Two Zachs joined Alex in studio as they talked about the NFL Combine, MLB spring training, and NCAC basketball. The show started late and ended even later! Subscribe to full show podcasts on iTunes and Stitcher!
Last night’s show was headlined by an interview with former Cleveland Browns nose tackle Ishmaa’ily Kitchen. During the interview, Kitchen talked about his playing career and his appearance in Key & Peele’s East/West Bowl 3 sketch. Zach was out last night, so Cole Freshkorn, as well as another Zach, Zach Dobbins, joined me in studio. Listen to last night’s show below and subscribe to Big Red Sports Talk podcasts on iTunes and Stitcher.
Also, on a related note, I wrote something last week! I got up early to review ESPN’s new SportsCenter: AM for Awful Announcing. Here’s a direct link to my review.
Pitchers and catchers reported this week, so news about Out of the Park 17 was not far behind! Last year, OOTP 16 added MLB and MLB.com licenses, while this year’s iteration doubles down on that with an MLB Players’ Association license, as well. When the game ships on March 22, 2016, it will include the new license, improved 3D, a redesigned interface, and 2016 Opening Day rosters. You can pre-order the game now and get $5 off and early access to the game four days before it ships. Screenshots and details are below.
Out of the Park Developments, an official licensee of MLB.com and MiLB.com, today announced that Out of the Park Baseball 17 will be officially licensed by the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and released on March 22, 2016. The MLBPA license allows OOTP 17 to introduce realistic FaceGen images of all active MLB players, adding another layer of immersion on top of the game’s official MLB and MiLB league and team logos.
Through March 1, customers may pre-order OOTP 17 for $34.99, a savings of $5.00, and get access to the Gold Master beta version on March 18, four days ahead of the official launch on March 22. Each pre-order customer will also receive a free OOTP 17 Steam key after official release, on top of the pre-ordered eSellerate license.
After the pre-order savings expires on March 2, customers may still pre-order OOTP 17 at the regular price of $39.99 and receive access to the beta on March 18, along with a free OOTP 17 Steam key after official release.
OOTP 17 can be pre-ordered through this link:
OOTP 17 runs on PC/Mac/Linux and, like last year, it features the American League and National League logos, the World Series trophy, official logos and jerseys for all 30 MLB teams, over 150 Minor League Baseball league and team logos, and historical MLB logos.
“The MLBPA license provides an extra dollop of frosting on top of what was already a spectacular cake,” said lead developer and lifelong baseball fan Markus Heinsohn. “We’re thrilled to be working with MLB.com and the MLB Players Association as we deliver the most exciting version of OOTP we’ve ever created.”
In addition to the MLBPA license allowing the use of realistic FaceGen images of all MLB players, OOTP 17’s new and improved features include:
2016 Opening Day Rosters
The brand new 2016 roster sets will include all Opening Day MLB rosters, via a free update to be released shortly after Opening Day, as well as the complete minor league system down to the rookie leagues. Can Jake Arrieta, David Price, and Johnny Cueto give their teams the pitching boosts they need? Will Albert Pujols, Chris Davis, and Josh Donaldson once again help power their clubs to victory?
All MLB (and more than 2,000 MiLB) player ratings are based on ZiPS, the projection system created by well-known baseball writer and SABR member Dan Szymborski. The remaining minor league players are rated manually by OOTP’s established research team.
OOTP 17 also features several US independent minor leagues and eight international leagues in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Cuba, Italy, Australia, and The Netherlands. All of those leagues feature real rosters, with countless hours of work invested in researching realistic player biographical information, statistics, and ratings.
Historical minor leagues
OOTP has always featured the most comprehensive historical play available in a baseball management game, and OOTP 17 makes a huge leap forward in that area with accurate historical minor leagues from 1919 through 2015. Now when a player starts a league in the past, his team will have the accurate minor league affiliates, including rosters full of real players, thanks to a new database containing over 100,000 MiLB players.
As the historical seasons pass by, the minor leagues evolve as they did in real life, with teams moving cities, changing their names, and switching MLB affiliations. For example, the Sacramento River Cats began in 1978 as the Oakland A’s Triple-A affiliate, switched to several other teams (including a second stint with Oakland) between 1979 and 2014, and became the San Francisco Giants Triple-A affiliate in 2015. Those changes will now be accurately represented in OOTP.
Beautiful redesigned game interface
OOTP 17 features a redesigned user interface that makes it easier than ever for armchair GMs and managers to get the information they need and access important game functions.
Improved 3D engine with moving player symbols
OOTP’s 3D in-game view has steadily improved since it was introduced in v15, and this year it’s better than ever, with improved MLB ballpark models and player symbols that move around the field as the action happens. This is the next step toward showing 3D players on the field.
Automatically generated game headlines and recaps
OOTP has always featured a robust news system that reports on exciting events from around the league, and now it also offers an automatically generated headline and recap after each game, just like a real world news article.
Historical exhibition mode
Ever wonder how great teams of the past might fare against the modern era’s best clubs? That has always been possible in OOTP by creating a custom league, but now such “What if?” scenarios can also play out in a new mode that’s as simple as choosing any two historical teams and playing a single game or a series.
New GM and manager preferences
AI-controlled GMs and managers are even smarter in OOTP 17: They now evaluate players in unique ways, and GMs now have individual trading tendencies, so some wheel and deal on a regular basis, some prefer to stand pat, and others exhibit a mix of behaviors. In addition, GMs now have unique preferences for drafting, scouting, and development, so they’ll apply that personal style to their teams when setting budgets.
Recoded scouting algorithms
Scouts have always added realism to OOTP by introducing some “fog of war”: As in real life, they might be spot-on in a player evaluation, or they could be very wrong, and often they’re somewhere in between. That part of the game has been improved so it’s more realistic, offering an even greater challenge than before.
More realistic player career curves
OOTP 17 features even better player development algorithms, so their career arcs will feel more realistic than ever.
Better trading with defined team needs
Need to bolster the bullpen and bring in someone to create a platoon at third base? Players facing such situations can now define their team needs and expect other GMs to make trade offers accordingly.
AI improvements in trading, roster management, and dugout decisions
Opposing GMs and managers are now even better at trading, handling their rosters, and calling shots from the dugout during games. In addition, the game simulation engine has been improved for even more realistic results.
Redesigned in-game defensive engine
OOTP 17 features even more defensive shift options for human managers to choose from, allowing the AI to also better mimic many real world managers’ tendencies.
Multi-core processor support for fast sim speed
OOTP’s simulation engine, which was already the quickest in the sports text sim world, is now up to 40% faster than before, thanks to support for multi-core processors.
Steam Workshop support
Valve’s Steam Workshop enables gamers to find the best user-created content for their favorite titles, and now OOTP players can do the same. OOTP’s large user community has long been a source of unique and interesting logo packs, Quick Starts, and other add-ons, and now they’ll be able to easily share them with the world through Steam Workshop.
As in past versions, OOTP 17 features a variety of other small improvements and new features throughout the game.
Ahead of senior day, Zach and I talked with Denison men’s basketball players John Cheng and Patrick Keller about their season and careers. We also discussed whether or not clutch exists and NBA All-Star Weekend. Listen below and subscribe to Big Red Sports Talk podcasts on iTunes and Stitcher!
I talked with Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver about the NBA, Zach and I talked about the Super Bowl’s numerous prop bets, and the Bottom 9 returned with a focus on Johnny Manziel. Oh yeah, and I was dared into singing Katy Perry live on air. Listen below and subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher.