Friday, August 13, 2021

Field of Dreams

 I am 55 years old and I am, in equal parts, nostalgic and cynical.  I watched the Field of Dreams game last night hoping that it would resonate with the former, only to find that it mostly hit the latter.

Don't get me wrong, as hokey as it is, I love the movie. I view it as a spiritual journey allegory,  The main character goes through a series of intellectual crises that lead to him making leaps of faith, with the end result of him reconciling with his father (or, perhaps his Father.)  I am trained as an engineer and, constitutionally, am inclined to analyze any decision as rationally as possible.  So, the character represents something I wish I could be and, to the extent we are dealing with idealization, I want the experience to be through the gauzy focus of nostalgia.  The movie achieves that.  

The game did not.  At least not for me.

The root of my objections are twofold. First, MLB leaned too hard into sentimentality and it came off as contrived and antiseptic. Second, the field itself was over engineered. They basically dropped a brand new A ball stadium into a corn field.  So, what specifically annoyed me?

  1. It wasn't even the real field!

  2. I would have preferred there was no outfield barrier, just corn marking the confines of the playing field, although...

  3. I did the think the rough wood fencing was a reasonable compromise...until I realized that it wasn't even wood but a fabric covering a chain link fence

  4. Advertisements on screens behind home plate

  5. The White Sox at least made an attempt to have their uniforms reference the movie. The Yankees just wore their normal road uniform.

  6. The opening with Kevin Costner walking across the field with soundtrack music seemed to be specifically set up to elicit an emotional response.
Overall, it was just too corporate. I mean, I get it.  Baseball is a business, but they didn't need to make it that obvious.  

Anyways, that is my take.  If you enjoyed the game, I won't judge.  It just wasn't for me.

What I am listening to: One Million Miles by Heart


  1. When I saw Kevin Costner greeting the players, I thought it was really cheesy. I mentioned it to my wife--not to make fun, but just because she's not that much of a baseball fan but she certainly knows who Kevin Costner is--and she immediately said "so cheesy!"

    The Yankees uniforms were NOT the regular road unis. They were based on their 1919 road uniforms, with, among other things, a larger "NY" logo, plainer wordmark, and no sleeve stripes. I didn't think about the unis from the movie, but I suppose it really wouldn't have worked to have both teams in white pinstripes.

    1. Thanks for the information. For some reason I thought the old away jerseys didn't have the name on the front.

  2. I didn't watch the game, it was on in the background as I was working. When I glanced at it, I admit I found the images kind of charming (except the ads, and the fans in the stands on their phones).

    My standards for television are extremely low. I expect it to be unintelligent, cheap, cloying, lowest-common-denominator. But people seemed to enjoy it and the game seemed fun, there's nothing wrong with that. What bothered me most was a well-known baseball twitter guy ripping MLB for catering to old dudes with this project, like MLB should be bowing to 18-year-olds every waking moment. Pissing on one of the few things MLB did right this season really irked me.

  3. Didn't watch the game... but watched the highlights. Cheesy or not... that 9th inning was wild and it was awesome to see the Yankees lose on a walkoff home run.

  4. DId anyone watch this years field of dreams game? If so, any comparisons or preferences? I know its going to be hard to live up to that initial year and the ending that game had. But curious as far as to what the views and ratings were for TV.