In this day and age, sports simulation games are available for just about every sport.
But baseball still reigns supreme in this area. While other games utilize strategy, nothing can match the analysis and data-driven strategy that makes baseball so compelling on the field as well as in sports simulation games.
The sheer magnitude of available data makes designing realistic games that much easier. Also, data exists as far back as the late 1800s, making it possible to design games where players can pit modern teams against past champions. Or play entire seasons from 1955 or any other year.
There’s no real argument that baseball makes for the best simulation games. That’s especially true when you consider the fact that Tom Tippett, who designed Diamond Mind Baseball, went on to work for the Boston Red Sox. His sports simulation programs became a tool for the Red Sox to prepare for teams.
However, facts such as that often give rise to an age-old question: Is baseball the sport for the thinking man? Or, as those who dislike it argue, is it just slow and boring?
First, the Man Thing
Yes, sports continue to be more popular with men than women. However, many may not know that Major League Baseball has a huge female fan base. A 2014 study on social media postings found 45.4 percent of all social media postings about the Texas Rangers were made by women. In fact, here are the teams that the study found have the biggest fan base among women:
- Texas Rangers
- Los Angeles Angels
- San Francisco Giants
- Minnesota Twins
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Atlanta Braves
- Houston Astros
- Colorado Rockies
- Philadelphia Phillies
So, enough with the thinking man thing. Baseball is the thinking person’s game.
Slow? Not Really
Baseball is designed to allow players, managers and fans to think about matchups as the game unfolds. Every at-bat can have many different outcomes. That’s especially true with runners on base and in late inning situations when the game is on the line. Of course, the game can also be on the line in the first inning. That’s one of the beauties of the game.
Boring? Not If You Understand It
So, yes, the game moves slowly. But it’s not boring. Baseball is one of those sports where the more you know about the game, the better it gets. Understanding the possible outcomes of dozens of situations makes the game much more interesting.
Baseball becomes even more interesting when looking at the larger picture. Some teams deserve attention because they compete while spending far fewer dollars. Major League Baseball remains one of the only sports where that is the case. While the big-spending teams can dominate, frugal-but-smart teams can rise up and win pennants, such as the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates in recent years. In the case of the Royals, they won the World Series.
Baseball players don’t tackle each other. They don’t go coast-to-coast and slam bunk a ball through a hoop. But the game is actually built around a tension and excitement that mounts as the game progresses unlike any other sport.
A thinking person’s game? Yes. But it can be anyone’s game who takes the time to learn the intricacies of the game. That’s why it continues to be one of the most popular sports in the United States.