Just one game

Tonight I had had a chance to play a single game of MLB: The Show 18 against a friend of mine, and it made me realize how great that game could be… if every game was played against a person in the same room.

The matchup was the Brewers against the Cubs and it was a wonderful game that ended with Ryan Braun hitting a walk-off inside-the-park home-run in the bottom of the 9th when the Cubs center fielder misplayed a ball to the outfield to allow Milwaukee to win 5 to 4.

What kept striking me throughout was the fact that the game isn’t nearly as much fun when you are playing against a person who you can’t razz or harass when they make a mistake.  I’m a 43-year old man and I’m not going to jump up and mock someone when I make a good play, but it is a much better experience when you can actually enjoy a good play (or mock a bad one) when you’re in the same room as someone.

One of the best moments of the night happened when the person that I was playing against was making a pitching change.  Instinctively I turned away from the screen to prevent myself from what he was doing.  Old sports game habits die hard, it would seem.


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OOTP 19 is out now

I’ll have some thoughts on it later today, but here’s the press release.

March 22, 2018
Out of the Park Baseball 19 Now Available Worldwide
OOTP 19 features dramatic 3D enhancements, a redesigned interface, new scouting systems, ultra-realistic artificial intelligence, 2018 Opening Day rosters, and more!
Out of the Park Developments, an official licensee of MLB.com, the Major League Baseball Players Association, and MiLB.com, announced today that Out of the Park Baseball 19 is available worldwide, ahead of the start of the 2018 Major League Baseball season on March 29. 
OOTP 19 offers dozens of exciting new features and deep improvements to its award-winning gameplay including a dramatic 3D in-game engine that shows players pitching, hitting, fielding, and running the bases. Images of the new in-game engine can be found in the screenshot bundle and in the trailer.
Out of the Park Baseball 19 includes:
New 3D stadiums and 3D player models with improved on-field movements, including running, sliding, jumping, and throwing.
New in-game screen design for an optimized virtual dugout.
2018 roster sets with all Opening Day MLB rosters, as well as the complete minor league system from Triple-A to rookie leagues and the Arizona Fall League. All Major League (and over a thousand minor league) player ratings will be based on the popular ZiPS player projection system. The 8 international leagues, as well as independent minor leagues in the US, also return this year with accurate rosters.
Rewritten scouting reports that give a more detailed and realistic look at players.
New tournament modes! Create a stand-alone tournament bracket and draw any teams in history into it. The possibilities are endless!
Ultra-realistic AI roster management and in-game decisions.
A reworked ratings module.
User voting for end-of-season awards.
Many more improvements, including:
Redesigned interface, with the ability to choose between 6 different fonts
800 custom team logos for fictional leagues
Improved Manager Home screen, with a more customizable layout and new widget options
A new stat — RA9-WAR (WAR based on runs allowed) — for pitchers
Delayed substitutions for injured players
And much more!
This summer, Out of the Park Developments will unveil an exciting new online mode called PERFECT TEAM. An open Beta will happen this spring, and the company will announce more information soon.
Customers can purchase OOTP 19 for $39.99 from OOTP Developments through this link:
OOTP 19 is also available on Steam:
And on Electronic Arts’ Origin:
OOTP 19 runs on PC/Mac/Linux and like last year it features the American League and National League logos, the World Series trophy, official logos and jerseys for all 30 MLB teams, over 150 Minor League Baseball league and team logos, and historical MLB logos.
OOTP creator Markus Heinsohn conducted an interview for the Out of the Park Developments blog which can be read here: http://blog.ootpdevelopments.com/an-interview-with-ootp-creator-markus-heinsohn/
OOTP 19 predicts the 2018 season
On March 28 at 7 PM Eastern time, MLB Network will feature the results of the 2018 season + playoffs simulation conducted in OOTP 19. Last year, the game predicted that the Houston Astros would win the World Series. Will it make the right call again?
A look back at OOTP 18
2017 was a record-setting year for Out of the Park Developments, which boasted more than 120,000 players of OOTP 18 around the world. More than 3.5 million hours of the game were played on Steam, which equals 405 years. A record peak of 1,147 concurrent players was set on Nov. 9 on Steam, and South Korea is now number two in total sales, surpassing Canada.
The most-accomplished achievement in OOTP 18 was a five-game team winning streak and the three rarest achievements were a player hitting 4 home runs in a game (accomplished by 0.4% of users), a pitcher tossing a perfect game (0.5%), and a hitter having 10 or more RBI in a game (0.6%).
Quotes from OOTP Developments executives
“After nearly 20 years of development, we’re still finding ways to make Out of the Park Baseball even better,” said lead developer, lifelong baseball fan, and Out of the Park Developments CEO Markus Heinsohn. “We can’t wait for our fans to see what we have in store this year.”
“Out of the Park Baseball is unique. Its high quality, delivered over two decades, has created generations of loyal fans who recognize it as the gold standard of sports strategy games,” said Out of the Park Developments CMO Richard Grisham. “Out of the Park Baseball 19 is our best version yet, purpose-built for those fans. We couldn’t be more excited for it.”
About Out of the Park Developments 
Out of the Park Developments is the developer of the award-winning OOTP and MLB Manager series of baseball management simulations, Franchise Hockey Manager, and Beyond the Sideline Football. German-based OOTP Developments was founded by Markus Heinsohn and Andreas Raht in 1999. OOTP Developments has consistently produced games that have met with critical acclaim, including winning Metacritic’s coveted “PC Game of the Year” for the 2016 version of OOTP and “Game of the Year” for the 2007 edition of OOTP, which remains the second highest-rated PC game on Metacritic of all time. Further information on the company and its games is available from the OOTP Developments website, http://www.ootpdevelopments.com
About MLB.com
Established in June 2000 following a unanimous vote by the 30 Major League Baseball club owners to centralize all of Baseball’s Internet operations, MLB Advanced Media LP (MLBAM) is the interactive media and internet company of Major League Baseball. MLBAM manages the official league site, MLB.com,and each of the 30 individual Club sites to create the most comprehensive Major League Baseball resource on the Internet. MLB.com offers fans the most complete baseball information and interactivity across computers and mobile devices, including up-to-date statistics, game previews and summaries, extensive historical information, online ticket sales, baseball merchandise, authenticated memorabilia and collectibles, fantasy games, live full-game video streaming and in-progress and on-demand highlights, live and archived audio broadcasts, Gameday pitch-by-pitch application, Statcast tracking technology, around-the-clock hosted and specialty video programming, complete blogging capabilities, console and mobile video games and the award-winning At Bat and Ballpark mobile applications. MLBAM powers more live events across the Internet than any other company in the world.
Major League Baseball Players Association
The Major League Baseball Players Association (www.mlbplayers.com) is the collective
bargaining representative for all professional baseball players of the thirty Major League baseball teams and serves as the exclusive group licensing agent for commercial and licensing activities involving active Major League baseball players. On behalf of its members, it operates the Players Choice licensing program and Players Choice Awards, which benefit the needy through the Major League Baseball Players Trust, a charitable foundation established and run entirely by Major League baseball players. In 2017, the MLBPA launched Infield Chatter, an innovative social media app created by the Players for the fans and available in the App Store and Google Play. Follow: @MLB_Players; @MLBPAClubhouse; @MLBPlayersTrust.;
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Wednesday notes

If you go to live.playstation.com and log in with your Playstation Network account, you can watch a video to get a 20% off coupon for the Playstation Store (expires on 3/31.)  Great way to get MLB: The Show 18 for $48 on release day (the code doesn’t work on pre-orders apparently, but should work after it comes out.)

Didn’t win the baking competition at work, shocking that people didn’t like a molten chocolate salted caramel pudding (sarcasm.)  It made the whole house smell like heaven and tasted sensational.  Some cheesecake won probably because people could have a massive portion.  Oh, well.  My family and I had a great time making it, so there is something to that that makes the whole thing worthwhile.

Lastly, I picked up Super Mario Run for $4 last week and I don’t know why people hate  this game so much.  I have enjoyed the game quite a bit more than I thought I would have.  Of course, I did get it for less than the full price, but considering it is the first time I’ve ever bought a game for my phone (outside of Humble Bundle’s that got me things like Ticket to Ride and Splendor,) I think it is totally worth your time.

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Tuesday baking notes

So, I got ambitious for a work baking competition and tried something from the Great British Bake Off.  Long story short, it tastes awesome… but presentation… um… well, it’s not going to win anything.

You know what they say .

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RBI Baseball 18 released

Are you looking for a way to throw out $30?

If so, pick up RBI Baseball ’18 for XBox One and PS4 now.

Reviews on it so far have been horrid. As in worse than previous RBI horrid.

Just wait for Super Mega Baseball 2, currently in beta.

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Monday notes

So, I had an X-Ray of my shoulder done today and the results were inconclusive, but I could have told you that.  MRI in a month, PT until then.  If I would have pushed I probably could have skipped the PT, but I’m trying to be a good patient.  The one thing that shocked me in the office was how many people were there for cortisone shots.   They had them almost lined up.  Every person that went through the billing was asked if they got a shot that day.  Never in my life have I seen an office where so many people were getting the same sort of treatment.  You would have thought they were Opioids the way everyone was getting them.

The Mrs. bought an Instant Pot over the holiday season and while I mocked her for it as soon as she ordered it, I have become a believer.  We’re doing all kinds of good stuff in there.  Korean Barbecue, Biriyani, Curry.  Tonight I made Chicken Fried Rice, and while it wasn’t perfect, it was definitely a tasty meal that I was able to whip up in about an hour (including cleanup.)  Yep, I’m officially old… but at least I’m making some better food.


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Weekend sports

What an amazing thing that was to see UMBC beat Virginia on Friday night.  Tons better stories have been written about what they accomplished, but I think it’s amazing that the 16-1 upset finally happened and it was an absolute dominating second half where the game was never really in any doubt over the last 10 minutes.  That’s a special sports moment that I won’t forget any time too soon.  Pity that they couldn’t keep it going with another upset tonight, but it was still an incredible moment in the history of the tournament.

Palace finally got things back in track, and with the team starting to get healthy again, I am a little more cautiously optimistic about their chances of staying up this season.  I have never seen a team deal with so many injuries and rally over and over again.  If the team does stay up Roy Hodgson should get all of the consideration for coach of the year.  To take a team with 7 losses in their first 7, without scoring a goal in any of them, and do what he has done with them is a remarkable achievement.  Hell, I would say that even if they don’t stay up.  The talent that they have on the pitch right now though is a team that I don’t think anyone would want to face.  Dan’s squad will see them next and things always seem to be entertaining when Liverpool comes to Selhurst… Crystanbul…. ahem.

Lastly, not sure how many people watched the Paralympics over the past week, but the sled hockey game between USA and Canada last night was an absolute classic.  Both teams destroyed their competition through the opening rounds along with the semi-finals, showing speed that none of the opposing squads could even get close to matching.  In the final though, both teams were so evenly matched and the conclusion of the 3rd period was edge-of-your-seat material as Canada hit the post on an empty net and the US team came back down the ice and tied the game with 30-some seconds remaining.  The US won the game in OT but both teams would have deserved the gold for their performances.  I said it last night on Twitter, but it would be amazing (for the sport, as well as for all fans) to see if someone could put together a best of 7 series between those two teams.  It’s just a pipe dream, but I would be ecstatic if someone could put it together.  Waiting 4 more years for these teams to get this kind of attention is way too far away.

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