MLB The Show – World War K: More Like Chief Blah-Hoo

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Start from the Beginning – Episode 1: The History of the First Base War

Previous Episode: Money Also Walks

After a disappointing 1-3 series against the New York Yankees, the Kansas City Royals were slated for a quick two game set against the Cleveland Indians.  After flagging over the last week themselves, the Indians had a two game lead in the AL Central, so the Royals could pull even with them and take first place for the first time since near the beginning of the season.  They were so close to first that they could almost taste it.

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It was awful forward-thinking to believe that a two game series in the middle of June was critical to the pennant race, but Pat Burrell didn’t want to give up any ground to the Indians.  Something had to change.  Something had to motivate the Royals to move forward and rebound from their loss to the mediocre Yankees squad.

Burrell considered making another trade, but he realized that he could only rely upon transactional drama to carry the day so many times.  He was willing to go back to the trading market, but he’d wait until the July deadline.  After all, there are only so many parts of this story that can be about making trades, and certainly another one is to come.  Today, change would have to come from within.

There was one clear way that the team could be improved without a trade: something had to be done about the manager.  If only for a couple, critical games…

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MLB The Show – World War K: The New Blood (May Recap)

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Start from the Beginning – Episode 1: The History of the First Base War

Previous Episode: Trade Winds Part Two

In the dark future of 2099, robots playing baseball is commonplace.  Pitches are thrown at 150 mph.  Bats are laced with carbon fibers to increase home run distance.  Laser weapons are mounted on arms to assist with breaking up double plays.  These machines are designed with a certain brand of the sport in mind–one that fragile human flesh and bone would be unable to withstand.  But it was more than that.  Robot baseball was efficient.  It was calculated.  It was stripped of random chance and uncertainty with the virtual minds of the players guided by calculations beyond the comprehension of the human mind.

When the rogue AI K.I.R.K.G.I.B.S.O.N. selected six robot masters to send back to 2014, it did not anticipate these differences.  It believed that the robot masters would be unstoppable. It failed to take into account…the human element.  The fielders behind the robot pitchers would not be perfect.  In fact, many of them would be quite terrible.  The pitches the robot hitters faced in 2014 would be slow and unpredictable.  And so, despite everything that had gone wrong with Mike Trout’s plan to save baseball, there was still hope.

As May came to an end, and faced with a mediocre start to the season, player/GM Pat Burrell made two dramatic moves to improve the Royals.  Struggling prospect John Lamb was shipped out for the most corpulent pitcher in basebal, Bartolo Colon.  And James Shields, whose ERA was beginning to affect the tides, was traded to the Cardinals for Matt Holliday and Carlos Martinez.  This was a risky deal, as one of the six robot masters was playing for the Cardinals.  There was a good chance Shields could put everything together again, but Burrell saw enough potential in Martinez that he didn’t believe St. Louis could end up winning the deal.

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MLB The Show – World War K: Trade Winds Part Two

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Start from the Beginning – Episode 1: The History of the First Base War

Previous Episode: Trade Winds Part One

Pat Burrell and the Kansas City Royals thought that trading for Major League pieces in the middle of May would be a difficult proposition, but they had underestimated the power of the trading block.  After putting out feelers for a few players listed on the block, it became clear that they were more than just available–they were priced to move.  The Royals would be able to upgrade both their rotation and their lineup with some judicious planning.

The first call Pat Burrell made was to Sandy Alderson, GM of the struggling New York Mets.  The Mets had not been expected to contend in 2014, and in the new alternate future they were more than living up to expectations.  They sustained a 9-18 record in April and continued to barely limp along into May. Alderson already knew there wasn’t much hope of competing, and wanted to move some of the older spare parts off for pieces in the future.

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