Is 'Field of Dreams' really a 'bad' baseball movie like the Mets' Jerry Blevins says?

Big League Stew

It’s Academy Awards weekend, which means there’s no better time to debate where our favorite or least favorite movies rank in the big picture.

If you’re a baseball lover, that debate always turns to baseball movies. It’s inevitable, yet it’s always fascinating because the opinions you’ll hear are often wide-ranging. You could ask 20 people what their top five baseball movies are and get five completely different answers. But if you ask New York Mets reliever Jerry Blevins, he’ll tell you there is no debating when it comes to one legendary baseball film.

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As Blevins wrote for Sports Illustrated this week, he strongly believes that “Field of Dreams,” the fictional baseball tale where an Iowa farmer builds a baseball field and legends from the past emerge from his cornfield to relive their glory, is overrated.

Actually, overrated would be putting his description lightly. “Bad movie” and “totally forgettable” are just a couple other phrases he uses to describe the movie in his column.

So what gives? Why does Blevins think a film loved and appreciated by so many is so far below standards? Here’s just a snippet from his article:

Well, I don’t think the movie does a good enough job to call it a father/son movie. I never really care all that much about their relationship. My favorite part of the movie is Moonlight Graham and he gives up his dream to save Ray’s daughter from choking. That’s true heartbreak for me. I thought this was a reconciliation movie!? Let Moonlight play! Oh, and the big climax of the movie is when Ray got to play catch with his dad. That part is even ruined for me because Ray says, “Have a catch.” Maybe it’s my midwestern roots, but I’ve never said anything but “play catch.” Nobody says “have a catch” unless they are mocking Field of Dreams.

Blevins says he was inspired to vent his feelings after getting into a Twitter debate over baseball movies this winter. When fans noticed Field of Dreams wasn’t in his top five baseball movies, they got curious. When it didn’t make his top 10, they got angry.

Now they can get a little more angry knowing the full extent of Blevins feelings.

Mets reliever Jerry Blevins wants everyone to know how much he dislikes “Field of Dreams.” (AP)
Mets reliever Jerry Blevins wants everyone to know how much he dislikes “Field of Dreams.” (AP)

Honestly, it’s easy to see how the movie could underwhelm some viewers. The attention to detail leaves a lot to be desired. The father-son story doesn’t really connect on a deep level. And the payoff, which Blevins roundly criticized for Costner’s “have a catch” line, isn’t all that impactful.

As a kid, it was easily in my top five. At eight or nine years old, it really drew me in. Admittedly, it didn’t have the same feeling the last time I watched it, but it’s still a movie I would suggest all baseball fans watch at least once. It’s one I would certainly watch again and not really regret investing my time in. It’s OK to like it and still acknowledge where it comes up short.

This would be a good time to remind you that Yahoo Sports’ own Mike Oz released his top five baseball movies in August. Field of Dreams was absent from his list as well, which inspired some healthy debate then. Thanks to Blevins’ rant, we’re sure that debate will pick up where it left off.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Yahoo Sports Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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