Likely because it doesn’t know any better, even on a day when MLB tried to do its best — and did pretty well, at that — conspicuous but preventable greed deprived all of a clean sweep.
Thursday’s “Field of Dreams” game — billed as the ultimate in nostalgic, real-time throwback baseball — never had a genuine shot from the moment the teams were introduced wearing their conspicuously Nike-swooshed “old-time” uniforms.
The sale of such Red Chinese slave wage-made jerseys surpassed all other considerations, including the full intent of the event.
The teams’ caps, carrying the New Era logo, were also on prominent, lost-premise display. Most of New Era’s goods are made on the extra-cheap in Third World countries. In 2019, New Era closed its plant in Derby, N.Y., eliminating 216 jobs. New Era has a remaining U.S. facility in Miami, which manufactures MLB’s caps, or so we’re told.
New Era is also full of it. It is suspiciously transparent that New Era relied on U.S. street gangs to set the fashion and color schemes of its caps, many carrying MLB team logos.
For example, in addition to producing team caps in colors favored by Crips and Bloods, it produced Yankees caps with a crown overlapping the “NY,” that crown being similar to the logo of the murderous Latin Kings street gang. What a coincidence!
But after a group of Harlem parents, the Coalition to Protect Our Children, protested such dangerous but calculated sales strategies, New Era claimed ignorance:
“Recently, it has been brought to our attention that some combinations of icons and colors on a select number of our caps could be too closely in association with gangs.”
Yet a New Era commercial showed “fans” servicing their street cred by wearing various colored NFL team caps. The ad cut to a shot of a vandal spray-painting a Raiders logo on an outdoor wall.
Yeah, New Era had no idea.
So New Era caps, even during the “Field of Dreams” game, were given prominent on-field sales status despite zero historical connection with old-time big league baseball.
Also on prominent display Thursday were the FTX logos on the umpires’ shirts, FTX being the official unregulated cryptocurrency of MLB since way back in 2021.
What would these commercial entities have done had MLB said, “Sorry, no logos for this game. This one’s only about good old-fashioned baseball”? Raised a stink that would have left them looking like unconditional pigs?
MLB, even on a day when it pretended to do its best on behalf of The Game, couldn’t take even one day off from its self-evident addiction to money. But to have hoped for better was the kind of reality that only exists on fields seen in dreams.
Throwback ‘Field of Dreams’ game can’t dodge new-age silliness
The “Field of Dreams” game had some fascinating moments, those heard but not seen, and those seen but not heard.
Analyst John Smoltz early stated, “The Yankees miss Aaron Hicks,” perhaps a surprise to Yankees fans given that the center fielder was batting .194, striking out 30 times in 108 at-bats, when he was injured. Last season, while becoming a strikeout artist, he batted .225.
In the ninth, with the Yankees down, 7-5, Brett Gardner batted with one out, runner on first. Gardner is symbolic of baseball in senseless decline, given that he has sacrificed his greatest asset — his speed — to try to be an upper-cutting slugger — the primary reason, as of Friday, he had 72 strikeouts to five home runs and has spent much of the season heading back to the dugout by batting around .200.
And everyone knows it, thus the shift was on, leaving Gardner the opportunity to push one toward third for a single or a double. There was nothing and no one to stop him.
Instead, he struck out, swinging.
Yet YES’s Paul O’Neill recently claimed that with two strikes Gardner is accomplished at “slapping it the other way,” when the gap, to Gardner, has become a store that sells jeans.
And has the White Sox’s Tim Anderson, who ended the game with a home run, finished his self-congratulatory, how-great-I-art trip around the bases, yet? Just what modern baseball needs, another one.
Reader Kenny Kaplan notes that in 1970 Tom Seaver struck out 10 consecutive batters, a record that stood for 51 years until this season, when pitchers of lesser abilities, Aaron Nola and Corbin Burnes, have tied that record.
Now, with strikeouts a nickel a dozen, it’s time MLB renamed the designated hitter the “designated swinger.”
Monday, Twins DH Brent Rooker, hitting .157, struck out four times in four at-bats. Wednesday, Rooker, again the DH, again struck out four times in four at-bats. Consistency is the mark of greatness!
Holy cow! It’s real baseball!
Commentary of the Week: During FS1’s Mets-Phillies two Saturdays ago, another desultory game was 0-0 in the fourth, when the Mets had a runner on first, one out. Don Orsillo and ex-MLB catcher A.J. Pierzynski were calling the game.
D.O.: “Some kind of offense needs to be generated here. Do you consider putting something on here, just try to get something going?”
A.J.P.: “Do they do that anymore?”
D.O. “I’m just throwing it out there.”
A.J.P.: “I did a game the other day, and there were two hit-and-runs — in just one game!”
D.O.: “What?! Next thing you’re gonna tell me is that there was a pitchout.”
A.J.P: “No, there were no pitchouts, and little action. They just wait for a home run. …. There’s hardly any action on the bases, anymore.”
So I’m in a Subway sandwich shop the other day, checking on what they’re using for tuna this week, and who do I run into? Subway commercial spokesman Tom Brady! … Yeah, sure.
Now Gary Cohen has caught Exit Velocity Fever. How he made it this far without sharing such info is a mystery. Meanwhile, ESPN has calculated that the distance of Adam and Eve’s departure from the Garden of Eden was from here to eternity.
If Fox hired David “Big Papi” Ortiz as a studio show novelty act, it has been a waste of our time and their money. A) Ortiz is not funny. 2) The on-set laughter he produces is totally forced and phony. 3) He has provided no evidence that he has even watched a game since he retired, five years ago.
Quote of the Week belongs to Michael Kay: “In his fine career that he has put together, Aaron Judge has just one walk-off hit. … And it was a walk.”