The Talk Show – February 2019

THE TALK SHOW

Host: Glenn Guzzo

You can submit your question or insight on any Strat-O-Matic game to glenn@strat-o-matic.com. When you do, kindly include your name and town. Other gamers like to see that.   And the display format below works better that way.

Reminder: Send us your “‘Great Moments in Strat” – your playing experiences that you just have to share.

THAT ’70s SHOW

Is there any plan to re-release the decade of the ’70s with Super Advanced verions? I’ve been a Strat-er since being introduced to the game in 1980 at my first post-college professional accounting firm! (accountants love stats!)

              I have collected all the recreated past seasons, but there is a huge hole in completing the “set”, so to speak, with ’70s seasons that have never been re-released to any advanced level of play, namely 1972, 1974, 1976, and 1979. I’m getting pretty old now and near retirement. Would love to have the cards for those four seasons in particular. Would be okay with 1952 as well but would much prefer to close up some of those ’70s gaps.

Gregg Hawkins, Nolensville, TN

             For those of us who want ALL the seasons of any era, it’s a painful wait when they are released one at a time, fluctuating between decades. I share your pain about the race to the end of the line, so to speak. The encouraging news is that the ’70s seasons already released in Super Advanced format have sold well for Strat-O-Matic, so we can expect more of them/.

DIAMOND GEMS

Never before have I seen something for sale and ordered it that very minute – or at least I hadn’t until I saw the advertisement for SOM’s 1980s Diamond Gems set, which includes the 1981 Dodgers.  You see, 1981 was the year that I was firmly hooked on baseball for the rest of my life, as my childhood hero Fernando Valenzuela led the Dodgers to the championship.  In the months that followed, I spent many hours trying to work out how I could make a baseball game using baseball stats and dice.  Then, by chance, I went to Kay-Bee Toys and saw a game that I’d seen advertised in Street and Smith’s Baseball Yearbook.  I dug deep into my pocket and bought it, and I discovered that the primitive idea I’d had as a teenager had already been fully fleshed out as Strat-O-Matic Baseball.  I was hooked again.

To now see one 1981 team out of 26 reissued with pitcher hold ratings and clutch hitting and all the other features that didn’t exist 37 years ago is marvelous.  But a fully reissued set could be truly awesome, simply because of one player: Mike Schmidt.  In 1981, Mike Schmidt hit .316 with 31 HR and 91 RBI.  Projected to 162 games, that becomes 47 HR and 138 RBI.  But if you think about it, Schmidt’s numbers should be even better than that.  Why?  Because, in SOM, offensive numbers go up in June/July/August and down in April/May/September.  The other strike year, 1994, lost one up month (August) and one down month (September), so projections based upon four months of data had some accuracy in season replays.  In 1981, however, teams played all their games in April/May/September – but lost essentially two out of three months’ worth of games in the hot summer months, when hitting explodes.  Projections based upon 108 games or so don’t adequately account for the missing weeks of hitters’ weather.

So what numbers could Schmidt put up in a full season if you gave him back those eight weeks of summer?  Or how about other hitters such as Andre Dawson (24 HR) or Eddie Murray, Bobby Grich, Tony Armas, and Dwight Evans (all 22 HR)?  We don’t know right now, but the reissued Dodgers will keep me wondering about 1981 for a while longer.

P. Sean Bramble, Jessup, MD

 

1.     Great story about your introduction to SOM, Sean. The 1981 Schmidt, owned by my draft-league opponent, terrorized me plenty with that card as is. Seems he hit a grand slam every other series! Just guessing, but as an incomplete season that struck so much fear into SOM creator Hal Richman that he offered his first classic season (1956) to boost his 1982 sales, I would wager that we are a long way off from seeing a full-season re-creation of 1981.

2.    BEEN WAITING SO LONG

I really, really have come to appreciate SOM over the last 12 months or so. The ratings are obviously tremendous with a lot of research behind them, but one of the things that has REALLY grabbed me is that it is apparent to me that SOM also cards players for HOW they really make outs. This kind of data built into the cards plus the depth of research in the ratings really makes SOM shine, IMO. Thanks for your hard work on the game.

On another note, I am excited to see SOM doing a set like the 1980s/1990s. That should be a lot of fun. I look forward to seeing the 1998 Yankees. I didn’t find SOM until 1998 was long sold out, so I’ve never seen that team.

Josh

             Thanks, Josh. I’m sure that everyone at SOM appreciated that you recognize the extra effort that goes into making Strat-O-Matic so realistic. You are right that SOM cards are calculated with groundball/flyball ratios in mind and, where possible, with pull tendencies. And very high-strikeout guys – both batters and pitchers – will have fewer productive outs (e.g. gbC and flyB) on their cards (but fewer double-play grounders, too).

             That’s the idea behind doing the 1980s and 1990s teams — for those who never had the chance to buy them from SOM.

DIAMOND MINING

Will there be Diamond Gems sets for teams in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s?

Phil, Passaic NJ

          We can hope. It may be important to note that the Diamond Gems sets for the 1980s and 1990s mostly involved teams from sets no longer in print at Strat-O-Matic. 

ANOTHER VOTE FOR 1962

A reprint of the 1962 season would be greatly appreciated. That was my first experience with Strat and I have been hooked ever since. As you probably have surmised, I am old and may not have a lot of dice rolling days left. Phil from Passaic, NJ summarized that year’s many highlights better than I can in the June Talk Show. Life has been very good to me; but this would be the cherry on top. Use of that expression should verify my age.

Mike, Los Osos, CA

As I said in June, that also was my first season with Strat-O-Matic, and its historical significance as SOM’s first season with all the teams makes it a natural for recreation in Super Advanced format. Impatient like many others, I replayed the 1962 American League early this year after playing the 1962 NL many years ago.

40 HR and a “W”!

Remember this past April’s Talk Show where we discuss (again) players with the most overall HR in a season while having “w” power against either lefties or righties?

Well, today I got an email from my oldest brother Roy. He had no idea I had ever posed this question and, incidentally, he played Strat for the first time at my request during a family reunion this summer. He said he heard it mentioned during today’s Cubs/Brewers game 163 that in 1957 all of Duke Snider’s 40 homers came off righties. I double checked this and it’s true!

Chris Bacchi

            Great find! The Duke goes up to No. 2 on the leader board, behind 2002 Lance Berkman, who had 42 HR and a “W” vs. left-handed pitching.

            You know, baseball history buffs like to point out that lefty Warren Spahn did not often pitch against the heavy-hitting right-handed Brooklyn lineup. But as this data shows, Duke Snider, sometimes the only left-handed batter in that lineup, did not face many lefties, either.

SOLO FOOTBALL HELP

I use the attached chart in my solitaire football league to determine whether the defence will guess run OR pass. It uses a 20-sided dice or cards with 1-20 (just like the hockey game). I find it to be much more realistic in terms of allowing for keying against, say, a team with a poor run defence and a very good pass defence. My system allows a team with a poor run defence to guard against run plays much better than SOMFB’s 1-3 vs the run and 4-6 vs the pass.

If you have the time, please give it a look see.

Dan Reed , Strat fanatic, Canada

SOMFB Team Defence Chart

                            

    Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass
    E A-G G A A-P VP
Run E R 1-10

P 11-20

R 1-9

P 10-20

R 1-8

P 9-20

R 1-7

P 8-20

R 1-6

P 7-20

R 1-5

P 6-20

Run A-G R 1-11

P 12-20

R 1-10

P 11-20

R 1-9

P 10-20

R 1-8

P 9-20

R 1-7

P 8-20

R 1-6

P 7-20

Run G R 1-12

R 13-20

R 1-11

P 12-20

R 1-10

P 11-20

R 1-9

P 10-20

R 1-8

P 9-20

R 1-7

P 8-20

Run A R 1-13

P 14-20

R 1-12

R 13-20

R 1-11

P 12-20

R 1-10

P 11-20

R 1-9

P 10-20

R 1-8

P 9-20

Run A-P R 1-14

P 15-20

R 1-13

P 14-20

R 1-12

R 13-20

R 1-11

P 12-20

R 1-10

P 11-20

R 1-9

P 10-20

Run VP R 1-15

P 16-20

R 1-14

P 15-20

R 1-13

P 14-20

R 1-12

R 13-20

R 1-11

P 12-20

R 1-10

P 11-20

E = Excellent; G = Good; A= Average; P = Poor; VP = Very Poor

            Thanks, Dan. Solitaire football players are always looking for new ways to automate their play-calling. Yours is an easy-to-use system with a small table-top “foot print.”

WILD CATCHERS

 I noticed specifically a couple of times this season where a pitcher will give up a wild pitch on a CATCHER-X reading, even though his WP rating is 0 (WP-0).  Am I forgetting something — is this one a function of the catcher’s “blocking ability” (so to speak), rather than the 20-sided die roll that goes along with the 3-dice roll (that can be a WP based only on the pitchers WP rating?

Also, do you know if the game still excludes triple results for players who had no real-life triples?  I remember that being part of the program, but thought it was eliminated.  But I’ve noticed that it seems like whenever there is a split with a triple for a player who never had one, the triple never seems to come up on the split.

Clay Grant, Atlanta 

In SADV play, the Catcher’s Card yields a WP automatically with men on when the 20-sided split roll is 1-4 … Here is what the Help File says when you have the max rule for “doubles/triples options” toggled on:

“As another example, say you are using the `Doubles/Triples’ Maximum Rule.  Say that the batter had 2 triples in 500 real-life at-bats and the following split is rolled on the pitcher’s card:  `Triple 1-3, Double 4-20`.  A random number would be used along with his real-life triple percentage to determine if a triple would be allowed to occur on this split.  If it is not allowed, then the double would be used. If you think about it, that would result in more doubles for this batter than he hit in real-life.  So further adjustments must be made to account for that.  Add to the mix the adjustments that are made for ballpark double and triple effects and, as you might imagine, the calculations that have been developed to perform this work are very complex.”

X CHANCES IN THE HIGH-K ERA

Has there been any thought to a change in the frequencies of X chances?  I do understand that deconstructing the game comes with consequences, but we do read over and over again (in real life) about how fielding is somewhat deemphasized because of how many strike outs (and to an extent, home runs) there are now.

The X-chart frequencies must have been determined based on the question, “How often does the quality of the fielder make a difference in baseball game results?”  That number must have changed at this point.

Does that have something to do with the overall improvement in fielding ratings (more “1’s” than before), so that there are more outs (less hit) results from the fielding chart than before?  I recall us discussing this briefly awhile back and you had indicated that, yes, fielding has improved through the years.  But now I’m wondering if part of that equation is that fielding has become less game-affecting than it used to be?

Clay Grant, Atlanta 

            Yes, Strat-O-Matic has examined this for several years and the encouraging, though somewhat surprising, result is that the game still reproduces overall strikeout frequency very well. One thing to keep in mind: The X-chances represent the TOUGH fielding chances. Most plays handled by Major Leaguers are routine. In 2017, for instance, Minnesota CF Byron Buxton led MLB outfielders in putouts and in tough (starred) catches as determined by Statcast. Yet, 60 percent of Buxton’s catches did not even rate a star. So, when high-strikeout pitchers and batters lose groundball and flyball A, B and C chances, lineouts, pop outs and foul outs, there’s still room for all the X-chances for the vast majority of players.

            If the time comes when that is no longer true, you are correct: There will be a domino-effect of consequences when each pitcher has a different combination of X-chances.

OVERTHROWS

 There is never an outfield over-throw.  I know the answer is that “these are combined into other errors, they just come out as straight one-base errors …” Aren’t overthrows on plays with players trying to take an extra base fairly frequent?  It does seem like on the plays that involve attempting to take an extra base or getting the trail runner, it would be nice to have that aspect figure into the decision-making.   I think about this one often, imagining a play on a throw or a relay … and nothing REALLY bad can ever happen.

It could be part of the rare plays — if there was a SI2 and a RP (with a runner going from 1st to 3rd), there could be an overthrow by the outfielder and all runners move up one base.  (Pretty good idea, eh?)

Clay Grant, Atlanta

            The Windows game has this outcome and, it seems to me, it happens often enough to make the defending team’s coach cut off more throws than he would in the board game. Before SOM introduced its Super Advanced Fielding Chart, I had my own rule, not unlike the overthrows for catchers: If the 20-sided came up 1-3 on a throw by an outfielder, it could be a throwing error. Roll the 20-sided again against the outfielder’s error rating.

THE SEASON NEVER ENDS

I’m 63 years old people ask me what I do baseball season is over? I lol at them that I have Strat-O-Matic Baseball. My season is just starting.

T.P. Deharts

Nice way to END this Talk Show! Thanks.

9 Replies to “The Talk Show – February 2019”

  1. jeff fisher says:

    Any thought of adding the Create Fringe Player option that SOM Computer Baseball has to the other SOM Computer games?

  2. David Shumway says:

    Today was SOM Opening Day. When will pictures be posted ? I have never been to a SOM Opening Day and am targeting 2020 to do that.

  3. Jim Venneri(alias Rainman) says:

    I know I don’t have a vote in this but Clay from Atlanta should be consulted for any and
    all rule changes. His insight and observations make this 36 year veteran of Strat Baseball
    and Football games re-think many rules!

  4. somhoops says:

    Great talk show, Glenn. Really enjoy this one! Keep up the good work – Jason

  5. Craig Corey says:

    I am so glad to hear that the 1970’s seasons are in the works. I can’t wait. I have been away from Strat for about 30 years. Went the video game route and now have come full circle. I am currently playing the 1969 Senators season. It is so good to be HOME!!

  6. Bob Haas says:

    Glenn, thanks for keeping the talk show going, I am glad to be back to Strat and reading along with other fans….Bob NJ

  7. JOHN NOCERO says:

    would love to see another 1970s season – preferably 1979

  8. schmidt bibs says:

    Schmidt spent his first four years within the league with
    the Capitals, and his best season came in 2015-2016 when he posted 16 factors (two
    targets, 14 assists) in 72 video games while registering 18:04 of ice time per game.

    Marchessault scored his second of the game and 10th aim
    of the season, assisted by Colin Miller and Reilly Smith. “He really highlighted what he wished from me at the beginning of the 12 months and to be able to observe that path through the first couple weeks of the season, which was slightly tough,” Schmidt said.
    In 48 games this season, Schmidt has already eclipsed that,
    racking up two targets and 10 assists from the Washington blue line and is a
    plus-13. These excessive-collection playing cards and retro variations combine to fall
    two per pack. The Hall of Fame Patch playing cards
    are really nice. Obviously he received an actual nice contract that he deserves,
    and we miss him quite a bit.

  9. Alan L. Dehn says:

    The gamer who was saying he would like 1962 redone gave me pause as I will turn 70! this year. On another note just last month the tenant above me started his apt. on fire!. The firemen put out the fire but pored a ton of water into his apt. down through the ceiling of my apt. Thanks to the gamer I for get his name, sorry. Who made mention that he stored his cards in plastic snap box’s. Thanks to him my entire collection of 50 years stayed dry and safe due to those box’s. Who ever you are a heart felt thank You! Alan L. Dehn Scotia, New York, 12302.

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