Thursday, July 2, 2020

Thank you, virus: Yankees escape horrible "Field of Dreams" game.

At last: COVID has done something good for humankind.

The Yanks have been bumped from the first-annual "Field of Dreams Game," to be played Aug. 13, in Dyersville, Iowa. In the Death Star's place, the St. Louis Cardinals will play the Chicago White Sox at the edge of the cornfield where W.P. Kinsella's wondrous 1982 novel, "Shoeless Joe," was transformed into a monument for the Hollywood-corporate-Americana, Exit-through-the-gift-shop bullshitocracy. 

The Yankees' 60-game schedule, which has not yet been announced, will keep the team playing closer to home. Thus, they're done with the "Field of Dreams."

You might wonder why I feel such negativity about a baseball movie, when - after all - aren't they all the same? If anything, "Field of Dreams" sort of broke the mold: It didn't come down to two outs in the bottom of the ninth, with Lucky coming to bat. And it launched Kevin Costner, who plays a mean guitar.

What burns me is the notion that MLB will play an actual game in a nowhere location in order to promote its false innocence - after turning its back on an actual small town event: the annual Hall of Fame exhibition game in Cooperstown. For 70 years, major league teams gathered once a year in upstate New York in a pastoral setting as pure as Iowa corn. In 2008, MLB dumped Cooperstown, saying that to play in such a far flung location posed too many "inherent challenges." Yeah, right. It was all about money, that's all. 

So now, 12 years later, MLB plans to varnish its tattered image by playing in a Hollywood studio, decorated with Iowa corn. Sure. Have at it, Dyersville. But beware: If this makes money, you can bet MLB will be taking bids from other fake locations for next year. Maybe Vegas can offer an onion patch. It's all about the green, folks, and I don't mean cornstalks. 

Frankly, I'm glad the Yanks are out of it.

As for Dyersville, Iowa, well, good luck. Their list of hottest attractions - after the Field of Dreams diamond - include No. 6, the Dyersville Chamber of Commerce office. I think I speak for the world in saying my bucket list includes visiting the Dyersville CoC, when the lines are manageable. I'll have to put it off until next year. Until then, it's the National Farm Toy Museum. 


Anonymous said...

And good riddance!

The Hammer of God

JM said...

I would like to see games played in pastoral settings but without the big money component, which is impossible, I know.

Just a bunch of guys without a stadium, without 50,000 seats, just a couple of bleachers or none at all. No trainer's room, no air conditioned player area...

Yeah, it's kind of stupid. You'd need a whole new league that's not in it for the money. Impossible.

RtotheE said...

As a Yankees fan who recently moved back to Iowa, I have to admit I was excited for that game, despite how "corny" the whole gimmick is. Now that the Yankees wont be participating (and I assume there won't be any fans in attendance), I feel I was being silly. I guess if you build it they may not come after all.

Buhner's Ghost said...

I have been to Dyersville and the Field of Dreams. Nice, but doesn't hold a candle to Syracuse, Nebraska.

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HoraceClarke66 said...

I dunno, that National Farm Toy Museum looks pretty damned cool.

Do you get to play with the farm toys?

HoraceClarke66 said...

Actually, considering the almost wholly urban roots of baseball, it would be more appropriate to play a game on an empty lot somewhere in Lower Manhattan. That's where our game began.

JM said...

I thought New Jersey and Brooklyn--when it was much more pastoral--were early hotbeds of baseball playing?

HoraceClarke66 said...

They were, JM, but so was Manhattan. There's a newspaper letter-to-the-editor playing up regular games next to a tavern on 8th St., in 1823. People played all over the city.

And people played SOME sort of bat and ball game everywhere, forever. I mean everywhere. Brits, Frenchies, Arabs in North Africa. Polish hired laborers at the Jamestown colony.

And why not? To put it most crudely, the basic equipment personifies male genitalia, which of course we have always been fascinated with. (The other most popular games feature big, round orbs. Hmm, wonder what male fascination THAT comes from?)

But what we think of as modern baseball really came from what were known as "the New York rules," which really came out of Manhattan.

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