“Field of Dreams” actor Kevin Costner is part-owner of the Lake County Fielders in the new North American Baseball League.
What happened in Lake County over the last 72 hours has been a nightmare.
Fielders manager Tim Johnson resigned before the game Saturday against the Yuma Scorpions, and in a show of support, 11 players wouldn’t play. The Fielders were upset about not being paid. The players remained on the bench.
Fielders hitting coach Pete LaCock, a former Cub who has seen many strange things, took over as interim manager. He put all listed pitchers in positional spots for the game. Non-pitchers pitched.
To even out the playing field, Scorpions player-manager Jose Canseco did the same. He also named himself starting pitcher.
Canseco pitched six innings and got the win as the Scorpions prevailed 8-3…
Then, Monday afternoon, the Fielders traded nine players and released 14 others they couldn’t trade. The only survivor from Saturday’s game was 27-year-old catcher Alan Rick. The former Cubs prospect only arrived in Lake County on Thursday.
“We want to start fresh,” Fielders general manager Mike Kardamis said. “It’s a privilege to play professional baseball. If these guys don’t want to play here, we will find guys who want to play here. We could have put them on the suspended list, but we don’t want to ruin their careers. The players weren’t happy, and it wasn’t going to be good to make them stay. They can cash their checks tomorrow once the Bank of Waukegan opens.