When The BatFlip was launched in its first form, the goal was a much more ambitious (and self-serving) mission than the current form of the blog.
That mission was to take one team on the four MLB-licensed games on the market (MLB The Show, Out of the Park Baseball, RBI Baseball and MLB Manager) and play through the 2017 season. Initially, that choice was the Pittsburgh Pirates.
This particular Saturday SavePoint gaming recap feature will begin around the same time that the season does and chronicle my adventures with a selected team with the goal of somehow winning the World Series at least once. Am I a better gamer than I am text-simmer? Can I manage a club exactly the same way across four different formats? Will I give up on one version of my 2018 and go for broke on another?
Then Starling Marte’s 80-game PED suspense happened. That was enough to sap the joy from any Pirates-related project.
So, I chose the Orioles. Because mashing dingers is the best. Even got a few (now-deleted) posts up. Never made any sort of gameplay-related posts, though. That’s the reality of trying to juggle life sometimes.
Here’s to accomplishing goals that were discarded for whatever reason.
But, the trick is that I’m not quite sure where to take this mission in 2018.
I mean, I’ll make the requisite purchases. MLB 18 The Show on my PlayStation 4, RBI Baseball 18 on my Nintendo Switch, Out of the Park Baseball 19 on my MacBook Pro and MLB Manager 18 on my iPad Pro. It’s just going to be a case of determining what team gets to dominate my summer.
There are 30 MLB clubs to select from. Let’s eliminate some from the start. Not taking any recent World Series champions (2010 or later), so goodbye to the San Francisco Giants (2010, ’12, ’14), St. Louis Cardinals (’11), Boston Red Sox (’13), Kansas City Royals (’15), Chicago Cubs (’16) and Houston Astros (’17).
While I’m likely not taking the Pirates on this quest, I sure as hell won’t be taking any other NL Central team. Adios, Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers. You may join the Cubs and Cardinals in the discard pile.
New York? More like No York. Bye-bye Mets and Yankees. Let’s just toss the Los Angeles Dodgers on that pile as well.
My love of the Montreal Expos means that the Washington Nationals must get off this ride at this time.
Philadelphia is neat and all, but I just couldn’t do the Phillies. Sorry. At least y’all have a Super Bowl.
While tempting, the task of taking on a total trash fire is likely a ticket to insanity. Farewell, Marlins and Athletics. Let’s just bounce the Rays, too. Nobody actually voluntarily picks the Rays on video games, anyway.
I have to like your look if I’m going to spend my spring and summer staring at your uniforms and ballpark. Thank you for playing, Rockies, Diamondbacks, Padres (on non-brown/yellow days) and Tigers.
I need to at least own one hat to pimp proudly when this project devours my soul. A check of Hat Mountain sees that I’m bereft of Rangers caps. Even the disappointment is bigger in Texas, I assume.
So, this leaves me with nine clubs. Still bitter about the Twins being responsible for me losing a $1 bet when I was in fifth grade. So long, Minnesota. Come to think of it, still kind of angry about the Braves losing me that $1. Plus, Sid Bream was out. So are you, Atlanta.
I’ll leave the Mariners for Robbie if he chooses to take on this venture in his own way.
So now I’m down to six.
I’m OK with this, even though it’ll leave a heavy American League flavor. Here are some reasons why.
Baltimore Orioles: Dingers. Glorious dingers. Oriole Park is a joy. Have always enjoyed the orange/black color scheme.
Chicago White Sox: This is solely based on the fact that this is the Chicago resident not named the Cubs. Plus, I just snagged a 1987-90 White Sox New Era fitted this week and it is fantastic.
Cleveland Indians: Should actually be in the recent World Series winners list, but fate had other ideas in 2016. Really enjoy the way this team is built. This is my easy-way-out option.
Los Angeles Angels: The curiosity of Shohei Ohtani and pairing him in a lineup with Mike Trout means that I could get over the pitching staff being less-than-stellar. Plus, the Halos are my late-night MLB.tv destination more often than not.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Maybe the team’s best hitter won’t be lost for 80 games when I start playing games this year. Getting shredded by Billy Hamilton for 72 total games makes me dread this idea, though.
Toronto Blue Jays: One of the crispest looks in baseball. If I’m going to stare at uniforms and logos all summer, this would be a solid start. Plus, a Blue Jay did the thing that was celebrated wildly by this blog’s two writers.
Coming in future Saturday SavePoints, breakdowns of the final six clubs and more elaborate thoughts as to why I could pick them. Maybe even some reader feedback.