Thursday, August 12, 2021

Field of Schemes: If you hype it, they will watch...



"Go the distance..."   

That's what the ghost said, right? Go the distance...  Yeah, right.
This, in a game where bullpen starters will throw two innings, 
if they're lucky.

It's taken about 100 years, but hey, everybody, we finally did it: 

We've gaslighted the entirety of baseball, stuffed it into a movie set, and
tonight - on Fox, of course - America will hold a massive pageant of crapola, 
pretending that a cutthroat industry is merely a pastime of love and rural 
values, because a long time ago, Hollywood made a film, saying so.

At last, we've found our strategy to defeat global warming, pandemics, 
economic catastrophes and political terrorism: Pretend it's a movie 
and that everything is okay. Look, there's magic in that cornfield,
where old-fashioned virtues remain, where souls are resurrected,
and where everybody has a gun. 
The Field of Dreams game. 

How did we lose our fucking minds?
And the Yankees are part of this? Shame on us.
Baseball has spawned 1,000 movies, practically all of which end with the winning 
run on third, but until now, none produced such a tornado of hype.
What's especially galling is that MLB once actually did dedicate one game 
each year to its small town, agrarian roots. The Hall of Fame Game 
in Cooperstown was played every summer at Doubleday Field, 
a picture perfect ballpark nestled into a rural community.
In 2008, MLB pulled the plug on the Hall of Fame game, apparently because 
it wasn't generating interest money. Keep in mind, it was an exhibition game 
played in the middle of the season, which meant no teams wanted to play it. 
So, they killed it. Ever since, MLB has sought a new con. And tonight, 
the Yankees play in this... well... monstrosity is the word that comes
to mind...  a game dedicated to selling baseball's version of The Big Lie.
The pushing of swag.

Once upon a time, a human ATM wannabe named Bud Selig came up with a
plan to help raise revenues for his beloved game. For one weekend, he sought to put Spider-Man II logos on the bases and home plate.  I am not
making this up. MLB wanted ads on home plate.

That day, George Steinbrenner - a man with many negatives - said
no. In his finest hour of life, old George refused to allow his Yankees
to take part in such a scheme. Within hours, all of baseball joined him. Nobody has ever since sold ads on the bases. (Though I suspect we'll get there.) 

Tonight, the Yankees will play themselves in a movie, dedicated to pretending that a trillion dollar industry is merely a sandlot game played by fathers and sons, as seen on TV. Thanks to the miracle of Hollywood,
we will pretend the game still has its virginity. The Fox announcers
will make pretty speeches, the cameras will shoot pretty sunsets, and
the players will wear less groin-hugging pants. 

Next year, another Spiderman movie will be coming. Won't it be time?


ranger_lp said...

Bravo el duque! We all know the corporatization of baseball has led to this event tonight as a way to rekindle interest in the national pastime.

Sadly, it's not working. The corporates continue the pandemic story on news outlets and there's too many entertainment options on dying cable and streaming services. The games themselves are intolerable four hours some days/nights. And in those four hours are constant ball changes and batters stepping out of the batters box and you want viewers to watch that? What, on the surface, sounds like a really good idea, is just one more way for advertising thrust upon you every half-inning within the guise of a made-for-tv event. Any special adverts like the super bowl?

I'll be curious to see what the ratings are for this thing. It's not going to save baseball. My analytics are telling me this.

JM said...

Sure, MLB is trying to cash in on yet another novelty. Sure, it's all bullshit. But if you strip away all the hype and crap (very, very difficult to do), I kind of like it. I liked the Cooperstown game, too. Even went one year when I was a kid, when the Yanks played.

I heard a really funny thing on the local news last night. The woman said the 8,000 tickets for the game were "sold to locals" and "prices stretched up into the thousands." My wife and I got a good chuckle out of that one. Guess the locals include ADM executives and owners of large megafarm combines who call Iowa their home.

Carl J. Weitz said...

One of my friends from CA is going and taking his son. I don't know what he paid but I'm sure that he will post some pics on his Facebook page which I will pass along.

DickAllen said...

I was perusing the vaunted pages of espn this morning and noticed that you can get a ticket to tonight's propaganda game for as little as $912.

That is not a typo: you can go to Iowa and invest NINE HUNDRED AND TWELVE DOLLARS for nose-bleed seats. Or maybe seats out in the corn. If you want to sit closer to the action, it might cost just a bit more.

What an opportunity!

13bit said...

amen, Duque.

they are shameless and will exploit any emotions we have, trample on any sacred rules and traditions, and shit all over us in order to make a buck.

BernBabyBern said...

This is everything you need to know about the "Field of Dreams" game.

The Yankees "1919 throwback" jerseys have a prominent Nike "swoosh" on the front.

Anonymous said...

The Cooperstown game was special. I saw it once as well. I also remember all the baseball shops there. Yeah they cashed in on baseball, but those local shops in a beautiful small town were fantastic. Even the stores were like museums. When I was 13, I bought my first Yankee Yearbook there. I can't remember the name of the store. My Dad also let me splurge and buy older Yearbooks, 1964 and 1965. I owed my Dad 14 "lawn mowings" for that. I still have them today and would never sell them. [I may even dig them out to look at them now that you mentioned it.]
From that day on I would order every Yankee Yearbook from "Manny's Baseball Land" and have a adolescent orgasm when each year's would come in the mail, rivaled only by the day that my 10 free Mallo's Cups would come after I had mailed in my carefully saved Mallow's Cup Coins.
Man, kids today don't have a clue.
Thanks for letting an old man wax.

The Mallo Man Archangel

13bit said...

By the way, I believe this is the second anniversary of our original IIHIIF Huckleberry Meetup at the Stadium

Hang your heads and pray, motherfuckers, for we have fallen and need redemption

Haul Brian up on the gangplank and give him a gentle push into the sea

DickAllen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DickAllen said...

Fuck the gentle push Bitty. I'm right behind him with a swift boot up his ass.

JM said...

Archangel, I remember the Mallo cup freebies well. After school a couple of times, if I had the big money, I'd walk up to the tiny little Polish grocery on my street and spend 50 cents for 10. And eat them all.

I wonder why half my teeth are now crowns?

HoraceClarke66 said...

A-fucking-men, Duque!

I'm hoping for a massive tornado of previously unseen proportions. I hope it take HAL and his little dog, too.

Carl J. Weitz said...

JM..I did the same with Payday nut rolls. I'd knock off several a day until I ate so many at one time that I puked. To this day, if I see one in a store, the remembrance of that sickening combination of a salty sweet smell comes to the surface makes me gag.

el duque said...

I collected Mallo Cup coupons and cashed them in for a free 10-pack.

The cups arrived having melted through the wrappers and rehardened, brown chocolate all over the package. Disgusting.

I ate them feverishly.

Greatest candy bars ever.

Superfun Happy Slide said...

Who hurt you?

I'm sure you'll be blubbering like a Boomer trying to hold back the tide of emotion when the Iowa twilight turns and we all consider convos we wish we could have those caregivers who have passed.

It's ok to feel.

13bit said...

A massive tornado, Hoss, that will send them hurtling through the air and hoping they don't land on a corn cob in the next county.

Anonymous said...


Wax all you like. Pack them together and throw in a super hard piece of bubble gum.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

CarlJ., "A salty sweet smells comes to the surface makes me gag."

You sound like my dear dear wife,

The Raunchy Sicilian Archangel

Anonymous said...

Doug, I actually chewed the gum!!!
I still got cards on my lunch breaks when I was doing blacktop and landscaping in the summers of the '70s. I put 3 sticks in at once and it would help me through the afternoon.

The Archangel

DickAllen said...

I love any story involving gagging and puking.To wit:

The first time I ever drank alcohol was as a fourteen-year-old. That one drink was a bottle of Blueberry Ripple. For a short period of time, as the wine settled into my stomach, the world somehow seemed fine and dandy.

Life felt so good I just kept on drinking. Finished the whole quart by myself. Everything, as I said, was fine and dandy until my stomach decided it didn't like Blueberry Ripple as much as my brain did.

And out it all came in torrents - beautiful streaming blue torrents - until every drop I had consumed wound up on my pants, shoes and the ground. I will never forget thinking as the last retch emptied my stomach how much fun it was and I couldn't wait to do it again. Which I did. Repeatedly. And I applied myself studiously: I eventually learned how to drink without throwing up.