The Opening Day of baseball is just a week away, but instead of the usual buzz over the game, the media is talking about an entirely different competitive game. Fortnite This hugely successful video game based on Battle Royale has become somewhat of the favorite leisure activity of many athletes who are supposed to get their heads in the game for America’s favorite activity, baseball. To make matters worse, it’s not just a few players or a team affected by the game.
On Monday, ESPN reported an incident at the Phillies clubhouse, involving Carlos Santana, the former first baseman of the Phillies, a smashed flat-screen television, and a baseball bat. According to Santana, some Phillies players on the 2018 roster were busy playing Fortnite during ball games.
For Santana, this was a grave sin, sharing with ESPN that the players weren’t showing respect to their coaches, their teammates, or even the staff and front office of the team. Gable Kepler, the manager of the Phillies, also told ESPN that chemistry in the team began to fall apart after the team failed to secure a win in the previous season.
This led to the formation of a culture of players who felt frustrated and wanted to search for answers. After a short while, this led to some of their players feeling defeated and opting to stay at the clubhouse to play and shoot at each other in Fortnite, as opposed to hanging out and watching the game on the bench.
Santana, having had enough took matters into his own hands. In September 2018, after a losing streak of nine games, Santana supposedly walked into the Citizens Bank Park video game room and bashed the TV screen, not different from an angry father pressing his son to stop playing and to go outside.
Amazingly enough, that’s not even the most disconcerting story to float around concerning Fortnite and the MLB. According to Fortune, David Price, a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, was benched in the previous year because of a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome.
However, rumor has it that he had messed up his hands from playing Fortnite all the time, and Price subsequently announced that he would stop playing the game. Well, at least while he was in the vicinity of the ballpark anyway. Meanwhile, in Toronto, the Blue Jays are believed to have instituted a no gaming policy in their clubhouse for the 2019 season, based on Vice reports.
The decision was an initiative by the players, with a pre-game curfew also being observed as part of measures to reduce the Fortnite mania that was taking hold of the players. Washington Post in a report last summer, also said that other teams in the MLB are concerned with their players losing quality sleep because of the widely played shooting game. As a suggestion, maybe we should start letting Fortnite in, instead of fighting futilely against it.
You can certainly bet that more and more people across the globe are thinking more about this popular battle royale game than the old-time sport of baseball, which has also gotten less popular over the years. Maybe MLB can pair up with Epic Games toward a special collaboration, making it more lucrative in the process.