Playing MLB The Show 20 during a pandemic (First Impressions)
I am a believer that the circumstances in which you play a game can greatly influence your impressions of a game. The day I was given access to MLB The Show 20 — thanks, Sony! — I found out that the school district I live and work in would be closing for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus, COVID-19. This was also the day after I tore my meniscus, which will require a surgery that I probably won’t get to have for months.
This was the same time that all major sports leagues began cancelling or postponing events and stores began to close as elected officials took action to stop the spread of COVID-19.
I began playing this year’s version of The Show in this environment, as the entire world is being flipped upside down because of this virus. The game is a breath of fresh air in an uncertain and scary time. It’s a way to start the baseball season in a real world without baseball.
I can turn on my PS4 and still see Frankie Lindor make a diving grab; Mike Clevenger strike out a batter; or Jose Ramirez smash a ball out of the park. I can take my Cleveland Indians to the World Series in March to October or Franchise mode. I can create my Newark Wildcats in Diamond Dynasty and stack a fantasy team of Bob Feller, Babe Ruth and Mike Trout against the competition.
All while my leg is elevated and icing; while the world is going crazy buying toilet paper; in between working long days, working with district staff to help take care of kids in our community.
As I write this, our community was also just hit by a major rainstorm and flooding overnight. We have people displaced from their homes and grouped together in large buildings. Roads are closed; a major road washed away and could be closed for months.
On my TV, an 18-year-old Seth Roy has just struck out another batter for the AA Jumbo Shrimp.
In many ways, this year’s Show is quite similar to past editions. It’s a superb on-field experience with a multitude of ways to play. It’s also my favorite version of the Show ever, a series I’ve been playing for 15 years. The multitude of options make it a great game whether you’ve got 10 minutes or 5 hours to play.
If you love baseball and you love The Show, you’ll be happy with this year’s game. I’m not ready to score the game yet, but it absolutely has my stamp of approval.