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SPORTVIEW

Sox DVD set bangs out hits

You've never seen anything like this, because, frankly, there's never been anything like this to see: a boxed-set ''collector's edition" of 12 DVDs from the 2004 Red Sox championship season.

Major League Baseball Productions and A&E Home Video collaborated on the set, which is a groundbreaking effort for several reasons. It's the first time MLB has offered full, unedited games on DVD. That's 11 games in all -- the seven games against the Yankees in the ALCS and the four World Series games -- and a 12th DVD contains bonus features.

Of course, it doesn't come cheaply; suggested retail price is $129.95. The set, which went on sale last Tuesday, will be a must-have for many homes in Red Sox Nation, as the Encyclopedia Britannica of the postseason. Still, the feeling here is that NESN's ''Faith Rewarded" -- the edited version of the season, from spring training to the ''rolling rally" victory parade -- is the definitive time capsule from 2004.

If there was one postseason game to watch besides the clinching Game 4 of the World Series, it was Game 4 of the ALCS, with the Sox trailing the Yankees, three games to none, and a Fenway fan hanging out the sign: ''Make history, or we're history." That was the DVD the MLB folks included with the promotional material.

The game, won by David Ortiz's two-run homer in the 12th, lasted 5 hours 2 minutes. If you ever wondered how much of that time went to commercials, subtract the 4:07 running time for this video (between-innings commercials are the only items deleted from the telecast) and you get 55 minutes of Fox commercials and promos.

Some features of the set:

  • 35 hours of game coverage, plus another three hours of bonus features on the 12th disc.

  • The sleeves of the 11 game DVDs have the full box scores and game play-by-play with other notes and quotes in a format called ''Sleevestats."

  • The three-hour bonus disc contains the complete ''2004 World Series Film," plus wireless on-field audio from Ortiz, Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar, and Mike Timlin.

    Run time

    For track and field fans, the price is right: $4.95 for 58 hours of video from the World Track and Field Championships in Helsinki that begin Saturday and run through a week from Sunday. But there's a catch: It's a webcast available to high-speed broadband customers. The deal was put together by World Championship Sports Network (www.wcsn.com) in collaboration with USA Track & Field and Major League Baseball Advanced Media, which is handling the technical aspects of the video.

    Early subscribers got to watch last Friday's Bislett Games from Norway in a test run for the system. The quality left organizer Claude Ruibal, CEO of WCSN, ecstatic. ''We're past due for fans to be able to follow these events from home," he said.

  • The webcast commentary will be the British feed, with Steve Ovett, Peter Matthews, and Sean Pickering scheduled to be on-site. The US coverage, mostly on PAX, will be hosted by Dwight Stones in WCSN's Los Angeles studios with Lewis Johnson, Carol Lewis, and Dan O'Brien reporting live from Helsinki on how American competitors fared.

    PAX is carrying an hourlong recap each day (4 p.m. on weekends, 5 p.m. on weekdays), the only actual TV coverage available in the US. That coverage will be available at the www.wcsn.com website along with the live webcasts.

    Theater district

    Don Orsillo called Sunday's Fenway love-in with Manny Ramirez the most amazing moment of his five seasons on the job, with the footnote that Fox covered the ALCS and World Series. ''There was so much theater involved," said Orsillo, ''and the fans were into it, looking in the dugout to see first if Manny was there and then if he was coming out to hit. The only thing that's come close to it this season was Curt Schilling's walk to the bullpen and then his walk in to the mound for that first relief appearance." The final two quarter-hours of Sunday's game did mega-rating numbers -- 19.5 and 20.0 -- and the game did a 16.6 overall . . . Are the Sox as constituted strong enough for more postseason success? That will be among the topics tomorrow night when the Globe's Gordon Edes, Jackie MacMullan, and Bob Ryan join host Bob Neumeier on ''Sports Plus" (NESN, 5:30 and 11:30 p.m.).

    Setting up camp

    Patriots training camp has been a popular place for the media. Sirius Radio's national ''The End Zone" show was live from Foxborough Saturday with Pat Kirwan and Steve Cohen. NESN's ''Sports Desk" has set up a satellite set with Paul Devlin serving as a cohost with Hazel Mae back in the NESN studios. ESPN's ''NFL Live" cohosts Sean Salisbury and Mark Schlereth already have addressed the Patriots' situation. Salisbury: ''I think this team is still primed to win, and, until somone knocks the heavyweight champ out, there are no split decisions." Schlereth: ''Tedy Bruschi is five game-changing plays a game, week in and week out. [With his loss], coupled with the loss of both coordinators, the Patriots may no longer stand alone at the top of the NFL." . . . Former Patriot Russ Francis makes his debut with ''The Russ Francis Show" Saturday on Concord, N.H.'s WTPL (107.7-FM) from 9 a.m.-noon. . . . Both CBS and TNT will have next week's PGA Championship available in high definition.

    Bill Griffith's e-mail address is griffith@globe.com.

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