MLB The Show 24’s pretty cool, especially if you want to create the extra Seinfeld series we never knew we needed

By admin Apr2,2024

George Costanza steps up to the plate, bat at the ready. The pitch comes flying in. Crack. The ball is outta here. It’s home run number 47 on the season for George. His stocky, balding five foot four form jogs leisurely around the bases, back towards a dugout full to the brim with other George Costanzas.

Despite being his exact doppelgangers, none of them are like him. They’re just regular Georges and for 161 games so far, they’ve been doing their best.

When the New York Yankees turned up for spring training at the start of this season in MLB The Show 24’s franchise mode, you could tell something wasn’t right. Aaron Judge was no longer a hulking leader of men, Gerrit Cole was no longer a star pitcher, Juan Soto was no longer a silver slugger winning hitter. Instead, they were all self-insert versions of Larry David. They were all Georges.

A flood of utterly hopeless, incredibly frugal, but occasionally charming Costanzas descended on Yankee Stadium. They were no longer just the assistants to the travelling secretary, as their namesake was in the mid-1990s. They were players, desperate to fulfil the infinite and inexplicable potential George showed during one scene from season eight, episode nine of the show, entitled ‘The Abstinence’.


George Costanza at the plate in MLB The Show 24.
The UberCostanza steps up to the plate, pitchers cower in fear. | Image credit: VG247/Sony Interactive Entertainment

After calmly explaining to the Yankees’ Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams that “hitting is not about muscle, it’s simple physics”, a totally sex-deprived and therefore very intelligent George hit three home runs in a row. In a damn shirt and tie. This was a rare glimpse at what I’m calling the UberCostanza, a bit like the Nietzschean Übermensch, but nowhere near sexy enough as a concept to be co-opted by the Nazi Party. A genius who can do anything and solve any problem, but only so long as he isn’t able to think about shagging.

Within my all-Costanza Yankees team, which sees all pitchers, batters and relievers replaced by one overall sex-having Costanza clones, I place a single UberCostanza, a pure virgin rated 99 overall, making him literally one of the best players in the league. He’s a center fielder, and he’ll bat first in the lineup, so that we can filter all of the weird no nut November Reddit types who’ll inevitably worship him – because this is 2024 – back out into the parking lot whenever he’s not at bat, to keep the regular folks safe.

There they all stand, like a horde of greasy barbarians at the gates of Constantinople, sexually-frustrated and semen-heavy Swifties, listening out for the clack followed by the roar of the Yankee Stadium crowd – which inevitably heralds another home run from their pint-sized and follically-challenged Taylor. Though, the Costanza experiment, which begins in March 2024 and runs all the way through to late September that same year across the 162 games the Yankees play, isn’t just of interest to people that probably have rather regrettable views about women.


A dugout full of lengthened Costanzas in MLB The Show 24.
An army of lengthened Costanzas awaits the inevitable loss that’s coming, 2024, colourised. | Image credit: VG247/Sony Interactive Entertainment

The build of each Costanza is so counter to the expected body shape of the average baseball player that, every time a pitcher is pulled or a batter returns to the dugout, they suddenly grow and morph into a different form – one closer in height and limb dimensions to a six foot tall man. I come to call this strange phenomenon ‘the lengthening’, and can’t help but wonder just how horrified the crowds of the MLB are whenever The Show 24’s animations fail to grasp just how to deal with the peculiar corpus that houses each Costanza’s tortured psyche.

As the season kicks into gear, I try to distract myself from the groups of strange fellows who’re probably trading grainy, Bigfoot sighting-esque photos of Costanzas mid-lengthening on seedy corners of the internet. I stop myself from thinking about their little fingers click-clacking away as they try to link this mysterious happening to their conspiracies about fluoridated water and lizard men, and I do it by imagining how the rest of Seinfeld’s cast might fit into this cruel new televisual world.

I imagine Jerry himself as the Yankees’ GM, the man responsible for putting together this roster of beautiful misfits. I imagine him reporting to a Larry David voiced version of Hal Steinbrenner, played in exactly the same bizarre fashion as the comedian’s version of his father George, the original big Stein. I imagine him warring with Newman, the club’s new manager, prone to ranting in pseudo-Shakespearian fashion about the ins-and-outs of each game to the umpires and then trying to weasel out of fines.


A Costanza pitching in MLB The Show 24.
The most feared fastball in the league is unleashed, batters cower in fear. | Image credit: VG247/Sony Interactive Entertainment

I imagine Kramer, somehow becoming the Yankees’ mascot and convincing management that one actually deserves to exist, by totally out-dancing even the Phillie Phanatic and accidentally placing the most powerful hex known to man on an unsuspecting pitcher in the process. I imagine Elaine, taking on the role of agent to every single Costanza on the team, and trying in vain to negotiate them all contract extensions that meet their infinite whims, including the organisation agreeing to pay for every big salad each of them eats. I imagine Mr and Mrs Costanza, sitting up in the stands, arguing endlessly about which of them is more responsible for how well the UberCostanza turned out, while totally ignoring his entire team’s worth of doomed twins.

None of it helps.

Neither does the fact that the Costanzas are losing. By the end of April, they’re 0-31, having already broken the record for the longest losing streak in MLB history. Suck on it, 1899 Louisville Colonels. By the end of June, they’re 0-85, and have no possibility of finishing with a winning record, even though the season’s just over halfway done. Each depressing month of regular losses is punctuated by a single monumental beatdown. In April, it’s an 81-1 demolition by the Toronto Blue Jays, by far the most lopsided defeat in MLB history. May brings an 141-4 annihilation by the Houston Astros, then June brings an 182-1 cataclysm at the hands of the Minnesota Twins.

Each time, it feels like the game’s sending a message. Delivering the kind of merciless, embarrassing whippings that life has regularly given the Georges in their off-field lives. These are scores so ludicrous that they shouldn’t even be possible, but they are, because when it comes to George, the powers that be have no pity. The fickle forces that run our universe – and that of MLB The Show 24 – love picking on him. They can’t get enough of the idea of each George, at the end of these trouncings, pacing back into the clubhouse, before taking their turns to throw their arms in the air like Yosemite Sam and exclaim “George is getting upset!”

There’s one moment during the season when George isn’t upset.


A lineup of Costanzas in MLB The Show 24.
On the field, it’s the height of summer. In the clubhouse, a fierce winter rages. | Image credit: VG247/Sony Interactive Entertainment

On July 28, 2024, the Costanzas somehow manage to grind out a 1-0 win over the Boston Red Sox in extra innings. The lead George on the mound, who by this point has grown to 2 overall, pitches a shutout, despite somehow allowing 283 hits according to the box score. The Yankees finally notch a win to add to their 106 prior losses. For the UberCostanza, whose stats, from home runs to WAR, have put him firmly among the top ten players in the league for most of the season, this is the moment when all of that effort pays off, however fleetingly.

By the time he sends that 47th homer skyward, breaking the shutout the decidedly average Pittsburgh Pirates’ third string pitcher has going in the final game of both teams’ seasons, he’s had to endure 160 losses in total. This is doomed to be his 161st, since the Pirates are already up by 26 runs, but he’s going out swinging, like he was always going to.

Because he’s a George. He is Costanza, lord of the idiots. Totally inadequate, completely insecure, paranoid, and neurotic.

The only man who deserves to live the lie that, for one glorious summer of George, he completely broke America’s pastime.


The UberCostanza hitting a home run in MLB The Show 24.
Image credit: VG247/Sony Interactive Entertainment

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