way down in the hole

Thom Loverro of The Washington Times has an interesting interview on his blog with David Simon, the brilliant mind who created “The Wire.” Apparently the two gentlemen worked together nearly 20 years ago at The Sun. That doesn’t really matter to me, but anyone who does know me knows I’m a huge fan of Simon’s work, especially “The Wire.” In fact, my brother and I have interviewed seemingly half the cast of the show over the course of it’s five seasons – “Cutty” Wise, Sgt. Jay Landsman, Chris Partlow, “Wee-Bey” Brice, Senator Clay Davis, Maury Levy, Cedric Daniels (twice), Omar Little (twice) and “Bunny” Colvin.

While we’re sad that “The Wire” is gone, we still are very much fans of Simon’s work, and are looking forward to his upcoming HBO miniseries, called “Generation Kill.” This interview with Loverro is interesting because it focuses on sports, which you don’t get to see Simon talk much about. Some of the highlights include:

– Simon grew up a Washington Senators fan, but grew to like the Baltimore Orioles.
– He’s won his fantasy baseball league five out of the last eight years, and would like to make a baseball movie one day.
– Oh, and he’s not a fan of Bud Selig and the “powers that be” in Major League Baseball after turning down a request to film a scene from season five at Camden Yards. I’ll let Simon take over from here:

“But let me say this about the official side of Major League Baseball: They can kiss my pale, white ass. Seriously. Although that sequence reflected in no negative way on baseball itself — a reporter was making up a story about a handicapped fan for his own benefit — MLB considered our request to film on stadium property and use MLB logos and then denied the request. Unless our drama pretty much exalts baseball as the greatest game ever played by the greatest bunch of people ever to play a game, MLB will not allow the use of its logos or facilities in any act of storytelling. I find this cowardly and venal and offensive. A game that claims to be the national pastime should be confident enough and respectful enough of independent storytelling to allow itself to be seen within the context of ordinary American life. The script that we showed to MLB said nothing at all negative about the game itself; it showed a reporter being dishonest. But even that dynamic was too scary for the gutless, lawyerly humps who surround the commissioner’s office. Apparently, baseball can only be depicted as a part of American life when it is glorified or marketed in the most wholesome manner.

Simon even admits to adding a couple of potshots directed at Bud Selig later on because of baseball’s unwillingness to cooperate with the Scott Templeton storyline. Considering the whole point was that this journalist was making up stories and quotes and they were just using opening day in the local market to show how unethical Templeton was, it really does make you wonder why MLB would shoot it down. Either way, I’ve always been a fan of David Simon, and never cared for Bud Selig, so it’s all-too predictable that I’d run something here.

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