Dwight Smith Jr. and the Orioles’ season ended this past weekend, as a surprise run through the season culminated in a playoff appearance.
Jeff McNeil’s New York Mets ended Baltimore’s run with back-to-back wins, ending the upstart Orioles’ run.
And after the loss, Smith got up and turned his Playstation 4 off.
With Major League Baseball’s operations suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, the league started an MLB The Show Players’ League, where one player from each team played the video games as his own team. Smith went 19-10 in the regular season and won Manager of the Year in the league, too.
“Playing a video game virtually, giving the fans something to talk about and cheer for, it was a cool experience,” Smith said Wednesday on a conference call with the media. “One of the coolest things I’ve done for a video game. Manager-wise? I probably won’t get into that after I’m done playing. I’ll let (Orioles manager) Brandon (Hyde) handle that.”
Smith said the game was a good way to pass the time with no baseball to be played — that is, in person. He’s gotten into TikTok recently, too, and has tried to spend time with his family. That’s not when he’s managing and playing as the Orioles in MLB The Show.
The video game has made him think some of his teammates were rated too low in the video game, too. Notably, he said, Trey Mancini was underrated.
“He’s one of the heart and souls of our team, him hitting homers is nothing new,” Smith said. “I honestly thought a lot of guys really weren’t rated as high, and Trey was one of them — I thought he should have a higher rating than he did, especially the year he had last year. I hope they do a little update to boost him a little bit.”
Now, with video games officially to the side with only questions remaining about the future, Smith is like every player in MLB as he can only wait and hope for baseball to resume.
In the meantime, he’s going to spend Mother’s Day with his mom, whom he said he hasn’t spent Mother’s Day with in about seven years.
“I think I’m going to enjoy this Mother’s Day a lot because I haven’t been around my mom on Mother’s Day in, like, probably seven years or so, since I’ve been playing pro ball almost,” he said. “So I’m going to cherish this moment for sure because there aren’t too many Mother’s Days I can be around my mom. I’m normally playing on that day and getting on a flight after that game and going to another city, so I’m going to cherish this one for sure.”
As for the baseball schedule for Smith, who slashed .241/.297/.412 last year, there’s nothing he can do except maintain his readiness.
Even though there’s not a set date for baseball to return, there’s not much he can do other than prepare like it could come in the near future.
“I kind of treat it the same,” Smith said. “I get ready as I normally would. We don’t have a date where we know when we’re going to get down to Florida to start spring training and all of that, but as long as you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.”
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