Some People Are Really Not Happy With The Topps/MLB Deal

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superaids.jpg I was going to write a serious post about what Topps' exclusive deal with major league baseball means for the baseball card industry, but then I came across this reaction from a blog of the Riverfront Times, St. Louis' alt-weekly:

File under ridiculous douchebag bull----: Major League Baseball and Topps have reached an agreement to make Topps the only licensed maker of baseball cards.

I'm not going to try and be balanced or fair about this. This is f---ing bullshit. Of all the shitty things MLB has done over the years - and they are legion - this one just may take the cake. Licensing only one company to make baseball cards? Really? In what alternate universe is this a good idea? [...]

And [Topps CEO Michael] Eisner, my mother always taught me it's wrong to wish ill on another human being. Thus, I shall refrain from saying I would pay good money to see you fall into a giant vat of government-created SuperAIDS.

Yes! Government-created SuperAIDS! That's totally what the head of a corporation attempting to make a profit deserves for cutting a deal with major league baseball.

My buddy RJ noted this line of his blog entry: "Baseball card collecting is one of the few somewhat pure pursuits left; it may not be the Norman Rockwell-esque endeavor the 1950s would have us believe, but it's close." It is most certainly not, even before MLB's deal with Topps. I mean, c'mon, baseball card collecting is one of those well-marketed pursuits that is clearly attempting to pretend to be pure; I thought even the people who bought into it knew this, deep down.

But, then again, at least this guy isn't falling for Eisner's BS. Every other paper just let him give his quote about how this business decision is just really "for the children" and about redirecting the market toward kids. Um, maybe, but I think what Topps is really interested in is making money, hence the exclusive deal attempting to force its competitors out of the market.

An NBC New York writer has an okay take on the situation, but for the best take on the whole deal, check out njpanick's comment from yesterday. Who knew exclusive deals cost more than nonexclusive ones?

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Oh, Bud Selig is making fantastically shitty exclusivity deals? I'm utterly shocked.

/pops in copy of MVP Baseball 2005
/tapes picture of Selig's face to hobo
/beats hobo to death

Up until pretty recently I still played MVP '06 (with college teams) for my Xbox. Somebody originally messed up and confused Penn and Penn State ("Penn State Quakers" was in the press materials); it got fixed but the alternate catcher's mask for PSU has the Penn logo on it.

This has been your useless knowledge about video games fact of the day.


MVP 05 - never to be exceeded.

Um, I don't want that stick of bubble gum.

Rule number one: don't fuck over your customers who want to actually PAY to help promote your fucking sport. Open up baseball card licensing and let us embed your dumb MLB videos on our dumb blogs.

Does MVP 05 let you swing with the analog stick? If it does, I'm going to have to find a copy.

I just wrote a 9-paragraph comment and deleted the whole thing. Long story short: this sucks. I don't understand how this doesn't come under even the loosest definition of Anti-trust.

How will this affect hobby shops that specialize in cards? Not well, I assume.

Shockingly, Michael Eisner remains a complete and total dickweed. Remember when he would host those Disney movies on ABC with some sap dressed up in a Mickey Mouse outfit? I also remember him vaguely hitting on Minny Mouse. Was that creepy or what?

Dmac: no. But it's still the best modern baseball game ever released. Sadly it's also one of the few games that doesn't run well on 360 emulation, so get it for your Xbox if you can.

If you played NCAA Baseball '06: the MVP '05 team moved on to that game, so you understand what you're getting.

I have yet to play a game that's implemented analog stick swinging well, either. (Looking at you, 2K baseball, you abortion you.)

Is 2005 the Pujols or Manny cover? Both were quite good games and I think I still have them.

I finally broke down and bought The Show 09 for my ps2 when I saw a used copy at Gamestop for like 20 bucks. It's nice, but way too fucking hard for my tastes.

I highly recommend MVP '06 for Xbox. The analog stick swinging is, I think, really well done in that one. Plus it's kinda fun to play as colleges, even if they don't have every Division I team. (The Patriot League is in there, somehow, but only has like 5 or 6 teams.)

I only have a Wii of the seventh-generation consoles, so I will just put '05 on my Xbox 1 and give it a whirl.

'05 is Manny.

I never played NCAA '06 despite the strong pedigree, but I've heard nothing but good things.

That said I've always found analog swinging a bit gimmicky. Sure, the hitter's thinking about body mechanics when they're swinging, but at the end of the day, I feel there are two things you should worry about: aim, and swing, so I don't know why they need to gimmick the swing by making it a forward-back stick instead of a button.

A runner doesn't think "left-foot-right-foot-left-foot", after all. (Well: Manny might). You just move a stick and the guy runs.

But yeah, as opposed to something like hockey where analog stick control is just huge because of the massive amount of ways you can deke (or in soccer where you're trying to simulate different types of dribble control and juggles) analog control in baseball games always seemed overwrought for me.


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