Aug 9, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Former Seattle Mariners manager Lou Piniella waves to the crowd during his induction ceremony for the Northwest Baseball Hall of Fame before a game against the Chicago White Sox at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Of all the major sports, none can compare to the nine-month long soap opera that baseball plays out on its diamond stages every year from February to November. In 1990, the Cincinnati Reds took center stage in that drama, sweeping through the regular season with a memorable cast of characters that eventually won the World Series. Fittingly, they shared the national television spotlight that fall with a quirky noir hit, Twin Peaks.
The parallels between the baseball team and the show were striking.
Twin Peaks centered around the murder investigation of Laura Palmer, the darling of quaint little Twin Peaks, filmed in Washington. There were frequent flashbacks to Laura during better times.
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The 1990 Reds were all about redemption after a run of second-place finishes in teh 1980s culminated in a bottoming-out with the Pete Rose scandal in 1989. There were frequent flashbacks to Rose during better time.
Twin Peaks was packed with memorable characters, including the Log Lady, The Man from Another Place, Bobby Briggs, and Agent Cooper.
The Reds were packed with memorable characters, including Chris Sabo, The Nasty Boys, Paul O’Neill, and Lou Piniella.
On the night that the Reds finished off an improbable World Series sweep of the mighty Oakland A’s, Twin Peaks aired the fourth episode of its second season. Jose Rijo struck out nine Bash Brothers over 8.1 innings, and Agent Cooper arrested Leland for murder.
Twin Peaks was gone by the following summer, and so were the Reds’ post-season successes.
In the yin and yang of the baseball life, there is a certain cyclical rise and fall of teams that gives even the most downtrodden of fans hope. The karma of the game allows us to believe that if we can just exorcise that goat or the Bambino’s ghost or the demons of the Griffey trade, then our guys can win again.
And so, Reds fans, the pendulum may be swinging our way again. Showtime announced tonight that Twin Peaks is being resurrected, with filming to begin in 2015 and showings in 2016. Can the Reds improve enough by then to get back into the Fall Classic?
As Jerry Horne said, “I am 100% sure that we’re not completely sure.”