How many of you have heard of the game Baseball 9? It is a game that one can harmlessly download from their respective app store, but little does one know that it can take over your life and send you into a spiral of unnecessary competition and madness.

So what is Baseball 9? What do you do in this game?

In this game you act as the general manager, coach and players. You have control of a lineup, and you can improve both your batters and pitchers by earning certain rewards and tokens by playing games. You start off with nothing, but can quickly get up to a level where you have some good players that are fun to play with.

You start off in the Rookie league. Perfectly fair. There are three tiers to each league…and there are five leagues…so that is a lot if you want to reach the highest level. How do you advance to the next level in a league? You have to play a full season…which is 42 (FORTY-TWO) games long. If you finish in the top four then you advance to the postseason where you have to win a best of five and then a best of seven game series in order to raise the trophy.

So in total. Your teams need to play a minimum 49 games per season. That is a lot. These games are nine full innings. They are three outs per inning. You start with a 0-0 count for all batters. There are pitching changes, pinch hitters, and pinch runners. It is rather deep for a hand-held phone game that looks like it belongs on the original Nintendo Wii.

This is where the audience asks, But Stanko, can’t you just simulate the games to advance through seasons faster?

Yes, you can. But I refuse. I can’t bring myself to do it. I will not have my first fucking loss in Baseball 9 be a simulation loss where the computer decided it was time to hand me an L.

To this day, my record is 139-0.

I am in my third season. The third tier of the Rookie League. I have played every single game, and I will play every single game until I lose. I must be beaten fair and square. I must lose on the battlefield and not in lines of code flying through the cloud. I won’t have the electronic roll of the dice determine the heartbreak I will inevitably feel.

For the record. In the current league I am in now, I am in my last regular season game. I have already clinched the regular season title because I am 41-0 and the second place team is 21-20. I have scored 498 runs thus far this fucking season…and the second highest computer total is 169 runs. For those counting at home that is a 329 run difference. 3-2-9. I have 493 runs batted in. Next highest is 169. I have 832 hits…nearly 500 more than the next most. I have 310 doubles, 15 triples, and 69 home runs. All of these lead the league by a LARGE margin.

Oh, that was the batter’s box. Let’s turn to the pitcher’s mound. I have allowed 66 runs in 41 games. My staff ERA is 1.61. Every single one of my pitchers has an era lower than 1.79. My rotation ranks one-through-five in strikeouts, wins, opponent OPS, opponent FIB, WHIP, and WAR.

To put it plainly. I am a juggernaut. I am a literal tank squishing teeny tiny baby ants nine innings at a time.

This is my problem.

I can not stop. I am having too much fun winning. But this fun is becoming a competitive chore. Anyone who has a drip of competitive juice flowing in them knows what it is like to be best at something, getting tired of being the best, but never being able to step off the pedestal.

Have you ever won like five games of pong in a row? All you want to do is leave the table, but you and your partner as just dropping ping pong balls as easy as breathing, so you have to keep on inhaling Ws until someone finally shoves defeat down your throat.

Baseball 9 is ruining my life because all I want to do is have a fun phone game that I can play to turn my brain off. I enjoy when I can do that. However, those care free minutes are not becoming strenuous mental battles to keep chugging along because letting the game win when the LITERALLY haven’t won, would be unholy. It would be sacrilege.

Will I ever lose in Baseball 9? That is to be determined. Am I writing this to possibly put a jinx on myself so much so that the Baseball 9 gods smite me down? I have thought about it. Regardless, Baseball 9 is going to be installed on my phone out of pure joyful stubbornness. I will not let it beat me down. I will stand in its shadow of time-wasting fun until the darkness takes me over in full.

Baseball 9 will not defeat me. Mentally, that is. If it wants to beat me fair and square in the game, then fine. I can accept that. but that doesn’t mean I expect it.

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