Results tagged ‘ DYNASTY League Baseball ’
How Harvey’s Wallbangers helped bring Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball to your tabletop and screen
Without this celebrated moment in October of 1982 at Milwaukee County Stadium the Milwaukee Brewers would not have a Pennant to hang from Miller Park and most likely Pursue the Pennant and it’s successor DYNASTY League Baseball would not exist.
The level of excitement generated by the Wallbanger’s incredible run was the game design impetus – especially when it came to the high level of inspiration and perspiration necessary to complete the project. After more than four years of game design development, it took the excitement of the 1982 Brewers season to convince a venture capital group to make the investment necessary to bring what was then Pursue the Pennant to your tabletop. My appearance with Paul Molitor on the cover of The Business Journal was what finally made everything fall into place and bring in other Brewers Jim Gantner and Bob McClure into the venture.
The photo in my profile of Paul Molitor and I playing the board version on the top of the Milwaukee County Stadium dugout was one of the photos that appeared in The Business Journal.
Molitor, Gantner and McClure were not strangers to me as we were part of an incredible group of people playing pick up basketball at the YMCA in Wauwatosa, WI. There was also Pat Hughes broadcaster from the Brewers and Cubs and Donnie Nelson current GM of the NBA Dallas Mavericks.
The 1982 Brewers were an easy team choice for me to make in our Cooperstown league in the new Greatest Team leagues for DYNASTY League Baseball Online. Every Baseball fan has one team and one season that they remember as special that stands above the rest. That is what the new Greatest Team Leagues are all about. This is your chance to have those great memories flow like a trip to Iowa in Field of Dreams as you compete in a 12 team league. Win or lose, just being able to immerse yourself in the challenge of managing and the new revelations you will have of your favorite players strengths and weaknesses (that you never realized at the time when watching your favorite team play) makes joining a league an extremely enjoyable experience.
While chatting during league games with NBA Event coordinator Ski Austin (1971 Pirates), Ski told me that Roberto Clemente was his favorite player growing up. Geoff Reiss (1986 Mets) formerly of ESPN.com selected his favorite Mets and USA TODAY Baseball Fantasy columnist Steve Gardner (1970 Orioles) selected one of his favorite Oriole teams.
MVP Robin Yount homered down the left field line for me in this win vs. Baseball America’s Jim Callis’ 1986 Astros. The Milwaukee County stadium night background is from a photo that I took at a game I was at in the 80′s. Pretty cool having a photo of a game you were at as part of DYNASTY League Baseball Online.
I knew what to expect managing the Wallbangers and they haved lived up to expectations hammering 46 HR to lead the league through the first 31 games of the 54 game face to face schedule. Cy Young winner Pete Vuckovich has been the poster boy for DYNASTY League Baseball duplicating his pattern of giving up plenty of walks and hits while at the same time getting out of jams with his JAM (extra tough with runners in scoring position and two out) and ON (rarely gives up a HR with runners on base) ratings. It’s the toughest pitching performance for any baseball simulation to replicate.
It’s truly a unique multi-player experience being able to so easily see updated stats, standings and leaders after every game has been played and one in which I’m still in jaw dropping awe over. DYNASTY League Baseball Online developer Jamie Hall just continues to impress with more really cool features still to come (the new live draft room is looking awesome).
You don’t have to wait for Draft Leagues to start experiencing the excitement of league play with the Greatest Teams. You can join a league right now just by clicking on this link.
When a name was contemplated for this Baseball simulation back in 1992, the idea was that since league play would be central to the game that “league” would have to be part of the name. Dynasty denotes continuity so there you have it. Translated DYNASTY League Baseball equals - continuous draft league play. Yes, you can also play a solitaire replay or come up with any other number of play formats with the Board version, but continuous draft league play was what DYNASTY League Baseball was always envisioned to be.
The debut of DYNASTY League Baseball Online last November made real time multi-player a reality for the first time not just for DYNASTY League Baseball, but for any Baseball simulation game. Greatest Team bracket tournaments being updated in real time have turned out to be wildy popular with some players playing as many as 200 live multi-player games in a three month time frame. The Greatest Team bracket tournament experience has been thrilling and just recently the first 64 team bracket tournaments debuted as the ultimate challenge.
Next, Greatest Team leagues debuted in March of this year with a new scheduler and for the first time league players could easily play multi-player games and see updated scores, stats, leaders and standings in real time. This is a first for Baseball simulations and is a dream come true eliminating the hassle of IP adddresses, router settings, failed connnections and importing and exporting of files to a central Commissioner.
One of the challenges with draft leagues has been where do you have the draft. If you have a local league and use the Board game the way the SNBL used to play in Brookfield, WI it isn’t an issue, but it is a issue with players scattered all over the country.
Enter DYNASTY League Baseball Online’s live draft room. Much more than a draft room, the live draft room shows all available players in the draft and when you mouse over a player you see his player card right in the draft room. How cool is that?
DYNASTY League Baseball was the first baseball simulation to have Official League rules. Basically they are the original Rotisserie Baseball rules adapted for Baseball simulations. If you want to know how DYNASTY League Baseball draft leagues work including contracts and bidding, all the information is in the DYNASTY League Baseball Official Rulebook at the link below the Dennis Martinez and Paul Molitor player cards.
Drafts in DYNASTY League Baseball are live bidding drafts and you can see in the upper right-hand corner of the draft room screen shot below the area to enter your bid on the player who is up for bid (shown just to the left). There also is a timing counter that serves as the live auctioneer which helps speed up drafts significantly.
In the upper left-hand corner is the real time update of the balance of $ every team has available as well as the maximum bid they can make for the player currently being bid on (you can’t bid more than than the $ you have left remaining).
There is more to come with the live draft room, but welcome to your first look!
The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were the teams of the 00′s
The Atlanta Braves were the team of the 90′s.
The St. Louis Cardinals were the team of the 80′s.
The New York Yankees were the team of the late 70′s
The Cincinnati Reds were the team of the mid 70′s
The Oakland A’s were the team of the early 70′s.
The St. Louis Cardinals were the team of the late 60′s
The New York Yankees were the team of the early 60′s
The New York Yankees were the team of the 50′s
Through out baseball history there have been gaps between the have and have-nots. Didn’t the Red Sox SELL Babe Ruth to the rich Yankees? For DYNASTY League Baseball and Fantasy teams the salary cap provides a level playing field. Here are a few history lessons from Baseball’s real life counter parts and how they built their dynasties.
Rule #1: Overall top to bottom talent is more important than a star player or two. A single baseball player does not make that much difference to any team.
Larry Bird transformed a bad team and sent new banners to the rafters for the Boston Celtics. Lew Alcindor came to the Milwaukee Bucks and brought the fastest ever championship to an expansion team. Michael Jordan three peated, left to play baseball and what happened? The Bulls completely unraveled. Jordan came back and three peated again. It might be argued that any of these players might be worth as much as 30 wins in a season.
Think of any baseball player who has had that impact?
How many wins did MVP Robin Yount give the Brewers in 1982? 6.6 wins. How about the best defensive shortstop in baseball in 1982, Ozzie Smith? Four wins. Well, he must have saved 100 runs with his defense though? Thirty Four runs saved by the best defensive shortstop of All-Time in 1982.
Whitey Herzog reshuffled the Cards so to speak in a series of trades by trading away Garry Templeton, Rollie Fingers, Ted Simmons and it’s top prospect David Green. In return he received Ozzie Smith, Bruce Sutter and Dave LaPoint. What Herzog created, was a much more balanced team. Despite giving away a considerable amount of talent, the team top to bottom was more talented.
Well we all know how important it is to have that big closer in the bullpen. Wrong again. Bruce Sutter left the Cardinals for Ted Turner’s coffers in 1984. In 1984 the Cards had won 84 games, but many perceived the loss of Sutter would result in the Cards winning only 68 or 70 wins in 1985. Instead, Herzog used a “bullpen by committee” to register 101 wins on what is arguably the best Cardinals team of All-Time.
Rule #2 Evaluate players keeping in mind the most important situations in baseball
DYNASTY League baseball includes the most important situational statistics that lead to runs scored beyond what would normally be expected. These ratings can boost a player’s performance beyond his normal “card or file” numbers.
Clutch hitting (clutch rating)
Pitching out of a Jam (jam rating)
Not walking the leadoff man (off rating)
Not giving up HR with runners on base (on rating)
If your players have these ratings, keep in mind that these all important situational statistics can turn a pitcher with a average or poor hits per 9 inning (greater than 9.0), walks per 9 innings (greater than 3.0) or HR per 9 innings (greater than 1.0) into an effective pitcher if used properly.One of my favorite examples of a pitcher who benefits by being able to pitch in situations is the 1982 Cy Young winner – Pete Vuckovich.
Vuckovich had an 18-6 W-L record, but gave up 9.4 H/9 and 4.1 BB/9. That’s 13.5 baserunners per 9 IP and yet Vuckovich still had a very good ERA of 3.34. How did he do that? Well, if you check the 1982 DYNASTY Vuckovich card or file you’ll see he has both a jam and on Situation rating. With runners in scoring position and 2 outs, Vuckovich would pitch differently working the corners and not giving into the hitters and making them hit his pitch. With runners on base you just were not going to get a FAT pitch to hit so the HR’s he gave up usually were with no one on or one runner on.
Rule #3: The most efficient offenses win more games.
Tony LaRussa and Walt Jockety should take notes on how Herzog built the team of the 80′s. The Cardinals of 1980 were a team of high average hitters. They were capable of large outbursts of offense where they would score 10-12 runs, but would score two runs the next game and three the next. The offense was inconsistent and resulted in losing records. In fact, they scored more runs in 1980 than when the Cards won the Championship in 1982. Herzog reshuffled the Cards so to speak and created a much more consistent offense capable of generating more one-run innings that would win more close ball games. An offense that generates four runs every game (4,4,4,4) will win many more games than an offense that scores the majority of its runs in one game (13,1,1,1)
It’s ironic that the LaRussa-Jocketty front office has created a very atypical Cardinals team that resembles an Earl Weaver team built around power and the big inning. So does this mean that the one-run offense is preferred over the big inning offense? Not necessarily. Gene Mauch won 93 games with the 1982 California Angels while leading the league in one run innings. Remember that it takes more runs per game to win with a big inning offense than a one-run offense. The best offenses are those that can play equally effectively at both the one run innings and big innings.
The ultimate proponent of the three run inning, Earl Weaver would rarely use a one-run strategy such, as a bunt or hit and run. Baltimore lead the league in 1982 with 62 three-run innings. Milwaukee’s Brew Crew finished second with 53. Mauch’s California Angels had 283 one-run innings while Baltimore had 218.
Herzog, while known for using basestealers Lonnie Smith, Vince Coleman, Willie McGee and Ozzie Smith for his one-run strategies, fully understood the importance of a player like George Hendrick or Jack Clark to create the big inning as well. The Cardinals were capable of generating one run when they needed it in close games, but also had the big inning threat to break open a game.
Harvey’s Wallbangers of 1982 were second in the AL in one-run innings. While almost every player in the lineup was capable of the long ball, the offense was also capable of generating one-run. In one of the most classic of speed vs. power, one-run inning vs. big inning World Series matchups, it was Herzog’s offense that triumphed.
The Big Red Machine had power with Bench, Foster and Perez, but it also had speed and great baserunning with Morgan, Concepcion and Rose. Sparky Anderson’s team had an almost perfect balance of power and speed that gave it the capability to play for the big inning, but also the one-run inning when needed.
Rule #4 The best indicator of overall offensive value is OBP plus SLG.
I hear about people who count the hit and walk numbers on each DYNASTY League Baseball card. Save yourself the time. All you need to look at is to add up the OBP and SLG of the player (OPS) to evaluate the player’s overall offensive value. Each DYNASTY League Baseball hitter’s card can’t be looked at on it’s own. It needs it’s other half — a pitcher’s card representing the league average. The DYNASTY League Baseball system needs to be thought of as if each batter vs. pitcher matchup is one card from 0-999.
Rule #5 Understand what it takes to win at home and on the road.
Too often I hear how you need to build your team to fit your ballpark without an equal understanding of what it takes to win on the road.
DYNASTY League Baseball makes over 200 ballpark adjustments so that the player will perform just as he did in the ballpark he played in. If DYNASTY League Baseball didn’t adjust for ballpark effects, the player’s statistics would be above or below the actual numbers and the simulation’s accuracy would be compromised.
Below: Home runs will fly out of Great American Ball park in DYNASTY League Baseball Online
Rule #6 Understand the value of scarcity.
Why is gold valuable? It’s scare. Why is pitching valuable in the 90′s? It’s scarce. In 1997, Roger Clemens is worth his weight in gold. In 1968, Carl Yastrzemski is worth his weight in gold as the only .300 hitter in the AL.
All of the DYNASTY League Baseball player cards and files are normalized for the league average. What this means is that Clemens performance, or DYNASTY League Baseball card or file, would be better in 1997 than if he had pitched in 1967 and had the same stats. So if you are looking at statistically similar players from different years keep in mind the league average for that year.
If you look at cf Paul Blair from the DYNASTY League Baseball 1969 season set, his A+ range is rare. Only the very best players of All-Time receive an A+ range rating. Some years no one receives an A+ rating at a particular position. This full spectrum of range ratings is unique to DYNASTY Baseball. Blair’s rare A+ range rating makes him particularly valuable in a key defensive position.
Rule #7 Don’t create a platoon weakness. Exploit your opponents platoon weakness.
I heard many instances of Cardinal players saying that having Herzog as manager was worth several wins a season. How many wins is the best manager worth? A random batting order compared to a lineup is known to generate a difference of only about 5% in terms of runs scored. In game strategies can make a critical difference in close games or in keeping games close and giving your team the opportunity to win. It’s possible that an outstanding manager can win 5-10 more ball games than a poor one.
Jim Leyland typically runs his lineups left, right, left and he feels the acquisition of LH hitter Darrell Daulton late in the 1997 season as a key to Florida’s Championship season. Daulton gave Florida another LH bat that would be effective vs. RH pitching. Leyland’s batting order logic minimized the effectiveness of a pitching move against his team beyond the first batter pitched to.
Earl Weaver had a three-headed platoon in left field of Gary Roenicke, John Lowenstein and Benny Ayala. This flexibility gave him firepower to counter moves in the late innings.
Manager Mike Hargrove and GM John Hart are astute baseball people, but I believe Cleveland lost the World Series in 1997 because it lacked LH reliever bullpen depth. Paul Assenmacher was the only lefty out of the bullpen. In order for your bullpen to match-up vs. batters in the late innings, you need to have at least two and probably three LH pitchers who are effective at getting out LH hitters. You should have at least one lefty whose sole purpose it to pitch to and get our one LH hitter late in the game.
You can manage one of the existing historical Dynasty teams in the new Greatest Team leagues coming to DYNASTY League Baseball Online this month.
This spring current season draft leagues will launch at DYNASTY League Baseball Online with a new integrated live draft room and profile based computer manager.
The idea behind the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online “Series” was born in creating an easy way for friends to play live “Series” vs. each other. Everyone has at least one favorite “Series” and most likely one favorite friend or relative that experienced that same “Series” often times cheering for opposing teams.
You might want to play vs. your old college roommate, your life long friend who now lives in another state, your brother, father or son or your colleagues at work. Wherever you have friends or family DYNASTY League Baseball Online “Series” brings you closer to them.
New DYNASTY League Baseball Online Friends system
Now you can add your friends to DYNASTY League Baseball Online and easily invite them to play live face to face “Series” with you. The friends system shows you all of your friends and when they were last logged into to DYNASTY League Baseball Online.
I have been a life long Cardinals fan growing up in Wisconsin at a time when Milwaukee had no Baseball team, but I could follow the Cardinal radio broadcasts from a sometimes static filled Peoria, IL radio station signal. I also love the Brewers, but that came later when the Seattle Pilots moved to Milwaukee in 1970.
What happened in 2006 was an event so special that it hadn’t happened since 1968. Jamie’s favorite team the Tigers and my favorite team the Cardinals were meeting again in the World Series. DYNASTY League Baseball Online gives Jamie and I a chance to play the 2006 World Series anytime and as often as we wish so that we both can relive all the excitement and drama in a live face to face Series with our favorite teams.
Rivalries with your friends
Which World Series, ALCS or NLCS is your favorite? Are you a Yankees fan that has a Red Sox friend (yes that is possible) and would love to erase the memory of the 2004 ALCS? Are you a Cubs fan that wants to beat the 2003 Marlins in the NLCS and go to the World Series? Are you an Astros or Cardinals fan that wants to relive the thrills of the 2004 NLCS?
You can play solitaire with Total Access to every season and historical lineups
I wanted to make sure that “Series” also gave you the option to play solitaire as well. The really cool thing is that you can play vs. the new computer manager with Total Access to the complete library of DYNASTY League Baseball seasons. You feel like you are managing vs. the actual Manager because the computer Manager used Historical lineups from Retrosheet.org.
It might be…it could be… it is! Yes, this is it! The greatest combination of fun known to man: Baseball, people who love baseball, the chance to discover a new ball park or revisit a ball park that you’ve come to know and love, people who play DYNASTY League Baseball who might become your DYNASTY League Baseball buddy, league rival or just your friend for the weekend. I’ll be there. I’m Mike Cieslinski the designer of both Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball and I’ll do my best to insure there is never a dull moment on this very unique excursion. What’s in store?
First off, we’re going first class. Hey, why cut corners and go on a Mario Mendoza line trip when for a few dollars more you can have an Albert Pujols trip! What this means is that on our trip to St. Louis we’ll be on Amtrak’s finest Superliner service and staying near the beautifully renovated St. Louis Union Station only a few blocks from New Busch Stadium.
Why not bring the whole gang and make a weekend outing of it, family and friends are welcome. You will board Amtrak’s Texas Eagle at Chicago’s Union Station on Friday afternoon June 4, see the Brewers and Cardinals play Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and return to Chicago at noon on Sunday.
Connections can be made from other locations and Milwaukee where the trip will originate. St. Louis is one of the most exciting cities to visit. If you are a baseball fan and if you’re a DYNASTY League Baseball fan, this will be a June to remember. Find out why. Get up and go!
Busch Stadium Express / $378 per person double occupancy includes:
Round trip fare on Amtrak’s Texas Eagle and Lincoln
Two nights hotel near St. Louis Union station and Busch Stadium including hot breakfast buffet.
Tickets to the Brewers vs. Cardinals games on Friday and Saturday June 4 and 5
DYNASTY League Baseball Greatest Team tournament
Deadline for reservations is April 23, 2010 so make your reservations now – space is limited. Reservations can be made by calling 561-494-2711. If you have any questions please feel free to call.
Cardinal fans dreams come true | Preview of Greatest Teams tournaments with DYNASTY League Baseball Online
On Wednesday, January 20 at the Palm Beach Gardens, FL Marriott, 76 campers were about to have their wildest dreams come true at the Cardinals Legends camp which benefits Hire Heroes and takes place in Jupiter, FL January 20-24 at Roger Dean Stadium (Spring Training and Minor league home of the Cardinals and Marlins).
DYNASTY League Baseball is one of the sponsors of the event providing a free Cardinals Greatest Team tournament for the Campers and Legends and an opportunity to learn and try out the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online version.
In preparation, software engineer extraordinaire Jamie Hall cooked up seven Cardinal Greatest teams to choose from including:
In addition, new code was added to create the actual Greatest Teams brackets that seed, designate the home team and advance teams in the bracket.
I invited Tim Lewis and his son Ivan (named after Ivan Rodriguez) to help with the event. After lunch at the Palm Beach Gardens Marriott it didn’t take long for us to spot our first Cardinal – Bruce Sutter.
Mr. Sutter sitting outside peacefully thinking back some 28 years ago as he fired one his split fingered fastballs only to have the bottom drop out under Brewer’s Gorman Thomas bat and clinch the World Championship for the 1982 Cardinals. Ivan got his photo op with Bruce and a cherished memory meeting the HOF’er with Dad Tim getting the photo credit.
The foot traffic was slow at first, but picked up a bit and I spotted Rick Horton the Camp leader, but better known as one of Whitey Herzog’s top short left-handed relievers. As many of you know from looking at Rick’s 1985 player card, he has a great hold and pickoff move (7/A/-2) that he honed in college while looking at the mirror in his dorm room.
Rick was flying around like a Cardinal in flight trying to get everyting ready for the Patio Party and Staff meeting. He was able to stop by our table and check out the interface and commented that the game looked great and he had a friend that would love the game.
Our tournament got under way with a Final four matchup with the 2004 Cardinals facing off vs. the 2009 Cardinals. Two veteran campers, both Doctors, sat down face-to-face to battle it out in a single elimination bracket tournament with Carpenter starting for the 2004 Cards and Wainwright starting for the 2009 Cards.
DYNASTY League Baseball Online will have several different types of brackets such as Sweet 16 and Final 4. The Cardinals Greatest Team tournament was a shorter Final 4 tournament to fit into the time frame.
Every game counts when you are playing in the Greatest Teams tournaments towards your Managerail ranking level. You will be awarded points based on your performance in each tournament and it will allow you to advance to a higher Managerial level rank. For example, if you are managing the Cardinals the lowest Managerial level is Jack Hendricks, a little known Manager from the 1940 season who finished last with a record of 51-78, You will aspire to reach the La Russa and ultimately the Herzog Managerial level if you prove to be a savvy Manager. You’ll have a separate public ranking for your live games as well as a prviate ranking for your solitaire games.
The 2009 vs. 2004 match-up ended up being a see-saw game that came down to the last out as the 2009 Cardinals won and advanced. Both campers caught on quickly to the game and had a blast playing it. Note that with the Online version you have your own screen, you are not sharing a screen or mouse. When your opponent goes to the bullpen or makes a substitution, a message pops up saying that the opponent is calling the bullpen or making a substitution so you know at all times what is happening.
Look! Steve Kline is right next to us at the registration desk. As Steve made his way to the elevators I approached him and let him know about our Cardinals Greatest Team tournament. I invited him to play and Kline remarked “You need to get Mike Matheny to play! Do you have the 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers?” Only Steve Kline can be this daffy and hilarious. Kline is a throw back to earlier times when the players spent time in the locker room lighing players feet on fire and a whole array of pranks. Kline asked if the 2004 Cardinals won and one of the Doctors said “Kline you just gave up a HR and lost me the game for my 2004 Cardinals.” I told the left-handed Kline that the Doctor had left him in to pitch vs. three straight RH batters.
The pitcher who is the “poster boy” for the OFF Situation rating (rarely walks the lead off man) strolled by next. I’m talking about Bob Tewksbury who had two excellent years back-to-back in 1992 and 1993. Bob was helping us identify some of the players including Brian Jordan who looked like he still could play in both the NFL and MLB. Ivan sure is making a lot of friends isn’t he?
I just feel sorry for these campers. They are going to get smoked in the games vs. the
Cardinals Legends. Everyone recognizes our next guest who just arrived at the Marriott. The very classy Lou Brock. I told Lou as he was heading for the elevator that his 1967 Cardinals just beat the 1985 Cardinals in the other bracket with Bob Gibson pitching a shutout. Lou grinned knowlingly of Gibson’s dominance as the elevator doors closed and he waved to us. Steve Carlton continued the 1967 Cardinals pitching dominance by only allowing one run vs. the 2009 Cardinals in the Finals. Between
them, Gibson and Carlton pitched two complete games and allowed one run over those 18 IP. The new Greatest Teams brackets worked perfectly in their first test as did all the games we played. The Cardinal Legends were scheduled for a team meeting at 7:00P, but before the meeting up walked the great All-Star and Gold Glover Andy Van Slyke. I had met Andy once before in October of 1985 in the Cardinals locker room after the Cardinals clinched the Division title vs. the Cubs. MVP Willie McGee had
borrowed me his sharpie and Andy signed my prized champagne celebration bottle. After Ivan got his photo with another Cardinal Legend, we started showing Andy the new Online version. One of the first things I told Andy was how the weather effects come into play and how at Wrigley Field in the Summer the wind tends to blow in while in the Spring and Fall in tends to blow out. Andy was really interested in this and reflecting on it now I discovered that Andy
had wanted to be a meteorologist and is a huge fan of the Weather channel like myself. Andy Van Slyke and I then proceeded to make out the 1985 Cardinals lineup vs. the 2004 Cardinals in a new game. Andy caught on real fast to the interface and lineup selection and studied the ratings intently. Once the game started I moved the mouse over his defensive player ratings in right field to display the tool tips that explain the rating. “A+ outstanding Range and -3 outstanding Throwing Arm” the tool tip indicated. Andy Van Slyke nodded intently as he watched himself out in right field in Busch Stadium. Van Slyke took over as skipper of the 1985 Cardinals and I had to pinch myself a bit as I felt transformed back to 1985 as we continued our DYNASTY League Baseball Online game. The team meeting was nearing, but Andy was captivated by the game as he came to bat. The dice roll came up and I winced as I saw a bizarre play result get accessed and I thought to myself “Now what?”. Van Slyke struck out on a called strike and was ejected by the umpire for arguing the call. Seemingly right on cue, the game ejected Andy Van Slyke right out of his seat into the team meeting. Andy gave me a nudge on the shoulder, stood up, and pleaded “I never was thrown out of a game!”.
Without further adieu, lets get on with some nuggets from the 2009 season player ratings.
You see it here. No JAM rating for Chris Carpenter. I tried every way I could to give Carp a JAM rating, but his .264/.375 BA/SLG with RSP/2 outs sank his ship like the great Bismarck German battleship going down to torpedo planes. Here we have what may be the NL Cy Young winner and he was just mediocre in JAM situations.
Chris Carpenter did earn situation ratings for both OFF (very few walks to lead off batters) and ON (very few HR with runners on base).
Now if Adam Wainwright wins the Cy Young he does have a JAM (.194/.272).
This is like when 2008 Cy Young winner Cliff Lee did not get a JAM rating (Cliff did get a JAM rating in 2009 thanks to a sterling .226/.301 BA/SLG performance with RSP/2).
Wandy Rodriguez who had an excellent season also ended up NOT getting a JAM rating (.260/.403).
Whew! How about Matt Cain (.101/.152)? Now THAT is getting out of a JAM!
Seems like an annual rite of passage that Derek Jeter’s range is discussed. This year Jeter
worked out extensively in the off season to improve his range and reports were that his range had improved. Despite an undewhelming Range rating of 3.90, Jeter did go from a John Dewan Fielding Bible plus/minus rating of -11 to +5. Jeter C+ Range rating.
Jeter’s teammate Mark Teixeira slipped a bit, but still scored excellent range (B+). Teixeira didn’t slip hitting in the clutch (.355 BA/.597 SLG) and will be a terror in the clutch on his 2009 player card.
Johnny Damon’s throwing arm is at +1 and hanging off the cliff looking at +2 below. Damon ranked 11th in runner advancement among LF (.321). Maybe not the +4 arm that Joe Girardi imagined in Game 3 of the ALCS when he pulled him in favor of Jerry Hairston and in the process giving up the Yankees DH and Mariano Rivera in one swoop.
Prince Fielder had what Brewer owner Mark Attanasio called the best season by a hitter in Brewers history. That would have to be an outstanding performance given some of the great seasons put up by Fielder himself, Ryan Braun and of course Cecil Cooper, Paul Molitor and Robin Yount. Hammering away with a .343 BA and .600 SLG with RSP/2, Fielder was certainly a very large terrorizing hitter in clutch situations to any pitcher in 2009.
Ryan Howard was a curious case. Despite hitting only .222/.444 with RSP/2, Howard was terrorizing in clutch hitting situations (.344/.781) as defined by the BIS clutch hitting performance definition:
A hitter’s performance in the most critical situations. Like obscenity, a “clutch situation” may be best defined as “I know it when I see it.” The determinants here are the things that make you feel it in your gut, including the lateness of the inning, the closeness of the score, the number of outs and men on base, the stage of the season, and the importance of the opponent.
Unheralded Brian McCann also terrorized pitchers in clutch situations (.325/.584) helping to lead the Braves to challenge for a wild card berth.
Chipper Jones may be the single most surprising player to receive a clutch hitting rating in 2009. Jones fell off dramatically after leading the league in hitting in 2008. While batting only .264 with a .430 SLG overall, Chipper was every bit a clutch hitter in 2009 rising to the occasion and hitting .313 with a .656 SLG. Overall Jones had a 1.225 OPS with RSP/2 and he hit .333 with a .526 SLG with RSP. Retire? Not yet Chipper.
As you surmised, Brad Lidge NO JAM (.294/.441 RSP/2).
Huston Street was on the cusp, but was way more effective with no one on base than in a JAM.
How many closers have ERA’s of 5.80? Pittsburgh has Matt Capps with ugly stats with RSP (.350/.567).
Young rising Oriole star Adam Jones garners an A Range rating and -2 Throwing arm. Jones had the highest Range factor among all cf.
Rating Oakland now and Mark Ellis did get a Clutch hitting rating despite a poor Bill James Clutch hitting performance.
In the end, having 52 AB’s with RSP/2 and a .423 BA/.673 SLG put him over the edge. Ellis .423 BA with RSP/2 was 2nd in MLB among all players with 50 AB or more in RSP/2 situations.
Ellis Range took a big hit though down to a C+.
Another sleeper for clutch hitting is Casey McGehee. A little short on AB with 43, but I don’t see how you can ignore .512/.953. Forget Chris Coghlan, McGehee should have been NL rookie of the year.
Best AL OF arm? That would belong to the canon arm of Toronto’s Jose Bautista (B/-3) whose Assists, Kills and Extra Base pct. were all outstanding.
Fernando Rodney ended up being a border line case for receiving a JAM rating because of a RSP/2 SLG of over .500. He did limit batters to a .205 BA with RSP/2 and lead the AL in save percentage to get him over the top.
Skip Schumaker’s move from the OF to 2b was a success – sort of. Skip improved as the season went on, but could only finish with C Range because of a poor start (-14 plus/minus). Schumaker surprisingly did garner a -5 Pivot rating on the basis of his leading NL 2b in Pivot %.
The Mets Luis Castillo has gone from being one of the best at turning the DP to one of the worst and got tagged with a +5 Pivot rating at 2b.
Baseball broadcasters in the know were talking about the National’s Nyger Morgan’s range in CF all year long. Morgan ended up with a teriffic range factor, +/- and UZR to grade out at a rare A+ range rating in CF. Morgan is a real speed burner with a 10 Baserunning rating and 7 Steal of 2nd rating.
Another emerging player is ss Brendan Ryan, who Cardinals broadcaster Al Hrabosky felt should have won the NL Gold Glove. Ryan was excellent in every category (A/90/-5) and lead NL ss by a wide margin with a dazzling 5.41 range factor.
The Cubs Milton Bradley? You know what is coming here… F Intangible rating.
Edgar Renteria in 2004 weighed 180 lbs with excellent defensive metrics. In 2009, Renteria ranked dead last among regular ss with a poor range factor of 3.86 and -10 +/-. D range for the now 200 lb Renteria.
You have to love the Pirates Garrett Jones, who in half a season (Use 55%) has a .333 BA with A Power vs. RH.
Tim Lincecum is really tough vs. both RH and LH batters (.209/.203 BA allowed). vs. LH Lincecum has a lights out strikeout range of 673-884.
It is a lost art, but Bengie Molina, Ramon Hernandez and Ivan Rodriguez all garnered the “BL” blocking the plate rating.
Oakland’s Ryan Sweeney was excellent while playing in rf, cf and lf in 2009 (rf: A/80/-1). In rf, Sweeney had an eye popping +20 +/- second only to Ichiro (+21).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!