Part of me feels like I should write about the just-concluded Jays and Orioles spring training snoozefest (a 6-6 tie that ended whatever slim chance Wade LeBlanc had of making the Jays as a bullpen lefty), but another, bigger part of me thinks there are more pressing matters to be discussed here. Like video game covers!
Marcus Stroman tweeted earlier today that he’s been selected to be on the cover of the 2016 edition of RBI Baseball — the 80s NES classic that was revamped and reintroduced (read: MLB bought the brand name and slapped it on a new game) in 2014.
The Red Sox’ Mookie Betts was announced as the American cover boy back in January
Putting two of the most dynamic young players in the sport on the box art is a smart move by MLB that should only help draw more young eyes to their product (in however much a cover even can draw in gamers). Stroman, in particular, with his arcade-style arsenal of pitches is a great fit for the Canadian version of the game — one that tends not to focus as much on painstakingly detailed simulation of the game (like the MLB: The Show franchise), as it is a lighter, fun (and not-so-well-reviewed) affair.
I don’t want to put too much into that kind of stuff, but it’s nice to see MLB is aware of it. A better test will be to see how much promotion is given to the ESPN broadcast of the 4 PM Opening Day tilt between the Rays and Blue Jays — featuring Stroman facing off with Chris Archer. Because that’s going to be so nails!