Born without the ability to throw a fastball, adrift at sea aboard the USS Jimmy Carter, a 6’10” 180 lb reluctant, shy hero-to-be was compelled by his government to take over the professional baseball world with no previous knowledge of America’s pastime. Playing the Road to the Show in MLB The Show for the PS4 we share in his unique adventure. This is Zippy DaChemlow, and This is Life Without a Fastball.
Last time on Life Without a Fastball, Zippy DaChemlow received some unexpected and wholly unwelcome news. His time with the Mets had run its course, and Zippy had been traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim organization. Losing his turns at bat in a DH AAA league took a toll on our thin hero, and his chemistry with a new team was going to be severely lacking. Zippy had never heard of the Pacific Coast League, and flying into Salt Lake City to join the Bees was a culture shock to say the least. For one thing, all the teams in his new division sound like made up create-a-teams from an online game.
Still, Zippy felt it proper to give the new frontier a fair shake, but it’s hard not to feel how miserable he was. Even as the game player, I could physically feel Zippy’s tension through the PS4. We’re still dealing with a high difficultly level in the RTTS mode, and it seems like transitioning to the Pacific Coast League came with a whole new set of unplanned challenges. In the case of the Bees, well the team defense doesn’t just suck…it’s simply horrible. It’s not hard to imagine why the Angels kept people like Kole Calhoun in the lineup for as long as they did if this is the AAA talent available (no disrespect Angel fans, I’m an Orioles guy so be sure to let me have it in the comments). Singles turned to doubles and doubles turned to triples or even round trippers as fielders would miss grounders and throw wildly on the same plays. Maybe the dynamic difficulty of The Show is making everyone goofy, but Zippy has had enough of it.
As the problems continued, I genuinely began to fear for Zippy’s sanity. While not a tremendous fielder, the long wingspan meant plenty of ground ball fielding attempts. But as Zippy’s frustrations carried on, I couldn’t get him to focus. His WHIP and ERA was climbing, and the win-loss record was starting to suffer….along with his fielding.
These were the problems of new prospect Zippy, not the honed and refined player of 2021. Zippy began to settle down as his relationship with the infielders grew, just as it had during his time with the Mets (Tim Tebow notwithstanding). After his teammates took him out on the town and showed him the best hangouts in Temple Square, Liberty Square and Washington Square, Zippy could imagine a life in the city he’s become to know as “Squaresville.” Despite a 6-8 record the ERA was finally dipping back under the 4.00 mark, and by July Zippy was looking to turn things around in the SLC. Much to everyone’s surprise, Zippy even played in the AAA futures game during all-star week, dropping still more jaws on the national stage. However just as we’ve seen twice already, as soon as both player and character get settled, the manager calls us in for a meeting.
If the last season and a half have been any indication, there’s no adversity that Zippy DaChemlow can’t handle. Heading to the big time (and the Los Angeles area to boot), our lanky lad hero might just make it in this crazy town…or maybe he’ll never be heard from again. On his way out the door, he gave his new-old Utah friends a sweet parting gift, with one hell of a backwards K.
Zippy’s finally made it to The Show, but can he help the newly reformatted Angels? Will Zippy be disgraced back to the minors and/or shipped straight back out to sea?
Find out next time on Life Without a Fastball!
Follow Matt on Twitter, he likes baseball.