SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — Whatever you’re doing Monday evening, change your plans. Or if you absolutely can’t, set your DVRs.
Because Monday at 9:30 p.m. CT, CSN Chicago is airing a one-hour documentary titled “Reign Men,” an in-depth look at Game 7 of the 2016 World Series told by the men who were most involved in one of the greatest games in major-league history.
CSN Chicago’s documentary unit headed by Sarah Lauch and Ryan McGuffey did interviews with most of the Cubs‘ key players and executives from Game 7: Tom Ricketts, Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Joe Maddon, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Jon Lester, Jason Heyward, Kyle Hendricks, Ben Zobrist, David Ross, Miguel Montero, as well as Cleveland’s Rajai Davis. These men all tell their tales of what they personally experienced during Game 7.
You’ll learn that many of them had the same emotions we did when Davis hit the game-tying home run (“You’ve got to be kidding me!” was a common refrain), and the roller-coaster these men were riding, as I was listening to them tell their stories, felt much like any Cubs fan would have felt during that historic game, including thoughts on the 10th-inning rain delay.
I don’t want to ruin this for you by telling you too much more, but here are a few quotes that give you a sample of the emotions felt by everyone involved.
David Ross, on how he felt after that wild pitch allowed two runs to score just after he entered the game:
When I came in and I threw that ball in the crapper… and then that other ball kicked off my mask and I tripped over my own feet and two runs score, I’m thinking to myself ‘Are you kidding me?... I’ve been in the game for five minutes and I just let two runs in.’
Jason Heyward on his weight-room speech:
I didn't even do it to lead anything, I was just being myself. I did it because I give a damn. When I told them I love them… I meant it… because they saw that in me already. To hear guys appreciate it and respect it and say those things, it's awesome. It gives me chills every time somebody talks about it, but I just did what I did (for our team).
Kyle Schwarber on his improbable return for the World Series after missing almost the entire regular season:
I don't read into the headlines. I just know I'm me and I love playing baseball. If I keep doing my job and I keep having fun with the game, I feel like everyone's going to respond well to me. My teammates, my manager, my coaching staff, the front office, the fans, I think they all have respect for the way I play the game. The legend thing?... I got a long way to go for that (laughs), I really do. I don't want people to get too hyped up on it, but you know, it's definitely an honor. It's an honor to be called that because these Cubs fans have seen a lot of history. For that to be said, it's super cool.
Tom Ricketts on his own emotions after the game was tied up:
The thought that we would get all the way to that game and then have it go against us… it was just unthinkable. I mean, to have to go back to Chicago and say ‘Okay, we got this close, but next year we’re going to pull it over the line.’ You spent all this time leading up to the game and during the game, thinking about just how hard it is to get to that moment… you don’t want to see that moment get away from you.
Of course, we all know that moment, that game, the 2016 season, the World Series ended the right way for us, so it’s great to hear all these men talk about what they were going through during it, knowing it all ends happily. The film is narrated by country singer Brett Eldredge, who does a nice job of weaving the narrative together.
Don’t miss this documentary, whose title is a pun on the title of the film “Rain Man,” obviously referring to the greatest rain delay in Cubs history. It’s well produced and edited and hearing from primary sources about what we were all feeling — well, I’ll just say keep a box of Kleenex handy.
There are some promo clips from this film here, and you can follow the Twitter account @CSNOriginal for more. If you miss Monday’s airing or your DVR doesn’t work for any reason (or you don’t have a DVR), it will also air at the following times: March 30 at 7:00 p.m., April 8 at 9:30 p.m., April 13 at 5:00 p.m., April 20 at 7:00 p.m., and April 23 at 3:30 p.m. (All times Central.)