announcements

Merry Christmas, Strat Fans
Two Dozen Gifts Coming for Strat-O-Matic Baseball 2014
 
By Glenn Guzzo
 
For, oh, just about forever, Strat fans have regarded February as their Christmas, gift-wise, even if they had to buy their own presents. For many, early 2014 will be their best visit from Strat-O-Claus ever.
 
Their stockings will be stuffed with so many of the things that have been on their computer-baseball wish lists sent to the North Pole known as Glen Head, NY (if you’ve been to a frigid Opening Day at Strat-O-Matic headquarters, you know the analogy is apt).
 
There are going to be some wide-eyed looks of amazement (“I can’t believe it”) because some of these things have been on wish lists so long and in so many places, including The Talk Show. And because there is a roomful of presents – more than two dozen improvements in Strat-O-Matic Baseball 2014 (available for pre-order here).
 
OK, enough tease, even if Christmas gift-giving tradition demands hints, fidgety anticipation and surprise.
 
 
GET SMARTER. The computer manager you send and the CMs you play against will be way smarter thanks to these treats:
  • At last, gamers will be able to program pinch-hitting and pinch-running pecking orders. Create priority lists for pinch-hitting vs. righties and lefties, and reverse righties and lefties.
  • Set lineups for any type of pitching foe, defined by range of balance ratings (e.g. one lineup to face lefties with balance ratings of 6L to 9L, another to face lefties with balance ratings of 3L to 5L, etc.).
  • You can do that lineup thing in as many varieties as you want, because the number of preset lineups for each team will be expanded from five to 50. Replayers will love it, too. Imagine setting lefty and righty lineups for every period of the season (weeks, months, etc.).
  • Computer Manager Hal is going to be smarter about creating alternate lineups when a regular is unavailable or preset lineup is blank. “The game now senses situations where a player in the lineup can be moved to cover an open position (where no other available player is eligible to play that position),” the Help File reads. “It does this by subbing in a bench player who can play the newly opened fielding position. This code will reduce the number of times a player is started out of position.” 

 
ADD HOURS TO YOUR LIFE.
 Save tons of time with these “Easy Buttons”:

  • A single button in the Update Computer Manager dialog will auto-fill your starting-pitcher schedule based on your existing rotation. No more dragging and dropping 162 times. Get your rotation started, click the button and the game will fill the rest, starting with the first blank spot. “This can be used as-is, or you can use it as a base to work from since you can edit the individual games on the Starter Schedule,” the Help File assures.
  • Like to set certain standard Manager Tendencies, Super Hal Baserunning and Super Hal Bullpen Strategies for all the teams in your league? Hate having to do it one team at a time? With Strat-O-Matic Baseball 2014 you can import a single computer manager to another team, and another, and …
  • Speaking of Super Hal Baserunning, a new button allows you to reset all baserunning categories to a particular percentage. “For instance, if you normally use 65% for baserunning advancement you can click the "Reset All" button and enter in "65," the Help File coaches. “All baserunning categories will then be set to 65%, and then you can edit some individual categories to adjust the percentage as you see fit. Before the introduction of this button you would have needed to set every category individually, which is time consuming -- especially if you are setting computer manager baserunning for an entire league.”
  • Once you are playing, there’s another new convenience: All the info on the current batter-pitcher matchup available via the Compare button on the lineup screen can be displayed without switching screens. Just select the new “Detail 4 Pie” option to get a text box on the game screen instead of the usual Pie Chart. The new box will display percentages in 10 categories.
 

GIVE PEACE A CHANCE. Even the ones we love can frustrate us from time to time. Strat-O-Matic Baseball 2014 offers stress relief:

  • More Netplay Stability means fewer crashes. It means not have to reset ineligible players before every game in a series.
  • An optional feature that logs player-move errors in “as-played” season replays will make it easy to see and fix potential problems when a player schedule to be in the starting lineup is otherwise listed as ineligible.
  • Draft-O-Matic no longer will treat “double duty” batter/pitchers as separate players.
  • More than a dozen bugs have been exterminated. Some involved statistical reports, boxscore and game-story items and an occasional issue with the Out of Town Scoreboard.
 

DO THE MATH. Always a strength of Strat-O-Matic’s computer games, the stats are ever-better, including these number-crunchers in Strat-O-Matic Baseball 2014:

  • The Player Compare data accessed from the lineup screen now includes on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Elsewhere, listings will display “OPS” and “WHIP” instead of other terms, saving you the chore of adding stats.
  • Box scores will list seasonal totals for RBIs.
  • Run-scoring differential, displayed in black (positive) and red (negative) will be added to the standings display.
  • The Player Detail Report has a new section that shows Games Started at each position including games started as the Designated Hitter.
 

LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE. Stats aren’t the only way to communicate:

  • Social-media updates for Facebook and Twitter are included.
  • The Cuban and Dominican national anthems are options for games played in a Cuban or Dominican ballpark or involving Cuban or Dominican teams.
  • Many new lines of play-by-play will include team nicknames. 
 
There’s more. If you can’t wait for Strat-O-Claus, here’s the complete list of new features.
 
  
List Of New Features And Improvements In Strat-O-Matic Baseball 2014
 
1) Super Hal Pinch Hitting and Pinch Running Pecking Orders
- A new option has been added to Super Hal - the ability to define pecking orders for pinch hitters and pinch runners. For pinch hitters you can define separate pecking orders vs. Standard Lefties, Standard Righties, Reverse Lefties and Reverse Righties. There is a league option that toggles the use of these pecking orders on or off. These pecking orders are also displayed on the Super Hal team report.
 
2) Now up to 50 Preset Lineups per Team are supported - The number of preset lineups allowed per team has been expanded from 5 to 50. This will allow you to store lineups for all types of opponents and situations.
 
3) Draft League Mode Greatly Improved - The Draft League Mode on the Visitor and Home Team Lineups section of the Lineups And Usage dialog has been greatly improved. You can now define which preset lineup you would like to use against a defined range of opposing pitchers. For example, you can setup a preset lineup to be used only against left-handed pitchers who have a balance rating of between 3L to 5L. You get to define the range of balance ratings, and can set it however you desire. This provides tremendous flexibility when planning for upcoming games. With support for up to 50 lineups, Draft League Mode now becomes a great way of controlling the exact lineup you want to use against any type of starting pitcher.
 
4) Game Screen Layout - A new option has been added to the Game Screen Layout dialog called DETAIL 4 PIE. If you have the Pie Chart option selected then checking this box will display an alternate detailed textbox instead of the Pie Chart. The information shown is similar to the information available when you click on the Compare button of the Lineup screen. The following information will be displayed if you select this alternative, all based upon the current batter-pitcher matchup:
  • On Base Percentage
  • Slugging Percentage
  • Groundball - Double Play percentage
  • Strikeout Percentage
  • HBP Percentage
  • Walk Percentage
  • Single Percentage
  • Double Percentage
  • Triple Percentage
  • Home Run Percentage
 
5) Netplay Stability Improvements - Changes were made to Netplay in order to provide a more stable environment for playing games over the Internet. The changes addressed three areas of Netplay:
  • A problem with the compression routines which could result in intermittent crashes was tracked down and corrected. This situation was likely the cause of a number of seemingly unrelated problems.
  • A new way of handling eligible players was created so that in subsequent games within a series batters and pitchers are no longer automatically become eligible.
  • Better support for including scheduled starters in the list of eligible players (before this code was added a scheduled starter who was listed as ineligible sometimes caused a variety of problems).
These improvements should result in a more stable and user-friendly experience when Netplaying games.
 
6) Lineup Compare Dialog - The Player Compare accessed from the Lineup Screen now includes On-Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage for easier comparison of batter/pitcher combinations.
 
7) WHIP and OPS - A number of areas have been improved to display WHIP and OPS and also to consistently use the same headings on statistical reports.
  • Added WHIP to Main Game Screen, Player Detail Report (on Averages Line), Team Detail, and Misc/Sabermetric reports
  • Changed "OB+SL" heading to "OPS" on Player Detail Report, Team Detail, the Report Writer, and the Main Game Screen
  • Change "PROD" on 2nd Grand Totals League Report to "OPS"  
8) Boxscore Improvement - Boxscores now list the seasonal totals for RBIs.
 
9) Standings Display - Run scoring differential has been added to this report, positive run differentials are shown in black, negative in red to quickly help you see the teams who are the best and worst in this category.
 
10) Log Automatic Trans and Lineup Errors - This feature will be useful for cleaning up the automatic transaction and lineup files for "as played" season replays. When you turn this option on it will create an error log when you autoplay an as-played season. This error log will list problems that are found during the course of the replay. Now certain errors which were hard to detect, such as a player being in the lineup despite being ineligible, will be easy to see and fix. You can use the checkbox on the Miscellaneous Options screen to toggle this feature on or off.
 
11) Improved Accuracy for High Strikeout Pitchers - The Board Game Excesses feature has been improved to allow pitchers with a very high K/IP ratio to reach their strikeout totals in replays.
 
12) Position Player Games Started - The total number of games started by position players is now being tracked by the statistics package. Games started by position is already available on the Traditional Fielding Report, however the games started at DH was not being tracked because DH is not a fielding position. Now the game tracks all starts by position players in a separate field and it reports that information on the Team Usage Report. There is also a new section on the Player Detail Report that list Games Started by position, where you can see the number of starts at DH for a player. In addition, this total Games Started field has been added to the Export Player Stats function.
 
13) Computer Manager Starter Schedule - A new button has been added to the Update Computer Manager dialog that allows you to easily generate the Starter Schedule based upon the existing pitching rotation. Clicking the button causes the pitching rotation to be scanned to determine where the first blank slot is located.   All pitchers defined before that blank slot will be used, each in defined sequence in the rotation, to populate the Starter Schedule. This can be used as-is, or you can use it as a base to work from since you can edit the individual games on the Starter Schedule.
 
14) Computer Manager - Super Hal Baserunning Dialog - A new button has been added to the Super Hal Baserunning dialog to allow you to reset all baserunning categories to a particular percentage. This will be a nice timesaver when first setting up a team's computer manager. For instance, if you normally use 65% for baserunning advancement you can click the "Reset All" button and enter in "65". All baserunning categories will then be set to 65%, and then you can edit some individual categories to adjust the percentage as you see fit. Before the introduction of this button you would have needed to set every category individually, which is time consuming -- especially if you are setting computer manager baserunning for an entire league.
 
15) Draft-O-Matic - When Double Duty players are drafted in Draft-O-Matic both of the player cards will now be drafted (and count as one pick). Both names will appear in the draft report to indicate that two player records have been chosen. Previously, only one of the two cards was drafted causing the Double Duty player records to be split between two teams.
 
16) Social Media Updates - Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr all reworked their APIs since we released the Social Media features. Tumblr dropped support for our type of desktop applications, so we can no longer offer support for that service. Facebook and Twitter rewrote their APIs, and we have updated our Social Media program to use their new APIs. You will see some differences in how things work due to the changes introduced by Facebook and Twitter. Please refer to the Social Media topic for more information.
 
17) Import Computer Manager to another team - Support has been added to allow you to import a computer manager to another team. When doing this, only the following items will be imported - Manager Tendencies, Super Hal Baserunning, and Super Hal Bullpen Strategies. If you are planning on using the same strategies for all teams in a new league then this feature can save you a lot of time. In that case just setup the computer manager for one team, export that team's computer manager, then import it to all the other teams in the league. Note: Similar functionality exists in the Copy Computer Manager Logic feature, however the ability to do this with a computer manager allows you to share computer manager logic between computers by simply e-mailing the computer manager file.
 
18) Cuban & Dominican National Anthems - The Cuban and Dominican National Anthems have been added as options on the Update Ballpark dialog. 
 
19) Blank Preset Lineup - Some teams have only two defined lineups - one vs. lefties and another vs. righties. When Draft League Mode is used for teams like these the blank lineups (typically in the three and four slots) are now replaced by one of the two existing lineups. The appropriate lineup is selected as a substitute based upon how the opponent's starting pitcher throws. This results in lineups that generally appear more natural, which also provide the computer manager a much better base to work from (in case subs need to be made). This situation occurs on some stock older season rosters (where only two lineups have been defined). This improvement also helps in draft leagues where some managers fully define their Draft League Mode preset lineups while other managers define only two lineups.
 
20) Computer Manager Player Control Improvements - Following up on last year's changes, more code has been introduced to try to prevent players from playing out of position in the starting lineup. The game now senses situations where a player in the lineup can be moved to cover an open position (where no other available player is eligible to play that position). It does this by subbing in a bench player who can play the newly opened fielding position. This code will reduce the number of times a player is started out of position.
 
21) Bugs Fixed
  • Minor league eligibles were being capped at 25 even if you didn't have the 40/25 mode turned on.
  • There was an encyclopedia bug with the "X F" type players (from back in the 1990s) where the SQL code was not handling players with 1 character first and last names.
  • Fixed a bug in the Player Notebook where the Career Tab was not showing for certain players even though the encyclopedia was properly assigned to the league.
  • Other encyclopedia tweaks were made to improve the matching of players. Fixes were made to match Double Duty pitchers better, and to match very low usage players better (their low usage sometimes caused trouble finding a unique matching record).
  • On rare occasions the Super Hal Report would list a start that did not exist within the starter's schedule.
  • The computer manager substitution code had trouble recognizing when the team's only backup at the position being subbed for was already in the game, this has been resolved.
  • Game Story - A number of game story glitches have been cleaned up.
  • There was a bug with the Eligibles button on the pre-game setup screen while using "as played" data. When there was a non-asterisk starter that started with less than 4 days rest the "as played" feature properly allowed the pitcher to start un-fatigued. But if you clicked on the Eligibles button before starting the game then the starter was being tagged as being fatigued. Note: a similar problem existed for Scheduled Starters (when not playing with as-played) and it has been resolved as well.
  • The RISP 2-OUTS section of the boxscore was being miscalculated in some circumstances. 
  • If a double-duty "starter-only" pitcher was used to pinch-hit then the computer manager was using him in relief instead of bringing in a pitcher who was rated as a relief pitcher. This, for example, would happen quite often with 1938 Red Ruffing because he was his team's primary pinch-hitter that year.
  • The Player Detail statistical report was showing an incorrect number of walks for the "Clutch" and "Loaded" categories.
  • The Out of Town Scoreboard would sometimes show one or both of the current game's teams. This was due to a file being left over from a previous run of the game.
  • The corners were sometimes positioned In by the computer manager when not using the Super-Advanced rules (this was also happening in the Lite game).
  • After a pitcher was added to a team's roster the Superhal Bullpen pecking orders did not always show the pitcher, or it would sometimes show another pitcher twice.
  • The Wildcard section of the League Standings had a bug where the magic number was not showing for some teams that were tied for the last available playoff spot.
22) New Seasons – Support has been added for the following new seasons: 2013 Deluxe Super Advanced season, 1973 Deluxe Super Advanced season, 1875 National Association, 1927 Negro Leagues, 1937 Negro Leagues (plus 2 bonus Dominican teams), 1986 Japanese Baseball League, 2013 Japanese Baseball League and the Cuban Stars (6 teams of 1962 to current stars).
 
23) Ballpark Photos 
  • 6 new ballpark pictures - Los Angeles (day), Texas (day and night), Tampa Bay (day), Anaheim (day), Pittsburgh (day).
  • 34 new ballpark entry pictures - Chicago-AL-6, Los Angeles-7, Texas-4, Tampa Bay-8, Anaheim-4, Pittsburgh-5
 
24) Play-By-Play  
  • Over 1,100 new lines of Nickname play-by-plays have been included!
  • All 30 team play-by-play files have been edited and updated for 2014 season. 
 
25) Roster Improvements and Corrections - The ROSTER CORRECTIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS TEAM brings you these upgraded rosters:
  • n.b. Some of these sets include Read notes inside the roster's Zip file.
  • 1876 <> 1900 AP files cleaned up (by using New Feature #10)
  • 1876 Adds NYN Carver PB rating
  • 1917 Adds new 99 set
  • 1920NG 2 Name changes; 1 bat hand change
  • 1931NG 1 Name change; SLG manager added
  • 1961 Improved AL trn; corrected a few pitcher strikeout totals
  • 1969 Improved NL trn
  • 1969 Replaced NYN Jorgensen card
  • 1973JL Replaced OSJ Gondo card; 1 Name change
  • 1975 Added MON Dwyer CF rating
  • 1982 Improved NL trn; improved CHN Default Lineup vs LHP
  • 1992 Corrected CLA Alomar Name; edited team code ATN Glavine 99 card 
  • 2012 Debuts Multi-card AP set; Improved lup, trn, and schpit