Results tagged ‘ Pursue the Pennant ’
Ready to become the GM in a DYNASTY League Baseball Online league?
- Rosters are set at 25 players.
- Rosters expand to 40 players when your league simulation month reaches September.
- You may have any mixture of batters and pitchers as long as:
- You can fill a lineup vs. both a right-handed and left-handed starter.
- You have a starting pitcher available for your next game.
- You may move anyone from the active roster to the minor leagues at any time, unless they are suspended.
- Before your first game of the season, your roster may be set without any penalties.
- Any time during the season, any player moved to the minors must stay there for 10 days before they are eligible to return to your active roster unless they are replacing a player that is placed on the DL.
- Players may make unlimited trips between the active roster and the minors EXCEPT for players who have a USE percentage, who may not return to the active roster once they have been sent to the minors (see section on Use Percentage players)
- Any injured player can be moved to the disabled list.
- Players placed on the DL must stay there for 15-days, retroactive to the day after their injury.
- You can have an unlimited number of players on the DL.
Percent Use Players:
- Players that have a percentage value listed as their USE value may only be on the active roster for that percentage of the season. So in a 54-game season, a 30% use player can only be on the active roster for 16 games.
- Percent Use players MUST serve their time on the active roster contiguously, meaning that once they are sent down to the minors they cannot return to the active roster.
- Often Percent Use players were mid or late-season callups.
Use vs RH/LH:
- Batters that have values for Use vs RH or vs LH are restricted to a certain number of at-bats against pitchers of the specified throwing arm.
- These values are pro-rated for the length of the season you are playing. So in a 54-game season, a player with a use vs RH of 51 can only have 17 AB against right-handed pitchers during the season.
- Players with Use values of less than 20 are not eligible to start OR pinch-hit against a pitcher of the specified throwing arm.
- Players must have at least 3 AB remaining to start against a pitcher of the specified throwing arm.
- Players must have at least 1 AB remaining to pinch-hit against a pitcher of the specified throwing arm.
- If you insert a player into the game who has 0 AB remaining against the throwing arm of the current pitcher, you will be forced to remove that player the next time he comes to bat.
Your votes are in from the DYNASTY League Baseball Facebook fan page voting and your selections are included in the new All-Time AL and NL teams for DYNASTY League Baseball Online. These teams will be available to play in Series when you log in at DYNASTY League Baseball Online.
Eligible selections were from retired MLB players using their best DYNASTY League Baseball season player card:
Carlton Fisk 1975 Boston
Yogi Berra 1961 New York (A)
Lou Gehrig 1927 New York (A)
Eddie Murray 1982 Baltimore
Rod Carew 1973 Minnesota
Roberto Alomar 1993 Toronto
Robin Yount 1982 Milwaukee
Cal Ripken 1982 Baltimore
George Brett 1977 Kansas City
Wade Boggs 1986 Boston
Paul Molitor 1982 Milwaukee
Ted Williams 1957 Boston
Mickey Mantle 1957 New York (A)
Babe Ruth 1927 New York (A)
Joe DiMaggio 1939 New York (A)
Walter Johnson 1924 Washington
Lefty Grove 1929 Philadelphia
Roger Clemens 1986 Boston
Bob Feller 1954 Cleveland
Jim Palmer 1973 Baltimore
Pedro Martinez 1999 Boston
Rollie Fingers 1973 Oakland
Goose Gossage 1982 New York (A)
Hoyt Wilhelm 1967 Chicago (A)
Dennis Eckersley 1988 Oakland
Johnny Bench 1970 Cincinnati
Roy Campanella 1955 Brooklyn
Willie McCovey 1970 San Francisco
Mark McGwire 1998 St. Louis
Joe Morgan 1975 Cincinnati
Rogers Hornsby 1929 Chicago (N)
Ozzie Smith 1985 St. Louis
Ernie Banks 1957 Chicago (N)
Mike Schmidt 1977 Philadelphia
Eddie Mathews 1957 Milwaukee
Ron Santo 1967 Chicago (N)
Stan Musial 1957 St. Louis
Willie Mays 1962 San Francisco
Hank Aaron 1973 Atlanta
Barry Bonds 2001 San Francisco
Sandy Koufax 1965 Los Angeles
Bob Gibson 1970 St. Louis
Tom Seaver 1969 New York (N)
Warren Spahn 1957 Milwaukee
Steve Carlton 1977 Philadelphia
Greg Maddux 1994 Atlanta
Bruce Sutter 1982 St. Louis
Randy Johnson 2001 Arizona
Phil Niekro 1974 Atlanta
John Smoltz 2003 Atlanta
New to Pursue the Pennant and it’s successor DYNASTY League Baseball? DYNASTY League Baseball is an extremely realistic Baseball simulation game that has it’s roots in the original Pursue the Pennant board game that debuted in 1985 and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Hobby Games of the last 50 years.
In the DYNASTY League Baseball Online Greatest Teams leagues you will choose from one of 76 of the Greatest Teams in Baseball history and then Manage your team in a 12 team league that is divided up into AL and NL Divisions of 6 teams.
1) You will have fun learning Baseball history
Instead of reading about Baseball history in the process of managing your team and playing other great teams you will learn who the great historical players were and why they were so great because you are playing against the likes of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Stever Carlton, Tom Seaver and Dizzy Dean.
2) You will learn how Major League scouts evaluate a players “baseball tools” and the strengths and weaknesses of the greatest baseball players of All-Time.
3) You will learn offensive strategies by managing real MLB players.
When should you steal, hit and run, take the extra base, pinch hit, pinch run, sacrifice bunt and suicide squeeze? What is the best lineup and batting order for my team? When should I platoon vs. left-handed and right-handed pitchers and with which players?
4) You will learn defensive strategies by managing real MLB players.
When should you warm-up a relief pitcher, bring in a relief pitcher, bring in a defensive replacement, throw through or cut-off a throw, bring the infield in, set the infield corners in or call for the intentional walk? What is the best pitching rotation for my team?
5) You will learn which Major League ball parks are hitters or pitchers parks and the various outfield and foul territory dimensions.
As you play out your season you will be playing in historical ball parks from every era in Baseball history.
6) You will learn how a players fielding range, fielding percentage, throwing arm, double play pivot and catcher’s handling of pitchers effects various plays.
7) You will learn how power hitters, contact hitters, high on base hitters, clutch hitters, spray and pull hitters effect each at bat.
8) You will learn how control pitchers, ground ball pitchers, fly ball pitchers, strikeout pitchers, pitchers who rarely walk the lead off batter, pitchers who rarely give up HR with runners on base and pitchers who are tough in jams effect each plate appearance.
9) You will learn how fast and slow basestealers, baserunners with good and bad instincts effect steal attempts and taking the extra base. You will also learn how important both a pitchers ability to hold baserunners and catchers and outfielders throwing arms are.
10) You will learn about Baseball statistics and why they are important in evaluating players and making managerial decisions.
Do you know what OBP and SLG are, how they are calculated and why they are one of the best offensive indicators? Baseball is more than just physical tools it is a cerebral sport where at times the smartest teams and players can beat a more physically talented team.
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.
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).