The famed movie quotes are there for the taking as the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox prepare to play their “Field of Dreams” game on Thursday in Dyersville, Iowa.
With the cornfields and temporary bleachers to seat 8,000 providing a backdrop and throwback uniforms serving as costumes, the Yankees and White Sox are set to “go the distance” as Major League Baseball pays homage to the 1989 hit movie.
“I was raised to embrace the history of the game, and I think too often we lose parts of it,” said White Sox manager Tony La Russa, who will miss the game to attend the funeral of a family member in Florida.
“‘Field of Dreams’, it’s a great movie, and it embraces family and what the game’s all about. It’s a very special opportunity. Our guys are really excited to be there.”
White Sox bench coach Miguel Cairo will serve as his team’s manager for Thursday’s game.
“(Cairo’s) been talking about the Yankees for the last three days,” La Russa said. “I guarantee no one will pay more attention than he will.”
The White Sox also shuffled their pitching rotation Wednesday after left-hander Carlos Rodon was placed on the 10-day injured list with fatigue in his pitching shoulder.
Right-hander Lance Lynn (10-3, 2.04 ERA) was pushed back a day to start Thursday’s game.
Lynn, 34, is coming off his second straight no-decision after allowing one run on four hits in six innings against the Chicago Cubs on Friday. Lynn owns a 2-2 record with a 3.60 ERA in four career starts versus the Yankees.
“For us older guys, it probably has a little bit more meaning to be part of something like this,” said Lynn, a Midwestern native from Indiana. “That movie, growing up, is one of the ones you watched as a baseball movie.”
Left-hander Andrew Heaney (7-8, 5.45) will make his third start for New York on Thursday since being acquired from the Los Angeles Angels last month. Heaney has struggled to keep the ball in the park this season, surrendering five homers in 10 innings with the Yankees and 21 in 20 starts overall this season.
Heaney is 3-1 with a 4.41 ERA in six career starts against the White Sox. Jose Abreu has three homers and eight RBIs in 10 at-bats versus Heaney.
The Yankees, winners of 10 of their past 13 games overall, outscored the White Sox by a 14-5 margin to sweep a three-game series on May 21-23.
Thursday’s game against the White Sox, however, will take on a different feel in the eyes of New York manager Aaron Boone.
“I think we all have a nostalgic view of ‘Field of Dreams,'” Boone said. “These things in the course of a long season have all been great ideas and winners in my mind for Major League Baseball. It’s something that I think our entire group is really looking forward to being a part of.”
The White Sox enter Thursday’s game after dropping the final two contests of a three-game series to the Minnesota Twins. They fell 4-3 on Tuesday and 1-0 on Wednesday.
–Field Level Media