The Talk Show – December 2012

Host: Glenn Guzzo
You can submit your question or insight on any Strat-O-Matic game to 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.
            In your latest Talk Show column, you asked if anyone had seen a 50-game hitting streak. Well, I’m into August of my 1964 as-played replay and Henry Aaron has a 60-game hitting streak and counting. Hank is hitting .380. I let the computer play most of the games, but will intervene manually if it is an interesting game.
Mike Argiropolis
            Wow! Let us know how long the Hammer’s streak comes down. At SOM’s 50th Anniversary convention, I replied that 1969 was my favorite season, because so many stars had their best seasons and the division-winning teams were varied and interesting. But I love 1964 equally well. I find it endlessly fascinating and have played at least five different versions of replays and draft leagues with that season.
            In the AL, New York, Chicago, Baltimore and Detroit all can win. Minnesota has great offense. The Angels have the memorable Dean Chance card and more good pitching. Cleveland has power and good young starting pitchers. It’s even fun to watch how many homers the KC pitchers can surrender. In the NL, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Milwaukee all can win. Pittsburgh has sensational cards for Roberto Clemente, Bob Veale and Al McBean, and good cards for others. In their home pitcher-friendly park, Dodgers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale are almost unbeatable. The Cubs are weak, but Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Ernie Banks are powerful, and Larry Jackson won 24 games. Almost every team has star power.
            One of the most productive rookie classes ever – Tony Oliva, Tony Conigliaro, Richie Allen, Jim Ray Hart, Mel Stottlemyre, Luis Tiant, Denny McLain, Tommy John and more – enriches drafts that already include numerous Hall of Famers in their primes.

            I am curious to know what happened to the release of the reissued 1973 season? All of a sudden I see 1938 as a recreated set and 1961 as the reissued set. Why the change and why the bias against the A’s? There are several of us who are not happy that 1973 was not mentioned.
Robert Trenn
            The 1973 season is coming. We’ll just have to wait a bit longer. There’s a limit to how many seasons SOM can do in a year. I expect that it’s more than several fans who are disappointed – we all have our favorite seasons and teams. Most of us have had to be patient. Among the most patient of those who have been writing to The Talk Show for years, pleading for a 1961 remake in Super Advanced form. The 1970s have been well-represented in recent years and everything I’ve heard from SOM indicates it is pleased with the customer response to those updates.

            I’m sitting down to create my CM for my upcoming season. The one task that I hate doing as its so tedious and time consuming is the populate the "Starter Schedule" screen. While doing this I had the following thought. Depending upon what era you are playing, most teams start with either a basic 3-man, 4-man, 5-man or 6-man rotation. My idea was to have STRAT create a "populate Schedule" pb to be located on the Pitchers Screen. When pushing this pb the software would look at the starters you listed in the window. For example, on my ’27 team I’m planning a 5-man rotation and I have the following listed:
Starter #1 – Eppa Rixey
Starter #2 – Larry Benton
Starter #3 – Bill Doak
Starter #4 – Doug McWeeny
Starter #5 – Kent Greenfield
            For this season then, a 5-man rotation would be set up. Pushing this pb would then populate the "Schedule Starters" with Eppa Rixey listed on the first, sixth, eleventh, etc. game. Larry Benton for games #2, #7, #12 and so forth.  If I had left Starter #5 blank then the pb would popular my team with a 4-man rotation and therefore would populate Rixey for games #1, #5, #9, Benton for games #2, #6, #10 and so forth. The key is that the software would look for the first blank slot to determine how many starters in the main rotation.  Once done then you could go into the Starter Schedule screen to tweak individuals. For example, with the 5-man rotation the software would end up scheduling Eppa Rixey for 31 games – he really only made 29 starts so for 2 of his starts I ‘d just go into the "Starter Schedule" screen and replace him in 2 of his now scheduled starts. This sure would be easier then filling in each of the 154 games manually!
Steve Thompson
            I would join you in using this feature. It will be added to Strat-O-Matic’s wish list, but keep in mind that the list is long and the programming time for new features each year is short. Until then, when you are using stock teams, you might find it easier to start with the as-played schedule, which puts all the actual starting pitchers in their slots. You could tweak that ready-made Starter Schedule without having to drag and drop all 154 pitchers.


            Most of my Strat is done using players from the Career Historical. I create for example, composite teams and leagues for specific decades (e.g. Giants from the 60’s). I recently noticed that all CH left handed pitchers are -2 for holding runners and right handers are +1. This is counter to reality since a good percentage of right handers are better than left handers at holding runners. If they weren’t going to do the research why didn’t they just zero out the stat (i.e. all pitchers a 0)? 
Dean Izett, Roseville CA
            The Career Historical disks are huge fun for exactly the way you use them – creating almost endless possibilities of player combinations. To do all of the 15,000 or more players, however, Strat-O-Matic used its “Chevy” system, which does not have the detail of its meticulously researched Deluxe “Cadillac” seasons.
            So, on the CHDs, all pitchers are 2 fielders (though with varying e-ratings). They all have zero gbA chances. The hold ratings you cite apply to almost all, but not all, the pitchers. A quick glance at the 1950s decade, for instance, shows lefty Sandy Koufax is +1, lefty Marcelino Solis is -3 and lefty Karl Spooner is 0. Even if all the lefties were -2 and right handers +1, that does a better job of reflecting the advantage southpaws have at holding runners than to give every pitcher a 0, don’t you think?