Pandemic Baseball? Strat-O-Matic
Has a Remedy in its Windows Game
By Glenn Guzzo
You have been anxious to know how Strat-O-Matic’s Windows game will handle Major League Baseball’s make-up-the-rules-as-we-go 2020 season. Though the season was only 60 games, roster limits, the injury list, the schedule and in-game rules evolved as baseball adapted to afflictions from the pandemic.
Happily, Strat-O-Matic has adapted, too, rising to the challenge with Baseball 2021. You will need this version of the Windows game to play with the rosters for 2020, 1972, 1956, Heroes III, the updated Daily Data, Hall of Fame and Career Historical sets and the Negro League Seasons for 1918, 1928 and 1943.
You also need this version to play baseball as the Major Leagues did it in 2020.
You have the option to use the new rules or not. If you do, you choose to play “2020 Rules Changes – Originally Planned” or “2020 Rules Changes – Actually Used.”
“Originally Planned” is designed for use with the add-on 2020 Imagined data set, but also can be used with the traditional 2020 rosters that come standard with Baseball 2021.
In this universe, Strat-O-Matic supports the original roster limits (28 to begin the season and 26 later) and the new 7/10/15/60-day injury lists. It also enforces the three-batter minimum for pitchers. (As in MLB, the minimum is ignored if the pitcher gets the final out of an inning.)
“Actually Used” is designed for use with the 60-game version of the 2020 season that comes standard with Baseball 2021. Whether playing in regular style or as-played style, it will give you the experience of the way MLB mutated in 2020. Get the actual schedule changes that occurred in 2020. Play not only with the three-batter minimum, but the rule putting a man at second base to start extra innings and the seven-inning games for doubleheaders played after Aug. 1. Then enjoy the expanded, 16-team post-season with its unconventional qualifiers, seeding and schedule. For as-played projects, use the Automatic Transactions to deliver the unique roster moves forced by COVID injury lists.
“Adding support for 7-inning games represented a significant change to the game engine because it touched on so many areas of the program,” Strat-O-Matic’s Help file explains. “For one example, while the closer is typically brought in for the 9th inning, for these games the computer manager had to know that the closer needs to be brought in for the 7th inning.”
SOM even reworked its stats package to support the 7-inning games, but adds this caution: “However, certain areas of the program (notably the play-by-play and game stories) cannot be supported. Our game has over 100,000 lines of play-by-play that has been built up over the past 30-years, and it’s simply not possible to review and rework that much text. We recommend against using Play-By-Play and Game Stories when playing these special 7-inning games.”
Accommodating 2020’s eccentricities might have been expected to consume all of Strat-O-Matic’s development time for Baseball 2021, but the game company did more. It is especially proud of enriching the game-play experience with “the staggering total of 20,000 new play-by-play accounts added to the game by Ren Petrie.”
The detail educates and entertains. For example:
Now batting Tommy Henrich
“Old Reliable” led the A.L. in triples with 13 in 1947
The popular power-hitting Carl Yastrzemski is stepping up to the plate
Carl plays those Green Monster caroms so well on defense…
Also check out the host of conveniences added in this features list:
LIST OF NEW FEATURES AND IMPROVEMENTS IN STRAT-O-MATIC BASEBALL 2021
1) MLB 2020 Rules – Support for MLB’s new 3-Batter Minimum, Extra-Inning Baserunner, 7-Inning Double-Header Games, and Expanded Playoffs rules has been added.
2) MLB Injury List – Support for the new 7/10/15/60 day injury list for the 2020 season has been added.
3) MLB 26/28 Man Rosters – In previous versions we supported September callups by the use of the 40/25 method. That allowed 25 man rosters during the bulk of the season and up to 40 man rosters in September. MLB changed this for the 2020 season so that 26 man rosters are normally allowed and up to 28 man rosters are permitted in September. To support the new rules the “40/25 method” has been renamed to the “MLB Method” and an additional radio button selector now appears on the dialog so that you can choose which method you wish to use for your league.
4) Generate Computer Manager – The Generate Computer Manager function prompts you as to whether or not it should include a DH in the generated lineups. This function has a new DH selection available called “Use Team Setting” (in addition to “Yes” and “No”). If you answer “Yes” or “No” then all selected teams will have lineups generated either with or without Designated Hitters. This works well for many leagues, however some leagues have a mix of teams where some use the DH and others do not (as was the case in MLB before 2020). For these leagues “Use Team Setting” can be very convenient because it allows you to select all teams and then generate computer managers in one step. The DH setting for teams can be viewed and updated from the “Team DH Settings” tab of the League / Update League dialog. That setting will determine whether or not a DH is included in the generated lineups for each team when you choose “Use Team Setting”.
5) Warning To Prevent Data Corruption – You should never leave your league or team statistic dialogs open when starting a league game. This is because certain interactions with those dialogs can cause a corruption of league data. We have added a new warning that reminds you of this when you go to start a league game. If you choose to ignore this warning then the possibility of league data corruption will exist!
6) Send Report to Cloud – We have extended the retention of reports from 30-days to as much as a full year. 30-days will still be the minimum, but as long as our server capacity is not overwhelmed we will retain your reports for an entire year.
7) Boxscores with No Team Nicknames – If the teams in your league have no Nicknames assigned then the team’s City name will now appear in the boxscores wherever the Nickname would have been used.
8) Reset Main Font – The Miscellaneous Options dialog has a new button located at the top of the dialog that allows you to reset the Main App Font. This will come in handy if you accidentally make the font too large as you will be able to click this button to restore the default Main App Font. To avoid confusion please note: The sole purpose of this button is to allow you to reset the Main App Font back to its original default size.
9) Game Result and Subset Stats – The options to create Game Result and Automatic Subset files are now turned on by default whenever you install a league.
10) Generate Computer Manager – If your Lineups and Usage options are set to use Draft League Mode lineups then the Generate Computer Manager function will now generate default lineups vs. “reverse” pitchers in addition to the standard lefty/right lineups.
11) Bugs Fixed
· Under certain circumstances when using the DH rule, a pitcher was able to be dragged from the bullpen into the lineup (and thus had been assigned as the current pitcher for his team). This should not happen – if the pitcher needs to be inserted into the lineup the proper way to do that is to cancel the DH rule. This loophole has been closed.
· Fixed a bug that could occur with no batters left on the bench. In that situation a double-duty pitcher could possibly be brought into the game as a pinch-hitter by the computer manager even though he was already in the lineup at another position.
· The Report Writer’s Start Pitcher report was filtering for pitcher with at least 15 starts. This was fine for season’s end but during the first part of the season no pitchers were being displayed. The new default is 1 start. Note that this can easily be changed by starting the Report Writer, loading the Starting Pitchers report, clicking on the Properties button, clicking on the Games Start field, and then clicking on the Properties button. The dialog that gets displayed will allow you to set the minimum GS value you wish to use for starting pitchers to be displayed.
· When using the pitch count system with autoplay, sometimes the pitch counts listed on the Play Account report were too repetitive.
· The Generate Computer Manager function would sometimes leave a team with only one eligible catcher even when there were options available to have a backup catcher.
· Fixed a bug with Double-Duty players when using the advanced computer managers setting to force pitchers into game in particular circumstances. In such cases if the pitcher is a double duty player who is already playing a different position then another player must be brought in to field that position.
· The lineup screen was sometimes displaying error messages related to Draft League Mode when that option was turned on in the league settings.
12) New Seasons – Support for the following new rosters has been added:
· 2020 Season
· 2020 Projected Season (Allows you to play the originally scheduled full season)
· 1972 (Deluxe Super-Advanced) Season
· 1956 (Deluxe Super-Advanced) Season
· Heroes 3 Rosters
· 2021 Daily Data Season
· Hall of Fame 2021 Rosters
· 2020 Career Historical Rosters
· 1918 Negro League Season
· 1928 Negro League Season
· 1943 Negro League Season
13) Ballpark Photos
NOTE: Due to the pandemic ballpark pictures were difficult to obtain this year. Most of the pictures we have included come from prior years with the exception of the new ballpark in Texas (Globe Life Field), most of which were taken during the 2020 World Series. We have also included some older pictures of Sahlen Field in Buffalo (used by Toronto in 2020) taken during a previously held AAA All Star Game.
· 3 new ballpark pictures – Texas (day and night), Buffalo (day).
· 37 new ballpark entry pictures – Chicago-AL: 5, Los Angeles-NL: 5, San Francisco: 5, Milwaukee: 5, Minnesota: 5, Texas: 8, Buffalo: 4.
· A massive 20,000+ new play accounts that mention player’s nicknames in play-by-play accounts have been added this year!
· Errors in the play-by-play text that have been reported have been cleaned up.
· All 30 team play-by-play files have been edited and updated for the 2020 season.
15 Roster Improvements and Corrections
– The Roster Corrections and Improvements Team brings you these upgraded rosters:
ï 1880 BUN Stump Weidman (was Wiedman)
ï 1881 DEN Stump Weidman (was Wiedman)
ï 1882 DEN Stump Weidman (was Wiedman)
ï 1883 DEN Stump Weidman (was Wiedman)
ï 1884 DEN Stump Weidman (was Wiedman)
ï 1885 DEN Stump Weidman (was Wiedman)
ï 1886 KCN Stump Weidman (was Wiedman)
ï 1887 NYM, NYN Stump Weidman (was Wiedman)
ï 1888 NYN Stump Weidman (was Wiedman)
ï 1902U CHN Pete Lamer (was Lamers)
ï 1906U PHN Mickey Doolin (was Doolan)
ï 1907U CIN Pete Lamer (was Lamers)
ï 1908G ING Washington Park capacity change
ï 1908U CIN Dick Hoblitzell LHB (was R)
ï 1908WS DEA Bill Donovan (was Wild Bill)
ï 1909U CIN Dick Hoblitzell LHB (was R)
ï 1910U CIN Dick Hoblitzell LHB (was R)
ï 1911G PHG Ed Collins (was George)
ï 1911U CHA Nixey Callahan (was Jimmy); CIN Dick Hoblitzell LHB (was R), Harry Steinfeldt inj v LHP; CLA Jack Adams (was Bert); PIN Jerry D’arcy (was Dorsey); Improved lups & trns
ï 1912U CIN Dick Hoblitzell LHB (was R); 99 “league” corrections
ï 1912WS BOA Charley Hall (was Sea Lion), Smoky Joe Wood (was Joe)
ï 1913U BOA Charley Hall (was Sea Lion), Smoky Joe Wood (was Joe); CIN Dick Hoblitzell LHB (was R); PHN Mickey Doolin (was Doolan)
ï 1914U BOA, CIN Dick Hoblitzell LHB (was R)
ï 1915G NLG Fatty Banks (was G.)
ï 1915U BOA Dick Hoblitzell LHB (was R), Smoky Joe Wood (was Joe); CHF Mickey Doolin (was Doolan)
ï 1915WS BOA Smoky Joe Wood (was Joe)
ï 1916G NLG Fatty Banks (was G.)
ï 1916U BOA Dick Hoblitzell LHB (was R)
ï 1917G ING Washington Park capacity change
ï 1917U BOA Dick Hoblitzell LHB (was R)
ï 1918U BOA Dick Hoblitzell LHB (was R); BRN Mickey Doolin (was Doolan)
ï 1919G CHG Romey Fields (was Romney)
ï 1920G ING Washington Park capacity change
ï 1920U CHA Hervey McClellan (was Harvey); DEA John Glaiser stats corrected, Norman Glaser added; PHA Emmet McCann (was Emmett); Improved lups & trns
ï 1922G CSG Oscar Levis RHP (was L); ING Washington Park capacity change; SLG Perry Hall RHB (was L)
ï 1924G CSG Oscar Levis RHP (was L); HAG Miles Lucas LHP (was R); SLG Mitchell Murray (was Mitch); WAG Pete Washington RHB (was L)
ï 1924U Improved trns
ï 1927G BAG Perry Hall RHB (was L), Pete Washington RHB (was L); BIG Leo Birdine (was J. Burdine); CSG Luis Entenza (was Estenza), Oscar Levis RHP (was L); DEG Halley Harding SHB (was Hallie, L); KCG Doolittle Young RHP (was Dolittle, L); SLG Mitchell Murray (was Mitchell Murphy)
ï 1927U Improved trns
ï 1930U Improved lups & trns
ï 1930WS Hold ratings corrected
ï 1931G BAG Halley Harding SHB (was Hallie, L); Pete Washington RHB (was L); CHG Perry Hall RHB (was L); DAG Oscar Levis RHP (was L); DEG Johnnie Bob Dixon (was Johnny); HOG Godvin Harris (was Bill); ING Washington Park capacity change; LOG Leo Birdine (was J. Burdine), Clarence White LHP (was R)
ï 1933G BEG Granderson Nash (was William); CSG Oscar Levis RHP (was L); PSG Pete Washington RHB (was L)
ï 1934G BEG Granderson Nash (was William); CRG Johnnie Bob Dixon (was Johnny); NDG Meadowbrook Oval capacity change; PSG Rufus Ligon LHP (was R), Pete Washington RHB (was L)
ï 1934GWS PSG Rufus Ligon LHP (was R), Pete Washington RHB (was L)
ï 1934U Improved trns
ï 1934WS DEA Elden Auker (was Eldon)
ï 1935G NDG Meadowbrook Oval capacity change; PSG Pete Washington RHB (was L)
ï 1935WS DEA Elden Auker (was Eldon)
ï 1936G NYG Pete Washington RHB (was L)
ï 1937G BIG Red Haley LHB (was Hadley, R), Willie Ferrell LHP (was R); CHG Perry Hall RHB (was L), Zell Miles (was Jack); KCG Frank Bradley (was Provine)
ï 1938G ATG Red Haley (was Hadley); BIG Al Murphy (was Mr. Murray); CHG Zell Miles (was Jack); CSG Oscar Levis RHP (was L); JAG Specs Ellis, LHP (was Bill, R), Willie Ferrell LHP (was R); KCG Frank Bradley (was Provine); WSG Granderson Nash (was William)
ï 1938U Improved lups & trns
ï 1942G BIG Specs Ellis LHP (was Bill, R), Lefty Smith LHB (was John R); CHG Willie Ferrell LHP (was R); KCG Frank Bradley (was Provine), Booker McDaniel (was McDaniels); NYG Bransford Bennett (was Bradford), Zoot Suit Boone (was Lefty), PSG Bud Barbee (was Walter)
ï 1942GWS KCG Booker McDaniel (was McDaniels)
ï 1944G BEG Judge Owens LHB (was Dusty R); BIG Specs Ellis LHP (was Bill, R), Collins Jones (was Collis); CBG Brennan King (was Al); CHG Willie Ferrell LHP (was R), Lefty Smith LHB (was R); ICG Cowboy Murray (was Dick Murry); KCG Booker McDaniel (was McDaniels), MEG Rufus Ligon LHP (was R); NWG William Makell (was Frank), NYG Bransford Bennett RHB (was William Bradford LHB), Zoot Suit Boone (was Lefty), Adolphus Grimes (was Lionel)
ï 1944GWS BIG Specs Ellis LHP (was Bill, R)
ï 1945G BIG Collins Jones (was Collis); CHG Lefty Smith LHB (was R); ICG Bud Barbee (was Walter), Sardo Wilson RHP rlv 1 (was L, 0); KCG Chester Gray LHB (was R), Booker McDaniel (was McDaniels); NWG Charlie Humber (was Thomas)
ï 1947G NYG Bud Barbee (was Walter)
ï 1948G BEG Charlie Humber (was Thomas); KCG Booker McDaniel (was McDaniels); NYG Bud Barbee (was Walter), Lefty Smith LHB (was John R)
ï 1949G BEG Charlie Humber (was Thomas); CBG Lefty Smith LHB (was R); KCG Booker McDaniel (was McDaniels)
ï 1949GWS BEG Charlie Humber (was Thomas)
ï 1949WS Imported schpit
ï 1960U NYA Bob Turley Closer rating corrected
ï 1962U NYN Jay Hook adds an *; Improved trns
ï 1971U SDN Garry Jestadt card corrected; Manager Tendencies improved; Improved NL trn; Read expanded with great detail
ï 1975WS CIN Fred Norman (was Freddie)
ï 1976WS CIN Don Werner e-rat corrected
ï 1977U AL lup correction (May 7)
ï 1981WS Various e-rats corrected
ï 1982U NYA Rich Gossage (was Goose); Manager Tendencies improved; Improved trns; Corrected sch; Read expanded with great detail
ï 1990U Improved trns
ï 1992U Improved trns; 99 Tom Glavine correction
ï 1993U 99 Darryl Kile Run rating corrected
ï 1997U 99 Jeff Fassero Run rating corrected
ï 1998U 99 various Run ratings corrected
ï 2003U BOA Derek Lowe adds an *
ï 2007U Schedule Batch Change to Manual
ï 2008U AL lup corrected (6/27)
ï 2012U SDN Clayton Richard adds @ vs RHB
ï 2014WS Imported schpit
ï 2015WS Imported schpit, 99 run ratings corrected
ï 2016WS Imported schpit
ï 2017WS Imported schpit
ï 2018WS Imported schpit
ï 2019U Debuts Multi-Card AP
ï 2019WS Imported schpit
Many U sets include Read files.
Most of the work on Negro League Seasons, and many other important contributions throughout the years, have been made by Len Durrant. Our sincere gratitude (and that of the Strat-O-Matic community) goes out to Len for his many efforts! rts!