An 8-Bit Escape

An 8-Bit Escape

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by The 41st Wraith

It’s been a long and arduous off-season for many Major League Baseball players. The game has received an abundance of media and mainstream attention, primarily for the on-going drama that is the ‘Steroid Era’ and the ever-developing repercussions it’s having on today’s game.

Though the Mitchell Report has grabbed the majority of the off-season headlines, there have also been some significant trades and free-agent signings that have occurred. Ironically enough, many players involved in these trades and signings were implicated in the Mitchell Report.

Miguel Tejada, who was traded to the Houston Astros in Dec of 07’, is now under investigation by US law enforcement officials. Tejada is being investigated to see if he lied about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in 2005, when interviewed during former team-mate and Baltimore Oriole Rafael Palmeiro’s perjury case.

Former Blue Jay Troy Glaus was dealt for fellow third-baseman Scott Rolen, just over a month after Glaus was mentioned in the report.

The Milwaukee Brewers took a chance by signing Eric Gagne to a 1-year, $10 million dollar deal, despite being named in the report as well. Gagne apparently has a clause in his contact that indicates he will be released from the ball club should his right-arm detach, become air-borne, and land at least 10-ft away from the mound. Gagne was reluctant to sign the clause.

Needless to say, this off-season has been a tumultuous one for Major League Baseball. Many more fall and winter’s will pass and the era that precedes the current, will be dissected, beaten, questioned, ravaged and investigated over and over again, before any resolve or comfort is brought to the fact that America’s game was tainted.

That is why I, ‘The 41st Wraith’, have taken it upon myself this off-season to return to the time when baseball was pure, when steroids never interfered with stats or production, and when the physiques of the players were pixelated and identical.

Ladies and gentleman, may I introduce to you my therapy…

RBI Baseball 2.

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It began on a cold-winter afternoon, when a friend of mine who owns a ‘Yobo’ (console that plays 8-bit Nintendo cartridges), decided to bring the machine over. We hooked it up, and instantly enjoyed a classic game of defenceless outfielders, 102-mph fastballs, and incredible live commentary by the umpires which include the phrases, “OUT!” and “STRIKE!”

We no longer thought about the controversy of real baseball, or old men in suits discussing legal jargon. We forgot about watching juiced up players working out on television, or vehemently denying allegations of steroid use.

All we concerned ourselves with, was if Bret Saberhagan could catch the inside corner on a switch-hitting Junior Felix.

Our respect for this legendary video-game reigned so high that we stood for both the American and Canadian national anthems before the game, and may have even shook hands before the first pitch.

After being re-introduced to RBI Baseball, I began to play it more and more in my free time. Instead of going grocery shopping or paying important bills, I was instead content with watching Dennis Eckersley dispose of batters with his nasty side-arm delivery.

I quickly became so good; I even considered driving from Toronto, Ontario Canada, to Chicago, Illinois, for the World RBI Baseball Championships.

Sadly, reality sunk in, and I realized that at least for now, I must be comfortable with sending the CPU to mercy within 4-innings.

This pleasant escape from present-day baseball controversy has been quite enjoyable. Soon, pitchers and catchers will report to spring training, and RBI Baseball 2 helps pass the time.

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Former Met and Giant slugger Kevin Mitchell, has an amazing 47 HR in RBI Baseball 2, which results in about an 80% HR rate whenever his bat connects with the ball. For those interested, yes, I usually play with the National League All-Stars and love doing so.

Even though I enjoy having Mr. Mitchell on my team, I suspect the engineers involved in his creation, may have used P-E-P… Performance-Enhancing-Programming.

These same programmers are responsible for spelling Ryne Sandberg’s name wrong. ‘Sundberg’, however, is also a very dangerous hitter.

If you’re tired of the on-going steroid talk and the constant controversy that surrounds the game, there are other ways to entertain your love for the greatest game in the world.

For those of you wondering why I chose RBI Baseball 2… I simply didn’t have the cartridges for 1 or 3.

That is all,

‘41’

Want to Play RBI Baseball 2 right now, courtesy of NESCafe? Click the link below

RBI Baseball 2 for Nintendo NES

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2 replies on “An 8-Bit Escape”
  1. says: Kenny A Doobie Doo

    GREAT BLOG!
    RBI in my mind still reigns as the greatest baseball game of all time! You are right that it overshadows the gloomy and always controversial game of baseball today. True talent seems to be a thing of the past…although I may be wrong, does Otis Nixon still play?

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