Twitter Sports Geoff Reiss joined the DYNASTY League Baseball Online Sunday Night Baseball League this spring and shares his experiences of being in a Baseball simulation draft league. Geoff previously held positions with ESPN as SVP/GM.
Q: DYNASTY League Baseball and it’s predecessor Pursue the Pennant are
celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. How did you originally find
out about Pursue the Pennant and what are your recollections of playing theoriginal Board game version?
I was on a business trip to the Milwaukee area – must have been the summer of 1988 – and found PTP in a store called Hobby Horse at Brookfield Square. As soon as I played the game I was hooked – it was more nuanced than any thing I’d seen at the time.
Q: At Starwave you helped originate the first real time server based online
Fantasy Baseball Leagues for ESPN.com. How would you compare your
experience playing Fantasy Baseball with that of a DYNASTY League Baseball
Online simulation Draft league?
The experiences are really very different. With the exception of higher-end keeper leagues most fantasy leagues don’t involve the long-term roster considerations that are in play in Dynasty. Player values in fantasy are more fluid while in Dynasty they’re far more absolute. You also don’t get the fun of real head to head competition. They’re both a lot of fun and highly complimentary
Q: What are your favorite aspects of game play in DYNASTY League Baseball Online?
I wasn’t well prepared for this year’s draft so that will be more fun next year. I really enjoy figuring out the moment- to-moment aspects of managing a game. Everything from trying to create the best batter/pitcher matchups to managing your bullpen, planning rest – it’s all a lot of fun
Q: DYNASTY League Baseball Online is the first and only real time Baseball
simulation that allows you to play and manage your series live as well as
the option to have the computer manager profile play the series for you.
What are your thoughts on how well the real time experience works and the appeal?
Live is great and there’s nothing like it. Though sabremetrics has helped redefine what we think of as “the book” no two people think exactly the same way and playing an opponent live really adds an element of surprise to almost every series.
Q: Do you find yourself watching or following other live league games in our league as they are being played live?
Geoff Reiss: not really. I’m super-busy and barely have time to play my own games. I suppose if I’m in the hunt later in the year I might do some scoreboard watching
Q: The DYNASTY League Baseball Official Draft League rules are actually the
Official Rotisserie League rules adapted for Baseball simulations. What are
some of the GM strategy differences that you have experienced playing in a
DYNASTY League Baseball Online Draft league compared to Fantasy Baseball?
I’m still new to the sim side so I’ll have to see how applicable my long-term fantasy experience is. Grabbing players early in their career and on the cheap is a prime tenant of all forms of success in baseball and is no different here. Grabbing an emerging player and controlling him at a great price is a huge part of this, and real baseball. As we approach the trading deadline figuring out if I’m a buyer or seller will be an interesting excercise
Q: Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball have always been known for
their high level of realism incorporating many subtle nuances of Baseball
that Bill James first popularized in his Baseball Abstracts. What realistic
aspects of DYNASTY League Baseball separate it from other Baseball simulations?
From the first time I played the board version of PTP I loved how nuanced the game is. I immediately – and still do – appreciate the greater depth in fielding ratings, park factors and things like bullpen warm-ups that add a ton of realism.
Q: I’ve had several Broadcast, Media and Front Office MLB people tell me
that they learned a tremendous amount about Baseball and each player¹s
strengths and weaknesses from playing both Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY
League Baseball. Have you had a similar experience and what have you learned?
Bill James once wrote that he didn’t think a major league manager should get hired until he played some crazy number of simulations and I’d have to agree. Playing this game has certainly rounded out my overall sense of many of these players
Q: One of the things you mentioned when you joined our DYNASTY League
Baseball Online SNBL was that you were not sure how many series you could
play live (as opposed to having the Computer manager profile manage your
series) because of your busy schedule. As it turns out, to date, you have
managed every series live. What makes being in a DYNASTY League Baseball
Draft league and live game play easier than what you expected?
My having played all of the series live probably speaks more to my being a control freak than anything else! I don’t think playing is any easier than I expected – I think I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would which has made it easier to make it a bigger priority.
Clutch and JAM might be the DYNASTY League Baseball “glamour” situation ratings
because they get so much attention. While the OFF situation rating (pitchers who
rarely walk the lead off man) and ON situation rating (pitchers who rarely allow HR
with runners on base) may be overlooked, the Clutch and JAM ratings certainly are
front and center. One thing is sure; at the end of the game with RSP/2 outs you DO
want a pitcher with a JAM rating on the mound or a hitter with a Clutch rating in the
With the new 2013 season DYNASTY League Baseball player cards set to debut in late November, here is a preview of a few of the stand out Clutch and JAM rated players coming in the 2013 season player card set.
Carlos Beltran just became the all-time leader in post season SLG and OPS. Beltran
also hit extremely well with RSP/2 outs during the regular season (.375 BA/.516 SLG).
Beltran wasn’t the only Cardinals to hit well in the clutch. The Cardinals posted the
best RSP ( .330) since 1974 and the best RSP/2 outs performance (.305 BA) in two
decades. Allan Craig was the best of the Cardinals flock absolutely hammering
pitchers with RSP/2 out (.448 BA/.672 SLG). Matt Holliday wasn’t far behind (.426
AL RBI leader Chris Davis had a monster year for Baltimore and made his hits count
with RSP/2 (.362 BA/.759 SLG).
The best clutch performance by any MLB player in 2013 belongs to Miguel Cabrera
RSP/2 (.459 BA/.934 SLG). No, that is not a typo!
Let’s take a look at a couple of players who despite having 100 RBI’s or more didn’t
get a Clutch hitting rating:
Jay Bruce .173 BA/.333 SLG with RSP/2.
Mark Trumbo .195 BA/.377 SLG with RSP/2.
Another great young Cuban player emerged in 2013. Jose Fernandez shutdown batters
with RSP/ 2 outs at an amazing rate (.115 BA/.192 SLG). Now that is a pitcher that
can get out of a jam and certainly earned his DYNASTY League Baseball JAM situation
Right behind Fernandez at pitching out of a jam is Matt Harvey (.167 BA/.271 SLG).
In the AL, two rising Japanese stars dominated in JAM situations. Hishashi Iwakuma
(.111 BA/.222 SLG) and Yu Darvish (.145 BA/.232 SLG) were outstanding at pitching
out of a jam.
In the bullpen, Jim Leyland found his closer and did Joaquin Benoit ever deliver (.119
BA/.143 SLG) in RSP/2 out situations. Fredi Gonzalez had his own closing answer in
the NL. Craig Kimbrel was nearly untouchable in a jam situation (.115 BA/.154 SLG).
Despite 50 saves, one pitcher who fell short of a JAM rating was Jim Johnson.
Johnson’s (.250 BA/.292 SLG) with RSP/ 2 outs wasn’t quite good enough to earn a
JAM rating. In the NL, one of the biggest surprises not to get a JAM rating was Jason
Grilli. Grilli pitcher poorly in RSP/ 2 outs situations (.300 BA/.500 SLG).
David Ortiz on the wings of a terrific 2013 World Series earned a Clutch hitting rating. Often, Big Papi was walked, but when pitched to he was lethal.
In late November you will be able to learn the rest of the DYNASTY League Baseball
Clutch and JAM situation ratings!
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the 1975 season?
For most of us it is the great World Series that is revered as one of the best of all-time.
Yes, we remember Carlton Fisk waving his HR fair and trying to coax a 3-9 FAIR single
die roll on the Fenway Park left field line Deep Drive chart, but what things might you
not remember about the new DYNASTY League Baseball 1975 season player card set?
My baseball library includes all of the 1975 issues of The Sporting News and it was
fascinating researching through those issues while assigning the player ratings:
851. What does that number mean to San Francisco Giant fans? That was the actual
attendance for a game at wind blown Candlestick Park. Giant fans missed out on
seeing Bobby Murcer who was traded for Bobby Bonds to the Yankees. The left-
handed batting Murcer hit .315/D power vs. LH pitchers, but his fielding declined in rf:
C/65/0 (Range/Error/Throwing). It could have something to do with Candlestick Park
which Murcer hated. One of the resources I use in grading the player ratings from the
1970’s is a book called the Computerized Baseball Guide by the Compu Scout system.
The book is way ahead of it’s time and includes MLB scouts numerical grades of
players “tools” on a 1.0-5.0 scale. Murcer was rated 2.7 for his Range which is an
average-poor rating. The defensive metrics backed the scouts grades – Murcer’s 1975
rf Range factor of 1.48 is average at best.
Pedro Garcia. What do Brewer fans remember about Pedro Garcia? Pedro decided that
he didn’t want to field ground balls during infield practice so he just stood there and
let the balls go by. By the end of the season Pedro Garcia got suspended by the team
and manager Del Crandall was fired. Garcia earned an F Intangible rating and a HOT
temper rating on his 1975 player card.
George “the Boomer” Scott. George Scott lead the AL in HR (#162-212 vs. RH) AND
earned an A+/50 (Range/Error) ratings. Scott also wields a “Clutch hitting” rating
(.346 BA/.645 SLG) with RSP/2 outs – AND shark teeth around his neck. Talk about a
feared sight coming to the plate for the Brewers!
Randy Jones sinker baller. The Padres Randy Jones often threw his sinker ball at
speeds around 75 mph and was a master at inducing the GDP (#613-685 vs. RH) and
not walking batters – especially lead off batters (OFF rating). Looking at Jones player
card you’ll find he does just about everything well with “A” ratings for WP and BK and
“B+/75” (Range/Error) ratings.
Minnesota’s Metropolitan Stadium. The Twins decided to create their own mini-monster erecting an 8 foot green plywood fence 15 feet closer down the left field line and 20 feet closer in the left-center power alleys and center field. Larry Hisle was one of the Twin’s stars in his prime with a “7” Steal of 2nd rating to go along with (.323/B vs. LH, .308/B vs. RH). Hisle’s problem throughout his career was staying on the field
and 1975 typified this with his “F” Durability rating. The Pirates followed suit and also moved in the Three Rivers stadium fences in 1975. Old Yankee Stadium was still being renovated so the Yankees played in Shea Stadium.
Al “the Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky. As I am going through my Sporting News, I come across one issue that I remember very well. On the TSN cover is NL Fireman of the Year Al Hrabosky. Hrabosky was all the rage that year as he psyched himself up behind the mound, threw the ball in his glove and stomped onto the mound before and during each “performance”. I had traveled to St. Louis that year to see the Cardinals in St. Louis and took along this issue. I staked out my spot well before the game at Busch
Stadium in front of the Cardinals offices. The Mad Hungarian was very nice to me on his way inside the Busch Stadium offices and signed the TSN cover:
The Mad Hungarian
Definitely one of the coolest baseball memorabilia I have!
The Mad Hungarian’s 1975 season player card is as menacing as he looks. The left-handed Hrabosky allows a BA of only .189 vs. RH/.233 vs. LH and an ERA of 1.66. Hrabosky earned both a JAM (.190 BA RSP/2, .276 SLG RSP/2) and OFF rating (rarely issued lead off walk).
I hope you have as much fun playing with the new 1975 season as I had making it for you!
Dynasty League Baseball FAQ
Q: How do I join or start a private draft league?
A: The designated meeting place for people looking to join a private draft league or Commissioners to recruit league members is at the DYNASTY League Baseball Facebook Group:
You can also post at the DYNASTY League Baseball Facebook Page.
Q: Is there anything I need to install to play?
A: If you have the Microsoft Silverlight plug-in already installed in your browser there is no need to install anything. Once you try to “join” a game the game will detect if you have Silverlight installed and prompt you to install it. If you are having any issues go to this link to detect if you have Silverlight installed correctly:
Q: Are there public leagues available?
A: There are Greatest Team public leagues available to join year round. Public draft leagues and the new live draft room will be available at a future date.
Q: What happens if I can’t play the next scheduled series live at the series date and time?
A: The MLB.com blog post explains your options for rescheduling. You can also have the computer manager profile play for you:
Q: Are “Dynasty” draft leagues that go from one season to the next available?
A: Yes, you can even start or join historical Dynasty leagues. You can learn more at the MLB.com post:
Q: How do I find the rules and learn more about the game?
A: The Official DYNASTY League Baseball Rulebook can be found at this link:
Q: Can I play solitaire?
A: Yes, you can play solitaire “Series” vs. the computer manager with any teams or seasons in the DYNASTY League Baseball library. Learn more at the MLB.com post:
Q: Can I play a “Series” live with a friend?
A: Yes, you can invite any friend to play a series with any teams from any season in the DYNASTY League Baseball library. The MLB.com blog post has more on how Series with friends work:
Q: Where are the Roster and DL rules?
A: Roster and DL rules are detailed at the MLB.com post:
Q: Can I play on my iPad
A: You can view your stats, standings, leaders and box scores as well as change your Manager profile. Apple has decided to block Silverlight and other browser plug-ins such as Flash so you can’t play a game on your iPad. Apple does not block Silverlight on the Apple Mac so you can play on your Apple Mac.
Q: How close of an experience is playing the Online version to the original Board version?
A: DYNASTY League Baseball Online is a direct translation of the DYNASTY League Baseball Board game. The default settings give you a transparent view into how the play results are derived by allowing you to see the player card results, dice rolls and sections of the game charts.
Q: Where can I purchase the DYNASTY League Baseball Board version and season player card sets?
A: The Ticket Window at http://www.DesignDepot.com has the DYNASTY League Baseball Board game version.
Q: How many days off are there between the Regular season and LCS?
A: In the automated playoffs, there are 2 rest days between the regular season and the playoffs.
Q: What is the difference for Commissioners in choosing between custom and standard automated playoffs?
A: Custom playoffs do not have automatic advancement of winners like the standard automated playoffs do –you have to set up the new series once the old series are done. Custom playoffs do allow you to control exactly who is playing, how many games in the series, night and day games, how many rest-days between series and things like that. There is a “create custom playoff series” button on the commissioner page.
You’ll just want to make sure you pay attention to the Last Played Date of the teams you are scheduling, as this is an internal date that wasn’t exposed before. This will allow you to set up the first day of the playoffs with the right number of off days. Things are set up internally so that the playoffs begin on Oct 1. The last regular season game is set to be Sept. 28th so that teams have 2 days off before the playoffs. You can obviously choose to keep Oct 1 as your start date or use a different date.
Once caveat–custom playoffs don’t currently have a way to add regular-season tie-breakers, so you will have to use 1-game playoff tie-breakers if you use them. If you use the standard playoffs, they will use regular-season tiebreakers like MLB where the games count as regular-season games. The custom playoffs will treat them like the 1-game wild-card playoff games.
Q: Can I play a game from work?
A: You may or may not be able to depending on the corporate firewall. The two ports you need open to play Dynasty League Baseball Online are outbound TCP ports 943 & 4514.
Q: I can’t see the OK button at the bottom of the page and move past the Roster page when playing a game.
A: You must have your IE, Chrome, Fire Fox and Safari browser zoom set to 100%. You can read below how to change the Fire Fox zoom:
Back in 1992, the concept behind naming the successor to Pursue the Pennant “DYNASTY League Baseball” was to design the first baseball simulation game specifically for draft league players. A Fantasy Baseball “Dynasty” league is synonymous with “keeper” draft leagues that continue for more than one season. To start with there needed to be Official rules for draft leagues and those rules appeared back in 1994 during the launch of DYNASTY League Baseball. The DYNASTY League Baseball Official league rules are basically the Official Rotisserie rules adapted for Baseball simulations where an auction style bidding draft is held and players have contracts based on the dollar amount of the bidding. On February 1, 2013 the first real time Fantasy Baseball sim “Dynasty” leagues became a reality with a new update to DYNASTY League Baseball Online that allowed multi-player leagues to migrate seamlessly from one season to the next.
Most new draft leagues will start with the newest season (2012) and continue forward, but there is now a new option to have historical Dynasty draft leagues that start with any year from 1996-2012 and continue forward. From the Commissioners tools league organization menu when you click on “Starting Player Season” you can now select any season from 1996-2012. Coming soon will be the ability to have a single season multi-player draft league with the 1957 or 1967 season. Coming after that you will have a choice to start your league with any season from 1967-1975 and eventually 1967-1982 or even possibly through 1985.
The new migration code update on February 1 migrates your league organization, rosters and schedule from one year to the next in one click of the “Advance league” to the next player season button. Your private draft league history season-by-season can be found in the lower right-hand corner of your league page.
The new league migration feature combined with the real time draft leagues that update stats, standings, leaders and box scores automatically without having to import and export files to a central commissioner makes it a breeze to run your draft league with DYNASTY League Baseball Online.
Mike Trout had as great of a rookie season as we have seen since perhaps Fred Lynn’s
MVP Rookie year in 1975. Trout did something in his rookie year no other MLB player has ever done – hit 30 HR and steal 49 bases and score 129 runs in a single season. How will Trout’s DYNASTY League Baseball player card look in 2012? For one thing, even though Trout hits right-handed, he hit RH pitchers (.346 BA/.588 SLG) much better than LH (.267 BA/.493 SLG). After all the highlights what should you expect for Trout’s range rating? The answer is “A” Range for Trout bases on his excellent +34 Fielding Bible plus/minus rating, very good 2.70 Range factor and 13.9 UZR/150 rating. Perhaps the weakest part of Trout’s tools is his throwing arm which is a tick below average (look for a +1 below average throwing arm rating). Trout is a burner and is built like an NFL defensive back – look for an outstanding “10” Baserunning rating on his player card.
Fred Lynn’s 1975 season isn’t the only Red Sox season similar to some of the 2012 player performances. Carl Yastrzemski’s 1967 Triple Crown season for Boston was the last triple crown season up until Miguel Cabrera put up a .330 BA with 44 HR and 139 RBI in 2012. Cabrera’s 2012 season DYNASTY League Baseball player card is rare air and a must have. By hitting .420 BA/.720 SLG with RSP/ 2 outs, Miguel Cabrera is 2012’s poster boy for the Clutch Hitting rating repeating his great Clutch Hitting performance in 2011. The AL had back-to-back triple crown winners in 1966 when Frank Robinson won it followed by Yaz in 1967. Wouldn’t it be cool if there was another triple crown winner in 2013?
Bronx bombers? You bet. The Yankees hit 245 HR in 2012 which was the most HR in a season by a Yankee team and there have been plenty of great power hitters for the Yankees so consider this 2012 Yankee team special. There will be sure to be “A” power ratings across the Yankee lineup from Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher.
Looking for surprises? How about the NL RBI leader Chase Headley NOT getting a Clutch Hitting rating based on his .203 BA/.338 SLG with RSP/2 outs. Then there is 19-9 Johnny Cueto NOT getting a JAM rating after allowing a BA/SLG of .261/.493 with RSP/2 out. Stephen Strasburg was hardly dominating in JAM situations with a .292 BA/.415 SLG with RSP/2 outs.
Defensively Jon Jay continues to improve each year and in 2012 he earned “A” Range/100 Error rating / 0 (average throwing arm) in CF. Ryan Braun also continues to improve defensively in LF earning “B+” range and a good “-1” throwing arm. Braun was second only to Desmond Jennings in LF with a +16 Fielding Bible plus minus. Jason Heyward had an outstanding year defensively in RF earning a rare “A+” Range rating and very good “-2” throwing arm. Heyward had 5 kills in RF and easily the best Fielding Bible plus minus of +40.
At the extremes of Range ratings at ss were Brendan Ryan “A” with the best Fielding Bible plus minus (+28) and Derek Jeter “D” with the worst Range factor of 3.76 and a Fielding Bible plus minus of -26.
Despite not getting a JAM rating, Cueto did earn a perfect A+/-4 hold rating allowing an amazing 1 SB while 9 baserunners were CS.
The 2012 season player card set will once again have 990 full color player cards. 2012 season player cards will begin shipping in late November on a first-in first-out basis. You can place your order at the new Ticket Window.
You can also get access to the 2012 season if you are a subscriber to DYNASTY League Baseball Online (available for Windows and Apple Mac) which will automatically make the 2012 season available online as soon as it is released as well as the World Series teams so you can pre-play the 2012 World Series.
If you pre-order the 2012 season board version player card set, you will qualify to be sent a digital version of the 2012 World Series teams. To receive your 2012 World Series teams please send an email to email@example.com with “2012 World Series” in the subject of the email.
The color game charts are designed to be the stable rock of DYNASTY League Baseball so when there is a new edition it is big news. The last new DYNASTY League Baseball game charts edition (5th) was released in 2004. The new 6th Edition game charts are included in all new Board game editions at the Ticket Window. The 6th Edition game charts can also be ordered separately as ITEM# charts ($12.95).
DYNASTY League Baseball Online which runs on both Windows and Apple Mac platforms will be incorporating the new 6th Edition game charts in the future. There is a free trial for the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online version for Apple Mac and Windows at the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online site.
The F rated Pitcher Hold section of the ATTEMPT chart has an increase in the Pickoff Pitcher result and a decrease in Good jumps. The end result is that potential pickoffs by F Hold pitchers have been doubled and it is also a bit more difficult to get a Good Jump off a a Pitcher with an F Hold rating.
Great examples of the type of pitcher this will help are F rated Hold pitchers like Jason Isringhausen (Pickoff rating of 9), Matt Thornton (Pickoff 5), Jesse Crain (Pickoff 7), Tony Sipp (Pickoff 7), Matt Lindstrom (Pickoff 5), Ross Ohlendorf (Pickoff 6), Tommy Hanson (Pickoff 3), Dan Runzler (Pickoff 10), Jordan Walden (Pickoff 4), Tony Watson (Pickoff 6) and Eric Surkamp (Pickoff 8). These pitchers fall into the category of easy to get a Good Jump off, but also very adept of picking runners off. It’s an interesting combination of a Hold and Pickoff rating that is more common that you might expect.
Umpire crews have all been newly updated along with new strike zone ratings. Crews now include their last name as well as first initial. Also new is the red HOT symbol ~ for certain umpires that come into play on the updated BIZARRE play charts. If you guessed Joe West as the leader in ejections has a HOT symbol you are right!
Umpire result # 16-24 has been changed to decrease the number of singles and increase the number of strikeouts for Umpires with a Normal strike zone.
There are 15 new play result changes to the Bizarre plays. Skip Schumaker and the rally squirrel, ground rule HR off the C ring in Tropicana Field, Jeffrey Maier’s interference play, video replay on a disputed HR and rf shoe string catch and doubling off runner at 1st by the likes of Ichiro Suzuki Nick Markakis and Jeff Francoeur
Minnesota Weather and Wind were researched over the last two years at Target Field using box score data (thank you Josh Nelson) and are included in the new 6th Edition weather charts.