HBO's Diamond In a Rough Patch

Baseball can be healing. That’s the premise of HBO’s Nine Innings From Ground Zero, in which New Yorkers, ballplayers and politicians reflect on the value of America’s pastime in the months following 9/11.

Producer Joe Lavine says editing the sports pieces was therapeutic even three years later. At an advance screening (the show airs Sept. 14), former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says it was appropriate, with recovery efforts ongoing, that the Yankees won the first three games “in New York, on our territory. Maybe a sense of reality returned when they lost.”

President Bush, who has a brief cameo, admits in the piece to feeling anxiety about throwing out the first pitch of Game 3. He says shortstop Derek Jeter advised him to pitch from the top of the mound, not from the base. “Don’t bounce it,” he warned,” or they’ll boo you.” In a rare example of Bush winning in a blue state, he threw a strike.