JAM rated pitchers can dominate non Clutch Hitting rated batters with runners in scoring position and 2 out and in close and late situations in DYNASTY League Baseball. They also are the kryptonite to otherwise terrorizing Clutch hitters by neutralizing their Clutch hitting ability.
Pitchers in DYNASTY League Baseball are awarded a JAM situation rating based on their performance primarily with RSP/2 and in Close and late situations with RSP/2 weighted more heavily.
I asked Dennis Martinez in our previous interview why he pitched so well in JAM situations and the answer seems to be in part being able to bear down in those situations. Great pitchers with great stuff more often than not perform exceptionally well in jam situations.
NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum is a great example.
Lincecum has made a meteoric rise to best pitcher in the NL. I love watching this guy pitch. Lincecum is a fast working pitcher who absolutely attacks the batter with a blazing fastball. In RSP/2 situations, Lincecum allowed a BA and SLG of .200/.311.
After having a mediocre year in 2007 and failing to get a JAM rating, Mariano Rivera came back with a vengeance in 2008. Rivera had a 1.40 ERA for the Yankees and a dominating RSP/2 BA/SLG of .045/.045. Your eyes are OK and it isn’t a typo: .045
This years biggest surprise at not getting a JAM? AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee. Lee had a tremendous season, but not in JAM situations where his RSP/2 BA/SLG was .289/.382. What Lee did do well was keeping lead off runners off base and was awarded an off situation rating (off ratings awarded to pitchers who rarely walk the lead off batter).
Here is a guy I hate to see pitching vs. either of my favorite teams the Cardinals and Brewers. My lasting memory of Roy Oswalt was during Game 6 of the 2005 NLCS. Albert Pujols had just launched a Brad Lidge pitch onto the railroad tracks at Minute Maid Field in Game 5 to save the Cardinals season and send the series back to old Busch Stadium. Oswalt faced off vs. Mark Mulder as I watched from my center field bleacher seat. The momentum was all with the Cardinals as Cardinal fans were sky high and Astro fans were deflated. Everyone hoped this would not be the last game at Busch Stadium, but Oswalt ended the Cardinals season and Busch Stadium in a completely dominating performance.
Oswalt was as tough as ever in 2008 with RSP/2 BA/SLG of .189/.243.
The Red Sox pitching staff, even without the injured Curt Schilling who perennially is as tough in JAM situations as any pitcher, still came through exceedingly well in the JAM situation awards.
Lead by “Dice K” Matsuzaka, the Red Sox staff has four JAM rated pitchers for 2008. Daisuke Matsuzaka blew away hitters with RSP/2 with a BA/SLG of .153/.222. Jonathan Papelbon, Josh Beckett and emerging lefty ace Jon Lester join Matsuzaka for Baseball’s most dominating pitching staff in JAM situations.
Smashing the All-Time single season saves record held by Bobby Thigpen in 1990, Francisco Rodriguez recorded an amazing 62 saves in 2008. In both Close and late .194/.264 and RSP/2 situations .208/.292, K-Rod excelled at getting out of jams.
48 batters stepped to the plate with RSP/2 and 20 of them went down in smoke to K-Rod.
With the 2008 AL and NL Gold Glove ratings being awarded here are a few highlights from the 2008 season DYNASTY League Baseball fielding ratings that have been awarded.
One of the more challenging fielding ratings to rate is a players Range rating. No one statistic can accurately rate a player’s fielding range. So how are Range ratings determined in DYNASTY League Baseball?
DYNASTY League Baseball uses a players Zone rating and his Range factor to determine where the player grades out on a historical scale. From there, the grade is cross-checked with input from major league scouts, beat writers, broadcasters and even players and managers. In 2008, more use is being made of John Dewan’s +/- fielding ratings as another source to check against.
OK, now onto the good stuff…
Albert Pujols. We all know he is the best hitter in Baseball. Do you know how great a fielder Albert Pujols is? Here is how Pujols ranked in +/- the last three years among first basemen:
Pujols zone rating in 2008?
.935 which ranks first among all regular first basemen.
Want more? Pujols Range factor at 1b was 10.64, again easily ranking first among all first basemen. Range factor at 1b can be misleading, but the fact that Pujols ranks so high in +/-, Zone rating and Range factor gives him a clean sweep.
Pujols not only has great range, but also rarely makes an an error fielding at a .996 clip with only 6 errors.
The NL Gold Glove first base award went to Adrian Gonzalez (B+ / 85), but the greatest hitter in Baseball is also the greatest fielding first baseman.
Pujols 1b: A+ / 85
St. Louis Post Dispatch’s Derrick Goold has a great blog on “Adding to St. Louis Cardinals’ golden history of Gloves“ that includes the All-Time Gold Glove team leaders.
The Phillies and Rays were two of the best defensive teams in Baseball in 2008 so it is no surprise that both teams ended up in the World Series. Emerging as one of the prime fielding second basemen in Baseball is Chad Utley. Utley’s 5.18 Range factor and .844 Zone rating were both excellent. What stands out even more is Utley’s +47 +/- rating which ranked 1st among all second basemen by a wide margin (Mark Ellis +26 2nd).
Utley 2b: A / 75
One overlooked defensive outfielder is the Orioles Jay Payton. Payton put up outstanding to excellent Range factors in both LF (2.96) and CF (3.14) and also has a good arm allowing only 11 extra bases in 40 opportunites to advance (.275) in LF and (.432) in CF.
Look at some of the fan expressions as Jay Payton makes a great leaping catch at the wall.
Payton scored +6 with his +/- rating.
OK, the guy has Range, but does he commit a lot of errors a la Arizona’s Justin Upton (5 Error rating on a scale of 100)? Zero errors. A pristine perfect 1.000 fielding .pct earned Payton a 100 Error rating.
Payton lf: A / 100 / -1
cf: A / 100 / -1
Thankfully the Gold glove voters did not award the AL Gold Glove to Derek Jeter who once again had one of the worst Range factors (4.05) in Baseball. You saw how great Pujols was at first base. Now compare Jeters +/- rankings the last three years among regular shortstops to Pujols:
What Jeter did do well in 2008, was to make the plays hit to him as his .979 Fielding .pct earned him an 80 Error rating.
Jeter ss: D / 80
Player who has not received a Gold Gold yet and most deserves it?
Yadier Molina finally broke through in 2008 with a Gold Glove even though he had better defensive years previously.
Range Error Throw Passed Ball Handling
Yadier Molina A+ / 40 / -1 / B / A
Carl Crawford has been one of the premier defensive left fielders in Baseball for years in the anonymity of what has been Tampa Bay Rays Baseball. In 2008, Crawford lead regular LF in Range (2.28), Zone rating (.909) and +/- (+23). We have been watching or for many fans not watching one of the great defensive left fielders not only among current players, but of All-Time.
Crawford lf: A+ / 70 / 0
Who has Baseball’s best OF throwing arm?
It may well be Rick Ankiel.
The Pitcher turned Outfielder was featured in two amazing ESPN web gems throwing out a runner at 3rd from the warning track. Ankiel ranked 3rd best among CF in preventing runner advancement (.468) and the only question with his rifle arm is if it ranks with Roberto Clemente (-4 with that rating being reserved for the best of All-Time).
Rick Ankiel -3 Throwing arm (scale of -4 best of All-Time to +4 horrible)
Even though Brandon Inge has been moved all over the field defensively he still continues to amaze at third base even in a part-time role. In 51 games at third, Inge made only one error.
Inge 3b: A+ / 100
Among AL regulars at third base, Adrian Beltre had an excellent defensive season ranking first in Zone rating (.844) and +/- (+32).
Beltre 3b: A / 80
“The most exciting series I’ve ever played in was the last four games against Milwaukee.”
- Cal Ripken
Dennis Martinez and Al Bumbry meet in Camden Yards for the Orioles 25th Anniversary reunion.
With the new release of the 1982 season for DYNASTY League Baseball, I wanted to ask “El Presidente” Dennis Martinez about his new 1982 Orioles DYNASTY League Baseball player card and then have us play game 1 of the final four game series of the 1982 season in Baltimore between the Orioles and Brewers that determined the AL East winner on the last day of the season.
Why Dennis Martinez? Dennis has a special place with not only the 1982 Baltimore Orioles, but also with Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball. Back when I was first designing Pursue the Pennant in 1981 and 1982, I interned as Assistant Public Relations Director at the 1982 Baltimore Orioles Spring Training site in Miami, FL.
During that time Dennis Martinez and I played some of the first games of what was to become Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball.
Here we are playing in the Miami Stadium dugout with Dennis Martinez managing the Orioles as Earl Weaver and I’m managing the Brewers as Buck Rodgers with player cards based on the 1980 season.
What I remember most is how much fun it was to play Dennis. Each roll of the die with him on the mound he literally pitched the dice. Ever see a dice roll curve ball when you have played? Dennis was throwing curveballs, fastballs and changeups. Every play result seemed do or die with Dennis and I as Gorman Thomas, Paul Molitor and Robin Yount would try and hit the Baltimore star pitcher.
After Spring Training ended and I graduated from University of Miami, FL , I went back home to Brookfield, WI to experience the greatest season in Brewer history. I went to more Baseball games in 1982 than any other year. When the Orioles came into Milwaukee I met Dennis at the Pfister hotel to get together and drive him to Milwaukee County Stadium.
We played another memorable game that day in the visiting clubhouse of Milwaukee County Stadium before the scheduled Brewers vs. Orioles game. This time Dennis was joined in our game by relief ace Tippy Martinez and infielder Lenn Sakata taking turns rolling the dice and managing. Just about every Oriole in the clubhouse stopped by to watch our game including none other than Earl Weaver. Earl’s a bit old school so I’m not sure he grasped all of the realism and attention to detail that Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball have, but it did catch the legendary Manager’s attention in what was to be his last year of Managing.
Twenty six years later and Dennis and I are sitting together outside Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL, Spring Training home of both the Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals as well as home to the Marlins and Cardinals Minor League Florida State League High – A teams. Dennis is now pitching coach for the Palm Beach Cardinals helping to create future stars of top prospects like Jess Todd the Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2008.
I brought along Dennis” new 1982 DYNASTY League Baseball player card with me to show Dennis and asked him about his ability to get left-handed batters out. I had researched the vs. LH and vs. RH splits before our meeting and found that there were many years that Dennis was more effective vs. LH than RH even though he throws RH. In 1982, Martinez allowed a BA and SLG of .248/.392 vs. LH and .285/.430 vs. RH. Dennis said that he was able to throw his change-up vs. LH batters giving him an extra pitch and had trouble throwing the same change-up vs. RH batters.
Have you ever wondered what it is that makes some pitchers better in “JAM” situations? Dennis Martinez earned a JAM situation rating on his 1982 DYNASTY League Baseball player card based on his .218 BA and .338 SLG allowed with runners in scoring position. When I asked Dennis how he was able to pitch so well in JAM situations, Dennis started to change his body language and said it came down to heart and you could see that a JAM situation was a transforming situation for him that helped make him the top latin pitcher in wins All-Time over runner-up Juan Marichal.
I also brought along the box scores and play by play from Game 1 of the October 1, 1982 doubleheader matching up Dennis Martinez vs. Pete Vuckovich. The Brewers came into Baltimore three games up with four to play. Dennis remembered the game well and asked with great interest if he could take the box scores and play-by-play home with him.
Dennis Martinez and I play Game 1 of the October 1, 1982 final series with the DYNASTY League Baseball Windows version in Part 2 …
As a sidenote, I rode my bicycle to the Publix on Palm Beach early in the morning last week to pick up a few items. In the bakery was Jim Palmer. I recognized him immediately having looked at his photo on the cover of The Sporting News 1974 Baseball Guide I have been studying for the new 1973 season that has just been released.
I introduced myself and Jim Palmer and I talked about some of the people I worked with for the Baltimore Orioles. Jim was friendly and dressed in work out shirt and shorts looked at the age of 62 like he could still take the mound. I told him of the game with Dennis Martinez and extended an invitation to join us up in Jupiter, FL.
2008 Season: DYNASTY League Baseball and Pursue the Pennant Nation fired up for 2008 season release.
The Decade of the Underdogs Continues…
After the Subway Series in 2000, every World Series Champion with the exception of 2007 has waited a seeming eternity to win the World Series:
2001 Diamondbacks (1998)
2002 Angels (1961)
2003 Marlins (1997)
2004 Red Sox (1918)
2005 White Sox (1917)
2006 Cardinals (1982)
Phillies (1980), Mets (1986), Dodgers (1988), Rays (1998), Rockies (1993), Twins (1991)
What used to be an annual rite of Spring is now an annual rite of Fall. Instead of your player cards arriving around the time Pitchers and Catchers report to signal the start of the new Baseball season, your player cards arrive when the annual awards for Cy Young, MVP, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year and the Gold Glove awards are announced in November and the Hot Stove league heats up with trade rumors over the Winter Meetings.
We used to talk about the possibility of coming out with the new player cards in time for Christmas in some of our Pursue the Pennant meetings. Are you kidding? Not possible. It wasn’t even on the radar back then. To do what will happen with the release of the DYNASTY League Baseball 2008 season was unthinkable:
The DYNASTY League Baseball Windows version 2008 season CD will be released in November and all pre-orders are expected to ship the same week of release.
The DYNASTY League Baseball Board version 2008 season player cards will be released in November, the same as they have been since 2004, but here is what is different in 2008 on the board game player card front:
The entire printing system and equipment was upgraded this Summer and the results far exceeded expectations – printing speeds are now 40 x faster than before. What does that mean? The player card pre-orders that used to take 3-4 months to print, now will take 3-4 weeks. That’s right. So the staggered first in first out shipping won’t be nearly as staggered.
Everyone who pre-orders will have their season player card set shipped in November.
The new printing system also has the benefits of very high print resolutions with very sharp and clear text and a coating on the paper stock to prevent player cards from sticking.
The 2008 World Series teams will once again be offered as PDF’s so you can play the 2008 World Series. If you have placed a pre-order for the 2008 season, send an email to:
Include 2008 World Series in the subject of the email and your name in the body of the email and the PDF of the Rays and Phillies will be sent to you prior to the 2008 season release. Estimating the 2008 World Series PDF will be emailed in late October or early November prior to the release of the 2008 season set.
Mike Wilner of FAN 590 Radio has been pre-playing the World Series each year since 2004 with DYNASTY League Baseball. In case you missed it, Jamie Hall took over as Jim Leyland and I was Tony LaRussa as we pre-played the 2006 World Series before each game for CBS.
Size of the 2008 season set? Same as 2007 (972 players).
Top three most anticipated 2008 DYNASTY League Baseball teams:
Top three most anticipated 2008 DYNASTY League Baseball player cards:
Albert Pujols and Chipper Jones (tie)
Top three most anticipated 2008 DYNASTY League Baseball rookies:
2008 season playoff players receiving Clutch hitting ratings:
Ryan Howard .322 BA and .552 SLG RSP/2
Manny Ramirez .318 BA/.576 SLG RSP/2. Manny just being Manny, but he also gets a D Intangible rating for his antics with the Red Sox.
Mark Teixeira .352 BA/.716 SLG Close and Late
Kevin Youkilis .328 BA/.492 SLG RSP/2
Carlos Quentin .351 BA/.757 SLG Close and Late
Vladimir Guerrero .350 BA/.638 SLG Close and Late
Aramis Ramirez .423 BA/.873 SLG Close and Late
David Ortiz .346 BA/.885 SLG RSP/2 and bonus points for the three run jack in game 5 of the ALCS that sparked the greatest comeback in post season history.
Evan Longoria .333 BA/.754 SLG Close and Late
Garrett Anderson .356 BA RSP/2, .371 BA/.578 SLG Close and Late
Dustin Pedroia .368 BA/.526 SLG Close and Late
Andre Eithier .327 BA/.500 SLG RSP/2
Alexei Ramirez .321 BA/.566 SLG RSP/2
Biggest surprise not to get a Clutch hitting rating?
Chase Utley .242 BA RSP/2 and .221 BA in Close and Late
NOTE: Clutch hitting ratings are awarded based on a combination of stats including RSP/2, Close and Late, RSP and RBI.
DYNASTY League Baseball ULTIMATE Ball Park charts (Board version) and updated Ball park effects for the Windows version and Online version
New in 2008 are updated HR results for Minute Maid Park that include the Crawford Boxes,
Train Tracks (Pujols blast off Lidge in the 2005 NLCS) and Conoco HR porch.
Making it’s debut in 2008 is Nationals Park:
Most Anticipated New Version of Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball:
It probably won’t happen in 2008, but in 2009 it is likely that you will be able to pre-play the World Series with the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online version. If you have not had a chance to check out the new screen shots at the league link – it’s a must. DYNASTY League Baseball Online will be rocking the Baseball world in 2008 and 2009.
A next generation user interface is designed to make bracket style Greatest Teams tournaments and continuous Draft League play much easier, faster and more fun.
Don’t have enough time to play? A new profile based Computer Manager and Scheduler allow you to play live or have the game Managed for you based on your Manager profile so no matter how busy you are you’ll always have time for DYNASTY League Baseball Online.
Welcome DYNASTY League Baseball and Pursue the Pennant Fans!
If you are a DYNASTY League Baseball and Pursue the Pennant veteran welcome.
If you are a rookie, here is a good place to start to learn about the game and it’s history from reviews from such sites as USA TODAY, ESPN.com, Milwaukee Journal and the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
For more than 20 years discerning baseball fans have played this super realistic Baseball simulation that let’s you become the Manager and GM of your own team. The Game Design tour can be found at the DYNASTY League Baseball home page
There are two versions of DYNASTY League Baseball:
- The original DYNASTY League Baseball Board version which is great for local leagues and face to face play.
- The new DYNASTY League Baseball Online version that is all about taking league and tournament play to the next level with a next generation user interface and loads of new features that make league and tournament play easier, faster and much more fun than ever before. Michael Bauman wrote the first major review of Pursue the Pennant which was to morph into DYNASTY League Baseball using an upgraded version of the original Pursue the Pennant game engine. You can read PDF versions of his reviews at the DYNASTY League Baseball reviews link.
Michael Bauman is currently the National Baseball writer here at MLB.com where you can read his Perspectives columns. Mathew Leach, beat writer for the Cardinals at MLB.com played a DYNASTY League Baseball Winter game with St. Louis Post Dispatch beat writer Derrick Goold whose Bird Land blog is a great read for Cardinals fans.
Orioles MLB.com beat writer Spencer Fordin is an avid DYNASTY League Baseball player and is in hot competition in the THROW continuous season draft league along with Mike Wilner of the Blue Jays FAN 590 radio.
We’ll be including DYNASTY League Baseball news and notes along with interviews with MLB Players, Managers and Front office personnel with their slant on DYNASTY League Baseball and Pursue the Pennant.