Sega is expanding its "Manager" series beyond Football Manager, with the free-to-play MLB Manager Online. Launching in March alongside the beginning of the baseball season, in the US, Canada, Japan, and South Korea. MLB Manager allows players to create teams from over 900 (not over 9000) real Major Leaguers, check their stats, and trade them with other managers. It's a different kind of sports game, one in which you handle all the "telling people to play baseball" and leave the "playing baseball" bit to the experts.

Prospective managers have the chance to build their teams in advance of the March release. Sega is holding a limited closed beta starting January 7, 2011. If you're interested in checking out the browser-based management sim early, you can sign up here.
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SEGA® Corporation and SEGA® of America, Inc. have announced that they will be launching the free-to-play sports simulation MLB Manager™ Online in March 2011, coinciding with the start of the 2011 Major League Baseball® season. Fully licensed by MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), MLB Manager™ Online is SEGA's first Internet-based sports simulation game to be launched in the United States, Canada, Japan and South Korea. Baseball fans can register online at http://mlbmanageronline.com for one of the limited spots in the closed beta period, which is scheduled to start on January 7, 2011.

MLB Manager™ Online will allow aspiring team managers to select from over 900 actual players from all 30 current US Major League Baseball teams. Gamers can check their players' stats, profiles and past records, including detailed stats such as on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS), to select their ideal team line-up. Gamers also will be able to trade players to create a championship-caliber team, ultimately using their skills as managers to represent their country in the World Champions Tournament of baseball.

The game will be free to play in the browser of any PC or Mac compatible with Adobe® Flash Player 10. MLB Manager™ Online will require no downloads or installation to play.

"MLB Manager Online represents an important step forward in SEGA's goal of expanding into the digital gaming space and providing fans with exciting new ways to enjoy their favorite sport," said Haruki Satomi, VP of Digital Business for SEGA of America. "We are thrilled to offer them free access to a fully licensed and engaging online baseball experience."

"SEGA is a respected publisher in the games space, and we are excited to partner with them in their first foray into the realm of a full-scale browser and interactive media sports game in these territories. Sega's interactive media MLB-focused game will provide MLB fans with an exciting platform via which they can enjoy America's national pastime," said Alex Pigeon, Vice President of International at MLBAM.

"Partnering with Sega to bring MLB Manager Online to baseball fans is an exciting prospect. SEGA has been successful in Europe with their Football Manager title and we hope to carry that success over to MLB Manager Online here with a solid and entertaining product." said Mike Amin, Director of Interactive Games, Internet and Business Partnerships at MLBPA.

MLB Manager™ Online is scheduled for a full product launch in March 2011 in the United States, Canada, Japan and South Korea. Applications to participate in the closed beta are available now on the official website: http://mlbmanageronline.com.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.