Fernando Tatis Jr. is the human equivalent of a baseball with the cover ripped off. Whether driven out to the warning track or the shards of a once meticulously crafted baseball are dribbled out to the mound, you want to see that again.
Everything the 22-year-old does is captivating. And it’s his talent and enthralling antics that have landed him squarely at the epicenter of our annual joy.
The dude is now the cover of MLB The Show.
Just two years after making it to the actual Show, Tatis is proving that the game is changing and he is a crucial part of what the sport will look like.
“Pardon the interruption to your scheduled content,” the 2020 Silver Slugger award winner begins in a video posted on Monday. “I’ve been asked to apologize for changing the game. Apparently, I’ve been breaking the unwritten rules of baseball. I’m sorry if things got too exciting and this isn’t the game that you remember.”
Spoken with the sincerity of someone who just stole your lollipop and is now describing the nuances of every lick, “Here’s the thing, we’re never going back.”
Apropos of the ’21 edition, MLB the Show is also changing the game. This is the first time that the series will stretch its cleats and find its way onto consoles other than PlayStation.
For the first time ever, you will now be able to play one of the best MLB simulation games on Microsoft platforms—Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
Tatis plays with an undeniable passion that is often absent from other athletes worried about shoehorning decades of unwritten rules into any amount of success they might have in this game.
His antics are hilarious and have you fumbling for the remote control so you can rewind. His most famous and polarizing moment came last season.
With cardboard fans in the stands, Tatis Jr. managed to rile a sizable sum of the sports-loving community when he dared swing on a 3-0 pitch from the Texas Rangers' Juan Nicasio.
It would clear the fence for a grand slam.
Tatis Jr. followed the script back in August when he spoke about the home run, explaining that he understood those unwritten but often spoken of rules.
"I've been in this game since I was a kid, and I know a lot of unwritten rules," Tatis said, via CBS Sports. "And this time, I was kind of lost on this one. From those experiences, you have to learn. Probably next time, I'll take a pitch. I love this game and I respect this game a lot. Every time I go out there, I just want to feel respect for everybody else. This game is hard for everyone, so why not just celebrate and have fun the way you wanna have fun?"
Well, I’d like to quote another baseball ne’er-do-well, “Mr. Baseball’s” Jack Elliott who opined, “Baseball is a game, and games are supposed to be fun.”
Tatis is now plastered all over the front of one of the best games around. One that promises another year of innovation.
MLB The Show 21 drop on April 20, 2021.