Results tagged ‘ Strat-o-matic ’
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.
What does Brian Jordan think of the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online version?
“This is an awesome game.” Brian didn’t just repeat the word awesome and DYNASTY League Baseball Online in the same breath once, but several times during the 1996 NLDS game he managed as Cardinals skipper vs. the Padres.
The game took place at the Marriot hotel in Palm Beach Gardens, FL as part of the Cardinals Legends Greatest Team tournament held in conjuction with the Cardinals Legends camp. I was there along with Miami International airport air traffic controller extraordinaire Tim Lewis and his daughter May who came along to help introduce the campers and Cardinals legends to DYNASTY League Baseball Online.
Brian Jordan starred on the 1996 Cardinals team (finishing 8th in the MVP voting in 1996) that swept the 1996 Padres in the first round of the 1996 playoffs. Brian also is one of the few athletes to play in two sports simultaneously playing in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons. Currently Brian is the pre-game analyst for the Atlanta Braves on FSN South and also runs the Brian Jordan Foundation for underpriveleged children.
Brian is very friendly and gregarious and I invited to manage the 1996 Cardinals so he could manage himself. Still looking in great shape as if he could play for the 2011 Cardinals, Brian loved the idea and from that point on until the end of the game Brian was captivated by the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online version.
I helped Brian get started and showed him how you could use the lineup assistance button to load in a historical lineup from the retrosheet.org database. From there Brian easily caught onto the lineup interface and made a couple of changes to the historical lineup including getting center fielder Willie McGee into the game in the #2 spot in the order and moving Ray Lankford into the #3 spot (he kept himself in the clean up spot) and selected Andy Benes as the starter.
Brian quickly picked up on the user interface and was intrigued by the depth and realism of DYNASTY League Baseball. Brian asked about his A+/85/ -1 defensive ratings in right field and I showed Brian the tool tips that display descriptions of each rating when you mouse over a player rating. I told Brian that his range rating of A+ was “historically great” and Brian knowlingly nodded and smiled.
Cardinal Legends Steve Kline, Rick Horton and Brian’s girlfriend all stopped by to see what Brian was doing, but they all had a hard time tearing him away from making his managerial moves. Everytime someone came by to greet Brian he quickly jumped right back into his managerial chair and delighted in making his moves.
The managerial moves were not easy either. The 1996 Padres got off to a great start and before you knew it Brian Jordan and the 1996 Cardinals were down 7-0. Not only that, but Jordan grounded into a double play his second at bat in the fourth to stop a potential Cardinal rally.
I explained to Brian how you needed two batters to warm up your pitcher in the bullpen, but you could only get your pitcher up twice and then you had to bring him in or he would come into the game tired. Brian warmed up Mark Petkovsek and brought him into the game. You could easily tell Brian knew the 1996 Cardinals in-depth and making moves came like second nature to him.
The 1996 Cardianls finally got something going in the bottom of the 5th loading the bases with Petkovsek’s spot in the lineup coming up. Brian clicked on the substitution button to look carefully for the pinch hitter that he thought could get the Cardinal back into the game and the move was made for left-handed hitting Mark Sweeney. Next Brian clicked on the warm up button to get Danny Jackson up in the bullpen to come into the game in the top of the 6th.
Brian clicked the swing button and the HOME RUN range of 142 – 152 on Mark Sweeney’s player card lit up like a neon sign in red as we watched the flashing HR target show where the 386 foot grand slam landed in right-center in Busch Stadium. Brian and I exchanged high fives across the table as if we were greeting Sweeney back into the Cardinal dugout. The 1996 Cardinals were back in this thing and Brian Jordan’s pinch hitting move made him look like a managerial genius.
Brian Jordan lead off the top of the 6th for the 1996 Cardinals and walked. I suggested to Brian that he should give himself the green light to steal and moused over his steal rating of 5 to show the pie chart percentage display that he had a 74% chance of stealing successfully.
Brian said “let’s go!” and I explained we needed a low dice number to steal successfully. Brian clicked the steal button and the dice roll of 34 displayed and I knew he would be slide in safely. Brian and I exchanged another high five delighting in our comeback attempt. The inning ended quickly with Gary Gaetti, John Mabry and Tom Pagnozzi all failing to drive in Jordan from second base.
Brian Jordan was looking for his first hit in the top of the 8th with the 1996 Cardinals now down 8-4. Jordan smoked a single to right bringing up Gary Gaetti. BAM! Gaetti slammed a 373 foot HR to left as we watched the flashing home run target in left field show where Gaetti’s blast landed and once again exchanged our “dugout” high fives as the Cardinals drew to within two runs at 8-6.
San Diego Padre Trevor Hoffman in perhaps his best season enters the game, but Ozzie Smith and Willie McGee lead off the bottom of the 9th with back to back single’s bringing the winning run to the plate and Brian and I are feeling the pulse of a Cardinal comeback win. Ray Lankford strikes out swining for the first out, but here comes none other than Brian Jordan to the plate. With no fear vs. Baseball’s all-time saves leader, Brian reminds me, “I hit a home run off of Hoffman to win the 1996 NLDS.” Brian clicks the swing button and lines himself a single to left scoring Ozzie and sending McGee to third with Brian Jordan taking second on the throw. 8-7 only down by one run and I give Brian a high five for his line single feeling for a moment that I am also on the 1996 Cardinals!
Gaetti grounds out to third and it is too sharply hit to get in McGee so it brings up John Mabry as the Cardinals last hope. Manager Brian Jordan has been holding an ace up his sleeve as he says, “I am have been saving Ronnie.” Ronnie is Ron Gant the power hitting outfielder who hammered 30 HR for the Cardinals in 1996. Gant strikes out swinging to end the game as the Cardinal comeback just falls short, but Brian Jordan has just completed his first experience with DYNASTY League Baseball Online. Brian is so delighted with his experience that he immediately signs up for his own DYNASTY League Baseballl Online account with his email address and password.
At the end of the game I shared the box score on my Facebook page using the share box score button and asked Brian to write something about his experience playing DYNASTY League Baseball. Brian was happy to and wrote “this is an awesome game”.
Up next was valuable Cardinal reserve outfielder Tito Landrum who stopped by just in time to join a Greatest Team bracket tournament. Tito and I teamed up to co-manage the 1985 Cardinals vs. the 1981 Expos in round 1 of the Greatest Teams tournament. Tito is super friendly and a fun person to talk Baseball with.
Like Brian Jordan, Tito Landrum took to the easy game user interface immediately and was hooked. The 1985 Cardinals got out to a 4-0 lead and I wanted to get Tito into the game. I had Tito click on the substitution button and view Tito Landrum player card so he could see his 1985 card. “Look, you hit .345 against right handed pitching in 1985.” I told Tito. Tito replied, “Wow, really .345? Whitey wouldn’t let me play against right handed pitchers.” I then showed Tito that he had only 29 AB’s vs. RH pitching and there was a Use rating on his player card limiting him to 29 AB vs. RH. Tito smiled thoroughly impressed and said, “Wow, you have really thought of everything haven’t you?”
Vince Coleman singles in the bottom of the 7th and I told Tito, “We need to attack with this 1985 Cardinals team.” Tito smiled and said “Yes, definitely let’s send Vince!” Tito clicked on the steal button and in we see Vince get the jump and take off for second with an 88% of being safe. The 1985 rookie of the year slides in safe and Tito and I high five each other delighting in our successful steal sign. Vince Coleman (who Tim Lewis and I would later help find the coaches meeting room) said that he was able to steal so many bases (three consecutive years of 100 stolen bases) because Whitey always gave him the green light.
Above: “Let’s send Vince!” Tito Landrum and Mike Cieslinski
Tito was having a great time and thoroughly enjoyed playing DYNASTY League Baseball Online as we thumped the Expos 7-1 to advance to the final round of the bracket vs. 1999 Atlanta. You can see our game with the 1985 Cardinals vs. the 1981 Expos box score and game summary here.
Tito had to head to the coaches meeting, but before he left wanted to know how he could sign up for DYNASTY League Baseball Online so I explained he could go to DYNASTYLeagueBaseball.com and handed him a postcard.
Who knows, you too may run into Brian Jordan and Tito Landrum for a game at DYNASTY League Baseball Online!
The idea behind the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online “Series” was born in creating an easy way for friends to play live “Series” vs. each other. Everyone has at least one favorite “Series” and most likely one favorite friend or relative that experienced that same “Series” often times cheering for opposing teams.
You might want to play vs. your old college roommate, your life long friend who now lives in another state, your brother, father or son or your colleagues at work. Wherever you have friends or family DYNASTY League Baseball Online “Series” brings you closer to them.
New DYNASTY League Baseball Online Friends system
Now you can add your friends to DYNASTY League Baseball Online and easily invite them to play live face to face “Series” with you. The friends system shows you all of your friends and when they were last logged into to DYNASTY League Baseball Online.
I have been a life long Cardinals fan growing up in Wisconsin at a time when Milwaukee had no Baseball team, but I could follow the Cardinal radio broadcasts from a sometimes static filled Peoria, IL radio station signal. I also love the Brewers, but that came later when the Seattle Pilots moved to Milwaukee in 1970.
What happened in 2006 was an event so special that it hadn’t happened since 1968. Jamie’s favorite team the Tigers and my favorite team the Cardinals were meeting again in the World Series. DYNASTY League Baseball Online gives Jamie and I a chance to play the 2006 World Series anytime and as often as we wish so that we both can relive all the excitement and drama in a live face to face Series with our favorite teams.
Rivalries with your friends
Which World Series, ALCS or NLCS is your favorite? Are you a Yankees fan that has a Red Sox friend (yes that is possible) and would love to erase the memory of the 2004 ALCS? Are you a Cubs fan that wants to beat the 2003 Marlins in the NLCS and go to the World Series? Are you an Astros or Cardinals fan that wants to relive the thrills of the 2004 NLCS?
You can play solitaire with Total Access to every season and historical lineups
I wanted to make sure that “Series” also gave you the option to play solitaire as well. The really cool thing is that you can play vs. the new computer manager with Total Access to the complete library of DYNASTY League Baseball seasons. You feel like you are managing vs. the actual Manager because the computer Manager used Historical lineups from Retrosheet.org.
What if the Greatest Baseball Teams of All-Time met in an NCAA basketball style bracket tournament? Single game elimination. You lose, you go fishing. You win, you live to play another day and advance towards the championship game.
We just completed the first ever DYNASTY League Baseball Online Greatest Team bracket tournaments and the experience is like playing “Game 7″ everytime you play. One word best describes it “Thrilling”.
Does the best team always win? Maybe, maybe not. Amongst the 70 Greatest Teams, any team could win the bracket and that is part of what makes it all so fascinating.
Above you can see the screen shot of one of the Elite Eight tournament brackets. 1982 Milwaukee won all three of it’s games on clutch, heroic, drama filled, thrilling HR in the late innings by the likes of “stormin” Gorman Thomas and Ted Simmons. I was managing Milwaukee and faced off in the Championship vs. 1998 New York managed by Carmine Turso and I felt like it was 1982 all over again with Harvey’s Wallbangers punishing pitchers with their 216 HR.
One of the new very cool features just added to the bracket tournaments is the ability to follow every game of the tournament in real time. The scores update automatically and when you click on the scores you see the in-progress box score and game summary. Click on the team and you see updated Batting, Pitching and Fielding stats for that team in the tournament.
Our first Greatest Team bracket was played by DYNASTY League Baseball Online architect Jamie Hall and myself in a Final Four matchup. Below is a screen shots of a first round matchup between 1979 Pittsburgh and 1982 St. Louis. 1982 St. Louis won in a thrilling late inning comeback, but was overpowered by 1975 Boston’s offense in the Championship final.
There also is a new Manager ranking system coming. As you win and lose games and hopefully win Championships, you will accumulate points based on your performance. Each franchise will have 10 Managerial levels that you can reach named after actual franchise Managers. The Yankee franchise will have the coveted Billy Martin, Joe Torre and Casey Stengel levels to reach.
You’ll be able to experience the “thrill” for yourself by signing in at dynastyleaguebaseball.com
Greatest Teams bracket Tournament schedule
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!”.
Houston, we have lift off! First live DYNASTY League Baseball Online version game launch is perfect game
Last Saturday, August 1 at 6P ET, Jamie Hall and I got together for the launch of the first ever live face to face game ever played with the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online version.
The launch was as perfect as a Mark Buehrle perfect game and maybe even more exciting to watch and play.
I sent my 2006 Cardinals vs. Jamie’s 2006 Tigers in Game 1 of the 2006 World Series at Comerica Park. OK, these are both our favorite teams so this was like Baseball nirvana for us with the Tigers and Cardinals not having played vs. each other in the World Series since 1968 and 1934.
The missing “League” is now found
Before we started the game, I was telling Jamie that the “League” in DYNASTY League Baseball has been missing since DYNASTY League Baseball debuted in 1994. By that I mean a really easy way for people to join a league, for Commissioners to run leagues and for people to connect and play vs. each other across long distances and have standings, stats and scores updated in real time without having to export or import any files.
The new draft room will allow you to draft live and show which players have been selected, which players are left in the draft, what your roster currently looks like, how many dollars of your budget you have left to bid on players and which roster slots you still need to fill.
Dan Mintz, Reede Stockton, Jamie and myself have been planning and talking about an Online version for a long time. It really wasn’t until the past two years that the Baseball stars and sun were in perfect alignment to create the opportunity to develop what is a truly cutting edge technological marvel.
Realizing that most DYNASTY League Baseball and Pursue the Pennant fans have never played an Online game the question is “What is this and why do I need it?”
There are three type of ways you will play your opponent:
- You vs. another live opponent
- You vs. computer manager
- Computer manager vs. computer manager
Which type of game you will play depends on you and your opponent.
“Series” allow you to play a series solitaire vs. the computer manager or with a friend from any season in the DYNASTY League Baseball library.
There will be two primary play options:
- Greatest Team bracket tournaments
- Continuous draft leagues that use the Official DYNASTY League Baseball rulesYou always have time for DYNASTY League Baseball Online
The neat thing is that there is always time to be in a league or tournament no matter how busy you are with work, family and friends. If you find you are getting busy you can always have the computer manager take over and play games for you until you have more time to play the games live.
DYNASTY League Baseball Online runs on Windows or Apple Macintosh
How do I install the Online version and start playing? You don’t install it – it is all ready to go for you.
You start your Internet Explorer, Fire fox or if you are on an Apple Macintosh, your Safari browser, and log on with your user name and password at a new web site being created just for DYNASTY League Baseball Online TBA.
If you are already in a draft league or Greatest tournament the first thing you’ll see is your up to date draft league standings and Greatest Teams tournament results and rankings. If this is your first time logging in you will choose your Greatest team for the Greatest Teams tournaments. You also will be able to select a franchise for a continuous private or public draft league.
So now what after I select my team? Click on the join game link to the game you want to play. That is as easy as it was for me to connect and play Jamie. One click and the first thing you will see on your screen is the outside of the ball park that you are playing in. Click enter and you enter the ball park just as if you had walked into the ball park.
Similar to the Windows version, the next thing you will do is select your starting pitcher. DYNASTY League Baseball Online includes injury and pitcher rest tracking as well as Use rating tracking so you can easily see who is available for the game.
You can see any players player card while you are selecting your pitcher and lineup. You also have the OBP and SLG vs. LH and vs RH breakdowns. Previously I would pull out my Bill James Handbook to look up these stats, but now they are all there. Click on the Magglio Ordonez player card screen below to check it out.
Next we enter Comerica Park. It is one thing to see screen shots and another to actually see the game interface on screen. One word left my mouth. “WOW!” Joe DiMaggio would call it the Marilyn Monroe screen interface. Gorgeous!
You control your own mouse all of the time – you don’t have to share the mouse even though the game is turn based.
What I absolutely loved were the new tool tips. When you roll over a player rating on screen a tool tip comes up describing the rating.
Want to see a player card? Just move your mouse over the player name and the player pops up for you. The player cards look identical to the player cards in the board game in every respect.
The Cardinals struck first in the 1st when Albert Pujols launched a Justin Verlander pitch to center field for a home run. I flipped when I saw the red target flash in center field where Pujols had just deposited the ball and then watched as Pujols circled the bases.
The screen shot below is from another Pujols HR in a different game, but if you click on it you’ll get the full size image.
The game is far from a static text game and that is one of the first things you will notice. There are all kinds of things flashing and moving during the game that really adds to the enjoyment of playing. Also helps when your team is winning as mine was 2-0.
Worried about a disconnection or crash? Don’t be. Your game is automatically saved and will take you right back to where you left off so a game will never be lost.
Scott Spiezio opened up the top of the 2nd inning with a solo shot to right. Gee that flashing target is cool! Cardinals 3 Tigers 0
For each play result either the pitcher card or hitter card will come up on screen depending on which player card the result is on. The dice roll is shown below the player card and the play results flashes right on the player card. Click below to see a play result on Nate Robertson’s player card:
During the game, you’ll also see the various Situation ratings highlight when they are in effect with a description of the Situation rating. In the screen shot below, the ON rating (rarely allows HR with runners on base) is in effect for Justin Verlander.
Top of the 3rd and Spiezio hits a solo shot to center field to make it 5-0 Cardinals.
Top of the 5th and Spiezio homers to right field for his third HR of the game! Cardinals 6-0
Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter is just dominating until the 8th when Craig Monroe slams a two-run home run to left.
Final score Cardinals 6 Tigers 2
No exporting or importing needed for instant updated stats and standings
Now think of youself playing in a tournament or league where other players are playing and the scores are updated instantly for everyone to see along with the current standings, stats and league leaders. No exporting or importing of files. How cool is that?
Box score and Game Summary are easily accessible during and after the game
I absolutely love the new Game Summary!
Shown below is the final game screen with the Cardinals winning 6-2 over the Tigers. You can click on the screen to see Jason Isrinhausen warming up in the bullpen in the 9th inning – just in case. The bullpen is right on the main game screen and shows you who it warming up and if they are ready.
Well, there you have it – Game 1 of DYNASTY League Baseball Online and there are so many more features still to come! Amazing as the 1969 Mets don’t you think? I sure think so.
Welcome DYNASTY League Baseball and Pursue the Pennant Fans!
If you are a DYNASTY League Baseball and Pursue the Pennant veteran welcome.
If you are a rookie, here is a good place to start to learn about the game and it’s history from reviews from such sites as USA TODAY, ESPN.com, Milwaukee Journal and the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
For more than 20 years discerning baseball fans have played this super realistic Baseball simulation that let’s you become the Manager and GM of your own team. The Game Design tour can be found at the DYNASTY League Baseball home page
There are two versions of DYNASTY League Baseball:
- The original DYNASTY League Baseball Board version which is great for local leagues and face to face play.
- The new DYNASTY League Baseball Online version that is all about taking league and tournament play to the next level with a next generation user interface and loads of new features that make league and tournament play easier, faster and much more fun than ever before. Michael Bauman wrote the first major review of Pursue the Pennant which was to morph into DYNASTY League Baseball using an upgraded version of the original Pursue the Pennant game engine. You can read PDF versions of his reviews at the DYNASTY League Baseball reviews link.
Michael Bauman is currently the National Baseball writer here at MLB.com where you can read his Perspectives columns. Mathew Leach, beat writer for the Cardinals at MLB.com played a DYNASTY League Baseball Winter game with St. Louis Post Dispatch beat writer Derrick Goold whose Bird Land blog is a great read for Cardinals fans.
Orioles MLB.com beat writer Spencer Fordin is an avid DYNASTY League Baseball player and is in hot competition in the THROW continuous season draft league along with Mike Wilner of the Blue Jays FAN 590 radio.
We’ll be including DYNASTY League Baseball news and notes along with interviews with MLB Players, Managers and Front office personnel with their slant on DYNASTY League Baseball and Pursue the Pennant.