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With most sporting activities suspended for the near future, sports fans across the globe are looking for their temporary fixes for the lack of action. With all American sports leagues falling victim to the effects of COVID-19, the NBA and NFL collaborated with their corresponding high-traffic video games to host players tournaments. This week, Major League Baseball follow suit with a league-wide MLB The Show 20 players tournament, consisting of one big league player from each of the 30 teams manning the controllers in a round-robin baseball season of their own. MLB, the Players Association and Sony Interactive Entertainment are donating $5,000 on behalf of each player’s local Boys and Girls Club. The championship-winning player will earn an extra $25,000 for the local Boys and Girls Club in his team’s community.


The player representatives come from a variety of different backgrounds and familiarities with video games and The Show and includes players who regularly play the game competitively and stream on Twitch. The tournament opened on Friday night with matchups between Lance McCullers (Houston Astros), Blake Snell (Tampa Bay Rays), Trevor May (Minnesota Twins), Amir Garrett (Cincinnati Reds), and Boston’s very own representative Eduardo Rodriguez.

While the tournament has been taking over baseball social media and has provided a bare-minimum touch of baseball in an otherwise drab sports world, the Red Sox didn’t hype up their southpaw’s appearance in the tournament — and for good reason. I’ll say it: Eddie sucks at this game and didn’t care about it enough to hone his skills before competing. With each player competing as the team they play for in 3-inning games, Rodriguez got the benefit of a still excellent Red Sox offense and a rotation that consists of a game-healthy Chris Sale, yet he looked like he was playing blindfolded as a little league team that doesn’t expect to win games.


The night was over for Rodriguez as soon as he was setting up to play his first game of the night against Snell, where he didn’t even know how to send an online invite in the game. Rodriguez, who recently started streaming on Twitch with his BFF Xander Bogaerts, has long been reputed as an avid and competitive Fortnite player, so if you’re tuning into Eddie’s stream, just hope you don’t run into him playing a game other than Fortnite.

It was clear all night that Rodriguez was not taking the tournament seriously as he fell to McCullers, Snell, Garrett, and May by 7-0, 6-0, 1-0, and 3-0 margins, respectively. In fact, his first hit of the night offensively came against McCullers when he roped a double down the left-field line with Rafael Devers, only to get back-picked rounding second base, nullifying the extra-base hit. On the mound, Rodriguez was nothing like his 2019 breakout real-life self, falling behind in counts and promptly hanging meatballs and yakkers right down the middle of the zone and watching them leave the yard. Rodriguez ended the night starting the season a brutal 0-4 while Joey Gallo stole the show going 4-0 on the night and outscoring his opponents 30-6. To put it mildly, let’s just say it’s good Eddie’s real-life skills at baseball aren’t anything like his virtual self.

Don’t expect good gameplay from Rodriguez in the tournament any time soon — let’s just pray to the gods he finds a way to not go 0-29 on the season representing the Sox. With a tournament stacked with several capable The Show players, many of whom spend several hours a day streaming (like May and Snell who Eddie had to face tonight), the competition is deep, but Rodriguez isn’t really a part of it.

A season schedule for the tournament will be updated weekly on the players league website. Games will continue to be streamed on Twitch as they occur and the standings will be updated accordingly on the website as well. As you continue to cheer E-Rod during the season in hopes that he manages to somehow win a game, send some love and encouragement his way in the stream chat and give him a follow on his Twitch (Thegualo) — he needs all the positivity he can get right now, as we all do.

Follow the author at @AhaanRungta and read more here.

Ahaan Rungta 4/11/2020 10:01:00 AM Edit
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