MLB The Show – World War K: You Can’t Get Fooled Again

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

Previous Episode: Trust The Plot Twist

At the end of July 2014, emergency repairs initiated by Strike-O-Matic’s internal systems revealed the terrible truth of his mission from the future.  He had not been sent back in time to help the Kansas City Royals get to the World Series.  In fact, he had been sent back to prevent Kansas City from taking the pennant.  This compelled Pat Burrell into taking desperate measures, making dramatic changes to the roster.  They wanted the team to collapse in 2014, but without ruining the team’s public image or hopes for future seasons.

With this in mind, Burrell attempted to recruit the services of blogger Dave Cameron, but accidentally ended up retaining the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron. It was a mistake anyone could make, but particularly likely when the person put in charge of the deal was Eric Hosmer.

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With David Cameron’s help, Pat Burrell retooled the team, trading a number of significant pieces from the ML roster.  But more importantly, the team would be handicapped by some rather lineup decisions suggested by PM David Cameron after reading the work of blogger Dave Cameron.  The team now looked something like this:

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MLB The Show – World War K: The Frame Game (April Recap)

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Episode 1: The History of the First Base War

Episode 2: And We Will Always Be Royals

Episode 3: Verland Before Time

Episode 4: The Candyman Can

T.S. Eliot once wrote that April is the cruelest month.  But what the hell did he know?  He wrote a book that inspired the musical Cats.  His hands are  stained with blood.  In baseball, April brings hope and uncertainty.  The passage of the month brings the first significant statistical endpoint to evaluate players or the team as a whole.  However, almost all of these stats–even win/loss record–come with sample size caveats.  You can’t project how well anyone will do based solely on their April.  But that doesn’t keep people from trying.

Late into the month of April, it became clear that the Royal’s catcher, Salvador Perez, was suffering from overuse.  He was hitting worse than anyone else on the team, which caught Player/GM Pat Burrell by surprise.  Perez was supposed to be one of the few sincerely good players on the Royals.  Burrell decided that the team needed a quality backup catcher and veteran presence.  Someone to fill the role that Todd Pratt had during Burrell’s early years in Philadelphia.  Unfortunately, Todd Pratt was now 47 years old, so getting him out of retirement would be more than a chore.  Burrell would have to trade for a backup, and do so without giving up anything of significant value.

With that in mind, he went to the team’s advance statistics department for advice.  Unfortunately, the Kansas City Royals advanced statistics department had been gutted during the Dayton Moore years, and now consisted of nothing but shortstop Alcides Escobar sitting in a small office after every game and browsing Fangraphs.

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World War K Episode 3: Verland Before Time

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Episode 1: The History of the First Base War

Episode 2: And We Will Always Be Royals

The first day of the regular season brought the first major challenge for the new-look Kansas City Royals.  Their first opponents were the Detroit Tigers and the first pitcher they would face was Justin Verlander.  For years, Verlander had been one of the most formidable pitchers in the American League.  In 2011-2012, he was absolutely unhittable.  2013 saw the first signs of decline for the hard-throwing right-hander, but all but the most pessimistic fans thought he would bounce back to contend for a Cy Young.

In the original version of the timeline, before Strike-O-Matic and the robot masters changed everything, 2014 was a disappointment for Verlander.  His first-half ERA was almost a run and a half above his career numbers.  Even by the standards established in Detroit in the early 21st century, this was a disaster.  However, time travel changes everything.  While the robot masters had no particular interest in Verlander other than his eventual subjugation at their cold steel hand, their presence would disrupt the timeline across the board.  This would give him another shot at a successful 2014.  And Verlander wasn’t someone to bet on disappointing twice.

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