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A Virus Can't Stop Baseball After All

minnesota twins mlb the show coronavirus playstation
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#1 Ted Schwerzler

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Posted 19 March 2020 - 07:00 PM

Thanks to the aggressive spread of COVID-19 we no longer have major league baseball, or sports in general. While that’s a reality hard to grasp, it’s one we’ll need to grow accustomed to for a while. Fortunately, there’s an outlet, and although Fantasy Sports are tied to the real action, what MLB The Show provides is fully operational.You’ve likely heard of the Sony Playstation exclusive before, and it’s the only baseball simulation on the market. Prior to MLB developing their own “RBI Baseball,” competition was nonexistent (and to be fair, even with RBI, it still is). This is the last year The Show is a Playstation exclusive however, as the game will be released on multiple consoles in the year ahead.

Expecting everything from a traditional sports game in The Show is a good place to start. You’ve got your “Play Now” modes, as well as season and franchise-centric modes. Where baseball fans can really sink their teeth in and get lost in an alternate reality is the Diamond Dynasty experience. Driven from the view of a card-collecting hobby, it’s a full-fledged baseball experience that brings Fantasy Baseball to life.

Going back to early versions of EA Sports’ Madden series, you’ll find the origination of these card-based game modes (with that one being dubbed “Ultimate Team”). Baseball ties this in perfectly as Sony San Diego uses the Topps license to provide actual card art from the physical cards purchased at retailers across the globe. In collecting players, the goal is to assemble a team worthy of competition either against multiple computer modes, or a more difficult run against other human opponents.

Although Diamond Dynasty has not been around as long as Ultimate Team, it may have made more substantial advancements. Content has been king for The Show in recent years, and this season The Show 20 married it with gameplay improvements that greatly enhance the overall experience. Much of what made The Show 19 great within the Diamond Dynasty game mode returns, and the small additions such as the new “Showdown” game mode take it over the top.

A significant addition to the player pool has been made in 2020 as well. Each year new legends are added to the roster in hopes of drawing heightened interest. Now not only are former MLB stars included, but up and coming prospects are put into the action (although they are not paid for the use of their likenesses).

It can’t be overstated how much fun creating your dream lineup of current and former MLB stars only to deploy them in a seemingly endless amount of game modes truly is. Although the time commitment to generating an upper tier squad is immense, the rewards as you progress through certain achievements along the way become addicting and grow in value as well. Having thought I would forego this year’s version and focus entirely on the real thing, a cease in baseball had me scouring Craigslist for a Playstation and grabbing a copy of The Show 20 on Monday.



Countless reviews are on the market in regard to the game as a whole. Diamond Dynasty remains a different beast entirely, but it’s potentially the most rewarding. Fangraphs' own Paul Sporer put together a great tutorial for newcomers, and while lengthy, it’s a great dive into everything the mode has to offer.



As has been the case every year, you can follow the exploits of my Hardball Kekambas on Twitter and utilize #HBK to sort through some of the notable events. I committed last night to making sure we’ll have a Twins box score every day from a simulation on the game that was intended to be played as well. Finally, check out Cooper Carlson’s run through the 2020 season through the eyes of The Show 20 right here at Twins Daily.

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- Ted Schwerzler
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@tlschwerz

#2 Teflon

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Posted 20 March 2020 - 08:36 AM

Actually Out Of The Park (OOTP) baseball is a very detailed and immersive PC sim that's been out for years and upgrades their product each season. They have complete MLB and Minor league rosters down to short season leagues - plus full customization, league building, historic replays, exporting of data, online leagues, etc. MLB the Show is truly fantastic - but is a console experience while OOTP goes into much more depth. Two very different kinds of experiences. I recommend both. 


#3 Ted Schwerzler

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Posted 20 March 2020 - 08:48 AM

 

Actually Out Of The Park (OOTP) baseball is a very detailed and immersive PC sim that's been out for years and upgrades their product each season. They have complete MLB and Minor league rosters down to short season leagues - plus full customization, league building, historic replays, exporting of data, online leagues, etc. MLB the Show is truly fantastic - but is a console experience while OOTP goes into much more depth. Two very different kinds of experiences. I recommend both. 

OOTP is incredible, and I'm working on a review there as well (Twins Daily actually has partnered with them on multiple things in the past). OOTP isn't a traditional simulation game though as the emphasis is put more on inputs and management rather than gameplay. Great product however!

- Ted Schwerzler
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@tlschwerz

#4 scottz

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Posted 20 March 2020 - 09:07 AM

I wish I still had access to Microleague that I played in the early 80s

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#5 Minny505

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Posted 20 March 2020 - 12:57 PM

 

I wish I still had access to Microleague that I played in the early 80s

OMG!!! That's a game I haven't heard mentioned in decades. I still think about it from time to time. My 7-10 year old self sunk so many hours into creating custom teams and completing against other friends while we all huddled around one kid's computer. 

Microleague needs a kickstarter reboot. One of few games I would invest in to see come to market.

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