. If I could get through that year, I could get through anything. Life’s full of disappointments sometimes…I haven’t had many, but that was one of the disappointments I had.”
KERRY WOOD on losing Game 7 of the NLCS: “We just blew it. We just completely fell apart. That was it. For me personally, I’m sitting there, obviously I pitched that game, so I’m putting a lot of it on myself. The best sound I’ve ever heard was the three-run homer to tie it in that stadium, and the worst sound I’ve ever heard in baseball was how quiet that stadium was…I could hear the Marlins guys talking and celebrating and what they were saying to each other. It was eerily quiet…and sitting in the dugout and listening to those guys jump around and celebrate like that was the worst moment.”
KERRY WOOD on curses: “Leading up to the playoffs, even that season, you talk about as soon as the team starts getting into a situation where they are going to be in the post season and being successful down the stretch, you start talking about the jinxes and the things that happened at Wrigley Field and the curses and all this stuff. From a player’s standpoint, I didn’t think something’s getting ready to happen. I just thought well that’s not good. We had the foul ball, we got the next two pitches, we get the boot…OK now they are one swing away from tying this thing up. It became a little more serious now. I don’t think I looked at it as ‘here we go again’ or ‘this is going to happen.’ You can feel the energy from the fans because they have been dealing with it for hundred-plus years. But from a player’s standpoint, it was just, ‘alright I’m going to throw another ground ball and he’ll turn the next one.”
OZZIE GUILLEN on the city of Chicago following Game 7 of the NLCS: “I walked out of Game 7 and I never saw so many long faces and disappointed faces and sad faces in my entire life. The (famous) Chicago fire destroyed the city and obviously people died at that particular time, but it was kind of like that. You feel like “oh my god, what’s happening here.”
In addition, fans on Twitter can follow @5Outs for the latest updates and exclusive preview clips leading up to the Oct. 15 premiere, plus — fans can also get interactive prior and during the premiere airing with their thoughts, memories and comments by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #5Outs. Viewers are also urged to visit a special multimedia video page on Comcast SportsNet’s website, CSNChicago.com: (http://www.csnchicago.com/show/5-outs), which will include video footage from the television version of 5 Outs… and “web-exclusive” video excerpts not shown on TV. In addition, CSNChicago.com will provide the full documentary trailer, a photo gallery, a social media portal, and original 5 Outs… commentary write-ups from Kaplan and CSNChicago.com’s Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney.
Comcast SportsNet Chicago, a partnership between the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Chicago Bulls (NBA), Chicago Cubs (MLB), Chicago White Sox (MLB) and the NBC Sports Group, features over 275 live pro games in high definition each year. In addition, CSN delivers extensive pre/post-game coverage for its core pro team partners, as well as the Chicago Bears, along with Emmy Award-winning regional sports news and analysis via SportsNet Central and SportsTalk Live. Through the network’s growing digital platform, CSNChicago.com, Chicago sports fans tap into the most comprehensive and dedicated 24/7 online destination for breaking news, up-to-the-minute game previews/recaps, highlights, multimedia video clips, blogs and standout coverage from CSNChicago.com’s team of “Insiders.” Follow the network on Twitter via @CSNChicago.
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