April 13, 2006

Happy to say there is little to complain about so far this season, something that will surely change in the next few weeks given my putrid track record the past nine years.

Our MLB.com office league, which includes 15 teams, has gone so well that I’m sitting in first place as of this morning. Normally I never brag in this space, but I’m taking the chance the one time I can.

In my family league, two players have killed me so far — Chase Utley and good ‘ol Oliver Perez. Utley’s hitting .200 with no power or speed, and has been as valuable as Royce Clayton. Perez, who I wasted four columns last year complaining about, had a great first start, forcing me to pick him up before his last outing. He then proceeded to get waxed by Cincinnati, allowing 10 baserunners and eight runs (five earned) in just 3.1 IP. I have since dropped him and vowed never to pick him up again, even of he wins 20 straight and is still sitting on the waiver wire.

Many of you have probably come across the RBI Baseball/1986 Game 6 clip that has been circulating around the web this week. If you haven’t, and you loved playing Nintendo in the 1980s, you need to check this out right now. Simply incredible. I’ve watched this seven times now and still want to know how long it took to actually put together.

Rbi

Just the talk about Nintendo’s RBI Baseball has turned so many of my co-workers into 13 year olds again. Baseball video games have never been great since the days of RBI, Bases Loaded and Baseball Stars. Sure video game manufacturers have created some amazing visual effects, but the simplicity of game play was abandoned 15 years ago, and has never been equaled again.

Maybe someday, someone will realize that simplicity isn’t a bad thing. In a time where people have no patience for anything, trying to learn to play a complex baseball video game with 74 different button options is not a good thing. Bring back the "A" and "B" buttons!

Speaking of retro sports games, 97 percent of guys who went to college in 1993-94 played EA Sports NHL 94 – perhaps the best sports video game of all time. A few months back, I saw that NHL 2006 on Playstation 2, contained NHL 94 on it as well. Even though I still have an old Sega Genesis at home, I figured it would be nice to have a version of the game that wasn’t going to break in the next few years.

So I bought NHL 2006, went home, popped it in, found the NHL 94 mode and started playing right away. Within a few seconds it was apparent that someone had made a major mistake. The players on all 24 teams were generic guys, with fake numbers and no names. Went I went to send out the Pavel Bure, Cliff Ronning, Geoff Courtnall line, instead I got numbers 43, 98 and 61.

Obviously EA Sports doesn’t have the rights anymore for all the players that are now retired, but the least they could have done was take the current teams and players, and put them all in NHL 94 mode. Anyone would rather play with real guys, that with generic computer skaters. Very disappointing, and needless to say, NHL 2006 has not been touched since. Is it that hard to get these things right?

Glad to see Bucky get booted off American Idol last night. While I liked him, he wasn’t going to win, and it was time for him to go (just as it is for Ace). It got me thinking about how much Idol is like the NBA Playoffs:

— Too many contestants with no chance of winning from the beginning.

— Viewers are forced to watch for months before it gets down to the final four, which most people could have predicted two months earlier.

— 270 gazillion people watch each week.

OK, the last point only applies to Idol, but it did with the NBA 20 years ago, when the sport was in it’s prime and actually fun to watch.

My final complaint of the day involves the post right below this one. For some reason Steve Trout refuses to cooperate. No matter how many times I ask him to right justify, he keeps floating left. Maybe he’s getting even with me for my Nick Nolte comparison, or he’s still bitter over the time I booed him at Yankee Stadium when I was 13 years old, during his 0-4, 6.60 ERA, 1.90 WHIP tenure in the Bronx. Whatever the reason, blame Trout for the sloppy looking post down below.

3 Comments

Klayman–The RBI Game six took 10 hours to make..4 to actually get the game to be just like 86 and then 6 more to have the play-by-play match the game. Ive watched it 5 times myself and being a met fan get goosebumps everytime.

Hey, didn’t I see you about 13 years ago in Westchester somewhere?

Great article. I used to rock Vancouver against my college dorm buddies back in the day. I think we lost interest in the EA hockey franchise around 97 when it went to PlayStation.

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