The Boston Red Sox are suffering from a World Series hangover with a 14-18 record to start the season and the team has cut down on its video game usage in the clubhouse, particularly the controversial ‘Fortnite’ battle royale video game.
Fortnite was a popular activity in the Red Sox club house last season, but so long as they were winning, it had not become a problem. However, with the Red Sox fighting to stay out of the AL East basement, the team decided it would be best for everyone to curtail their video game playing before the games.
A radio station in New England reported that the team banned the video game. However, manager Alex Cora clarified the team’s stance and insisted there was no official ban.
“There’s no rules,” said Alex Cora. “It’s just kind of like, it was a trend last year. We’ve all been through that, Gameboy and Mario Brothers and all that stuff. And then you stop playing it. I know they play other games. They talk about it in spring training. But there’s no ban. Or there’s nothing from the team that says to reduce it. I’ll say it, we didn’t talk about reducing the game because we were playing sloppy baseball. That’s not accurate.”
Fortnite Non Grata in Beantown
Fortnite is super fun, which is why it’s so addictive. The game is truly immersive and you can lose yourself for hours if you’re not monitoring your usage. Even Patrick Mahomes is a fan of Fortnite and a fan knocked out the Chiefs’ QB during a contest.
David Price, one of the best pitchers from the Red Sox, is such a huge fan of the game that he allegedly went on the disabled list in 2018 after suffering a carpal tunnel injury from playing nonstop Fortnite.
The 100-person battle royale video game by Epic Games took the gaming world by storm in 2018 after they introduced mobile versions. Children and adults were instantly hooked on the high-competitive game that lets you play by yourself, or with friends in teams of duos and four-player squads. Fortnite pros, especially streamers like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins became huge rockstars overnight.
The Vancouver Canucks outlawed Fortnite from their locker room at during preseason. The veterans thought the younger players wasted too much time on their phones. The rookies were trying to win at Fortnite instead of preparing for the upcoming season.
The New York Knicks were a disaster and one of the worst teams in the NBA this past season. One of their many internal issues also including a Fortnite addiction among the Knicks youngest players.
Not-So Pleasant Park
The Red Sox did not ban the game directly. Consider it a soft-ban until they start winning again. Last season, the Red Sox won 108 games and ran the table in the postseason to win another World Series title. When you’re on a hot streak like the Sox were last year, many superstitious players do not like to break routine. One of those common activities were games of Fortnite. When the Sox kept winning, the coaching staff overlooked the the excessive jumping into Anarchy Acres.
After a 14-18 start, the Sox are 6.5 games out of first place in the AL East. They are also four games behind their hated rival, the New York Yankees. The Replacement Yankees won 17 games and find themselves 4 games over .500 even though 14 players spent time on the injured list this year.
“Maybe if we were doing a little better maybe we would be doing it,” said starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi. “But you can’t be losing and playing Fortnite in the clubhouse. Everybody, in general, understands that rule. When I came over here last year I was surprised because when I was with the (Tampa Bay) Rays you didn’t do that. When I came over here we’re in first place, everybody is having a good time and getting the job done. Now we have other things we have to focus on.”
Fortnite is not the exact reason the Sox lost 18 games. For now, it’s good scapegoat for now. The Sox pitchers give up too many runs and they’re not hitting with runners in scoring position. The Red Sox are ranked #25 out of 30 with a team ERA of 4.95. The Sox struggle at the plate too with a .227 team batting average.
According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the Boston Red Sox are 12/1 odds to win the 2019 World Series.