announcements

FREE ONLINE DRAFT ADDED TO
WINDOWS BASEBALL GAME

 
By Glenn Guzzo
 
One of the most significant features ever for Strat-O-Matic’s Windows baseball game will be arriving soon – a free Online Draft service.
There are more than a dozen other improvements in Strat-O-Matic Baseball 2015 for solo gamers as well as league gamers and for stock-team play as well as draft/custom-team play. But clearly, the headliner is the multi-faceted Online Draft.
Draft leagues can choose a traditional, linear draft like those used in pro leagues, or a serpentine draft order. They may choose a draft with no time limit between picks or set intervals of 30, 45, 60, 90, 120 or 150 seconds. Manager can watch the draft live online, and live-chat their comments. Or, if a manager is summoned away, he can assign a preference list for the computer to choose for him.
In the case of a tardy league member, the draft can still keep moving: Either the computer will pick the best player available (in a timed draft), or the league commissioner can make the pick for the absent coach. (Warning to the missing coach: “Best player available” is not necessarily the positions you most need to fill.)
Online draft should be easy to use. The commish creates or updates the league so he can place the eligible players in the free-agent pool, then uploads the file to the SOM server (where the draft is conducted) and launches the Online Draft mode. Each draft participant uses his Strat-O-Matic website sign-in and password. Draft picks are viewed by league members live, in real time. When the draft is complete, the commish downloads the draft file and deploys an import function, which places all the drafted players on their correct teams.
Draft participants will be able to see the entire list of drafted players and undrafted players. When evaluating a potential pick, the draft screen will display each player’s name, his bat/throw hand, his position and fielding rating, his actual stats and his SOM balance rating.
 
CARD IMAGE INTEGRATION OF BALLPARK EFFECTS
Not drafting anytime soon? Strat-O-Matic Baseball 2015 offers many other improvements.
If you use the card-image option (most Windows gamers do), the ballpark effects are now integrated into the card image displayed on the Game Screen Layout. Instead of the original (advanced) card result, the actual ballpark effects result is shown on the cards (e.g. a ballpark with Homerun 1-9 will show N-HR 1-9 whenever a dice roll lands on a diamond). Those results will display in yellow to signal the change.
 
“This will make it easier to evaluate the current batter and pitcher and will make more sense when the ballpark result is rolled with the dice,” the Help file notes. If you want to see the original reading, no worries: View the player's original card image by clicking on the player's name to display his notebook. 
 
 
OTHER CONVENIENCES
  • Your custom league now can handle 36 teams, up from 30. Very handy for gamers who like to set up 32-team tourneys, or who love eight-team divisions.
  • An optional Condensed Play Log has been added to the Daily Reporter and Newspaper Games Stories reports. Every at-bat outcome is shown in abbreviated fashion, showing each batter’s name with such suffixes as –G for ground out, -F for flyout, -P for pop out as well as the expected –K for strikeout, -W for walk, -SI for single and so on. 
  • Now you can Copy a pinch-running pecking order to another. For example, your order vs. Standard Righties can be copied vs. Reverse Righties without having to start over from scratch. Then rearrange as you please.
  • Lineups can be set to be used only in games using the designated hitter. It’s in Draft League Mode, but also works very nicely for replays where National League teams use the DH only on the road vs. American League teams.

 

THE COMPUTER MANAGER KEEPS LEARNING
Already a worthy opponent, HAL keeps closing the gap in competition with the sharpest gamers.
You can send your bullpen on the road in CM-managed leagues with more confidence thanks to a new setting called "Always remove reliever at end of inning." Before that specialty-reliever can get into trouble by pitching too long, the computer manager will always remove this pitcher after the current inning ends. This also emulates many modern-day managers who assign inning-by-inning roles to their bullpen staff.  
 
Draft-O-Matic logic will be sharper, too, when it comes to filling a roster. Now it will place more value on overall skill rather than focusing exclusively on fitting an available role on the team.
 

THERE’S NEVER TOO MANY STATS
Evaluate players better with such new tools as WAR (wins over replacement value) and other newer sabermetric-type stats such as BABIP (batting average on balls in play) in the Player Detail Report.
 
WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) have been added to the Pitcher Game Log report. Batter and pitcher notebooks now display Slugging on the Hitting and Pitching tabs.
 
Box scores now list Team RISP. For example, "2-for-7" means the team had two hits in seven times at bat with runner(s) in scoring position.
 
The pre-game Game Notes has more statistical information about the games already played in the current series -- winning and losing pitchers (and their updated records) and the reliever who earned a save.
 
And, addressing a minor annoyance for perfectionists, the Awards Voting Report will now display All-Star, Gold Glove, and Silver Slugger awards based upon the positions that players were used in replays instead of their real-life primary positions.
 
 
RELIABLE UPDATES
 
As always, the latest Windows edition updates play-by-play files, ballpark pictures – there are seven new ones for Chicago-NL (day and night), Oakland (day and night), Kansas City (night), Atlanta (day and night) – and support for all the new seasons available from SOM. That’s 2014, 1969 (Deluxe Super-Advanced), 1953 (Deluxe Super-Advanced), 1873 National Association, 1911 Negro League, 1922 Negro League, 1934 Negro League, 1945 Negro League, and 2014 Japanese Baseball.
 
There’s updated support for Blogger and Twitter, too.
 
And, as usual, the prolific Update Team keeps refining rosters, this time involving 31 seasons, with heavy emphasis this year on being more sensitive to season-by-season roster-limit rules regarding player transactions.
 
Here’s the complete list of improvements to Strat-O-Matic Baseball 2015:
1) Free Online Draft - Now your league members can hold your draft in real-time on the Strat-O-Matic servers, and the best part about it is that this is a free service! To hold the draft, the commissioner of the league sets up the league files using the Windows game, then uploads them to the Online Drafting website. From there the entire draft is held online, in real-time. After the draft, the commissioner downloads the files and imports them back into the Windows game so that league play can commence.
 
2) Support for up to 36 Teams per League - The previous limit was 30 teams in a league. This has been increased to a maximum of 36 teams in a league.
 
3) New Computer Manager Relief Pitcher Setting - A new setting called "Always remove reliever at end of inning" has been added to the Computer Manager Pitcher Settings dialog. The computer manager will always remove this pitcher after the current inning ends (in other words, before the next inning begins). Many modern day managers will do this with particular relief pitchers, normally limiting them to one or less innings pitched per appearance.  
 
4) Card Image - Ballpark Effects - If you have purchased the Card Image Option, then the ballpark effects are now integrated into the card image displayed on the Game Screen Layout. Instead of the original (advanced) card result, the actual ballpark effects result is shown on the cards. This will make it easier to evaluate the current batter and pitcher and will make more sense when the ballpark result is rolled with the dice. Note that the only place this is done is on the in-game batter vs. pitcher card image (where the dice are rolled). You can still view the player's original card image by clicking on the player's name to display his notebook. Also note that the ballpark effect results are shown in yellow to indicate the original card result has been replaced with the ballpark result.
 
5) Condensed Play Log - An optional Condensed Play Log has been added to the Daily Reporter and Newspaper Games Stories reports. This log shows every play that happened in the game in a condensed format. When you select this option on the Autoplay/Boxscore Options dialog, this new play log will appear on both the Daily Reporter and the Newspaper Game Stories.
 
6) Support for DH Specific Lineups - Draft League Mode now allows lineups to be defined, which are to be used only when the DH rule is turned on. As an example of how this can be handy, this capability allows you to define DH lineups for National League teams, which will be used when they play interleague games on the road vs. American League teams.
 
7) WAR, BABIP and Other Sabermetric Stats Added to Player Detail Report - WAR and other newer sabermetric-type stats such as BABIP have been added to the Player Detail Report. These new metrics are useful tools when evaluating player performances as they provide additional insights into the value that each player adds to his team.
 
8) Pitcher Game Log Report - WHIP has been added to the Pitcher Game Log report.
 
9) Awards Voting Report - This report has been improved so that the all-star, gold-glove, and silver slugger awards are now based upon the positions that players were used in replays instead of their real-life primary positions.
 
10) Boxscore Improvement – Box scores now list Team RISP. For example, "2-for-7" means the team had two hits in seven times at bat with runner(s) in scoring position.
 
11) Game Notes - The Game Notes feature has been improved by adding more information about the current series games that have been played. There is now another line following each game that indicates the winning and losing pitchers (and their updated records) and also the reliever who recorded a save (if there was one).
 
12) Player Notebooks - Batter and pitcher notebooks now display Slugging on the Hitting and Pitching tabs.
 
13) Draft-O-Matic - The Draft-O-Matic logic has been improved by adding another internal layer of player evaluation. This will result in a better selection of batter cards with more emphasis now being placed on drafting players who not only fit an available role on the team, but who also bring a higher overall skill level. Previous versions of the draft logic were more focused on just filling out team roles.
 
14) Super Hal Pinch Running - A COPY button has been added to this dialog. This button can be used to copy one Pinch Running pecking order to another. For example, say you first setup your order vs. Standard Righties. Your order vs. Reverse Righties might be similar. Instead of creating it from scratch, you could copy the Standard Righties order to Reverse Righties order and then customize the Reverse Righties order with just the differences.
 
15) Social Media Updates - Blogger & Twitter Support Updated: Support has been added for the new Twitter and Blogger APIs. IMPORTANT - You must read the note about setting up blogger in order to use this feature! The Twitter access code was also completely rewritten to support Twitter's new API. Please refer to the Social Media topic for more information.
 
16) Bugs Fixed
  • Draft League Mode was choosing the wrong starting lineup against pitchers who had extreme balance ratings. For example, vs. Joe Saunders (2013, SEA) the program was not correctly using the L9L lineup.
  • Netplay would sometimes hang when using the Actual Pitcher's Hitting card feature.
  • Newspaper Style Recap - Starting pitchers for double-headers were not displaying properly.
  • The Game Notes report would sometime incorrectly display the starting pitchers for upcoming scheduled games.
  • The Player Detail Report was not reporting games started by pitchers for Double-Duty players properly. The Games Started section of the batting report was showing the pitcher's games started under "DH" instead of under the "Pi" column.
  • When Double Duty players pinch hit in the top of the 9th they were always being used in relief at the start of the bottom of the 9th inning, even in situations where a more appropriate reliever was available in the bullpen.
  • Added Strikeouts to Traditional Pitching in the Report Writer (this should have been on the report by default).
 
17) New Seasons - Support for the new 2014, 1969 (Deluxe Super-Advanced), 1953 (Deluxe Super-Advanced), 1873 National Association, 1911 Negro League, 1922 Negro League, 1934 Negro League, 1945 Negro League, and 2014 Japanese Baseball seasons has been added.
 
18) Ballpark Photos 
  • 7 new ballpark pictures - Chicago-NL (day and night), Oakland (day and night), Kansas City (night), Atlanta (day and night)
  • 33 new ballpark entry pictures - Chicago-NL-4, Oakland-6, Kansas City-4, Texas-1, Colorado-5, Atlanta-6, Houston-2, San Francisco-5
 
19) Play-By-Play  
  • Over 500 new lines of Nickname play-by-plays have been included.
  • New and updated Trivia questions are included.
  • All 30 team play-by-play files have been edited and updated for 2015 season. 
 
20) Roster Improvements and Corrections   
The Roster Corrections and Improvements Team brings you these upgraded rosters:
 
n.b. Most of these sets include Read notes inside the roster's Zip file.
 
  • 1882 WON J Smith name change
  • 1889 Name changes
  • 1901U Improved trns; Name changes
  • 1920G ACG Barber, CGG Smith and DYG Webster batting hand change
  • 1927G BAG Irvin Brooks name change
  • 1931G HOG Harry Williams name change
  • 1937G NYG city name change; TCG Harry Williams name change
  • 1942G NYG city name change; NYG Harry Williams name change
  • 1945U Debuts PHC set; Name changes
  • 1961U Improved trns (roster # limits)
  • 1962U Improved trns (roster # limits); MNA Sadowski, WAA Ripplemeyer IP corrected
  • 1963U Improved trns (roster # limits); Corrected 07/13 lup entry
  • 1964U Improved trns (roster # limits)
  • 1965U Improved trns (roster # limits); Corrected KCA Pena lup entries
  • 1968U Improved NL trn (roster # limits)
  • 1970U Improved AL trn (roster # limits); Removed unplayed fielding entries
  • 1971U Improved AL trn (roster # limits)
  • 1973J NHJ Fujiwara PHC correction
  • 1975U Improved trns (roster # limits)
  • 1977U Improved trns (roster # limits); Corrected lup for SEA Baez and Bernhardt
  • 1978U Improved trns (roster # limits); Corrected 06/15 lup entry
  • 1983U Improved trns
  • 1984U Improved trns (roster # limits); Corrected HON Reynolds card results
  • 1985U Improved trns (roster # limits)
  • 1986J PHC stat correction
  • 1986U Improved trns (roster # limits)
  • 2002U Corrected trn
  • 2011U FLN Stanton Name change; DH schedule correction
  • 2012U Corrected trn
  • 2013J PHC stat corrections
  • 2013U Debuts Multi-card AP set; Improved lup, trn, and schpit