There was a time when every boy wanted to play ball for a living, and until they could, they’d play ball outside all day.
At some point, every boy stopped playing ball outside all day, and began to play action-oriented computer baseball games inside all day.
At some later point, every boy stopped playing simple action-oriented computer baseball games and started playing roto, fantasy baseball, and computer games with GM modes so that they were simultaneously pretending to be ballplayers and general managers.
On Tuesday, 2K Sports will release its MLB Front Office Manager, and for those addicted to the stat-heavy pastime of running fantasy leagues, being a Major League Baseball general manager may never get closer . . .
. . . There is no end to the roster of baseball video games that pay homage to the complexities of building a team from the ground up. They have mechanisms for relying on stats to determine which players are best in different kinds of situations — and many have had the endorsement of real-life players and the blessing of big league baseball.
But MLB Front Office Manager isn’t like any of them. That’s because the game is really about the process of running a team rather than the play-by-play action in which gamers have to swing at pitches, try to dive in the hole for sharp-hit grounders, and master all kinds of joystick button combinations in order to steal a base or pick someone off first.
The new 2K Sports game puts all the focus on what it takes to get a major league team going, and operates on a calendar that begins the moment the World Series ends and commences from there. That’s because that’s how it really is for each of the real-world big league general managers.
Given the direction we’re heading, at some point they’ll make a game where players simply sign checks, grouse about labor costs, and sucker municipalities into paying for new ballparks.
(thanks to Pete Toms and Crowhop, who sent me the identical link withing approximately 7 seconds of one another)