It appears that ESPN’s “Long Gone Summer” 30 for 30 documentary, which chronicled the famous 1998 home run chase between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, was a swing and miss for some.
While people are starved for baseball as MLB and the players association continue to struggle to find common ground amid contract negotiations that are delaying the start of the 2020 season, many tuned in to get their baseball fix.
But several viewers took issue with the lack of variety, lack of depth and lack of discussion of the most controversial part of Sosa and McGwire’s careers: Steroids.
A repeated critique of the documentary was how it was produced: stringing together home-run highlight after home-run highlight without much diversity. Many considered it to just be “2 hours of home run clips,” which was “boring.”
Other viewers felt like they didn’t learn anything new from the documentary, either. There were even some complaints that there wasn’t enough of Sosa in the documentary.
But baseball fans were evidently most distraught over ESPN’s blatant decision to stay away from the hard questions. McGwire admitted to using steroids in 2010 and repeats similar talking points today, claiming they helped him with recovery. Sosa has never explicitly admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs, but was among those who tested positive in the anonymous 2003 survey that was later outed by the New York Times.
Many considered the lack of steroid talk to be a gaping hole in the documentary, which many watched to learn more about specifically. It wasn’t until the final 15 minutes of the doc that there was any sort of attempt to address “the elephant in the room.”
“Hahah holy s–t the awful @espn disgraceful steroid glorifying doc “long gone summer” completely ignored Sammy Sosa’s 3 years with the White Sox, ok whatever,” @ckottlarock tweeted.