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.