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Post Info TOPIC: Strat O Matic New Rule-The Defensive Shift
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Umpire

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Date: Dec 9, 2016
Strat O Matic New Rule-The Defensive Shift
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New Baseball Rule Option: Defensive Shifts

By Glenn Guzzo
 

            Strat-O-Matic Baseball makes you a big-league manager – and soon you will be able to deploy an increasingly popular big-league strategy.

            As the Major Leagues’ use of the defensive shift has multiplied each year in recent seasons, Strat-O-Matic gamers have inquired how they might adopt the strategy. The game company has the answer – an easy-to-use rule that will simulate the way the shift reduces batting average against pull-hitters, but backfires against others.

            The Super Advanced Shift Rule will become part of the official rules and options for the 2016 season cards and Windows game (and may be used for prior seasons).

            This optional rule is the latest in a long line of options Strat-O-Matic has offered gamers to capture strategic and statistical realism as the sport has evolved. Lefty-righty performance breakdowns, ballpark effects, closer rules, the Super-Advanced fielding chart and various base-advancement options are among many more advancements over the past 45 seasons since Strat-O-Matic’s Advanced game debuted in 1972 (1971 season).

            Here’s how the new shift rule will work:

            n The defense may call for a defensive shift any time that the bases are empty and the batter is rated Power N.

            n    If the shift is employed, the offense chooses either to “Swing Away” or tries to “Beat the Shift.”

             n   Then roll a 20-sided die along with the other 3 dice. If a 1 or 2 occurs on the 20-sided die then consult the following chart using the single white die from the initial roll for the play outcome (you do not refer to the player cards in this case):

 

 


 


LEFT HANDED BATTER


 


 


 


RIGHT HANDED BATTER


 


 


Swing Away


Beat Shift


 


 


Swing Away


Beat Shift


1


HR(rf)1-8, Do 9-20


DOUBLE (lf)


1


HR(lf)1-8, Do 9-20


DOUBLE (rf)


2


gb (2b) B


SINGLE (lf)


 


2


gb (2b) B


SINGLE (rf)


3


gb (2b) B


SINGLE (lf)


 


3


gb (2b) B


SINGLE (rf)


4


gb (ss) B


gb (3b) B


 


4


gb (ss) B


gb (1b) B


5


gb (ss) B


gb (3b) B


 


5


gb (ss) B


gb (1b) B


6


gb (1b) B


gb (3b) B


 


6


gb (3b) B


gb (1b) B

 

 

            n If a 3 through 20 occurs on the 20-sided die then use the other three dice to determine the play result by reading it from the card as you normally would, with the following exception:

            If the offense has called "Beat the Shift" and the play result is a homerun and the initial 20-sided die roll was a 3 through 8then the play result may be over-ridden. Since the offense has tried to beat the shift by hitting to the opposite side of the field, the batter's power has been diminished.  So if a homerun occurs in this circumstance then roll a single die to determine the play result:

 

 


Die Roll


Result


1


Homerun


2


Homerun


3


Homerun


4


Double


5


Double


6


Single

 

 

            When it shifts, the defense may not bring the corners in to defend against the bunt.

            All GB () X results are resolved as usual, whether or not the shift is used.

Analysis:   Like all of its strategy options, “there is a purposeful risk/reward built into this rule that allows the offense a choice when the defense utilizes the shift,” Strat-O-Matic advises.  “If your opponent is too quick to shift, sometimes you should use the `Beat Shift’ option, which will raise your batter’s average at the expense of some of his power.  After getting burned with a few base hits your opponent might not be so willing to shift.  However, if you overuse the `Beat Shift’ option you too might get burned as a ball that would have been pulled over the fence for a home run might end up being an opposite field double instead.”

            This rule is designed to mimic a full “Ted Williams-style” shift. Although Major League teams sometimes shift with players on base, they do so with alignments that do not mimic the full Ted Williams-style shifts and that also complicate base advancement.

            With its stipulation that the shift apply only to players with N power and its prohibition against bringing the corners in, the SOM rule reflects that, even as MLB shift deployment has multiplied, many players – especially spray hitters and speedy runners who are a threat to bunt – never are shifted against. 

            For realistic play with older seasons, Strat-O-Matic recommends sharply limiting use of the shift. “While shifts have been around since before Ted Williams played, they were used sparingly before the 2010's,” the game company notes.

            Even in current seasons, “this rule has the ability to alter the statistical accuracy of the game if it is abused,” Strat-O-Matic warns. “For example, if the batters never try to defeat the shift with `Beat Shift’ then the league batting average could drop a point or two.  However, with normal usage this rule will not significantly affect your statistics.”

 

Doing Windows: In the Windows game, the shift rule is turned on or off under Max Rules. On the game screen, select “Defensive Shift” from the Position Defense dialog. When the offense clicks or selects "Swing Away" a new dialog appears that offers two choices.  The offense can either swing away or it can choose to try to beat the shift ("Beat Shift").

            Although teams deploy shifts in varying ways, on game screens you will see a consistent alignment: three infielders positioned on the right side and the third baseman in the shortstop position – the full Ted Williams-style shift.

            “Some Major League teams will move the fielders around in such a way so that they no longer appear as 3b/SS/2b/1b from left to right across the infield,” the Windows game Help File notes. “Even though that sometimes happens it can be confusing as to which fielder has the ball so in our game so we always position the fielders in the natural order from left to right across the screen.”



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VP of Operations

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Date: Dec 9, 2016
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That's a game-playing mouth full.

A suggestion I would make, when rolling the Beat Shift results: make the HOMERUN result a Ballpark homer (but with a DOUBLE split result), to allow for how the different parks affect that try. That way, it shouldn't matter if the batter was a "W" hitter.

As written, it does add a level of complexity that has the negative effect of really slowing the game down, what with so many more die rolls.

I would give each hitter a Shift rating, similar to a Bunt or H&R rating, then build a chart that way. This is too much like one-size-fits-all, as in the earliest version of the Basic game. The individual player rating would give managers a natural idea of when to utilize the strategy.

The cards would reflect the norm, with the chart signifying just how well each player is able to deal with the shift when in play, as is the case in bunting or hit & run situations.

Having said that, I applaud the game company for the effort.

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Bullpen Coach

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Date: Dec 9, 2016
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i also like the idea, and will never use it, lol, I think the shift is annoying in real baseball and it wont be included in my games.

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General Manager

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Date: Dec 9, 2016
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It kind of stinks that they say you should limit it in older seasons, would be cool to put the shift on against people like Ruth, Greenberg, Foxx, etc.....

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1943, 1946

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1986

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37,117 regular season games through 34 replays!

 

 



VP of Operations

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nacster wrote:

It kind of stinks that they say you should limit it in older seasons, would be cool to put the shift on against people like Ruth, Greenberg, Foxx, etc.....


The problem is, you have no real idea how they would adjust to it, since they likely never faced it. 



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Umpire

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Date: Dec 9, 2016
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nacster wrote:

It kind of stinks that they say you should limit it in older seasons, would be cool to put the shift on against people like Ruth, Greenberg, Foxx, etc.....


 It's a rule...therefore it's fair game in any era. Look at Strat and bullpens. Many players use the closer concept regardless of the time period.



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Manager

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Date: Dec 9, 2016
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I applaud the Company for addressing the shift and I like the idea, but just like glc24 I doubt if I will ever use it.

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Bullpen Coach

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Date: Dec 9, 2016
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Very interesting. In a way, I always assumed that the shift is inherent in the final stats and so does not need including. (Williams hit his lifetime .344 playing against the shift. To do this right, you would have to have a card representing how he would do without the shift. But that data is not available). Still, basically a fun thing to add if you like the idea. Kind of how I view the robbing a homerun rule. In C&D I never use it and so would not use this rule either. In the computer, it does not require much extra clicks and requires no extra charts to view so I might try it against Williams. Bottom line - A fun addition but only in the computer version. Otherwise, too much to remember.

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General Manager

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Date: Dec 9, 2016
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I will say that when I upgrade in March, I will definitely use the option........

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"NACSTER'S HISTORICAL REPLAY"

34 REPLAYS IN THE BOOKS!

1876-1883

1896-1900

1906

1916-1917

1921, 1929

1936-1937

1943, 1946

1956-1963

1976

1986

1991, 1996

37,117 regular season games through 34 replays!

 

 



Bullpen Coach

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Date: Dec 10, 2016
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I also don't use the rob homerun rule. But think its a cool idea. I also dont ever let any one have a 100% safe chamce on stolen bases. If they roll a 20 they are out....period. no matter whos pitching or how many arms the catcher is missing



-- Edited by glc24 on Saturday 10th of December 2016 08:17:44 AM

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Upper Level - Outfield Ticket

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Date: Dec 15, 2016
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Hate the whole idea. The game is about stats and I would think that a players stats are already in the cards. What they are doing is changing the stats. They are fixing something that is not broken.  More rules will alienate new players to an already convoluted game system.   it will be abused 

“this rule has the ability to alter the statistical accuracy of the game if it is abused,”   
 

-- Edited by Grinder12000 on Thursday 15th of December 2016 09:12:08 AM



-- Edited by Grinder12000 on Thursday 15th of December 2016 09:14:32 AM

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Season Ticket Holder - Lower Deck

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Date: Dec 15, 2016
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Glad they added it for those who wanted it, but I won't be using it. I'm just getting used to the extra rolls with some of the SADV rules I've added to my games. 



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VP of Operations

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Grinder12000 wrote:

Hate the whole idea. The game is about stats and I would think that a players stats are already in the cards. What they are doing is changing the stats. They are fixing something that is not broken.  More rules will alienate new players to an already convoluted game system.   it will be abused 

“this rule has the ability to alter the statistical accuracy of the game if it is abused,”   
 

-- Edited by Grinder12000 on Thursday 15th of December 2016 09:12:08 AM



-- Edited by Grinder12000 on Thursday 15th of December 2016 09:14:32 AM


You can exploit the game in many ways to alter outcomes, since you already have an idea how the players will ultimately perform.

For instance, if you play the 1911 season, every team runs a lot (more so than in later years, at least).  But the game already tells you on average how successful those base stealers will be.  You can run up the attempts for the good base stealers, or deliberately cut back on attempts for the guys who had poor numbers.

You have to be willing to let the negative numbers play out.  It's the same with pitchers' points of weakness.  If you know that such-and-such a starter tires in the seventh, you are going to get him out of there at the first sign of danger.

But you have to give pitchers more leeway to pitch themselves out of trouble in situations/eras when they were expected to do that.  The POW is not an absolute call to action.

If you don't use as-played lineups, are you instead exploiting the knowledge of how the players will be expected to perform?  Do you platoon to L/R strengths in an era in which lineups were more set?

We alter how much we bunt or hit-and-run, based on how successful we already know the player should be.

Having said that, the shift strategy needs to be set up in such a way that the batters are rated individually, because it's a defense that has been designed in an information-intensive era.  The hitters are charted all the way back to high school for their tendencies.  It's not something that's one-size-fits-all, and shouldn't be generic.

To use it accurately, it should be confined to the era in which it was implemented.  When the game revolved more around spray hitting, you couldn't really deploy the shift.  Hitters were generally more versed in how to slap the ball around.  That's how the game was played.

Interestingly, though, the best-known instance of an extreme shift being deployed prior to the 2000's was the Williams shift.  But Williams never tried to beat the shift.  It never affected his approach.  He never tried to go the other way.

Would you dare to have Teddy Ballgame try to beat the shift? wink

Yes, the hits (and outs) are already carded.  However...the hits achieved using the hit and run are a part of those totals, yet we have a H&R chart (we should also have a bunt-for-a-hit chart, as well, to force defenses into adjustments that open up holes in the infield).



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VIP Season Ticket Holder

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Date: Dec 15, 2016
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Seaj brings up an interesting scenario. How would Ted Williams do against the strat-o-matic shift? For example picking his 1941 .406 card.

Assume for strat's "defensive shifts":
That the defensive team would always shift whenever possible (bases must be empty).
Williams will always swing away.
The Defensive Shift Chart will only come into play a maximum of 10%* of the time (1 or 2 on the 20 sider).   *but actually much less
The "swing away" numbers from the Defensive Shift Chart put into RL are equivalent to 30AB 5H 3DO 2HR which are a .167/.167/.467 slash.
The card will give results that are the same as his real life numbers.

Listed below are theoretical results expected:
Shift%   0%: Real life and carded expected values without using any "defensive shifts"
Shift% 10%: A worst case, but highly unlikely, scenario. The bases would have to be empty every time that the 20 sider came up 1 or 2.
Shift%   5%: This is the normal scenario. From "The Book - Playing the Percentages in Baseball", a 3rd or 4th batter in the order will bat with the bases empty about 50% of the time. Therefore the shift can only be applied about 50% of the 10%. Even when shifting whenever possible, only 5% of the time will the result come off the Defensive Shift Chart.

    Shift%        AB        H       2B    3B      HR      BB    HBP   AVG    OBP   SLG
0%456185333371473.406.553.735
10%471177363371323.376.515.701
5%463181343371403.391.535.717
 
  


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Umpire

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Date: Dec 15, 2016
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seajaw wrote:

Interestingly, though, the best-known instance of an extreme shift being deployed prior to the 2000's was the Williams shift.  But Williams never tried to beat the shift.  It never affected his approach.  He never tried to go the other way.

Would you dare to have Teddy Ballgame try to beat the shift? wink


 Ted actually spent a lot of time trying to beat the shift. Paul Waner was the guy he that was helping him hit to left field. The 1946 series showed the league it worked on him and he began to see a steady dose of it. He started using a heavier bat to give him more natural movement to left field.



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