A limited-edition, documentary style podcast - timely and enduring - created and written by Neil Thomas Proto, author of Fearless: A. Bartlett Giamatti and the Battle for Fairness in America with guest, actor Marcus Bartlett Giamatti, hosted by Emmy-award winning broadcast journalist Diane Smith.

The August 24, 1989 decision by Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti to ban Pete Rose from Baseball was the prelude to a broader, Epic Battle to protect Baseball’s authenticity against greed and cheating that Giamatti anticipated would occur. He laid out those principles and strategy, first while president of Yale in 1986, then in lectures at the University of Michigan Law School while president of the National League, and in the Rose controversy as Commissioner. His foresight, the Renaissance practitioner’s foresight of what was to come was stunningly accurate. So, too, was his fearless preparation for battle.

DOWNFALL explores the practical, moral, and ethical concerns that Giamatti and others raised, including famed sports writer, Roger Angel, covers the anticipated, now current scandals surrounding the cheating and greed of the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox and others that Giamatti considered “snakes in the garden,” and Proto’s insightful exploration of why and how so many from commissioner to players have embraced the selfishness of the “Zuckerberg Mentality” and have invited others to do the same. That mentality has shifted the ethical and practical burden to others in the daily battle for the authenticity of the game on the field and the fate of Baseball.
Giamatti’s own voice gives renewed appeal to the words he used to express the values that he believed underpin the meaning and preservation of Baseball in America. His son, actor Marcus Giamatti adds his own voice to his father’s written words. Host Diane Smith, and Giamatti biographer, Neil Thomas Proto, lead the way.

Recent Episodes

Sept. 3, 2021

Downfall: Baseball’s Public Trust and the Battle for the Game | Episo…

Giamatti's principled view of Baseball’s public duty to the fans and to America; a fuller exploration of Baseball’s embrace of the “Mark Zuckerberg Mentality” that ensures a place for the “snakes in the garden,” including through the guidance revealed by

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Aug. 19, 2021

Episode One: Downfall: The Threat and the Strategy

Giamatti’s confrontation with Rose and those who lent credence to the Big Lie; his moral, ethical and practical imperatives about Baseball’s authenticity, affirmed earlier in his life and by others; his confrontation with his predecessor Peter Ueberroth;

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Aug. 19, 2021

Downfall: The Prelude

Commissioner Bart Giamatti’s decision and Rose’s lie, executed in collusion with others; the Epic Battle for Baseball’s authenticity is set.

Episode page

About the Hosts

Diane SmithProfile Photo

Diane Smith


Diane Smith is a New York Times bestselling author, Emmy award winning journalist, Connecticut news and cultural commentator, inductee in the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and currently Distinguished Lecturer at the University of New Haven.

Neil Thomas ProtoProfile Photo

Neil Thomas Proto

Writer and Creator

Neil Thomas Proto, a lawyer, author, playwright, and former teacher at Georgetown University’s McCourt Public Policy School, resides in Washington, DC, is the author of the award winning, Fearless, A. Bartlett Giamatti and the Battle for Fairness in America, a recently published biography of Giamatti. He was born in New Haven, and is the writer of this podcast.

Marcus Bartlett GiamattiProfile Photo

Marcus Bartlett Giamatti


Marcus Bartlett Giamatti, an accomplished television actor and musician, is professor of acting and directing at Temple University’s School of Theater, Film, and Media Arts. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College, and the Yale School of Drama. Both his parents, Toni Smith and A. Bartlett Giamatti, and his father’s parents, acted and taught as well.

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