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.
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.
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.
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.
If you’ve read the annual THE SCOUTING REPORT or THE SCOUTING NOTEBOOK that Harper & Row, STATS Inc., and The Sporting News published from 1983-2006 you know just how in-depth the scouting reports were that evaluated player “tools”.
Unfortunately those publications are no longer published and while Baseball Prospectus is a great read, it doesn’t completely replace the detailed scouting reports that THE SCOUTING REPORT and THE SCOUTING NOTEBOOK provided. Yes, we have stats and lots of them. Baseball statistics have never been as accessbile as they are now. It was a totally different Baseball world in 1982 when the first Bill James Baseball Abstract was published for national distribution and the Elias Sports Bureau tried to claim Baseball statistics as it’s own private domain.
There never has been a Baseball publication that provided player ratings like the incredible Rick Barry Pro Basketball Scouting Report, but perhaps DYNASTY League Baseball is the closest thing to it for Baseball in terms of providing Major League Baseball player rating grades.
A tremendous amount of effort goes into the creation of the DYNASTY League Baseball season player ratings to give you the best possible replication of a players strengths and weaknesses. I’ve been rating and grading players for 27 years for not only each season player card set for Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball since the 1984 season, but also several past seasons including 1957, 1967, 1970-1974, 1982 and three Greatest Teams sets from 1906-1988. That’s about 35, 000 different players and when you multiply that times about a dozen or so player ratings per player that comes to almost 500,000 individual player ratings. OK, Dan Treuden has been helping rate the pitchers for quite a few years, but still that is a lot of players and player ratings to evaluate!
You can now find almost of these player ratings easily accesible at: DYNASTYLeagueBaseball.com
Most player ratings are based on a 1-10 scale or A-F including A+, B+ and C+ (Error ratings go from 5-100) to give you a broad spectrum of ratings and precise statistical accuracy using historical scales. The player ratings are derived from thoroughly researched and tested formulas and computer calculations.
In some cases though, you simply can’t devise a formula that will take all factors into account. Defensive Range ratings are a good example. If you only used a players zone rating (UZR), you would come up with many misleading ratings simply because this defensive metric doesn’t account for variables such as the vagaries of the scorer’s zone judgement, the adjacent fielder, how hard the ball is hit, size of the outfield and defensive shifts. There isn’t any single defensive metric that is reliable enough to be used alone to assign defensive range ratings. That’s why it is important to look at more than one defensive metric and use “old school” scouting reports as a cross check. In the case of DYNASTY League Baseball, the primary defensive metrics used are Bill James Range factor, John Dewan’s Baseball Bible plus minus and Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR).
It’s this kind of effort combined with the foremost knowledge and insight into the game that makes DYNASTY League Baseball’s player ratings the most realistic of any baseball simulation.