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THE INSIDE TRACK | THE HOT CORNER

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

May 13, 1999|LARRY STEWART

What: "Generations of Heroes" videotape, produced by Major League Baseball

Price: $19.95

Baseball, probably more than any sport, lends itself to debates.

Can Ken Griffey Jr. break Hank Aaron's record of 755 home runs?

Is the Philadelphia Phillies' Scott Rolen the next Mike Schmidt?

Is Roger Clemens better than fellow Texan Nolan Ryan?

Does Sammy Sosa rank with Roberto Clemente as a Latin American baseball hero?

How does Mark McGwire stack up with Babe Ruth?

If you combine Ivan Rodriguez's defensive skills and Mike Piazza's offensive prowess, do you have a catcher the equal of Johnny Bench?

Is Barry Bonds as good as Willie Mays?

These are the topics in the videotape that is being distributed by PolyGram Video and will be available May 25.

The tape is fairly well produced with a lot of good footage, but one problem is the producers have too many of the same people talking about the various topics. For instance, Schmidt and Bonds are not only interviewed for their segments but others as well. And people such as Will Clark, Alex Rodriguez, Dave Stewart and Billy Williams make appearances throughout. Doing one sit-down and getting footage for a variety of segments is a common practice, but the producers here have overdone it, considering it's all for one tape.

Another problem is, at the start, viewers are asked to wade through an ad for another Major League Baseball tape, "MLB '98: The Record Breakers," a promo for the Fox/Major League Baseball pregame show "In the Zone" and a public service announcement for baseball charities that benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

But once you get to the meat of the tape, it makes for interesting viewing, even if you are hearing from the same people over and over.

No conclusions are drawn, and that's OK. The debating is the fun part.

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