One thing I’ve neglected to mention so far this year is which video baseball game I decided to go with for my PC. In case you’re new to the blog, each season I buy a baseball game and play out a season. A whole season. A couple of seasons ago, I went ballistic and played out two whole seasons.

Anyway, I pick a team, I set up the rosters to mirror exactly what the real MLB rosters look like (which takes longer than one thinks to set up) and then I play out an entire 162 game season. Generally, to play an entire season takes a couple of months and rosters get updated based on real MLB transactions. Obsessive? Yep. But cool as shit.

The game I chose, essentially due to lack of any other option, was EA Sports MVP Baseball 2004. Normally, EA’s baseball game has been an insult to anyone who wants a true representation of baseball. This season, though, they’ve made huge, huge strides. While it still doesn’t hold a candle to the realism of the now defunct 3DO’s High Heat series (what’s that? Do I hear TAPS playing in the background?), they’re getting pretty damn close. Graphically, it’s probably the best baseball game I’ve ever seen. There’s some small kinks to work out regarding true realism, but EA has really come a long way and this game is very fun to play.

This year I chose the San Diego Padres, a team with solid hitting but questionable pitching, playing in a brand new ballpark. So far I’m 50-37 and in first place in the relatively weak NL West at the All-Star Break, but the San Francisco Giants are nipping at my heels. Jay Payton has been an absolute monster for me, hitting 31 home runs.

So while this game doesn’t have the jaw dropping realism that caused me countless numbers of “wow” moments with 3DO’s product (TAPS again), my assumption is that next year EA Sports just might match it. Here’s a screenshot of Jay Payton breaking his bat on a pitch from Jason Jennings of Colorado. Click on the picture for a bigger version.