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July 16, 2020

The MLB’s fake crowd noise will be pulled directly ‘MLB: The Show,’ what could go wrong?

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Rob Tringali/Sportschrome

As you may or may not have heard, earlier this week the MLB mandated that all teams in all ballparks must pump in fake crowd noise for every game this season. This is bad news for the geeks who were looking forward to hearing outfielders bicker over pop flys and what the umpire REALLY said to send their manager’s blood pressure to the moon and back, but good news for just about everybody else. As European soccer has already proven, fake atmosphere is better than no atmosphere at all.

But like most things even tangentially related to technological mumbo jumbo [extreme grandpa voice], the MLB can’t be trusted to get it right on their own, and thus they’ve turned to a familiar source for their backing tracks: MLB: The Show. Reality and unreality have finally, officially become one.

The MLB piping in video game sounds over the Fenway PA—besides a collective brain aneurysm of baseball pursuits triggered by the very concept, what could possibly go wrong? Probably a lot knowing the MLB—leaving on stock commentary tracks, accidentally playing the Super Mario theme, etc.—but the biggest risk is obviously the whole thing feeling sterile. Here, sample for yourself.

Digital crowd noise, cardboard cutouts of fans, 60 games with nothing but an asterisk to play for. We still think some baseball is better than no baseball, but this is pushing that premise to it’s logical breaking point.

But hey, if things do get a little monotone and monotonous, at least we have Hansel Robles.