Joe Posnanski is one of the best baseball and sabermetric writers. He recently wrote
a new blog post “Things I learned from Strat-O-Matic”, but what might Joe have
learned playing Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball?
Back in the spring of 1985 (this is the 30th Anniversary), Pursue the Pennant debuted
as the “First Sabermetric Baseball Simulation”. Yes, SOM and APBA were the first
baseball board games, but they were designed decades before the baseball world was
enlightened by the sabermetric teachings found in Bill James Baseball Abstracts and
John Thorn and Pete Palmer’s book “The Hidden Game”. When I designed Pursue the
Pennant from 1981-1984, Bill James had just come out with his first Baseball Abstract.
My goal was to design the first sabermetric baseball simulation that incorporated as
many of Bill James insights as possible.
Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball are most well known for their
detailed ball park effects. Joe’s Lesson #3 is that “Ball Parks matter”. Those new
SOM diamond symbols that were introduced in 1986 were a clumsy knee jerk reaction
by SOM to Pursue the Pennant’s ball park effects. In Glenn Guzzo’s Strat-O-Matic
Fanatics book he devotes part of a chapter to Pursue the Pennant and even SOM game
designer Hal Richman acknowledges that Pursue the Pennant is a more realistic game
than Strat-O-Matic. DYNASTY League Baseball has seven different outfield locations
for “Deep Drive” results. Play results are determined in feet so a 340 foot drive down
the left field line at Fenway Park is a HR into Green Monster seats. “Robbed?” results
can occur depending on the wall height and the range rating of the outfielder. Deep
Drives off the Green Monster in left field are often singles that can be stretched into
doubles. In the deep triangle area in right-center a drive of 420-425 feet is a triple.
Weather effects also impact the ball park effects. The DYNASTY League Baseball
Weather charts use actual weather bureau data by region, month and day/night to
determine sky/temperature and wind direction and speed (Can you tell I love the
Weather Channel?). In the Summer months at Wrigley Field the wind often blows out.
When the wind is blowing out at 20-29 mph Deep Drives get a +20 foot boost to
distance traveled, which often makes the difference between a “HR into the basket” or
a ball caught on the warning track.
Pursue the Pennant was also the first simulation to incorporate foul territory, hitter
background visibility and infield surface conditions.
Joe’s Lesson #1 “You really need a defensive short stop with range” and states “but I
would argue that the thing that Hal got right before almost anyone else was how
baseball defense works.” Defensive range has always been difficult to measure, but
Bill James enlightened us about range factor and now we have other defensive metrics
like John Dewan’s Fielding Bible +/- which equates to defensive runs saved. Well here
is where SOM gets defensive range wrong Joe. SOM only has four grades 1-4 for rating
range. In 2014 Tulowitzki is rated “1” range in SOM (best rating possible). This means
on a historical scale Tulo’s 2014 range was as good as Ozzie Smith’s in his best years
according to SOM. Tulowitzki wasn’t even the ss with the best defensive range in
2014 (7 defensive runs saved compared to Andrelton Simmons 28). DYNASTY League
Baseball graded out Tulowitzki with “B” range in 2014.
DYNASTY League Baseball has defensive range ratings from A+ to F which gives eight possible range ratings and a far more realistic defensive spectrum with all defensive ratings in DYNASTY League Baseball based on a historical scale.
Then there is the visualization and different types of range plays. In SOM you go to an obtuse “X” chart. In DYNASTY League Baseball you go to a “Range” chart that has slow roller, smash up the middle, hot liner, high chopper, deep into the hole, drilled down the line range plays. All of the range plays have different outcomes that could be play results like diving stop, bang bang play and gets thru and further divided into different surfaces for grass and artificial turf.
Joe’s Lesson #4 “Clutch hitting is baloney”. First off, I am well aware of “The Hidden Game’s” study of clutch hitting and trying to determine if it is a skill. I am not sure that is the right question. The right question should be “Do hitters change their approach in a clutch situation – especially in high leverage clutch situations such as when there are RSP/2 outs? I am convinced a few players in a given season are able to change their approach with RSP/2 outs. Part of this is being able to “quiet the mind” and often this is a learned approach that some of the games greatest hitters have developed over time. Case in point is Paul Molitor.
In Paul’s final season in 1998 he hit .393 with a SLG of .536 with RSP/2. In reverse order here is Molitor’s BA and SLG with RSP/2 preceded by Age/Season:
41 1998 .393/.536
40 1997 .257/.378
39 1996 .354/.512
38 1995 .250/.250
37 1994 .340/.547
36 1993: .367/.494
35 1992: .279/.361
34 1991: .338/.529
33 1990: .341/.477
32 1989: .302/.453
31 1988: .300/.350
30 1987 .383/.617
29 1986 .400/.540
28 1985 .278/.333
27 1984 .333/.333 (small sample size – injured with only 6 AB)
26 1983 .200/.262
25 1982 .299/.469
24 1981 .250/.438
23 1980 .235/.324
22 1979 .243/.392
21 1978 .259/.481
Around age 29 Molitor started to figure out how to approach RSP/2 situations
differently. With the exception of 1997 (injured) and 1995 (strike in which he was
heavily involved and distracted as one of the union heads involved in negotiations
with the owners) he not only hit well in those situations, but thrived. Compare this
with ages 21-28 when he struggled with RSP/2.
DYNASTY League Baseball was the first simulation to categorize elite clutch hitting
performances in a given season and display their impact on overall runs scored and
DYNASTY League Baseball was also the first simulation to identify the three most
important situations for pitchers and those unique pitchers that thrive in those
situations. Pitching out of a jam and the JAM rating are awarded to those pitchers
who demonstrate pitching extremely well with RSP/2 outs. Pitchers who rarely give up
a lead off walk are awarded to OFF ratings – Curt Schilling and Adam Wainwright are
great examples of pitchers who understand how important it is not to allow a lead off
walk. Jim Palmer never gave up a grand slam HR and it is pitchers like him that are
awarded the ON rating for reducing the ratio of HR allowed with runners on base
compare to HR allowed with the bases empty.
I am just scratching the surface and the DYNASTY League Baseball game design page
goes into more detail on all the realistic nuances, but my point is that if you really
want to learn about baseball nuances from a sabermetric view point, DYNASTY League
Baseball “the leader in realism” is the answer to the question.
So Joe, when is our DYNASTY League Baseball Online game match-up?
Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan’s comments about Torii Hunter’s range
in Mike Berardino’s St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch column point out why
DYNASTY League Baseball takes the time to research many of it’s player ratings
instead of relying strictly on formulas. I had struggled with what range rating to
assign Hunter. Hunter’s range factor just nipped the extreme bottom of the (C+)
historical scale, but he ranked rock bottom among all MLB rf with a BIS Plus/Minus of
Originally I had Hunter at (C) range, but could not get past ranking rock bottom in +/-
and rating below average in acceleration (38 on a scale of 0-100), reaction instincts
(45), velocity (44) and hands (41) in the Tango Tiger scouting poll. I ended up
downgrading Hunter to (D) range (rf: D/60/0), but it was very interesting to have
Terry Ryan come out with his comments on defensive metrics and how Twins scouts
rated Hunter”adequate”. It is one of those “grey” ratings that really could have gone
either way and I am sure MLB organizations would each rate Hunter a bit differently
as well depending on how much weight they want to give to their scouts vs. the defensive
Beradino’s column leads off pointing out Kurt Suzuki’s poor pitch framing (-19.8 RAA)
and it is one of the most important stats that goes into a catcher’s Handling rating.
Suzuki ranked as the 4th worst catcher in pitch framing relegating him to a (D)
catcher Handling rating (c: B/85/0/A/D).
Derrick Goold from the St. Louis Post Dispatch is one of if not the best MLB beat
writer. Derrick is also a DYNASTY League Baseball player and we hope to have a new
Bird Land tournament in 2015. Here is how Derrick answered my cross checking
question on Jhonny Peralta’s range.
MC: I remember when Peralta was signed last year Mo said they had him as having
average range which is how I graded him last year as well (C). This year Peralta had
almost an identical range factor to 2013, but his BIS plus minus jumped to an
excellent level. Thoughts?
DG: All about the positioning. He doesn’t have the greatest range but he puts himself
in a good place and doesn’t flub the routine plays. True arm. Smart player.
Peralta (ss: B/85/-5) fielding line: Range/Error/DP pivot
(-5) DP pivot is excellent in DYNASTY League Baseball. Peralta ranked 2nd in the NL
in DP pivot (0.645) behind Andrelton Simmons (ss: A/80/-5) who also was awarded a
(-5) DP pivot rating.
J.J. Hardy had another solid defensive season in 2014 +/- (3) with a fielding line of
(ss: B/80/-5). Tango poll had Hardy’s reaction/instincts at 86.
Toronto’s Anthony Gose (cf: A/85/-1) was rated by Blue Jays broadcaster Mike Wilner
as “Among the best defensive cf I’ve EVER seen.”
Gose’s defensive metrics were above average, but not eye poping RF (2.65), +/- (3).
Wilner and the Tango poll (88 velocity, 82 acceleration) prevailed in bumping Gose to
Another “grey” rating was David Freese and his (Clutch) rating. Freese only had 55 RBI which is a very low number to qualify for consideration of being awarded a Clutch hitting rating. In the end I liked Freese’s .291 BA/.491 SLG with RSP/2 outs enough to give him a Clutch hitting rating and because he was such a border line case his playoff history including a deceptively good .500 SLG in the ALDS was an additional stat I looked at. Freese probably does not get a Clutch hitting rating in a season with a higher run environment.
An easy Clutch hitting rating to award was Giancarlo Stanton with his .340 BA/.620 SLG with RSP/2. Terror!
Anaheim’s Hector Santiago has a 10 pickoff rating for his Pickoff/Hold (10/C+(-1)) on the basis of 6 pickoffs.
Looking for a pitcher that is tough to run on? Try Dallas Keuchel (2/A+(-4)). Keuchel posted just one of 16 seasons in which a pitcher allowed only one SB with 200 or more IP since 2002 (no one has allowed zero).
Clayton Kershaw has Situation: jam/off to go along with Range: (A+) and Endurance: (35). The rare baserunner that reaches (#963-969 vs. RH are the only WALK’s on his player card) has to face Kershaw’s Pickoff/Hold: 5/A (-1).
Washington’s Aaron Barrett:
Wild Pitch: F
St. Louis’ Justin Masterson is one of the more extreme GB pitchers with 1.5 DP/9 and
(#614-715) vs. LH Hard Ground Out.
There was one significant change to the 2014 season ball park charts. Comerica Park now had increased triple ranges in lc, cf and rc. You will also find updated ball park images.
Baseball Think Factory’s Jimmy Furtado on his draft league experience as Commissioner playing DYNASTY League Baseball
Jimmy Furtado is the President of Baseball Think Factory, one of the leading sabermetric Baseball sites, and also the Commissioner of the 18 team Whalehead League that plays using DYNASTY League Baseball Online.
Q: DYNASTY League Baseball and its predecessor Pursue the Pennant are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. How did you originally find out about Pursue the Pennant and what are your recollections of playing the original Board game version?
Jimmy Furtado: In my life I have played countless baseball games. I started with Ethan Allen’s All-Star Baseball and then tried every game I could find. I eventually settled on SOM and played that for a number of years, including in a few leagues with some of my friends. Shortly after getting out of the Air Force, I found PtP advertised in a magazine. The description appealed to me. I purchased the game and fell in love. The game play descriptions and assorted wild plays made the game seem more lifelike. The results of dice rolls weren’t just basic outcomes (1B, runners advance two bases) they were nuanced happenings (1B to short, just past his outstretched glove). Random plays, like having an outfielder steal a home run or having a HBP turn into a brawl, just made the experience feel more real.
Q: What are your favorite aspects of gameplay in DYNASTY League Baseball Online?
Jimmy Furtado: My two favorite things about the online game are the live play-by-play and the automatic calculation of player statistics. Not having to compile stats and being able to see updated league leaders right after you play makes the game more like real MLB. After a series I can login to the league’s web site and see the whole league’s stats, including league leaders, right away. That’s pretty cool. The ability to view a game live is also very cool, especially down the stretch and in the post-season. One thing I learned playing simulation games is, the more people who personally see an event, the more real it becomes. When people witness a player hitting a go-ahead homer to win a World Series, they are part of the experience. With that, shared events become part of the history and lore of the league. For example, when my league was just starting out we were all young men with a lot of free time. One year a bunch of people gathered to watch my playoff series. I was down three games to two and behind one run with two outs and a runner on first in the 9th inning of game six. My opponent rolled the dice. A potential home run down the right field was the result. When I picked up the dice, I knew that, if I roll a 15 or higher (out of 100), I would win the game and force a game seven. If I roll 14 or lower, my season was over. I must admit I was feeling pretty good as I tossed the dice on the table. My emotions changed, though, when a one came up on the tens die as the ones die slowly spun around and around. Finally the die flipped and stopped. 14, game and season was over. First, stunned silence. Riotous laughter followed. The thing is, that story still comes up for discussion twenty years later. It does because, as I mentioned above, it was a shared experience. Had I been alone with my opponent, only he and I would remember it. With the computer game, having that shared experience is even easier. My league has members all around the county. In the last two World Series each game was viewed with about 15+ members following live. As a result every managerial choice, every bad hop that turned into a run and every pivotal moment was something debated and discussed within the group following each game (and sometimes months later) – just as if it really happened -. This aspect of the game makes the experience far more enjoyable.
Q: Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball have always been known for their high level of realism incorporating many subtle nuances of baseball that Bill James first popularized in his Baseball Abstracts. What realistic aspects of DYNASTY League Baseball separate it from other Baseball simulations including the player rating process?
Jimmy Furtado: Over the years Mike Cieslinski has written quite a bit about the process he uses to rate players and how the game works. I also have been able to spend some time talking to him about his process of rating players. I have learned that he painstakingly rates every player in various categories. He blends together cutting-edge statistical analysis and traditional scouting techniques. That’s why, although I occasionally disagree with his ratings on individual players, I respect and appreciate the end results. I believe his player rating are the best available. The game itself is very well designed. It does an excellent job of realistically recreating MLB baseball. It has some great touches. Ball parks matter. A pitcher’s ground ball/ flyball tendency matters. Whether the batter is a pull or spray hitter matters. If a shortstop is better at turning the double play, it matters. If a pitcher is homer prone, it matters. Ball Parks matter. A team playing in Fenway will give up doubles off the wall. A catcher’s ability to call a game and frame pitchers matters. If I take all these realistic factors into account and build my team accordingly, I have an advantage. If I ignore them and bring a homer-friendly pitcher into Coors Field, for example, I will pay the penalty. In other words, team building in Dynasty League Baseball is much more realistic than other games. I also like having the card numbers and game engine open and available to me. Being a person with a sabermetric bent, I like being able to analyze and compare player cards. If a game player is so inclined, he can calculate how many runs created and wins a player’s card is worth. I do it myself, using an updated version of my own eXtrapolated Runs/ Wins (http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/btf/scholars/furtado/articles/IntroducingXR.htm) It’s not required, though. Most of the guys in my league don’t get down into the nitty-gritty numbers and still win. For people like me, however, it’s a great feature.
Q: You are the Commissioner of the Whalehead League, a draft league that plays via DYNASTY League Baseball Online. Tell us about the league, its players and the appeal of playing friends and co-workers with DYNASTY League Baseball online?
Jimmy Furtado: My league was originally formed in 1989. It operated 20 consecutive seasons before disbanding in 2009. I recreated the league in 2013, when the online version debuted. When I created the league, my friends and I were young, carefree guys without many responsibilities. We spent a lot of time together talking baseball. We often disagreed on the moves of our favorite teams. Playing in a fantasy league was a natural extension of those debates. By playing a game, I told my friends, we could put our theories into practice and get bragging rights by proving who really knew what he was talking about. The league played head-to-head. We started with seven original members and grew to as many as 16. As enjoyable as the league was, over time, it became increasing more difficult to find the time to play. Kids’ teams need coaching. More responsibility got piled on at work. Spouses needed us to cut the grass. Discretionary time became scarce. Eventually it grew impossible to play face-to-face. Finally we tried to transition to a computer-based league, but the coordination of distributing league files was just too much for many members. Ultimately the league disbanded without completing a single computer-based season. We all missed playing and the connection it provided, however. The league was more than just a competition. It was a mechanism to keep in contact with friends and relatives. We all missed it and my long-time members kept bugging me to restart the league. When I saw DLB online debut, I figured it was worth a try. Most of the old members rejoined and I added a few new ones via DLB Facebook group and from my web site, BaseballThinkFactory.org. We just recently concluded our second season. We now have 18 members, most who live in Massachusetts. Other members live in England, Florida, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Tennessee. We coordinate using a Facebook group. The draft is conducted live. Some members fly in to attend. Other remote members participate using Google Hangout. It’s a very competitive league with a lot of personal interaction and trash talking. We are all enjoying it immensely.
Q: From a Commissioner’s standpoint, why did you choose DYNASTY League Baseball Online rather than trying to run a league using a stand alone game like Strat-O-Matic or Diamond Mind Baseball?
Jimmy Furtado: As a commissioner of a league, making sure people are playing on time is big. DLB makes that task pretty easy. To see where the league stands, I log into the league page and can quickly see everybody’s current status. If the teams haven’t played their games in the allotted time, I can autoplay them with the computer. That really keeps the games moving without requiring me to spend a bunch of time tracking things. Not having to process and distribute current rosters is a real time saver as well. With DLB Online, I can process a trade and all team rosters are done. When a manager options a player off his roster and recalls another player, he does it himself. I don’t have to get involved. The other games required me to collect, process, and distribute files, which is time consuming.
Mike Wilner is the Toronto Blue Jays radio play-by-play announcer for SN 590 THE FAN. Mike is also the commissioner of the THROW League which is a face to face local DYNASTY League Baseball Board version league established in 1987.
Q: DYNASTY League Baseball and its predecessor Pursue the Pennant are
celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. How did you originally find
out about Pursue the Pennant and what are your recollections of playing the
original Board game version?
Mike Wilner: I was introduced to tabletop baseball by my father, who created a very rudimentary version for me when I was very young. Basically it was a pair of six-sided dice with an outcome for each of the 11 possible rolls. “7” was a single, so there was a lot of offense. Then, when I was 11, we went to Detroit for a cousin’s bar mitzvah and I was introduced to the wonderland that is Toys R Us (it hadn’t moved into Canada yet). There, I found a tabletop baseball game called “Statis Pro” and went nuts with it. I did a full 162-game replay of the Blue Jays’ 1980 season (went 81-81, Dave Stieb had over 30 wins and Mike Willis threw 9 perfect innings of relief in a long extra-inning game).
Once that was done, my best friend in junior high introduced my to Strat-O-Matic and we had some great battles using teams from the early ’70s. Then, when I was 17, I walked into my local comic book store and saw a Pursue The Pennant display. It looked fantastic, so I bought it and loved it. I was blown away by the fact that there were 500 possible outcomes for both pitcher and hitter, that there were weather charts, that defenders were assessed ratings for both the ability to get to the ball AND the ability to field it cleanly once they did. It was sensational, an entirely different simulation baseball experience.
Great scoresheets, too. I still use them to this day – I have scored every Blue Jays game since 2002 on PTP scoresheets in the broadcast booth.
Mike Wilner; I like how easy the game is to play. I mean, you have to get the hang of it, just like anything, but once you do, a nine-inning game can be played in less than half an hour, which is great. It seems to be the most accurate of all the sim games out there – at least it takes the most things into account and the 1,000 possible outcomes on each roll of the dice (plus variable plays involving charts to which the results take you) blows everybody else away. The gameplay is second nature to me now, having been playing DLB for two decades, but I still think it’s pretty intuitive. The results make a lot of sense, baseballically, which makes it really easy to pick up.
Oh, the online version? Oops. It handles the charts for you, which speeds things up a little, and the ability to always still be able to look at the cards means that nothing is taken away from the strategical component. It, too, is quick and easy.
Q: DYNASTY League Baseball Online is the first and only real time Baseball
simulation that allows you to play and manage your series live as well as
the option to have the computer manager profile play the series for you.
What are your thoughts on how well the real time experience works and the
Mike Wilner: I really enjoyed it when I got the chance to take part in the media Greatest Teams League last year. It’s quick and easy, and the chat function with your opponent doesn’t get in the way of playing the game. I will always prefer the face-to-face experience, for sure, but when circumstances prevent people from getting together in person, the online version is a great substitute.
Q: Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball have always been known for
their high level of realism incorporating many subtle nuances of Baseball
that Bill James first popularized in his Baseball Abstracts. What realistic
aspects of DYNASTY League Baseball separate it from other Baseball
Mike Wilner: There’s just so much extra stuff. Separating range and fielding was big, I thought, weather and ballpark charts, intangibles ratings, the two things that go into a pitcher’s hold rating, so many things you can’t find anywhere else. Even which umpires have a temper and which don’t.
Q: I’ve had several Broadcast, Media and Front Office MLB people tell me
that they learned a tremendous amount about Baseball and each player¹s
strengths and weaknesses from playing both Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY
League Baseball. Have you had a similar experience and what have you
Mike Wilner: Oh, absolutely. There are a lot of fallacies revealed by the defensive ratings on DLB. Thanks to the game, I know which outfielders have a good arm and which are poor throwers, what kind of speed people have, what kind of defense they play, who should be platooned and who shouldn’t, all those things. The offensive stuff is more important, because it seems to be far less subjective than the defense (and I often disagree with some of the defensive ratings given to some Blue Jays, who I watch 162 times every year), but at the very least I’m pointed in the right way. Most importantly, DLB lets me study every player in the big leagues, so I can find out a lot about players I may only see once or twice in a season.
Q: You are the Commissioner of THROW, a draft league that plays most of its
games locally in the Toronto area. Tell us about the league, its players
and the appeal of playing friends and co-workers face to face with the Board
Mike Wilner: The league was founded way back in 1987, with just four teams. We each took a stock team (I had the Blue Jays and there were also the Expos, Mets and Pirates) and then drafted three players each from the rest of the set. I remember drafting Steve Sax, but I can’t remember my other two (Fernando Valenzuela rings a bell). Back then we were very liberal with the rules, figuring that just because a big-league manager didn’t, say, start Mark Eichhorn, didn’t mean that I couldn’t if I felt he’d help me more in that role. I wound up losing the championship in a seven-game series.
The next year, we expanded to 8, then later to 16 and to 24, collapsed back to 20 but got back up to 24 by the mid-’90s and that’s where we have been ever since. I have won the whole shebang seven times, no one else has more than two titles.
We reset the league at some point in the early 90s, allowing each team to keep six players (I kept Mussina, Thomas, Bonds, Ben McDonald and two other guys I can’t remember) and redrafting from there, introducing a contract system, financials and a rookie draft. I handed one of the other owners a sealed envelope that contained a list of the 24 players I planned on drafting and wound up getting 23 of them. I would have had all 24, but Don Mattingly was still available in the 10th round, so I grabbed him instead of Lonnie Smith.
Many of the owners in the league have been around for two decades or more, and we’ve seen each other through college graduations and first jobs, marriages, children, divorces, all facets of life. I can’t wait until our first second-generation THROW owner enters the league. I’m the only one of the original four still remaining, and I was in high school when we started this thing – who would have ever imagined that I’d wind up being a big-league play-by-play broadcaster? We have people from all walks of life – a few others who work in sports, a comic-book writer, a teacher, a claims adjuster, a squash pro. One of our former owners got a PhD from Harvard, another moved to Malaysia, another publishes a magazine on film and has made a movie that played in some major film festivals around the world. it’s really been an interesting group.
We still all play the board game, not the online version, and if we can’t get together in person we do it over Skype with an online dice roller. I try to get as many of my games in as possible face-to-face. I find it’s much more fun to sit down with someone, feel the dice in your hands and hear my kids ask me if one of the nerds is coming over.
The new 7th Edition game charts for the Board version game have just been released and are now included in each new Board version game at the Ticket Window store replacing the 6th Edition game charts. Some of the 7th Edition game charts revisions and updates have already been included in DYNASTY League Baseball Online for several months and the final 7th Edition chart revisions and changes will be online soon for both Windows and Apple Mac OS.
If you have already pre-ordered the new 2014 season player card set, you can add the new 7th Edition game charts to your existing order and save on the S&H just by including “add to 2014 season player card order” in the comments section at the Ticket Window.
So what is new in the 7th Edition game charts?
ATTEMPT CHART revisions:
It is now much more difficult for a player with a Lead 1 rating to get a “Good Jump – attempts” result especially vs. pitchers with C, D and F Hold ratings. There also is a much greater chance of a “Pickoff pitcher?” result occurring vs. pitchers with C, D and F Hold ratings. Now when you try go to the ATTEMPT CHART, trying to steal vs. a pitcher like 2013 Jordan Walden Atlanta with a Pickoff 5, Hold F/+4 rating not only is it much more likely that a Lead 1 basestealer will not get a “Good Jump – attempts” result, but Walden’s Pickoff 5 rating will come into play much more often resulting in more pickoffs. The net effect is that Lead 1 rated players attempting to steal do so much more at their own peril – potentially getting picked off much more often and also finding it much more difficult to get a “Good Jump – attempts” result vs. C, D and F Hold rated pitchers.
BIZARRE PLAY CHART revisions:
There are a total of 18 new BIZARRE PLAY chart number range revisions. One of the changes is for #161-209 which now reads:
“If a pitcher has a high pitch outing and has reached his adjusted Endurance rating or exceeded it or has D or F Durability, check for injury to pitcher.”
MLB organizations are increasingly wary of high pitch counts for pitchers and the risk of injury. The much greater number range for this play result and subsequent frequency of occurrence reflects that. The much higher number range for this play result is also much more of a deterrent for managers who “sacrifice” a pitcher to rest the bullpen – now there is a much greater chance of injury for doing this. Pitchers with D and F Durability were added to this play result to increase the likelihood that they would be injured in any given season and that even in short season it would be less likely to “escape” the season with a D or F Durability pitcher uninjured. The odds increased from a 1:50 chance of this play occurring to a 1:20 chance on a BIZARRE PLAY CHART roll.
Pitcher with F Wild Pitch rating... WP takes crazy hop off backstop away from catcher. Runners may try to take an extra base by going to BASERUNNER ADVANCEMENT chart. Pitcher with A-D Wild Pitch rating... One hopper hit back to the mound (DP?)
WEATHER CHART revisions:
The new 7th Edition Weather charts have updated temperature for the retractable roof ball parks in Arizona and Miami.
STEAL CHART revision:
STEAL RATING ADJUSTMENTS: Strikeout on hit & run -3.
BUNT CHART revision:
It is now more difficult to successfully execute a squeeze play especially with the Infield In. There are three new tweaks to the BUNT chart:
Strikeout? (Increased range of #)
Sacrifice Hit (Decreased range of #)
INFIELDER IN: -4
INFIELDER IN: -4
Strikeout? SO/9 chart
Increased range of # for Missed Bunt
Decreased range of # for SH
Geoff Reiss with his experience of being in our SNBL DYNASTY League Baseball Online draft league.
Originally posted on DYNASTY League Baseball from designer of Pursue the Pennant:
Twitter Sports Geoff Reiss joined the DYNASTY League Baseball Online Sunday Night Baseball League this spring and shares his experiences of being in a Baseball simulation draft league. Geoff previously held positions with ESPN as SVP/GM.
Q: DYNASTY League Baseball and it’s predecessor Pursue the Pennant are
celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. How did you originally find
out about Pursue the Pennant and what are your recollections of playing theoriginal Board game version?
I was on a business trip to the Milwaukee area – must have been the summer of 1988 – and found PTP in a store called Hobby Horse at Brookfield Square. As soon as I played the game I was hooked – it was more nuanced than any thing I’d seen at the time.
Q: At Starwave you helped originate the first real time server based online
Fantasy Baseball Leagues for ESPN.com. How would you compare…
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30th Anniversary Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball Busch Stadium Tour Tournament event August 1-3
Thank you to all of the great fans of Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball for 30 fantastic fun years of playing!
Some of the history is captured at the DYNASTY League Baseball reviews and feature link where you can find the first review of Pursue the Pennant, New Board Game is a Fan’s Dream by Michael Bauman of the Milwaukee Journal.
We are celebrating 30 years of Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball during the Busch stadium Tour Tournament Express August 1-3 in conjunction with Baseball Prospectus Night at Busch Stadium.
If you have never been on one of the more than 20 Tour Tournament events that have been held you are in for an unforgettable and thrilling experience. You can read about some of the previous incredible stories to be told from the Pursue the Pennant Tour Tournaments in the Spring 1991 newsletter. A hurricane at Fenway Park, the lost George Brett folder, the miracle comeback on the Three Rivers express, the young titans battling in the Amtrak cafe car enroute to the Busch Stadium Express are just a few of many stories:
The Busch Stadium Tour Tournament leads off on Friday, August 1 from Union Station in Chicago with rail connections from Milwaukee (where it all began back in 1984), Detroit, Indianapolis and Toledo where we will board Amtrak’s Texas Eagle long distance train.
All of you native Cardinals fans in St. Louis we want you to join our group in St. Louis (check the bottom of this post for the St. Louis option)!
If you live in other parts of the country please contact us so we can help you connect into Chicago.
We’ll head to the Dome Observation car and begin our Greatest Team tournament with the DYNASTY League Baseball Board version.
I’ll be on the tour tournament event of course and will be skippering the 1985 Cardinals. You’ll have your chance to play me with your favorite greatest team as well as all the other fans on the trip which will be some of the top competition.
On Saturday, August 2 we’ll head out to Busch Stadium for a tour. On your behind-the-scenes ballpark tour of sensational Busch Stadium, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, you will get to go places only the players and staff go including:
After the tour, we will attend Baseball Prospectus Night at Busch stadium:
- Admittance to a private “meet and greet” with special guests and Baseball Prospectus personalities (including Jason Parks, Harry Pavlidis, and Joe Hamrahi) 2 hours prior to game time
- A question and answer session with industry guests and members of the St. Louis Cardinals front office (including Assistant General Manager Mike Girsch)
- Ticket in section 265 at Busch Stadium to watch the Cardinals take on the Milwaukee Brewers with Baseball Prospectus fans and staff
- All kids 15 years of age and under receive a Cardinals backpack
- A $15 coupon to be used toward a new Baseball Prospectus Premium subscription or your next Premium renewal
Game time is 6:15 PM.
Busch Stadium Express Tour Tournament includes:
– Greatest Teams tournament
Team selections are at this MLB.com News Blog:
– Round trip rail fare Chicago to St. Louis
– Two nights Drury Union Station Hotel including hot breakfast just a couple blocks from Busch Stadium.
– Tour of Busch Stadium
– Baseball Prospectus Night (see above for everything included)
– Loge Level ticket to Cardinals vs. Brewers August 2, 2014.
Double occupancy: $398 per person
Triple occupancy: Subtract $46
Single occupancy: Add $179
Milwaukee round trip rail connection: Add $48
Busch Stadium tour and Baseball Prospectus Night only on August 2 for local DYNASTY League Baseball fans in the St. Louis area: $98
Space is very limited and will sell out.
Tournament Team selections on first come basis.
Deadline for reservations is April 28, 2014
Call 561-494-2711 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
See you in August!
You don’t have to spend years trying to work yourself up the organizational ladder to the GM and Managerial seat – just visit the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online Private League Directory by logging in and clicking on the “Leagues” link and next the Private Draft League button.
Private League Directory:
If you would like to look for a league to join you will see two tabs:
The first tab is “Leagues Looking For Players”.
The second tab is a listing of “All Private Leagues” which also displays the League Home Page for each league.
Each league listed has a “Status” (offseason, preseason or inseason) that is updated for each league automatically.
The “League Home Page” for each league gives you a complete insight into the league. At the bottom right of the League Home Page is the PAST SEASONS section, which show you the season history of the league. If you click on one of the PAST SEASONS you can see the complete season, standings, stats and leaders for that season.
Commissioners Recruiting For New League Members – Allow Contact Commissioner Tool:
If you are a Commissioner looking to recruit new league members or acquire new friends for future league openings, you can now go into their Commissioner tools and “Allow Contact” to allow people to contact you about joining your league in the new “Leagues Looking For Players” tab. When a Commissioner “Allows Contact” for people to join a league they automatically become friends so the Commissioner then has the option to invite them into the league.
Delete Friends Button:
One other new feature that was added was a “Delete” Friend button in addition to the “Block” Friend button. The Delete button doesn’t permanently block the deleted friend and is a less harsh way to clean up your friends list than the Block button which prevents all future contact.
Edit League News Commissioner Tool:
Also new in the Commissioners tools is “Edit League News” that allows you to include information to both the public and your league members about the league.
If you have been following this blog you have read some of the previous posts on how the defensive range ratings are determined for DYNASTY League Baseball and it’s predecessor Pursue the Pennant. Defensive range, Throwing arms and Catchers handling of pitchers are some of the player ratings that are done manually and require an interpretation of the defensive metrics to assign the rating. So let’s look at a few examples from the 2013 season player cards: Adam Jones on the DYNASTY League Baseball historical scales for both Range Factor/9 innings and John Dewan Fielding Bible plus/minus scales out at D/D and his UZR also was below average. There is a strong correlation among the defensive metrics to assign Jones a D range rating if you took a strict Sabermetric camp approach. NOTE: the DYNASTY League Baseball historical scale for plus/minus is based on data since 2000. What about the eye test from scouting reports? Gold Glove voters decided Jones was good enough all around defensively to be awarded a Gold Glove. Keep in mind that Defensive Range is not the only component of a Gold Glove vote, there is also Fielding Percentage and Throwing Arm. DYNASTY League Baseball uses scouting reports from a number of sources including charting MLB Networks 100 best defensive plays of 2013. One of the better sources of scouting reports is the Tango Tiger poll which grades tools on a scale from 0-100. Jones scored a “45” for his reactions and instincts, “65” Acceleration first few steps, “72” Velocity sprint speed, and “52” Hands catching. This was one of the tougher ratings of the 2013 season to assign, but in keeping with the balanced approach I take between Sabermetrics and Scouting evaluations where each group of data and observations should be taken into consideration I bumped Jones rating to a C+ given the above average ratings from the Tango Tiger poll. The MLB Managers and Coaches that vote on the Gold Glove take quite a bit of criticism for some of their selections, but I think it might be too extreme to totally discount their observations. In the end, I felt the Sabermetric defensive metrics and Gold Glove voters were at opposites ends of a very polarized view of Adam Jones range rating and that Adam Jones “real” range lies closer to the mid ground that the Tango Tiger poll ratings reflect. Jones throwing arm rating was much easier to assign with a very good Hold % and Kill% (6 kills total) metrics and Tango Tiger poll ratings for strength “77” and accuracy “58”. Adam Jones 2013: C+ Range/90 Error/-1 Throwing. NOTE: If you are new to DYNASTY League Baseball Throwing ratings are based on a scale of -4 to +4 with a -4 rating representing a “Clemente” type arm. The Official DYNASTY League Baseball rulebook details the rating scales on page 3 and can be found once you log in at http://www.dynastylea guebaseball.com/UserMain.aspx Emerging on the defensive spectrum of stars in 2013 were three young players of note: Andrelton Simmons age 24 (A+/85/-5), Nolan Arenado age 23 (A+/90) and Manny Machado age 21 (A+/90). It is rare air for three young players to receive “A+” range ratings which are reserved for historically great performances, but in all three cases they were well deserved. Arenado (+27), Machado (+36) and Simmons (+37) turned in historically great performances on the DYNASTY League Baseball Fielding Bible +/- scale. Not only that, but with their great range they also have terrific fielding percentages and had 85, 90 and 90 Error ratings. Frequently you see young players with excellent range, but many times it comes with a lower fielding percentage – not the case with these three defensive stars.Z Then there is the flip side. Who were some of the players with the poorest range? How about Jed Lowrie (ss: D/50)? Lowrie had a +/- of (-17), UZR/150 (-9.2) and RF/9 (3.56). A stunningly poor performance with all three defensive metrics in strong agreement. What about the scouting reports? Tango Tiger had Lowrie with ratings of 35/27/38. This is the kind of agreement between the defensive metrics and scouting reports that you love to see. Then there is Shin Soo Choo (cf: D/80/0). Choo finished last among regular CF with a (-16) plus/minus AND UZR/150 (-17.0) to go along with a 2.41 RF/9 that just barely made it into the “C” DYNASTY League Baseball historical range factor scale. The scouting reports from Tango Tiger were in agreement with the defensive metrics (33/40/54). The Molina brothers, Yadier and Jose, were once again among the best “pitch framing” catchers scoring RAA (Runs Above Average) of 19.8 and 19.3 respectively. Those scores were two of the top pitch framing scores in all of MLB earning both Yadier and Jose “A” ratings for catcher handling of pitchers. Here are the average Range and Fielding ratings by position for the 2013 season: Since range is text, the following numbers were assigned: A+ 1 A 2 B+ 3 B 4 C+ 5 C 6 D 7 F 8 Range Error 1B 5.45 72.29 2B 5.12 71.90 SS 5.04 71.27 3B 4.98 70.64 LF 5.20 70.25 CF 4.26 76.34 RF 4.70 68.38 DYNASTY League Baseball Online allows you to play in Private Draft leagues as well as play solitaire “Series”. The DYNASTY League Baseball original Board Game version and new 2013 season player cards are available at the Ticket Window.