As Celine Dion once sang, “Ten days have come and gone/ten days and I’m all alone”.  Without baseball, many of us are feeling alone now even if we are quarantined in with family.  Depending on your relations with your family, the solitude might be better, but that’s a digression.  We’re closer to baseball, we just don’t know how much closer.  There seems to be an expectation that next week is going to be a rough one, but there’s still hope that maybe things will break after that.  Still, a late May start still seems like our best possible alternative.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to work all week, in fact putting in more hours than normal because there’s nothing else to do, no kids to take to school or various activities, no church meetings, etc.  With the tax filing deadline being pushed back on Friday, though, the need for overtime went away and yesterday I got to stay home all day long for the first time.

Given that I wasn’t sure if I’d be forced to stay put or not, when I was offered a copy of Out of the Park Baseball 21, I went ahead and grabbed it.  Out of the Park is a great simulation game that I’ve played in the past, but over the last few years I’ve not really had the time to do a lot with it.  Time, of course, may be one of the few commodities that there is an abundance of (if the grocery stores are any indication) so last night, after recording Meet Me at Musial, I went ahead and downloaded it.

Now, if you are more into the physical aspect of the game and want to be able to swing bats or throw pitches, this isn’t for you.  However, if you want to set up your own league and play by your own rules, it just might be.  If you want to manage games, this could be for you.  If you are big on the general manager aspect of things, doing the trades and constructing contracts, you might want to give it a shot.

For me, I set up a fictional MLB (where all the players are made up–which I always do even though I’d rather have real people because I always make the wrong choice setting up and I don’t want to create another) that has two leagues, four divisions in each league, and four team in each division.  There’s no DH at all.  The three-batter minimum was tossed out.  I would have removed the wildcard but I didn’t see that option (it was probably there, I just missed it).  Pretty sure I removed interleague play as well.

I also seed throughout the game super players, just to see what they’ll do against regular competition.  I’m weird like that but it’s fun for me to see someone hit .420 with 50 homers, even when they aren’t on my team.

There’s online play with it as well, though that’s not something I’ve gotten into because I don’t need anyone else to tell me that I am terrible at this.  It’s a remarkable game, though, and it will eat through those long hours of quarantine like you wouldn’t believe.  It’s very engaging, also.  I found myself cheering for my fake players when they’d get a two-out double to drive in the tying run.  I’m already sick of my third baseman (the guy made three errors in the first two games and struck out a ton) and am looking to replace him.

Seriously, it’s a great game to pass the time and scratch that baseball itch.  I highly recommend it!

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