For Christmas, my kids pooled their resources and bought me a PlayStation 3. They thought it would be a fun addition to my “man cave.”
I had never owned a video game console before, so I was anxious to try it out. It is indeed a fun toy, and it’s bringing out my second childhood.
I like to play baseball and football games on it. So last Wednesday I stopped at a technology store and purchased a used MLB2k13 game. I plopped it into the system and went right into franchise mode, figuring I can learn the controls easy enough.
Why “practice” with exhibition games? Let’s get right to the nitty-gritty, I always say. So I simulated the entire preseason schedule and went right to the regular season.
My team is the Detroit Tigers, and their first regular season series was with the Minnesota Twins. I had Justin Verlander on the mound, and a powerful stable of Tiger hitters in my lineup, including the peerless one, Miguel Cabrera.
In the top of the first inning I went down 1-2-3. I was a little too aggressive with my at bats. But no matter. I would learn to be more patient later.
The bottom of the first inning didn’t go so well. No matter what pitch I called for Verlander, I threw it wild. Fastballs, curves, change-ups, you name it. Wild pitch every time.
I consulted the manual which came with the game. It didn’t give me any information on how to pitch. So I tried numerous methods, all resulting in wild pitches.
Of course I was frustrated. I walked player after player, then I walked in runs with the bases loaded.
The analysts were confused.
“Boy, Verlander is really wild today,” they said. “The pitcher is having a very frustrating outing.”
You’re tellin’ me.
I tried something else with the right control button and I actually forced in a couple of runs with intentional walks. Of course, the analysts were even more confused.
“An intentional walk with the bases loaded! Now there’s a strategy a really don’t understand.”
After allowing 14 first inning runs and getting nobody out, I finally paused the game and went to my computer. I typed in “mlb2k13 pitching” and found a YouTube video that demonstrated the correct procedure. It was hard to follow, but after careful scrutiny I finally figured out the basic concept.
Back to the game, I began to throw an occasional strike. I actually got out of the inning allowing only two more runs.
But now what do I do? I’m in the top of the second inning in the first game of the season and my ace, Justin Verlander, has already walked in 16 runs. This is going to really mess up his statistics if I don’t find a way to delete the season and start all over again.