Major League Baseball has already canceled its showcase series in London. The All-Star Game sounds like it could be on the chopping block, too.
But one contest that still technically remains on the baseball calendar: the Field of Dreams game.
Heck, the stadium is still under construction, as the league shared last week:
The White Sox and New York Yankees are still scheduled to go toe to toe in the middle of an Iowa cornfield Aug. 13. Of course, all previously scheduled games are expected to be wiped away due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which still has the 2020 season on hold, if it happens at all.
The league's owners approved a proposal Monday that, among many other things, suggested an 82-game schedule that exclusively pits teams against their division rivals and teams from the corresponding geographic division in the other league. So, for example, the White Sox regular-season schedule would entirely consist of games against their four AL Central foes and the NL Central. No games against teams from the AL East or AL West until the postseason.
That right there would seem to spell doom for the White Sox game against the Yankees in Iowa. If a geographically based schedule is meant to limit travel in some way — though it sure seems that the same health risks that exist on a flight between Chicago and Minnesota exist on a flight between Chicago and New York, but I digress — the league would perhaps want to keep the Yankees out of the Midwest.
But without the London series or the Midsummer Classic, wouldn't baseball still want a showcase of some kind that it can slap on national TV and accompany with a whole bunch of fanfare?
And what regular-season matchup earns more fanfare in Chicago than the Crosstown Classic?
So here's an idea — heck, it makes so much sense, I'll go as far as calling it a prediction: Bump the Yanks from the Field of Dreams game and have the White Sox take on the Cubs.
I laid this out on the latest edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast, and it at least seemed intriguing to Our Chuck Garfien and Adam Hoge.
Maybe it's a prediction that won't come true, as there never seems to be a missed opportunity to put the Yankees on national TV (even if they're not supposed to travel west of Atlanta). But considering the Cubs have similar national appeal, they might not even lose that many eyeballs by replacing baseball's most iconic franchise. The Cubs were supposed to be one of the two teams playing in London. Consider swapping them into the Iowa game a mashup of those showcase events.
Young stars that appeal to a new generation of fans? Javy Baez, Yoan Moncada, Kris Bryant, Tim Anderson, Kyle Schwarber, Eloy Jimenez. And there's this Luis Robert guy that people are going to want to see.
Travel would most definitely be minimized. These are the two closest teams (the Milwaukee Brewers have a comparable drive) to Dyersville, Iowa. The teams could realistically take buses from Chicago if they wanted to.
And the storylines surrounding both teams — the White Sox trying to force their contention window open and the Cubs trying to keep theirs from slamming shut — are easy for the picking for a national broadcast.
The White Sox remain in place because of their ties to the movie. The Cubs get to have a game in a state that absolutely loves them. And Major League Baseball gets to keep their summertime showcase.
The Field of Dreams game continues to live. Let's tweak it and keep it that way.Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.