MLB 2K9 “Pregame”

San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum teaches his virtual twin the rules of the game in a spot for 2K Sports’ MLB 2K9 by Ground Zero in Marina del Rey, Calif. The eager newbie runs up the mound to meet his real-life counterpart. “Lesson one, we’re never late,” Lincecum scolds him as he begins to give him pitching tips. The virtual hurler silently soaks it all in to Lincecum’s liking until, during a drive, he starts to sing along to Wang Chung’s “Dance Hall Days.” His lip syncing is abruptly interrupted. “And we don’t listen to that,” Lincecum corrects. Virtual Tim continues to tag along and gets through the rest of his training unscathed. And while one is flesh and blood and the other a video game character, the silent Tim, even with all his awkward movements and vacant eyes, ends up coming across as more likable. That bodes well for the game itself, which allows players to create more than 500 different characters based on star players. –Eletheria Parpis