Filmmaker Richard Linklater's feature films have often debuted in prestigious film festivals and venues, from Sundance to Cannes, but he's trying something different with his first documentary feature. After a splashy premiere in Austin last week, Inning by Inning: A Portrait of a Coach will be released ... not in theaters, but on a cable sports channel. You can watch the film on ESPN2 or ESPN2 HD at 10:00 pm EST on Sunday, June 15.
Inning by Inning is a profile of Augie Garrido, considered one of the "winningest" coaches in NCAA baseball. The film focuses on the 69-year-old coach's most recent seasons with the Texas Longhorns team. Linklater and his crew were given access to the team from 2005-2006, and it's fascinating to see personal, almost intimate moments when Garrido talks to the college players one-on-one, or as a team. Linklater had originally set out to make a documentary about the Longhorns' back-to-back winning seasons (2004-2005), but said (in a Q&A after the film's press screening) that he became interested in Garrido's coaching techniques and shifted the film's focus accordingly. Interviews with former Texas and Cal State-Fullerton players coached by Garrido, and other sports figures like Darrell Royal and Roger Clemens (Kevin Costner appears briefly too), round out the documentary.