MLB The Show Players League, a live-streamed video game tournament featuring player representatives from all 30 teams, is as close as baseball fans will get to seeing competition for the time being. But while the MLB awaits a return to the field following the COVID-19 pandemic, its players are honing their trash-talking techniques virtually. That didn't work out so well though for Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Cole Tucker in his matchup against Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Rhys Hoskins.
"If you hit a homer, I will name my first-born child…never mind," Tucker said on the stream, right as Hoskins smacked a home run to the left field and rose out of his chair in excitement. "Never mind."
Tucker lost 2-0 to Hoskins, continuing what's been a rough stretch for him on the sticks. At 2-10 he owns the worst record among NL Central representatives, a group comprised of Tucker, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Amir Garrett, Milwaukee Brewers reliever Josh Hader and St. Louis Cardinals infielder Matt Carpenter.
Hoskins, on the other, hand sits in second place among NL East representatives at an impressive 8-4, only one loss behind the New York Mets' Jeff McNeil. And while it won't count in the standings, he earned another win for his epic name suggestion for Tucker's child.
"'Rhys Tucker' has got a nice ring to it," Hoskins said.
The MLB continues to search for a safe way to start its season, entertaining ideas such as thein which all 30 teams gather to play in Phoenix-area isolated settings. Such a return, though, is still distant, so in the meantime, video games must suffice.