The Talk Show – February 2013

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.
SOM Baseball Online: “The Ultimate Fantasy Baseball Site”
            With my product order I received a free SOM online team. I wasn’t familiar with the online game at all, but once I investigated it I thought it was incredible. I called my son and told him I’d found the ultimate fantasy baseball site. I purchased two more teams and had my son set up league parameters and we have both drafted teams.
            We have compared tentative rosters and the generation gap is evident. His team consists of mostly players from the 80s-90s while mine is mostly 50s-60s. The league is set up with a $140 million salary cap, utilizing the All-Time Greats set post WW II. Per my son’s choice the league will have a DH. The league is called "Batter Up" is open to the public (no password needed).
            I play cards & dice, don’t have a home computer but, the online game is something I can manage on my smart phone. What intrigued and excited me about the online game is the possibility (based on receiving all your draft picks) to set a line-up with all your favorites and all the big names you can afford.
            Imagine a batting order of 1. Maury Wills, ss; 2. Frankie Frisch, 2b; 3. Stan Musial, lf; 4. Mickey Mantle, cf; 5. Orlanda Cepeda, ib; 6. Al Simmons, rf; 7. Carlton Fisk c; 8. Brooks Robinson, 3b, 9. Christy Mathewson, p. Plus a bench and bullpen full of Hall of Famers, and All-Stars. It’s possible with the online game.
            I have two teams (plus a 3rd counting the one my son will be playing) one made up of ATG pre-WW II and the other made up of ATG post-WW II and I could not afford to draft all of the names mentioned above but, those and hundreds of others would make up my wish list.
            Appreciate all your great work for Strat-O.
Darrell Johnston
            In no time, you have discovered much of the appeal of the online game – league play, salary management, great players and almost no limit to the ways you can customize the player pool. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Online is for anyone who has a group of league members or for anyone who is isolated and craves competition. We can use current players or those of specific decades or the all-time greats. League members get daily updates on their games and have a very active forum to trash talk, share drafting/trading/managing tips and to offer suggestions to improve the gaming experience. Veterans of the online game have found this style of play quite addicting. The commercial success of this product would benefit the entire SOM community.
Power and More Power (with Vic, too)
            Enjoy reading your monthly "Talk Show." My favorite ONLINE game season is 1999, yep the steroid era. Great fun with McGwire, Sosa, Bags, Bonds, etc. Will the ONLINE version soon offer 1961 or ’62? That would be really, really cool. Thank you kindly!
Mike Ross
            Though we can expect that Strat-O-Matic will expand its online offerings to attract as many gamers as possible, we don’t have specifics. When Strat-O-Matic tried single seasons as part of The Sporting News Online game, they did not sell as well as the decade and all-time games. For now, to play with the greats from 1961 and 1962, your best option is the All Time Greats game.

Playing the New 1961 Release
            I am currently replaying the 1961 season using the advanced cards previously issued (and I also have many other 1970’s and early 1980’s basic/advanced only card versions). When SOM reissues the 1961 season as super advanced, will the computer release support all three versions of the card or just the basic/super advanced cards? If not, is this something SOM can incorporate into future computer releases such as when they re-release 1973 so that all three versions of their cards can be used?
Eric Kessell
            We can play the Windows game with Advanced, Super Advanced and Super Advanced with computer-only “Max” rules, but not Basic. The exception is the Basic-only great teams that can be purchased for those of us who cut our Strat-O teeth on such teams as the 1927 Yankees, 1953 Dodgers and 1931 A’s.
In the Ballpark
            I sold many of my cards with the ballpark effects charts.  I can’t find these on the computer game rosters.  Is there a site where I can view them for each season as there is for the roster charts?
            In the computer baseball game sometimes when I do the hit & run in manual dice mode super advanced before I roll the dice it will show the red & white columns with the white column only showing the 4, 5, 6. Not sure what to do, please help.
Mike DiRenzo, Conklin, NY

            The Strat-O-Matic website has the ballpark effects in the Community/Roster-Sheet-Archive section:
            From your description, it appears you are playing the Super Advanced hit-and-run. In that version, whenever the first die is 1, 2, or 3 you refer to the Super Advanced chart for your result. So when the computer’s internal dice roll comes up 1, 2 or 3 the chart result is used. Therefore, you are presented with the screen only for rolls that begin with 4, 5 or 6, when the result comes from the pitcher card. SOM’s Bob Winberry offers this suggestion: “after selecting the hit and run if the result is from the pitcher’s card and you manually roll a 1, 2, or a 3 on the white die then just reroll your physical dice until you get a 4, 5, or a 6.”
A Big Reason to Get the Baseball Ratings Book
            Each season I create an Excel spreadsheet for the league of all the player stats. I am able to get the MLB stats from Sean Lahman’s database but then I painstaking go in & manually type in the Strat fielding ratings for each player. I’m wondering if Strat-O-Matic has a way to export the ratings? I tried it using the Print to File, then opening it in Excel but even with designating it as "Text" the rating open in the format I guess I’m really hoping you know of someplace on the web where someone already created a spreadsheet for all the season. Any help?
            Steve, make life easier by getting the annual computer version of the Baseball Ratings Book. These files import easily into Excel. Then you’ll find a separate column of fielding ratings for each position, so players can be sorted that way.
Adjusting for the NBA’s Shortened Seasons
            I play a league with the best players from multiple seasons of the computer basketball game. After adding last year’s strike-shortened season’s players, I ran into an issue this year. I used a simple formula to determine the number of games players would have likely played and altered the computer manager (CM) in an attempt to replicate what might have happened had the season been 82 games as opposed to 66. The players’ Games Played did not equate to what was put into the CM. An example is Kevin Durant played 66 games so I put 82 in the CM. He has yet to play 80 of 82 games in any replay (typically low 70s). The baseball game had an option built in to correct the stats of players in strike-shortened seasons to overcome this issue. Since there are now multiple of these short seasons, is this option coming for the basketball game as well? 
Kelly Robinson, Killeen, TX     
            Strat-O-Matic does not announce features of upcoming versions ahead of time, so I cannot answer your question.  However, using the current game you can accomplish what you are trying to do with a bit of effort.  If you turn the Rest System off then players like 2011-12 Kevin Durant can play every game. You would have to manually sit other players in your game plans, but it can be done.
Two-Minute Drama
            Remember when football timing wasn’t very realistic in the final 2 minutes? Then the tick clock was instituted and the increase in realism was fantastic. Will we ever see similar improvements in hockey and basketball? Hockey would be really simple as it already uses a tick clock for penalty timing.
Mike Robb, Phoenix
            I am assuming you want to slow down play in the final two minutes to have more opportunity for strategy moves. We would be able to use more timeouts in basketball. And the action once the hockey goalie is pulled (usually in the final minutes) would not fly by quite so swiftly. Football’s strategy options in its final two minutes set it apart from those in basketball and hockey. The offense is much more likely to be in hurry-up mode, can spike the ball to stop the clock without timeouts and deliberately runs plays designed to go out of bounds. These things made the football tick clock so much in demand that it was an essential improvement. However, such clock-conserving options (sans timeouts) aren’t available in hockey. Basketball is pretty much limited to launching quick, long shots and fouling deliberately.
            If you or others have specific suggestions of what you’d like to see, send them to me and I’ll see that the game company gets them.
            When playing the PC football game solo, there are times when you just want to accept the defaults from the CMs, like kicks, punts, or even regular plays if it is a blowout or something. But it is a drag to have to click the mouse five times to get the play result. So how about Strat adds a "speed button" which will do all those clicks with just one. It could be located to the left of the regular click button and not easily confused with it. Maybe it could be a different color and just say (speed) on it. Might be a big plus for those of us who want to reduce all of the clicking during a game.
Gordy56 from San Francisco
            I’ll begin by reminding you that you can Quick Play to almost any point of the game once you merely want to complete the game you are playing. The limitation to Quick Play is not seeing each play. The game completes those plays instantly in the background, keeping all the stats and more. However, that’s also a huge time-saver. I may be describing things you already know, but in case there are others unfamiliar with this, I’ll point out that Auto Play and Quick Play are vital to gamers who want to have the full standings and stats of an entire league, but lack the time to play all of those games. Instead, those gamers coach their favorite team(s) – such as several contenders – and let the computer handle the games between other teams.
            If you want to see the plays, click the option, “Do not show formation selection screens.” That will save you clicks and time.
Not So Fast
            I was going to start the 1973 Season soon, but I read in your December Talk Show that it might be re-created soon. However, it was not listed on the latest poll. Is it going to come out before the poll winner?
Jack Knowles, Brampton, Ontario, Canada
            Strat-O-Matic has said that it expects to offer 1973 next Opening Day.