Staring out the Window, Waiting for Spring
Under 50 days until spring training starts, and baseball news is slowwww. I can’t decide if it’s a sign of truly dedicated fans, really lousy weather, or desperately empty social lives when internet discussions burst to life over the Jays signing some AAA filler who are relying on a multi-car pileup in Dunedin to see any innings this year. But anyone who is reading a summer sports blog in January has at least some time to waste, so here’s a tip to tide you over (at least until fantasy season)- Out of The Park baseball:
If you’ve never played a simulator before, it takes a little while to get used to not seeing all those rendered polygons whizzing around the screen. But once you realize how ridiculously detailed and (sometimes brutally) realistic the game is, it becomes a far superior baseball fix. There’s a level of involvement that more than makes up for the underwhelming level of action. You have to know your team well to get the most out of it, and if the Jays make it to the playoffs in 2008, it’s because you made really good baseball decisions in key situations (who knew how compelling managing a fatigued bullpen could be!), not because you can throw a perfect game with Josh Towers at will. No amount of tapping the A button is going to make Adam Lind hit 86 home runs- you’re going to have to coax him through the good times and bad as he develops.
So if you’re ready to rediscover the joy of looking over a box score stamped with the Doctor’s trademark, or even cursing at Vernon for popping out with the bases loaded again (it’s always the strangest things you really miss…) grab the 2008 rosters (which are complete down to A-ball with one highly noticeable exception) here and run through a season for free. I also recommend grabbing the face packs to complete the illusion. And no, I’m not getting paid to plug this. I just want some Jays fans to play online with. Call me.