The next story was actually supposed to be #59, a glimpse of the career of Laura Baugh, a female professional golfer from Long Beach who grew up with Marijane. Given the sudden intervention of the Major League Baseball season, I have elected to put Laura on hold for a minute and skip ahead to the Cut-out baseball fans of 2020. I am sure Laura will understand; her story will not change much as we move over to cast some focus on what in the world is happening to the current sports scene.
I can’t really remember if I have mentioned this previously, but sports and the rest of the World have been inconveniently affected by what I will call the Pandemic. I may have mentioned this early on as sort of the basis for starting this series of stories to begin with. At any rate, here we are about 4 months after they closed the wineries in mid-tasting in Paso Robles while we were there trying to enjoy ourselves. Since then, a lot has happened and not happened, resulting in the evolution and birth of the Cut-out Fans. The Cut-out Fans, or as I will call them, the COF, will now attend many of the Major league baseball games across the country to stand-in for the real people who wish they were there. The COF will likely be easy to manage. It is doubtful they will consume too much beer. In fact, they will probably leave a lot of hot dogs un-eaten and probably not create a mess with peanut shells flying all over the place. If they react any different about a ground-ball out, as opposed to an opposite field home run, it will be a big surprise. After all, the Cut-out Fans are just that, corrugated cut-outs of real fans that can do little to affect the game or the bottom line.
I like the Cut-out Fans. They are quiet and polite and concentrate on observing the game. Actually, in thinking about these corrugated fans, I have come upon another alternative idea that may save the game, the health of the players and fans, and the sport as a whole.
I call it the Virtual Baseball Season (VBS). The VBS would include all of the teams, all of the ball games and all of the players. A 162-game season could be played (or maybe a bit shorter this year) and a normal schedule would be followed, just like the old days. A computer model would be constructed so that when strong team plays a weak team or a good hitter goes up against a weak pitcher, the outcome is dictated by the mathematical tendencies of the match-up. Of course all of this could be televised live, and although the players themselves would not actually be alive, their computer counter-part would look like them, act like them, and succeed and fail like them; Great idea, right? Fans would pay to attend the virtual games, and of course there would be premium views from the better seats that would cost more, etc…Not sure how to generate revenue from the beers and hot dogs eaten out of your own refrigerator, but there might just be some possible ideas there. Of course the advertisers would be able to run their story between innings and voila!!..The Virtual Baseball Season..!!
I do believe that sound you just heard was Ty Cobb turning over in his grave. Babe Ruth is just plain perplexed by the whole thing. The Cut-out Fans seem silent on the whole subject, but probably don’t like the VBS idea, as it could lead to their early elimination.
SSOMG thinks this is all a bit odd. A 60 game season without fans might have an interesting outcome….or maybe not. Maybe we all can go to sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow and this whole virus will be gone…or maybe we will just have to get used to the new world and the VBS. Maybe I should have told the Laura Baugh story afterall.