You may have noticed an omission in my previous review of MLB 11: The Show for the Playstation 3. There was absolutely no mention of online play in the review. For one I'm not a big online player. But that's not a concern of yours. The primary justification was that the online servers weren't activated until today, the day of the release.
According to people like Pastapadre, there have been many issues online with Sony's game so far including lots of lag and connection issues. This probably shouldn't be a surprise due to the fact that it's been an ongoing problem with this title for a few iterations going now.
People will cry Madden all over again, claiming that since The Show doesn't really have any competition (sorry 2K, put out something that's not an abomination and we'll talk turkey) they have been lazy and not improved their game. And there is some credence to that. If they whine long enough, as Madden gamers did about how amazing 2K was, then they'd eventually motivate EA to include some of those elements. Maybe that's what has to happen here.
You'd think that online play would be the one area where you wouldn't want surface issues like disconnections and lag to be part of the equation. Online play, whether you like it or not, is more of a casual gamer's paradise. They're trying to draw in people into this mode and get them to love the gameplay to send them off to other modes like Road to the Show that have been the calling card of the franchise. That's the ultimate goal whether you realize it or not. Those are the modes that keep people playing for months not online play, which will eventually die down a while after release. You can keep playing the other modes endlessly.
Online play will never improve really. There can be additions of stuff like leagues but for the most part those are broken or depend on user actions so there's only a little a company can do. Sure if they put in the time to do something as industrious as the EASHL, there's a difference but that's rarely seen. The modes there aren't to keep you around, they're to draw you in. Then once you get accustomed to the rest, you stay around and want to buy the next one with its slight improvements.
Hopefully by next year the issues will improve to keep the online gamers out there at bay, but there are absolutely no issues with the rest of the game. It's as clean a game, even with its new additions, as has been seen in the baseball genre since the amazing MVP 2005.
In the end, there have been subtle changes to many modes throughout but online still seems to be not up to par which is apparently why the servers were turned off prior to release during the media embargo. Maybe it's not as bad as the first reactions seemed to be but we'll just have to see.
However, to say as some have that reviews that don't mention online play aren't credible, here's some news: in online games, it's the same gameplay as a normal exhibition. The servers aren't predictable and much depends on your internet connection. There's no way to get a timely review while simultaneously reviewing online play. So to those people: shut up.