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VP of Operations

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Posts: 16276
Date: March 7th
RE: '49 season notes
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The '49 research is rolling right along, and I have almost finished the transactional stuff.

Now...the scheduling.

Or, just another way of making things harder than they need to be. hmm

First, a tip of the cap to schedulers.  I never used to think much about scheduling...until I tried it.

You guys who play full-season as-scheduled or as-played campaigns have it made.

There is nothing like sitting down with a pencil, eraser, and lots of paper, to try to master the intricacies of moving 16 teams through a short-season campaign.

Right off the bat, I have two artificial constructs in place: four-game series, and I incorporate the modern-era concept of weekend series, which weren't always the case.  Even in the seasons I am currently playing, there was no real conformity, when it came to having teams locked in place for the weekend.

In the '49 season for example, the Dodgers hosted the Reds Tue-Thu, May 3-5; the Cubs on Fri-Sat, May 6-7; the Cardinals on Sun-Mon, May 8-9; and the Pirates on Wed-Thu, May 11-12.

Lots of clubs completed a series on a Friday or a Saturday, then moved on.  Today, it would seem odd, if the Red Sox were in New York Thursday-Saturday, then moved on.

It might have seemed logical to have a series end on a Saturday, when Blue Laws in many cities prevented Sunday games.  But the concept of the weekend booking (Friday-Sunday) as standard scheduling was still years away.

When I chose 56 games for the length, it was because that was something I could work with and stay with through completion.  I could have gone with a short season made up of three-game sets, but that seemed too short.

Four-game series seemed right, just enough games between two clubs.  With that decision made, the 56-game number fell right into place.  Eight games between each team, divided into two four-game series (one home, one road), 448 games, in all, plus the All-Star game and World Series.  I'll worry about expansion when -- if -- I ever get there.

Not too many moving parts.  No series of varying lengths.  Easy...right?

HA!!!

That seemed, to me, just the right length to get the flavor of the season.  And, with seasons stacked up to play like planes circling O'Hare in the midst of a blizzard, it gives me the chance to knock out one C&D replay per year, approximately (given my day-by-day writing and posting set-up).

I've done nine, so far, and got 24 games into rolling '50, before SOM released the 1949 season.

I work out each schedule from scratch, because I don't want to just use the same one, over-and-over.  I create a calendar, and feature doubleheaders and days off along the way.

There are several things that make short season scheduling so uniquely challenging.  First, I want to create a sense of realistic travel, not just throwing teams together in A vs. B, C vs. D fashion, then mixing and matching.

I don't want to just take the Braves from Boston to either St. Louis, or Chicago, without incorporating either travel time (days off), or stepping stones (i.e., Boston-to-Pittsburgh-to-Chicago -- having that step along the way).

The question then is...where to from there?  In a 56-game season made up of four-game series, 12 games is a pretty hefty chunk of the campaign.  I try to mix-and-match, and have longer (12 games) or shorter (8 games) home stands and road swings.

No matter how much I try, though, one or two teams always seem to get stuck with a dreaded 16-gamer.

In the case of the Red Sox, Detroit is logical as a two-fer with Chicago for a road trip.  I want to limit the trip to 12 games, at most, but I'd like to be able to incorporate a stepping stone.  That would most likely be Cleveland.

I could then use days off for travel coming home, if I need to.  Or, I might have the Red Sox go directly to Chicago (using travel days), then have them stop in Cleveland on the way back.

But that's three of the four Western stops in one swoop, leaving St. Louis alone for the other.  And what about the East-West swings for the other clubs?  I can't always have everything coming through Cleveland, as much as the Indians would be thrilled with having all of those potential home games.

I'm always mindful of the fact that, when I start the East-West travel portion of the season, there are only four stops to be made for each team.  If the Giants are making a Western swing, there are four cities to visit: Chicago, St. Louis Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.  And just one visit apiece.

I split that into two different trips, maybe Pittsburgh and Chicago on one trip, and Cincinnati and St. Louis on the other.  That's where it gets tough.  The Cardinals and Browns, and Phillies and A's, share ballparks, which means they can't be home at the same time.

So, the Giants are in Cincy, but the Browns are in a home stand, and have Sportsman's Park booked for their next series against the Red Sox.  Oops...where's that eraser?  The further into the schedule I get, tougher it is, as options dwindle.

I build my seasons into three sections.  In the first, teams are playing regionally (for instance, Boston-Brooklyn-New York-Philly in the East, and St. Louis-Cincinnati-Pittsburgh-Chicago out West, in the N.L.).

Each plays one series against the other three, and those matchups are reversed for the final three series of the season.  That's the easy-peasy part.

Then comes the East-West crisscrossing portion.  If I weren't already gray up top, this would do it.

The '49 season also had a pair of nail-biter finishes, between the Dodgers and Cardinals in the N.L., and the Yankees and Red Sox on the A.L. side.  Part of scheduling this one is that I want their respective season-ending series set up as they were scheduled in real life (even if the lengths of the series differs).

Scheduling around a major event or thrilling finish is something I like to do, when possible.  I did it in my '20 replay, by ensuring that the Yankees and Indians were scheduled in New York at the right time, and the Yankees had Carl Mays on the mound, so I could recreate the Ray Chapman incident.

The game was not close, as it turned out.  So I was able to dictate the event and play around it at the appropriate time, with no alteration in the course of the game.

Doing it that way, rather than taking the chance that the fateful HBP wouldn't occur at the right moment, meant that I could incorporate the sidebar drama in the write-ups, and add to the sense of realism.

Had Mays been throwing a perfect game to that point, I don't know what I would have done.



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Bullpen Coach

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Date: March 9th
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Interesting stuff Seajaw. I really do appreciate you letting us get into your head a bit when you create your seasons. It often gives me ideas for my full season replays. I saw your other post about injuries in 1949. I have not yet decided how to handle them though I will likely have DiMaggio out until his real life return. But then, his card may have an injury at an 8 (let' say; I don't know) and that would be a series of nagging injuries. I would modify that to an 11 or 12 to avoid the nagging injuries and use the big start of the season injury.

I tried something new in 1957 - a random occurring long injury. Bill Bruton, for example. In real life he collided with Felix Mantilla on July 11th and was out for the rest of the season. Instead, whenever he rolled an injury after June, I multiplied his injury by 10. If he was out 15 days, then it went to 150 days (rest of season). My thinking is that I don't like knowing when an injury takes place or how long he will be out. So I randomized it. But as you say, he has to get hurt for the Braves to bring up Hurricane Hazle. That's the domino effect. Getting back to 1949, Ken Keltner was spiked in June and missed the rest of the season. Johnny Groth broke his wrist on August 19. Berra missed almost a month in August. I will likely come up with a table to handle these long-term injuries kind of randomly. I still haven't figured out how to handle pitcher injuries other than impose them, though.

Anyhow, sorry for the long winded reply, but I do like hearing about the nuts and bolts.

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VP of Operations

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Date: March 10th
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Thanks.  I'm glad that anything I've posted could be of help.  And I learn a lot here, too.

BTW, you are far from long-winded.  Long-winded would be what you were responding to.  Or this reply. wink 

I love doing the research, then sharing what I find.  I'm constantly amazed at how much there is to learn, and -- at the same time -- how much we'll never know, because no one ever took the time to document those things, and preserve them.

It's an odd mix of learning about and trying to recreate the conditions that existed during a particular season, then working them into my format.

I feel I need to acknowledge major injuries (DiMaggio in '49, or Ted Williams in '50) and work with them, because whether or not that player was available can have a huge impact.  If I have already accounted for when that player will miss time and I roll his injury number, I'll just roll to see if he will miss the remainder of that particular game.

I'm also pretty strict on meeting PA/IP totals, so I will fudge an injury, if need be.  If a guy only missed one game all year, I'm not going to let him sit out five.  Five games in my season prorates to about 14 in real life.

Besides, you need to provide a little leeway, because the teams do not have 100% of their usage carded.  Like when you automatically allot each player an extra 5-10% PA's or innings, just in case.

As you know, many transactions, such as trades or recalls, are dictated by injuries...or tragedy.  As I touched on in my previous post, Ray Chapman died in 1920, a short time after being hit in the head by a pitch.

The loss of Chapman forced the Indians go out and find a suitable replacement, who turned out to be Joe Sewell.  Both are carded -- even with the Oldtimers' 20-player version -- but I couldn't bring myself to have them both on the team at the same time, because it could never happen that way.

Generally, if I go through a player's game logs and find a gap of 8-10 days (or more) where he didn't appear, I'll sit him during that equivalent spell.  It also helps me keep an eye on player usage.  And, like you said, there's the domino effect.

A team might call up a player, because one of the regulars on the roster got dinged up.  If I'm going to bring the guy up, I might as well acknowledge the circumstances and sit the guy who was hurt.  Like the team did in real life.

To me, that's part of the challenge, recreating what a team had to overcome.

Now, if I was playing a one-off game, a tournament, or all-time team, that's entirely different.  If I was 30 years younger, I might try a few different scenarios.  But I'm pushing 61, and I have nearly 60 seasons left to play. biggrin



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VP of Operations

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Date: March 17th
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I have just started rolling my '49 season, with the Giants at Brooklyn.  I won't be starting the replay thread for quite some time, though.

I can also say without giving anything away, that if I have many games like this one, my heart may give out.  Whoa!

I worked out my schedule so that teams open and close the season where they played in real life.  So, we'll see if the Dodgers can bring home the N.L. flag after Boston snatched it in '48, while we'll also see if the Yankees steal the A.L. flag at Boston.

It was a rough start to the season for the Giants' ace, Larry Jansen.

Jansen started the RL opener for the Giants, and he got knocked around a bit, surrendering five hits, three walks and five runs in five innings.

Carl Furillo and Jackie Robinson belted solo homers, and Roy Campanella clubbed a three-run shot.

Interestingly, Jansen was back on the hill three days later.  Not with three days rest, but three days later, starting New York's fourth game in as many days, the first game of New York's follow-on series in Boston.  Again, he got nailed, as the Braves ripped him for six hits and four runs in an inning-and-a-third.

Through his first six starts, he was terrible, though he posted a 2-3 record.  In those first six games, he pitched 37.2 innings, allowing 39 hits and 23 runs (20 earned).  He also walked 13, while striking out just 12. His BAA was .316.

Four starts into the season, his ERA was 7.32.

Then, he started turning things around, posting wins in his next two starts.  But even those two were rough.  Both were CGs, in which he allowed 15 hits and four runs (three earned) in the first, and 10 hits, one run, in the other.  He then won his next start, 9-1, throwing a five-hitter against the Phils.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers opened with Joe Hatten.  Don Newcombe is still at Montreal, and won't be called up until May.  His first start wasn't until the Brooks' 29th game of the season.

In the cards defensively, the Dodgers have five 1's: catcher Roy Campanella, who is a 1 e6 (-4 arm), third baseman Billy Cox (1 e19), shortstop Pee Wee Reese (1 e18), center fielder Duke Snider (1 e7, with a 13 arm), and Carl Furillo in right (1 e12, -5 arm).

That's five 1's, even though Gil Hodges (2 e8 at first base) and Jackie Robinson (2b-2 e16) didn't quite make the grade.  Five 1's and a pair of 2's in your starting eight is pretty great.

They also have Mike McCormick platooning in left with Gene Hermanski.  Hermanski's just a 4 e11, but the veteran McCormick can still handle the leather (3 in either corner, e6).  On his basic side, McCormick grades out as a 2.

The Dodgers are pretty deep defensively.  Backup catcher Bruce Edwards is a 2 e4, while Eddie Miksis backs up second and third as a 2 (e30 and 12, respectively), while Bob Ramazzotti is also a 2 e17 at the hot corner (and will wind up in Chicago in May).



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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Date: March 18th
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Mack would often just leave his pitchers in to take a savaging. I was listening to a game from the thirties and he let one of his guys give up a dozen runs in five innings. His relief finished the game and gave up another nine. It was not atypical for him to do that and it kind of makes you wonder how competitive he remained the latter half of his career. After all, his ideal club would finish fourth; competitive, but not so much he would need to give anyone else raises.

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VP of Operations

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Date: March 18th
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He did what he had to do to stay afloat, I guess.

And he had a couple of nice stretches in that run.  His '48-'49-'50 clubs are not terrible.  But he didn't have the resources to build on what he did have.

With decent revenues, who knows how many more titles the Athletics could have won?

Looking at his starting lineup entering the '49 campaign, he had some good, solid, ballplayers.  Ferris Fain at first base, Hank Majeski at third and Eddie Joost at short are all decent players.

Pete Suder held down second base, and Nellie Fox had just arrived.

I always liked Moses-Chapman-Valo in the outfield.

The pitching is slight.  Sadly, Marchildon didn't have anything left.  Kellner won 20, while Brissie, Fowler and Coleman all won between 13-16 games.  He also had a young Bobby Shantz, who won 18 and 24 for the '51-'52 A's.



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



General Manager

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Date: March 18th
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seajaw wrote:

He did what he had to do to stay afloat, I guess.

And he had a couple of nice stretches in that run.  His '48-'49-'50 clubs are not terrible.  But he didn't have the resources to build on what he did have.

With decent revenues, who knows how many more titles the Athletics could have won?

Looking at his starting lineup entering the '49 campaign, he had some good, solid, ballplayers.  Ferris Fain at first base, Hank Majeski at third and Eddie Joost at short are all decent players.

Pete Suder held down second base, and Nellie Fox had just arrived.

I always liked Moses-Chapman-Valo in the outfield.

The pitching is slight.  Sadly, Marchildon didn't have anything left.  Kellner won 20, while Brissie, Fowler and Coleman all won between 13-16 games.  He also had a young Bobby Shantz, who won 18 and 24 for the '51-'52 A's.


 Here is the question for you.........

Why DIDN'T Mack have the revenue?

I mean you never read about him having to sell players to make money to survive, except for during the depression.  Never had to borrow money from the league like some teams had to do.  He obviously never sold his team like many other owners had to during the first 50 years.....even the Yankees had multiple ownerships.  Biggest city in the league next to New York and Chicago.



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"NACSTER'S HISTORICAL REPLAY"

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VP of Operations

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Date: March 18th
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nacster wrote:
seajaw wrote:

He did what he had to do to stay afloat, I guess.

And he had a couple of nice stretches in that run.  His '48-'49-'50 clubs are not terrible.  But he didn't have the resources to build on what he did have.

With decent revenues, who knows how many more titles the Athletics could have won?

Looking at his starting lineup entering the '49 campaign, he had some good, solid, ballplayers.  Ferris Fain at first base, Hank Majeski at third and Eddie Joost at short are all decent players.

Pete Suder held down second base, and Nellie Fox had just arrived.

I always liked Moses-Chapman-Valo in the outfield.

The pitching is slight.  Sadly, Marchildon didn't have anything left.  Kellner won 20, while Brissie, Fowler and Coleman all won between 13-16 games.  He also had a young Bobby Shantz, who won 18 and 24 for the '51-'52 A's.


 Here is the question for you.........

Why DIDN'T Mack have the revenue?

I mean you never read about him having to sell players to make money to survive, except for during the depression.  Never had to borrow money from the league like some teams had to do.  He obviously never sold his team like many other owners had to during the first 50 years.....even the Yankees had multiple ownerships.  Biggest city in the league next to New York and Chicago.


I just googled "connie mack personal fortune," and found this fascinating piece:

http://sabr.org/research/connie-macks-income



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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."



Third Base Coach

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Posts: 6348
Date: March 18th
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seajaw wrote:
nacster wrote:
seajaw wrote:

He did what he had to do to stay afloat, I guess.

And he had a couple of nice stretches in that run.  His '48-'49-'50 clubs are not terrible.  But he didn't have the resources to build on what he did have.

With decent revenues, who knows how many more titles the Athletics could have won?

Looking at his starting lineup entering the '49 campaign, he had some good, solid, ballplayers.  Ferris Fain at first base, Hank Majeski at third and Eddie Joost at short are all decent players.

Pete Suder held down second base, and Nellie Fox had just arrived.

I always liked Moses-Chapman-Valo in the outfield.

The pitching is slight.  Sadly, Marchildon didn't have anything left.  Kellner won 20, while Brissie, Fowler and Coleman all won between 13-16 games.  He also had a young Bobby Shantz, who won 18 and 24 for the '51-'52 A's.


 Here is the question for you.........

Why DIDN'T Mack have the revenue?

I mean you never read about him having to sell players to make money to survive, except for during the depression.  Never had to borrow money from the league like some teams had to do.  He obviously never sold his team like many other owners had to during the first 50 years.....even the Yankees had multiple ownerships.  Biggest city in the league next to New York and Chicago.


I just googled "connie mack personal fortune," and found this fascinating piece:

http://sabr.org/research/connie-macks-income


 Great article. I had known bits and pieces of his story, but this provided more detail and insight.



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VP of Operations

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Posts: 16276
Date: March 19th
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The Washington Senators will start in the same boat as the Athletics.

They have seven carded pitchers for their first eight games. In real life, there were a few guys who were only around for a couple of appearances.

Meanwhile, Walt Masterson is recovering from an appendectomy he underwent just two weeks before Opening Day.



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



VP of Operations

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Date: March 24th
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Scheduling craziness.

MLB wants their Washington opener, so they have the Sens play the A's at Griffith Stadium.  Just the one game.  Then, they head off to New York for a proper series against the Yankees.  That marks the opening of the Yankee season.

Following those three games, the Sens return home to play -- again -- the A's, in a weekend series.

My replay skips the one-game part.  The Sens open at Yankee Stadium.



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

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