Just because I don’t like the movie Field of Dreams, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like the “Field of Dreams” game. I love baseball games played in unusual locations and that field in Dyersville is one of the best-looking places to play one. The uniforms the Cubs and the Reds were wearing were terrific. Sure, it was a made-for-television event, but that’s fine as long as they do it well, and it appeared to me that MLB did it well. It was a celebration of baseball.
On the other hand, the hologram Harry Caray was . . . something. It looked like a bad animatronic robot on the “Rush Street Bar Crawl” ride at Disneyland.
Al will have more to say about this later, so I’m not going to do a lot on the game last night. But we will start out with a few stories on it.
- Alyson Footer has the top moments from the Field of Dreams game.
- Some more highlights from the game.
- Tommy Birch writes that the Field of Games sequel wasn’t quite the equal of the original one, but it was still pretty darn great. Nobody hit a home run into the cornfield, for one.
- Birch also wrote an article about how the 1919 Black Sox scandal might never have happened if White Sox pitcher Red Faber had been healthy.
- Ken Rosenthal talked about this story during the telecast, but he profiles the three-generation of major leaguer Bell family, of whom Reds manager David Bell is a member. But the family member on everyone’s mind this week is David’s brother Mike Bell, who was the Twins’ bench coach before passing away from cancer in May of 2021. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- In more sad news, the father of Hall of Famer and broadcaster John Smoltz died on Thursday morning before the game. If you watched the game, you know that Smoltz said his dad would have insisted that he go on and broadcast the game. Our condolences to Smoltz and his family.
- The sad news keeps on coming. Cristin Coleman, the wife of former Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum, died of cancer. Our thoughts are with the Lincecum and Coleman families as well.
- Before we leave Iowa for good, Endeavor sold Diamond Baseball Holdings to Silver Lake. Diamond Baseball Holdings owns ten minor league baseball teams, including the Iowa Cubs.
- The reason for the sale was that Endeavor is also in the sports agency business, which the MLB Players Association had repeatedly warned was a conflict of interest. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- The Tigers have fired the general manager Al Avila.
- Reactions to the firing of Avila.
- Jayson Stark looks at how the rules limiting the number of pitchers on a roster has led to an epidemic of position players pitching. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Mike Axisa looks at Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge’s pursuit of Roger Maris’ single-season American League home run record.
- Axisa also presents four reasons the Yankees have been slumping lately.
- The Astros now have a better record than the Yankees do. David Schoenfield examines which one of these two AL titans is poised to dominate in the postseason. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- Zach Kram looks at the remarkable season by the 39-year-old Astros pitcher Justin Verlander, who is now the AL Cy Young Award favorite.
- Zach Crizer reminds us that Verlander has always saved the best for last.
- Toyloy Brown III writes that the resurgence of shortstop Francisco Lindor is a major reason for the Mets success this year.
- White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson had successful surgery on his finger. He’s expected to miss six weeks.
- Dan Szymborski uses the example of Anderson’s injury to demonstrate how the White Sox failed to grasp that “good enough” simply isn’t good enough.
- Mike Axisa has four questions facing the Padres as they try to win a World Series while they still have Juan Soto under contract.
- Jay Jaffe notes that third baseman Manny Machado has been heating up even while the Padres are struggling. And he tries to explain how Machado is doing the damage as well.
- Ben Clemens also explains why the Giants employed an “anti-shift” defense against Machado this past week. During one at bat, the Giants defended the right-handed-hitting Machado as if he were a left-handed pull hitter.
- Eric Gomez compares Fernando Tatis Jr. to the young Derek Jeter.
- Jesse Dougherty looks at Nationals fans who are having trouble explaining to their young children why they traded away Juan Soto.
- Thomas Harding notes that the Rockies are left wondering what their season would have been like had Kris Bryant been healthy.
- Alden Gonzalez notes that one of the biggest obstacles for the Marlins to overcome on their way to contention is the apathy of their own fans. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- Anthony Castrovince has ten things we didn’t see coming this year.
- Clinton Yates writes that Black baseball is in a better place than it has been in a long time.
- Joon Lee writes that the DREAM Series, which give Black high school players a chance to be seen by scouts and recruiters, is helping to re-shape the game.
- Minor league pitcher Solomon Bates has announced that he’s gay. He says his teammates have known since 2019.
- Dr. Anthony Fauci was given an honorary Hutch Award, only the second person to receive the honorary award after former president Jimmy Carter.
- Cardinals minor leaguer Chandler Redmond became only the second player to hit for a home run cycle.
- Pirates second baseman Rodolfo Castro had his phone fall out of his pocket when sliding into third base. So the umpire locked it in his desk and told him he could pick it up after school.
- And finally, we have two stories about the mania surrounding Mets closer Edwin Diaz’s entrance song “Narco” by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet. Matt Monagan has one look at the phenomenon and Rustin Dodd and Will Sammon has more on the background behind the song, Diaz and the Mets. (The Athletic sub. req.)
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.