Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bold predictions from a bold man

B-Mac, here with your bold Phillies prediction for the 2009 regular season. Currently I am predicting the Phillies to win 101 games this season. Not bad... considering the win totals for the Phillies have gone up in the past couple of seasons. 2006 the Fightin' Phils won 85 games. In 2007 the Fightin's won 89 games. Last season the Fightin's won 92. The precedent is there.

In other bold predictions... I am predicting Cole "Hollywood" Hamels to win 24 games and earn his first National League Cy Young Award. Precedent? Who needs precedent? Because he's Cole Hamels! Cole Hamels will win 1 Cy Young... and 11 Cole Hamels.

Ryan Howard prediction: .275, 61 HR, 175 RBI
Chase Utley prediction: .312, 30 hr, 112 RBI: National League MVP

Overall Record: 101-61
Starting Rotation 2009 prediction
Cole Hamels: 25-7
Brett Myers: 14-14
Jamie Moyer: 18-13
Joe Blanton: 16-13
Kyle Kendrick: 17-7

Bullpen 2009 prediction
Brad Lidge:
3-1, 42 SV 45 SVO
Rest of Bullpen: 8-6

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tale of the Tape

Playstation 3, XBOX 360, Wii, PSP, Playstation 2. These are some of the Video Gaming consoles necessary to play MLB 09: The Show and MLB 2K9. I went a little bit nerd on this but, I figured it had to be done with the release of these two games on Tuesday, March 3rd.

This is a comparison between Playstation Network's MLB 09: The Show and 2K Sports' MLB 2K9.

Now everyone who has been playing baseball on a video game console knows that the short lived, EA Sports MVP Baseball (2003, 2004, 2005) was graphically and technologically the best baseball series of video games out there. Once EA Sports lost it's exclusive rights to publish Major League Baseball games, two new series took hold.

These two series are: Sony's MLB (Year): The Show and 2K Sports' ESPN Baseball 2K (Year), now known as MLB 2K (number). The MLB 2K series started in 2004, where as the MLB series has been around since 1999, and The Show Series has been around since 2006 with MLB '06: The Show.

The Features of MLB 2K9

  • Living Rosters – Active roster updates guarantee your game is current. Rosters are automatically updated behind the scenes, so you're never late on a trade and always have the hottest players in your starting lineup.
  • More Signature Style – 2K Sports adds to its impressive library of player–specific animations with more than 300 new signature animations, bringing players to life at the plate, on the mound and in the field, allowing you to play ball like never before.
  • Next-Gen Controls – Right stick pitching, batting and responsive fielding bring your virtual baseball experience into the next generation. Improved two-step Precision Pitching controls, deeper Swing Stick batting and quick fielding responses round out your control of the game.
  • Franchise Mode – Take charge of your franchise and enjoy the all-new presentation style, a new level of CPU customization, multi-player functionality, and real player ambitions.
  • Swing Stick Advanced – Now you can really Play Ball. Improved batting controls give batters the ability to influence hits with timing and aim. Improved hit distribution and variety deliver more hit types including spray shots, pulls, line drives and long bombs.
  • Inside Edge 2009 – Inside Edge produces remarkably accurate player tendencies. With more than 6 years of scouting reports infused into the action on the field, Inside Edge ensures that players react to in-game situations as they would in real life.
  • 2K HD/Real-Time Atmosphere – An all-new Virtual Director brings in-game broadcasts to life in real-time with smart camera placement, angles, and cuts. Real-Time Atmosphere adds to the presentation package by bringing nuances to life throughout the duration of a game. Lighting, umpires, ball boys and coaches all move and progress naturally and seamlessly for a true-to-life ballpark experience.
  • New Broadcast Team – Gary Thorne provides the play by play calls alongside color analyst Steve Phillips giving a new perspective and more depth for a true-to-life, insightful broadcast. With improved sound effects including real time crowd noise you'll feel like you're actually sitting in the park.
  • New Postseason Mode – Jump right into the postseason without having to play through 162 regular season games. And if you win it all, experience a World Series celebration in true championship style.
  • Team 2K – An online competition lasting 10 weeks to compile a team of the best online players. Just play Ranked Quick Matches to compete and win prizes.
  • 2K Share – How do you play ball? Create, upload, and share rosters, sliders, and even players created with the all-new Player DNA feature. This also includes the newly added Reelmaker, where you can now direct your own digital video highlight reels and post them on for all the world to watch and admire.

System Exclusive features of MLB 2K9

Wii Features:

  • Pinpoint Pitching – Use the Wii Remote to control every pitch. A Flick of the remote, as you pitch, will increase velocity and movement on your pitches.
  • Precise Hitting – Use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk for total control of your hitting. The Wii Remote allows you to place your hits in relation to your swing timing, swing speed and swing angle.
  • Signature Style – Individual MLB player-specific batting stances, step-ins, step-outs, home run celebrations, windups and deliveries create a real life game experience.
  • New Broadcast Team – Gary Thorne provides the play by play calls alongside color analyst Steve Phillips giving more depth and realism for a true-to-life conversational broadcast. With improved sound effects including real time crowd noise you'll feel like you're actually sitting in the park.
  • New 2K Beats – Featuring Judas Priest, Cheap Trick, Coheed & Cambria, Ted Nugent, SR-71, The Romantics, Boys Like Girls, and Europe.

PlayStation 2 Features:

  • GM Career Mode – Control up to 4 different franchises simultaneously. Achieve goals set by franchise owners, simulate seasons and attempt to bring home a World Series Championship.
  • Updated Rosters – Capitalize on the past winter's biggest moves with updated rosters and Inside Edge data.
  • 2K Sports Online Play – Think you got what it takes to Play ball against the rest of the world? Go Head-to-Head against the best players on the planet.
  • New Broadcast Team – Gary Thorne provides the play by play calls alongside color analyst Steve Phillips giving more depth and realism for a true-to-life conversational broadcast. With improved sound effects including real time crowd noise you'll feel like you're actually sitting in the park.
  • New 2K Beats – Featuring Judas Priest, Cheap Trick, Coheed & Cambria,Ted Nugent, SR-71, The Romantics, Boys Like Girls, and Europe.

PSP system Features:

  • True to Form Fielding – Real life fielding structure brings a Big League experience to the PSP (PlayStation Portable) system. Allowing you to play ball anywhere.
  • VIP System – Unique user profile for each and every gamer creating individual tendencies for pitching, batting, fielding, baserunning, and managing style.
  • New 2K Beats – Featuring Judas Priest, Cheap Trick, Coheed & Cambria, Ted Nugent, SR-71, The Romantics, Boys Like Girls, and Europe
  • The Farm System – Practice your skills at scouting and evaluating Minor League talent by playing full games with Triple-A Clubs.

Ha... MLB 09: The Show gets it's own page of features

The Features of MLB 09: The Show

  • Road to the Show 3.0– Now includes interactive training, new settings, a new steal/ lead-off system, presentations and coach interactions. Interactive training will consist of a set of mini-games designed to improve a player's ability and performance in various areas of baseball.
  • Franchise Mode 2.0 – Improvements include the long awaited 40-man roster! The latest Franchise Mode improvements will also offer Salary Arbitration, Waiver Transactions and September call-ups.
  • Online Season Leagues – Along with improvements to the traditional Online Leagues, MLB 09 will offer major additions to Online Season Leagues! New Online Season Leagues will allow you to hold a fully functional draft and utilize a Flex Schedule, allowing players to play games ahead in the schedule.
  • Training/Practice Drills – In MLB 09 users will have the ability to choose from a number of different Training/Practice drills. The drills will be of various concentrations of the game. These drills are a perfect way to polish and improve your baseball skills in The Show!
  • Details & Subtleties – Details and subtleties play a huge role in legitimizing a game and helping you lose yourself in the suspension of disbelief. MLB 09 The Show sinks it's teeth into the details with realistic stadiums and signage, wear and tear on field, dusk to night lighting transitions, stadium Jumbotron animations and even crowd atmosphere – reaching up for foul balls out of play and home runs in addition to crowd rivalries and weather appropriate clothing.
  • Custom Music, Fan Yells and Chants – Using our My MLB Music feature, store all of your favorite music for play on MLB 09 The Show. Once you have your music on your PS3 hard drive, edit any of your tracks and assign a batter walk-up to all of your favorite players. Along with Custom Music, MLB 09 will also offer Custom Fan Yells and Chants. Record a yell, with your own voice, and assign it to play for the player and situation of your choice.

Other Key Features

  • Replays to Hard Drive via Replay Vault – If you've ever played MLB The Show you've seen some spectacular fielding and dramatic hitting. New to MLB 09 is the ability to store any of these replays to your PS3 hard drive as its own movie file. Enjoy the ability to playback any of your movies at your leisure.
  • Mascots – MLB 09 The Show will offer all your favorite team mascots. Mascots will appear a few times a game and may perform "signature moves" at certain points of the game as they attempt to pump up the crowd and in turn rally the team. The inclusion of mascots will add to the realism and help fans truly connect with their team.
  • End of Game Replays – The premise behind this idea is to give the user an instant post game visual replay of the most exciting and important plays of the game. This will offer the user a reminder of the depth and quality of our game and leave them with a taste of excitement that will encourage game after game.
  • Roster Vault (upload/download/rate) – This gives users the ability to create their perfect roster offline by adjusting player attributes, appearance, accessories, etc... Users can then save this Roster to their PS3 Hard Drive. Once online users can upload them from where they are stored to allow others users online to download, use and rate their Roster. The new Roster Vault feature lets the The Show community share and judge any Roster.
  • Build Your Own Customized Soundtrack With My MLB Music – Ever wanted to create your own video game soundtrack? Now you can. With MLB 09 The Show you can to take music you have on your system, import it from the XMB and add to the list of music played in the jukebox.
  • Never Miss A Single Play Again With In-Game Saves – Ever needed to save your progress in the middle of the game or an inning? This season, instead of losing your progress, you'll be able to save their Career, Franchise or Season at any point in the middle of the game. If the pressure is getting to you, walk away in the bottom of the 9th and pick it up later to see how clutch you really are.
  • Review Your Own Personal Highlight Reel From The Replay Vault – If you've ever played MLB The Show you've seen some spectacular fielding and dramatic hitting. With the new Replay Vault, you can now go back to that spectacular diving, behind the back double play in the 1st inning and show your friends. Replay any part of the game from any inning within that game.
  • Pitch Grips / Ball Rotation Detail – MLB 09 The Show details the different pitch grips and arm angles that a pitcher has when throwing each pitch. You'll be able to draw distinction between 17 different pitch types (4 Fastball variations: four-seam, two-seam, cutter, and split; 6 Breaking Pitches: 10-4 curve, 12-6 curve, slider, sinker, slurve, and screwball; 4 Change-Ups: straight, circle, palm and fork; And 3 Specialty Pitches: Knuckle, Knuckle-Curve and Gyro)!
  • Catcher Called Games – Ever heard that good pitching beats good hitting? The Show pushes the envelope for realism by incorporating catchers calling pitches. You'll really know what it feels like to stand on the mound and nod or shake a pitch from the catcher. It's up to you – just don't make a mistake pitch. The catcher's setup also acts as a guide to your decisions on where to locate a pitch. Are you a Cy Young or a Robin Roberts?
  • SportsConnect Live GameCast – Using SportsConnect technology, users can view the status of any game in progress in The Show. New for MLB 09, along with a 2D user interface representation, users can hear the play-by-play and color commentary of the announcers.
  • Make Educated Decisions With The Improved In-Game Pitcher and Batter Analysis – Stats and match-up analysis are a baseball fan's dream! The Pitch Analysis is a breakdown of all the pitches thrown during the current game being played. You'll be able sort by pitcher, LHB or RHB, pitch type and result. This is also available for Batters. The batter analysis allows for a breakdown of how each batter has performed based on LHP or RHP, pitch type and the result. The pitcher and batter analysis is available for both in-game and post-game. The analysis will appear in the batter / pitcher status screen and the post game pause menu. This information is available for every game played, as well as your Road to the Show career.
  • Track Batters Throughout The Season With New Progressive Batting Performance – Superior performance will earn you rewards and slumps, but will require a little extra effort. Specific to each batter, you'll be rewarded with slight contact bonuses for each batter who performs beyond his statistical ability under your control. Conversely, if your performance takes a dip, you'll see slight decreases in contact for each batter that performs below that statistical ability. Performances will be based roughly on each batter's last 20-30 ABs (w/ recent ABs weighted heavier).
  • SportsConnect Online User Tracking (SCOUT) Makes Online Matchups Easy – If you've ever had a difficult time finding someone online with the same gameplay setting as yours, the SCOUT system is for you. SCOUT allows you to set your game preferences, store them on the server and look for a Quick Match with an opponent that fits your criteria.
  • Adaptive Pitching Intelligence (API) really puts you on the bump. MLB 09 The Show is the only baseball game to ever give you the choice to trust your catcher or shake him off. With API, catchers will call the game for you based on the strengths and weakness of each pitcher. And beyond that, catchers will also analyze tendencies of the batters to know if a batter is susceptible to chasing a high heater out of the zone or off-speed low and away.
  • Pitch Command System (PCS) delivers unsurpassed authenticity and strategy to pitch selection in a baseball videogame. A pitcher's "pitch comfort" will be predetermined based on a best pitch to worst pitch scenario. Now it's up to you to decide if you should try to "work on a pitch" or just go with what is working. The more you work on one pitch, the better it becomes. Conversely the more you neglect a pitch; the more challenging it becomes to work the zone.
  • Online League Play – Providing you with the ability to set up leagues with up to 30 teams offering full stat tracking, point benefits and rewards. Customize as you see fit; choose your players, teams, length, rules and much more. Whether it's you and a couple buddies or 29 of your closest friends, bragging rights are on the line.
  • Umpire Personalities – This year umpires will have unique tendencies and animations. But most importantly, each umpire will have his own definition of the strike zone. It's up to you to figure out if they're calling the zone high, low or giving you the corners. The quicker you figure it out, the more successful you'll be.
  • Multi-Branch Fielding takes Branch Point Technology to a new level. Now you can take full control of fielders and break out of any animation in the process. Change your fielding decision and branch out of any animation after the first branch point. With Branch Point Technology you'll pull off unbelievably smooth, fluid transitions for seamless double plays and relays.
  • 3-Man Booth with Rex Hudler bringing additional energy to tell it like it is. Hudler joins Matt Vasgersian and Dave Campbell for the most comprehensive commentary you've heard in any baseball game. MLB 09 The Show sets the bar high with progressive commentary that changes you progress through the game, adapting to current actions and situations.
  • User Controlled Slides let you control base runners down to the last detail. Split-second decisions are the difference between a win and a loss so as you round the bases, you decide when it's time to get dirty.
  • Rivalry Mode allows you to set up and maintain multi-game rivalries between multiple gamers or versus the CPU. Follow everything from wins to Ks and see who has the winning edge every time you challenge your rival. Whether you play offline or online, you'll be able to keep track of all your rivalry stats and bragging rights.
  • Game Time Decisions bring more depth to Franchise and Season Modes. Only MLB 09 The Show provides the ability to take full control of your team when you're forced to make the tough decisions. An injured player on the roster or a pitcher who needs more rest – the decision to play them is yours. If you ever thought you could be a big league manager this is the year to test your skills.
  • Progressive Broadcast adapts and utilizes game-specific presentations tailored to your career spotlight player as the season progresses.
  • SportsConnect Headline News lets you stay on top of all the news around the league. Receive all the current happenings in sports today. Information will be updated a few times each hour with news, trades and events from 31 different feeds, each containing 25 unique items. You can also select General MLB headlines for updates from all 30 teams in the league so no important news is missed while online with MLB 09 The Show.
  • Enhanced Career Mode incorporates a New Career Spotlight underscoring all of the accomplishments and failures during your career and showcases them in the limelight. You still call the shots but now the ramifications of your actions are documented. It's up to you to determine whether your reel consists of highlights or miscues.
  • Enhanced Franchise Mode gives the critics more to rave about extending the functionality where performance and player morale are tracked on virtually every level – salary, playing time, batting slot, team performance, you name it – you control it.
  • Unique Stadium Ambiance for every MLB team specific to their stadium with coordinated crowds, team colors and audio that catering to each team and specific players.
  • Release Point Pitching takes video game pitching to a whole new level utilizing a timing mechanism you must learn realize pitching pace and release point which varies from pitcher to pitcher.
  • The Pitching Confidence Meter plays a key role your ability to hit spots. Your frequency of mistake pitches will impact the confidence level of your hurler making it more difficult to hit your spots and paint the corners.
  • Guess Pitch tests your ability to master "the sweet science". Check out the pitch history and sit on what you think the pitcher will throw next. If you sit on the right pitch your power attribute is increased. For the ultimate reward sit on pitch and location and leave the yard in a hurry.
  • PlayMaker Fielding at its core is based on fielding attributes but it's ultimately up to you play to your team's strengths and weaknesses. Excellent fielders will track them down for you while sub-par fielders will require some concentration from you.
  • Unassisted Fielding Control allows fielding freedom with the ball in hand. Take advantage of more realistic barehanded flips and the ability to dive with the ball in the fielder's bare hand for the putout.
  • Hundreds Of Personalized Animations shows you recognizable, personalized player animations for everything from walk-ups, rituals, stances, swings – even emotions. All told more than any other baseball game on any platform. Guaranteed!
  • Unprecedented Online Options featuring head-to-head gameplay, 30-team leagues, King of the Diamond, live sports tickers, message boards, buddy lists, headset functionality, downloadable rosters, chat, and more.
  • Authenticity, Subtleties & Nuances like drag bunts, wild pitches, broken bats, check swings, off-line throws and much more.

The problems of MLB 2K9

Graphics: This has always been a problem with the 2K series. If EA Sports had been granted an exclusive right to publish MLB games, it would be no doubt that the MVP series and it's advanced graphics and games system would of blown the 2K series out of the water.

Commentary: Personally I had no problem with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan. But for 2K9, they gave Miller and Morgan the ax and brought in Gary Thorne and former Mets GM and current Baseball Tonight analyst, Steve Phillips.

Price- who has $59.99 for one game?

The Problems of MLB 09: The Show

Exclusivity- The Show is a Playstation Network exclusive series. So unless you own a Playstation 3, Playstation 2, or Playstation Portable: guess what? You can't play the game.

Commentary- The Show has used Matt Vasgersian, former Major League utility player Rex Hudler, and Dave Campbell. I would at least prefer the two commentators from the MVP series... what were their names again? Oh, now I remember their names: Duane Kuiper and former Major League 20 game winner, Mike Kukrow.

Price- again who has $59.99 for one game? Let alone the system

The Edge:

MLB 09: The Show

The Show continues to push the button of real-life physics of baseball (Pitching Mechanics, Hitting Mechanics, Base-running, and Fielding). Not mention the additions of customized walk-ups, motions, true-to-life fielding, custom walk-up music, etc. The addition of a dynasty mode, 40 man rosters and September call-ups take the cake (and the win) for MLB 09: The Show.

Coincidentally, here are the sites for each game. Decide for yourself which one is better.


MLB 09: The Show

Look here for the article used