Last time we met lanky pitching god Zippy DaChemlow, he had broken back into professional baseball with a new attitude and a fresh pitching repertoire with the Mets organization. The AA Eastern League is getting a raw lesson in unconventional pitching, and Zippy is racking up the K’s and wins. There was, however, one thing he wasn’t planning for….
Being horrible with the bat won’t be unique to our favorite pitcher, but I’m genuinely excited as the game player to get some more at-bats and hopefully keep Zippy in the National League system. One of the issues I had when trying this roleplay in The Show 18 Edition was how easy the actual pitching was. Playing on Rookie or Veteran difficulty meant that opposing batters in AA and AAA wouldn’t be able to cope with the constant off-speed movement, and Zippy would become a mirror image of Walter Johnson with minimal effort. For this play through we’re utilizing dynamic difficulty, which means we’re quickly moving up through the Veteran and All-Star levels while facing AA talent like Ryan Ripken and Preston Palmeiro. With extra difficult situations soon to come, it’s going to be important to use the game mode’s Friends and Foes attribute system. Can Zippy use this new feature to his benefit?
I’ll save the boring details, but by promoting character traits with good play on the ball field, the career mode allows you to grow pseudo relationships with players and reputation against rivals to drive up not only your teammate’s attributes, but give some of your opponents a disadvantage as well. Zippy hates conflict, so most of his interactions will be used to butter up his teammates while trying not to screw up too hard in the field. Between games, conversations will arise with teammates and opponents where you’ll have the chance to boost your relationship meter and turn your unfamiliars into Friends, and someday, maybe….BROS! As a game mechanic, it’s kinda trash. Any time your CF is crying about his batting average, you just pat him on the shoulder, say “go get em slugger” and you’ll eventually get a free boost to his stats out on the field. As Zippy generates a ton of ground ball outs, he’s becoming fast friends with the infielders of the Rumble Ponies, but one particular character on this team can’t seem to get in his good graces…
Tim Tebow: former Heisman Trophy winner, College Football great and multi time saver of Christmas (both in real life and in The Show 20) is a member of the Mets organization, batting before sellout crowds and trying to break it into the majors the hard way. I admire his courage to excel in pro sports when he doesn’t really need to, but as a teammate he fucking sucks! As the Rumble Ponies Left Fielder, Zippy doesn’t need Tebow all that often, but any time a fly ball goes his way, he somehow finds a way to screw it up. It’s neat that in this edition of the game outfielders can struggle with getting a “jump” on the ball or running down deep flys, but Zippy and I are getting a front row seat for the golden boy’s antics. Either a step behind, or slow as molasses to track down a long grounder, Tebow actively hurts Zippy’s WHIP and ERA, and yet we can’t seem to be able to talk to him about it on the bus! We’re only allowed a small range of players to engage with in the career mode, and Tebow NEVER comes up as an option. Zippy is practically the best man at half this team’s wedding, but we can’t even get a spare convo to tell Timmy that EVERYTHING’S GONNA BE OK, LET’S PRAY ON IT!
We can only assume that Tebow doesn’t like the attention that’s being showered on Zippy as he’s leading the team in pitching despite being moved around from starter to closer to long reliever (a la the Tampa Bay Ray’s “opener” style). Statistically, Tebow is one of the players we’ve been around the longest, and yet they still can’t seem to work out their differences. As the difficulty level increases, Zippy is needing to count more and more on the fielders, with strikeouts becoming increasingly rare as time marches on. The dynamic difficulty is kind of odd too. There’s an accordion effect to the rise and fall of the slider: strike em out, give up a single…double play, give up a moonshot.
As it stands right now we’re teetering between “All-Star” and “Hall-of-Fame” difficulty, and Zippy is having to pitch smarter in order to win games. Things are progressing nicely and despite a certain messiah not showing up to his birthday party, Zippy is making actual friends for the first time in his life. Zippy loves being a long reliever, getting plenty of playtime while getting to bailout his new buddies to lock down the win. Everything is perfect, until the skipper calls him to the office for a meeting. Binghamton is dead to Zippy, and just as some Bob Dylan song probably says, the road to the Promised Land goes through Syracuse. Good luck, and God speed…..just don’t bring Tebow along for the ride.
Join us next time as Zippy DaChemlow looks to make new friends in AAA as that pesky dynamic difficulty starts to make things more challenging!
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