September 28, 2011 arguably goes down in MLB history as the Greatest single day in regular season history with a finish so unlikely and so dramatic it seemed it was scripted from the writers of “24”.
Dan Johnson’s 2-out, 2-strike Home Run in the bottom of the 9th that capped off a seven run comeback vs. the Yankees and saved the season for the Rays. For Johnson’s heroics he earned a Clutch hitting situation rating on his new 2011 season DYNASTY League Baseball player card. It is very unusual for a non-RBI leader to earn a Clutch hitting rating, but it has happened before with Al Weis 1969 Mets, Tom Lawless 1987 Cardinals and Manny Mota’s 1977 Dodgers player cards.
The AL East perennial powers Boston and New York both failed to earn a JAM situation rating for their relief aces Jonathan Papelbon and Mariano Rivera. Papelbon lost his chance for a JAM with an unimpressive .273 BA with RSP/2 out. Rivera was not only mediocre with a .261 BA/.435 SLG with RSP/2 out, but got rocked with RSP at a .326 BA/.488 SLG clip.
DYNASTY League Baseball fans Dave Kerpen and Andrew Kaufmann debated the merits of the Mets R.A. Dickey chance for a JAM rating in the 2011 season player card set. What it came down to is that even though Dickey won only 8 games he was a candidate for a JAM rating because he was amongst the Official ERA leaders with his 3.28 ERA. Dickey earned his JAM rating on the basis of a .184 BA/.241 SLG with RSP/2 out.
The poster boy for a JAM rating is Tim Lincecum who dialed it up with RSP/2 out allowing a .115 BA/.177 SLG. Now THAT is a pitcher who can get out of a jam!
Carp JAM rating? This year a resounding YES for Cardinal Ace Chris Carpenter.
How could he not after besting Phillie Ace Roy Halladay in a Game 5 NLDS 1-0 duel of aces to end all pitching duels? A .236 BA with RSP/2 outs during the regular season helps too.
Beer in the bullpen? The Red Sox cleaned house after the season becaue the clubhouse chemistry had gone awry. The starting rotation of Beckett, Bucholz, Lackey and Lester all got slapped with a D intangible rating for their Boston beer party.
Mark Buehrle staked his claim on this generation’s version of Jim Kaat with an A+ Range rating and 90 Error rating. Buehrle ranked #1 in the Fielding Bible Plus/Minus leaderboard for pitchers with a +4 score to his right, +2 in the middle and 9 runs saved.
Troy Tulowitzki (A/100/-5) earned an A Range rating on the basis of his excellent 5.05 Range Factor (1st) and his solid Fielding Bible +10 score. Error 100 ratings are historically rare and Tulowitzki’s .991 Fielding pct. got him the top historical rating on the scale. Tulo’s player card is a true gem topped off by his -5 Double Play pivot rating which was earned on the basis of his #1 ranked DP pct. of .681.
In the AL, Brendan Ryan (A/70/-5) ranked 1st in the shortstop Fielding Bible rankings for the second year in a row with a +22 Plus/Minus.
It’s rare that a rookie would debut with an A range rating, but that is exactly what the Angel’s Mark Trumbo (A/70) did ranking 1st in Fielding Bible Plus/Minus (+11).
Washington’s Rick Ankiel continues to not just impress, but to put himself in the pantheon next to Clemente in terms of throwing arms. Ankiel’s 7 “kills” and 9 runs saved ranked him 1st among all CF. MLB scouts also graded Ankiel’s arm an 8 on their 2-8 scale. Ankiel (B+/90/-4) earned a very rare -4 throwing arm rating in 2011 in both CF and RF.
Atlanta’s Michael Bourn continues to be as menacing as Jason Bourne – only Michael does his killing on the basepaths. Bourn scores a 10 Baserunning rating and top tier lead (7/6/2) and steal (8/7/1) ratings at 2nd/3rd/Home.
The new DYNASTY League Baseball 2011 season player card set is available for DYNASTY League Baseball Online right here right now and available in the original Board version format at the Ticket Window.
New to Pursue the Pennant and it’s successor DYNASTY League Baseball? DYNASTY League Baseball is an extremely realistic Baseball simulation game that has it’s roots in the original Pursue the Pennant board game that debuted in 1985 and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Hobby Games of the last 50 years.
In the DYNASTY League Baseball Online Greatest Teams leagues you will choose from one of 76 of the Greatest Teams in Baseball history and then Manage your team in a 12 team league that is divided up into AL and NL Divisions of 6 teams.
1) You will have fun learning Baseball history
Instead of reading about Baseball history in the process of managing your team and playing other great teams you will learn who the great historical players were and why they were so great because you are playing against the likes of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Stever Carlton, Tom Seaver and Dizzy Dean.
2) You will learn how Major League scouts evaluate a players “baseball tools” and the strengths and weaknesses of the greatest baseball players of All-Time.
3) You will learn offensive strategies by managing real MLB players.
When should you steal, hit and run, take the extra base, pinch hit, pinch run, sacrifice bunt and suicide squeeze? What is the best lineup and batting order for my team? When should I platoon vs. left-handed and right-handed pitchers and with which players?
4) You will learn defensive strategies by managing real MLB players.
When should you warm-up a relief pitcher, bring in a relief pitcher, bring in a defensive replacement, throw through or cut-off a throw, bring the infield in, set the infield corners in or call for the intentional walk? What is the best pitching rotation for my team?
5) You will learn which Major League ball parks are hitters or pitchers parks and the various outfield and foul territory dimensions.
As you play out your season you will be playing in historical ball parks from every era in Baseball history.
6) You will learn how a players fielding range, fielding percentage, throwing arm, double play pivot and catcher’s handling of pitchers effects various plays.
7) You will learn how power hitters, contact hitters, high on base hitters, clutch hitters, spray and pull hitters effect each at bat.
8) You will learn how control pitchers, ground ball pitchers, fly ball pitchers, strikeout pitchers, pitchers who rarely walk the lead off batter, pitchers who rarely give up HR with runners on base and pitchers who are tough in jams effect each plate appearance.
9) You will learn how fast and slow basestealers, baserunners with good and bad instincts effect steal attempts and taking the extra base. You will also learn how important both a pitchers ability to hold baserunners and catchers and outfielders throwing arms are.
10) You will learn about Baseball statistics and why they are important in evaluating players and making managerial decisions.
Do you know what OBP and SLG are, how they are calculated and why they are one of the best offensive indicators? Baseball is more than just physical tools it is a cerebral sport where at times the smartest teams and players can beat a more physically talented team.
The idea behind the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online “Series” was born in creating an easy way for friends to play live “Series” vs. each other. Everyone has at least one favorite “Series” and most likely one favorite friend or relative that experienced that same “Series” often times cheering for opposing teams.
You might want to play vs. your old college roommate, your life long friend who now lives in another state, your brother, father or son or your colleagues at work. Wherever you have friends or family DYNASTY League Baseball Online “Series” brings you closer to them.
New DYNASTY League Baseball Online Friends system
Now you can add your friends to DYNASTY League Baseball Online and easily invite them to play live face to face “Series” with you. The friends system shows you all of your friends and when they were last logged into to DYNASTY League Baseball Online.
I have been a life long Cardinals fan growing up in Wisconsin at a time when Milwaukee had no Baseball team, but I could follow the Cardinal radio broadcasts from a sometimes static filled Peoria, IL radio station signal. I also love the Brewers, but that came later when the Seattle Pilots moved to Milwaukee in 1970.
What happened in 2006 was an event so special that it hadn’t happened since 1968. Jamie’s favorite team the Tigers and my favorite team the Cardinals were meeting again in the World Series. DYNASTY League Baseball Online gives Jamie and I a chance to play the 2006 World Series anytime and as often as we wish so that we both can relive all the excitement and drama in a live face to face Series with our favorite teams.
Rivalries with your friends
Which World Series, ALCS or NLCS is your favorite? Are you a Yankees fan that has a Red Sox friend (yes that is possible) and would love to erase the memory of the 2004 ALCS? Are you a Cubs fan that wants to beat the 2003 Marlins in the NLCS and go to the World Series? Are you an Astros or Cardinals fan that wants to relive the thrills of the 2004 NLCS?
You can play solitaire with Total Access to every season and historical lineups
I wanted to make sure that “Series” also gave you the option to play solitaire as well. The really cool thing is that you can play vs. the new computer manager with Total Access to the complete library of DYNASTY League Baseball seasons. You feel like you are managing vs. the actual Manager because the computer Manager used Historical lineups from Retrosheet.org.
Thank you to all of the great fans of Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball for 25 fantastic fun years of playing!
Some of the history is captured at the DYNASTY League Baseball reviews and feature link with a new column just added “Yanks Control Board Meeting” from Michael Bauman of the Milwaukee Journal and MLB.com that left us all smiling.
We are celebrating 25 years of Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball during the AT&T Park Tour Tournament Express September 11-13. Your invitation to this amazing event is at the DYNASTY League Baseball League link.
If you are on Facebook, you can read about the AT&T Park Tour Tournament event at the DYNASTY League Baseball Fan page.
The Tour Tournament leads off Friday, September 11 from Union Station in Los Angeles, CA with connections from San Diego, Anaheim and Santa Barbara where we will board Amtrak’s Coast Starlight premier train with first class accomodations and private roomettes.
If you live in the San Franciso bay area there is an opportunity to join us on Saturday, September 12 for the Tour of AT&T Park, Greatest Teams bracket tournament and Dodgers vs. Giants game.
All of you native Giant and A’s fans in the bay area we want you to join our group coming from Los Angeles!
If you live in other parts of the country please contact us so we can help you connect into Los Angeles or San Diego.
As our on-board chef prepares breakfast, we’ll watch some of the most spectacular scenery in the USA roll by in the Dining car. After breakfast, we’ll head to the one of a kind Pacific Parlour car (the only passenger Parlour car on Amtrak) accessible to first class passengers only and ideal for gaming. In fact, it has a cabinet of board games. The Pacific Parlour car will be serving appetizers, wine and cheese so prepare to be pampered. This doesn’t even happen in the Legend seats at Yankee Stadium!
Our Greatest Teams tournament will allow you to select from any of the great teams. I’ll be on the tour tournament event of course and will be skippering the 1985 Cardinals. You’ll have your chance to play me with your favorite greatest team as well as all the other fans on the trip which will be some of the top competition.
On Saturday September 12 we’ll head out to AT&T Park for a tour. On your behind-the-scenes ballpark tour of sensational AT&T Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants, you will get to go places only the players and staff go including:
The Field Warning Track
Indoor Batting Cages
The Visitors’ Clubhouse
The Press Box
The Luxury Suite
Ballpark Features and Views
After the tour, we’ll be starting up a local mini-Greatest Team bracket style tournament right at AT&T Park that DYNASTY League Baseball fans from the Bay Area can join in with the group from San Diego and Los Angeles.
The tournaments will include play with the Board version, Windows version and the debut on the new Online version using the Giants Wi-Fi broadband wireless network at AT&T Park.
After the tournament our group will see the Dodgers battle the Giants at AT&T Park.
At the league page there are links to recaps of previous tour tournaments which have some incredible stories to be told.
Stadium Express are just a few of many stories. Above, Dan Treuden (middle) and Mike Mack (right) join me with the Green Monster looming behind before the hurricane hit on the Fenway Park Oympic Stadium Express Tour Tournament.
AT&T Park Express Tour Tournament includes:
– Greatest Teams tournament
Team selections are at this MLB.com News Blog:
– Round trip first class rail fare with private roomette and chef prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner on both Friday and Sunday.
– Two nights San Francisco Hilton Garden Hotel
– Tour of AT&T Ball Park
– Club Level ticket to Giants vs. Dodgers September 12, 2009
Double occupancy: $448
Tour, Tournament and Game only on September 12 for local DYNASTY League Baseball fans in the Bay area: $124
Space is limited…
Team selections on first come basis.
Deadline for reservations is Monday June 15, 2009
Call 561-494-2711 or email email@example.com
See you in September!
JAM rated pitchers can dominate non Clutch Hitting rated batters with runners in scoring position and 2 out and in close and late situations in DYNASTY League Baseball. They also are the kryptonite to otherwise terrorizing Clutch hitters by neutralizing their Clutch hitting ability.
Pitchers in DYNASTY League Baseball are awarded a JAM situation rating based on their performance primarily with RSP/2 and in Close and late situations with RSP/2 weighted more heavily.
I asked Dennis Martinez in our previous interview why he pitched so well in JAM situations and the answer seems to be in part being able to bear down in those situations. Great pitchers with great stuff more often than not perform exceptionally well in jam situations.
NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum is a great example.
Lincecum has made a meteoric rise to best pitcher in the NL. I love watching this guy pitch. Lincecum is a fast working pitcher who absolutely attacks the batter with a blazing fastball. In RSP/2 situations, Lincecum allowed a BA and SLG of .200/.311.
After having a mediocre year in 2007 and failing to get a JAM rating, Mariano Rivera came back with a vengeance in 2008. Rivera had a 1.40 ERA for the Yankees and a dominating RSP/2 BA/SLG of .045/.045. Your eyes are OK and it isn’t a typo: .045
This years biggest surprise at not getting a JAM? AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee. Lee had a tremendous season, but not in JAM situations where his RSP/2 BA/SLG was .289/.382. What Lee did do well was keeping lead off runners off base and was awarded an off situation rating (off ratings awarded to pitchers who rarely walk the lead off batter).
Here is a guy I hate to see pitching vs. either of my favorite teams the Cardinals and Brewers. My lasting memory of Roy Oswalt was during Game 6 of the 2005 NLCS. Albert Pujols had just launched a Brad Lidge pitch onto the railroad tracks at Minute Maid Field in Game 5 to save the Cardinals season and send the series back to old Busch Stadium. Oswalt faced off vs. Mark Mulder as I watched from my center field bleacher seat. The momentum was all with the Cardinals as Cardinal fans were sky high and Astro fans were deflated. Everyone hoped this would not be the last game at Busch Stadium, but Oswalt ended the Cardinals season and Busch Stadium in a completely dominating performance.
Oswalt was as tough as ever in 2008 with RSP/2 BA/SLG of .189/.243.
The Red Sox pitching staff, even without the injured Curt Schilling who perennially is as tough in JAM situations as any pitcher, still came through exceedingly well in the JAM situation awards.
Lead by “Dice K” Matsuzaka, the Red Sox staff has four JAM rated pitchers for 2008. Daisuke Matsuzaka blew away hitters with RSP/2 with a BA/SLG of .153/.222. Jonathan Papelbon, Josh Beckett and emerging lefty ace Jon Lester join Matsuzaka for Baseball’s most dominating pitching staff in JAM situations.
Smashing the All-Time single season saves record held by Bobby Thigpen in 1990, Francisco Rodriguez recorded an amazing 62 saves in 2008. In both Close and late .194/.264 and RSP/2 situations .208/.292, K-Rod excelled at getting out of jams.
48 batters stepped to the plate with RSP/2 and 20 of them went down in smoke to K-Rod.
With the 2008 AL and NL Gold Glove ratings being awarded here are a few highlights from the 2008 season DYNASTY League Baseball fielding ratings that have been awarded.
One of the more challenging fielding ratings to rate is a players Range rating. No one statistic can accurately rate a player’s fielding range. So how are Range ratings determined in DYNASTY League Baseball?
DYNASTY League Baseball uses a players Zone rating and his Range factor to determine where the player grades out on a historical scale. From there, the grade is cross-checked with input from major league scouts, beat writers, broadcasters and even players and managers. In 2008, more use is being made of John Dewan’s +/- fielding ratings as another source to check against.
OK, now onto the good stuff…
Albert Pujols. We all know he is the best hitter in Baseball. Do you know how great a fielder Albert Pujols is? Here is how Pujols ranked in +/- the last three years among first basemen:
Pujols zone rating in 2008?
.935 which ranks first among all regular first basemen.
Want more? Pujols Range factor at 1b was 10.64, again easily ranking first among all first basemen. Range factor at 1b can be misleading, but the fact that Pujols ranks so high in +/-, Zone rating and Range factor gives him a clean sweep.
Pujols not only has great range, but also rarely makes an an error fielding at a .996 clip with only 6 errors.
The NL Gold Glove first base award went to Adrian Gonzalez (B+ / 85), but the greatest hitter in Baseball is also the greatest fielding first baseman.
Pujols 1b: A+ / 85
St. Louis Post Dispatch’s Derrick Goold has a great blog on “Adding to St. Louis Cardinals’ golden history of Gloves” that includes the All-Time Gold Glove team leaders.
The Phillies and Rays were two of the best defensive teams in Baseball in 2008 so it is no surprise that both teams ended up in the World Series. Emerging as one of the prime fielding second basemen in Baseball is Chad Utley. Utley’s 5.18 Range factor and .844 Zone rating were both excellent. What stands out even more is Utley’s +47 +/- rating which ranked 1st among all second basemen by a wide margin (Mark Ellis +26 2nd).
Utley 2b: A / 75
One overlooked defensive outfielder is the Orioles Jay Payton. Payton put up outstanding to excellent Range factors in both LF (2.96) and CF (3.14) and also has a good arm allowing only 11 extra bases in 40 opportunites to advance (.275) in LF and (.432) in CF.
Look at some of the fan expressions as Jay Payton makes a great leaping catch at the wall.
Payton scored +6 with his +/- rating.
OK, the guy has Range, but does he commit a lot of errors a la Arizona’s Justin Upton (5 Error rating on a scale of 100)? Zero errors. A pristine perfect 1.000 fielding .pct earned Payton a 100 Error rating.
Payton lf: A / 100 / -1
cf: A / 100 / -1
Thankfully the Gold glove voters did not award the AL Gold Glove to Derek Jeter who once again had one of the worst Range factors (4.05) in Baseball. You saw how great Pujols was at first base. Now compare Jeters +/- rankings the last three years among regular shortstops to Pujols:
What Jeter did do well in 2008, was to make the plays hit to him as his .979 Fielding .pct earned him an 80 Error rating.
Jeter ss: D / 80
Player who has not received a Gold Gold yet and most deserves it?
Yadier Molina finally broke through in 2008 with a Gold Glove even though he had better defensive years previously.
Range Error Throw Passed Ball Handling
Yadier Molina A+ / 40 / -1 / B / A
Carl Crawford has been one of the premier defensive left fielders in Baseball for years in the anonymity of what has been Tampa Bay Rays Baseball. In 2008, Crawford lead regular LF in Range (2.28), Zone rating (.909) and +/- (+23). We have been watching or for many fans not watching one of the great defensive left fielders not only among current players, but of All-Time.
Crawford lf: A+ / 70 / 0
Who has Baseball’s best OF throwing arm?
It may well be Rick Ankiel.
The Pitcher turned Outfielder was featured in two amazing ESPN web gems throwing out a runner at 3rd from the warning track. Ankiel ranked 3rd best among CF in preventing runner advancement (.468) and the only question with his rifle arm is if it ranks with Roberto Clemente (-4 with that rating being reserved for the best of All-Time).
Rick Ankiel -3 Throwing arm (scale of -4 best of All-Time to +4 horrible)
Even though Brandon Inge has been moved all over the field defensively he still continues to amaze at third base even in a part-time role. In 51 games at third, Inge made only one error.
Inge 3b: A+ / 100
Among AL regulars at third base, Adrian Beltre had an excellent defensive season ranking first in Zone rating (.844) and +/- (+32).
Beltre 3b: A / 80
The Decade of the Underdogs Continues…
After the Subway Series in 2000, every World Series Champion with the exception of 2007 has waited a seeming eternity to win the World Series:
2001 Diamondbacks (1998)
2002 Angels (1961)
2003 Marlins (1997)
2004 Red Sox (1918)
2005 White Sox (1917)
2006 Cardinals (1982)
Phillies (1980), Mets (1986), Dodgers (1988), Rays (1998), Rockies (1993), Twins (1991)
What used to be an annual rite of Spring is now an annual rite of Fall. Instead of your player cards arriving around the time Pitchers and Catchers report to signal the start of the new Baseball season, your player cards arrive when the annual awards for Cy Young, MVP, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year and the Gold Glove awards are announced in November and the Hot Stove league heats up with trade rumors over the Winter Meetings.
We used to talk about the possibility of coming out with the new player cards in time for Christmas in some of our Pursue the Pennant meetings. Are you kidding? Not possible. It wasn’t even on the radar back then. To do what will happen with the release of the DYNASTY League Baseball 2008 season was unthinkable:
The DYNASTY League Baseball Windows version 2008 season CD will be released in November and all pre-orders are expected to ship the same week of release.
The DYNASTY League Baseball Board version 2008 season player cards will be released in November, the same as they have been since 2004, but here is what is different in 2008 on the board game player card front:
The entire printing system and equipment was upgraded this Summer and the results far exceeded expectations – printing speeds are now 40 x faster than before. What does that mean? The player card pre-orders that used to take 3-4 months to print, now will take 3-4 weeks. That’s right. So the staggered first in first out shipping won’t be nearly as staggered.
Everyone who pre-orders will have their season player card set shipped in November.
The new printing system also has the benefits of very high print resolutions with very sharp and clear text and a coating on the paper stock to prevent player cards from sticking.
The 2008 World Series teams will once again be offered as PDF’s so you can play the 2008 World Series. If you have placed a pre-order for the 2008 season, send an email to:
Include 2008 World Series in the subject of the email and your name in the body of the email and the PDF of the Rays and Phillies will be sent to you prior to the 2008 season release. Estimating the 2008 World Series PDF will be emailed in late October or early November prior to the release of the 2008 season set.
Mike Wilner of FAN 590 Radio has been pre-playing the World Series each year since 2004 with DYNASTY League Baseball. In case you missed it, Jamie Hall took over as Jim Leyland and I was Tony LaRussa as we pre-played the 2006 World Series before each game for CBS.
Size of the 2008 season set? Same as 2007 (972 players).
Top three most anticipated 2008 DYNASTY League Baseball teams:
Top three most anticipated 2008 DYNASTY League Baseball player cards:
Albert Pujols and Chipper Jones (tie)
Top three most anticipated 2008 DYNASTY League Baseball rookies:
2008 season playoff players receiving Clutch hitting ratings:
Ryan Howard .322 BA and .552 SLG RSP/2
Manny Ramirez .318 BA/.576 SLG RSP/2. Manny just being Manny, but he also gets a D Intangible rating for his antics with the Red Sox.
Mark Teixeira .352 BA/.716 SLG Close and Late
Kevin Youkilis .328 BA/.492 SLG RSP/2
Carlos Quentin .351 BA/.757 SLG Close and Late
Vladimir Guerrero .350 BA/.638 SLG Close and Late
Aramis Ramirez .423 BA/.873 SLG Close and Late
David Ortiz .346 BA/.885 SLG RSP/2 and bonus points for the three run jack in game 5 of the ALCS that sparked the greatest comeback in post season history.
Evan Longoria .333 BA/.754 SLG Close and Late
Garrett Anderson .356 BA RSP/2, .371 BA/.578 SLG Close and Late
Dustin Pedroia .368 BA/.526 SLG Close and Late
Andre Eithier .327 BA/.500 SLG RSP/2
Alexei Ramirez .321 BA/.566 SLG RSP/2
Biggest surprise not to get a Clutch hitting rating?
Chase Utley .242 BA RSP/2 and .221 BA in Close and Late
NOTE: Clutch hitting ratings are awarded based on a combination of stats including RSP/2, Close and Late, RSP and RBI.
DYNASTY League Baseball ULTIMATE Ball Park charts (Board version) and updated Ball park effects for the Windows version and Online version
New in 2008 are updated HR results for Minute Maid Park that include the Crawford Boxes,
Train Tracks (Pujols blast off Lidge in the 2005 NLCS) and Conoco HR porch.
Making it’s debut in 2008 is Nationals Park:
Most Anticipated New Version of Pursue the Pennant and DYNASTY League Baseball:
It probably won’t happen in 2008, but in 2009 it is likely that you will be able to pre-play the World Series with the new DYNASTY League Baseball Online version. If you have not had a chance to check out the new screen shots at the league link – it’s a must. DYNASTY League Baseball Online will be rocking the Baseball world in 2008 and 2009.
A next generation user interface is designed to make bracket style Greatest Teams tournaments and continuous Draft League play much easier, faster and more fun.
Don’t have enough time to play? A new profile based Computer Manager and Scheduler allow you to play live or have the game Managed for you based on your Manager profile so no matter how busy you are you’ll always have time for DYNASTY League Baseball Online.