Thursday, March 1, 2012

We're Talking Baseball

After shopping my resume around to sports blogs across the nation and making frequent guest contributions on the STOB, the great Paul Rome has inked a multi-year full time gig with the STOB blog. Terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed or finalized.

With that being said, the GREAT ONE has finally come BACK to STOBBBBBBBBBBBB!!!!! Before I make my first full time post, I’d like to pay tribute to one of my idols Will Sasso, who for years made Rome laugh with all his funny celebrity impersonations on Mad TV. Will, you are a true friend and entertainer. You were also very funny as the mover guy in Happy Gilmore. That was not your best role.

So Paul Rome always loves the first week of March. Sure, college basketball conference tourneys are on the horizon followed by Selection Sunday and March Madness. That is always an exciting time. The true March Madness a.k.a the NCAA hockey tournament is just a few weeks away and the WCHA playoffs are about to get rolling. Above all reasons, Paul Rome loves the first week of March the most and hates it the most for one reason….the annual release of the MLB Show video game.

Emperor Rome loves this game even though baseball is his least favorite of the four major sports. It is the one sports game Paul Rome can never dominate or make the playoffs when playing on the Legend level (the hardest level for all you amateurs out there like Ben who play pro level, which is the 2nd easiest level).

For the past three years Rome has played an 82 game schedule with the Twins and has only been relevant once in the last week of the season. Paul Rome was 40-32 and tied with that bum Grady Sizemore and the Cleveland Indians with ten games to go. Paul Rome went 7-3 in the final ten, but missed the playoffs as Travis Hafner carried the Indians to a 9-1 record. Usually my normal 7-18 start has me simulating the rest of the season so I can dive into the off-season.

Besides being the only game I struggle at, the game is so realistic. The home plate umpire each game is different and each has a different strike zone. PR has let out his inner Gardy more than two dozen times after a should have been called ball four turned into strike three. The inconsistency of the strike zone is sweet. Just like the bigs. It’s so hard to lay off pitches too, which brings an even tougher element when stepping to the plate.

Another thing of beauty with this game is how hard it is to hit. Rome loves challenges and this game is the ultimate. After 20 games, Joe Mauer hits .175 and Morneau .190 for me. That makes Rome chuckle. For some odd reason, I am money with Alexei Casilla and can hit .340 with him.

I play small ball and try to win low scoring games by taking walks, bunting guys over, stealing bases, and hitting sacrifice flies. I truly play the Twins way. Nishioka will probably be my starting shortstop because I love speed guys and I imagine Tsuyoshi is faster than Jamey Carroll. It’ll be fun trying to hit with him and Willingham as well. Willingham can’t be any worse than Cuddyer, who always seems to be my worst hitter.

The last thing I really enjoy about the MLB Show series is pursuing signing free agents and trading in the pre-season before spring training. Guys like Lastings Milledge, Jeremy Bonderman, Chone Figgins, Pedro Feliz, Russell Branyan, and Rickie Weeks have donned the Twins uniforms for my squad. Guys like Nick Punto, Trevor Plouffe, and Matt Tolbert get shown the door for my big free agent signings.

Every year I get this game, I always cut Nick Blackburn because his cutter is terrible and his breaking stuff doesn’t do anything for me. I’m glad the Twins shipped Slowey because he’s a tough decision on whether I keep him or cut him. His fastball is too slow for my liking, but his control is impeccable. K Slow usually gives up too many homers so I usually can him after three starts.

Liriano can be awesome, but his control drives me nuts. Pavano is the man because I like the pitchers who have a money two seam fastball to go with an average or above average four seamer. Bonderman was picked up strictly for the two and four seam combo. Baker makes me yawn, but like in real life, always seems to get hurt.

Now onto to the stuff that makes Paul Rome burn. Having to face the AL Central for the majority of the games is brutal and no, I won’t take another team over my beloved Twins. Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera, and Victor Martinez are like an automatic homer every time they connect on legend level for Detroit. Let’s now throw in Prince Fielder and Paul Rome is not happy. Chicago has Quentin, Rios, Konerko, and Alexi Ramirez who are tough to get out. KC is garbage besides Alex Gordon, but Sizemore and Hafner are always a tough out in Cleveland.

Add in the fact I can’t assemble a sweet pitching staff with this team and things get ugly. Plus the Twins bullpen is awful. I also hate facing guys with hard two and four seam fastballs. Detroit’s Max Scherzer is filthy in this game. I probably have a career 1-25 record against him. I hate him.

Another thing that makes Paul Rome burn is I’d like to see each team’s broadcasters call the games. Matt Vasgersian makes the game dull. I can stomach Vasgersian as long as Joe Buck’s voice never reached the audio of this great franchise. Can’t stand Buck and can’t wait to see whatever famous sports line he’ll steal this October. Loser. It’d be cool to hear Dick and Bert call all my games, but oh well. 

Finally, the fantasy draft is like 55 rounds. It’s way too long even when I just keep simulating to my picks. After 20 picks, I don’t want to do it anymore. I also get ticked off when a player argues a close play at first and gets kicked out. I have no control over that and since I have a tough enough time scoring, this doesn’t help.

All in all, Rome loves this game. It is the second greatest game each year next to Madden and what I admire about this game is it keeps me entertained until August when football starts ramping up and Madden comes out. It’s always a must buy each year and you won’t be disappointed. Take it from the great one, who knows all.

I’m Paul Rome and I am out!!!

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