It is a very strange time to be a sports fan and a baseball fan right now because, well, there are no sports and there is no baseball. So, this week it made sense to revolve our staff roundtable around that idea and around the fact that our normal routines are being all changed up. So, with that, this week’s question was simply: What are you doing to pass the time without baseball?
I don’t know if anyone else has this issue, but I find focusing is really difficult. My pleasure goals for this year are to read more books, play a few computer games, and learn to meditate. So far I’ve gotten about half way through one book (Salt by Mark Kurlansky), I haven’t meditated once (I did download the headspace app), but I did just start get through more than an hour of Call of Duty WWII for the PC. I am enjoying a good bit of TV lately though. I absolutely loved “The Outsider” on HBO. If you can stand to watch truly frightening shows then you will love this impeccably produced show based off of a Stephen King novel. Maybe most of all I’m enjoying “Better Call Saul.” Bob Odenkirk, who plays Saul Goodman, is just a joy to watch in this fifth season of the show. I truly didn’t thinkVince Gilligan could top what he created with “Breaking Bad,” but I enjoy this show considerably more. The way he films the mundane in everyday life is breathtaking and the character development is top notch. I can’t recommend it enough. I’m looking forward to the new season of “Westworld” and I will be tuning into “The Plot Against America” both on HBO.
The lack of baseball has hit the Kostik household particularly hard... baseball is the biggest hobby that my wife and I have in common, and our numbers two, three, and four are all affected by the coronavirus too.
A great man once said that we turn to sports in times of crisis in order to remind ourselves that we can only advance one day at a time, and to help take our minds off of the crippling uncertainty of our day to day lives (by ironically giving us something that itself is uncertain). With that absence, we’re left to do a lot of things we normally wouldn’t, like reflect on who we are as people, and what our values are.
I’ve been playing a lot of video games, particularly the newest MLB the Show video game. It came out at the perfect time, thankfully, and it’s kind of helped assuage the absence of baseball in my heart. I’ve pre-ordered a couple of books off Amazon (like Keith Law’s new one, The Inside Game). I also plan to catch up a lot on other forms of media. I have a Disney+ subscription, and will be watching a lot of things on that. My wife and I also need to get caught up on a lot of shows we’ve been neglecting too. But it just isn’t the same without baseball.
I’m watching a lot of wrestling. On my TV right now is a no-fans independent charity show from Britain. I watched a Monster Factory trainees show the other day. These are normal things for a select group of people which I am not a member of. I’m pretty basic with my taste in wrestling. Like a lot of people, I’ve been cast out by the WWE and found shelter in New Japan Pro Wrestling and more recently, All Elite Wrestling. But New Japan hasn’t run since February 26th and AEW is only two hours a week, so I’m left digging into places I don’t normally go. I did watch two hours of classic All Japan Pro Wrestling that I’ve wanted to watch for a while last night, so I guess I’m being productive?
Well, with the news of Tom Brady’s departure, most of my time will be spent crying. I am a big gamer, however, and this is prime time to get some hours in on my PS4. Old games I enjoy are classics like Star Wars Battlefront II and Fortnite, but I may have to divulge into recent releases such as MLB The Show 20 or Call of Duty Warzone. I’m also still in college so I’ve been getting used to the whole online lectures and online exams thing. It’s a nice change of pace but it’s definitely easier to focus in the classroom than through my laptop. Aside from that, I’ll just be counting down the days till the next sporting event airs!
This has been the hardest baseball offseason since 2003, although for different reasons. In 2003, it was because of the crushing defeat courtesy of Aaron Boone. In 2019 it was the constant dread that led to the eventual loss of Mookie Betts for reasons that can never be justified.
With the MLB season on hold, for the first time, I bought MLB The Show. Sure enough, dangling Chris Sale on the open market the Los Angeles Dodgers offered me one Mookie Betts and then I figured the game must be good.
But, aside from baseball, I’m digging into one of my other hobbies, Magic: The Gathering. Before I was into baseball analytics I was interested in deck optimization. After playing more games of Magic at PAX last month than I have in years, I’ve enjoyed the simplicity of shuffling cards and counting mana symbols. While I’m now considerably more likely to play online, for the same social distancing measures that have postponed the season, having the physical cards to sort through, like baseball cards, is a comforting reminder of the normal world.
It has been one wild and crazy week, hasn’t it? With no live baseball to watch for probably a long while, I’ve been catching some MiLB games from the previous season. In fact, I watched a game where Thad Ward was pitching and I really liked what I saw so I’m going to see if I can find another game. I am also catching up on a bunch of movies I never got a chance to see. I just finished Bombshell and Miss Sloan on Amazon Prime and both were fantastic.
I’ve been in a revisiting mood during the early stages of my quarantine. I decided to reread the Lord of the Rings and I am also replaying The Last of Us on PS4. My fiance and I are burning through Brooklyn Nine-Nine as well. Of course, I still need to get some baseball content of some kind, so I’ve been putting in a lot of time with last year’s version of MLB The Show. I started a franchise with the Red Sox and the Pirates. I’m mainly focusing on not trading Mookie Betts with the Red Sox and rebuilding the farm system with the Pirates. When I’m not doing any of that, I’m either working or washing my hands.
Not as much has changed for me as others because I had been working from home for a bit even before all of this happened, so that part of my routine remains the same. That said, I did decide to sell my Xbox a few weeks before this all happened, which was not ideal looking back. I’m mostly just watching a bunch of stuff. I just got into Lego Masters, which is really corny and kind of bad but in an entertaining way. I have a tendency to get some real anxiety in situations like this, so I’m probably going to seek out other shows like that. Also, Out of the Park Baseball just came out (the full release is today, the final beta was earlier this week) so I suspect that will eat up a bunch of my time as well, including for this website.
The timing of The Show 20’s release couldn’t have been better. I am currently elbow deep in a Road To The Show career. Unfortunately, I was drafted by the Orioles in the 15th round but maybe they won’t suck by the time I get called up. Oddly, as I was perusing the MLB roster in what is now June of the 2020 season, the Orioles seem to have acquired Brandon Workman who is, by The Shows rating, the best player on the Orioles roster and its not even close. Good for Workman.