A slimmed-down CC Sabathia had trouble putting the controller down.
For Adrian Gonzalez, thoughts that the infamous "Madden Curse*" could make the transition to MLB 12: The Show never entered his mind.
"It's an honor to be on the cover, to be the face of the game this year," said Gonzalez. "Our agents (his own and CC Sabathia's) put this deal together with Sony and I didn't hesitate."
Admittedly not a "hard-core" gamer like Sabathia, Boston's All-Star 1B only began to get into the game last year. "The one with Joe Mauer on the cover, 2011, that's the one I started to play. But I usually only play with my family. I'm not a hard-nose gamer but I definitely know how to play and I enjoy it."
At the other end of the spectrum lies CC Sabathia, an avid gamer since he was young. "I've been playing video games for a long time" said Sabathia. "I had a PlayStation in the house until we had a kid and my wife threw it out. But he's eight now so he and I can play together and enjoy it—this, Madden, whatever—we just enjoy it and have fun."
On top of that, CC has a carrying case that he brings with him on road trips during the season that contains a TV on one side and a PlayStation 3 on the other. He mentioned Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner and Chris Dickerson as the three teammates that present the biggest challenge, though I got the feeling that he doesn't really consider them to be much of a challenge at all.
While CC plays for the love of the game, Adrian has started to play the game from another angle, one that was originally suggested to him by the game's developers. "Sometimes I play as the pitcher and pitch to myself. It shows you the hot and cold zones and recommends a pitch to throw. It's a different way to look at yourself as a player" he remarked.
The game itself is quite impressive. As I walked around the event checking the game out on multiple televisions, it struck me—something that both Sabathia and Gonzalez agreed with—that if you were unaware that a video game was on and you walked into the room, at first glance you could easily mistake the game for an actual game being broadcast on TV. "They captured all the little details, down to guys' tattoos," said CC.
*The "Madden Curse", for those who do not know, is the theory that whichever NFL superstar appears on the cover of the game suffers through an arduous season the same year, whether it be due to injury, poor performance or a combination of the two.