Sure, New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez walked away with the MLB American League Most Valuable Player Award and a paycheck of $25.7 million this year, but there's one thing he doesn't have (besides a World Series ring): a slot on the cover of a 2006 baseball game. 2005 AL MVP runner-up and Boston Red Sox designated hitter David "Big Papi" Ortiz exacted some revenge on his AL East rival by signing a deal with Sony Computer Entertainment to appear on the cover of MLB '06: The Show.
Ortiz has put together two phenomenal back-to-back years, and his late-game dingers rightfully made him one of the league's most feared hitters and put him high on the ballot to win his first MVP award, which eventually went to Rodriguez. His bid was cut short with the argument that he doesn't actually play the field (the DH position is strictly offensive), but that hasn't stopped game publishers from seeking his services and popularity as a cover athlete.
In addition to Sony's recent announcement, Ortiz was slotted to appear on the cover of last year's Nintendo Pennant Chase Baseball, which was canceled late in development. The decision by Nintendo to use Ortiz is a testament to the slugger's appeal. Nintendo, who owns a stake in the Seattle Mariners, could have easily chosen M's outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who is practically revered as a god back in the company's home country of Japan.
MLB '06: The Show will slide into homes next spring on the PlayStation 2 and PSP. Rating and pricing information have not been decided. To see how the veteran franchise is shaping up for next season, check back later this week for GameSpot's preview.