Does Sony San Diego hate pitchers? **Publishes article, leans back into chair, profits**
But no, really, what’s going on here? As I went through ranking all the cover athletes for the series since MLB 06: The Show, I was just about finished when I somehow realized SDS has never had a pitcher on the cover. Yes, we’ve had Ohtani who obviously does it all, and we’ve had Marcus Stroman on the Canadian cover — plus Wei-Yin Chen and Chan-Ho Park on international covers — but never a “traditional” pitcher on the cover of the most well known baseball video game of the last 15 years.
Why? We’ve never even had a split cover with one hitter and one pitcher on it. We’ve never even had a pitcher if we go back to the 989 Sports days and include MLB ’98 to MLB 2006.
And it’s just SDS. MVP Baseball had Randy Johnson on a cover with Miguel Tejada. High Heat Baseball had Curt Schilling on a cover. MLB 2K had Verlander, Halladay, Lincecum, and David Price among its cover athletes.
We can’t even say it’s because SDS was in direct competition with 2K Sports or some other baseball game because all the others mixed it up, so it wasn’t even like SDS was separating its brand by always having a hitter.
Maybe SDS knows about a general cover curse and because pitchers get hurt more often anyway they’re worried about the double jinx. So, in fact, SDS is being generous by not putting that evil on a pitcher.
Or is there something in the marketing that says a pitcher doesn’t make baseball video games sell? Does someone only playing every five days mean people won’t recognize him? And if that’s the case, we could never squeeze Eric Gagne, or Mo Rivera, or Trevor Hoffman on a cover? I suppose since SDS makes the last major console MLB game around, they can point to their cover choices as a reason why, but is it even intentional? Maybe instead it’s like Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania where they just sort of noticed it after a bunch of years and then made it a thing.
Either way, since baseball is steeped in the fear of jinxes, I can only assume we will never get a primary pitcher on the main cover of MLB The Show.