Earlier today I slammed Field of Dreams as a “New Age mess.” Reader DG1965 — who is either an Astromech Droid or a 45 year-old person with the initials “DG” — took issue with that characterization:
Your take down of Field of Dreams is ridiculous. Or else you were the
only male in the theater when I saw it who didn’t have red eyes on the
way out. I mean seriously: its far from perfect but a “mess”? Yeah,
the plot could have been moved along with something else. But it wasn’t.
You’re not a human being, let alone a red-blooded American male fan of
baseball if you aren’t moved by the “People will come, Ray” speech let
alone “Hey, um … Dad? Do you wanna have a catch?”
Look, I’m not made of stone. The speeches — in a vacuum — are moving. It’s gotten a bit misty in Chez Calcaterra while watching the flick on occasion. But that’s because the movie is emotionally manipulative. “Bambi” makes people cry too, but that doesn’t make it satisfying adult entertainment. While the notions of “catch with your dad” and “baseball = good” are inarguable goods, the characters, their motivations and actions in “Field of Dreams” do absolutely nothing to justify the two hour movie that surrounds those notions.
It’s a bad movie. Bunch of sentimental hokum, really.
Now, who wants to talk about “For the Love of the Game?”
As per tradition, towards the end of the regular season, veterans on baseball’s various clubs haze the rookies by making them dress up and do something a bit embarrassing. That used to include things like making rookies dress up like women and carry pink backpacks, but Major League Baseball banned that practice, so veterans had to get marginally more creative.
The Phillies had their rookies — including Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, and Nick Williams — dress up like characters in Grease and perform “Greased Lightning” at their hotel in Atlanta on Friday night. Not only did the Phils’ vets and other members of the crew get a free show, but so did employees of the hotel and nearby hotel patrons.
Video with sound is not currently allowed to be embedded, so click here for that.
As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki explains, Hoskins was the inspiration for the gag as he has earned the nickname “Rhys Lightning.” (Rhys, for the uninitiated, rhymes with “Grease.”) Hoskins said, “You always hear about team chemistry. I think stuff like that let’s you get to know guys on a different level, when you’re not at the field. You just become more personable with people. The better relationships you have, there’s a different level of playing for each other. And I think that’s usually a sign of a good team.”
The Twins also had some fun at the rookies’ expense:
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge went yard twice in Sunday afternoon’s 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays, bringing his season total up to 48. That leaves him just one home run shy of tying the single-season rookie record set by Mark McGwire with the Athletics in 1987.
After Sunday’s performance, Judge is hitting .281/.416/.610 with 48 home runs, 105 RBI, and 122 runs scored in 651 plate appearances. He has the AL Rookie of the Year Award on lock and is neck-and-neck with the Astros’ Jose Altuve, Chris Sale of the Red Sox, and the Indians’ Corey Kluber in the AL MVP Award race.