Review: Baseball, money, and drugs on display in terrific 'Screwball'

April 5, 2019

 Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment 

Swing batter batter.

 

In 2013, Major League Baseball (MLB) changed for the better and in BIlly Corben’s entertaining and aptly titled “Screwball” - which takes focus on the doping scandal that saw dozen of professional athletes get reprimanded for illegal substance abuse - puts the organization and its constituents under the microscope.

 

Most notably, Aaron Rodriguez (or to most of the world A-Rod of the Los Angeles Dodgers), gets the majority of the spotlight in this eye-opening documentary which features testimonials from Tony Bosch, the physician, if you can call him that, who prescribed A-Rod his performance enhancing regime - and before that was a shady practitioner who helped high-school aged athletes get a boost; Porter Fischer, the big-brawn sucker who became a pawn for Bosch’s illegal practices, as well as ESPN commentators, the original journalist who broke the scandal in The New Times, Tim Elfrink, and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.

 

What makes Corben’s documentary stand out from the normal troupe of facts and dialogue presentation is his inclusion of children to help dramatise the action (the irony being - everyone involved with the whole scandal handled the situation like toddlers). It’s a refreshing change of pace from the normal routine of a well put together Netflix docuseries. Here, “Screwball,” like it’s title, plays loose and is fun to watch. Especially when we see the young actors interpret car jackings, important business meetings, and partying inside an adults-only club. It’s unlike any documentary you’ve seen.

 

More so, Corben doesn’t do any favors for the MLB or A-Rod (chronicling his rise as the highest played baseball player in history only to fall from grace) presenting arguments on both sides of the table, allowing the viewer plenty to dissect and accumulate their own assertions. Coming from someone who doesn’t particularly care for baseball or documentaries on the subject in general, “Screwball” is a home run.

 

Grade: A-

 

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