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Post Info TOPIC: The Devil is in the details...
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VP of Operations

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Date: Nov 3, 2015
RE: The Devil is in the details...
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I tried as best I could to recreate the style.

I always have trouble with things like bunting in the middle of the order, because those are the guys who are supposed to be driving in runs.

In hindsight, I didn't run, or hit-and-run, as much as I should have.  My transactions and lineups weren't what they should have been, as I didn't have as much info to work with as I do now.

Sequentially, it was the third replay I had done (due mainly to the order in which the prior seasons were released).  If I went back and played it again, I would certainly try, at least, to correct some of my earlier mistakes.

Given where I am now ('48), my age (oh, to be younger again...), and how many seasons I'd still like to play, that probably won't happen.

Nonetheless, I had a blast.

Going back to the style of play, I think the main problem is recreating the context of the game in those days.  It's tough to do, given how different the game was in those days.  I've always said that one of the things I loved about those years was the sense that they were still making it up as they went along.

Taking two bases on a ground ball, triple steals, all the bunting and hit-and-runs.  It's so tough to picture just why the game was played that way.

There were the terrible field conditions, tiny mitts, baseballs that were mushy/cut/scraped/spit-emory-mud-whatever-laden after seven or eight innings of re-use (they actually went into the stands to retrieve foul balls, and ballpark detectives chased after those who tried to get away with a souvenir).

Of course, the baseball wasn't going anywhere in the late innings anyway, after having been pounded, over-and-over again, so teams had to try what must seem to be outrageous strategies to produce runs.



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Season Ticket Holder - Lower Deck

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Date: Nov 3, 2015
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I had always assumed the style of play was incorporated into the cards somehow. It wasn't until a few years after I got my 1911 set and started playing various games and tournaments with it did I read that you were supposed to bunt/hit and run with every hitter except Honus Wager, Joe Jackson and a couple of others.

It always seemed silly to me to classify all but a few hitters into 4 or 5 ratings(A,B,C,D, or E) based on the H&R and sacrifice charts and there would be no ratings variation that way if played with the BASIC rules.

Other than being more aggressive on the base paths and using the squeeze play more I always played my 1911 straight-up assuming the playing style of the time was worked into the card results.



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Date: Nov 4, 2015
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You may be right about that, regarding the total hits and how they are reflected on the cards.

But you still have to use the bunt and hit and run options in their proper context to get the right overall results.  Just like you have to steal as much as they really did, to reflect not only runner advancement that leads to runs, but also runner elimination that cuts off potential rallies.

It's tough to do, given our more modern tendencies, and the way we've come to see the game played.  Truer hops, clean balls, huge gloves and smaller ballyards all combine to eliminate much of the reason why teams were so-inclined in the Deadball years.

I haven't purchased a current season since 2008.  I would love to see how the game manages to deal with today's extreme shifts.  My one cry about the strategy charts is that there is no allowance for a bunt-for-hit.

Yes, all hits -- including bunt singles -- are factored into the cards.  But the hit and run option allows gamers to take advantage of stuff like holding runners on base, or corners/infield in, to create enhanced offensive opportunities.

Why not a Bunt for a Hit chart?  Infield back increase the odds, while corners in reduces the chance.  And what about those modern shifts, when everyone swings to the right for a lefty hitter, and that hitter drops one down the now-vacated third base line?

The shifts themselves also take so much away from many hitters, who are unable to poke the ball the other way.  Shifting has become such a huge part of the way the game is played, and has such a huge impact on averages.

I would think you'd almost have to have separate cards for players, depending on how the defense is aligned.  Straight up, or shift?  It really has an impact. 



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Season Ticket Holder - Lower Deck

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Date: Nov 5, 2015
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I think it all comes down to where Strat draws the line on playability vs. realistic game play.

Strat Hockey is good example. Even though the players total ice time works out at the end, you only change the lines 2 or 3 times per period where as in real hockey a coach will change lines 25-40 times per period. Hal decided that the constant line changing would bog down the playability factor, so realism as far as game play was concerned was sacrificed for playability. The final results are pretty accurate it's just a different way of getting there.

With all of the strategy involved with small-ball I could see there being too much playability sacrificed, and given the ratings (or lack there of) it would be almost impossible to play a dead ball game/season in the BASIC version and expect accurate results. That's why I always assumed the nuances of the Dead Ball Era were some how worked into the cards without using H&R and SF bunting for the majority of hitters.



-- Edited by NatsFan on Thursday 5th of November 2015 01:59:21 PM

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Date: Nov 5, 2015
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NatsFan wrote:

I think it all comes down to where Strat draws the line on playability vs. realistic game play.

Strat Hockey is good example. Even though the players total ice time works out at the end, you only change the lines 2 or 3 times per period where as in real hockey a coach will change lines 25-40 times per period. Hal decided that the constant line changing would bog down the playability factor, so realism as far as game play was concerned was sacrificed for playability. The final results are pretty accurate it's just a different way of getting there.

With all of the strategy involved with small-ball I could see there being too much playability sacrificed, and given the ratings (or lack there of) it would be almost impossible to play a dead ball game/season in the BASIC version and expect accurate results. That's why I always assumed the nuances of the Dead Ball Era were some how worked into the cards without using H&R and SF bunting for the majority of hitters.



-- Edited by NatsFan on Thursday 5th of November 2015 01:59:21 PM


So, in modern seasons, you would just assume the shifts are in play, but not give teams the ability (via a Bunt for Hit option, for instance) to counter them?

You are starting from scratch with a non-standard defensive alignment, with no way to counter it.

I guess the next question would have to be "Why would a shift option be less desirable than infield/corners in?"  Both influence the game immensely.  And the infield/corners in options have negatives to counter them (++ groundballs, and less favorable range results on the X charts).

We don't automatically assume infield in or runners held.  They have to be implemented.  The shift should be the same, and the cards should reflect pluses and minuses that go with this realignment.

I'll admit I was not in favor of all those little symbols that started popping up on cards, when the Super Advanced format was introduced.  It was confusing, especially since I already wasn't playing much at the time (but still collecting each season).

How much would have to be done to reconfigure future sets to have this shift option, as compared to what they did to add stuff like ballpark factors?  It would seem to me that, given the very real impact they have had on averages, a shift option is pretty important.

Maybe italicized groundball results that turn into singles, indicating when infielders have shifted away from that spot, and countering italicized hits, indicating that a fielder has now moved to that spot and made the play?

Maybe X grounders to the off-side defenders become automatic singles, while X grounders to the strengthened side become outs (while still allowing for E-rating results).

Straight-up scoring is confusing enough now, with routine grounders to the right side getting entered as 6-3 outs, and any number of players essentially playing positions they are not rated for (third basemen moving over to cover more of a shortstop position, for example).

How does that alter your perceptions when you read new season card results?



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Just sitting in his basement, with a Strat game underway."



Umpire

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Date: Nov 5, 2015
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The only way to make the shift work would be some sort of X chart adjustments. Anything that required new symbols and therefore not backwards compatible would be bad for Strat.

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Umpire

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seajaw wrote:

You may be right about that, regarding the total hits and how they are reflected on the cards.

But you still have to use the bunt and hit and run options in their proper context to get the right overall results.


 The 1911 cards play just fine if you don't bunt or H&R all the time. While Nats Fan is right that Strat looked at this set as constant bunting and H&R, the stats will be fine if those strategies are employed normally.

This is how the 1911 Giants looked in a sample against the 27 Yankees. Less bunts, H&R, and steals but they scored over 800 runs.

NAME              BAVG  GM  AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI  BB  SO HB SH DP  SB CS  E
A.Fletcher        .355 119 408  57 145 28  5  2  57  26  40 26  4  8  10  5 37
C.Meyers          .341 131 466  63 159 18  9  4  90  26  26 25  3 17   6  2  4
A.Wilson          .321  62 134  19  43 11  1  0  16  23  12  2  0  3   4  1  2
J.Devore          .315 152 634 105 200 21 12  4  64  70  76  6  3  6  34 19 23
F.Snodgrass       .307 146 602  91 185 25  7  0  73  39  56 11  0 11  16  7  4
L.Doyle           .299 147 579  90 173 19 19 20  85  64  40  7 16 12  22 11 34
F.Merkle          .286 148 611  89 175 27  3 16  99  33  59  3  0 15  43 12 26
A.Devlin          .275  98 305  44  84 25  0  0  30  43  25  5  5  4   6  4 24
B.Herzog          .269 151 579  90 156 36  6 12  85  45  39 14  2 10  33  8 39
R.Murray          .268 137 553  85 148 22 23  4  76  33  42  9  0 10  44  8 17
B.Becker          .241  83 245  23  59  5  2  0  23  33  33  0  3  7   6  2  4
D.Crandall        .202  22 104   3  21  0  1  3   5   5   7  0  5  1   1  0  1
G.Paulette        .182   9  22   2   4  2  0  0   4   1   3  0  0  0   0  0  4
G.Burns           .172   9  29   3   5  0  0  0   1   0   0  0  0  2   0  0  0
G.Hartley         .172  23  58   2  10  5  0  0   3   1   1  0  0  3   1  1  2
A.Schlei          ----   2   0   0   0  0  0  0   0   0   0  0  0  0   0  0  0
ALL PITCHERS      .172 162 441  35  76  7  3  1  33  15 128  0 62  4   1  0 21
----------------- ---- --- --- --- --- -- -- -- --- --- --- -- -- -- --- -- --
TEAM TOTALS       .285    5770    1643    91    744     587   103    227   242
                       162     801    251    66     457    108   113     80




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Nitrous Oxide wrote:

The only way to make the shift work would be some sort of X chart adjustments. Anything that required new symbols and therefore not backwards compatible would be bad for Strat.


Why?

In the sense that you can play the Advanced or Super Advanced version with the same card backs, and integrate them with other sets for cross-era play -- simply by ignoring the SA stuff (like ballpark singles/homers, and PB/BK/WP ratings) -- couldn't you do the same with a shift-enhanced version?

Just ignore those results variations that don't apply, for your mixed-use play.



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Just sitting in his basement, with a Strat game underway."



Umpire

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Date: Nov 5, 2015
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seajaw wrote:
Nitrous Oxide wrote:

The only way to make the shift work would be some sort of X chart adjustments. Anything that required new symbols and therefore not backwards compatible would be bad for Strat.


Why?


Community complaints, demands to upgrade all sets to the latest rules, etc. for something that is already built into the overall chances on the cards.

I'm not sure any new symbol could address the shift, but the X chart already addresses each fielding position individually and therefore would not require a card symbol overhaul



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Nitrous Oxide wrote:
seajaw wrote:
Nitrous Oxide wrote:

The only way to make the shift work would be some sort of X chart adjustments. Anything that required new symbols and therefore not backwards compatible would be bad for Strat.


Why?


Community complaints, demands to upgrade all sets to the latest rules, etc. for something that is already built into the overall chances on the cards.

I'm not sure any new symbol could address the shift, but the X chart already addresses each fielding position individually and therefore would not require a card symbol overhaul


Maybe play X chances as if that player is position "in" defensively?

I'm not sure if even something like that would work, because the third baseman is usually covering the entire left side, and the shortstop is on the other side of the bag.  And the second baseman is frequently in short right field somewhere.

If the shortstop is on the second base side, and the third baseman is moved over to where the shortstop would be playing normally, I want that shift-buster bunt option, and something that gives me realistic play, based on where the defenders are actually situated.

As I also suggested, a Bunt-for-a-Hit chart would help.  They give you a Hit and Run chart, despite the fact that those hits are already carded, as well.

Why one, and not the other?

I'm not trying to be a pain in the *** on this, but the modern day shifts have had a seismic effect on hitters that I feel should be acknowledged.



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Umpire

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Date: Nov 5, 2015
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The computer game has "bunt for a hit", but its not transparent on how it works.

The X Chart could be redone in some fashion to deal with infield positions-normal, in, or shift. Then gamers could just purchase a new X chart the same way the SADV chart came available. It could be added to the computer game.

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Nitrous Oxide wrote:

The computer game has "bunt for a hit", but its not transparent on how it works.

The X Chart could be redone in some fashion to deal with infield positions-normal, in, or shift. Then gamers could just purchase a new X chart the same way the SADV chart came available. It could be added to the computer game.


That's a start.

I wonder if third basemen who have been shifting into the shortstop slot in those shifts will now get a shortstop rating.

Same thing with shortstops who wind up playing more of a second base position.



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Just sitting in his basement, with a Strat game underway."



Umpire

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I don't think they would get a rating because they are in the game as whatever their position is. To my knowledge official stats don't change their position for shifts.

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Something has to happen in the game-play mechanism, to allow for such a maneuver.  It's no different than having your infield/corners in, or playing the outfield "in" (in those rare situations).

Is anyone connected with the company that you know even considering that, given the way that shifting defenses have become such a huge part of the game?



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VP of Operations

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Date: Nov 6, 2015
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I dropped a line to Glenn Guzzo, to see if the company had any thoughts:

Glenn,

I was just wondering if the company is considering any ways to reflect the proliferation of defensive shifts that have made their way into baseball over the last few seasons.

Perhaps a bunt/hit option, when the third baseman has moved over to cover the shortstop position?

Or, a new rule specifically governing shifts that adjusts the range factors in certain situations on "X" chart plays (third basemen drop one or two on their range factors because of the added ground to cover, while shortstops, and second basemen gain one, due to their being stationed closer together on the hitters' "strong" side)?

Maybe even an adjustment for the right fielder, since the second baseman is now covering much of the short right field territory?

A number of hitters have occasionally dropped a bunt down the vacated third base line for the cheap -- almost a "gimme" -- hit.  Left-handed batters who are adept at poking the ball the other way have new opportunities opened up.

That's all specifically due to a change in defensive alignment that the manager chooses to make, just like infield/corners in, or holding a runner, or even bringing the outfield in late in a game with the potential winning run on third.

Lots of questions, but the various shifts have really changed the game.



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