It’s time for many of us (yes myself included) to look in the mirror and stop blaming MLB The Show for our own failures and mistakes. Recently Sony San Diego has taken the brunt of some pretty extreme and unnecessary criticism from gamers on the difficulty surrounding hitting particularly against online competition. I can’t even call it criticism because more times than not those outcries are for a constructive purpose, here it’s flat out complaining, bitching, moaning, trolling and being down right nasty. Time for you to put on your big boy pants and grow up.

The hardest thing do to in the major sports is hit a baseball. One could argue it’s to hit a golf ball consistently and accurately in the spot you want but hitting a baseball in a live batter’s box is unquestionably the most difficult task to achieve on a regular basis. Unlike golf, baseball has an opponent that is alive and thinking. Remember success in baseball lends itself on an average of 75% failure rate. If you achieve a 70% failure rate you’re likely heading to Cooperstown to be immortalized forever. Keep this in mind when you’re not hitting a home run every at-bat in Battle Royal, God forbid…

Let’s also mention that the part that makes hitting a baseball so difficult is impossible to replicate or even implement in The Show. The fear of stepping into a batter’s box knowing a hard solid object could drill you in the head at a velocity of up to 100 mph can never be replicated in a video game. Batter’s can lean over the plate without any repercussion, if you get drilled so what? It’s a free walk and onto the next batter. Because this huge variable can’t be apart of the game hitting must inherently be harder from a technical stand point. There is so much science in baseball from the angle of your swing, the pitcher’s release point, the velocity of your swing, to the timing of which the bat and ball make contact that hitting has to be extremely difficult because science and trigonometry are difficult. 

I have no issue with how The Show handles hitting, sure it’s frustrating at times but when you take a step back and look at the big picture it has to be this way. You can’t allow the batter to walk into the box without a fear of being beaned and let him focus on any part of the zone he wants and then give him leeway on his PCI (Plate Coverage Indicator) swing. You can’t miss the ball by a few inches and still expect to hit a solid gapper for a double. You have to refine that level of error down to a very small window, you either square up the ball or you don’t. Pitcher’s need some type of advantage or else this would become Home Run Derby. What does everyone say when the MLB playoffs come around? “Good pitching will beat good hitting” and “Pitching wins Championships”. These things are said because they’re true. BASEBALL IS HARD PEOPLE.

Everyone says that football is a game of inches, well baseball is a game of milliseconds and millimeters. If you’re a fraction of a second too late you’re going to miss hit the ball, the same if you’re too early. A split second can be the difference between a home run and a ball fouled straight back. Guess what gang there are going to be times where you’re going to be dead red on a fastball, have the PCI locked in and you’re going to make an out. That’s baseball and any expectation otherwise is foolish. More times than not if that happens you’ll get a hit but nothing in baseball is 100%, except the Mets losing. Do me a favor please look at your player’s statistical ratings. Contact vs. R/L, Power vs. R/L are real metrics that actually mean things in the game, just because you think Joe Mauer is phenomenal doesn’t mean he’s going to perform like a diamond player he used to be.

Can we also accept responsibility that The Show does not control what we do and do not swing at? We control where our swing goes and when we swing?

  • If you swing at balls outside the zone, that’s your bad
  • If you can’t stay back on the change-up and you refuse to evolve, that’s your bad
  • If you’re locked in for a low slider but then decide to react to an up and in fastball to pop it up, that’s your bad
  • If you continually don’t work the count and allow their pitcher to keep his stamina, that’s your bad
  • If you keep the PCI in the middle of the zone and never look for a specific pitch or a specific zone, that’s your bad
  • If you think that a .220 hitter with a narrow PCI wedge should be able to hit HRs like Goldschmidt, that’s your bad
  • If you try and pull every pitch and don’t take what the pitcher gives you, that’s your bad

Where I will criticize The Show and this criticism is well documented and justly applied is the stability of their servers. Online game play can be absolutely brutal at times, especially once you tip 9 pm ET. Play can be choppy and if you’re in the middle of a lag storm then hitting or pitching can be damn near impossible. A ball that looks to be a foot outside miraculously is right down the pipe. A ball that looks like a floating knuckle-curve all of a sudden takes off like the Millennium Falcon as a warp-speed 4-seam fastball. Those are The Show’s fault, those circumstances make hitting infuriating and the rage is justified.

And just to clarify, “justified” meaning you can be upset or angry but don’t lash out to people online that you’re playing, don’t say disrespectful or disgusting things to developers during a podcast or live stream. If you never want those people to get in front of a camera or a mic again to receive your feedback and make the game you love better (and that is their intent, their job isn’t to implement a patch to fuck you over) then keep it up.

Unless you’re dealing with extreme cases of serveritis or lagoppotamus just realize that your mistakes at the batter’s box are your fault. The failure is on you and not the game or it’s developers. Take responsibility for your failures and get better. Learn from your mistakes and correct them. Change your approach, change your camera angle, do whatever you need to do to succeed. You’re the only person who can control being successful and no one will feel sorry for you if you don’t.