This time it counts: How Managerial All-Star game strategy has changed and a simulated preview of the 2009 All-Star game retro-managed with DYNASTY League Baseball
With the All-Star game returning to St. Louis for the first time since 1966, you might be amazed at how differently that game was managed compared to recent All-Star games.
Check out the box score from the 1966 All-Star game held in Busch Stadium in 105 sweltering degrees:
What do you notice about the starting lineups? Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey and Ron Santo all played not only the entire nine innings, but also the tenth inning when Maury Will’s single to right-field scored Tim McCarver to notch another victory for the NL 2-1.
If Joe Torre and Bob Brenly had managed the 2002 All-Star game the same way Sam Mele of the Twins and Walter Alston of the Dodgers managed the 1966 All-Star game, Bud Selig would never have come close to having to throw up his hands and declare it a 7-7 tie.
One thing that jumps out from the 2009 All-Star game roster, is that among the 33 players, there are only two regular catchers on each team. On the 1966 All-Star game roster, there were three catchers on each team among the 27 man roster. The strategy and injury implications are huge here. With only two catchers, you are forced to use your starting catcher for all nine innings in the St. Louis heat because you will have no back up catcher if you use your second catcher. Imagine a scenario where the back up catcher gets hurt? Will Bud Selig instruct Bob Uecker to come out and put on the catching gear?
Late in the game, if catcher Yadier Molina comes up to bat in a crucial game situation, AL Manager Joe Maddon has several great right-handed relief options vs. the right-handed hitting Molina that can’t be countered with a left-handed pinch hitter like Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez by NL Manager Charlie Manuel. Manuel could gamble if he wants to roll the dice and use up his last catcher, but can you imagine the backlash on “This time it counts” if backup catcher Brian McCann is injured? Note also that there are four first basemen for the NL in a game that Albert Pujols should play all nine innings in his home park – at least he would have in 1966.
In 1966, Walter Alston pitched Sandy Koufax for three innings for the NL followed by Jim Bunning (2 IP), Juan Marichal (3 IP) and Gaylord Perry (2 IP). That’s four pitchers leaving you with plenty of bullpen match-up options and no need to walk down to Bud’s field box and tell him you are out of pitchers. The 1966 extra inning game also was finished in a crisp 2:19 minutes. Are you taking notes Charlie and Joe for Tuesday’s tilt?
Our simulated DYNASTY League Baseball 2009 All-Star game was retro-managed with tactics similar to the way All-Star games were managed in the 1960′s, 1970′s and 1980′s. The game summary follows:
Teixeira’s 5 RBI’s lead AL to 6-1 win
Mark Teixeira was a one man wrecking crew wreaking havoc in the first inning by hammering a pitch from jittery Tim Lincecum into left field for a 3-run HR. Lincecum walked two batters in the first before Teixeira’s HR. Ryan Braun hit a 375 foot HR to right-center off Roy Halladay to close the gap to 3-1 in the bottom of the second. Teixeira struck again in the top of the fifth clearing the bases with a 2-run double to left-center off Johan Santana.
The relief trio of Jonathan Papelbon, Joe Nathan and Mariano Rivera shutdown any comeback hopes for the NL in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.
Analysis: If Tim Lincecum can avoid first inning jitters and control problems he should settle down for a good if not dominating outing. The Teixera HR was the only hit of the 1st inning for the AL, but was the crucial blow of the game.
Who is not on the NL and AL rosters is going to play a factor as much as who is on the roster. Without injured Carlos Beltran, the NL outfield lacks depth in power, speed and defense (Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth are the only CF). The 2009 NL outfield of Ryan Braun, Shane Victorino and Raul Ibanez hardly compares to the 1966 NL outfield of Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente.
Beltran could have provided excellent defense in CF with his A Range and -2 (very good) Throwing Arm and been a threat to take the extra base with his 9 Baserunning rating on his DYNASTY League Baseball player card.
The three top AL relievers Papelbon, Nathan and Rivera all give up a very high success rate on stolen base attempts (rated +4, +4 and +2 on their DYNASTY League Baseball player cards) so the NL needs to take advantage of this with the runners that they do get on base vs. the terrific AL bullpen trio.
Most of the NL left-handed power (Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard and Adrian Gonzalez) will be log jammed on the bench behind first baseman Albert Pujols so although Charlie Manual has some great pinch hitting options vs. the RH dominated AL pitching staff, it will be unlikely any of the trio will get more than one AB.
With all the emphasis on Albert Pujols and his place as the best hitter in Baseball (and deservedly so), Mark Teixera his AL counterpart may be overlooked, if that is possible as a Yankee in New York. Texiera is tearing up right-handed pitching at a .352 BA/.463 OBP/.591 SLG rate.
DYNASTY League Baseball from the designer of Pursue the Pennant is a landmark baseball simulation lauded for it’s high level of realism and is available in a Board version, Windows version and an upcoming Online version featuring Greatest Teams tournaments and continuous Draft leagues. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball.
More information is available at designdepot.com
25th Anniversary Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball Tour Tournament event AT&T Park September 11-13
Thank you to all of the great fans of Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball for 25 fantastic fun years of playing!
Some of the history is captured at the DYNASTY League Baseball reviews and feature link with a new column just added “Yanks Control Board Meeting” from Michael Bauman of the Milwaukee Journal and MLB.com that left us all smiling.
We are celebrating 25 years of Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball during the AT&T Park Tour Tournament Express September 11-13. Your invitation to this amazing event is at the DYNASTY League Baseball League link.
If you are on Facebook, you can read about the AT&T Park Tour Tournament event at the DYNASTY League Baseball Fan page.
The Tour Tournament leads off Friday, September 11 from Union Station in Los Angeles, CA with connections from San Diego, Anaheim and Santa Barbara where we will board Amtrak’s Coast Starlight premier train with first class accomodations and private roomettes.
If you live in the San Franciso bay area there is an opportunity to join us on Saturday, September 12 for the Tour of AT&T Park, Greatest Teams bracket tournament and Dodgers vs. Giants game.
All of you native Giant and A’s fans in the bay area we want you to join our group coming from Los Angeles!
If you live in other parts of the country please contact us so we can help you connect into Los Angeles or San Diego.
As our on-board chef prepares breakfast, we’ll watch some of the most spectacular scenery in the USA roll by in the Dining car. After breakfast, we’ll head to the one of a kind Pacific Parlour car (the only passenger Parlour car on Amtrak) accessible to first class passengers only and ideal for gaming. In fact, it has a cabinet of board games. The Pacific Parlour car will be serving appetizers, wine and cheese so prepare to be pampered. This doesn’t even happen in the Legend seats at Yankee Stadium!
Our Greatest Teams tournament will allow you to select from any of the great teams. 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 September 12 we’ll head out to AT&T Park for a tour. On your behind-the-scenes ballpark tour of sensational AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants, you will get to go places only the players and staff go including:
The Field Warning Track
Indoor Batting Cages
The Visitors’ Clubhouse
The Press Box
The Luxury Suite
Ballpark Features and Views
After the tour, we’ll be starting up a local mini-Greatest Team bracket style tournament right at AT&T Park that DYNASTY League Baseball fans from the Bay Area can join in with the group from San Diego and Los Angeles.
The tournaments will include play with the Board version, Windows version and the debut on the new Online version using the Giants Wi-Fi broadband wireless network at AT&T Park.
After the tournament our group will see the Dodgers battle the Giants at AT&T Park.
At the league page there are links to recaps of previous tour tournaments which have some incredible stories to be told.
Stadium Express are just a few of many stories. Above, Dan Treuden (middle) and Mike Mack (right) join me with the Green Monster looming behind before the hurricane hit on the Fenway Park Oympic Stadium Express Tour Tournament.
AT&T Park Express Tour Tournament includes:
- Greatest Teams tournament
Team selections are at this MLB.com News Blog:
- Round trip first class rail fare with private roomette and chef prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner on both Friday and Sunday.
- Two nights San Francisco Hilton Garden Hotel
- Tour of AT&T Ball Park
- Club Level ticket to Giants vs. Dodgers September 12, 2009
Double occupancy: $448
Tour, Tournament and Game only on September 12 for local DYNASTY League Baseball fans in the Bay area: $124
Space is limited…
Team selections on first come basis.
Deadline for reservations is Monday June 15, 2009
Call 561-494-2711 or email email@example.com
See you in September!
Dinner with Milwaukee Braves Eddie Mathews: 1957 season re-release and a trip back to the 1950′s with friends Willie, Mickey, Duke,
The DYNASTY League Baseball 1957 season board version card set is being re-released this Summer in the new color format with updated vs. LH and vs. RH batting and pitching splits. The 1957 season Windows version will also be updated with new vs. LH and vs. RH splits.
What would have it been like to sit in the empty chair and have dinner with Eddie Mathews (middle) in what looks like a typical German restaurant in Milwaukee?
First off, you haven’t eaten unless you’ve been to one of Milwaukee’s famous German restaurants the king of which is Karl Rausch’s.
Most of you are like me. We never had the chance to see the great stars of the 1950′s. So here is your chance to learn a bit more`and take in some of the images of what Baseball was like in 1957.
My Grandfather from my father’s side of the family owned an Optical company near Mitchell St. in Milwaukee. In the 1950′s, Mitchell St. was a thriving area and some of the Milwaukee Braves would come in as customers including Eddie Mathews. The unique thing about the Milwaukee Braves and their fans is that it was a mutual love affair. It was more than the Milwaukee attendance records that were set while outdrawing larger markets in Chicago and New York. The fans loved the Braves and the Braves loved the fans.
From the new book “Milwaukee Braves: Heroes and Heartbreak” author William Povletich explains the love affair: “People ask me what the common theme is for all the guys I talked to, and it’s almost like they all have been brainwashed with the same script,” Povletich said. “It’s ‘We loved Milwaukee. When we came here our money was no good. They installed lockers in the dugout and filled it with meat and dairy products and ice cream. When we came home from a game, there’d be cases of beer on our front porch.
Shortly after Pursue the Pennant began in September of 1984, Bob Allen and I took the Amtrak train from Milwaukee to Chicago to meet with the Advertising agency that we were designing the Pursue the Pennant logo and Ad campaign with. Bob was the Milwaukee Braves PR Director for all 13 winning seasons of Milwaukee Braves history from 1953-1965 and was also Hank Aaron’s agent. He actually had the Milwaukee Braves Championship trophy in his house! Bob did not want to have the Braves memorabilia taken to Atlanta when the Braves were hijacked to the deep south.
Bob Allen borrowed his 1957 Official scorebook to me so I could research the Milwaukee Braves vs. LH and vs. RH splits. I sent copies of his scorebook to retrosheet.org to help with the project of finding original scorebooks from past seasons.
Bob Allen appears in the dugout at the start of this incredible video with rare color footage of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Joe Torre and Eddie Mathews in Milwaukee County Stadium. How lucky is this kid? Best day ever? You bet. When you get right down to it isn’t this really what Baseball is all about?
My parents took me to St. Louis to see the Cardinals play vs. the Atlanta Braves in August of 1973. I became a Cardinals fan in 1967, but had never seen them play in St. Louis. We went to the historic Chase Park Plaza hotel that the Braves were staying at and sure enough here comes Hank Aaron walking through the lobby. Hank was in the midst of his chase of Babe Ruth’s home run record. I went up and told him I was from Milwaukee and Hank signed my baseball.
Later that day we went to Stan Musial’s restaurant and as soon as we walked in there was “Stan the Man”.
Stan was extremely friendly and asked me where I was from and “Can you hit?” I said, “Yeah!” Stan signed the same baseball Hank signed. Best day ever? Certainly right at the top of the list.
This Spring while at the St. Louis Cardinals camp in Jupiter, FL I ran across Peter Gammons and told him about the 1957 Milwaukee Braves winning the DYNASTY League Baseball ESPN.com Greatest Teams bracket style tournament. Peter’s reaction was, “How did that happen?”
Peter would put the 1939 Yankees at the top of his list, but what about the 1957 Milwaukee Braves?
Below are Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract rankings for the Milwaukee Braves:
BILL JAMES POSITIONAL RANKINGS INDEX
Del Crandell, C____________30
Red Schoendienst, 2B_______28
Eddie Mathews, 3B___________3
Johnny Logan, SS___________39
Hank Aaron, RF______________2
Joe Adcock, 1B_____________43
Bobby Thomson, RF__________59
Warren Spahn, P_____________5
The big three of Eddie Mathews (3), Hank Aaron (2) and Warren Spahn (5) may be the highest ranking trio of any greatest team.
By comparison, the 1939 New York Yankees big three had Joe DiMaggio (5), Joe Gordon (16) and Bill Dickey (7) as their highest ranking trio. Below: Joe DiMaggio playing casino on a train trip with teammates. Too bad Joe and the rest of the Yankees didn’t have a copy of the DYNASTY League Baseball board version on the train to have their own tournaments! The 1950′s marked the last decade that players would travel by train. In 1957, the furthest most western team was still Kansas City.
From the Wisconsin Historical Society:
The Milwaukee Braves were already a very good baseball team when Albert “Red” Schoendienst joined them in June of 1957. Featuring future Hall of Famers Warren Spahn, Eddie Matthews and Henry Aaron and a strong supporting cast, the Braves had dueled the Brooklyn Dodgers for the 1956 National League pennant, losing by a single game on the last day of the season.
Schoendienst, a 12-year veteran and 10-time All-Star, was just what the Braves needed. Acquired from the New York Giants, Red brought sharp hitting and excellent fielding to the second base position, along with a wealth of baseball knowledge and understated experience. Many people consider Scheondienst the player who transformed the Braves from a competitive team in 1956 to World Champions in 1957.
Henry Aaron recalled, “I’ll never forget it. Red came in to the clubhouse and put on the Braves’ uniform, and it made us all feel like Superman. We knew he was going to mean so much to our ballclub that wouldn’t show up in the boxscore. He provided the leadership in the clubhouse and on the field. He was never a rah-rah college kind of guy, but he definitely became the leader of that ballclub.”
Above: 1957 World Series hero Lew Burdette and wife celebrate winning the championship in Milwaukee.
What about some of the great stars of the 1950′s that Eddie Mathews and the Braves played against? Let’s take a look:
Above: Pull up a chair. Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Mickey Mantle all part of the new 1957 season DYNASTY League Baseball re-release.
Above: Mickey Mantle had one of his best seasons in 1957. .421 BA with A Power vs. LH and .339 with A Power vs. RH on his DYNASTY League Baseball player card. Where do you think this ball is heading?
Above: Maybe the bleachers in Old Yankee Stadium, one of the parks included in the new ULTIMATE Ball Park charts for the 1957 season.
Above: Before his knee injury, Mickey Mantle could really run and was the fastest player in the AL earning a 10 Baserunning rating on his 1957 DYNASTY League Baseball player card.
Above: Ted Williams hitting in Old Comiskey Park. Williams had one of his best seasons in 1957 hitting .388 with an OBP of .528 and SLG of .731. With RSP, Williams hit .373 with an .800 SLG easily earning him a Clutch hitting rating on his 1957 DYNASTY League Baseball card.
Left: The joy of Willie Mays playing for the New York Giants in Wrigley Field. 1957 was the last year the Giants would play in New York before moving to San Francisco. Has there ever been a better defensive CF (Mays A+/65/-3 defensive player ratings)?
What couldn’t Willie Mays do? Run (10 Baserunning rating),
hit (.333 BA), hit for power (A Power), get on base (.411 OBP), and hit in the Clutch (Clutch hitting rating earned in part by hitting .361 with a .701 SLG in Close and late situations).
You’d be hard pressed to come up with better CF than in the 1950′s with Mantle, Mays and Duke Snider.
Above: Polo Grounds DEEP CF distance of 430 feet for a HR off the DYNASTY League Baseball ball park chart.
Left: Duke Snider hit 40 HR in 1957 (A Power) in the last year the Dogers would play in Brooklyn.
Above: Ebbets Field. Has anyone hit a 395 foot HR into the DeSoto car dealership in RF using the DYNASTY League Baseball Greatest Team Ball Park charts?
Left: Frank Robinson in the Crosley Field clubhouse. The clubhouse is typical of what they looked like in the 1950s’.
I had the chance to meet Frank Robinson while working for the Baltimore Orioles and he is a super guy – friendly and open. On the field he was a tremendous team leader (A Intangible rating) and a fierce competitor who would cut your heart out.
Perhaps one of the most overlooked stars. Somehow he was not elected on the MLB All-Century team even though his 586 HR ranked him 5th on the All-Time HR list. Bill James ranks Frank Robinson as the third best RF of All-time.
Left: Frank Robinson is ripped! Robinson was a tremendous athlete and fierce competitor having played with Celtics Bill Russell on his high school basketball team.
In 1957, Robinson was coming off his previous rookie of the year season with the Reds and hit .322. Robinson was also an outstanding outfielder with the Reds (A+/80/-2).
Above: Ernie Banks playing shortstop. Other shortstops had more range (Banks has B range on his 1957 player card), but how many hit 43 HR?
Above: Mr. Cub. Fans could literally reach out and touch the players at Wrigley Field.
Hope you enjoyed dinner with Eddie Mathews and remember this is the Milwaukee Braves in the 1950′s so remember to pick up the check!
The updated list of 70 teams for DYNASTY League Baseball Online Greatest Teams tournaments is below:
You can read about the DYNASTY League Baseball Greatest Teams including the ESPN.com tournament at the Greatest Teams link.
Note that the green teams are new and the orange teams are updated. The 1970 Orioles replaced the 1969 Orioles and the 1973 A’s replaced the 1974 A’s.
The goal was to have at least one representative team from each franchise.
We’ll have more details in future posts of exactly how the Greatest Teams Online tournaments will work.
1924 WASH 92-62
1927 NY A 110-44
1929 CHI N 98-54
1929 PHIL A 104-46
1934 STL N 95-58
1934 DET 101-53
1939 NY A 106-45
1942 STL N 106-48
1946 BOS 104-50
1954 CLE 111-43
1955 BRK 98-55
1957 NY A 98-56
1957 MIL N 95-59
1961 NY A 109-53
1962 SF 103-62
1965 LA 97-65
1967 STL 101-60
1968 DET 103-59
1969 NY N 100-62
1970 MIN 98-64
1970 BAL 108-541971 PIT 97-65
1973 OAK 94-681975 CIN 108-54
1975 BOS 95-65
1977 NYA 100-62
1977 KC 102-60
1977 LA 98-64
1977 PHIL 101-61
1979 PIT 98-64
1981 MON 60-48
1982 MIL A 95-67
1982 BAL 94-68
1982 CAL 93-69
1982 STL 92-70
1983 CHI A 99-63
1984 CHI N 96-65
1984 SD 92-70
1984 DET 104-58
1985 STL 101-61
1986 NY N 108-54
1986 HOU 96-66
1986 BOS 95-66
1988 OAK 104-58
1993 TOR 95-67
1993 PHIL 97-65
1994 MON 74-40
1996 CLE 99-62
1997 FL 92-70
1998 SD 98-64
1998 NY A 114-48
1999 ATL 103-59
1999 TEX 95-67
2000 NY N 94-68
2001 SEA 116-46
2001 AZ 92-70
2002 SF 95-66
2002 ANA 99-66
2004 BOS 98-64
2004 STL 105-57
2005 CHI A 99-63
2005 HOU 89-73
2006 DET 95-67
2006 MN 96-66
2007 COL 90-73
2008 TB 97-65
2008 PHIL 92-70
2009 NY A 103-59
2010 TEX 90-72
2010 SF 92-70
I’ve been playing the 1972 World Series recently and to jog your memory it is regarded as one of the tightest World Series of All-Time with six of the seven games being decided by one run.
You can read more about 1972 World Series in the Sports Illustrated Mustaches All the Way story by William Leggett.
To get started with the Windows version though you may need to update your ball park file at the DYNASTY Download if you have not already. To check if you already have the updated ball park file go to pre-game setup and click on the ball park button shown below:
Next, you’ll be able to view all of the ball park effects by selecting the radio button on the left for All Seasons shown below:
Scroll down to Oakland and you should see a year range from 1970 to 1995. If you don’t see that year range for Oakland Alameda you will want to update your ball park chart.dyn file at the DYNASTY Download.
You should always select the correct year of the game you are playing in pre-game setup because the game uses that to determine which ball park effects and ball park image to use in the game you are playing.
If you encounter a ball park image for the wrong home team it may be that the year for that ball park is not available yet as part of the ball park effects. This may happen with some of the past season sets for certain parks. The remedy is to select the next closest year in pre-game setup that is available by looking at the year ranges of that park.
After you have completed pre-game setup and clicked Play Ball you should see the ball park image display. If not, you need to complete step 3 found in your v2.2 install insert.
And finally a BIG CAUTION about never using the Groundskeeper menu option to view Stadium pictures. It’s like kryptonite to the game so just stay away from that feature. It was only included as a way to test the ball park images and should have been taken out in the final version of the game. It will corrupt your game and you will get VACANT results in the lineup and all kinds of other funky errors. Stay away from that menu option and you’ll be fine. If you have used that menu option and the game is coming up with strange errors like the VACANT error and skipping players in the lineup chances are you will need to delete and reinstall the game.
Many of the great St. Louis Cardinal Legends are in Jupiter, FL January 21-25, 2009 playing against 102 Cardinal fantasy campers at Roger Dean Stadium to benefit Hire Heroes USA. Hire Heroes USA is dedicated to providing job assistance to our wounded and disabled military personnel returning from conflicts overseas.
St. Louis Cardinal Camp coordinator Sara Trask invited me to camp for a meeting with St. Louis Cardinals left-hander Ricky Horton. First, I had a chance to see the Cardinal Legend team play and I spotted pitcher Ken Dayley in right field and also said “Hi” to catcher Mike Matheny. Many former Cardinals participate in camp including Lou Brock (instructor), John Tudor, Mike Lavalliere and Joe Magrane just to name a few.
This is Field of Dreams Cardinal style.
Oh yeah, and while I was waiting for Rick Horton we had to find a glove for Lou Brock so he could play in the afternoon game. Pinch me am I dreaming?
Rick Horton is the St. Louis Cardinals Legends Camp Commissioner and also is one of the Cardinals television color commentators. He arrived in his golf cart by the batting cages where we met for our interview. I shook Rick’s hand and told him this was not the first time we had met and that I had something to show him.
I had boxed and packed what I was about to show Rick like it was the Ark of the Covenant from Raiders of the lost ark. Rick watched wide-eyed as I unwrapped a champagne bottle from the Cardinals locker room on Saturday October 5, 1985. The Cardinals had just clinched the NL East Pennant in a 7-1 win vs. the Cubs with John Tudor getting the win. On the bottle are the signatures signed in the champagne drenched locker room of John Tudor, Andy Van Slyke, Jack Clark, Joaquin Andujar (#47), Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee (1985 MVP) and Ricky Horton
Rick’s reaction was “WOW! This is so cool! We have to show this to John Tudor and the rest of the guys.”
Rick’s signature was the only one in ink (the rest were from a sharpie that Willie McGee was nice enough to borrow me) and was faded. After our interview, Rick re-signed his signature with a sharpie so this one of a kind piece of Cardinal memorabilia would not forget him.
The champagne was flowing that day in the Cardinal Busch Stadium locker room. I was in the locker room after meeting with Mike Rappaport of the old St. Louis Globe Democrat who wrote a column in which we pre-played the key October 1-3 series vs. the rival New York Mets in a thrilling pennant race that went right down to the wire.
After Willie McGee borrowed me his sharpie, I went locker to locker to congratulate the players and record the moment on the champagne bottle. As I walked out of Busch Stadium with my prize firmly in hand, waiting outside were thousands of fans. I was like Moses parting the red sea of Cardinal fans as they cheered loudly realizing what I had in hand had come from the victorious locker room. What a moment!
Rick was one of the key pitchers out of Whitey Herzog’s bullpen for the 1985 Cardinals. The 1985 Cardinals are part of Greatest Teams 1 so everyone pull out your Ricky Horton DYNASTY League Baseball player card or fire up the DYNASTY League Baseball Windows version and load a game with the 1985 Cardinals (maybe vs. the 1986 rival NY Mets?) to view Rick’s player card.
I handed an uncut sheet of 1985 Cardinal player cards to Rick with the Ricky Horton card in the upper left-hand corner of the sheet. Rick studied his player card and immediately asked if his Pickoff/Hold rating of 7/A (-2) was good?
I explained that the 7 Pickoff rating was excellent on a scale of 1-10 and that the A Hold rating was excellent at preventing runners from attempting to steal and the (-2) reduced the SB success percentage of opposing base stealers.
I then went on to show Rick the Deep Drive Ball park chart distance numbers in feet with the various power ratings, wind and temperature adjustments along with the Ball Park charts of Busch Stadium 2 from both 1966-1969 and 1977-1991.
“I used to play Strat-O-Matic, but DYNASTY League Baseball is much more realistic.”, said Rick.
Then we went on for a few questions:
MC: You were especially tough vs. LH batters (.219 BA vs. LH in 1985). Which pitches did you feel were your best pitches vs. LH batters?
RH: “Slider away and fastball in were the pitches that I used most to get LH batters out.”
MC: Did you feel that the Cardinals had an advantage over other teams with Whitey Herzog managing?
RH: “Absolutely.” “I saw many times how Whitey boxed other Mangers in.” “Whitey was an incredible Manager and always was thinking one step ahead.”
I followed up by saying that Whitey Herzog has to be in the Hall of Fame as a Manager and Rick agreed that there is no question he has to be in the Hall of Fame.
MC: You were an excellent fielder. Is fielding ability something that you took extra pride in given that the Cardinals were such a great defensive team?
RH: “The bar was set high with the Cardinals.” Rick said that there was a team influence and emphasis on defense. Since he was not a power pitcher, fielding was one of the things he focused on.
MC: In 1985 you lead the Cardinal staff with 3 pickoffs pitching only 89 innings.
You had a very good pick off move and ability to hold runners. Were you especially conscious of stopping the running game since it was such a big part of the Cardinal attack?
RH: “When I was in college I would look in the mirror to work on my pickoff move instead of studying for calculus.” Whitey Herzog told Rick that since he was not an overpowering pitcher that it was important to do the little things right. Rick mentioned that in 1986 he was voted Best Move in the League by NL Managers.
We ended exchanging contact info and the real prospect of DYNASTY League Baseball becoming a sponsor of St. Louis Cardinals Legends Camp. So stay tuned and hopefully we’ll have much more with Ricky Horton and the rest of the Cardinal Legends with their take on DYNASTY League Baseball.
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.