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Tampa Bay Rays obsessed with iPad game We Farm

There's a new addiction coming to the world of professional baseball, but this one isn't likely to be investigated by Congress anytime soon. Yep, it seems as though Tampa Bay Rays players are saying no to steroids and saying, "yes, I have no social life" to the farming simulation iPad game We Farm.

Seriously. If thisYahoo Sportsarticle is anything to go by, it sounds like the Rays have been hit with a bad case of viral game mania. After a recent winning baseball match, starting pitcher David Price shunned reporters for a few seconds so he could finish farming his broccoli. True story.

Above: We're not sure but we think this is David Price reacting to his virtual corn crop dying in We Farm

And it wasn't just Price. Fellow players Chad Qualls, Kelly Shoppach, Matt Joyce, Matt Garza, and BJ Upton all turned on their iPads following the team's victory over the Texas Rangers. Pitcher James Shields has also been infected, and in fact is the one who started the whole thing.

The story goes that Shields' daughter, 7-year-old Ashtyn, started playing We Farm on her daddy's iPad. Shields himself gave it a try one day, liked it, showed it to his teammates and, well, as team starter Jeff Niemann says, "We definitely have the iPad addiction."

Above: Think this game is too cutesy for a bunch of hardened 30-something ball players? Think again

Although Niemann says he personally prefers another casual gaming hit, Angry Birds, he says iPad fever is rampant throughout the team.

"We have fun. We can turn the brain off for a little bit," said Niemann.

Price, who is critical in keeping the Rays' momentum going as the team has its highest World Series prospects in years, just bought a $100 DLC pack to We Farm called "Grow." It's the most expensive add-on for an iPad game to date. And there are teammates who have spent even more on their virtual farms.

It sounds like a serious distraction, but then again, maybe it's because of We Farm that the Rays are doing as well as they are. I wonder if this will become a new strategy; maybe if the Cleveland Indians spent more time playing mindless farming simulators they too could actually win a game every now and then.

Oct 15, 2010

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