By Jim Caple
Page 2

Those folks too cheap to buy HBO (and you know who you are) can finally watch one of the finest shows in television history when "The Sopranos" debuts on A&E Wednesday night. Of course, these episodes will differ somewhat from those originally seen on HBO. As befits a show based on workers in the (ahem) sanitation industry, A&E cleaned up the episodes for a more general viewing public by removing the extreme violence, sex and language.

And if A&E can clean up Tony and his crew, Page 2 wonders how sanitized versions of select baseball episodes would sound …

Tommy Lasorda
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
Tommy Lasorda uncensored is a lot more fun, don't ya think?

THE ONE WHERE TOMMY LASORDA GOES NUTS WHEN ASKED FOR HIS OPINION OF THE THREE HOME RUNS DAVE KINGMAN HIT AGAINST THE DODGERS

The original raw version:
"What's my opinion of Kingman's performance?! What the BLEEP do you think is my opinion of it? I think it was BLEEPING BLEEP. Put that in, I don't BLEEP. Opinion of his performance?!! BLEEP, he beat us with three BLEEPING home runs! What the BLEEP do you mean, 'What is my opinion of his performance?' How could you ask me a question like that, 'What is my opinion of his performance?' BLEEP, he hit three home runs! BLEEP. I'm BLEEPING pissed off to lose that BLEEPING game. And you ask me my opinion of his performance! BLEEP. That's a tough question to ask me, isn't it? 'What is my opinion of his performance?'"

The sanitized version:

"What's my opinion of Kingman's performance? Words alone fail to capture the full register of emotions. His trifecta of home runs traced star-spangled parabolas across the Dodger blue summer sky. And yet those same circuit clouts played a definite but indefinable role in our unfortunate defeat in today's game, a contest into which we poured our last full measure. And for that reason, I fear I cannot truly appreciate the full majesty of the aforementioned round-trippers the way an independent, university-educated observer such as yourself, sitting in a press box many yards removed from the heat of the field, the perspiration of the athletes and the smell of our malodorous bullpen, can. Perhaps then the more appropriate line of query is to ask for your educated opinion of Kingman's performance. But first I must dispose of this plate of linguine."

THE ONE WHERE LEE ELIA GOES OFF ON CUBS FANS

The original raw version:
"They're really, really behind you around here … my BLEEPING ass. What the BLEEP am I supposed to do, go out there and let my BLEEPING players get destroyed every day and be quiet about it? For the BLEEPING nickel-dime people who turn up? The BLEEPERS don't even work. That's why they're out at the BLEEPING game. They oughta go out and get a BLEEPING job and find out what it's like to go out and earn a BLEEPING living. Eighty-five percent of the BLEEPING world is working. The other 15 percent come out here. A BLEEPING playground for the BLEEPERS. Rip them BLEEPERS. Rip them BLEEPING BLEEPERS like the BLEEPING players. We got guys busting their BLEEPING ass, and them BLEEPING people boo."

The sanitized version:
"My fervent wish is that this awful recession, brought on by restrictive business taxes and foreign producers dumping their goods on the American markets and forcing layoffs on 12 percent of the nation, would end soon so that the proud blue-collar workers who constitute our fan base would be able to find the gainful employment they so deeply desire and so richly deserve. In that way, they would be able to earn a good, livable wage that would give them the disposable income necessary to buy tickets for the whole family to root for us on the weekend. That would not only swell our attendance, but the presence of adorable, innocent children would discourage those few fans who sadly tasted a little too much of the spirits, judging from the unfortunate invectives they chose to assess our performance. In that way, we would surely all be winners, which is as it should be in this great Midwestern city of broad shoulders along the shores of Lake Michigan."

THE ONE WHERE JOE MIKULIK GOES ALL LOU PINIELLA AND YOSEMITE SAM ON AN UMPIRE

The original raw version:

Click here.

The sanitized version:

"Excuse me, my blue-suited friend, but may I speak frankly with you? I trust my words won't offend you, but my duties as manager require me to inform you that I believe you may not have seen that play quite as clearly as you might have wished given your renowned dedication to your profession. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I dare say that you -- what is a polite word for my meaning -- botched the call? No, that is too harsh. Bungled? No, still too loaded. Possibly in error? Yes, I believe -- and I mean no disrespect -- but I believe you were possibly in error. Here, allow me to present you with the base so that you may better visualize my argument. Yes, you are quite right. My point is made and we need not beat this dead horse any further. So pardon me for the briefest of moments while I dispense with said base. Very good. I have made my point and taken enough of your precious time. I shall beg my leave, just as soon as I remove this filthy rosin bag cluttering the mound. Wait a moment, that reminds me of something else I was meaning to mention to you … "

Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached here. His Web site is back up at a slightly different address, jimcaple.net, with more installments of 24 College Avenue. In addition to "The Devil Wears Pinstripes," his new book with Steve Buckley, "The Best Boston Sports Arguments: The 100 Most Controversial, Debatable Questions for Die-Hard Boston Fans," is on sale now.




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