GREENE COUNTY — It’s weird out there.
There’s a serious virus that’s shutting everything down, and our responsible local and national sports leagues and franchises have done the proper thing and have closed up camp for a little while.
It keeps the spread of this almost unknown novel coronavirus from spreading at as fast of a pace as it would like. Plus, staying home and safe, and socially distant from each other helps keep our area hospitals and doctors offices from being over run with sick people.
While that may be keeping people safer, it’s leaving a sports void for those of us who enjoy watching our favorite teams and athletes play the games we so love.
Hopefully, in the next few weeks, we’ll be able to fill at least part of that void in these sports pages.
One way we’ll be trying to do that is by playing baseball and softball simulation games for you, based on last season’s high school statistics for Greene County area teams. Through the blessings of George P. Gerney at ASG Games (asggames.com), we’ve been given permission to simulate games on the Sherco Grand Slam Baseball board game.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Grand Slam board game, it is as close to baseball realism as you can find in a dice game. Games are played on a gridded field, which can be set to the exact dimensions of whatever field you’d want to play on, and you can rate players in 23 different statistical categories, if you wanted to, and there’s even wind factors that could affect the play of the ball.
Our simulations will take place on area neutral fields ranging from Grady’s Field over at the Athletes In Action Sports Complex in Xenia, to Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park, to Wright State University’s Nischwitz Stadium, Cedarville’s Yellow Jacket Baseball Field, and even Ohio State’s Bill Davis Stadium. If we can get the exact field dimensions for the area’s high school fields, we would be able to use those as well.
For these games at least, we’ll be using high school statistics from the 2019 baseball and softball seasons. Pitchers who threw in at least 10 percent of the team’s overall innings pitched, and batters who played in 33 percent of the team’s total games, will be used in the simulations.
What makes it even more fun, is that the player ratings make it possible to match up teams from different years. So if one were to want to play a game between the 1927 New York Yankees and the 1975 Cincinnati Reds, they could.
While it’s comparing apples to oranges, perhaps even the 2019 Xenia Buccaneers could take on the ‘75 Reds as well. It’d be all in fun, of course, and the high school ratings of the Bucs might turn out in their favor. Not sure yet. Maybe we’ll all find out.
Hopefully, the games will present some fun moments that readers and baseball fans can enjoy during this down time in our sports lives.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE GAME?
If you have a favorite game or team that you’d like to replicate in the newspaper, please let us know. Send your game ideas to Sports Editor John Bombatch at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (937) 372-4444, Ext. 2123.