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Blue Jays’ Russell Martin on being the face of ‘MLB 15: The Show’


Mark Daniell, Postmedia Network

, Last Updated: 4:00 PM ET

Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin says MLB 15: The Show is just about the most authentic experience baseball fans can get to the real thing. There’s just one tiny improvement developers can look at making next year.

Add in some hecklers.

“I think a little bit of heckling might make it more interesting,” No. 55 says with a laugh. “It would put some pressure on players. That’s actually probably the one thing that could be adjusted. The video game could just start chirping at you. But then you’d probably get pissed off and throw the controller and then you’d have to go get another controller.”


Images from ‘MLB 15: The Show’

MLB 15: The Show is now in its 10th edition. New features to the game — which is available exclusively on PS4, PS3 and PS Vita — include 30 iconic MLB alumni, licensed equipment and a major graphic upgrade.

L.A. Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is the cover player for the U.S. version of the game.

“I think the coolest thing about the video game is how realistic everything is with the sun and the shadows and some of the mannerisms,” Martin says seated in the PlayStation lounge in a Toronto video game store.

Mobile users watch MLB: The Show: The Road with Russell Martin trailer here.

“The first time I played it, I was really analyzing the facial features, the body and the stance. It kind of resembles my two-strike swing approach, but it’s really good.”

Of course, the first thing he did when he got his copy was play as himself, but he admits that the most exciting player to try out in the game is not him.

“There are other guys that have more power and those guys are fun to play with. They hit the ball further,” he says. “Seeing how far (Giancarlo) Stanton can hit a ball in the game is pretty fun. Puig is great. He’s fast and he’s got a cannon.”

Martin — who has previously played with the Dodgers, New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates — is the third Blue Jay player to grace the cover of MLB: The Show.

The previous cover athletes include former third baseman Brett Lawrie and right fielder Jose Bautista.

So the question becomes — how does he beat Bautista?

“Jose’s very aggressive so I know he’s probably going to be looking for early contact, and he definitely wants to swing the bat,” Martin says. “Even though he gets a lot of walks when he plays, he’s a very aggressive player. So I would just throw a lot of pitches outside the strike zone; try to get him to chase and I think he’d get a little tired, a little impatient. That’s how I’d beat him.”

Mobile users watch a video of Martin talking about MLB 15: The Show here.

Martin, who was born in Toronto but raised in Chelsea, Que., says he was an avid gamer growing up.

“I’d spend the whole day out playing baseball with friends and my dad, and then later at night instead of watching TV, I’d play video games. Whatever way I could find to compete, I’d compete … R.B.I. Baseball, Blades of Steel, I logged a lot of hours playing those types of games back in the day.”

Gaming is a pretty big deal in the clubhouse. The new Mortal Kombat and FIFA are popular titles with his teammates Brett Cecil, Danny Valencia and Dioner Navarro.

“It’s kind of hard to get the guys on the baseball wagon,” he smiles. “They get enough of it throughout the day. After eight hours of baseball, they’ve had their dose.”

Martin, too, likes to expand his gaming horizons.

“I like the NHL game. Being from Montreal, all my buddies like to play that one. It gets pretty edgy, pretty competitive. I also like Call of Duty … killing zombies is pretty fun, too. But the order is: FIFA, NHL and shoot some zombies in Call of Duty.”

With MLB 15: The Show likely being the closest things fans will get to the real thing, Martin knows he’s inevitably going to get asked for tips on how to win. And in that regard, the game is just like real life.

“I don’t have any tricks. Just practice. If you want to do well, play a lot.”

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