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Post Info TOPIC: The Devil is in the details...
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Season Ticket Holder - Lower Deck

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Date: Nov 8, 2015
RE: The Devil is in the details...
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seajaw wrote:

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.


You'll probably just get a reply of "just play the computer game" given the company agenda. biggrin

In all seriousness though, I think what makes STRAT so great is the ability to account for all of these things across the various gaming options.

As a baseball fan I've played many other baseball board games and realized that STRAT is the only game that offers something for both the casual player and the hardcore strategist.

The first baseball board game I ever played was Statis-Pro when my father bought me a game some 25 years ago. It was a fun game but you had to play with just about every rule in place and it led to the gameplay getting bogged down with constant chart references. A Statis-Pro game took me at least an hour to complete. On the flip-side you have APBA which my wife bought me as a Christmas present a few years ago; little strategic input, just roll the dice and the boards would tell you what happened unless you shelled out $60 for the "master set".

I like the fact that STRAT gives you the option of rolling a simple basic game or lets you incorporate just about as much strategy as you want while still giving you fairly accurate results either way. This is the reason I have always believed that STRAT can be played at any level, BASIC, ADV or SADV and still give you accurate results because all of the nuances of a certain era and the trends of that era are figured into the card results.

 



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VP of Operations

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Date: Nov 8, 2015
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NatsFan wrote:
seajaw wrote:

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.


You'll probably just get a reply of "just play the computer game" given the company agenda. biggrin

In all seriousness though, I think what makes STRAT so great is the ability to account for all of these things across the various gaming options.

As a baseball fan I've played many other baseball board games and realized that STRAT is the only game that offers something for both the casual player and the hardcore strategist.

The first baseball board game I ever played was Statis-Pro when my father bought me a game some 25 years ago. It was a fun game but you had to play with just about every rule in place and it led to the gameplay getting bogged down with constant chart references. A Statis-Pro game took me at least an hour to complete. On the flip-side you have APBA which my wife bought me as a Christmas present a few years ago; little strategic input, just roll the dice and the boards would tell you what happened unless you shelled out $60 for the "master set".

I like the fact that STRAT gives you the option of rolling a simple basic game or lets you incorporate just about as much strategy as you want while still giving you fairly accurate results either way. This is the reason I have always believed that STRAT can be played at any level, BASIC, ADV or SADV and still give you accurate results because all of the nuances of a certain era and the trends of that era are figured into the card results.

 


Don't get me wrong.  I do appreciate everything the game has to offer.

But I just feel like I want the option to explore a little bit more.

The new cards will have numbers that reflect the shifted defense as the norm for most lefty hitters.  I want to have the option to lay one down more often.

As it is now, I can't do that.

Real baseball gives Prince Fielder, or Kyle Seager, or any other left hitter, the option to go specifically to the bunt for a hit, to beat the shift.  An enhanced option, because of where the third baseman is set up.

Any game you roll will logically be affected by how often you employ sacrifice, hit & run and base stealing strategies.  It stands to reason that you should have the same opportunity to deploy the bunt against a shift alignment.

The more times someone bunts against the shift, the more likely it is that his average will go up, though his slugging numbers will drop (little chance for extra bases).

The current set-up gives the defense an added advantage they would not have in real life.  It's just like being able to guard against the squeeze, even though you have the infield playing back.  Or, not having to deal with the holes created when you hold a runner.

I want the counter option to what they are doing with the shift.

Maybe now is the time to pull out my old Bunt for a Hit Chart, with adjustments for specificity (the idea that the lefthanded hitter is trying to beat the shift by placing the bunt down the third base line):

A bunter

2  Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
3  Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
4  Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
5  Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
6  Bunt fielded by third baseman. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
7  Bunt fielded by pitcher. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
8  Bunt fielded by pitcher. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
9  Batter pops up to catcher. Batter out. Runners hold.
10  Batter pops up to third baseman. Runners hold.
11  SPEED. Roll vs. batter’s speed.  Runners advance one base.
12  SURPRISE! Batter pulls bat back and chops single down the third base line. Runners advance 2 bases. Batter may try for second. Roll batter's running speed vs. left fielder’s arm.

B bunter

2  Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
3  Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
4  Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
5  Bunt fielded by third baseman. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
6  Bunt fielded by pitcher. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
7  Bunt fielded by pitcher. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
8  Bunt fielded by catcher. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
9  Batter pops up to third baseman. Runners hold.
10  Batter misses bunt for strike. Runners hold. Batter must now swing away.
11  Batter pops foul to catcher for out. Runners hold.
12  SPEED. Roll vs. batter’s speed. Runners advance one base.

C bunter

2  Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
3  Bunt fielded by third baseman. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
4  Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
5  Bunt fielded by third baseman. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
6  Bunt fielded by pitcher. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
7  Bunt fielded by pitcher. See DEFENSE.
8  Bunt fielded by third baseman. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
9  Batter misses bunt for strike. Swing away. Runners hold.
10  Batter misses bunt for strike. Runners hold. Batter must now swing away.
11  Batter pops foul to catcher for out. Runners hold.
12  Batter pops to third baseman for out. Runners hold.

D bunter

2  Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance one base.
3  Batter beats out bunt for infield hit.  Runners advance one base.
4  Bunt fielded by third baseman. Batter out. Runners advance one base.
5  Bunt fielded by pitcher. Batter out. Runners advance one base.
6  Bunt fielded by pitcher. See DEFENSE.
7  Batter pops up to catcher for out. Runners hold.
8  Batter misses bunt for strike. Runners hold. Batter must now swing away.
9  Batter misses bunt for strike. Runners hold. Batter must now swing away.
10  Batter pops foul to catcher for out. Runners hold.
11  Batter pops to third baseman for out. Runners hold.
12  Batter pops to third baseman for out. Runners hold.

E bunter

2  Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance one base.
3  Bunt fielded by third baseman. Batter out. Runners advance one base.
4  Bunt fielded by pitcher. Batter out. Runners advance one base.
5  Bunt fielded by pitcher. Batter out. Runners advance one base.
6  Batter pops foul to catcher for out. Runners hold.
7  Batter misses bunt for strike. Runners hold. Batter must now swing away.
8  Batter misses bunt for strike. Runners hold. Batter must now swing away.
9  Batter pops to third baseman for out. Runners hold.
10  Batter pops to third baseman for out. Runners hold.
11  Batter taps bunt in front of plate. Catcher throws out lead runner (if any) or batter.
12  Batter lines back to mound for out. Runner on first (if any) is doubled off the bag. Other runners hold.

Given the situation, does this make sense?



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



Umpire

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Posts: 9221
Date: Nov 8, 2015
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seajaw wrote:


I want the counter option to what they are doing with the shift.

Maybe now is the time to pull out my old Bunt for a Hit Chart, with adjustments for specificity (the idea that the lefthanded hitter is trying to beat the shift by placing the bunt down the third base line):

A bunter

Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
6  Bunt fielded by third baseman. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
7  Bunt fielded by pitcher. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
8  Bunt fielded by pitcher. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
9  Batter pops up to catcher. Batter out. Runners hold.
10  Batter pops up to third baseman. Runners hold.
11  SPEEDRoll vs. batter’s speed.  Runners advance one base.
12  SURPRISE! Batter pulls bat back and chops single down the third base line. Runners advance 2 bases. Batter may try for second. Roll batter's running speed vs. left fielder’s arm.


Given the situation, does this make sense?


 Your table is too good.

An A Bunter with 1-17 speed hits .353 (12.7 out of 36 chances). With 1-10 speed he hits .333 (12 out of 36 chances). I can't buy that

 



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Date: Nov 8, 2015
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Nitrous Oxide wrote:
seajaw wrote:


I want the counter option to what they are doing with the shift.

Maybe now is the time to pull out my old Bunt for a Hit Chart, with adjustments for specificity (the idea that the lefthanded hitter is trying to beat the shift by placing the bunt down the third base line):

A bunter

Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
Batter beats out bunt for infield hit. Runners advance 1 base.
6  Bunt fielded by third baseman. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
7  Bunt fielded by pitcher. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
8  Bunt fielded by pitcher. Batter out. Runners advance 1 base.
9  Batter pops up to catcher. Batter out. Runners hold.
10  Batter pops up to third baseman. Runners hold.
11  SPEEDRoll vs. batter’s speed.  Runners advance one base.
12  SURPRISE! Batter pulls bat back and chops single down the third base line. Runners advance 2 bases. Batter may try for second. Roll batter's running speed vs. left fielder’s arm.


Given the situation, does this make sense?


 Your table is too good.

An A Bunter with 1-17 speed hits .353 (12.7 out of 36 chances). With 1-10 speed he hits .333 (12 out of 36 chances). I can't buy that

 


An "A" bunter, essentially dropping the ball down the third base line, with no third baseman in position to field it?

I bet Cobb would bat at least .500 in such situations.  Fielder is certainly not a speed demon, yet he did it successfully.

The question is, how many bunt hits out of how many attempts?  Time to check the hit location logs.



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



Umpire

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Date: Nov 8, 2015
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Ty Cobb never saw the shift.

You could turn A bunting pitchers into great hitters this way.

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Date: Nov 8, 2015
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Just a quick check of baseref stats shows hit location and trajectory, but not whether or how many of those in the infield were bunts.

Maybe this is a new area that should be explored.  I would expect that play-by-play/scoreshees data from most games would include information on whether the hit was a full swing attempt, or a bunt.



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"No cell, no car, no credit cards, he's sixty-plus and gray...
Just sitting in his basement, with a Strat game underway."



VP of Operations

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Posts: 16147
Date: Nov 8, 2015
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Nitrous Oxide wrote:

Ty Cobb never saw the shift.

You could turn A bunting pitchers into great hitters this way.


I admit there are bugs to be worked out, even as I suggest that most pitchers don't bat against a shift.

I did also limit my revised bunt chart to deal specifically with lefty shift situations, which would eliminate RH hitters (including pitchers) from consideration.



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"No cell, no car, no credit cards, he's sixty-plus and gray...
Just sitting in his basement, with a Strat game underway."



Umpire

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Date: Nov 8, 2015
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Bunting ratings are based on the ability to sacrifice not the ability to get a hit. I don't think this is an automatic correlation.

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Date: Nov 8, 2015
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Nitrous Oxide wrote:

Bunting ratings are based on the ability to sacrifice not the ability to get a hit. I don't think this is an automatic correlation.


True.

But, generally speaking, sacrifice attempts are made against a defense aligned to expect it.

Yet the top-rated bunters usually get them down and get the job done.

Also true, that Cobb never hit against the shift.  But it could probably be extrapolated from his overall performance, that he would destroy a shift with bunt hits.

Maybe the point is that a bunt against the shift option would uniquely pertain just to seasons played from, say, 2012-forward.  A modern-era rule application for a modern-era change in the way the game is played in real life.

In fact, do you remember a thread you started in 2012, pertaining to the shift? wink

http://somers.activeboard.com/t49466789/the-shift-and-strat/

I would imagine that Dale Murphy, today, would say, "Now, that's all we ever see." 

How would you say your views have changed, or evolved, since then?



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



Umpire

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Date: Nov 8, 2015
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I think there is merit in addressing the shift. What I do notice is a steady supply of pitches inside when the shift is on. Based on reality it must not be as easy to beat it as us in the stands think it is.

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Date: Dec 18, 2015
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Glenn Guzzo responded to my e-mail about a shift strategy in SOM, in the latest Talk Show:

There’s no doubt that defensive shifts are used often, with increasing frequency and have played a major role in declining batting averages. But there’s the rub: While some players foil the shift, overall averages decline. I love this mid-season quote from then-Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly: 

  “Let’s get this straight: These guys aren’t that good as far as being able to hit  the ball wherever they want whenever they want. The ball goes in certain  places. You’re playing percentages. It’s been going on for a long time. It’s  getting more aggressive now. There are going to be times when they hit the  ball where you’re not. If guys were that good, they wouldn’t be striking out in  astronomical numbers. They’d be putting the ball in play wherever they wanted  to, and the commissioner wouldn’t be talking about banning shifts.”

With most Strat-O-Matic rule options, the risk and reward are relatively equal. But if new rules produce accurate results, the decision to shift would be automatic in most situations – of course you shift for this guy; of course you don’t for that guy – and then it wouldn’t be a strategy at all.

Perhaps this could be accomplished as clutch hitting is now: Overall, averages in the clutch go down and some players are more vulnerable than others. So a Ryan Howard or Mark Teixeira, for example, would lose singles when the shift is on. However, while clutch situations engage automatically, a shift is a managerial option, and there would be no shift against batters who can exploit it – unless something happens with defensive ratings, bunt ratings or pitcher-card results to accentuate the risk-reward equation.

As you say, an interesting matter worth additional thought.



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Umpire

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Date: Dec 18, 2015
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I'm glad to see this made the talk show.

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VP of Operations

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Date: Dec 18, 2015
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Nitrous Oxide wrote:

I'm glad to see this made the talk show.


Thanks.

I agree that it would be tough to implement.

I think it would take more than something like the clutch feature, because anyone deliberately punching the ball the other way is surrendering most of their home run power (though doubles down the opposite-field line and into the corner should become an enhanced possibility).

Also, many hitters' cards wouldn't change all that much, because they don't try to hit counter to the shift.



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"No cell, no car, no credit cards, he's sixty-plus and gray...
Just sitting in his basement, with a Strat game underway."



VP of Operations

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Date: Jan 22, 2016
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Here's another thought: How about using the Hit & Run chart, when a hitter deliberately tries to beat the shift by going the other way?

The guys most likely to hit successfully against the shift are generally good "bat control" guys, right?  Poking the ball the other way isn't too different from trying to hit the hole when defenders move to counter the presumed steal attempt.



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