MLB 09 The Show – Road to the Show Training Modes

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MLB 09 The Show Screenshot 2/3

Hey everybody. My name is Eddy Cramm (Senior Designer), and it’s my turn to bring you MLB 09 The Show blog #3…or #4…maybe #5. Not really sure which one we are on. Bear with me, we are all working some long hours right now getting this game polished and out the door!

I am here to talk about the new features in Road to the Show. When all of this RTTS stuff started 3 years ago, the whole idea behind it was to give a unique career mode experience that focused exclusively on you. Initially that meant that we would fast-forward you to your events so that you only dealt with your fielding plays and your plate appearances, etc. Because lets be honest, who wants to sit out in RF during a career mode and watch three groundballs to the infield. It sucked in little league and it sucks in a career mode, too. But as RTTS progressed, our focus grew to be more than that. It became more about giving the user more control of his path to the majors.

Last year really took a huge step in the goals and points system. The guys on the front-end team like Aaron Luke, Kolbe Launchbaugh, and Jeff Ullman have built a pretty nifty system. That’s right…“nifty.” And from a gameplay standpoint, we have always wanted RTTS to feel like you are doing exactly what you would be doing, from going to Spring training, to working up through the minor leagues, etc. But success isn’t just about what you do in that game situation. Success comes from being prepared when that game moment arises. And contrary to what Allen Iverson thinks, that means practice. That thought process is what brought us to our main new feature this year. Training mode.

Training Mode
In RTTS this year, you will be given opportunities throughout the season to participate in training sessions as selected by your coach. There are two types of training sessions this year. Batting training and Base Stealing training. When we first started designing the batting portion of our training, we kept it a lot like the way the goals system worked. You would be asked to do a specific thing in training and you would be judged on your performance. So when a training session came up, you would be told, “Go practice bunting,” or “Work on your plate discipline.” That is all well and good, but it sucks if you have no interest in practicing your bunting, or could care less about laying off bad pitches. Maybe you just want to get in there and try to mash home runs.

It was one of our A.I. programmers, Brian Ma, that suggested a slight change of focus. He suggested that we just create one type of batting training and just judge it based on what the user does in there. To which I said, “Screw off Brian, I am the designer here! Get back in your office and write some code!!” Ok, maybe I didn’t say that. It was actually a really great idea and is basically the approach we ended up taking. It satisfied one major thing that I thought we were lacking with the original design. It gives the user control of the type of player he can create. So if you take your guy in there and you want to build up his bunting attributes, you can focus on that. If you want to work on your discipline, contact, power, vision, it is all based on what YOU decide to do and how well you do it in the 20 pitch training session.

MLB 09 The Show Screenshot 2/3

Base Stealing
Base Stealing training is something that I have wanted to do for the last couple of years now. This year we have done that. In this training, you will have full control of how far you take a lead and when you decide to take off. You have free reign to get a great jump or totally screw it up and get picked off. But that is only half of it. The pitcher should have something to say about how comfortable you are with your lead and your jump. We have introduced new A.I. and animations for the pitcher so that he will do his best to keep you off-balance, like mix up his pickoff moves to give you different looks or even slide-step to the plate to try to get an advantage.

But just like in real life, some guys have better moves than others, or MORE moves than others. So we have different here as well too. So if you are facing a guy like Pettitte, you will have to be a little more cautious. In this training mode, you will be judged on your aggressiveness, your reaction time and your success. The better you do, the more attributes you will gain in Base Running Ability, Base Running Aggressiveness, and Speed.

For realism purposes, we created a training facility where you will do your training when you are in the Majors. But also for realism, if you are in Spring Training, or in the Minors, you will do your training at your home field. During the season, your training sessions will be offered at the beginning of the homestand. Both the Batting and the Base Stealing training are also available in the Main Menu as practice options. These practice options are the same structure except you get to choose who you want to hit or run with, which pitcher you want to face, AND you can choose which pitches he will throw at you from his repertoire. So if you just want to face Santana’s slider, or Zito’s curve, or mix in a combo like Hoffman’s change/fastball, go for it. You can also choose any stadium in case you want to try to hit it over the Green Monster.

MLB 09 The Show baserunning training screenshot

I think that about covers it. I think that everyone will really like the new additions to RTTS and I look forward to the feedback. I will answer one question right now that I know will be asked. “Why is there no Pitching or Fielding training??” Valid question. I am glad you asked. Basically it comes down to a question of quality. We have designs for Pitching and for Fielding, but doing all 4 this year would mean that we would have had to do a little less with each mode just to get them all in. So we made the decision to focus on the two and make them as polished and fun as we could. And yes, plans are already underway to bring Pitching and Fielding training to 2010.

If you have made it all the way to the end of this blog, props to you. Hope you got some interesting info out of it and go out and pick up MLB 09 The Show. You are going to love it.

Comments are closed.


25 Author Replies

  • Have the Kauffman Stadium renovations been included in the game this year?

  • Love it!

    Also, I guess this can replace the HR Derby feature that we’ve all been crying about, at least to some degree.

  • Sony, pretty please release this game in Europe. i am a big MLB fan, but we get no love here in europe. maybe a 100k copies across EU?

    it is not all about cricket here ^.^

  • Hi Eddy
    can we see how many pitches pitchers throw in the game in the after-game box score??
    (How many strikes and balls as well.)
    I think this is a quite easy and useful feature in baseball games. However no baseball game had ever has this feature.
    So is this included in MLB THE SHOW 09?


    • There is a section in the post game menu called Pitcher Analysis. In here you have a breakdown of everything. What pitches were thrown, how many times, strike %, opp BA against that pitch.You can sort it all by the handedness of the batter, ahead in the count, behind, bases empty, on hits, on misses, etc…I don\’t think there is an option there that you can not pull data for. Its actually kinda ridiculous. (in a good way)

  • This game looks preety good. I Didn’t care for last year’s. Hopefully I’ll like this one.

  • Homerun derby for PS3 this year? I have two friends that say they will not buy it unless its there… I’m getting it either way.

  • I just don’t know if I want to buy this game.But it’s going to be hard to resist.

  • i said it last year and im gonna say it again, i learned my lesson with mlb 07 the show, never buy a game at gamestop, you guys should not pre-order anygame ever there!!! i live in the bronx ny, theres a few spots that ALWAYS recieve games 8 days before its realese date, its the reason why i was the first in my radar with mlb o8, while u guys are waiting on the 3rd of march, the 23-24 of feb is my date for purchase…..again, i advise all of you to stop preordering anything from that bullsh*** store, and by the way, this is gonna be the best game ever!!! its better than fuc**** a girl!!! shout outs to the whole mlb cast, your doing a great job

  • one more thing, i think i read something about post game highlights, is it true? if so, how does that work?, plz respond!!!is it like a mini espn type thing?

    • Different plays that happen throughout the game are rated by importance.. A HR is obviously high.. a K with the bases loaded to end the inning, a run scoring double, etc.. at the end, the game evaluates which plays were the biggest keys to the outcome of the game and plays them in a post-game highlight reel. Its like something you would see in a TV presentation to close out a broadcast. Not really a Sportscenter type thing because it doesnt have commentary over the highlights.

  • Looks great,definitely going to be picking this up.

  • haha just read your reply to comment 30. awesome!

  • i cant wait for this game. i already have it paid for in full. when that demo drops, im never leaving the house…….until i have to pick up my copy of the game. haha. then its back to the couch

  • Oops, I meant you have one year of warranty from the purchase date.

  • Hey everybody, greatest game ever, great improvements and you guys are a great dev team.
    i’m a little disapointed to see that you can’t put roster updates into an ongoing season, but that’s my only complaint… I was wondering if any of you guys could give me a demo date, or if not an exact date a timframe for when the demo will hit the PSN.
    Thanks guys, i can’t believe i’m more excited for this game than I am for Eminem’s new CD, and that’s saying a lot, as you can tell by my PSN ID

  • This game is so fantastic. I must have sunk 350 hours into it last year and I expect I’ll play it even more this year. The Show just gets so much about the sport “right”.

    This year looks to be even better. I was so excited looking at the new screenshots and video that I actually got “excited”, if you know what I mean. I got up from the computer and went and found my wife and pointed at it and said, “You see this!? Do you see this!? I told you I wasn’t the problem — YOU ARE!” (We’re having problems right now.)

  • Any chance there will be classic teams/stadiums in the next few years? I guess there could be some rights problems with that. Home Run derby?

    -this game looks awesome. GO BRAVES!!! wish Smoltz was still with us.

  • MLB The Show is the best baseball game I’ve played but one thing that bugs me is why doesn’t the catcher have any animation that has him taking his mask off on a pop up at the plate?

    This seems like a simple thing to add that will make the game so much more realistic.

    • Man.. this is one of my beefs too! It was on my short list this year but got cut. I swear I will get this done next year!

  • Kolby, to my defense Eddie spelled his name the way I wrote it :). Anyway, just wanted to thank you for your detailed answer. Finally somebody shows me love here :). I can wait another year for my request, at least you are aware of the issue. My problem with the CPU roster control is that you can’t just drop players. For example, during the summer Giambi and Abreu left the yankees via free agency and I couldn’t release the players. I was forced to pick some scrubs from the free agents lineup and trade them with the players I mentioned. Seems like a lot of work that can be avoided.

    I am a big fan of the franchise, keep up the great work. This has been the best baseball game since 3DO stopped making High Heat baseball.

    • You were right.. it IS Eddy. Colby is just being a punk. ;)

    • I\’m not sure if you\’re accidentally the funniest person ever or you did it on purpose! I was actually making fun of an internal email issue where Eddy (his real spelling) is always called and referred to as Eddie. You coming in and going with Kolby made it even funnier as the y at the end of my name drives me similarly insane :)

      I do understand your issue, and I do see the desire for it. We dont always see all the questions here so please even if we dont answer the first time, keep asking questions, always ask for features and always expect more. We love the feedback and are constantly striving to include anything we feel will add to the depth and replayability of The Show.

  • This is to eddy Cramm and anyone involved in deveoping the MLB series.

    How about creating a special online league where you can create a player and then take him online to play team or cub games.

    Basically you would choose a position and get a specific stat set to start off with based on the position you chose and the type of player style you chose (gritty, power hitter, etc etc)

    You then would take this player online and join other individual player to form team games. you could have up to 9 vs 9 games for example

    there would be a special SCEA baseball league where players can make thier own online baseball clubs and then recruit other players to compete vs other clubs in ranked games.

  • There would be a standing set based on divsions.

    For example if your the best team your ranked 1 in divison 1 and if your the worst team your ranked 100 in division 87 lets say… (100 teams per divison)

    You could play as 1 of 8 positon players or be a pitcher

    You would have a performance tracker and your own “player baseball card” detailing everything in your individual career.

    There would be 5 ranks to move up and recieve stat upgrades:

    Rookie, vet, allstar, hof, and legend.

    After say 20 games with a C grade you would get your rookie card… then after 90 games with a b- rating you would get your vet card..etc etc

    After each card you would get stats to upgrade your postion player and pitcher….

  • If anyone has played NHL 09 you know EXACTLY what I am talking about.

    Basically you can make your own club and invite other players to join your team. Once you get a decent amount of players on your team, you can then go to your clubs option in the online menu and go to the “dugout” to gather everyone to play a ranked club game. After everyone is ready (chat with headsets and have a chat type feature) the player on top would press x and then it would countdown from 5seconds to search for a ranked club game.

  • your would then go to a screen where everyone has to press x again to indicate they are ready. once they are ready the next screen would be your positon select screen and batting order and pitchers. The batting order would be selected by a club GM.

    After the game your player is graded in various categories. these stats are kept track of in your performance tracker section of your baseball card which you can view after the game…

    Back to club: Your club can play other clubs and move up the standings to try and be the number 1 club.

    OR you can just play ranked team games for fun in the online team play lobby where you can create game sessions

  • Basically over time you want to play well to unlock the 5 major player cards to unlcock all of the stat upgrades…

    Does anyone know what I am talking about.

    Has anyone played NHL 09?

    And what do you guys think


  • SWEET. >:|

  • LoL, Kolbe I misspelled your name on purpose to see if you noticed the error and answered my second quetion :D. Hey, it worked ;). Thanks!

  • I have a question.

    Why isnt there a home run derby. I am a teenager and all teens need to know WHY.


  • “Can anyone who is a The Show player explain why people say this is the best baseball game?”

    I think it’s the little things. The beach balls that come on the field,the pause for streakers,can hear the fan chatter,the vendors offering peanuts and it’s not just presentation wise either,all the detailed animations during gameplay from batting stances to the behind the back flips to 2nd to start a double play.

    It’s very immersive and makes you feel like you’re actually there.

  • This is gonna be battling Killzone 2 for my time. But this will win more time seeing I played 2.5 seasons in the last game. that a lot of time played. And seeing that you guys have added so much I might spend more time on it. Damn thanks for making stay in my house this Spring.

    Love the game best game out there.

  • are the remaining free agents will be created players, or they will just have “free agent” labeled?

    • First off, I think you are asking if the real life guys who are still free agents (Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Ben Sheets, etc) are represented in the game in the Free Agency pool. The answer is yes. All of the players that we have approved through the players association are in the free agent pool and when they do sign they will be added to their new teams via a roster update. The remaining players in the FA pool are indeed created.

      Secondly.. I forgive you for murdering the English language.





  • Hey Eddy. I actually mudered the English Language. As you can see I am up and i typed really fast because I am busy doin my homeowrk at 2 A.M in Chicago here.

    Oh and I do have that liscense to kill. So murdering the english language is ok

  • Oh and in your last reply you had a run on sentence. Fix that lol

  • Will the demo be out by 6 a.m central time?

    I leave for school around that time so I want to download the NHL game and the MLB 09 demo while im at school.

    Then I get home at 3 pm, play until 12 a.m and do my homework until 5 a.m then i wake up at 6 a.m.

  • so, let me get this straight. the rosters will have to be updated manually? (trades, releases, f-a signings) if so, how updated are the rosters going to be? what i mean to say is, as of which date will they be accurate? just want to say that i am so psyched about this game!!!! GO CUBS GOO, GO CUBS GOOO, HEY CHICAGO WHADYA’ SAY THE CUBS ARE GONNA WIN TODAY…” 8 DAYS 9 HOURS 23 MINUTES TIL P & C’S REPORT

  • Hey,
    i just have three quick Questions.

    1. Any changes when you cancel an onlinegame?
    I’m from Germany, so obv. i play against americans most of the time and sometimes its lagging really hard and I have to cancel the game.

    2. Any more flexibility in using your training points? I always felt that e.g. Fielding isnt that important for an AA- SP, but you’re risking ur Starter Role.

    3. Are u going to distribute the game in the UK?
    Thanks, cant wait for the demo :)

  • Just want to say that MLB 08 got me back into baseball videogaming, and after seeing the multiple updates, I’m really psyched for MLB 09. But what I am curious to know is if the collision detection issues from last year have been resolved? I also have to acknowledge some of the hilarious comments in this blog (post #’s 58 and 65 are classic).

  • Today is going to be an awesome day. While my MLB 09 demis downloading, my NHL 3 on 3 is downloading and the killzone demo, I will be doing my homework. Then at around midnight I will begin to play videogames until I ahve to wake up for school. NO SLEEP FOR ME.


  • Guh I can’t wait for this friggin game! The amount of time I spent on MLB 08 would I imagine put most people to shame. For the last several years, I was a massive Counter-Strike addict. Talking playing 3-4 hours every day. For the first time since I got into CS, MLB 08 pulled me away for several weeks.

    I’ve run through half a dozen RTTS (including a pitcher that can only be compared to Pedro Martinez… ON SPEED), a closer, a couple of infielders, etc. Add to that the fact that for pretty much the last 6 months I’ve played at least one game online with a friend per day, and that’s a few hundred… thousand hours.

    I imagine I’ll be playing the demo constantly just to stop from tearing the hair out of my head awaiting for 11:01 PM when I get to the store to pick up my copy on the 3rd.

    Can’t wait, guys. Keep it up!

  • As for “murdering” the english language, I did typed that 4 in the morning eastern. I probably had my eyes closed while typing that. haha.

  • Yo is the demo going to be out at 3 pm Pacific time??

    Im constantly checking for the PS store to update

  • It probably sounds like a silly idea, but for next year’s game do you think it’s possible to add a anti-“tv lag” configuration in the options menu, like music games have? All/most HDTV’s have a “game mode” option that takes care of the issue, but on some tv’s (like mine!) this mode doesn’t look so hot…and I’d love to play this game with all my tv’s bells and whistles while being able to hit and throw perfectly timed pitches.

    Just a thought!

  • I am curious if when we create our player will we already have some attributes points spent like in ’08 or will we be able to start at zero and spend the allotted points as we please? And will there be a cap again on the attributes points that we assign in the beginning?

  • This is phenomenal!! Training Mode…finally!!

    Thanks so much for making this far and away the best baseball sim out there.

    One question: did all of you devs put yourselves in the game? If so, can we edit you this time around? I’m going to do minor league rosters, and it’s going to be difficult to be 100% accurate with too many uneditable players…what’s the verdict?? (BTW…if I were you, I’d be in the game, no question!)

  • Please tell me that you guys added HR Derby and old-time stadiums to the PS3 version. It makes me sad that each year I think okay this will be the year, but no…why? Why can you guys make it for ps2 but not the ps3. Please don’t break my heart again, this is my all-time favorite game to play and the only reason I got a ps3, but all my friends, my wife, all of us are dying without our HR Derby….must…hold…on…….dying…Please just let me know, and if its not will it be available as downloadable content?
    Keep on kicking a$$. I’m out.

  • Hr Derby?

  • Hi guys,
    I live in Manchester,England,and based on a import review in OPSM I ebayed MLB 08 and got my hands on a copy (god bless region free gaming). I was blown away by the quality of the game,just quite simply the best looking sports game I have seen. This is from a guy who actually doesnt follow baseball btw,but sports gaming is sports gaming & boy is this sports gaming @ its best. I then recommended it to my friend who online games with me, who duly went out and purchased too. My question is, as a few others have also asked, why does this game not get a release in Europe? I understand you may not think Europe is a massive target audience, but this game is a PS3 SYSTEM SELLER (you can put that on the box lol) & imagine the sales figures if this game appeared in europes shops? There really isn’t anything that comes remotely close to the look and feel of “The show”. I just cant help feel your missing a trick not releasing to Europe. Of course,i’ll still be going out getting a copy on import but I wonder how many other people will go to this trouble (probably a hell of a lot).
    So,sorry for ranting on, i’ll end with one last thing…
    “Eddy! What Have You Done For Me Lately!?”

  • hello folks…I just downloaded the demo it looks great but i do see a few things worth talking about.

    when a ball is hit up the middle all the way to the wall the man covering second base should never be the first baseman yet you have programmed this for years…any chance of fixing that or any particular reason for allowing that?

  • does the pichters have to practice too

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