Among DYNASTY League Baseball fans there is a love affair with JAM and CLUTCH ratings and why not? Among other things, JAM ratings can turn a HOME RUN off the batters card into a “Deep Drive?” which requires a check of the Ball Park chart to determine how many feet the Deep Drive was hit adjusted by weather effects and how well the ball carries to potentially turn a sure HOME RUN into a Warning Track Out.
The Dark Night earned a JAM rating with a solid performance with RSP/2 outs (.213 BA/.230 SLG). Matt Harvey also didn’t miss by much in earning an OFF situation rating (turns a WALK on the hitters card into a “Foul?” requiring a check of the foul territory to determine if it is a foul out or foul ball strike), which I feel is overlooked and undervalued by many DYNASTY League Baseball players. After all, a lead off walk scores on average 38% of the time and results in .905 runs after the walk. Pitchers who walk the lead off man have in essence a 8.15 ERA in that inning. Thanks to John Dewan of Baseball Info Solutions (John and I played a 1983 White Sox vs. 1982 Brewers DYNASTY League Baseball Online game last year), you can read just how much impact lead off walks have and why the OFF situation rating was so important to have in DYNASTY League Baseball to simulate pitchers ERA in MLB.
We all remember Mark McGwire and some of his gargantuan HOME RUN result range #, but how about Giancarlo Stanton and a HOME RUN range of 131-250 vs. LH? WOW! Comparatively McGwire in 1998 had a HOME RUN range of 117-185 vs. LH in a year in which he hit 70 HR. Keep in mind that each DYNASTY League Baseball season is normalized for the league average. If you have not tried DYNASTY League Baseball Online yet, make sure you are not the last one on the planet – the Online version makes it really easy to have unprecedented access to any player card from the library of DYNASTY League Baseball seasons by clicking on “Series” and mousing over the player to see his player card.
The new DYNASTY League Baseball 7th Edition game charts makes the pitcher pickoff rating just that much more impactful. So which starting pitcher has the best pickoff rating in the 2015 season? Look no further than NL pickoff leader Clayton Kershaw (10) who earned a pickoff rating of 9 to go along with an “A” Hold frequency and a (-2) success rate Hold rating.
Another overlooked rating is the Error rating. Yes, the sabermetric community has known since 1982 that a fielders range is more important than his fielding pct., but fielding pct. still DOES matter. If you want ugly take a look at Pedro Alvarez and his “5” Error rating at 1b which is rock bottom on the 5-100 Error rating scale. Throw in a D range rating and you can see why he is looking for another position. For more ugliness check out ss Marcus Semien (C+/20). On the flip side, there is Joe Panik who earned a historically great “100” Error rating at 2b to go along with C+ Range and a very good (-5) DP Pivot rating. One of the ratings that I really wrestled with was Matt Carpenter’s Range rating. Carpenter’s BIS Plus Minus (-10) was right at the bottom for 3b along with players like the rapidly expanding Pablo Sandoval. The scouting reports were also none too favorable. I cross checked the rating with St. Louis Post Dispatch beat writer extraordinaire and BBWAA President Derrick Goold who felt Carpenter had average range at best. I couldn’t get past ranking at the bottom of the trailers in +/- and Carpenter’s player card was branded with a D Range rating.
Lead by A.J. Pollock, Arizona was one of the best fielding teams in 2015. Pollock not only fielded well (A/85/0), but was Durable (A), hit in the clutch and can run (Lead: 5/4/2), (Steal: 7/5/3). Emerging Mookie Betts with a BR Gain of (+24) earned an “8” Baserunning rating. In the turtle category, a slowing Miguel Cabrera (-22) received a “3” BR rating.
The Citi Field walls were moved in and those changes are reflected in the new 2015 season ball park charts along with a new high resolution image on both the DYNASTY League Baseball Board version ball park charts and in DYNASTY League Baseball Online.
Joe Posnanski is one of the best baseball and sabermetric writers. He recently wrote
a new blog post “Things I learned from Strat-O-Matic”, but what might Joe have
learned playing Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball?
Back in the spring of 1985 (this is the 30th Anniversary), Pursue the Pennant debuted
as the “First Sabermetric Baseball Simulation”. Yes, SOM and APBA were the first
baseball board games, but they were designed decades before the baseball world was
enlightened by the sabermetric teachings found in Bill James Baseball Abstracts and
John Thorn and Pete Palmer’s book “The Hidden Game”. When I designed Pursue the
Pennant from 1981-1984, Bill James had just come out with his first Baseball Abstract.
My goal was to design the first sabermetric baseball simulation that incorporated as
many of Bill James insights as possible.
Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball are most well known for their
detailed ball park effects. Joe’s Lesson #3 is that “Ball Parks matter”. Those new
SOM diamond symbols that were introduced in 1986 were a clumsy knee jerk reaction
by SOM to Pursue the Pennant’s ball park effects. In Glenn Guzzo’s Strat-O-Matic
Fanatics book he devotes part of a chapter to Pursue the Pennant and even SOM game
designer Hal Richman acknowledges that Pursue the Pennant is a more realistic game
than Strat-O-Matic. DYNASTY League Baseball has seven different outfield locations
for “Deep Drive” results. Play results are determined in feet so a 340 foot drive down
the left field line at Fenway Park is a HR into Green Monster seats. “Robbed?” results
can occur depending on the wall height and the range rating of the outfielder. Deep
Drives off the Green Monster in left field are often singles that can be stretched into
doubles. In the deep triangle area in right-center a drive of 420-425 feet is a triple.
Weather effects also impact the ball park effects. The DYNASTY League Baseball
Weather charts use actual weather bureau data by region, month and day/night to
determine sky/temperature and wind direction and speed (Can you tell I love the
Weather Channel?). In the Summer months at Wrigley Field the wind often blows out.
When the wind is blowing out at 20-29 mph Deep Drives get a +20 foot boost to
distance traveled, which often makes the difference between a “HR into the basket” or
a ball caught on the warning track.
Pursue the Pennant was also the first simulation to incorporate foul territory, hitter
background visibility and infield surface conditions.
Joe’s Lesson #1 “You really need a defensive short stop with range” and states “but I
would argue that the thing that Hal got right before almost anyone else was how
baseball defense works.” Defensive range has always been difficult to measure, but
Bill James enlightened us about range factor and now we have other defensive metrics
like John Dewan’s Fielding Bible +/- which equates to defensive runs saved. Well here
is where SOM gets defensive range wrong Joe. SOM only has four grades 1-4 for rating
range. In 2014 Tulowitzki is rated “1” range in SOM (best rating possible). This means
on a historical scale Tulo’s 2014 range was as good as Ozzie Smith’s in his best years
according to SOM. Tulowitzki wasn’t even the ss with the best defensive range in
2014 (7 defensive runs saved compared to Andrelton Simmons 28). DYNASTY League
Baseball graded out Tulowitzki with “B” range in 2014.
DYNASTY League Baseball has defensive range ratings from A+ to F which gives eight possible range ratings and a far more realistic defensive spectrum with all defensive ratings in DYNASTY League Baseball based on a historical scale.
Then there is the visualization and different types of range plays. In SOM you go to an obtuse “X” chart. In DYNASTY League Baseball you go to a “Range” chart that has slow roller, smash up the middle, hot liner, high chopper, deep into the hole, drilled down the line range plays. All of the range plays have different outcomes that could be play results like diving stop, bang bang play and gets thru and further divided into different surfaces for grass and artificial turf.
Joe’s Lesson #4 “Clutch hitting is baloney”. First off, I am well aware of “The Hidden Game’s” study of clutch hitting and trying to determine if it is a skill. I am not sure that is the right question. The right question should be “Do hitters change their approach in a clutch situation – especially in high leverage clutch situations such as when there are RSP/2 outs? I am convinced a few players in a given season are able to change their approach with RSP/2 outs. Part of this is being able to “quiet the mind” and often this is a learned approach that some of the games greatest hitters have developed over time. Case in point is Paul Molitor.
In Paul’s final season in 1998 he hit .393 with a SLG of .536 with RSP/2. In reverse order here is Molitor’s BA and SLG with RSP/2 preceded by Age/Season:
41 1998 .393/.536
40 1997 .257/.378
39 1996 .354/.512
38 1995 .250/.250
37 1994 .340/.547
36 1993: .367/.494
35 1992: .279/.361
34 1991: .338/.529
33 1990: .341/.477
32 1989: .302/.453
31 1988: .300/.350
30 1987 .383/.617
29 1986 .400/.540
28 1985 .278/.333
27 1984 .333/.333 (small sample size – injured with only 6 AB)
26 1983 .200/.262
25 1982 .299/.469
24 1981 .250/.438
23 1980 .235/.324
22 1979 .243/.392
21 1978 .259/.481
Around age 29 Molitor started to figure out how to approach RSP/2 situations
differently. With the exception of 1997 (injured) and 1995 (strike in which he was
heavily involved and distracted as one of the union heads involved in negotiations
with the owners) he not only hit well in those situations, but thrived. Compare this
with ages 21-28 when he struggled with RSP/2.
DYNASTY League Baseball was the first simulation to categorize elite clutch hitting
performances in a given season and display their impact on overall runs scored and
DYNASTY League Baseball was also the first simulation to identify the three most
important situations for pitchers and those unique pitchers that thrive in those
situations. Pitching out of a jam and the JAM rating are awarded to those pitchers
who demonstrate pitching extremely well with RSP/2 outs. Pitchers who rarely give up
a lead off walk are awarded to OFF ratings – Curt Schilling and Adam Wainwright are
great examples of pitchers who understand how important it is not to allow a lead off
walk. Jim Palmer never gave up a grand slam HR and it is pitchers like him that are
awarded the ON rating for reducing the ratio of HR allowed with runners on base
compare to HR allowed with the bases empty.
I am just scratching the surface and the DYNASTY League Baseball game design page
goes into more detail on all the realistic nuances, but my point is that if you really
want to learn about baseball nuances from a sabermetric view point, DYNASTY League
Baseball “the leader in realism” is the answer to the question.
So Joe, when is our DYNASTY League Baseball Online game match-up?
Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan’s comments about Torii Hunter’s range
in Mike Berardino’s St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch column point out why
DYNASTY League Baseball takes the time to research many of it’s player ratings
instead of relying strictly on formulas. I had struggled with what range rating to
assign Hunter. Hunter’s range factor just nipped the extreme bottom of the (C+)
historical scale, but he ranked rock bottom among all MLB rf with a BIS Plus/Minus of
Originally I had Hunter at (C) range, but could not get past ranking rock bottom in +/-
and rating below average in acceleration (38 on a scale of 0-100), reaction instincts
(45), velocity (44) and hands (41) in the Tango Tiger scouting poll. I ended up
downgrading Hunter to (D) range (rf: D/60/0), but it was very interesting to have
Terry Ryan come out with his comments on defensive metrics and how Twins scouts
rated Hunter”adequate”. It is one of those “grey” ratings that really could have gone
either way and I am sure MLB organizations would each rate Hunter a bit differently
as well depending on how much weight they want to give to their scouts vs. the defensive
Beradino’s column leads off pointing out Kurt Suzuki’s poor pitch framing (-19.8 RAA)
and it is one of the most important stats that goes into a catcher’s Handling rating.
Suzuki ranked as the 4th worst catcher in pitch framing relegating him to a (D)
catcher Handling rating (c: B/85/0/A/D).
Derrick Goold from the St. Louis Post Dispatch is one of if not the best MLB beat
writer. Derrick is also a DYNASTY League Baseball player and we hope to have a new
Bird Land tournament in 2015. Here is how Derrick answered my cross checking
question on Jhonny Peralta’s range.
MC: I remember when Peralta was signed last year Mo said they had him as having
average range which is how I graded him last year as well (C). This year Peralta had
almost an identical range factor to 2013, but his BIS plus minus jumped to an
excellent level. Thoughts?
DG: All about the positioning. He doesn’t have the greatest range but he puts himself
in a good place and doesn’t flub the routine plays. True arm. Smart player.
Peralta (ss: B/85/-5) fielding line: Range/Error/DP pivot
(-5) DP pivot is excellent in DYNASTY League Baseball. Peralta ranked 2nd in the NL
in DP pivot (0.645) behind Andrelton Simmons (ss: A/80/-5) who also was awarded a
(-5) DP pivot rating.
J.J. Hardy had another solid defensive season in 2014 +/- (3) with a fielding line of
(ss: B/80/-5). Tango poll had Hardy’s reaction/instincts at 86.
Toronto’s Anthony Gose (cf: A/85/-1) was rated by Blue Jays broadcaster Mike Wilner
as “Among the best defensive cf I’ve EVER seen.”
Gose’s defensive metrics were above average, but not eye poping RF (2.65), +/- (3).
Wilner and the Tango poll (88 velocity, 82 acceleration) prevailed in bumping Gose to
Another “grey” rating was David Freese and his (Clutch) rating. Freese only had 55 RBI which is a very low number to qualify for consideration of being awarded a Clutch hitting rating. In the end I liked Freese’s .291 BA/.491 SLG with RSP/2 outs enough to give him a Clutch hitting rating and because he was such a border line case his playoff history including a deceptively good .500 SLG in the ALDS was an additional stat I looked at. Freese probably does not get a Clutch hitting rating in a season with a higher run environment.
An easy Clutch hitting rating to award was Giancarlo Stanton with his .340 BA/.620 SLG with RSP/2. Terror!
Anaheim’s Hector Santiago has a 10 pickoff rating for his Pickoff/Hold (10/C+(-1)) on the basis of 6 pickoffs.
Looking for a pitcher that is tough to run on? Try Dallas Keuchel (2/A+(-4)). Keuchel posted just one of 16 seasons in which a pitcher allowed only one SB with 200 or more IP since 2002 (no one has allowed zero).
Clayton Kershaw has Situation: jam/off to go along with Range: (A+) and Endurance: (35). The rare baserunner that reaches (#963-969 vs. RH are the only WALK’s on his player card) has to face Kershaw’s Pickoff/Hold: 5/A (-1).
Washington’s Aaron Barrett:
Wild Pitch: F
St. Louis’ Justin Masterson is one of the more extreme GB pitchers with 1.5 DP/9 and
(#614-715) vs. LH Hard Ground Out.
There was one significant change to the 2014 season ball park charts. Comerica Park now had increased triple ranges in lc, cf and rc. You will also find updated ball park images.
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.
If you have been following this blog you have read some of the previous posts on how the defensive range ratings are determined for DYNASTY League Baseball and it’s predecessor Pursue the Pennant. Defensive range, Throwing arms and Catchers handling of pitchers are some of the player ratings that are done manually and require an interpretation of the defensive metrics to assign the rating. So let’s look at a few examples from the 2013 season player cards: Adam Jones on the DYNASTY League Baseball historical scales for both Range Factor/9 innings and John Dewan Fielding Bible plus/minus scales out at D/D and his UZR also was below average. There is a strong correlation among the defensive metrics to assign Jones a D range rating if you took a strict Sabermetric camp approach. NOTE: the DYNASTY League Baseball historical scale for plus/minus is based on data since 2000. What about the eye test from scouting reports? Gold Glove voters decided Jones was good enough all around defensively to be awarded a Gold Glove. Keep in mind that Defensive Range is not the only component of a Gold Glove vote, there is also Fielding Percentage and Throwing Arm. DYNASTY League Baseball uses scouting reports from a number of sources including charting MLB Networks 100 best defensive plays of 2013. One of the better sources of scouting reports is the Tango Tiger poll which grades tools on a scale from 0-100. Jones scored a “45” for his reactions and instincts, “65” Acceleration first few steps, “72” Velocity sprint speed, and “52” Hands catching. This was one of the tougher ratings of the 2013 season to assign, but in keeping with the balanced approach I take between Sabermetrics and Scouting evaluations where each group of data and observations should be taken into consideration I bumped Jones rating to a C+ given the above average ratings from the Tango Tiger poll. The MLB Managers and Coaches that vote on the Gold Glove take quite a bit of criticism for some of their selections, but I think it might be too extreme to totally discount their observations. In the end, I felt the Sabermetric defensive metrics and Gold Glove voters were at opposites ends of a very polarized view of Adam Jones range rating and that Adam Jones “real” range lies closer to the mid ground that the Tango Tiger poll ratings reflect. Jones throwing arm rating was much easier to assign with a very good Hold % and Kill% (6 kills total) metrics and Tango Tiger poll ratings for strength “77” and accuracy “58”. Adam Jones 2013: C+ Range/90 Error/-1 Throwing. NOTE: If you are new to DYNASTY League Baseball Throwing ratings are based on a scale of -4 to +4 with a -4 rating representing a “Clemente” type arm. The Official DYNASTY League Baseball rulebook details the rating scales on page 3 and can be found once you log in at http://www.dynastylea guebaseball.com/UserMain.aspx Emerging on the defensive spectrum of stars in 2013 were three young players of note: Andrelton Simmons age 24 (A+/85/-5), Nolan Arenado age 23 (A+/90) and Manny Machado age 21 (A+/90). It is rare air for three young players to receive “A+” range ratings which are reserved for historically great performances, but in all three cases they were well deserved. Arenado (+27), Machado (+36) and Simmons (+37) turned in historically great performances on the DYNASTY League Baseball Fielding Bible +/- scale. Not only that, but with their great range they also have terrific fielding percentages and had 85, 90 and 90 Error ratings. Frequently you see young players with excellent range, but many times it comes with a lower fielding percentage – not the case with these three defensive stars.Z Then there is the flip side. Who were some of the players with the poorest range? How about Jed Lowrie (ss: D/50)? Lowrie had a +/- of (-17), UZR/150 (-9.2) and RF/9 (3.56). A stunningly poor performance with all three defensive metrics in strong agreement. What about the scouting reports? Tango Tiger had Lowrie with ratings of 35/27/38. This is the kind of agreement between the defensive metrics and scouting reports that you love to see. Then there is Shin Soo Choo (cf: D/80/0). Choo finished last among regular CF with a (-16) plus/minus AND UZR/150 (-17.0) to go along with a 2.41 RF/9 that just barely made it into the “C” DYNASTY League Baseball historical range factor scale. The scouting reports from Tango Tiger were in agreement with the defensive metrics (33/40/54). The Molina brothers, Yadier and Jose, were once again among the best “pitch framing” catchers scoring RAA (Runs Above Average) of 19.8 and 19.3 respectively. Those scores were two of the top pitch framing scores in all of MLB earning both Yadier and Jose “A” ratings for catcher handling of pitchers. Here are the average Range and Fielding ratings by position for the 2013 season: Since range is text, the following numbers were assigned: A+ 1 A 2 B+ 3 B 4 C+ 5 C 6 D 7 F 8 Range Error 1B 5.45 72.29 2B 5.12 71.90 SS 5.04 71.27 3B 4.98 70.64 LF 5.20 70.25 CF 4.26 76.34 RF 4.70 68.38 DYNASTY League Baseball Online allows you to play in Private Draft leagues as well as play solitaire “Series”. The DYNASTY League Baseball original Board Game version and new 2013 season player cards are available at the Ticket Window.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with “2012 World Series” in the subject of the email.
During spring training this year I had a chance to meet with Milwaukee Brewers Bob McClure and Paul Molitor and reminisce about Pursue the Pennant and it’s succesor DYNASTY League Baseball . My visits with “Mac” and “Molly” reminded me of another meeting I had with Brewer manager Tom Trebelhorn in May of 1987 in which I played Pursue the Pennant with “Treb” in his managerial office in Milwaukee County Stadium:
After getting off to a scorching 20 and 3 start, the Milwaukee Brewers were languishing in the midst of a seven-game losing streak. Some of the hometown faithful seemed to have already soured on rookie manager Tom Trebelhorn, or so it appeared as I entered his office in County Stadium.
“Where do we file letters like this?” queried Trebelhorn as he handed a letter to Public Relations Director Tom Skibosh. I read the hand-written letter alongside of Skibosh. At the top of the page, Trebelhorn had written the words, “STAY POSITIVE” The writer began by saying that the 13-0 streak was the worst thing that could have happened to the Brewers because now they would be “stuck with this miserable manager (Trebelhorn).” The letter contained such compliments as “you stink” and “I can’t wait till (sic) they get rid of you.”
I guess that’s what you get for piloting the Brewers to the best record in baseball after most people picked the team to finish no higher than sixth.
I first met Treblehorn at the annual Diamond Dinner held each January by the Brewers. It’s hard not to like the man. Words like “thoughtful”, “organized” and “down-to-earth” come to mind when describing him. In many ways, he reminds you of a favorite teacher you once had. By now, you probably know that is exactly what Trebelhorn is in the off-season…a school teacher in Oregon.
Despite the long losing streak, on this day as on all others, the rookie skipper was upbeat and positive. When I told him that the name of the game that we were about to play was called Pursue the Pennant, he replied “That’s what we’ll be doing this year.” Based on what had transpired in the first thirteen games of the season, he wasn’t kidding. Lately well….
Like many of the “new breed” of managers, Trebelhorn is aware of the numbers which are necessary to make sound baseball decisions. He combed with delight the Project Scoresheet data I had along on opposition stolen bases vs. pitchers and catchers.
As a field general, Trebelhorn is aggressive. His teams will steal bases. The Brewers are 2nd in stolen bases compared to a dismal 9th last year under George Bamberger’s reign. The hit and run play is often employed to stay out of the double play. Baserunners are more aggressive, going from first to third on singles, stretching base hits, forcing the other team in to making mistakes. Of course, the more chances you take, the more likely things are to backfire, but more often than not in 1987, Trebelhorn had been pushing the right buttons.
Meanwhile, Skibosh was still musing over the letter, describing the author in terms not to be repeated in a family publication such as this. Seemingly undaunted, Trebelhorn took up position behind his desk. He would manage the Brewers and I would manaage the Oakland Athletics in a “preview” of that night’s major league game. It would be Mike Birkbeck vs. Dave Stewart.
We each began to construct our lineups for the game. There were no Pursue the Pennant cards for B.J. Surhoff or Terry Steinbach (although there will be in the upcoming rookie card set), but otherwise, we had all the key players from both teams. As I was making out my lineup, I mentioned to Trebelhorn that the A’s seemed to be weak against pitching. He nodded in agreement.
I briefly explained how to play, and Trebelhorn rolled the dice for Birkbeck as Alfredo Griffin stepped in. He drew a walk, and Carney Lansford followed with a single to center. No outs, men on 1st and 2nd, and Davis, Canseco, Jackson and McGwire due up. I began to think that it looked like things were going just as they had on the current losing streak. My competitive fire took a back seat to secret longing that the Brewers would get out of it. After all, it’s bad enough that Treblehorn’s crew had been getting their brains beaten out in real life, without someone unloading on them in a baseball table-top game.
Birkbeck got out of it, but not without a scare. Davis flied to right, Canseco struck out, but Jackson walked to load the bases before McGwire stuck out.
Both teams went quietly until the bottom on the 2nd. With one out, Deer singled, Cooper walked, and Schroeder reached on an error to load the bases. With Gantner at bat, I explained that the squeeze play is also an option in PTP. Trebelhorn elected to swing away, and Gantner hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Wrong button.
In the bottom of the 3rd, the Brewers got something going again. Sveum led off with a walk. Molitor struck out. Yount flew out deep to left. Braggs singled to center, Sveum to 2nd. Greg Brock then pounded the next offering over the wall in left-center field. Calm, cool, and collected Trebelhorn noted “Brock will do that”.
After Deer struck out to end the inning, Trebelhorn notified our Pursue the Pennant umpire (Andy Etchebarren, a Brewer coach) that he had to get back to work, and that the fourth would have to be our last inning. What a great managerial ploy if it could be worked into the Pursue the Pennant rule book. – RULE 7.03 The home team manager may call the game at anytime if he has to go back to work.
The Athletics loaded the bases with two out, but Birkbeck got Tony Phillips to fly out to Deer to end the game. I hoped that Brock would repeat his feat that night, but he didn’t, and the Brewers troubles continued as they lost their seventh straight game.
After our game was over, Trebelhorn commented that he was impressed with Pursue the Pennant. “I saw some interesting things here, especially with all the information on the player cards, ” he said. He then inquired about the price, commentiing that it would be fun for him and his son, an avid board game enthusiast.
Milwaukee Brewer fans can only hope that manager Tom Trebelhorn can find enough interesting things to get his team turned around and continue their pursuit of the pennant.
The new DYNASTY League Baseball 2011 season player card set with Brewers Ryan Braun, Zack Greinke, Rickie Weeks, Prince Fielder, John Axford, Yovanni Gallardo, Corey Hart and Francisco Rodriguez is available at the Ticket Window store and also at DYNASTY League Baseball Online.
The new 2012 DYNASTY League Baseball Official Rulebook has been updated to include previously released new rules that were not included in the last edition from 2004. Most notable is the new 60 AB universal pitcher situation JAM rating used in all situations for all pitchers facing pitchers batting with less than 60 AB. You will also find the new 0-4 IP 2 day rest requirement in the Pitcher Rest Rules on page 9.
The DYNASTY League Baseball Official league rules that start on page 10 are basically the Rotisserie League Baseball rules including salaries and contracts for draft leagues adapted for basball simulation leagues. What’s new is that DYNASTY League Baseball Online leagues are now included along with local DYNASTY League Baseball local Board version leagues in the Official Rulebook and there are quite a few updates.
DYNASTY League Baseball Online is the First and Only Real Time Baseball Simulation for Draft Leagues
If you have players in many different locations, the beauty of DYNASTY League Baseball Online is that it can easily manage your league and update stats, standings and leaders in real time. This is a first for Baseball simulations. Never before have real time draft leagues been available for Baseball simulation games. Previously each league member would have to export his league file and send it to a central commissioner who would then have to import each league file and then export and send the files back to each league member so that league members could import the updated file again. Of course that is far from real time and in today’s connected world it is downright prehistoric to have to go through all that drudgery to update your stats, standings and leaders.
You join a league and then choose a franchise that includes the matching ball park and then draft your team with a fictional $300 budget from the most recent season of DYNASTY League Baseball player cards that continues each future season when the new season player cards are released in a Dynasty play format. Draft day consists of a Major League draft in which you draft your 25 man roster and then a Minor league draft of 8 additional players that you can call up and send down during the season for a total of 33 players under your control.
After the draft, you are then able to start your season immediately because all of the team rosters have already been saved and integrated by the new live draft room and the scheduling is all done for you. You are then able to easily play live games for your series just by clicking on the join game button or if you can’t make a series have the new computer manager profile play for you.
The first DYNASTY League Baseball Online public and private draft leagues are targeted for this coming April.
One of the most interesting and fun aspects of playing DYNASTY League Baseball is developing your Manager Profile identity of the tactics you use when managing your team. When you play a game with the DYNASTY League Baseball Board version or Online version you are developing your own Managerial profile. Do you play for the big inning and the three run HR like Earl Weaver or use one run tactics like stealing and the suicide squeeze like Whitey Herzog? Now your Manager profile identity can be entered into the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online Manager profile. You’ll see some of my profile selections from my SNBL draft league St. Louis Cardinals franchise in this blog post.
The new Manager profiles are targeted to be available for DYNASTY League Baseball Online in late March. You will be able to select and use your Manager profile right away in a Greatest Team league and also in the upcoming draft leagues.
Manager profiles are important because they allow you to have your team managed according to the tactical profile that you select if you can’t play your scheduled series live for that given week.
iPad and iPhone
Even though you can’t play a game of DYNASTY League Baseball on your iPhone or iPad (Apple does not allow the Silverlight plug-n) you can view your stats, box scores, game summary and leaders with the iPad and iPhone. You can also change or update your Managerial profile on the iPad or iPhone.
The Lineups tab allows you to select your saved lineups and assign them to one of the four primary default lineup categories:
|vs Right DH:||None Selected vs. RH vs. LH|
|vs Right no DH:||None Selected vs. RH vs. LH|
|vs Left DH:||None Selected vs. RH vs. LH|
|vs Left no DH:||None Selected vs. RH vs. LH|
View Saved Lineups
vs. RH vs. LH
What happens when a player is injured or is not eligible to be in my default lineup? The Lineup Slot Preferences section allows you to select various parameters using sliding scales that total 100% Want your leadoff man to have a high OBP and be good at stealing 2nd? Slide the scale to weight these preferences more heavily.
Lineup Slot Preferences
|BA OBP SLG Power Baserunning Clutch SB Steal 2nd Hit & Run Bunt||50%|
|Unused BA OBP SLG Power Baserunning Clutch SB Steal 2nd Hit & Run Bunt||20%|
|Unused BA OBP SLG Power Baserunning Clutch SB Steal 2nd Hit & Run Bunt||5%|
|Unused BA OBP SLG Power Baserunning Clutch SB Steal 2nd Hit & Run Bunt||0%|
|Unused BA OBP SLG Power Baserunning Clutch SB Steal 2nd Hit & Run Bunt||25%|
Managers in recent years are including more pitchers on their roster than in previous years. 15 Batters and 10 pitchers used to be the standard, but today some managers have as many as 13 pitchers on their roster. You’ll be able to select the depth or pitching on your roster by selecting the Number of Pitchers to carry on active roster at the top of the Pitching tab.
Do you want to go with a 5 or 4 man rotation and do you want any of your pitchers to pitch on short rest? The defacto standard used to be a 4 man rotation – now it is 5. Just remember your pitcher Durability rating is reduced by 7 on short rest so you’ll need a deeper bullpen if you decide to go with a 4 man rotation. You can select 4 or 5 man rotation at the Starting Rotation Size menu option.
Starting Rotatation Size: 5-Man Rotation 4-Man Rotation
Select Starting Rotation allows you to slot in your starting rotation and also check off if you want any of your pitchers to start on short rest.
|1.||Not Selected Greinke, ZackHapp, J.A.Matsuzaka, DaisukeWainwright, AdamWillis, DontrelleWolf, Randy||
Start on short rest
|2.||Not Selected Greinke, ZackHapp, J.A.Matsuzaka, DaisukeWainwright, AdamWillis, DontrelleWolf, Randy||
Start on short rest
|3.||Not Selected Greinke, ZackHapp, J.A.Matsuzaka, DaisukeWainwright, AdamWillis, DontrelleWolf, Randy||
Start on short rest
|4.||Not Selected Greinke, ZackHapp, J.A.Matsuzaka, DaisukeWainwright, AdamWillis, DontrelleWolf, Randy||
Start on short rest
|5.||Not Selected Greinke, ZackHapp, J.A.Matsuzaka, DaisukeWainwright, AdamWillis, DontrelleWolf, Randy||
Start on short rest
Sparky Anderson was nicknamed “Captain Hook”. Here are your Managerial profile Early/Late hook options:
Always pinch-hitting for the starting pitcher if there are runners in scoring poisition and his endurance is down to: Never 0 1 2 3 4 5The bullpen settings allow enough flexibility for any era of bullpen tactics style you wish.Bullpen Settings:
Closer: Not Selected Benoit, JoaquinBraddock, ZachMasset, NickPerez, ChrisSoriano, RafaelWheeler, DanWillis, Dontrelle
Closer Use: Allow Closer in 8th inning if rested Never use Closer before 9th inning
Setup Man: Not Selected Benoit, JoaquinBraddock, ZachMasset, NickPerez, ChrisSoriano, RafaelWheeler, DanWillis, Dontrelle
Setup Use: Allow Setup Man in 7th inning Never use Setup Man before 8th inning
Here you can set your Manager profile to be aggressive like Whitey Herzog or Joe Maddon or conservative like Earl Weaver.
|Up 5+ runs:||Super Aggressive Very Aggressive Aggressive Slightly Aggressive Normal Slightly Conservative Conservative Very Conservative Super Conservative|
|Up 3-4 runs:||Super Aggressive Very Aggressive Aggressive Slightly Aggressive Normal Slightly Conservative Conservative Very Conservative Super Conservative|
|Up 2 runs:||Super Aggressive Very Aggressive Aggressive Slightly Aggressive Normal Slightly Conservative Conservative Very Conservative Super Conservative|
|Up 1 run:|
|Down 1 run:|
|Down 2 runs:|
|Down 3-4 runs:|
|Down 5+ runs:|
|Up 5+ runs:|
|Up 3-4 runs:|
|Up 2 runs:|
|Up 1 run:|
|Down 1 run:|
|Down 2 runs:|
|Down 3-4 runs:|
|Down 5+ runs:|
Defensive Throwing Aggressiveness:
|Up 5+ runs:|
|Up 3-4 runs:|
|Up 2 runs:|
|Up 1 run:|
|Down 1 run:|
|Down 2 runs:|
|Down 3-4 runs:|
|Down 5+ runs:|
Eschew or advocate the sacrifice or suicide squeeze bunt? You can choose different selections for different base and out situations.
Situation: Runner on 1st Runners on 1st and 2nd Runner on 2nd Suicide Squeeze No Outs 1 Out
|Bunt Frequency (in bunting siutations)|
|Name||Rating||vs Left||vs Right|
Decide which players on your roster are eligible to be pinch hit or pinch run for.
|Allow the player to be removed for:|
|Name||Pinch Hitter||Pinch Runner|
If you manage like Joe Maddon who lead the AL in pinch hitting appearances from 2008-2010, you’ll want to select Very Frequent or Frequent for Pinch Hit Frequency.
Earliest inning to pinch hit for a positional player: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10+
Set up your guidelines for when to play the infield in (or just corners in) in various situations.
Situation: Runner on 3rd Runners on 1st and 3rd Runners on 2nd and 3rd Bases Loaded No Outs 1 Out
|Inning||1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10||or later|
|Ahead by||0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9+||run(s) or less|
|OR behind by||0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9+||run(s) or less|
|Consider replacing any player that has:|
|Range of:||B+ B C+ C D F||or worse.|
|Error Rating of:||5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95||or less.|
|OF with arm of:||0 1 2 3 4||or worse.|
|C with arm of:||0 1 2 3 4||or worse.|
|Unused Range Error Rating Arm DP Pivot PB rating Pitcher Handling||60%|
|Unused Range Error Rating Arm DP Pivot PB rating Pitcher Handling||10%|
|Unused Range Error Rating Arm DP Pivot PB rating Pitcher Handling||10%|
|Unused Range Error Rating Arm DP Pivot PB rating Pitcher Handling||10%|
|Unused Range Error Rating Arm DP Pivot PB rating Pitcher Handling||10%|
Position Offfense/Defense Balance