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Strat Versus Life

by Larry Steinberg
Manager of the Chicago Mob, GUSSOMO

If I had a dollar for every time I heard, or said to myself that Strat-O-Matic is not realistic, I could retire a rich man. Numerous times, we have all experienced games or seasons where players just performed "unrealistically". My stud pitcher is 5-12 with a 5.00 ERA, or my banjo hitting second baseman just hit 3 HR's in a game. But what about over the long haul?

Frank Thomas announced his retirement before the start of the 2010 season. Frank was a Mobster for his entire career. He had seasons where he outperformed his real life stats and seasons were he inexplicably stunk for my team. But overall, how did his lifetime stats compare with his Strat stats? Below are The Big Hurt's lifetime stats for The Chicago Mob and in real life total stats. What do you think?

 
FRANK THOMAS 

 

G

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

K

E

SB

CS

HP

S

SF

DP

AVG

SLG


OBP

Strat

2387

8567

1522

2494

1571

518

21

530

1539

1636

68

14

8

116

1

58

211

.291

.542


.404

Life

2322

8199

1494

2468

1704

495

12

521

1667

1397

80

32

23

87

0

121

226

.301

.555


.419

I think anyone would agree that this is very close. If I didn't put Strat or Life before each row most people would not be able to tell the difference. The only real discrepancy to me is the SF column. The difference in SB and CS is just a function of how I used Frank. And what's with that one time I sacrifice bunted with him. I must not have been lucid at the time!

Ivan Rodriguez did not retire and as of late April 2010 is hitting .400 for the Nationals! He was not protected in the expansion draft and was selected. I have an 18 year data base to compare real life with Strato. Let's look.

 
IVAN RODRIGUEZ


 

G

AB

R

H

RBI

2B

3B

HR

BB

K

E

SB

CS

HP

S

SF

DP

AVG

SLG

OBP

Strat

2512

9044

1107

2472

1264

516

48

295

423

1480

103

113

31

47

51

41

307

.273

.439

.308

Life

2388

9070

1308

2711

1264

547

50

305

487

1380

136

125

61

56

27

72

306

.299

.471

.336

  

It looks like he suffered a bit offensively, but considering I had a pitchers park (Si 1-4) for most of his career with me, it is not surprising. Still, look at his extra base hits. And I think I hear the theme from The Twilight Zone playing when looking at his RBI's and DP's! Interesting that sac fly's is again just over half of what his real life SF's are, just like Frank Thomas. Maybe the boys at Strat-O-Matic should look into this.
 
Curt Schilling played his entire year with The Chicago Mob. How does he compare? 

 
CURT SCHILLING

 

G

CG

SH

IP

H

BB

K

R

ER

HR

W

L

PCT

S

ERA

Strat

488

113

21

3304.67

3229

765

3706

1534

1410

440

203

154

.569

1

3.84

Life

569

83

20

3261.0

2998

711

3116

1318

1253

347

216

146

.597

22

3.46

  

I'm not sure what to make of this. He played more games in real life due to the fact that he relieved more often early in his career and I hardly used him as such. In fact, I had drafted him as a cardless future and didn't play him until about his 3rd year in the bigs. Still, the IP's are very close. He gave up 93 more HR's than in real life. I had a pretty HR neutal park (1-8) for most of his career. He also gave up about 230 more hits in 44 more IP's. Given that, it isn't surprising that he gave up more runs in Strat than in real life. What seems very realistic to me is the W/L record. It comes to a .028 difference in the W/L percent. Overall, I have to conclude that while not as close as the hitters, Curt's Strat life was not out of line with his real life stats.

So, what does this all mean? Besides that I'm a statistics geek and should be putting my spare time to better use? I can't say. I have more players that I could compare. These are the three that I have the most data for. I have a lot of seasons of Brian Roberts, Jay Buhner, Lance Johnson, Derrek Lee, Carlos Baerga, John Smiley, Richard Dotson and more that I can't think of. We could do computer simulation replays, but I don't think it would be as accurate as physically playing the games in a league setting. The one thing I will say is that Strat-O-Matic, over time, is accurate. Remember also that a good percentage of these games were played with dice, cards and charts, not on a computer. There may be high and low blips, but then again, many players have one or two great seasons and a few crummy seasons over their careers. Any other gamers out there who have done comparisons?

Thank you for reading.

Larry Steinberg
Algonquin, IL