In the climax of our discussion with Ken Burns about baseball, the documentary filmmaker, whose The Tenth Inning premieres tonight, talks explains that the infusion of huge salaries in Major League Baseball had a direct effect on the proliferation of performance-enhancing drugs.
Burns, a resolute Red Sox fan, told me that he's never even heard the word "soccer."
He was kidding, of course, but he didn't think much of World Cup frenzy. Baseball's most prolific defender -- 22 and 1/2 documentary hours on it and counting, as of The Tenth Inning -- thinks that comparing baseball with soccer is like comparing chess with checkers, and he's just waiting for the rest of the world to wise up and embrace America's past-time with the fervor he thinks it deserves.
"I mean, people die at soccer stadiums!" Burns protests.
Burns also spills some of his upcoming film topics, including Prohibition, the Dust Bowl, Vietnam, and a first-ever panorama of one of America's most important political families.
Watch the first installment of this series here, and listen to Burns discuss how baseball has always been a business. In the second installment, Burns talks about how Barry Bonds refused to participate in the series and why.
To catch PBS' The Tenth Inning, check your local listings. If you saw Ken Burns' previous series, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, you can watch Cochran's chat with him about that by clicking here.
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