Baseball is Shut Down, But Some Are Still Playing Games

Years ago, a local band, Rusted Root, put out a song called “Virtual Reality” and now I think someone in that band might be Nostradamus.

The country is essentially on lock down and with that we are stretching the definition of the word normal. I remember not even two months ago reading a full-blown argument about calling e-sports players athletes. Today, they at least provide a level of competition so sorely missed by the elimination of sports.

Some like our very own Craig Toth have taken a lighthearted approach to game simulation, in other words he’s simulating the games but not treating it like real life. Some have decided to write full game columns about the pseudo action they are generating, and to be kind, its beneath them. Times are tough.

Many are using and playing MLB The Show 2020, and others are using old school games like Strat-o-matic, the original fantasy baseball game.

Everyone has a different way of dealing with the element missing in their lives. Sports have played an underappreciated role in the lives of many. Just yesterday in my own life, my wife asked me to play a game of The Show so she could pretend she was watching baseball. Just to make it real Richard Rodriguez gave up a game tying homer in the eighth inning.

I actually saw the comments under one of these serious columns about fake baseball excoriating Bob Nutting for his virtual payroll. Hey, Nutting bashing IS baseball for some.

Everything is on the table and anything that makes you feel normal should be valued right now. Looking to the past has worked well, as networks have started re-airing games, we all hold dear. Last night the rebroadcast of the 1960 World Series winning game was on and for some it was a bright remembrance from their youth while for others it was an illustration of the memories passed down from our elders. The only thing missing is the pain of defeat, or the possibility thereof.

If you want to feel defeated, try to score some toilet paper at the grocery store next time you mask up and head out because I don’t see rebroadcasts of the most painful losses headed our way.

We should all take this time to realize what a huge part of our lives sports have been. Maybe for some of us, we’ll realize how much time we’ve used on fantasy sports and when we come out of it, we will scale back a bit. Some will perhaps come to the realization that they have taken sports for granted and will appreciate a “meaningless” game in April next year.

Do what you need to do to get through this, but I’ll tell you what I personally have learned. I just am not a fan who is interested in watching most old games. When I know the result, I struggle to focus on the game. I’ve probably given too much of my time to fantasy sports and in a way its refreshing to not have to deal with it. My wife has always liberally allowed me to monopolize the TV, especially this time of year, to watch as many sports as I like, she needed that mental break from my attention I believe.

Living in virtual reality should teach us some things, most important being that virtual is not equal to real, but it’s the best we have right now.

Published by Gary Morgan

Former contributor for Inside the Pirates an SI Team Channel

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