Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

“Take Me Out to the Holosuite”

3 stars.

Air date: 10/19/1998
Written by Ronald D. Moore
Directed by Chip Chalmers

"Scotch." — O'Brien's choice for the flavor of chewing gum

Review Text

Nutshell: Corny and overplayed at times, but an amiable outing overall.

Let me begin this review with a massive digression. I live in Central Illinois, about halfway between Chicago and St. Louis. For those of you who are completely not up on baseball, there was a home run race this past season between Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs and Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals. There's a long-standing rivalry in my parts; there are a lot of Cubs fans and Cardinals fans, and the rivalry exists through the fans as much as it does through the teams themselves.

So, yes, as a Cubs fan I was rooting for Sosa, and McGwire ended up with the record, but that's not the point. The point is that it's been a great year for baseball—even for a cynical fair-weather fan like myself who was down on the sport (it's simply too often boring to watch) even before the strike. Having Cal Ripken bring his streak to an end also helped a season full of great moments.

What's my point? Well, I guess it's that if you're going to make an episode in which Sisko and the crew of DS9 pick up bats and gloves for a game of baseball against a Vulcan crew, you might as well do it in a year when baseball is doing well.

Really, "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" couldn't have aired at a much better time. Those who complain this episode is too much of a waste-of-time fluff piece to belong in DS9's final season are perhaps taking this series a bit too seriously (there's still plenty of time for the meatier stuff). Even so, I'll admit that this is precisely the sort of episode that may or may not work for you.

While it worked for me, I'll also admit that I don't want to see many more fluff episodes during season seven. We have important stuff to cover before it's all over. Time right now may still be abundant, but that won't be the case as the months roll by.

But one fluff piece at this juncture is absolutely fine, and given Sisko's avid passion for baseball—a character trait that goes back to episode one—this is a show that I think needed to be made for the sake of itself. It's not by any means a visionary comic piece (that honor still goes to fifth season's "In the Cards"), but it's got enough charm to get by.

At times, this episode is about as obvious and hammy as it can be. There are the typical scenes where a fly ball goes way over Rom's head, or where Bashir and Dax both call a fly ball and then it drops between them. Ha ha. Like "The Magnificent Ferengi" last year, Chip Chalmers' direction is adequate, though not all that invigorating.

But I'm electing, if for no other reason (though there are others), to give this episode three stars because of the conversation Bashir and O'Brien have about chewing gum. Without recapping the entire exchange, I'll just say the point where Miles says "scotch" is a masterstroke of comic timing on the part of the multitalented Colm Meaney.

What sets the whole baseball game in motion is also fairly delicious. Captain Solok (Gregory Wagrowski), a Vulcan captain with a crew composed entirely of Vulcans (whom he believes is the "finest in the fleet"), swings by DS9 for a repair layover and challenges Sisko and his crew to a game of baseball. Well, Sisko knows that his crew is the "finest in the fleet," so he'll be damned if he doesn't accept this challenge and beat Solok—to a pulp if possible. The first scene between Sisko and Solok sets the stage wonderfully: Sisko obviously hates this guy, and the conversation is about as icy as any conversation Sisko has had since the early seasons of Gul Dukat or Kai Winn.

Later, we find out why Sisko so much wants to trounce Solok in a competition: Sisko and Solok have a bitter rivalry that goes all the way back to the academy days. Unfortunately, Sisko has been at the butt end of this rivalry on every occasion. Solok, being a particularly arrogant Vulcan, has taken every opportunity over the years to use a single emotional oversight on Sisko's part as an example that Vulcan logic is superior to human emotionalism.

Now, I should probably register a complaint here regarding the social implications of an "all-Vulcan crew." While I don't look at Sisko and Solok's competition here as being racially motivated (any more than I see the cultural pride of Klingons as anti-human), I do wonder why Starfleet would have a ship with an all-Vulcan crew. It's perhaps a measure of a specific cultural circumstance, and I don't think it boils down to intentional segregation, but the question is still there, and without a given answer.

But, really, this isn't a matter of race; it's a matter of rivalry. Rivalries can become ugly things (just ask anyone in the Chicago area about the Green Bay Packers), and "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" captures that irrational ugliness well.

Next comes Sisko's baseball tryouts. I must say it was amusing watching the crew of DS9 read over baseball rules, including complex aspects like "the infield fly rule." The subsequent field practice was a little on the stale and predictable side (Rom being as much of an idiot at baseball as everything else, for example), but watching Sisko get so wrapped up in the whole thing was simultaneously amusing and frightening—especially when he kicks Rom off the team for being, well, terrible at baseball.

There are plenty of genuinely funny moments to make up for the ones that come off as staged and trite. Watching Odo practice his umpiring "moves" was fun, and Worf's deathly competitive attitude benefited from a few nicely placed lines like, "Death to the opposition!" (Besides, no one can make the line "We will destroy them" sound half as good as Worf.)

The game between Sisko's team (the "Niners") and the Vulcans plays a lot like a standard sports movie, with the predictably big moments and the exaggerated competitiveness (Sisko really wants to win). There's even a scene where Sisko argues with Umpire Odo and gets himself thrown out of the game. Even better is the later scene when Odo throws Solok out ("Yer gone!" Odo says with an evil grin).

I won't recap the whole game, but I particularly liked the fact that, for once, a sports story can end without Our Heroes winning the game. In fact, Our Heroes get beat 10-1. Let's face it: Most of the Niners have never played baseball before, and two weeks to prepare is not going to make them a solid team. The question ultimately becomes whether or not the Niners—and, more specifically, Sisko—can have fun despite the bitterness of the rivalry and the fact that they don't have a prayer against Solok's team.

Somewhere along the line, it becomes clear that to score once against Solok's team would be satisfaction enough for the Niners. What's amusing here is that Our Heroes get to celebrate for scoring one run to the Vulcans' 10. And the eventual "manufactured triumph" is just as stinging to Solok as a real one. In many ways, Sisko wins this round in the Solok/Sisko rivalry, because he's able to overcome his own pride and Solok's attempts to provoke him. Putting Rom into the game at the last minute (where he cluelessly bumbles his way into bunting in the Niners' only run) is the perfect way to demonstrate that baseball is really "just a game" for Sisko, where having fun through the unpredictability of the sport is its most important quality. He won't let Solok ruin that.

"Take Me Out to the Holosuite" isn't what I would call particularly good DS9, but it's too likable to resist, so I'm not going to be a stick in the mud by trying. Seeing as the second half of the season is likely to become DS9 Wrap-Up Central, we might as well take our fluff pieces while we still can (although I doubt I'll be so generous next time). I enjoyed this episode, even if it was more for what it was than for what it did.

Next week: The return of Bashir's crazies.

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Next episode: Chrysalis

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Comment Section

206 comments on this post

    I found "Take me out..." a very, very funny episode - even when I am austrian and don't know anything at all about baseball!

    But it must be great for fans of the game - I suppose, Michael Piller loved it!!

    As a big sci-fi fan, I had problems following this one, because I couldn't for a second believe that they were actually playing this game on the holosuite of DS9. I'm sorry, but I really couldn't believe it for a nanosecond. The DS9 holosuite isn't half as big as what would be required for a really serious game of baseball.

    To get this out of the way right off the bat (no pun intended) the reality of a holodeck going all the way back to TNG has always been suspect so for a long time now I just have a large suspension of disbelief when it comes to this technology but I digress.

    To me while this episode isn't a solid dramatic piece its still a solid story that manages to use all of the cast IE an ensemble and thats a good thing because I love all these characters and when they all get together its quite a sight.

    People are being held back by magnetic fields. They think they are running but are actually not moving in the holosuite.

    [pedantic geek]Perhaps, but how do you take into account the distance from, say, the catcher and an outfielder? Does the holosuite alter the laws of perspective for each individual in the room?[/pedantic geek]

    This ep is almost as amiable and as enjoyable as it was the first time, but I wish some of the jokes held up better. It's just the familiarity aspect; I laughed hysterically at "Scotch" and "Death to the opposition!" the first time I saw this, but knowing they're coming just blunts the impact.

    @AeC: To answer the pedantic geek qustion... this is an excerpt from the novel "Avenger" where Kirk and Spock have to escape a holodeck prison cell. (Thanks to the copy-and-paste magic of ebooks!)


    "All right, now don't move. You're going to give me a lesson in holosimulations."

    Kirk ran a few steps to the meditation garden, leaned over the low wall, and scooped up two handfuls of sand. "First thing, where does the sand come from?"

    Spock sounded totally disinterested. "It is replicatot matter. Everything physical with which we can interact is some form of replicator matter combined with precision forcefields."

    Kirk started a trail of sand from the toe of Spock's boots, on a direct line toward the bricks where the guard and the healer had been standing. His first handful of sand ran out as he reached that brick. He kept going, checking to make sure he was keeping the line of sand straight. When he was finished with the second handful, he had a trail of sand at least eight meters long.

    Kirk stood at the end of the sand line. "We're now farther apart than the room is wide. Explain to me how it works," Kirk called back to Spock.

    "It is, of course, a logical impossibility," Spock said, still irritable. "As you walked away from me, sensors in the floor tracked your footsteps. As you neared the wall, forcefields in the floor began moving like a treadmill, giving you the physical sensation of walking, even though you remained in place. The OHD panels lining the cell projected holographic images to keep the scenery moving to match your apparent physical progress." "But you look as if you're eight meters away, Spock." "What you are seeing from your vantage point is a holographic image of me in forced perspective. In actuality, I am no more than three or four meters from you, as logic demands."

    "So the real you is hidden behind a holographic screen," Kirk said.

    "Until you come within a logical visual range of me. Then the plane of the holographic illusion will pass over me, allowing you to see me as I really am."

    @ the above quote

    Of course! It was so obvious! [/sarcasm} =P

    Sorry, Andreas, but even if that magnetic field excuse were true (I persoanlly find it silly), it still doesn't change the simple spatial facts of the holosuite...the distance between the various people in the holosuite is larger than the size of the holosuite. The same issue occurred in Voyager as well, such as when several crewmembers went skiing at the enbd of "Macrocosm". I can see one person going skiing in the holodeck, because the holodeck will "move" around them, but several people at the same time? Not a chance...

    Sisko's obsession sure does put the final nail in the coffin of Roddenberry's "humans evolved beyond interpersonal conflict" meme, but its okay because that notion was always beyond obtuse.

    Jay, TC's quote perfectly explains how people can
    'appear' to be further from each other than the holodeck has the physical space for- they are all surrounded by holographic illusions.

    In this case it's best to just suspend your disbelief.

    Anyway, I hated this episode on first airing, but watching it again last night with my gf we both laughed ourselves silly. I guess my perspective has changed somewhat since I was a teen!

    Not to be too nerdy but there was another federation starship on TOS that was all Vulcan, USS Intrepid. I can't remember the episode but I think it was the giant space amoeba thing that got them.

    All in all an enjoyable episode that had a few laugh out loud moments. Especially the "scotch" line and "Find him and kill him" both lines fit the characters who said them perfectly.

    Not a zero stars episode (there were some fun moments), but being a huge sports fan myself (and therefore with a somewhat extensive knowledge of sports movies) I can safely say "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" uses every possible cliché of said genre.

    Other than the already mentioned fly ball going way over Rom's head, or Bashir & Dax calling the same ball and then letting it drop between them, we got:
    • The team of rookies having to overcome impossible odds by beating a team much much stronger than them.
    • The training/practice montage.
    • On the day of the big game, the initial "setback" with our heroes getting completely outscored, then somehow turning the situation around (albeit in this case, with the "manufactured victory").
    • A "victory" achieved by the team's underdog (Rom in this case)

    With captain Sisko being a huge baseball fan, it makes sense DS9 writers wanted to dedicate an entire episode to the sport. However how I was at least expecting a little bit greater originality. Perhaps I am too demanding.

    P.S. thanks to the reader TC for *finally* shining some lights on how holodecks work in Star Trek. My suspension of disbelief had been by necessity, until this point, boundless. Now I can finally reconcile some of the past Trek holodeck-episodes I've watched.

    I loved this episode, but man Solok is a racist asshole.

    I wonder where that baseball is now...

    What a pathetic excuse for an episode. Sorry if I sound harsh - maybe it is because I don't know anything about baseball - but there were very few moments that I was able to enjoy. Everyone is terribly out of character, especially Sisko. We're expected to believe that after all he's been through (losing his wife, chasing after Eddington, bringing the Romulans into the war and learning he was part-Prophet) he still holds a high-school grudge? I shouldn't be taking it so seriously... but if the episode had actually been funny, I wouldn't have been thinking about any of that. I absoloutely loved "The Magnificent Ferengi", "One Little Ship" and even "Who Mourns for Morn?" last season, but this one shot way off the mark. It just feels like a self-indulgence by the writers rather than a part of the Star Trek Universe. I sincerely hope to see another light-hearted episode before the series is over, because they can be fun... if they're done right.

    Well, I really like this episode and to those who disagree with me I say this: "Death to the opposition!"

    Destructor, sorry but no, TJ's explanation doesn't explain a thing, it's just a ridiculous cheat. You're telling me that when a player runs from first base to second, they are essentially riding a magnetic field conveyor belt that's actually keeping them mostly in place (never mind how that feels to a human body or how it affects it physiologically), but everyone else's perception is that they're running normally, and every player in the infield and outfield feels further away from each other than they are, and the baseball, when hit, is manipulated through forcefields to appear to make a normal trajectory in the air, and the person who it seems to be closest to moves to catch it, but magnetic fields keep them from colliding from someone who is near them but appears far from them? That's just ludicrous.

    I wonder what happens if someone abruptly "ends program" in the middle of this magnetic free-for-all - I suspect sickbay would have a busy day.

    This entire series is self-indulgent, this one simply lacked a connection to the larger story arc, so it was both stupid AND pointless. Comedy has its place, but there is no reason to make such a pointless episode. Forget for a moment that humans have evolved beyond this petty sort of bickering...what the hell kind of Vulcans are these? Another note, what kind of racist organisation decides to allow someone like Solok to create an all-Vulcan starfleet crew? It's all just a creation of ridiculous clichés and arbitrary nonsense to make the game possible...and for what? As Marco P. pointed out, the whole thing is absolutely run-of-the-mill sports comedy, one of the worst kinds there are. Zero stars, worse than "Profit and Lace."

    If you can give this episode three stars, you can give "Q2" three as well--it's the same thing in a different genre of stupid comedy. Again, you are endlessly forgiving of DS9's stupidity.

    Elliot in the Immunity Syndrome The Intrepid had an all vulcan crew so there and whilst this episode is not great, bickering and pettiness is a part of human NATURE and it will always be with us you ought to know and Q2 was far worse because it completely destroyed the character and concept of Q

    I don't see how this episode is less an assassination of Vulcans than Q2 of Q.

    Elliot want to see an assanasation of Vulcans watch Enterprise seasons 1 and 2. and your tolerance of Voyager's endless stupidity well pot kettle black.

    "so there"?
    "pot kettle black"?


    I do not forgive Voyager's stupidity, nor TNG or TOS's. Stupid is as stupid does. Q2 was a pretty stupid episode, but not more stupid than this one, so I don't see why this one get such a high rating. I agree that ENT did a pretty abysmal job with Vulcans, but what does that have to do with this? This is still bad.

    As far as "The Immunity Syndrome" goes, I feel like that crew had some special attachment to defending Vulcan or something (I could easily be wrong in which case it was stupid back then too).

    Pot kettle black means your calling faults in other people that you yourself share and it's jammer's reviews and opinions and he rate's them according to his own opinions so ask him

    Football is not a matter of life and death it is more than that Bill Shankly

    I can relate to this episode I'm a fan of Wolverhampton Wanderers. When the Wolves beat Albion a couple of years ago it meant something to me it wasn't a victory it was about pride, pride over beating Albion our rivals.

    To sisko baseball is a part of him now in my view baseball is a bastardised version of cricket but when it comes to wolves vs albion it's abouut local pride victory over ypur rivals. Sisko wins at the emd of the day by one home run but he beats his adversary

    This episode has similarities with fever pitch by Nick Hornby in which we explore an arsenal's fan obesssion vis a vis sisko's obsession with baseball and they joy he feels at the end

    Why is everyone quibbling over the physics of a holosuite? We've got ships moving at faster than light speeds, we've got a race of people that can physically change thier shape to anything, and we've got medical procedures that can do things we can't even comprehend now, and yet you're quibbling over a holosuite?

    The show's about things that are impossible. Just let it go and have fun it with. Don't overanalyze everything to death.

    "So, yes, as a Cubs fan I was rooting for Sosa, and McGwire ended up with the record, but that's not the point. The point is that it's been a great year for baseball--even for a cynical fair-weather fan like myself who was down on the sport..."

    Time to revise this, perhaps? Heh.

    I can't believe there's so little praise here for my favorite line!

    Worf: We will destroy them.

    Lmao, Worf was comedy gold in this one.

    Also funny:

    "death to the oposition!"

    "find him and kill him!"

    And when Worf objects to brining Rom back because they have a man on third. Haha

    I found this episode very entertaining even though i dont like nor care about baseball. Though i wish Morn was in the crowd and drank heaps of beer or something, Morn never has got enough of a role( well he does get mentioned as doing things)

    So... what if they used /multiple/ holosuites in the game? It could also be that each person is sort of divided from each other in a sort of holographic box, with each having a different image from that person's perspective projected...

    I'll buy what ASDF says above. Maybe Quark's holosuites (there are four of them right?) are like hotel conference rooms, with walls that can be opened up to join them together and create one giant holosuite. That would give a little more wiggle room for home plate --> outfield and running to first base. But also, don't forget that they are playing with holographic baseballs as well. When a long fly ball is hit to right field, the ball can be controlled/altered by the holosuite to appear to be traveling 350 feet.

    Masterpiece! Possibly the funniest Star Trek episode ever. So many races come together for a "humble" game of baseball, that is the work of a genius :)

    Seeing odo doing the moves has to be the funniest moment, closely followed by Worf's classics... :)

    A Starfleet vessel with an all Vulcan crew seems awfully un-Federationlike. Our military has been integrated since the Truman administration.

    Regarding the all-Vulcan crew: this has always bugged me about the Federation. It seems like every colony is named after a place on Earth (New Sydney, etc.) and every starship named after a historical Earth place, figure, or naval vessel.

    Then there's the whole scene in the last episode where Sisko or the admiral (can't be bothered to remember) says something along the lines that the triple alliance proves that "Klingons, Romulans, and Humans" can work together. Surely he meant to say the Federation?

    It's always seemed to me that the writers have had difficulty showing that the Federation and Starfleet isn't completely anthropocentric. I can understand the impracticality of having to put enough extras in full makeup in order to make it seem more "diverse"; but at least the names could have been! I was surprised that the starship in this episode even had a Vulcan name.

    Vulcans are obnoxious, so I wouldn't be surprised if they selectively segregated themselves. They're after all only a few nightly meditations away from being psychopathic Romulans.

    As for the holodeck physics speculation -- oh, come on! It's science fiction. You're supposed to suspend disbelief.

    TDexter - humans are clearly the dominant species of the Federation and it is therefore human-centric. I think a few trek episodes have touched on it. In Trek, humans tend to be the most adaptable of the sentient races whereas the rest seem "stuck in their ways".

    Just changing the motivation of the baseball game from "I have to show that arrogant Vulcan who's the boss" to "everybody is on the edge of a burn-out because of the war, so why don't we take a break and have a little fun" would have greatly improved this episode in my opinion.

    I used to have issues with this episode too, but after my latest viewing I don't hate it anymore. In fact I found it very entertaining. It's the old suspension-of-disbelief-thing. You just have to roll with it. Yes, Rom + Leeta are still annoying. But other than that I really don't have any major complaints.

    I think the writers were very aware of their over-the-top use of every cliche possible. That's precisely what they needed to do. I would not have been satisfied otherwise. ;)

    I think there are obvious reasons why a crew would tend to be of a single species. Preferences in temperature, gravity, lighting, moisture - what they eat, how much they sleep, and so on...

    Seriously? There's a whole grab bag of episodes to choose from and you guys picked *this* episode to have a geekfest about the plausibility of holodeck physics?


    Jammer started his review by discussing something which he couldn't have known at the time, but in retrospect became a huge controversy. The sudden explosion in home runs during the 1998 baseball season. It's commonly believed now that Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa hit 136 home runs between the two of them through artificial means - steroid and human growth hormone abuse.

    This doesn't have anything to do with the episode in question. I just find it interesting that baseball fans (including myself) had the wool so completely pulled their eyes as they got caught up in the 1998 season. The problem became so bad and so obvious in 2001 when Barry Bonds completed his transformation from a skinny kid with moderate home run power to a power hitting machine that cranked out 73 homers at age 37 - at least 5 years past a ball player's prime.

    Talk about suspension of disbelief...

    I really hate this episode, bored me with a lot cliches about a sport I already consider extremely boring. This was not a Scifi or Trek show it was just utter crap. 1 Star.

    What a pile of crap was that! Seriously the writers have only one season left and so many storylines going on, the prophets, the war, the Romans involvement, bajor joining the federation, the pah'wraith etc and they come up with episodes like this? So far season 7 is the worst.

    I'm English so Baseball isn't really my thing. That said I love the movies Field of Dreams and Bull Durham.
    Watched this for the first time last night.
    I wanted to like it, I really did.
    Way too over the top and too many moments that remind you that you're watching a TV program.
    Odo and Worf manage to save it a little but overall this is a poor episode and not as funny as it thinks it is.

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned how brilliant Avery Brooks was in this. He was a very hit and miss actor (pun intended) throughout the series for me but occasionally his take on Sisko's fire and passion worked an absolute treat.

    I really don't care for baseball, in fact, I don't know anything about it (I'm Swiss :p) besides hitting a ball, catching a ball and running. But this episode wasn't about a sport game, it was about rivalry and people enjoying something together.

    Sisko was very much in character: an obsessive man fighting with all his might - regardless of the consequenses - when his ego is bruised. During the first 3/4 of the episode, he forgets about the fun. And I agree with John the younger, for once Brooks managed to give us some good performance in this episode, with some exceptions.

    It's not a great episode, it has many clichés, but it mostly worked for me. The team efforts,comic lines or postures were good. The depiction of the vulcans wasn't.

    By the way, I don't think this crew is entirely made of vulcans. It must be like the enterprise, which is made mostly of humans with some other species. But the vulcan captain surely voluntarily chose only vulcans who are stronger.

    Just a nitpick: how in the world can genetically-heightened-eye/hand-coordination-engineered Bashir miss to hit the ball ?!!!

    Never mind the fact that there's a war going on. No, we have to waste our time with bullshit like this & "Badda-Bing, Badda Bang." And Ira kept insisting this was the 'realistic' Trek?


    It seems whenever I watch an episode of Trek, I come by here to see what kind of review it's gotten, even if I've read the review many times. Tonight was "Take me out to the Holosuite", which is a very funny episode and probably IMO DS9's best comedy. Yeah I know it was missed placed with the war going on and such, but that's neither here nor there.

    What I did want to say was you started this review talking about the Home Run chase with Sosa and McGuire and that kind of made me realize how long ago that happened. This episode was done in 1998, and I was just awed that this episode came out the same year as that chase.

    Of course I'm not sure if you're ever going to read this and maybe one of these days you can do a blog post about it, but this was at the height of the Steroid scandal. I wonder if when everything was happening, that soured you, much like everyone else, towards this event or maybe the game as a whole. Also, with the Hall of Fame in a predicament for the next several years, it would be interesting to get your thoughts on it. It just wowed me, though, watching this episode tonight on how long ago that was and where we've come since.

    I am suffering a phase variance with the rest of y'all on Season 7.

    I don't like baseball. I don't like holosuite episodes. And yet, I liked this episode -- A LOT. It's one of my favorites. Great comic lines and a great lesson on friendship and bonding to boot.

    Every time Worf says, "Find him and kill him," an angel gets its wings and then pimp slaps a demon.

    According to the DS9 Companion, Max Grodenchik was actually a semi-pro player and the best player of the regular cast.



    Greg M - Sun, Jan 6, 2013 - 9:00pm (USA Central)

    It seems whenever I watch an episode of Trek, I come by here to see what kind of review it's gotten, even if I've read the review many times. Tonight was "Take me out to the Holosuite", which is a very funny episode and probably IMO DS9's best comedy. Yeah I know it was missed placed with the war going on and such, but that's neither here nor there.

    What I did want to say was you started this review talking about the Home Run chase with Sosa and McGuire and that kind of made me realize how long ago that happened. This episode was done in 1998, and I was just awed that this episode came out the same year as that chase.

    Of course I'm not sure if you're ever going to read this and maybe one of these days you can do a blog post about it, but this was at the height of the Steroid scandal. I wonder if when everything was happening, that soured you, much like everyone else, towards this event or maybe the game as a whole. Also, with the Hall of Fame in a predicament for the next several years, it would be interesting to get your thoughts on it. It just wowed me, though, watching this episode tonight on how long ago that was and where we've come since.

    Um, ColoradoGamer, you can't bump a comment on a blog post. If nobody replies, you just have to deal with it. Seeing as how many of these comments were written years ago, let alone Jammer's reviews that were written over a decade ago, you shouldn't hold your breath anticipating a rash of responses.

    At any rate, what I really wanted to say was that I found this episode immensely enjoyable. I knew it would be divisive and I understand why those heavily invested in the serialized nature of the show would have little tolerance for such an episode. I, however, found it to be a relief.

    I laughed many times. Brooks was terrific here, and I say that as someone who doesn't always enjoy him (especially when he gets into hyperventilation mode). Worf was hilarious! I saw myself in Leeta's panic when the ball comes at her - let's just say I'm not much of an athlete. One of my favorite scenes was the argument with Odo. I was RTFLOL.

    There were cliches, cheesy moments, unrealistic moments, yes (although I roll my eyes whenever anyone gets their panties in a wad over the logistics of the holosuite. Do they spend as much time agonizing over transporters, universal translators, and warp speed? If so, I pity them.) However, despite the episode's weaknesses, I was entertained. To me, that's the most important thing.

    If you weren't entertained, fine, but that doesn't mean it's worthless. Some of us like to laugh every once in a while, even when watching Deep Space Nine.

    @Nancy, if you browse comments via Jammer's comment browser page you can indeed "bump" a thread. I'm not saying whether it's a good or bad thing, just that it's possible. ;)

    I also enjoyed this episode but I'm one of those annoying people who doesn't feel that a frivolous episode here and there detracts from the overall series. As long as it's enjoyable on its own terms, it's worth the 45 minutes.

    "Of course I'm not sure if you're ever going to read this and maybe one of these days you can do a blog post about it, but this was at the height of the Steroid scandal. I wonder if when everything was happening, that soured you, much like everyone else, towards this event or maybe the game as a whole. Also, with the Hall of Fame in a predicament for the next several years, it would be interesting to get your thoughts on it. It just wowed me, though, watching this episode tonight on how long ago that was and where we've come since."

    I find myself indifferent to the whole steroid scandal. To me it comes down to: If everyone (or a lot of people) were doing it, then the crime is sort of like exceeding the speed limit. Maybe that's simplification, but I'm completely indifferent to baseball in general in recent years, and the steroid scandal always struck me as overblown and overhyped ... especially when we had congressional frigging hearings about it, like they don't have better things to be doing.

    So did the steroids era sour me on baseball? No, not really. But that's because save for the 2008 season when I happened to have a lot of time on my hands, I have barely followed baseball at all.

    I'm surprised that several people were bothered by the all-Vulcan ship. We've seen several starships that are crewed by pretty much all humans. I can see that in some ways the races will have a lot in common: temperature, atmospheric composition, ship's gravity, day length, common recreational and cultural activities, friendships that date from childhood. The single-race ships were discussed in one of the behind-the-scenes books after the original series.

    I loathe baseball and the concept of the crew spending two weeks training for a match during war-time is completely absurd. There were some funny moments though.


    Useless episode, not funny, not fun. Not to mention what Elliot has said just perfectly in one of his comments here:

    "what kind of racist organisation decides to allow someone like Solok to create an all-Vulcan starfleet crew?"

    DS9 came to the point that it even does not care about how it portrays the either the Federation or the Starfleet.

    Anyway, a waste of an episode specially for a last season.

    Oh yes, in a side note, has anyone else got bothered by Solok remembering in the firs scene how many days, minutes and maybe even seconds since he last met Sisko?

    I mean, it makes sense that Vulcan can calculate something to a very accurate level of precision, such as Spok usually did (often with probabilities of events to occur). After all, they are logical and remarkably intelligent. But remembering things from years ago with such a precision seems to fit better to Data than to Spok, i.e. to an android than to a Vulcan.

    Of course, a minor issue, but just thinking aloud.

    There's nothing unrealistic about a baseball game in wartime. During WWII, games were played at military bases, even with a war going on. One such game was the 1945 "Spaghetti Bowl", a football game played in Italy, where a team from the 5th Army beat a team from the 12th Air Force 20-0.

    I had problems with the use of the Holosuite in this episode, but it didn't prevent me from enjoying the episode. Holosuites aren't very big, and there were a lot of people there, around 20. It would have made more sense to play the game on Bajor. There is plenty of open space, all you need is a field. I could see Bajorans taking up the sport, just because the Emissary likes it.

    It's not a dark, serious episode, but it is the sort of story that Star Trek does well, it felt very much like something you might have had from an episode of the original series. Star Trek is good at exploring ideas, in this case, rivalry and obsession (obsession is one of those ideas Trek loves to explore). Sisko keeps allowing Solok to make him feel inferior. Even if the Niners had won the baseball game, it would have been only a temporary reprieve, Solok would have picked something else to defeat Sisko at. But by letting go, and having fun with the game, Sisko defeats Solok, even though the game was lost. Solok is rendered powerless over Sisko. Solok doesn't really care if he wins the game, so long as he can keep Sisko dancing to his tune. When Sisko refuses to dance, Solok is deprived of his victory.

    I don't know where the idea came from that Roddenberry's vision was that "humans evolved beyond interpersonal conflict". Interpersonal conflict has been part of Star Trek since the beginning. Remember "Shore Leave", where Kirk confronts a simulation of Finnegan? Kirk finds it satisfying to beat the crap out of the guy who was a jerk at the academy. Then there was "Balance of Terror" where an officer displays bigotry toward Spock. Roddenberry does describe a future that is more enlightened than the present, but not one where humans have evolved beyond interpersonal conflict.

    Boring, couldn't stand watching more than 15 minutes of it. So far, season 7 is a complete let-down.

    The worst of Star Trek in a single episode: 20th century-centric (again!), anthropocentric, ridiculous about Vulcans (logic is bad! emotions are good!), illogical (well of course - as if Odo was a logical choice of umpire and as if Vulcans would accept that?) and unnecessary fluff (especially, as others have said, during the last season!).

    And of course, worst of all, it makes no sense - what kind of Vulcan would suddenly take up a 400 year-old Earth game? Which JUST SO HAPPENS to be Sisko's favourite? And then come to a warzone and challenge a Starfleet captain? And what kind of captain would spend TWO WEEKS during a war to prepare for something as futile??

    PS: For all the good about DS9, it does seem to bend over backward to pander to people who don't like science-fiction anyway.

    If I wanted to watch a series about baseball (or any other 20th century pastime), I wouldn't watch Star Trek. If I wanted crass Americanist pandering fluff, I'd watch Walker Texas Ranger or something.

    This episode is a prime example of the post-TNG Trek shows that has the characters of DS9, VOY, and ENT just head over heels in love with the 20th century from its pop culture and its various tchotchkes. But, more than that the majority of them act like they're transplanted from the late 20th century and adopting late 20th values (i.e. "Vulcans are lame, Klingons are cool!") That's totally absurd.

    One of the reasons I love TOS and TNG the best, is that it had future people acting like they're actually FROM the future (or more accurately, a reasonable extrapolation). Vulcans were treated with respect on those shows.

    Star Trek is slightly sabotaged as escapist fare, when the main characters are bringing up the latest Seinfeld episode.

    I know this episode is all cliches, and the racism is a bit troubling, but I liked the light-heartedness of it and some of the humour was refreshing. DS9 always did comedy well, Voyager too. TNG was very much prim and proper, all very stiff-upper-lip.

    "Seriously? There's a whole grab bag of episodes to choose from and you guys picked *this* episode to have a geekfest about the plausibility of holodeck physics?"

    Um...of course. Where better than the episode that makes the most ridiculous mockery of the holodeck concept yet?

    Well, until Fair Haven came along, that is.

    This is just as inexcusable as when they "disposed" of a growing universe in Playing God by simply dumping it in the Gamma Quadrant, as if that would somehow make it stop growing out of control.

    This episode was fun, fun fun. Lighten up everyone it was a fun story and a good game. The learning of the game was interesting, Sisko certainly didn't believe at first that this ragtag bunch of players could beat a Vulcan team with a grudge! But he played the game anyway he didn't decline, and a victorious party for one run put a damper on his old grudge opponent! That Stung Solok more than a real victory. The lines were hilarious, such as Find him and kill him! were priceless, silly chatter in the field was funny, and Odo's playing his part to the max was funny and tossing both captains out was a gem! Scotch flavored gum was a hoot! At the party all the talking smak about the vulcans was hilarious and psd off the ever logical Vulcan! Ha ha! One commenter said "But by letting go, and having fun with the game, Sisko defeats Solok, even though the game was lost." Brought a lot of happiness and closeness to all the Niner team players. :)

    So...Nog is an ensign right? I guess he works in Engineering right? So what in the hell is he doing there during the senior staff meeting? Seriously, Chief O'Brien is there so you don't need any more engineering officers. So why in the hell is he so hamfisted into this show!? I'm serious about him being the DS9 Wesley Crusher, the guy literally does eveything! And who makes the one score in the game? Nog of course.

    While I found this episode fun, and I do love baseball, this episode was also grade-A stupid.

    @Bravestar - Considering Nog is Jake's best friend and the purpose of the staff meeting was to get a senior staff baseball game going and the only person who knows more about baseball on the entire station than Kassidy and the Sisko's is probably going to be Jake's best friend.... I'd say it makes plenty of sense that he was invited.

    Beyond that.... since I'm aware of at least 3 people that WERE NOT main cast that outranked Harry Kim, what the heck was HE doing at the staff meetings (or Seven).

    It's amusing that a lot of people can't "suspend disbelief" over the physical aspects of the holosuite, but have no problem believing that everyone would still work and lead productive lives if holosuites existed.

    Max Grodenchik -- played high school baseball against him. He was an outstanding athlete.

    An immature irrelevant lazily written and directed, corny, juvenille cliche ridden, illogical derivative after school special snoozy hot steaming mess. Graced without any charm, wit or humour whatsoever, it commits the ultimate crime of simply being boring to its audience without having anything funny or clever to say.

    I normally love the lighter and silly DS9 episodes but this was simply boring dross.

    Zero stars. Actually -1 stars because they knew they had lots of stuff to do in the final season and actually chose to write and produce this.

    Hey, Jammer's a Cubs fan! Two pieces of trivia you might be interested in: 1) the coach for the actors was Joey Banks, son of a certain Ernie Banks, 2) Avery Brooks has said that he was inspired in his performance by Dusty Baker.

    The latter of which is somewhat humorous, all things considered, since like Dusty, I have to question some of Sisko's management skills... Most people aren't going to care too much about this next part, but I've got baseball on the mind and I'm having fun thinking about it. From what little we saw of the batting order, it makes some sense. Bashir first and Worf third? I do wonder why he didn't put himself and Jake higher in the batting order though, given that they are the ones familiar with actually hitting a ball. I'd probably go Jake - Bashir - Ben - Worf - Kasidy - Kira - Ezri - Rom - Leeta. But the positions? Oy...

    - The catcher is the second most important position on the field, and certainly the position that requires the most baseball knowledge. So why didn't Ben play it? Rom was Jake's friend, so presumably there's some good connection there, but it was pretty clear that he never played baseball before.
    - Bashir should have been shortstop. Good athlete, and incredibly good reflexes and "instincts" (ok, so more of extremely fast intelligence that can analyze everything as soon as the ball is hit). His skills are wasted in left.
    - Speaking of which, Worf is wasted at first. I know, he's the big guy, he's supposed to be at first. But he's athletic, and probably has a cannon for an arm. I'd throw him in right. What's Leeta doing there? She seemed to be one of the least skilled of the players...
    - Ezri in center makes sense. So if Worf is in right, you can put a weaker defender in left. Probably Rom if Ben was going to be catcher.
    - Not sure where Leeta would go. I'd be afraid of putting her at third; too much weak defense on the left side. Given the poor defense of the team, I'd be afraid of putting her at first as well. Maybe hide her at second.
    - So Kira at first then. Kasidy can stay at third. A possible alternative would be to put Rom at third and Leeta in left, and Kira at second.

    OK, my fun with baseball is over. Although now I'm tempted to fill out a roster for TNG. Not that it matters too much; Data's the obvious all star. Throws a no-hitter and gets intentionally walked every AB. May have to make him the ump in order to make life fair...

    But on to somewhat more serious matters. The writers had three major failures when it comes to setting up the team:
    1) Bashir. They even mentioned his genetic enhancements! So why was he such a failure? He should have been a great contact hitter! Sisko should have sat him down in front of holographic pitchers and made him watch a few hundred pitches. By the end, he would have been able to tell exactly when to swing and exactly where to swing as soon as the ball left the pitcher's hand. And given his darts prowess, he clearly has good hand/eye coordination. So while the power behind it may not be there, he should have put balls in play. Not strike out as horribly as we saw.

    2) Same with Worf. He's a master of hand to hand combat! His reflexes and instinct should translate to some extent. Yeah, he'll still strike out some, but I would have expected better swings from him. If he can control a bat'leth so well, why not a bat?

    3) And then there's the Vulcans. Yes, it is illogical to perform a safety squeeze (essentially what Rom accidentally did at the end of the game) when down by that much that late, but it's still clearly what he was set up for. And given that no strategy made sense at that time and the Niners were clearly trying to just get one run, then the safety squeeze does make sense as a logical option. Which means, logically, the Vulcans should have been defending against the squeeze (first and third basemen charging hard on the pitch). So the dramatic run should have never happened.

    OK, so that takes care of the failures in imagining the game. But moving on, the "dramatic" run was a failure in another way: it was a horrible, horrible cliche. For a show that tries to avoid cliches, how could they have had this one? It was so cloying, so cheesy, and so utterly predictable that I was rolling my eyes rather than celebrating Sisko's victory. It also essentially ruins the whole point. Bunts aren't that easy to put down, so essentially this whole dramatic moment is based on completely dumb luck. Yes, baseball involves quite a bit of luck, but how does that work with Rom's story? The dumb luck could have occurred with Worf happening to hit a home run in the fifth! So what was the point of it? It was just to be a dumb cliche. I'm not even sure of the point of it. Either way, this single scene really hurt the episode. I mean, it'd probably even stupider if Rom really did have the skills to lay down a bunt correctly, so at least they avoided that. But frankly, I would have been perfectly happy with no "conclusion" to the Rom storyline.

    How on Earth could you be so smug about how you avoid the typical cliche of the ragtag band of misfits overcoming all odds to win, but still make your ending with the most annoying cliche from the ragtag band of misfits cliche (the ragtagiest character making the crucial play)???

    Yeah, it annoyed me. But other than that, the episode was fun.

    Should we have this episode now? I guess the writers thought so. The war is only important when the writers say so you know. It IS light-years better than other "filler episodes" like "Profit and Lace" etc... (insert dumb Ferengi episode of choice) I'm glad this episode didn't make it in the "we didn't get to it" pile. That would have been a shame.

    I'm a baseball guy. I played and have coached quite a bit. This episode was an absolute riot.

    I won’t go through all the cliché’s as everyone else has hit on them. I'll just list a couple moments that stood out to me.

    - Rom getting kicked off then agreeing with getting kicked off the team.

    "ROM: But it should. You're good at it. (to Leeta) So are you, and I want to see you play. I want to see all of you play. I want to see our team beat the Vulcans, even if I'm only watching from the, the er
    NOG: The stands?
    ROM: Right. Please?"

    That's so Rom...

    Then, the best part of this show and arguably the whole series is when Sisko via Coach O'Brien puts Rom back in the game with the support of his teammates. Rom enters, as only Rom can, humble as Rom always is, then Sisko turns back on the crowd for him. If this doesn't put a lump in your throat (whether you know or like baseball or not) you have no heart or soul, you will not gain entrance to Stovokor and may the prophets give you the KIA Winn treatment.

    The conflict between Sisko and Solok mirrors that of the Dominion war. The Federation faces an enemy many times more powerful than itself, yet they continue to fight and continue to take pleasure in whatever small victories they can achieve. We all know sometimes their victories are just lucky, just like Rom's "hit" when he was trying to figure out the bunt sign.

    Overall, this is one of the most intelligently written humor episodes ever. It was nice seeing the crew working together on something other than the war for a change.

    All good fun with some meaning attached.

    4 stars.

    ***Yanks heads to the replicator to get a piece of the "scotch gum" :) ***

    The best part of this episode is the manufactured extraction of victory from the humiliating defeat suffered by the Niners at the end. It's particularly delicious because if there is any race that would take such an illogical tactic with more distaste and suppressed fury, it's the Vulcans.

    So... anyone else noticed that this episode showed the federation anthem? Kind of odd that they even have an anthem. How do you decide what its going to sound like? All these different species would have different musical styles. I'm over-thinking this.


    Thanks for that post. It saved me doing it. I'd have put Bashir in CF, but you make a good point about his reflexes making him a good middle infielder. Sisko and Kasidy should be 3B and 2B. Leeta at 1B, although Quark didn't look terrible so maybe him too. The OF from left to fight could be Kira, Ezri, and Worf. Nog and Jake make a good battery.


    Yeah I love baseball, so I love this episode. This episode is more fun on rewatch because there's no anxiety about will-they-have-enough-time-left-to-finish-the-story that contemporary fans sweated about.

    And yeah, "scotch" is legitimately one of the funniest lines from the whole series.

    It is by far the worst DS9 episode. Another rehash of a boring American kind of sport in the future. I liked the pure US-American epis.. - eh excuse me - Ferengi episodes much better. They were always very funny.

    How 'bout that Kubrickien, 2001 shot at the very end? What the hell was that?

    "The Sisko....0 stars. Seriously who will care in the future about an american sport?"

    Many people will care. America leads the world economically, culturally, militarily and in pretty much every other way. You're commenting on an American show. Star Trek has always been made by Americans and mostly for Americans. I can't stand baseball but it annoys me you would be jealous enough to take a shot at America. Would you rather If Sisko had been a fan of Soccer? Someone please tell me how soccer is exciting. People run around for a long time and only score a couple times a game. That is boring yet the majority of the world likes it. Is it because most people drink the whole time while watching it? Someone please enlighten me.

    Anyways i thought it was s funny episode.

    I really don't get people who don't like this episode or, worse, compare it to the likes of "Profit and Lace". It is surely the ultimate expression of Sisko's idiosyncratic love of baseball (as compared to most other characters who don't know anything about it). The "manufactured triumph" is a nice subversion of the typical sports plot.

    A couple quick points:
    - I think this marks the only appearance of the Federation anthem.
    - I love the moment when Odo throws Sisko out of the game.
    - I really, really want one of the Niners caps.

    During the play where Vulcan #11 is at bat, when he hits the ball, the music during this play suddenly made me think of ST Voyager episode Dark Frontier, when the crew boarded the Borg ship to steal a transwarp coil.

    It turns out both episodes were scored by David Bell. Nice little piece of music trivia there.

    I can buy there being all alien crews in starfleet due to different species requirements like waste management, sleep patterns among other things. I can understand the Enteprise, the flagship and ship of the line, having a secular crew. I think Voyagers crew becomes a bit more believable when you remember Earth has a population of aliens including Bolians and Vulcans all adjusted to Earths lifestyle.
    If not then I take it demiliterisation is a requirement for Federation memebership.

    I agree with eastwest101, and would like to add that this is nothing more than an anti-Vulcan episode. The DS9 crew, especially Sisko, behaved like a bunch of inferior idiots who suffer from a superiority complex.


    Don't forget the part where Rom can't decide which Vulcan to tag with the ball, because they all look alike. THAT was racist.


    Racist? ... come on...


    It's not "anti-Vulcan"... it's all about the competition between Sisko and Solok and Sisko's personal distain for him.

    1 Star from me. We don't care about baseball in Europe but that wasn't even my main preblem with that episode. So this Vulcan is a racist and even writes about it which is pretty odd. And all these : "Oh look they can't play baseball." scenes were so over the top. And why would the other Vulcans help Solok in his stupid endevour. Ok, so he is kind of an anti human racist but how did he convince his team mates ?? Hey guys I really want to beat this human captain I had a fight with at the academy so let us train baseball because that would really hurt him. What are these guys ? vulcan sociapath ?


    It's not like you needed to be a baseball aficionado to enjoy this episode. The show panders to casual sports fans and even goes out of the way explain sports terms that the characters themselves admit are foreign.

    As for Solok, maybe his crew exclusively deals with Vulcan system matters and its crew needs a strong familiarity with Vulcan social and political affairs; things that other species find boring.

    I instantly dislike Solok, but not for the reasons I'm supposed to. More like "this cold, arrogant racist is supposed to be a Vulcan?!" Since when is Vulcan pride based in anything but the functionality of their own logic-based society? It's not about their species being superior; it's about having a system that works for them and naturally they want to promote it. Sisko claiming that Vulcans lack heart is almost as bad. This series really didn't know what to do with Vulcans, it seems. Only a few of them, such as Sakonna in Season 2, seemed authentic.

    Racial bollocks aside, this episode worked okay when it focused on baseball. Odo was great as the umpire, Ezri's backflip off the wall was cool (must've been channeling Emony there), and it was reasonable that the DS9 crew lost badly but still gained something from the experience. I won't go back to it often, but it's a decent filler episode.

    I couldn't stop smiling for the entirety of this episode. Comedy gold. Full marks from me.

    Ben say "every one of you was watched a baseball game with me in the holosuite".

    Really? Even Quark? Rom? Leeta?

    And...O'Brien needs more time to recover from a joint injury than Quark needs from having his skull smashed?

    Worf's "Death to the opposition" is the greatest line in all of star trek, i laughed for quite a while after that.

    Well, here it is. The worst DS9 episode. Yes, worse than Profit and Lace or Let He Who Is Without Sin (neither of which I found that bad).

    First, the absurd premise that they would spend 3 weeks doing this during wartime is absolutely ridiculous. The waste of episode space at this crucial time is criminal when they should be building up to the finale.
    Secondly, Sisko's spiel about Solok writing academic psychology papers based on a single isolated incident (wrestling matches) is laughable and should dismiss any claims that Vulcans are the 'superior' species. No one with any basic knowledge about psychology or science in general would accept that you can draw any conclusions from a few spats between Starfleet cadets.
    Thirdly, baseball is one of the dumbest and dullest recreations to ever grace the planet and yet the episode assumes we all find it enthralling. The whimsical music when the team is practicing, forcing upon you feelings of 'look! they're hopeless! isn't it amusing?' made me cringe every time.
    Finally, was there any doubt that Sisko would somehow emerge triumphant?
    I get the episode's intention, that a group of alien races in the future playing an antiquated sport is somehow charming, but it completely fails and instead irritates and grates on the viewer. A terrible episode, completely irrelevant to the series and Star Trek and failing on every count.


    Somebody at DS9 had a thing for baseball, i forget who, possibly Ron Moore,

    Cirroc Lofton probably got the part of Jake Sisko because his uncle was Kenny Lofton a Major League Baseball veteran, if that's true it's a bit sad that instead of looking for the best young actor for the part they just picked him for his baseball connection!
    Max Grodenchik was a baseball player who considered going pro before becoming an actor so i have to wonder if he also got the part of Rom because of that.

    I think Michael Piller was the biggest baseball fan on staff, and along with Behr probably most responsible for s1 casting. Ron Moore didn't work on the show until season three.

    "What flavour did you infuse it with?"

    Yes it's fluff, and yes it's a walking, talking, swinging cliche, but damn isn't this fun? What's not to like about Odo practicing his umpire's moves? Are there three better Worf lines than "We will destroy them", "Death to the opposition", and "Find him and kill him"?

    And to its credit it doesn't follow the ultimate cliche and have the misfit team triumph against the odds - indeed finding the triumph in the small victories is a worthy lesson in itself.

    No, it's not the Magnificent Ferengi. But it's a fine addition to the comic stories. 3 stars.

    First things first: this episode is intended to be light and fun. I didn't enjoy it much, but if I *did* enjoy it, many of the criticisms I have would fade away. The stakes are low and it's an episode that's all in good fun, where the main message is to have fun. So I am opening myself up to "don't take it so seriously" criticisms, and all I can say is that I didn't really enjoy the fluff of the episode, and if I did, well, my take would maybe be different. Maybe if I liked baseball more, I guess. Even then, I love The Simpsons' "Homer at the Bat" to pieces, which is a deft masterpiece of comic invention, fast-paced, weirdly subversive, surreal and full of unforgettable sequences. I didn't particularly feel any of those with this episode.

    I think the reason that O'Brien's "scotch" line is cute is that it puts a 24th century twist on a 20th century concept. Along those lines, I also like Worf's lines, which add an over the top element to baseball chatter -- though the idea of Bashir and Ezri going "hey batter batter" still makes me cringe, it's worth it for the "DEATH TO THE OPPOSITION" punchline. These are moments which have reactions very specific to the characters. There is a similar attempt with Ezri’s acrobatics, which to some degree plays in with her arc of integrating other lives with difficulty. To some degree, other jokes in the episode are supposed to do that -- but they seem pretty hoary to me. The montage of people trying to make sense of baseball's weird rules, especially the infield fly rule. The montage of people being bad at baseball for a long time. People are injured. The opposing team is really, really great and Our Heroes don't seem to stand a chance. And, oh my, that *bunt* of Rom's at the end is incredibly painful to watch -- really? He holds his bad like that, the pitcher throws it straight to the ball? And the slow motion? Nog dramatically sliding in? The musical score letting us know how funny everything is. And the payoffs within the game to what has been established earlier, Ezri's improbable gymnastics right on cue. Eesh. I will say that once it got to the baseball game itself it was a little more tolerable, if only because it seemed to go further off the very standard sports movie script -- the Vulcan failing to cross home and Nog having to try to tag one was indeed a pretty unusual play. For the most part though I did not particularly feel any urge to see these characters playing baseball, and the episode, as it went on, continued failing to let me know why I should.

    Anyway, onto my criticisms. For starters: the war. Look. I get it, not every episode has to do with the war. And yes, sometimes there are sports games between platoons or whatever during wartime. But the episode even begins with:

    SOLOK: My second, actually. The T'Kumbra has been in combat for over six months. Spending time behind the lines will be a welcome change.
    SISKO: This isn't exactly a safe harbour. We have seen our share of action.
    SOLOK: Of course you have.

    What better way to demonstrate how much action the crew sees than having the entire senior staff spend two weeks learning a new game and getting significant injuries (like Quark getting a *broken skull*) from being pushed too hard? I guess probably they were doing their jobs some of the time, but the episode sure makes it seem otherwise. It is hard for me to square this episode with those episodes where Sisko is essentially put in charge of entire fleets, is allowed to be the person who starts wars, gets Starfleet approval to personally deceive a key foreign state into alliance, or is the person planning invasions of Cardassia. But more than the logistics, for Sisko to get this wrapped up in something this petty *at this time* runs so far counter to the tone taken in episodes like Statistical Probabilities, In the Pale Moonlight or Tears of the Prophets, where there are daily casualty lists dropping in an Sisko feels every decision as carrying the weight of thousands or millions of lives. It would be one thing if this were a lull in the war, but we just had Damar and Weyoun saying that they turned things around in Image in the Sand/Shadows and Symbols, though maybe we are supposed to assume that the Rotarran attack (and maybe stopping the Pah-Wraiths, somehow) totally undid that. It is not that I require Sisko to be tormented for the rest of his life, but so much of season six and the premiere eps depends on Sisko being driven by circumstances into despair and even into hugely immoral acts (deceiving an entire nation, murder), and those circumstances have not particularly changed. Yes, the Romulans are on their side now, but, hello, still war? Still death? I was somewhat hoping there was an alternate version of this episode where Solok had no intention of playing a baseball game, but was simply using this as an excuse to make fun of Sisko by demonstrating how little work gets done on these human-run space stations.

    Speaking of.... OK, so Solok is overtly racist against humans and other emotional beings. Solok’s racism takes the form of petty bullying, to the point where he will spend weeks of his and his crew’s time *during wartime* to learn a sport that interests virtually no one except his rival just so that he can then beat him. That Sisko has a chip on his shoulder about Solok is understandable given Solok’s behaviour, but we are given no indication of why Solok is such an asshole, first of all, but more to the point why he became so fixated on *Sisko*, to the point where he is still picking on him decades later, and going *so far out of his way* to do so. Why would Solok care about some Earth sport? How could Solok even claim to anyone that he was doing anything other than continuing some old rivalry? Look, bullies pick on people, I get it, and I can accept for the moment that Solok is such a bully—but for him to be so fixated on Sisko that he quotes that one incident again and again, and then goes through these hoops specifically to humiliate Sisko, only makes sense to me if he really does have some particular stake in Sisko and what Sisko thinks of him, rather than some sort of generic jerkiness. I have no idea what he thinks he is accomplishing—Sisko’s clichés aside, yes, Vulcans are going to be better at most sports than humans, so it’s not as if any people are going to change their mind and agree that Vulcans truly are the superior species specifically because of their relative skill in some ancient human sport like no one has heard of. So it is ONLY to put Sisko in his place. Why would this Vulcan guy have that kind of obsession with him? Given Sisko’s periodic bursts of rage, I actually wonder if Solok doesn’t have a more fundamental reason to dislike Sisko and to want revenge on him, which would not be “logical” in the Vulcan sense but would at least explain that this is a two-way rivalry rather than, as Sisko seems to indicate, a decades-long bullying campaign which Sisko reluctantly agrees to fight back on. In any case, it may simply be that Solok is that insecure, that his two Christopher Pike medals are not enough to convince him that he is worthwhile, and he needs to crush Sisko on the game that only Sisko and no one else he knows cares about to prove it again. I guess here it probably comes down to: Solok probably resents that Sisko is given such high position in tactical planning for the quadrant and seemingly by chance happened to have the “luck” of being assigned to a station where he ends up discovering a wormhole and becoming a messiah figure. Still, to put it mildly, this is not how I expect Vulcans to behave, nor how I expect Starfleet captains to behave. I’m hoping that the journals in which he uses that wrestling match to write racist screeds at least aren’t peer-reviewed.

    But fine, I guess some Vulcans and some Starfleet captains are racist asshole petty bullies who go out of their way to pick on the same guy for decades. What is his crew doing? What do they think the point of this exercise is? Of course, we never hear any of them speak, because it’s much cheaper to pay non-speaking extras I guess. One of the Vulcans seems to be hanging out with Nog at the very end (“That’s my dad,” Nog says, and the Vulcan is unreadable). I guess it’s possible that Solok simply ordered them to play baseball for him. Now, it may be that Vulcans really buy that baseball is this great spiritual, physical and intellectual exercise which is absolutely not a waste of their time, in which case they may be in this for the sport. Or is there a whole senior staff full of Vulcans who are waiting for the chance to use “baseball, that game that humans stopped caring about decades ago” to “prove” to…those humans and friends, that Vulcans are better? Has Solok actually curated not only a seemingly all-Vulcan crew (or at least all-Vulcan senior staff), but a set of Vulcans who both believe in Vulcans being the master race AND are going to go prove it using this bizarre metric? I gather we are supposed to think that at least some of these Vulcans are assholes too—that one runner who pushed Kira over, for example, and also that weird play where one of the Vulcans failed to hit home and then hid out for a while in an attempt to trick Nog. Oh well. Unlike the Vulcan crew, I do get why the DS9 crew decide to start playing baseball to start with—it sounds like fun and they know their captain likes it. That they keep going after Quark gets his skull broken (!) is a bit hard for me to believe. But anyway, fine. So maybe the Vulcan opposition is similar—they are willing to participate in what activities their captain suggests. Maybe they just don’t know that his primary motivation is being a racist?

    Sisko volunteering his crew to face Solok to prove that they are superior bothers me on a few levels. One because he shouldn’t just volunteer his crew like that. (At least, though, when he volunteers his crew, it’s people who are actually on the station, unlike when he later “pulls some strings” to rearrange his girlfriend’s life, seemingly without telling her that he was the one to do so.) Two because he really is holding onto a decades-old rivalry and is now dragging his entire crew into it. And three because it’s *obviously* doomed to failure. I mean, the origin story for him and Solok is him, as a drunken cadet, agreeing to a wrestling match with him. So now decades later, while ostensibly older and more sober, he agrees to another match with Vulcans, when they have superior hand-eye coordination and speed and everything? When also Solok has apparently had his crew train for a long while before now? Yes, okay, I get it, rivalries sometimes follow patterns and Ben keeps falling for Solok’s crap, but it was literally the FIRST MISTAKE he made with Solok which, according to Sisko’s story, was the thing that led him to be the butt of psychology papers for decades. And even if Sisko fails to see that, it seems weird to me that the crew’s reaction to Kasidy telling them about this is to fully understand Sisko’s perspective and to agree that they should work harder to defeat the Vulcans to prove their worth. No? I don’t quite know why they think that they stand a chance in the first place, but more than that they accept the whole premise that somehow whoever wins at baseball wins at life. Which would be one thing IF they were baseball fans, in a culture where baseball is universally valued, and where people *more or less* were on an equal (figurative) playing field. Anyway, Solok is obviously motivated by racism, insofar as his motives are legible. Sisko hating Solok is pretty reasonable and not a racism thing, I think. However, it is not that reassuring when he says “…and if there is one thing our Vulcan friends lack, it’s heart!”

    Anyway. The message, as it were, is that actually the thing that’s more important in baseball is to have fun. And this extends beyond baseball to just, I guess, life, or whatever, and Sisko finally escapes the rivalry by laughing off Solok’s smug superiority. An impression I get from the episode is that the NINERS vs. LOGICIANS face-off *is* supposed to “say something” about the two teams; the Vulcans are all totally uniform and all look nearly identical (becoming a plot point when Nog can’t tell them apart), whereas the DS9 crew is multi-species and have huge differences amongst them. The Vulcans have all the skill and strength and speed, but the DS9 really do have HEART!!! They lose, because heart isn’t enough, etc., but they can feel good about themselves because they’re a motley crew of individuals, even if they’re not “the best.” On some level, this ending rubs me wrong for a very weird reason. The thing is, yes, it’s true that the DS9 crew are a ragtag bunch of misfits in a sense, but they are also characters whom the show also puts on absurd pedestals at times—with Sisko being a primary architect of the war and, as we found out a couple of episodes ago, practically a demigod. Failure Rom, whom Sisko is generous enough to accept at the last minute, may be a screw-up but he also saved the quadrant with the self-replicating mines. Julian is the youngest Carrington nominee in history. Etc. Before the Dominion War, when this was just some outpost “no one had heard of” (as Gowron said), the crew as a set of extreme underdogs would feel more right, somehow, but while they are worse at baseball than Vulcans, I don’t really think they *are* underdogs. They have some of the most important jobs in the quadrant, and until this episode at no point did it seem like inferiority to Vulcans was something that was on their minds much. The need to create an all-Vulcan senior staff led by a racist bully in order to convincingly make the DS9 crew the downtrodden compared to other Starfleet crews kind of underscores my problem. By contrast, The Magnificent Ferengi I thought did a good job of making the gang convincingly underdogs for comic effect.

    Anyway, I can suspend by disbelief on some of this. It’s not that big a deal, and that the crew rallies around Sisko in some old rivalry, I guess, demonstrates their loyalty to him. The baseball-station 2001 moment at the end was weird, but the emphasis on togetherness for the DS9 crew is maybe appropriate in season seven, even if I don’t know if I like how this episode did it (and I’m not sure if another fun-romp episode like Budda Bing Budda Bang was a good idea). And if I enjoyed it more, I’d be more forgiving. But you know. I don’t even know how to rate this. I guess 1.5 stars, but it all feels very arbitrary.

    To justify 1.5 stars rather than LOWER here are a few other things of note here: yes, it does get points for avoiding having the crew actually win against impossible odds. There is something poignant about Rom's accepting that he's not good enough, and the implication that he and Nog do bond with each other. (Though there, I do find it very sad that Rom has to join some sport that humans stopped playing a long time ago in order to spend some time with him. :( :( :( ) The Federation anthem is kind of cool to hear, though at the same time it highlights how padded this episode is. And while I find most of the baseball cliches grating, I do appreciate some of the sense of the crew having fun. It is good that Jake gets something to do in a season which mostly pushes him aside.

    Then when I start talking about that I think of how ridiculous it is that the ENTIRE TEAM starts doing the signal for bunt as a secret or how Kasidy manages to call a meeting in the Ward Room without Ben knowing or that Quark is convinced to start playing some game which fits in with exactly none of his interests (except, I guess, "competition" In the abstract) because Leeta says it's a game of HEART and I just get annoyed all over again.

    I think this episode goes well in a war season. No, the characters aren't spending all their waking hours for weeks playing baseball. I feel safe assuming the crew are performing their normal duties while this episode takes place, but are coming together for a few hours each night to learn & practice baseball. Sports are a staple diversion during for soldiers during war. I've known several people who have been to war, and they've mentioned that sports were one thing that occupied their downtime. In the comment above K'Elvis mentions a specific historic example, but many accounts of the daily lives of soldiers around the world mention them playing sports. You can even find examples of allied armies stationed together playing each other's sports, as in this episode.

    While I've never been to war, I do have some first hand knowledge of what it's like trying to explain a sport or game to people unfamiliar with it. Having lived on a few different continents, I've had the experience of being regularly questioned about anything considered "American". In fact, I can recall one instance where someone asked me to explain some particular baseball rule (I think I failed to make it any clearer for her). So I have some sympathy with Sisko trying to explain the sport, and the various reactions the characters have to it seem true to life (some were interested in it; some didn't care except to try and win for the captain).

    A pleasantly diverting episode that actually felt mostly true to life for me, with some expected ridiculousness for comedic affect. The Vulcan with a personal grudge against Sisko doesn't seem out-of-line with the portrayal of non-Spock Vulcans over the years for me. Overall, I agree with Jammer's 3 star grade here.

    Now that I think about it, Solok was much like a romulan, I guess he skipped a few meditaion rituals or was close to Pon Farr or something.

    This was better second time round.
    Solok is an annoying prick and very un-Vulcan.
    Did find myself chuckling more this time round. Maybe a 2... 2.5.

    An ok episode, and the reason for it, something the reviewer missed is that after a number of grim episodes, some levity is required. See: You are cordially invited and the Magnificent Ferengi. But I didn't like it as much. There is something that really bothers me about the post-GR/Rick Berman era of ST. RB really HATES Vulcans. Look at how they are portrayed in TNG and DS9, not very flatteringly. I hated Troi's "Vulcan's suppress their emotions" nonsense from TNG(it's controlled, not suppressed, suppressed is a term filled with negative and unhealthy connotations). Every time we see Vulcans they are either a prat, like the one playing the Chief in darts, a psycho, in season 7's Vulcan mass murder ep or this one where a Vulcan is written as a blatant racist and all the other Vulcans are nameless cardboard cutouts. These are not the Vulcans of TOS.

    I thought the episode was just average until I read all the comments and now it is one of my favorites. Anything that can simultaneously annoy sports-hating nerds and smug Eurocentric boors ranks very high with me indeed.

    I liked this one. I liked the break from the all-war/all-drama Dominion arc, I liked the moral lesson, I liked that the godawful bumbling-underdogs-miraculously-get-it-together-and-win-the-big-game cliche didn't happen, I liked the moral victory they genuinely appreciated and savored.

    Only thing I didn't like was the infirmary scene. Really, a group of battle-tested veterans beaten and aching from a few hours of playing catch on a ballfield?

    The Vulcans sure didn't seem to be faster and stronger based on their hitting and running abilities.

    This is such a charming episode, regardless of when you watch it, as baseball is such a big part of Sisko's identity. The importance of the baseball symbol on his desk was never more poignant whem he left it behind after they abondoned the station and Dukat made a point about Ben leaving it behind, knowing he intends to return.

    There's plenty of comedy gold here,especially Worf's lines. I always enjoy seeing the crew outside their element and I particularly recall being impressed by Dax's chest, that solidified my crush on her back then lol. The gorgeous Terri Farrell was irreplaceable until this episode

    The onky thing that bothered me was Bashir not being a great hitter,doesn't he have enhanced hand eye coordination? I would like to have seen Worf crack one out of the park too, or bulldoze a Vulcan after Kira git run over.

    I especially liked the reason behind Sisko's rivalry and was happy he won this round by not actually winning, I didn't want a might Ducks thing

    All in all, wonderfully fun episode!

    I guess I'd put this down as a three-star episode, though as noted by others, it's nowhere near as good as other recent DS9 comic outings like The Magnificent Ferengi. What it is is off the chain, especially Avery Brooks's performance - he's not recognizably playing Sisko in this episode, in all the baseball scenes he seems to be playing a different and much more colorful character altogether in terms of inflection, mannerisms, accent, values etc. He sort of regresses into a cartoonish 20th century baseball coach, It's out-there and inspired; I don't know whether it's good per se, but it's notable, and sets the tone for the whole episode - which is basically the biggest break from the status quo throughout DS9's entire run.

    I don't think latter-day Trek's portrayal and utilization of the Vulcans has been very good, from this episode and Tuvok through to Enterprise and the new films. Vulcans are very easy to get wrong, both in terms of characterisation and performance, and Spock, Sarek, Saavik, Valeris are examples of how to get it right - they're the classic Vulcan characters and worked well in the original series and films respectively. Here the Vulcans are just used as snide, po-faced adversaries - Soval isn't a credible character and Sisko's rivalry with him is childish. I think Voyager's Gravity is the best Vulcan episode in latter-day Trek (better than anything on Enterprise), especially as it explores how Tuvok isn't just a regular Vulcan but in fact unusually repressed. Generally I find Tuvok boring and mischaracterised and Tim Russ wasted in the role, but that episode really worked.

    I loathed this episode.

    I kept on thinking, "There's still time to do something interesting." I was hoping for a Dominion attack of DS9 in the middle of the game, requiring both teams to pull together.

    It's not that I don't think they could have done something with this plot, in a different writer's hands. But as soon as Nog was at the first meeting of the "senior staff" I had a sinking feeling that went lower and lower as the episode wore on.

    Typical trek mega nerds... Everytime they try to have a fun break episode everybody be hatin!

    It was funny, light hearted and a good change of pace with bonus points for watchability for folks who don't like trek.

    I've come to terms with the writers' delusion that a boring-ass game like baseball would have survived into the 24th century, because 1) it's the least of their idiocies and 2) they've always hinted that it's really not that popular.

    This episode takes it to the next level.

    First, to expect anyone other than a fringe of humans wasting hours on a game where nothing happens for hours is one thing (I mean look at soccer and Cricket), because you can attribute it to cultural baggage from back in the days when there was nothing more interesting to do than sit through 9 innings. But, to expect logical vulcans to do this is just beyond the pale.

    Second, in the middle of the war, Sisko ties up his crew in training for a meaningless game? Seems like a great time for a Dominion attack!

    Third, Sisko sells the game as something that requires courage and sacrifice. WTF? Courage in the face of a speeding ball, I guess. And sacrifice? Sacrificing your duties in the middle of a war to the altar of your captain's hurt ego?


    "First, to expect anyone other than a fringe of humans wasting hours on a game where nothing happens for hours is one thing (I mean look at soccer and Cricket), because you can attribute it to cultural baggage from back in the days when there was nothing more interesting to do than sit through 9 innings. But, to expect logical vulcans to do this is just beyond the pale. "

    First, it's boring because you don't understand it. There's more going on during every pitch than you can shake a stick at.

    Baseball will survive longer than American football... they've already made too many changes to football and there will be so many more coming that the game might as well not exist.


    Baseball used to be my #1 favorite sport by far. I'd watch 150 of 162 games a season easy. However since about 2000 I really started getting into football and now that is my favorite. I totally agree with all the rule changes and I think it's eventually going to be detrimental to the sport. For starters a touchback should bring the ball out to the 20, and not the 25. I get they want to increase scoring (Hits on the QB rules doubly enforces this too).

    Baseball is a thinking man's sport and people "in the know" are just as excited when somebody gets a sac fly as they are when they belt a HR. I love football but baseball is a true classic that shouldn't be so easily dismissed by Senior Gooz.

    That and you can only hit about a square foot of the QB and then only for a couple split seconds... it's gonna be flag football before you know it.

    Just watch, after that superbowl they're going to change the OT rules again haha. "EACH side gets a possession until the Patriots lose!"


    I have zero interest in baseball and even if I did, if I wanted to watch a baseball game I'd, well I wouldn't want to.

    Add in a B story or some Trek, and it may be good. This is just actors we know from Star Trek playing a game of baseball. It's also so forced. It's like watching a corporate team building exercise. Yuck!

    1 star though, or maybe 0.5. Just for the few chuckles.

    I'm convinced the only things Elliott likes are TNG, Roddenberry and gay sex.

    For the rest of you haters - peep this:

    1) Anyone saying "urgh, you only like this episode because you like baseball" is wrong.

    I don't like baseball and knew this episode was coming and was absolutely dreading it. Turns out I didn't want to skip ahead at all, it's a well done episode.

    2) Anyone saying "urgh, why does teh future peoples like teh baseball!"

    Shows how much attention to detail you've paid.

    Sisko virtually jumps at the chance to see an amateur baseball game played when Kassidy Yates says it is widely played where her brother loves.

    Sisko even said the game isn't played anymore so it's not a case that the great American Baseball has survived into the 24th century - it hasn't.

    3) Anyone who says "urgh, why does the demigod like Vulcans want to play baseball?"

    They don't, they're following their captains orders and their captain probably doesn't care for the game either. He just wants to beat Sisko for some emotional reason. (Wait - point 4 is for you doggie)

    4) Anyone who says "urgh, Vulcans don't have emotions, they are teh evolved!"

    Really? If you know your Romulan history you know that they were a breakaway Vulcan sect who didn't want to follow the new teachings.

    You know all those traits which make the Romulans hated by everyone else in the Alpha Quadrant (arrogance, competitiveness etc)? You mean to tell me Vulcans don't have some of them? What is Pon Farr anyway? Does some Pah-wraith possess Vulcans at that time and suddenly they cry out for the sex?

    Vulcans are almost robotic but not completely. They repress their emotions, Pon Farr is an ingrained social custom for letting their hair down (so to speak).

    Furthermore, Trek has shown us that aliens raised in different cultures can act in a manner that is more like the culture they grew up in rather than where their DNA heritage is from. Sisko went to school with his Vulcan adversary didn't he? Worf and his son were raised on Earth and both aren't considered Klingon by some Klingons. Nog wasn't raised on Ferenginar and voila, first Ferengi in Starfleet.

    Trek has always been about exploration of deep issues and it saddens me that Trek fans are buying into cheap 21st century cynicism without evaluating all the evidence first.

    Cynicism might make you feel right but it dismisses a lot of data to accomplish this skewed perspective.

    Paraphrasing arguments you don't agree with by using misspellings or other condescending vehicles only undermines your ability to convince them they are wrong.

    That said, it was a frivolous episode. I'm not a baseball fan, but there were some funny lines. My only gripe would be that the musical score was a little dramatic at times for how unserious this was supposed to be. The end ofnthe scene where the team decodes sisko is being to serious is a good example.

    Hello typos, meet cell phone at airport bar during 4 hour delayed flight.

    every time i start to get tired of worf, there's a beautiful deadpan line like the matter-of-fact "we will destroy them." at the beginning of this episode.

    Given what they've shown of the state of medicine in the future, it's completely unbelievable that O'Brien can't play because a rotator cuff injury will keep him out for 2+ weeks. It doesn't even make sense in the context of the episode because it doesn't add anything to the story or the humor.

    "Speaking of which, Worf is wasted at first. I know, he's the big guy, he's supposed to be at first. But he's athletic, and probably has a cannon for an arm. I'd throw him in right. What's Leeta doing there? She seemed to be one of the least skilled of the players..."

    They are probably just hoping none of the balls ever go her way. Plus, Worf throws lefty so playing 1st base does make sense for him.

    "Cirroc Lofton probably got the part of Jake Sisko because his uncle was Kenny Lofton a Major League Baseball veteran, if that's true it's a bit sad that instead of looking for the best young actor for the part they just picked him for his baseball connection!"

    I doubt that back before the series they picked him for the baseball connection just for one episode in season 7. And I think Lofton is one of the best actors on DS9 anyway.

    I like fluff episodes, as long as they're fun, and this qualifies. I like watching the characters screwing around trying to learn baseball. . .

    About the "all Vulcan ship", I'm pretty sure it's common in the Federation for ships to have a "majority race" on a lot of ships. Maybe ships manufactured in Earth-run shipyards have more humans, or maybe more humans request to work on ships who are assigned a human captain? (Or Vulcan, etc.) Because the Enterprise certainly seemed to be majority human, especially if you're looking at commanding officers (Picard, Riker, Troy, Crusher, La Forge...). And it is stated quite clearly that the crew of the Voyager is majority human. (B'ellana mentions the exact figures when she's saying that her daughter is going to feel left out on the ship as a quarter Klingon, since the crew is almost all human. I only recall actually seeing two Vulcans, Tuvok and Vorik). But I don't think we're supposed to think Starfleet as a whole has more humans than all the other member races combined. Also, we know there are some members of the Federation who require different gravity or atmosphere than humans and Vulcans. They must have their own Federation ships. . . Anyway, I saw it as a bit of a good sign that there was a Vulcan-heavy ship. Explains why most of the ships we've seen have just had a token Vulcan or two!

    "I've come to terms with the writers' delusion that a boring-ass game like baseball would have survived into the 24th century,"

    It didn't survive. It was mentioned early in the series that baseball died out hundreds of years ago. Sisko just has a special affinity for it.

    Boring and pointless episode.

    Take a boring sport, mix it with a holodeck episode (which are always cheesy and stupid) and you get this nonsense. Without a doubt Season 7's worst episode.

    What did we gain from this episode? Nothing. We got to see Sisko acting rather out of character, the least Vulcan like Vulcan we've ever seen and Rom's cliched save the day from the sidelines and a scene where everyone laughs at the end.

    I don't mind episodes that don't progress the overall story or aren't sci-fi driven but this was painful to watch. 0/4, an hour long snooze fest.

    This one was dreary to watch; I fully understand this is a fluff piece. Another one of those episodes where the DS9 cast enacts something completely unrelated to real business. Would have been better for my liking if they played football (soccer) but we know Ben Sisko has his thing for baseball...not one of my favorite sports regardless.

    This is a waste of a DS9 hour -- if they had played up the team building aspect more, maybe some newly developed friendships or Ezri Dax taking on some important contribution as a newcomer, the episode would be much better. There's just more meaning that the writers should have tried to infuse into this episode.

    As far as somewhat comparable episodes, the James Bond episode also didn't work but "Far Beyond the Stars" did as it had plenty of deeper meaning and a connection to the overall arc. As a comedy, there was nothing funny here -- the injuries from training, getting their asses kicked by the Vulcans and then ridiculing Solok in the end as they manufacture a celebration for Rom's bunt. None of it worked and I can't call this charming.

    This one's full of the obvious cliches with an asshole Vulcan belittling Sisko being the seed for this nonsense. Why would Vulcans take an interest in baseball in the first place given Solok's disdain for humans and his going on about Vulcan superiority? Might be more interesting if it was Weyoun and the Cardassians challenging Sisko's gang -- at least those guys have personality. A random Vulcan like Solok is not going to be a very engaging character.

    1 star for "Take Me Out to the Holosuite" -- not quite as bad as a couple of the "Ferengi episodes" but I don't think the episode achieved anything. Sure some baseball lovers might get a kick out of seeing the cast enact a game but the episode is inconsequential and pure filler in Season 7.

    The episode had some fun looks at the characters and I am a defender of a bit of "filler" now that we're in the age when some people think that practically everything on TV has to be just one long movie to the exclusion of anything else.

    But the extremism of the Vulcans' problem with Sisko and humans (and other non-Vulcans) in general made the whole setup just plain unpleasant and not very believable. This is, after all, a centuries-old society where people of different species cooperate on a regular basis even if they don't always like each other.

    The idea that it's remotely acceptable in the Federation to burst into someone's office, racially abuse them and challenge them to a contest designed to be particularly humiliating to people of their background if they lose is outrageous. Imagining this going on in your workplace.

    It also gets Vulcan bigotry wrong. They would be coldly superior, not flinging stupid insults. They would be overly annoyed at humans for actual common human flaws rather than on some obsessive quest to prove that humans are bad at everything.

    If Sisko had actually done something that offended or hurt these particular Vulcans personally it would made more sense. Or if Sisko was tired of Vulcan superiority and HE was the one who said "well at least we can play baseball" and the Vulcan were like "Oh, we could become better at that, too."

    3 stars. A nice fun easy episode I can’t stand sports including baseball but I did enjoy this episode made the cast feel like a family in a way that rarely happened on the show. For the most part there were subsets but for the whole this and Badda Bing Badda Bang did a good job

    I liked the way the story played out with a realistic ending where the Vulcans won and the crew lost but it didn’t defeat them cause they got the spirit of the game that eluded the Vulcans. I also enjoyed Rom in this episode and the RIGHT way the crew ended up treating Rom—standing behind it after Sisko took it too far, Sisko wanting Rom to experience the game at the end, the team being more interested in everyone being included than winning. That is what Trek should be—inclusive, accepting and kind to those like Rom who may be awkward and not the most athletically inclined

    I also got a kick out of seeing baseball rules, baseball diagrams displayed all over the station from PADDs to virwscreend. That’s something you don’t see everyday and was kind of whimsy

    It was an ok episode, but I was surprised by the racist undertones with the Vulcans. Also ,I've never watched nor understand baseball so I don't really get the gist of the sport. I'd give it 2 out of 4 stars.

    While I'm not a huge sports fan at all, I will say that it (along with cricket and kickball) are intuitively easy sports to understand. Each team takes turns between offense and defense after three people are struck out on the opposing team ... making it all the way around the diamond results in scoring.

    If this episode had been about American football or hockey, I could understand not grasping the gist of gameplay ....

    Having browsed through the comments for this episode, I am shocked by the number of biased anti-American comments in this thread.

    #1. Ferengi are not Americans in fancy-dress makeup. I've lived here for forty years and met countless people in my time and I've yet to meet anyone who'd remind me of a Ferengi. (I've always thought that the Ferengi were based on a special small subset of the investing class mixed with a little hucksterism and a lot of broad comedy). Anyone who equates Ferengi with Americans knows very little factual data about actual Americans.

    I guess tarring and feathering 330 million people is ok, you know, as long as it isn't some noble group like ISIS. (Sarcasm)

    #2. Sisko is from the past of Earth that was America. Why wouldn't/shouldn't he like the game? It is part of his heritage. No one knocks Tom Paris for classic movies/cars, Riker for playing trombone or Picard nerding out over historical discoveries.

    #3. If the writers had made soccer the focus, I doubt Americans posting here would have made a federal case out of it.


    Re, the episode itself: I found it to be a little slow paced and the humor was bordering on cringe, but for an Ezri episode, its surprisingly watchable.

    @Dave in MN

    “Sisko is from the past of Earth that was America. Why wouldn't/shouldn't he like the game?”

    There was a line in TNG’s “Evolution” that said at some point in history Americans abandoned baseball in favor of faster-paced games. Not saying I disagree with you, but there was something philosophically interesting in the notion that a popular sport like baseball would become an obscure footnote in the future.

    “I've always thought that the Ferengi were based on a special small subset of the investing class mixed with a little hucksterism and a lot of broad comedy.”

    You’re right, they’re based on Yankee Traders, a group of 19th century New England smugglers, according to their introduction episode.


    I always saw Sisko as kind of an anachronism. Note the way he likes old things like baseball and he takes offence at people liking a 20th century nightclub where blacks were ill-treated.

    Uhura said in TOS once that mankind is far beyond that, so I took it that Sisko still lives in the past quite a lot. Note the way he knew the Bell Riots history. Only an historian, scholar, or a real buff would know something as far back as that so well. For instance, would any of you know the significance of the Dartmouth? Even if I gave the hint that it has something to do with Samuel Adams? Well, the Boston Tea Party isn't even as far away from us (in 2018) as the Bell Riots are from Sisko's era (350 years as opposed to 250 years)

    Three stars he gives it! Three stars! This was the worst episode in the complete history of Star Trek. And I have seen the one where Crusher does it with a ghost. This was really abysmal. Strike're out!

    Entertaining enough episode, but too many episodes not advancing the main story arc, and this you'd hardly call this SF.

    In the two weeks everyone found to devote to preparing for this match, perhaps they could have hand-built a few ancient Bajoran spacecraft, too.

    The Vulcans have a terrible sense of sportsmanship, so the lovable band of misfit non-Vulcans win the game in spirt. The Bad News Bears / Charlie Brown meets Star Trek.

    One thing that I have always loved about baseball is that when it comes right down to it, tough it's great to win, nobody really cares if you suck at it. Your skinned knees are your earned participation trophy and everybody goes home with honor.

    Im really surprised with how much I love the Vic Fontaine character. This is the magic of DS9: they pulled the gun on a script based on a holosuite frank sinatra helping a kid shrug off PTSD after getting his leg blown off. And it works. This show is great


    Yeah, that's "It's Only a Paper Moon" and it's great I agree.

    Fun little episode. I had one nerdy nitpick:

    The episode ends showing the baseball the team signed. Why would non-humans know how to write either print or cursive? Why would handwriting still be a thing at all for anyone in this century? That would be like having me write with a quill and ink; it’s a skill that isn’t needed anymore.

    I’m not bent out of shape about this. Just a bit of fun.


    I'll shock this one up to the 24th Century really educates it members, unlike today's US public schools.

    O'Brien's scotch comment was epic.
    But, unfortunately, this episode did nothing for me. I'd watched it before, long ago, and I hoped that there was at least some comedy, but I ended up turning it off about halfway through. I think you have to either like baseball, or at least not detest it to enjoy this episode. I really didn't get the rivalry with Sisko and the Vulcan captain - it seemed very childish and out of character for both captains.
    But I think it's a good commentary on the effect of sports on people's rationality, and how just the word "sports" can be used as an excuse for zealous and feral behavior.
    Overall I found it obnoxious. So far my least favorite episode.
    Funny, I kept wanting Jadzia to show up and tell Benjamin to get over it. Hard to believe they have weeks to practice for something trivial with a war on.

    @ Mallory

    You are 100% correct there! That spirit of competition is one of the reasons I'm not into sports. My job involves me photographing young ones playing sports, and their parents get so worked up that I've seen times where refs called for a police escort to go back to their cars! Shameful!

    “Hard to believe they have weeks to practice for something trivial with a war on.”

    Actually playing baseball during wartime was exactly what the U.S. did:

    “Ad hoc games abounded among deployed servicemen (and in POW camps) during the war, but there was little formal play. That changed when the Nazis surrendered in 1945. The U.S. Army decided the best way to keep hundreds of thousands of its (restless and heavily armed) soldiers occupied was to set up, virtually overnight, a massive athletics apparatus, with intramural competition in every sport imaginable. Baseball was the most popular game among the G.I.s, and a large league was formed, with representatives from most of the divisions in the theater.”

    Also, interestingly enough, famous baseball stars like Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra brought their atheletic skills to battle in WWII. So this episode is not without historic precedent.

    It's nice of the Dominion War to be so accommodating of digressions like this...

    Continuing my nostalgic re-watching of all seven seasons. I remembers this comedic gem fondly and I am glad to say it's only improved with time. Worf's "FIND HIM AND KILL HIM!" still elicits uncontrollable laughter to this day!

    Addressing the "inappropriate during wartime" comments:

    Having spent time in the Marines I can confidently state you cannot stay in "war mode" 24x7x365 without burning out. Downtime such as this is essential for physical and psychological reasons (at least for humans) as well as offering team bonding opportunities. While it is intimated the Niners spend two weeks training for the game, one should not assume this means they spent two weeks doing nothing but practice. This would be impossible as there is a station to run and a war going on. It only takes a minor suspension of disbelief to assume they practiced outside of their normal duties, perhaps with delegating some of the less critical duties to allow sufficient play time. It happened off-camera.

    To the comments on holodeck physics and a ball field not fitting into the holodeck:

    My post-military career is an engineer. As such I've always approached Star Trek tech by saying "if I had their technology, how would I suspect it should work?" Any competent holodeck designer/programmer would have to handle cases where multiple occupants could wander physical distances apart that cannot be contained in the holodeck, so how would they achieve if? Well, you have near-perfect holograms, replicated matter, and "treadmill" forcefields. So long as occupants are within the boundaries of the holodeck, they see other occupants at actual distances. However, if they start to wander beyond the physical limits of the room, the holodeck would put them on a virtual, invisible "treadmill" of a forcefield (to stop them from walking into the walls), "encapsulate" them into their own holodeck perspective so the illusion of motion and distance is maintained, and then do the same to all other occupants to maintain *their* respective illusions of other occupants. What you end up with is each occupant being in their own personalized holo-simulation within the holodeck. The concept isn't complicated or far-fetched if you consider what 24th-century technology has demonstrated it can do. Ultimately, Star Trek tech has only to remain internally self-consistent in order to remain believable, and there's nothing on display in this episode that breaks the concept.

    Regarding the "all-Vulcan crew":

    I caught the racist (speciesist?) overtones on this immediately and, like others, found it to be glossed over a little too easily. I can't see how the Federation, with all its egalitarian and "everyone is equal" ideals, would ever allow such a thing without raising questions, especially if it involves a captain who's written multiple papers purporting Vulcan racial superiority. Put another way, would Starfleet allow a white captain to exclude all non-whites from his/her crew? A male to exclude all non-males? No Star Trek fan would buy that for a moment, nor should we buy the all-Vulcan angle. However, there is a reasonable explanation.

    A Nebula-class starship has a crew of 750 (according to Memory Alpha). Sisko states the crew is all-Vulcan, but let's be generous and say Sisko is only referring to the *command crew* of the USS T'Kumbra. We never see 750 Vulcans on the ship so it's a conceivable fudge we could attribute to Sisko using generalities. The command crew would be only a few tens of officers, perhaps even 100 of the total 750 onboard, plenty to make a baseball team from.

    This might explain Sisko's comments but it makes the racial angle perhaps even uglier: a ship commanded by a handpicked, "racially superior" officer group with all "inferiors" relegated to lower positions with no chance of promotion. It makes for an entertaining episode but I wish the writers had come up with a better scenario to pit Sisko against Solok. A Klingon ship populated exclusively by Klingons is expected because they're *allied* with the Federation, not *part* of the Federation. But a Federation ship that's purposefully racially homogeneous? Tough pill to swallow.

    @ Prisoner881,

    It was established as early as TOS that there are all Vulcan ships in service. You don't need to explain it away, and it's pretty obvious why: most Vulcans can't stand serving with non Vulcans. Even Spock has intense difficulties working with humans in S1, and he's half human.

    As demonstrated in Enterprise, and in some smaller, more subtle ways in the other Trek series and films, Vulcans are arrogant and see themselves as superior. It doesn't surprise me that a bunch of Vulcans would *want* their own ship; it is troubling that Starfleet would let them have one. I bet no other Federation member race would be allowed to do such a thing.

    The Federation isn't about *making* anyone do anything, like some Big Brother telling you your opinion is wrong. If Vulcans, or Benzites for that matter (as we saw) prefer to work with their own kind then that's their prerogative. Vulcans tend to serve on their own ships; that is, Vulcan ships, not Starfleet ships. You know the ruckus Sarek raised over Spock even joining Starfleet, as if it was a disgrace to the Vulcan ways. Being a member race means being represented, having a unified world government, and agreeing to co-exist peacefully with other member races. It does not mean that each race must adopt human values. This message largely got lost over the course of the franchise, until by Enterprise it's pretty clear the dunderheaded showrunners were pushing the gross idea that humans have superior morality and ideas to everyone else, who are like children that need to be tamed. By this time the USA! USA! theme was obvious, and with George W Bush in command of the NX-01 we were basically being fed that USA is the best and everyone else better learn from them. But that is *not* what Trek is about. If the Vulcans want to work together on a Vulcan ship then let them!

    The only weird thing shown in this episode is that the Vulcans appear to all be on a *Starfleet* ship, which is a little stranger. But there may be precedent for that in The Immunity Syndrome, as I can't remember if that ship was a Starfleet vessel or not. I concur that it would be a little strange for the Andorians, for example, to demand a Galaxy class ship to fly around for themselves. You'd think the deal would be that Starfleet is mixed, but if a race wants to build their own ships and fly them then by all means have at it.

    Thanks for the reply! I entirely agree that Federation member worlds can do as they please in general, but my comment hinges on the fact that the all-Vulcan ships depicted in Trek are *Starfleet* ships specifically. That's where it gets odd - racial segregation within Starfleet?

    It seems conceivable that it's simply environmental. An all-Vulcan ship might crank up the heat and up the gravity a bit, make the environment more like Vulcan than Earth: a more natural fit for Vulcan physiology. Also interesting is the fact that per "Interface," most of the crew of the U.S.S. Hera were Vulcan, yet it has a human captain.

    Incidentally, I find it amusing that people keep repeatedly describing baseball pejoratively as an "American game." It may be American in origin and closely wedded to American cultural mythology, but a glance at its popularity in Latin America and in some parts of East and Southeast Asia shows that you really mean that Europeans don't play it very much.

    To address earlier comments, if there is another all-Vulcan *Federation* starship (*not* Vulcan starship) in existence please let me know what it is. I'm unaware of it. Not saying it doesn't exist. Merely saying I'd like to research it to understand how such a thing came into being.

    My core objection to such a crew is it flies in the face of everything the Federation and Starfleet claims to stand for. If there's one thing Roddenberry was fond of sledgehammering into our psyche, it's that Starfleet was a completely egalitarian meritocracy where diversity was a foregone conclusion. TOS showed us a multiracial, multi-sex, nationally-diverse bridge crew, a first for American TV. This was absolutely intentional, a way of showing that petty divisions along said lines were a thing of the past. It was the ultimate expression of diversity and it was presented as a core strength of the Federation compared to the homogeneous Klingons and Romulans.

    Viewed in that context, how could Starfleet possibly rationalize a racist captain -- for he clearly is based on his predilection for writing scientific papers saying exactly that -- being put in charge of a ship crewed by his handpicked "superior race"? It's like putting a white supremacist in charge of an aircraft carrier and allowing him to exclude black crewmen because they're inferior. We wouldn't put up with it today in our "backwards" 21st century so why would they in the 24th? The answer is they wouldn't.

    Some arguments were made saying a racially homogeneous crew is desirable due to environmental preferences (atmosphere, temperature, gravity, etc.). While certainly possible, we see exactly the opposite in nearly every example shown to us throughout every series. While I'm sure some races find Earth-like conditions not as pleasant as their native ones, none are ever shown being overly inconvenienced by it. I, for one, have always found this a little too convenient but I'm sticking with series canon and saying it's never been shown, therefore it cannot be a significant problem.

    Vulcan pride and condescension have also been mentioned as rationales but I find this disingenuous. While the series has used this facet as a source of humor or drama, the simple fact is these traits are not logical. Vulcans come off as abrasive precisely because they are emotionally detached. Solok is *clearly* pursuing an immature -- dare I say *emotional* -- vendetta against Sisko and taking pleasure from rubbing Sisko's defeats in his face. *None* of this behavior is appropriate for a Vulcan no matter how fun it is to see it on the screen.

    @ Prisoner881,

    I am tempted to agree that Solok is out of line. However it would seem to me reasonable to suppose that among Vulcans there are probably those who are "technically" logical but whose motives are less than noble. In fact we saw this exact thing with Spock's wife T'Pring, who was actually duplicitous but where her motives were logical. In other words Vulcans use logic, but not human morality, to decide their actions. If logic demands that humans need to recognize how inferior they are then Solok will proceed accordingly, even if doing that is "not nice". And nothing about his comportment was hostile towards other member races, so his negative attitude is his own business.

    "if there is another all-Vulcan *Federation* starship (*not* Vulcan starship) in existence please let me know what it is"

    The Vulcans are in the Federation. Do you mean an all-Vulcan Starfleet ship? I just looked it up and in The Immunity Syndrome we aren't exactly told whether the Intrepid is a Vulcan ship or a Starfleet ship. At that time in the canon I'm not sure a distinction exists. Anyhow that's what I was referring to earlier. In DS9 we see Vulcan science ships going around, but those would seem to be non-Starfleet vessels if I'm to guess.

    "My core objection to such a crew is it flies in the face of everything the Federation and Starfleet claims to stand for."

    I don't know about that. "You may mix" doesn't equate to "you must mix." A species can be a racist as it wants, so long as it acknowledges the sovereignty of the other races and cooperates with the Federation rules. There is no rule I know of saying that any race must adopt human values. How a group of Vulcans could get their own starship in Starfleet I'm not sure, and that would probably be worthy of an episode in itself to explain. But I don't see it inherently as a problem. Imagine the Bynars, for example: it would be foolish to try to make them cooperate on a ship with humans when they work in unique ways with each other.

    As far as Solok being a "racist", I think that's a tenuous claim. You probably think of a racist as being someone whose ignorance resolves itself into hate of another group. But Solok isn't ignorant, he bases all of his views on data and backs them up in scientific papers. People today would call that politically incorrect, but I believe that in the Federation people will be free to express what they see as the truth without fear of backlash, and if that exploration means putting out controversial hypotheses that sound "insulting" then that's the price you pay for free speech and research. You can bet that he can back up his claims in some way or another, and so his works aren't just "racism" but are likely factual dissertations. The fact that it angers some of us to hear such things is actually exactly Solok's point: he would say that emotional races can't stand to hear the truth...and in our case in the present day he'd be right. That might mean he's not nice, but this also answers your question about why Vulcans work mostly with each other: they don't see the propriety of being nice. Spock has said that much many times on TOS. No one would be able to tolerate working like that with maybe a few exceptions.

    Prisoner881: USS Intrepid, TOS "The Immunity Syndrome"

    Never confirmed on screen but I'm pretty sure it was meant to be another Constitution class starship.

    DS9 mentions us two ships with Vulcan-specific names, ShirKahr and Sarek. No reference to their crew composition, but it's certainly conceivable that they're also Vulcan-majority ships.

    Why didn't they use Odo as a player? As a changling...he could have been quite good. He could have stretched his arm to make a catch and turned into a fast animal when running the bases.

    I liked the team name, uniforms and hats (where part of the station forms part of the baseball).

    So they could have at least had Vic Fontaine sing a nationsl anthem for the team. Akso loved Odo as the umpire.

    ***Just a disclaimer (because this came up before): the Sean who made the earlier comment is NOT me! Thank you ***

    Forget the World Series, it’s all about the Galaxy Series! I loved this and found myself smiling through most of the second half. I felt Sisko’s rage when he was thrown out and the Romulan smirked. And Sisko realizing it wasn’t about winning when he noticed how much Rom loved the game and deciding to let him play. I’m a fan for life- LETS GO NINERS!!!!!

    Lightweight, but not bad. I was glad that they didn't win, but rather, found something to be happy about, despite the loss.

    "Death to the opposition," was a great line.

    I used to live in Cincinnati in the mid and late seventies, with the Big Red Machine, so I have a soft spot for baseball, which helped me enjoy the outing.

    I could have done without the taunting of Solok, which detracted from the whole thing. Also didn't care for Kasidy breaking Ben's confidence.

    Average as average can be.

    "While I'm not a huge sports fan at all, I will say that it (along with cricket and kickball) are intuitively easy sports to understand. "

    Amusingly, that is precisely the opposite of the truth. Baseball is this peculiar game where at any given moment, when nothing in particular happens, everyone starts celebrating. Meanwhile, something like hockey, which you suggest is complicated, is bewilderingly simple: puck goes in goal, number goes up.

    At any rate, a truly terrible episode and by far the worst in the whole series, handily beating infamous gems like Move Along Home or Profit and Lace.

    "Meanwhile, something like hockey, which you suggest is complicated, is bewilderingly simple: puck goes in goal, number goes up. "

    Well, assuming you know what a "puck" and a "goal" is and what they're for. To an ignorant observer, one is just a flattened piece of rubber and the other is a wooden framework covered in netting.

    I know next to nothing about hockey, but "puck goes in goal, numbers goes up" seems perfectly clear to me. You can't get any simpler than "when X hits Y, you score a point".

    Baseball is far more complicated to a casual observer. Though I gotta say this: This episode is a pretty good tutorial for understanding the basics of the game (and I say this as someone who had virtually no knowledge of how baseball works before watching).

    No sport takes fewer than 5 minutes to pick up the basic rules. These things are consumed by masses for a reason. How do you folks think people understand the Olympic Games?

    Other than American football (and chess, if you count that), I can't really think of a sport that I didn't intuitively grasp on my first watch.

    Rom was more annoying than usual in this one. Seriously, can’t even throw a ball?? I just wish there was an episode where Rom would get shot by the Jem’hadar with anticoagulant rifle and die slowly like Quique Muñiz in episode “Starship Down”.

    Oh God, a baseball episode. That's exactly why I watch Star Trek.
    Skip 10 seconds,
    Skip 10 seconds,
    Skip 10 seconds,
    Skip 10 seconds,
    Death to the Opposition,
    Skip 10 seconds,
    Skip 10 seconds,
    Sisko is OUT, heh,
    Skip 10 seconds,
    Skip 10 seconds,
    Skip 10 seconds,
    Rom the hero, aww, how nice
    Skip 10 seconds,
    Skip 10 seconds,
    Yeah, suck it Solok!

    Wow, this episode lasted only 5 minutes!

    Glad I had my partner around to translate for me on this one -- I grew up in two countries where baseball barely exists, but him? Born and raised on it. (He didn't know what a Fancy Dan was, though. Now he does! Star Trek is Educational.)

    But hey, barely knowing baseball works out alright for this one, cos barely any of the characters know anything about it either. Just as confused as they are. Meanwhile, partner was rapt from the moment it became clear this was gonna be A Baseball Episode. Definitely got the impression that gave him the edge on enjoying it -- it's the hardest I've ever heard him laugh at Trek (some of my hardest too, for what it's worth).

    We joked about one particular shot of Sisko's baseball enshrined in white light, same style as when Sisko's meeting the Prophets. Baseball, the new Emissary (the *true* Emissary). Honestly, from my partner's reactions, the whole ep was a religious experience for him. Fitting, then...!

    There's a lot to love here. Everything Worf says in the game, for instance. And Odo is adorable. Years of meting out justice during the Cardassian occupation have prepared him for this, and this alone! It's also good for our crew to get in a victory during the Dominion War -- manufactured or otherwise, battle or baseball.

    Visuals-wise, I loved the individuality of the signatures on the baseball (ah yes, "WORF"). And that design on their caps, integrating the space station and a baseball? Perfect little detail. Clearly a lot of love here.

    Partner wants to add that he fully expected Quark to be the hotdog vendor.

    Given the tales I hear of the food prices at baseball games... much profit to be made.

    I hate hate hate this episode. Nothing bores me more than baseball, the stupid sports that Americans play and nobody else in the world cares about. This would have made for an okay sub-plot, but not for an entire episode.

    Baseball is widely played in Latin America and parts of Asia, just for the record. (It bores me too but it’s not uniquely American)

    Urgh. A fluff episode set in a 20th century American baseball park? I guess the DS9 production team were still paying off the special effects budget from the first two episodes of the season.

    Surprisingly, for all that it leans heavily on US-centric tropes[*], it’s not too bad an episode. Because when all’s said and done, it’s a comedy fluff-episode and it leans into that.

    Don’t know if I’d ever want to watch it again, mind. Now, if it was cricket, played by robots re-enacting an ancient galactic war…

    [*] I know baseball is popular in Asia, but this is very much modelled on the American concept of the sport and follows firmly in the footsteps of A League of Their Own, Field of Dreams, etc.

    All these posts and no one points out what a terrible call Odo made? Sisko and Worf were right, it was totally a ball!

    Great episode! Totally fun. Who cares if its cliche?

    I hate baseball and find it boring, but I do love underdog sports stories, including baseball spoofs a la Benchwarmers, Major League... even Moneyball. I’d lean towards a 4 on this one. The comedy can be cheesy, sure, but for Trek, one of its funniest comedy hours.

    What I liked most about "Take Me Out To The Holosuite" was the fact that the *idea* that Baseball is a game and games are supposed to be fun is -shown-, not -told-. I was expecting a big summation speech from Captain Sisko to Captain Solok about "the point of game is to have a good time, something you Vulkans will never understand, blah blah blah" like every sports story in TV that ends with Our Heroes losing tends to have, but it didn't come...

    DS9's writers were content to let you watch Avery Brooks' face and figure out that lesson for yourself, and Brooks delivered, as did the rest of the Niners (and Odo of all people).

    I'd give it another 1/2 star, myself, for showing and not telling.

    I can only add a personal note, I have played baseball on the field used in this episode, though I did not cry out "Death to the opposition". Not that anyone would have understood anyway. Long story short, I've been taken to the holosuite.

    So, 4 stars.

    Funny how this gets a pass for a Season 7 episode. It is a complete waste of story telling.

    If only it was a Voyager episode where it would be dragged up for the waste of time it is.

    Billy, you must be a Vulcan.

    Death to the opposition.

    This episode is great, and I’m a lifelong baseball fan.

    Loved Kira and Leeta in baseball uniforms.
    “Death to the opposition” made me laugh.
    Rest was total cringe-fest!

    Meh. The whole thing seemed like an excuse for the DS9 actors to pretend to play baseball. It wasn't funny, and it wasn't (if you'll pardon the expression) logical.

    I enjoyed this episode. In regards to favourite lines, yes to "we will destroy them and scotch" My fave is when Sisko is arguing with Odo and says to him "what were you doing, regenerating?"

    Watched it for the second time today (first time was a few years back). Liked it less this time. It's got a few funny moments but most of it is pretty dumb, and now that I knew the funny stuff it wasn't as good ... similar to Qpid in that regard.

    * re: My fave is when Sisko is arguing with Odo and says to him "what were you doing, regenerating?" - yeah that's my favorite line too. Also, Sisko was right, Odo completely blew that call.

    * Several have commented about Avery Brooks acting in this episode being good, but I didn't like it. It's too much of a forced "stereotypical angry sports coach" stuff (Paul Douglas and Danny Glover did it much better), and I never liked his raised-voice ov-er en-un-ci-at-ing when he's trying to portray Sisko as stern/angry anyway.

    * Just interesting to note, Worf bats right but throws left. I know Rom is left-handed in this episode b/c Max Grodenchik couldn't convincing pretend to be bad enough at baseball without using his off hand, but I'm not sure if Dorn was throwing with his off-hand for the same reason or not.

    * The show creators apparently forgot the way Bajoran names work, since the Major's jersey says "Nerys" for most of the episode (there is one brief moment where she's wearing a jersey that says "Kira" though).

    * Is it just me, or did they do something subtly different with the Vulcan makeup in this episode than in all the others where Vulcans appear, to try and make them look more stuck up and smug?

    * I get that with the DS9 crew they were stuck with the people they already had, regardless of whether the athleticism or lack thereof of the actor matched that of the character or not. But with the Vulcans, why not find 9 folks who all looked like they were decent athletes? The dude who gets up from the dugout to head back to home plate because he never touched it looks like he never had jogged or run a day in his life before.

    * Kira may not have baseball instincts, sure, but given who else they had to work with, she should have been one of the team's better players. But Nana Visitor just can't even make it look like the feared warrior and freedom fighter has moved around outdoors much in her life. But then, she was always good at the "emotionally torn" stuff and not at the "look like she could assassinate you" stuff - her fight scenes have always looked unconvincing to me.

    * Alexander Siddig seems decently athletic enough that I'm not sure why they never had his (genetically enhanced) character do much of anything in the game. Although maybe he really wasn't, which would have explained why they didn't want to show much of Bashir? Seems like his character would have been a little more convincing in the backflip-catch than Ezri's obvious stunt double was, although really they should have left that out altogether.

    * I can buy the Federation having an Official Anthem ... but one that they play before sporting events where people hold their hats over their heart/shoulder, and that sounds so much like a generic western national anthem?

    Just a pleasant outing. Nothing heavy... except a negative perspective on Vulcans. Spock was never that bad. Remembering "Keeps dialins Oxmix" rather fondly, so why the writers cast the opposing team as Vulcans in the first place, I can't quite get my head around. Should have been the Breen, or better yet, the Nausicaans.

    The whole episode activates the nostalgia system in a good way. Liked seeing the cast in baseball uniforms and agree with long past poster that Quark should have been selling hotdogs.

    I must say that Odo makes a good showing...I liked watching him practicing the Ump's moves inside that office of his.

    However, there was a missed opportunity in the argument scene at home plate...believe that it should have been Kira who got whipped up at Odo and then gers thrown out. Sisko, should have stayed in the game and had an at-bat, at least, if not a homer guided by the prophets.

    Just think, in his imaginings, he could have knocked it out of the park and beaned a pagh-wraith behind the scoreboard.

    To paraphrase Sean Bean as Boromir: 'One does not simply bean the pagh-wraith, one beans him with one's cosmic baseball'.

    An all-Vulcan team vs. an all-Klingon team would be fun/interesting to watch.

    Anyone know what happened to the signed baseball? Did it get sold off at auction, did AB, RDM or Chip Chalmers keep it, is it in a prop warehouse next to the Ark of the Covenant?

    From my Google search if looks like lots of similar artifacts have gone up for auction ($40,000 for Picard's Resican flute?) but the baseball does not show up anywhere.

    Agreed it would be a neat thing to have.

    Not much to say about this episode. It was silly. If I were Sisko, I would've brought in a ringer and had Data transfer temporarily to the station. If the Vulcans caught it and objected to his playing, he could've helped in other ways such as coaching and fixing their mistakes. Odo also should've been on the team. I really don't see how you could leave him out with his capabilities.

    Jammer is so biased against Voyager! If they had an episode like this where the crew take two weeks to play baseball instead of focusing on a war, he would lambaste it.

    And what about the complete character assassination of the Vulcans?

    DS9 has assassinated many characters.

    Moore is an inconsistent writer. Some shows are magical, some are like square pegs in round holes.

    "it leans heavily on US-centric tropes"

    I was reading the Epic of Gilgamesh the other day but I had to put it down. Just too Uruk-centric for my tastes.

    A supremely low-effort episode. Why bother with a 24th-century space-station set, model warships, C.G.I., etc. when you can just shoot an ep. in a ballpark!

    As others have noted, taking two weeks (TWO WEEKS!!!) in the middle of a massive WAR to practice baseball... 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

    Speaking of two weeks, the realism of successfully training complete novices in that time to become proficient in a game that takes YEARS to get any good at... - more facepalms.

    On another note, the poor Volcans really got eviscerated in this one: They are portrayed as total douchebags. Seems legit. 🙄

    Bashir doesn't know what chewing gum is. Legiter. 🙄🙄

    Rom accidentally scoring a bunt. Legitest. 🙄🙄🙄

    And yet, for all that mishegos, I LOVED this episode! It certainly helps to have at least *some* affinity for baseball (I know that if it would've been about, say, soccer or F1 racing, I'd have skipped it entirely) but, beyond that, the humor alone was excellent. Dodo practicing his ump role was hysterical! Rom busting Quark's skull by swinging the bat behind him without looking - gold!

    The ending was super cool: Despite losing, The Cisco and the team recognized that the bonding experience was worth celebrating. Very nice!

    This episode had so much potential, but just heading up being so-so. We should have seen:
    - Odo as a player (not an ump). He could stretch his arm to take way home runs and transform into a wheel/rabbit/swallow/whatever to get to around the bases faster and dodge tags.
    - Too many players were pathetic...there was no contrast. Some players (like Worf) should have been good and generating some home runs
    - Worf should have broken his bat over his forehead or knee at least once as part of a home run celebration
    - Worf should have charged the mound with his bat after getting hit by a pitch. Worf not Sikso should have been ejected. Sisko was not very captain-like in this episode.
    - Morn should have been ump. Quark should have run betting on the game with a spread. Quark should have bribed Morn with some of the winners to fudge some ball/strike calls....including some egregious ones that irk the vulcans.
    - The Siskso/vulkan captain controversy was meh...their dugouts should have been next to each other with Sisko as a manager only (not a player) exchanging constant barbs with the vulcan.
    - Rom's actor was actually a good baseball player in real life...but in the show they overreacted by making him too pathetic...almost a special needs person. He should have been an idiot-savant at baseball like he is at engineering...Quark should have been the incompetent player and in extra need of cheating.
    - Garek should have been involved. Maybe he designed the uniforms and he and Sisko had an argument over the the logos. Garek advocates for a vole theme uniform and a live vole mascot, but Sisko disagrees. Garek ends up being the 3rd base coach who spies on the Vulcan's signs.
    - The rivalries should have extended beyond the two captains. We could have a doctor on doctor rivalry, security officer on security officer rivalry, special ensign rivalry, etc...
    - 9'ers still lose, but cover the spread Quark created which makes him happy. The vulcans are puzzled why Morn is also so happy, not realizing he conspired with Quark to cheat
    - There should have been a historical reference to rampant cheating in historicle baseball and the modern crew thinking this is acceptable with a specific reference to steroids/HGH. Bashir comes up with a secret formula to juice the 9'ers for the big game.

    Rival for best line:

    "He didn't touch the plate!"
    "What do I do?"
    Worf: "Find him and kill him!"

    I used to not be able to stand this episode and avoided it after the first couple of viewings, but many years later I actually find it lighthearted and hilarious. I especially love the end scene where everyone is sitting at the bar relentlessly manufacturing a victory. When Solok says he won't partake in this human taunting, all the other cast who aren't human ridicule him further. It was nice to see the characters united and totally out of their usual element, while still being themselves.

    I also wonder what happened to that baseball prop that got signed by all the characters? It's probably in somebody's collection by now!

    Episodes like this are the biggest casualty of moving away from 26 episode seasons. I get why that's a necessity in modern productions, but it still makes me sad.

    There are worse episodes, but it felt like a waste of time. And all the sport movie clichés, argh. Also, if they went there, shouldn't Bashir, Worf and Kira (who had been a champion raquetballer or something in an earlier season) been better at it? And shouldn't Yates have played a more prominent role as a fellow baseball aficionado? Why was O'Brian the replacement coach and not her? Eh.
    Oh, and Quark sure would have drummed up a real audience and got some bets and catering going. This should have been a bit of an event and a good business opportunity. While combatants blowing off steam with sports is perfectly reasonable, could have provided a decent material for an episode, but the very isolation and sterility of the match works against this idea.

    Also, Star Trek sure likes to crap on Vulcans. It is like the writers feel threatened by a viable alternative to how humans do things (TM). I have to disagree that TOS or TNG were better about it. In TOS full-blooded Vulcans didn't cover themselves with glory and amply exhibited their ability to hold illogical grudges. McCoy was constantly racist towards Spock (though his affection was also obvious) and pushed him to act more like a human. And a lot of high points for Spock's character involved exactly that.

    In TNG there was that extremely unpleasant Vulcan ambassador, who turned out to be an undercover Romulan, but her jerkish behavior didn't ring any bells among the crew, so it was something that they clearly expected from Vulcans. Then there was Sarek's useless aide and the notion that 3 shipfuls of Romulans woud be able to take over the entire planet!

    Enterprise just destroyed them. Etc.

    Klingons are a "noble savage" stereotype, so while they are occasionally seen as admirable, there never is any doubt that evolved human ways of doing things would be superior.

    Anyway, wasn't Sisco's captain on the "Saratoga" a Vulcan? You'd think that he would be particularly well-equipped for dealing with them. Oh, well.

    Speaking of a Vulcan Starfleet crew - it makes perfect sense that there would be ships where other major Federation species would be a majority and which would cater to them in the same way as Enterprises, Voyager and even DS9 cater to humans. While the environmental comfort zones of most Federation species overlap somewhat, they are not the same. It would be incredibly discriminatory to force everybody in Starfleet to put up with conditions which are only optimal for humans all of the time. Not to mention home ports convenience and the specific needs of various other species, like Pon Farr, telepathy, etc. In fact, there could have been an interesting episode material in one of the series regulars doing a stint on a non-human Starfleet vessel and both commonalities and differences in how things would be done there as compared to the human ships and that we are familiar with.

    Also, let's face it - the way that the Star Treks presented the Federation, it always looked like a human hegemony, rather than an equal alliance of many species. All the Starfleet ships depicted on screen are majority human with sometimes a sprinkling of aliens in their crews. Nearly all captains are human. Nearly all admirals are human. Nearly all ship names are human. Nearly all awards are named after humans, etc., etc. The only aspect of government that even remotely aspired to the touted diversity of the Federation was the diplomatic corps.
    And yes, of course it is understandable that much of it was caused by practical considerations of money, logistics, etc. I still think that they could have done more and didn't default to "Starfleet=human" as much. But mentions of majority-non-human Starfleet ships could have been a cheap method to alleviate this that should have been employed much more frequently than it was.

    Ok, so it's not the greatest episode, but for me René Auberjonois saves it with a fine comedy performance. The scene where Kira watches him practicing his moves through the door to the security office always makes me chuckle, and the three cut together scenes of him calling 'STRIKE THREE!' always gets me as well.

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