Results tagged ‘ Pursue the Pennant ’

The First Sabermetric Baseball Simulation was NOT Strat O Matic


Joe Posnanski is one of the best baseball and sabermetric writers. He recently wrote
a new blog post “Things I learned from Strat-O-Matic”, but what might Joe have
learned playing Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball?

Back in the spring of 1985 (this is the 30th Anniversary), Pursue the Pennant debuted
as the “First Sabermetric Baseball Simulation”. Yes, SOM and APBA were the first
baseball board games, but they were designed decades before the baseball world was
enlightened by the sabermetric teachings found in Bill James Baseball Abstracts and
John Thorn and Pete Palmer’s book “The Hidden Game”. When I designed Pursue the
Pennant from 1981-1984, Bill James had just come out with his first Baseball Abstract.
My goal was to design the first sabermetric baseball simulation that incorporated as
many of Bill James insights as possible.

Fenway Park ball park chart

Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball are most well known for their
detailed ball park effects. Joe’s Lesson #3 is that “Ball Parks matter”. Those new
SOM diamond symbols that were introduced in 1986 were a clumsy knee jerk reaction
by SOM to Pursue the Pennant’s ball park effects. In Glenn Guzzo’s Strat-O-Matic
Fanatics book he devotes part of a chapter to Pursue the Pennant and even SOM game
designer Hal Richman acknowledges that Pursue the Pennant is a more realistic game
than Strat-O-Matic. DYNASTY League Baseball has seven different outfield locations
for “Deep Drive” results. Play results are determined in feet so a 340 foot drive down
the left field line at Fenway Park is a HR into Green Monster seats. “Robbed?” results
can occur depending on the wall height and the range rating of the outfielder. Deep
Drives off the Green Monster in left field are often singles that can be stretched into
doubles. In the deep triangle area in right-center a drive of 420-425 feet is a triple.

Weather effects also impact the ball park effects. The DYNASTY League Baseball
Weather charts use actual weather bureau data by region, month and day/night to
determine sky/temperature and wind direction and speed (Can you tell I love the
Weather Channel?). In the Summer months at Wrigley Field the wind often blows out.
When the wind is blowing out at 20-29 mph Deep Drives get a +20 foot boost to
distance traveled, which often makes the difference between a “HR into the basket” or
a ball caught on the warning track.

Pursue the Pennant was also the first simulation to incorporate foul territory, hitter
background visibility and infield surface conditions.

Joe’s Lesson #1 “You really need a defensive short stop with range” and states “but I
would argue that the thing that Hal got right before almost anyone else was how
baseball defense works.” Defensive range has always been difficult to measure, but
Bill James enlightened us about range factor and now we have other defensive metrics
like John Dewan’s Fielding Bible +/- which equates to defensive runs saved. Well here
is where SOM gets defensive range wrong Joe. SOM only has four grades 1-4 for rating
range. In 2014 Tulowitzki is rated “1” range in SOM (best rating possible). This means
on a historical scale Tulo’s 2014 range was as good as Ozzie Smith’s in his best years
according to SOM. Tulowitzki wasn’t even the ss with the best defensive range in
2014 (7 defensive runs saved compared to Andrelton Simmons 28). DYNASTY League
Baseball graded out Tulowitzki with “B” range in 2014.

2014Tulo

DYNASTY League Baseball has defensive range ratings from A+ to F which gives eight possible range ratings and a far more realistic defensive spectrum with all defensive ratings in DYNASTY League Baseball based on a historical scale.

Then there is the visualization and different types of range plays. In SOM you go to an obtuse “X” chart. In DYNASTY League Baseball you go to a “Range” chart that has slow roller, smash up the middle, hot liner, high chopper, deep into the hole, drilled down the line range plays. All of the range plays have different outcomes that could be play results like diving stop, bang bang play and gets thru and further divided into different surfaces for grass and artificial turf.

Joe’s Lesson #4 “Clutch hitting is baloney”. First off, I am well aware of “The Hidden Game’s” study of clutch hitting and trying to determine if it is a skill. I am not sure that is the right question. The right question should be “Do hitters change their approach in a clutch situation – especially in high leverage clutch situations such as when there are RSP/2 outs? I am convinced a few players in a given season are able to change their approach with RSP/2 outs. Part of this is being able to “quiet the mind” and often this is a learned approach that some of the games greatest hitters have developed over time. Case in point is Paul Molitor.

In Paul’s final season in 1998 he hit .393 with a SLG of .536 with RSP/2. In reverse order here is Molitor’s BA and SLG with RSP/2 preceded by Age/Season:

41 1998 .393/.536
40 1997 .257/.378
39 1996 .354/.512
38 1995 .250/.250
37 1994 .340/.547
36 1993: .367/.494
35 1992: .279/.361
34 1991: .338/.529
33 1990: .341/.477
32 1989: .302/.453
31 1988: .300/.350
30 1987 .383/.617
29 1986 .400/.540
28 1985 .278/.333
27 1984 .333/.333 (small sample size – injured with only 6 AB)
26 1983 .200/.262
25 1982 .299/.469
24 1981 .250/.438
23 1980 .235/.324
22 1979 .243/.392
21 1978 .259/.481

Around age 29 Molitor started to figure out how to approach RSP/2 situations
differently. With the exception of 1997 (injured) and 1995 (strike in which he was
heavily involved and distracted as one of the union heads involved in negotiations
with the owners) he not only hit well in those situations, but thrived. Compare this
with ages 21-28 when he struggled with RSP/2.

DYNASTY League Baseball was the first simulation to categorize elite clutch hitting
performances in a given season and display their impact on overall runs scored and
wins.

DYNASTY League Baseball was also the first simulation to identify the three most
important situations for pitchers and those unique pitchers that thrive in those
situations. Pitching out of a jam and the JAM rating are awarded to those pitchers
who demonstrate pitching extremely well with RSP/2 outs. Pitchers who rarely give up
a lead off walk are awarded to OFF ratings – Curt Schilling and Adam Wainwright are
great examples of pitchers who understand how important it is not to allow a lead off
walk. Jim Palmer never gave up a grand slam HR and it is pitchers like him that are
awarded the ON rating for reducing the ratio of HR allowed with runners on base
compare to HR allowed with the bases empty.

I am just scratching the surface and the DYNASTY League Baseball game design page
goes into more detail on all the realistic nuances, but my point is that if you really
want to learn about baseball nuances from a sabermetric view point, DYNASTY League
Baseball “the leader in realism” is the answer to the question.

So Joe, when is our DYNASTY League Baseball Online game match-up?

2014 season DYNASTY League Baseball preview: Torii! Torii! Torii!


Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan’s comments about Torii Hunter’s range
in Mike Berardino’s St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch column point out why
DYNASTY League Baseball takes the time to research many of it’s player ratings
instead of relying strictly on formulas. I had struggled with what range rating to
assign Hunter. Hunter’s range factor just nipped the extreme bottom of the (C+)
historical scale, but he ranked rock bottom among all MLB rf with a BIS Plus/Minus of
(-28).

Originally I had Hunter at (C) range, but could not get past ranking rock bottom in +/-
and rating below average in acceleration (38 on a scale of 0-100), reaction instincts
(45), velocity (44) and hands (41) in the Tango Tiger scouting poll. I ended up
downgrading Hunter to (D) range (rf: D/60/0), but it was very interesting to have
Terry Ryan come out with his comments on defensive metrics and how Twins scouts
rated Hunter”adequate”. It is one of those “grey” ratings that really could have gone
either way and I am sure MLB organizations would each rate Hunter a bit differently
as well depending on how much weight they want to give to their scouts vs. the defensive
metrics.

Beradino’s column leads off pointing out Kurt Suzuki’s poor pitch framing (-19.8 RAA)
and it is one of the most important stats that goes into a catcher’s Handling rating.
Suzuki ranked as the 4th worst catcher in pitch framing relegating him to a (D)
catcher Handling rating (c: B/85/0/A/D).

Derrick Goold from the St. Louis Post Dispatch is one of if not the best MLB beat
writer. Derrick is also a DYNASTY League Baseball player and we hope to have a new
Bird Land tournament in 2015. Here is how Derrick answered my cross checking
question on Jhonny Peralta’s range.

MC: I remember when Peralta was signed last year Mo said they had him as having
average range which is how I graded him last year as well (C). This year Peralta had
almost an identical range factor to 2013, but his BIS plus minus jumped to an
excellent level. Thoughts?

DG: All about the positioning. He doesn’t have the greatest range but he puts himself
in a good place and doesn’t flub the routine plays. True arm. Smart player.

Peralta (ss: B/85/-5) fielding line: Range/Error/DP pivot

(-5) DP pivot is excellent in DYNASTY League Baseball. Peralta ranked 2nd in the NL
in DP pivot (0.645) behind Andrelton Simmons (ss: A/80/-5) who also was awarded a
(-5) DP pivot rating.

J.J. Hardy had another solid defensive season in 2014 +/- (3) with a fielding line of
(ss: B/80/-5). Tango poll had Hardy’s reaction/instincts at 86.

Toronto’s Anthony Gose (cf: A/85/-1) was rated by Blue Jays broadcaster Mike Wilner
as “Among the best defensive cf I’ve EVER seen.”
Gose’s defensive metrics were above average, but not eye poping RF (2.65), +/- (3).
Wilner and the Tango poll (88 velocity, 82 acceleration) prevailed in bumping Gose to
(A) range.

2014Abreu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another “grey” rating was David Freese and his (Clutch) rating. Freese only had 55 RBI which is a very low number to qualify for consideration of being awarded a Clutch hitting rating. In the end I liked Freese’s .291 BA/.491 SLG with RSP/2 outs enough to give him a Clutch hitting rating and because he was such a border line case his playoff history including a deceptively good .500 SLG in the ALDS was an additional stat I looked at. Freese probably does not get a Clutch hitting rating in a season with a higher run environment.

An easy Clutch hitting rating to award was Giancarlo Stanton with his .340 BA/.620 SLG with RSP/2. Terror!

Anaheim’s Hector Santiago has a 10 pickoff rating for his Pickoff/Hold (10/C+(-1)) on the basis of 6 pickoffs.

Looking for a pitcher that is tough to run on? Try Dallas Keuchel (2/A+(-4)). Keuchel posted just one of 16 seasons in which a pitcher allowed only one SB with 200 or more IP since 2002 (no one has allowed zero).

Clayton Kershaw has Situation: jam/off to go along with Range: (A+) and Endurance: (35). The rare baserunner that reaches (#963-969 vs. RH are the only WALK’s on his player card) has to face Kershaw’s Pickoff/Hold: 5/A (-1).

Washington’s Aaron Barrett:
Error: 25
Balk: D
Wild Pitch: F
Enough said.

St. Louis’ Justin Masterson is one of the more extreme GB pitchers with 1.5 DP/9 and
(#614-715) vs. LH Hard Ground Out.

There was one significant change to the 2014 season ball park charts.  Comerica Park now had increased triple ranges in lc, cf and rc.  You will also find updated ball park images.

You can find the new 2014 season for the DYNASTY League Baseball Board version at
the Ticket Window and at the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online site.

Blue Jays radio broadcaster Mike Wilner on his experience playing DYNASTY League Baseball


Mike Wilner is the Toronto Blue Jays radio play-by-play announcer for SN 590 THE FAN.  Mike is also the commissioner of the THROW League which is a face to face local DYNASTY League Baseball Board version league established in 1987.

wilner_01

Q: DYNASTY League Baseball and its predecessor Pursue the Pennant are
celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. How did you originally find
out about Pursue the Pennant and what are your recollections of playing the
original Board game version?

Mike Wilner: I was introduced to tabletop baseball by my father, who created a very rudimentary version for me when I was very young. Basically it was a pair of six-sided dice with an outcome for each of the 11 possible rolls. “7” was a single, so there was a lot of offense. Then, when I was 11, we went to Detroit for a cousin’s bar mitzvah and I was introduced to the wonderland that is Toys R Us (it hadn’t moved into Canada yet). There, I found a tabletop baseball game called “Statis Pro” and went nuts with it. I did a full 162-game replay of the Blue Jays’ 1980 season (went 81-81, Dave Stieb had over 30 wins and Mike Willis threw 9 perfect innings of relief in a long extra-inning game).

Once that was done, my best friend in junior high introduced my to Strat-O-Matic and we had some great battles using teams from the early ’70s. Then, when I was 17, I walked into my local comic book store and saw a Pursue The Pennant display. It looked fantastic, so I bought it and loved it. I was blown away by the fact that there were 500 possible outcomes for both pitcher and hitter, that there were weather charts, that defenders were assessed ratings for both the ability to get to the ball AND the ability to field it cleanly once they did. It was sensational, an entirely different simulation baseball experience.
Great scoresheets, too. I still use them to this day – I have scored every Blue Jays game since 2002 on PTP scoresheets in the broadcast booth.

Q: What are your favorite aspects of gameplay in DYNASTY League Baseball
Online?

Mike Wilner; I like how easy the game is to play. I mean, you have to get the hang of it, just like anything, but once you do, a nine-inning game can be played in less than half an hour, which is great. It seems to be the most accurate of all the sim games out there – at least it takes the most things into account and the 1,000 possible outcomes on each roll of the dice (plus variable plays involving charts to which the results take you) blows everybody else away. The gameplay is second nature to me now, having been playing DLB for two decades, but I still think it’s pretty intuitive. The results make a lot of sense, baseballically, which makes it really easy to pick up.

Oh, the online version? Oops. It handles the charts for you, which speeds things up a little, and the ability to always still be able to look at the cards means that nothing is taken away from the strategical component. It, too, is quick and easy.

Q: DYNASTY League Baseball Online is the first and only real time Baseball
simulation that allows you to play and manage your series live as well as
the option to have the computer manager profile play the series for you.
What are your thoughts on how well the real time experience works and the
appeal?

Mike Wilner: I really enjoyed it when I got the chance to take part in the media Greatest Teams League last year. It’s quick and easy, and the chat function with your opponent doesn’t get in the way of playing the game. I will always prefer the face-to-face experience, for sure, but when circumstances prevent people from getting together in person, the online version is a great substitute.

Q: Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball have always been known for
their high level of realism incorporating many subtle nuances of Baseball
that Bill James first popularized in his Baseball Abstracts. What realistic
aspects of DYNASTY League Baseball separate it from other Baseball
simulations?

Mike Wilner: There’s just so much extra stuff. Separating range and fielding was big, I thought, weather and ballpark charts, intangibles ratings, the two things that go into a pitcher’s hold rating, so many things you can’t find anywhere else. Even which umpires have a temper and which don’t.

Q: I’ve had several Broadcast, Media and Front Office MLB people tell me
that they learned a tremendous amount about Baseball and each player¹s
strengths and weaknesses from playing both Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY
League Baseball. Have you had a similar experience and what have you
learned?

Mike Wilner: Oh, absolutely. There are a lot of fallacies revealed by the defensive ratings on DLB. Thanks to the game, I know which outfielders have a good arm and which are poor throwers, what kind of speed people have, what kind of defense they play, who should be platooned and who shouldn’t, all those things. The offensive stuff is more important, because it seems to be far less subjective than the defense (and I often disagree with some of the defensive ratings given to some Blue Jays, who I watch 162 times every year), but at the very least I’m pointed in the right way. Most importantly, DLB lets me study every player in the big leagues, so I can find out a lot about players I may only see once or twice in a season.

Q: You are the Commissioner of THROW, a draft league that plays most of its
games locally in the Toronto area. Tell us about the league, its players
and the appeal of playing friends and co-workers face to face with the Board
version.

Mike Wilner: The league was founded way back in 1987, with just four teams. We each took a stock team (I had the Blue Jays and there were also the Expos, Mets and Pirates) and then drafted three players each from the rest of the set. I remember drafting Steve Sax, but I can’t remember my other two (Fernando Valenzuela rings a bell). Back then we were very liberal with the rules, figuring that just because a big-league manager didn’t, say, start Mark Eichhorn, didn’t mean that I couldn’t if I felt he’d help me more in that role. I wound up losing the championship in a seven-game series.

The next year, we expanded to 8, then later to 16 and to 24, collapsed back to 20 but got back up to 24 by the mid-’90s and that’s where we have been ever since. I have won the whole shebang seven times, no one else has more than two titles.

We reset the league at some point in the early 90s, allowing each team to keep six players (I kept Mussina, Thomas, Bonds, Ben McDonald and two other guys I can’t remember) and redrafting from there, introducing a contract system, financials and a rookie draft. I handed one of the other owners a sealed envelope that contained a list of the 24 players I planned on drafting and wound up getting 23 of them. I would have had all 24, but Don Mattingly was still available in the 10th round, so I grabbed him instead of Lonnie Smith.

Many of the owners in the league have been around for two decades or more, and we’ve seen each other through college graduations and first jobs, marriages, children, divorces, all facets of life. I can’t wait until our first second-generation THROW owner enters the league. I’m the only one of the original four still remaining, and I was in high school when we started this thing – who would have ever imagined that I’d wind up being a big-league play-by-play broadcaster? We have people from all walks of life – a few others who work in sports, a comic-book writer, a teacher, a claims adjuster, a squash pro. One of our former owners got a PhD from Harvard, another moved to Malaysia, another publishes a magazine on film and has made a movie that played in some major film festivals around the world. it’s really been an interesting group.

We still all play the board game, not the online version, and if we can’t get together in person we do it over Skype with an online dice roller. I try to get as many of my games in as possible face-to-face. I find it’s much more fun to sit down with someone, feel the dice in your hands and hear my kids ask me if one of the nerds is coming over.

What is new in the recently released 7th Edition DYNASTY League Baseball game charts?


The new 7th Edition game charts for the Board version game have just been released and are now included in each new Board version game at the Ticket Window store replacing the 6th Edition game charts.  The 7th Edition game charts revisions and updates are now live at DYNASTY League Baseball Online for both Windows and Apple Mac OS. NewBuschSafariMac If you have already pre-ordered the new 2014 season player card set, you can add the new 7th Edition game charts to your existing order and save on the S&H just by including “add to 2014 season player card order” in the comments section at the Ticket Window. So what is new in the 7th Edition game charts?

New 7th Edition DYNASTY League Baseball game charts

New 7th Edition DYNASTY League Baseball game charts

ATTEMPT CHART revisions: It is now much more difficult for a player with a Lead 1 rating to get a “Good Jump – attempts” result especially vs. pitchers with C, D and F Hold ratings.  There also is a much greater chance of a “Pickoff pitcher?” result occurring  vs. pitchers with C, D and F Hold ratings.   Now when you try go to the ATTEMPT CHART, trying to steal vs. a pitcher like 2013 Jordan Walden Atlanta with a Pickoff 5, Hold F/+4 rating not only is it much more likely that a Lead 1 basestealer will not get a “Good Jump – attempts” result, but Walden’s Pickoff 5 rating will come into play much more often resulting in more pickoffs.  The net effect is that Lead 1 rated players attempting to steal do so much more at their own peril – potentially getting picked off much more often and also finding it much more difficult to get a “Good Jump – attempts” result vs. C, D and F Hold rated pitchers. BIZARRE PLAY CHART revisions: There are a total of 18 new BIZARRE PLAY chart number range revisions.  One of the changes is for #161-209 which now reads: “If a pitcher has a high pitch outing and has reached his adjusted Endurance rating or exceeded it or has D or F Durability, check for injury to pitcher.” MLB organizations are increasingly wary of high pitch counts for pitchers and the risk of injury.  The much greater number range for this play result and subsequent frequency of occurrence reflects that.  The much higher number range for this play result is also much more of a deterrent for managers who “sacrifice” a pitcher to rest the bullpen – now there is a much greater chance of injury for doing this.  Pitchers with D and F Durability were added to this play result to increase the likelihood that they would be injured in any given season and that even in short season it would be less likely to “escape” the season with a D or F Durability pitcher uninjured.  The odds increased from a 1:50 chance of this play occurring to a 1:20 chance on a BIZARRE PLAY CHART roll. New #637-654:

Pitcher with F Wild Pitch rating... WP takes crazy hop off backstop away
from catcher. Runners may try to take an extra base by going to
BASERUNNER ADVANCEMENT chart.
Pitcher with A-D Wild Pitch rating... One hopper hit back to the mound (DP?)

WEATHER CHART revisions: The new 7th Edition Weather charts have updated temperature for the retractable roof ball parks in Arizona and Miami. STEAL CHART revision: STEAL RATING ADJUSTMENTS: Strikeout on hit & run -3. BUNT CHART revision: It is now more difficult to successfully execute a squeeze play especially with the Infield In.  There are three new tweaks to the BUNT chart: Strikeout? (Increased range of #) Sacrifice Hit (Decreased range of #) Beat Out? INFIELDER IN: -4 Lead Runner? INFIELDER IN: -4 Strikeout?  SO/9 chart Increased range of # for Missed Bunt Decreased range of # for SH

Twitter Sports Geoff Reiss talks about his draft league experience with DYNASTY League Baseball


Twitter Sports Geoff Reiss  joined the DYNASTY League Baseball Online  Sunday Night Baseball League this spring and shares his experiences of being in a Baseball simulation draft league. Geoff previously held positions with ESPN as SVP/GM.

GeoffReiss

Q: DYNASTY League Baseball and it’s predecessor Pursue the Pennant are
celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. How did you originally find
out about Pursue the Pennant and what are your recollections of playing theoriginal Board game version?

 

Geoff Reiss:
I was on a business trip to the Milwaukee area – must have been the summer of 1988 – and found PTP in a store called Hobby Horse at Brookfield Square.  As soon as I played the game I was hooked – it was more nuanced than any thing I’d seen at the time.

 

Q: At Starwave you helped originate the first real time server based online
Fantasy Baseball Leagues for ESPN.com. How would you compare your
experience playing Fantasy Baseball with that of a DYNASTY League Baseball
Online simulation Draft league?

Geoff Reiss:
The experiences are really very different. With the exception of higher-end keeper leagues most fantasy leagues don’t involve the long-term roster considerations that are in play in Dynasty.  Player values in fantasy are more fluid while in Dynasty they’re far more absolute.  You also don’t get the fun of real head to head competition.  They’re both a lot of fun and highly complimentary

 

Q: What are your favorite aspects of game play in DYNASTY League Baseball Online?

Geoff Reiss:
I wasn’t well prepared for this year’s draft so that will be more fun next year.  I really enjoy figuring out the moment- to-moment aspects of managing a game.  Everything from trying to create the best batter/pitcher matchups to managing your bullpen, planning rest  – it’s all a lot of fun

Target Field Night screen shot

Target Field Night screen shot

 

Q: DYNASTY League Baseball Online is the first and only real time Baseball
simulation that allows you to play and manage your series live as well as
the option to have the computer manager profile play the series for you.
What are your thoughts on how well the real time experience works and the appeal?

 

Geoff Reiss:
Live is great and there’s nothing like it. Though sabremetrics has helped redefine what we think of as “the book” no two people think exactly the same way and playing an opponent live really adds an element of surprise to almost every series.

 

Q: Do you find yourself watching or following other live league games in our league as they are being played live?

Geoff Reiss:
not really.  I’m super-busy and barely have time to play my own games.  I suppose if I’m in the hunt later in the year I might do some scoreboard watching

 

Q: The DYNASTY League Baseball Official Draft League rules are actually the
Official Rotisserie League rules adapted for Baseball simulations. What are
some of the GM strategy differences that you have experienced playing in a
DYNASTY League Baseball Online Draft league compared to Fantasy Baseball?

Geoff Reiss:
I’m still new to the sim side so I’ll have to see how applicable my long-term fantasy experience is.  Grabbing players early in their career and on the cheap is a prime tenant of all forms of success in baseball and is no different here.  Grabbing an emerging player and controlling him at a great price is a huge part of this, and real baseball.  As we approach the trading deadline figuring out if I’m a buyer or seller will be an interesting excercise

 

Q: Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball have always been known for
their high level of realism incorporating many subtle nuances of Baseball
that Bill James first popularized in his Baseball Abstracts. What realistic
aspects of DYNASTY League Baseball separate it from other Baseball simulations?

Miller Park Night screen shot

Miller Park Night screen shot

 

Geoff Reiss:
From the first time I played the board version of PTP I loved how nuanced the game is. I immediately – and still do – appreciate the greater depth in fielding ratings, park factors and things like bullpen warm-ups that add a ton of realism.

 

Q: I’ve had several Broadcast, Media and Front Office MLB people tell me
that they learned a tremendous amount about Baseball and each player¹s
strengths and weaknesses from playing both Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY
League Baseball. Have you had a similar experience and what have you learned?

 

Geoff Reiss:
Bill James once wrote that he didn’t think a major league manager should get hired until he played some crazy number of simulations and I’d have to agree. Playing this game has certainly rounded out my overall sense of many of these players

 

Q: One of the things you mentioned when you joined our DYNASTY League
Baseball Online SNBL was that you were not sure how many series you could
play live (as opposed to having the Computer manager profile manage your
series) because of your busy schedule. As it turns out, to date, you have
managed every series live. What makes being in a DYNASTY League Baseball
Draft league and live game play easier than what you expected?

 

Geoff Reiss:
My having played all of the series live probably speaks more to my being a control freak than anything else!  I don’t think playing is any easier than I expected – I think I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would which has made it easier to make it a bigger priority.

Follow @MikeCieslinski

 

 

30th Anniversary Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball Busch Stadium Tour Tournament event August 1-3


Join us at Busch Stadium August 1-3 for the celebration

Join us at Busch Stadium August 1-3 for the celebration

Thank you to all of the great fans of Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball for 30 fantastic fun years of playing!

Some of the history is captured at the DYNASTY League Baseball reviews and feature link where you can find the first review of Pursue the Pennant, New Board Game is a Fan’s Dream by Michael Bauman of the Milwaukee Journal.

We are celebrating 30 years of Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball during the Busch stadium Tour Tournament Express August 1-3 in conjunction with Baseball Prospectus Night at Busch Stadium.

If you have never been on one of the more than 20 Tour Tournament events that have been held you are in for an unforgettable and thrilling experience.  You can read about some of the previous incredible stories to be told from the Pursue the Pennant Tour Tournaments in the Spring 1991 newsletter.  A hurricane at Fenway Park, the lost George Brett folder, the miracle comeback on the Three Rivers express, the young titans battling in the Amtrak cafe car enroute to the Busch Stadium Express are just a few of many stories:

Spring 1991 newsletter page 1

Spring 1991 newsletter page 2

Details of the Busch Stadium Tour Tournament event are on the DYNASTY League Baseball Facebook page.

AT&T Park Express 25th Anniversary Tour Tournament group at the Willie Mays statue.

AT&T Park Express 25th Anniversary Tour Tournament group at the Willie Mays statue.

The Busch Stadium Tour Tournament leads off on Friday, August 1 from Union Station in Chicago with rail connections from Milwaukee (where it all began back in 1984), Detroit, Indianapolis and Toledo where we will board Amtrak’s Texas Eagle long distance train.

Tournament action in the Dome Parlour car on the AT&T Park Express to celebrate the 25th Anniversary.

Tournament action in the Dome Parlour car on the AT&T Park Express to celebrate the 25th Anniversary.

All of you native Cardinals fans in St. Louis we want you to join our group in St. Louis (check the bottom of this post for the St. Louis option)!

If you live in other parts of the country please contact us so we can help you connect into Chicago.

We’ll head to the Dome Observation car and begin our Greatest Team tournament with the DYNASTY League Baseball Board version.

I’ll be on the tour tournament event of course and will be skippering the 1985 Cardinals.  You’ll have your chance to play me with your favorite greatest team as well as all the other fans on the trip which will be some of the top competition.

On Saturday, August 2 we’ll head out to Busch Stadium for a tour.  On your behind-the-scenes ballpark tour of sensational Busch Stadium, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, you will get to go places only the players and staff go including:

The Dugouts
Broadcast Booth

After the tour, we will attend Baseball Prospectus Night at Busch stadium:

  • Admittance to a private “meet and greet” with special guests and Baseball Prospectus personalities (including Jason ParksHarry Pavlidis, and Joe Hamrahi) 2 hours prior to game time
  • A question and answer session with industry guests and members of the St. Louis Cardinals front office (including Assistant General Manager Mike Girsch)
  • Ticket in section 265 at Busch Stadium to watch the Cardinals take on the Milwaukee Brewers with Baseball Prospectus fans and staff
  • All kids 15 years of age and under receive a Cardinals backpack
  • A $15 coupon to be used toward a new Baseball Prospectus Premium subscription or your next Premium renewal

Game time is 6:15 PM.

Busch Stadium Express Tour Tournament includes:

– Greatest Teams tournament

Team selections are at this MLB.com News Blog:
http://mlblogsdynastyleaguebaseball.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/fenwaydugout096-thumb-400×271-11505911.jpgarchives/2009/04/new_greatest_teams_tournament.html

– Round trip rail fare Chicago to St. Louis

– Two nights Drury Union Station Hotel including hot breakfast just a couple blocks from Busch Stadium.

– Tour of Busch Stadium

– Baseball Prospectus Night (see above for everything included)

– Loge Level ticket to Cardinals vs. Brewers August 2, 2014.

Double occupancy: $398 per person

Triple occupancy: Subtract $46

Single occupancy: Add $179

Milwaukee round trip rail connection: Add $48

Busch Stadium tour and Baseball Prospectus Night only on August 2 for local DYNASTY League Baseball fans in the St. Louis area: $98

Space is very limited and will sell out.

Tournament Team selections on first come basis.

Deadline for reservations is April 28, 2014

Call 561-494-2711 or email orders@designdepot.com

See you in August!

– Mike

Making sense of defensive metrics: 2013 season player card ratings review


If you have been following this blog you have read some of the previous posts on how the defensive range ratings are determined for DYNASTY League Baseball and it’s predecessor Pursue the Pennant. Defensive range, Throwing arms and Catchers handling of pitchers are some of the player ratings that are done manually and require an interpretation of the defensive metrics to assign the rating. So let’s look at a few examples from the 2013 season player cards: Adam Jones on the DYNASTY League Baseball historical scales for both Range Factor/9 innings and John Dewan Fielding Bible plus/minus scales out at D/D and his UZR also was below average. There is a strong correlation among the defensive metrics to assign Jones a D range rating if you took a strict Sabermetric camp approach. NOTE: the DYNASTY League Baseball historical scale for plus/minus is based on data since 2000. What about the eye test from scouting reports? Gold Glove voters decided Jones was good enough all around defensively to be awarded a Gold Glove. Keep in mind that Defensive Range is not the only component of a Gold Glove vote, there is also Fielding Percentage and Throwing Arm. DYNASTY League Baseball uses scouting reports from a number of sources including charting MLB Networks 100 best defensive plays of 2013. One of the better sources of scouting reports is the Tango Tiger poll which grades tools on a scale from 0-100. Jones scored a “45” for his reactions and instincts, “65” Acceleration first few steps, “72” Velocity sprint speed, and “52” Hands catching. This was one of the tougher ratings of the 2013 season to assign, but in keeping with the balanced approach I take between Sabermetrics and Scouting evaluations where each group of data and observations should be taken into consideration I bumped Jones rating to a C+ given the above average ratings from the Tango Tiger poll. The MLB Managers and Coaches that vote on the Gold Glove take quite a bit of criticism for some of their selections, but I think it might be too extreme to totally discount their observations. In the end, I felt the Sabermetric defensive metrics and Gold Glove voters were at opposites ends of a very polarized view of Adam Jones range rating and that Adam Jones “real” range lies closer to the mid ground that the Tango Tiger poll ratings reflect. Jones throwing arm rating was much easier to assign with a very good Hold % and Kill% (6 kills total) metrics and Tango Tiger poll ratings for strength “77” and accuracy “58”. Adam Jones 2013: C+ Range/90 Error/-1 Throwing. NOTE: If you are new to DYNASTY League Baseball Throwing ratings are based on a scale of -4 to +4 with a -4 rating representing a “Clemente” type arm. The Official DYNASTY League Baseball rulebook details the rating scales on page 3 and can be found once you log in at http://www.dynastylea guebaseball.com/UserMain.aspx NolanArenado2013Emerging on the defensive spectrum of stars in 2013 were three young players of note: Andrelton Simmons age 24 (A+/85/-5), Nolan Arenado age 23 (A+/90) and Manny Machado age 21 (A+/90). It is rare air for three young players to receive “A+” range ratings which are reserved for historically great performances, but in all three cases they were well deserved. Arenado (+27), Machado (+36) and Simmons (+37) turned in historically great performances on the DYNASTY League Baseball Fielding Bible +/- scale. Not only that, but with their great range they also have terrific fielding percentages and had 85, 90 and 90 Error ratings. Frequently you see young players with excellent range, but many times it comes with a lower fielding percentage – not the case with these three defensive stars.Z Then there is the flip side. Who were some of the players with the poorest range? How about Jed Lowrie (ss: D/50)? Lowrie had a +/- of (-17), UZR/150 (-9.2) and RF/9 (3.56). A stunningly poor performance with all three defensive metrics in strong agreement. What about the scouting reports? Tango Tiger had Lowrie with ratings of 35/27/38. This is the kind of agreement between the defensive metrics and scouting reports that you love to see. Then there is Shin Soo Choo (cf: D/80/0). Choo finished last among regular CF with a (-16) plus/minus AND UZR/150 (-17.0) to go along with a 2.41 RF/9 that just barely made it into the “C” DYNASTY League Baseball historical range factor scale. The scouting reports from Tango Tiger were in agreement with the defensive metrics (33/40/54). The Molina brothers, Yadier and Jose, were once again among the best “pitch framing” catchers scoring RAA (Runs Above Average) of 19.8 and 19.3 respectively. Those scores were two of the top pitch framing scores in all of MLB earning both Yadier and Jose “A” ratings for catcher handling of pitchers. Here are the average Range and Fielding ratings by position for the 2013 season: Since range is text, the following numbers were assigned: A+ 1 A 2 B+ 3 B 4 C+ 5 C 6 D 7 F 8 Range  Error 1B 5.45  72.29 2B 5.12  71.90 SS 5.04  71.27 3B 4.98  70.64 LF 5.20  70.25 CF 4.26  76.34 RF 4.70  68.38 DYNASTY League Baseball Online allows you to play in Private Draft leagues as well as play solitaire “Series”. The DYNASTY League Baseball original Board Game version and new 2013 season player cards are available at the Ticket Window.

2013 season Clutch and JAM ratings preview


Clutch and JAM might be the DYNASTY League Baseball “glamour” situation ratings
because they get so much attention. While the OFF situation rating (pitchers who
rarely walk the lead off man) and ON situation rating (pitchers who rarely allow HR
with runners on base) may be overlooked, the Clutch and JAM ratings certainly are
front and center. One thing is sure; at the end of the game with RSP/2 outs you DO
want a pitcher with a JAM rating on the mound or a hitter with a Clutch rating in the
batters box.

With the new 2013 season DYNASTY League Baseball player cards set to debut in late November, here is a preview of a few of the stand out Clutch and JAM rated players coming in the 2013 season player card set.

Carlos Beltran continues to deliver in the Clutch.

Carlos Beltran continues to deliver in the Clutch.

Carlos Beltran just became the all-time leader in post season SLG and OPS. Beltran
also hit extremely well with RSP/2 outs during the regular season (.375 BA/.516 SLG).
Beltran wasn’t the only Cardinals to hit well in the clutch. The Cardinals posted the
best RSP ( .330) since 1974 and the best RSP/2 outs performance (.305 BA) in two
decades. Allan Craig was the best of the Cardinals flock absolutely hammering
pitchers with RSP/2 out (.448 BA/.672 SLG). Matt Holliday wasn’t far behind (.426
BA/.596 SLG).

NL RBI leader Paul Goldschmidt was dangerous with RSP/2 (.340 BA/.600 SLG) as was
runner up Freddie Freeman (.411 BA/.625 SLG).

AL RBI leader Chris Davis had a monster year for Baltimore and made his hits count
with RSP/2 (.362 BA/.759 SLG).

The best clutch performance by any MLB player in 2013 belongs to Miguel Cabrera
RSP/2 (.459 BA/.934 SLG). No, that is not a typo!

Robinson Cano (.412 BA/.667) and Nelson Cruz (.400 BA/.778 SLG) also devastated
pitchers with RSP/ 2 outs on their way to earning a “Clutch” hitting rating.

Let’s take a look at a couple of players who despite having 100 RBI’s or more didn’t
get a Clutch hitting rating:

Jay Bruce .173 BA/.333 SLG with RSP/2.

Mark Trumbo .195 BA/.377 SLG with RSP/2.

Another great young Cuban player emerged in 2013. Jose Fernandez shutdown batters
with RSP/ 2 outs at an amazing rate (.115 BA/.192 SLG). Now that is a pitcher that
can get out of a jam and certainly earned his DYNASTY League Baseball JAM situation
rating!

Right behind Fernandez at pitching out of a jam is Matt Harvey (.167 BA/.271 SLG).

In the AL, two rising Japanese stars dominated in JAM situations. Hishashi Iwakuma
(.111 BA/.222 SLG) and Yu Darvish (.145 BA/.232 SLG) were outstanding at pitching
out of a jam.

In the bullpen, Jim Leyland found his closer and did Joaquin Benoit ever deliver (.119
BA/.143 SLG) in RSP/2 out situations. Fredi Gonzalez had his own closing answer in
the NL. Craig Kimbrel was nearly untouchable in a jam situation (.115 BA/.154 SLG).

Despite 50 saves, one pitcher who fell short of a JAM rating was Jim Johnson.
Johnson’s (.250 BA/.292 SLG) with RSP/ 2 outs wasn’t quite good enough to earn a
JAM rating. In the NL, one of the biggest surprises not to get a JAM rating was Jason
Grilli. Grilli pitcher poorly in RSP/ 2 outs situations (.300 BA/.500 SLG).

David Ortiz on the wings of a terrific 2013 World Series earned a Clutch hitting rating.  Often, Big Papi was walked, but when pitched to he was lethal.

In late November you will be able to learn the rest of the DYNASTY League Baseball
Clutch and JAM situation ratings!

The new 1975 season release: much more than one of the great World Series


What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the 1975 season?

For most of us it is the great World Series that is revered as one of the best of all-time.

Yes, we remember Carlton Fisk waving his HR fair and trying to coax a 3-9 FAIR single
die roll on the Fenway Park left field line Deep Drive chart, but what things might you
not remember about the new DYNASTY League Baseball 1975 season player card set?

My baseball library includes all of the 1975 issues of The Sporting News and it was
fascinating researching through those issues while assigning the player ratings:

851. What does that number mean to San Francisco Giant fans? That was the actual
attendance for a game at wind blown Candlestick Park. Giant fans missed out on
seeing Bobby Murcer who was traded for Bobby Bonds to the Yankees. The left-
handed batting Murcer hit .315/D power vs. LH pitchers, but his fielding declined in rf:
C/65/0 (Range/Error/Throwing). It could have something to do with Candlestick Park
which Murcer hated. One of the resources I use in grading the player ratings from the
1970’s is a book called the Computerized Baseball Guide by the Compu Scout system.
The book is way ahead of it’s time and includes MLB scouts numerical grades of
players “tools” on a 1.0-5.0 scale. Murcer was rated 2.7 for his Range which is an
average-poor rating. The defensive metrics backed the scouts grades – Murcer’s 1975
rf Range factor of 1.48 is average at best.

Pedro Garcia. What do Brewer fans remember about Pedro Garcia? Pedro decided that
he didn’t want to field ground balls during infield practice so he just stood there and
let the balls go by. By the end of the season Pedro Garcia got suspended by the team
and manager Del Crandall was fired. Garcia earned an F Intangible rating and a HOT
temper rating on his 1975 player card.

George “the Boomer” Scott. George Scott lead the AL in HR (#162-212 vs. RH) AND
earned an A+/50 (Range/Error) ratings. Scott also wields a “Clutch hitting” rating
(.346 BA/.645 SLG) with RSP/2 outs – AND shark teeth around his neck. Talk about a
feared sight coming to the plate for the Brewers!

Randy Jones sinker baller. The Padres Randy Jones often threw his sinker ball at
speeds around 75 mph and was a master at inducing the GDP (#613-685 vs. RH) and
not walking batters – especially lead off batters (OFF rating). Looking at Jones player
card you’ll find he does just about everything well with “A” ratings for WP and BK and
“B+/75″ (Range/Error) ratings.

Sinker baller Randy Jones will induce plenty of GDP for you.

Sinker baller Randy Jones will induce plenty of GDP for you.

Minnesota’s Metropolitan Stadium. The Twins decided to create their own mini-monster erecting an 8 foot green plywood fence 15 feet closer down the left field line and 20 feet closer in the left-center power alleys and center field. Larry Hisle was one of the Twin’s stars in his prime with a “7” Steal of 2nd rating to go along with (.323/B vs. LH, .308/B vs. RH). Hisle’s problem throughout his career was staying on the field
and 1975 typified this with his “F” Durability rating. The Pirates followed suit and also moved in the Three Rivers stadium fences in 1975. Old Yankee Stadium was still being renovated so the Yankees played in Shea Stadium.

Al “the Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky. As I am going through my Sporting News, I come across one issue that I remember very well. On the TSN cover is NL Fireman of the Year Al Hrabosky. Hrabosky was all the rage that year as he psyched himself up behind the mound, threw the ball in his glove and stomped onto the mound before and during each “performance”. I had traveled to St. Louis that year to see the Cardinals in St. Louis and took along this issue. I staked out my spot well before the game at Busch
Stadium in front of the Cardinals offices. The Mad Hungarian was very nice to me on his way inside the Busch Stadium offices and signed the TSN cover:

“Psyche Up!”

Al Hrabosky

The Mad Hungarian

Definitely one of the coolest baseball memorabilia I have!

The Mad Hungarian’s 1975 season player card is as menacing as he looks. The left-handed Hrabosky allows a BA of only .189 vs. RH/.233 vs. LH and an ERA of 1.66. Hrabosky earned both a JAM (.190 BA RSP/2, .276 SLG RSP/2) and OFF rating (rarely issued lead off walk).

I hope you have as much fun playing with the new 1975 season as I had making it for you!

The New DYNASTY League Baseball Online FAQ


Dynasty League Baseball FAQ

Q: How do I join or start a private draft league?

A: The designated meeting place for people looking to join a private draft league or Commissioners to recruit league members is at the DYNASTY League Baseball Facebook Group:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/6560799421/
You can also post at the DYNASTY League Baseball Facebook Page.

Q: Is there anything I need to install to play?

A: If you have the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in already installed in your browser there is no need to install anything.  Once you try to “join” a game the game will detect if you have Silverlight installed and prompt you to install it.  If you are having any issues go to this link to detect if you have Silverlight installed correctly:

http://www.microsoft.com/getsilverlight

Q: Are there public leagues available?

A: There are Greatest Team public leagues available to join year round.  Public draft leagues and the new live draft room will be available at a future date.

Q: What happens if I can’t play the next scheduled series live at the series date and time?
A: The MLB.com blog post explains your options for rescheduling.  You can also have the computer manager profile play for you:

http://dynastyleaguebaseball.mlblogs.com/2011/02/22/greatest-teams-leagues-debut-with-new-scheduler/

Q: Are “Dynasty” draft leagues that go from one season to the next available?

A: Yes, you can even start or join historical Dynasty leagues.  You can learn more at the MLB.com post:

http://dynastyleaguebaseball.mlblogs.com/2013/02/07/the-first-real-time-fantasy-dynasty-league-draft-leagues-arrive/

Q: How do I find the rules and learn more about the game?

 

A: The Official DYNASTY League Baseball Rulebook can be found at this link:

http://www.dynastyleaguebaseball.com/Docs/DYNASTYRulebook2012.pdf

Q: Can I play solitaire?

A: Yes, you can play solitaire “Series” vs. the computer manager with any teams or seasons in the DYNASTY League Baseball library.  Learn more at the MLB.com post:

http://dynastyleaguebaseball.mlblogs.com/2012/04/23/playing-dynasty-league-baseball-with-friends-and-solitaire/

Q: Can I play a “Series” live with a friend?  

A:  Yes, you can invite any friend to play a series with any teams from any season in the DYNASTY League Baseball library.  The MLB.com blog post has more on how Series with friends work:

http://dynastyleaguebaseball.mlblogs.com/2010/12/11/world-series-of-fun-with-your-friends-family-or-on-your-own/

Q: Where are the Roster and DL rules?

A: Roster and DL rules are detailed at the MLB.com post:

http://dynastyleaguebaseball.mlblogs.com/2011/08/09/roster-rules-revisited-with-new-dl-rules/

Q: Can I play on my iPad

A: You can view your stats, standings, leaders and box scores as well as change your Manager profile.  Apple has decided to block Silverlight and other browser plug-ins such as Flash so you can’t play a game on your iPad.  Apple does not block Silverlight on the Apple Mac so you can play on your Apple Mac.

 

 

Q: How close of an experience is playing the Online version to the original Board version?

A: DYNASTY League Baseball Online is a direct translation of the DYNASTY League Baseball Board game.  The default settings give you a transparent view into how the play results are derived by allowing you to see the player card results, dice rolls and sections of the game charts.

Q: Where can I purchase the DYNASTY League Baseball Board version and season player card sets?

A: The Ticket Window at http://www.DesignDepot.com has the DYNASTY League Baseball Board game version.

Q: How many days off are there between the Regular season and LCS?

A: In the automated playoffs, there are 2 rest days between the regular season and the playoffs.

Q: What is the difference for Commissioners in choosing between custom and standard automated playoffs?

A: Custom playoffs do not have automatic advancement of winners like the standard automated playoffs do –you have to set up the new series once the old series are done.  Custom playoffs do allow you to control exactly who is playing, how many games in the series, night and day games, how many rest-days between series and things like that.  There is a “create custom playoff series” button on the commissioner page.

You’ll just want to make sure you pay attention to the Last Played Date of the teams you are scheduling, as this is an internal date that wasn’t exposed before.  This will allow you to set up the first day of the playoffs with the right number of off days.  Things are set up internally so that the playoffs begin on Oct 1.  The last regular season game is set to be Sept. 28th so that teams have 2 days off before the playoffs.  You can obviously choose to keep Oct 1 as your start date or use a different date.

Once caveat–custom playoffs don’t currently have a way to add regular-season tie-breakers, so you will have to use 1-game playoff tie-breakers if you use them.  If you use the standard playoffs, they will use regular-season tiebreakers like MLB where the games count as regular-season games.   The custom playoffs will treat them like the 1-game wild-card playoff games. 

Q: Can I play a game from work? 

A: You may or may not be able to depending on the corporate firewall. The two ports you need open to play Dynasty League Baseball Online are outbound TCP ports 943 & 4514.

Q: I can’t see the OK button at the bottom of the page and move past the Roster page when playing a game.

A: You must have your IE, Chrome, Fire Fox and Safari browser zoom set to 100%.  You can read below how to change the Fire Fox zoom:

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/font-size-and-zoom-increase-size-of-web-pages

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