The Talk Show – March 2016

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.
What is the likelihood of Strat-O-Matic releasing super-advanced versions of post-war—late ‘40s — or pre-war seasons? Likely, possible, slim or none? My son and I really enjoy these seasons, especially integrating them with drafts from the Negro League set. However, I gather from other comments on the Talk Show and Great Moments — and looking at the Strat league registry—that we may be pretty far out of the mainstream. Any thoughts, or are we out of luck?
Jim Poole, Cobleskill, NY
Likely! While Strat-O-Matic has no year-by-year schedule for releasing specific seasons, I know that the company wants to have an ever-richer library of past seasons for all its games. For baseball, that would include 1946, 1947, 1949 and 1952 to include its representation of every post-World War II season. And these are great seasons, with the memorable seven-game World Series in 1946, Jackie Robinson’s Major League debut in 1947 and the Indians-Red Sox playoff in 1948, plus many individual milestone seasons in this period.
Pre-WWII seasons are less likely because, understandably, they have not sold as well. Once, I would have said we could expect an approximate rotation of Pre-WWII seasons, Post-WWII seasons and updates of 1960s seasons from Advanced to Super Advanced. However, as the years have passed, the 1970s and early ‘80s are the seasons of many current SOM players’ youth. SOM has been pleased with the sales of updates for the 1971, 1973, 1977 and 1982 seasons.
The list of remaining releases by era:
1946, 1947, 1949, 1952 (seasons never re-created)
1962, 1968, 1970 (seasons first produced in Basic and updated to Advanced, but not Super-Advanced)
1930, 1950, 1956 (sold-out classic seasons produced only in Advanced)
1972, 1974, 1976, 1979
1980, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 (excluding the 1981 strike year)
Unless SOM decides to pick up the pace by updating two seasons in some years, a one-per-year schedule would take us through 2034 without the company necessarily going back to Pre-WWII seasons. But fans of baseball history would encourage SOM to venture back to 1908, 1919, 1936 and 1940 at least.
In the NBA game, a dice roll resulting in an X on a 3-point shot is automatically no good (excluding an X-12 roll.) On a shot by an unguarded player, an X roll is automatically good. My question is about a 3-point shot from an unguarded player resulting in an “X.” Is it good or no good?
Steve Richey, Spring Grove, PA 
No good.
I was hoping when the 1982 super-advanced cards came out, something would be done for someone like Pete Vuckovich, who was somehow able to have a 3.34 ERA even though his WHIP was 1.50. I was hoping that extra groundball “A’s” would be added to his advanced side along with additional popouts and flyball “C’s.” He had a .275 batting average against, but .227 with RISP. 224 IP with 102 BBs & 234 hits. He induced 23 GIDP’s, but none of which is enough to keep his ERA that low in Strat-O-Matic.
I’d love to know of anyone doing a 1982 replay, and how high Pete’s ERA is. If pitchers had clutch symbols like hitters, this deficiency could be eliminated. Has anyone there ever spoken of this? (I believe Quisenberry should have won the Cy Young in ‘82. Vuk was a horrible selection.)
I’d also have liked if Paul Molitor was upgraded from a “4” fielder. He turned 48 DPs as a third baseman, which was the third most in history. He made many errors, but that shouldn’t be translated to his overall range.
Will Strat solicit us in the future for additional prior seasons they intend to make, like they did a few years ago? I’d like to see 1972 since there were no error ratings back then.
Larry Kapit, Coral Springs, FL
Vuckovich: On the infrequent occasions when SOM upgrades a pitcher whose record is much better than his statistics, it does not do so by increasing his gbA chances. Vuckovich got what he earned in that category. However, without revealing any of Strat-O-Matic’s trade secrets, I can tell you that ‘82 Vuckovich is the type of pitcher SOM will examine for tweaks to better replicate his performance … Infrequently, gamers do suggest clutch ratings for pitchers, but more often they say they don’t want the cards cluttered by more symbols.
: Fielding upgrades in the season updates are not unheard of, but they are rare. I can’t answer what the case was for Molitor’s fielding originally in 1982, because I wasn’t assisting in the ratings then. Strat-O-Matic relies on contemporary reading and scouting reports in addition to stats. Now, 24 years later, we can see a guy who was a superb athlete, but who in 1982 was playing a new position (he had played only two games at 3B before then, one each in 1978 and 1980) and made 29 errors. Tough to make the case in retrospect that SOM didn’t have good cause for the 4. To argue otherwise, we could point out that Molitor moved way up to a 3b-2 in 1983 and 1985 (with no rating there in 1984), though he was back to a 3b-4 in 1987 and 1988. 
Past-season polls
: SOM has a pretty good body of results from prior polls – and past-season sales are very good polls – but there probably are more to come. Based on sales of other ‘70s seasons, however, I wouldn’t worry that 1972 will be left out, though SOM’s pattern has been to vary its offerings from decade to decade and it’s impossible to say at this point whether 1972 would be done before, 1976 or 1979, since SOM already has updated 1971 and 1973.
In the Super Advanced Version, it appears that too many outs (from the Advanced Version) become “line outs” when ballpark singles and open triangle readings result. In other words, out results that could impact base running, such as Ground Ball A, B or C and Fly Ball A, B and B? become “line outs” (when the split results in an out) resulting in no runner advancing. Too many batters lose productive outs (like GB C or FB A, B or B?) and pitchers lose critical outs (like GB A or strikeouts). For example, in the new 2016 card set, batter Kendrys Morales’ productive outs gb(2b)C (5-2 vs lefties) and fly(cf)A (5-2 vs righties) become lineouts (with an out result from the resulting split card result), with no possible base runner advance, while pitcher Greg Holland loses a critical potential double play when gb(p)A (4-10 vs lefties) becomes a lineout (with an out result from the resulting split card result). With prior card sets, I have seen batters that lose their fly B? results and pitchers lose strikeouts and GB A’s to ballpark singles and open triangle readings.
It would seem more statistically accurate if the out results of the split readings from ballpark singles and open triangle readings would revert back to the original out reading. In other words, in the examples above, Kendrys Morales’ out results from the ballpark single splits would be gb(2b)c (5-2 vs lefties) and fly(cf)A (5-2 vs righties), while Greg Holland’s out results from the ballpark single split at 4-10 vs lefties would revert back to gb(p)A.
Some teams and individual players are affected more than others depending on the impact of adjustments created by the open triangle readings. Does this have an impact over a 162-game season? I believe there is sufficient impact that I have manually made the adjustments (noted above) on some of my past card sets. Any discussions on this from other Strat fanatics? Your thoughts? Any other alternative adjustment that could be made?
  Blessings for continuing joyful rolling,
Chuck Murphy, Overland Park, KS
Thanks for the blessings, Chuck. Same to you and yours. While you are the first to pose this question to me, last fall I asked Bob Winberry to run a computer replay of the 2014 season, primarily to determine whether today’s ultra-strikeout pitchers left the game short of Ks and the other results – double-plays, sac flies – that strikeouts can override from pitcher and batter cards. Winberry did not use any special computer settings that would produce results different from the board game. The result: Everything was as it should be. I was a little surprised and very pleased with the stats the replay produced.
That said, the Windows game has a “Max Rules” option to “improve out distribution” – which, in fact, reduces lineouts. So I endorse the playing technique you have adopted and probably will use it myself.
Read with interest the letter about carding the old NBA teams, even using a self-print option. Why was the 1968 reissued football season never printed? If I am not mistaken, the print option was supposed to be available when that season was issued. To this date, there are no cards available. Any chance of cards ever being issued?
Alex, New York
I think there is a chance, Alex. ‘68 Football is, to my mind, a good example of something that could/should be done if/when Strat-O-Matic can find the way to do digital print-on-demand. There are some other football and hockey seasons that also appeared only for the Windows game, as well as many pro basketball seasons.
Love your insight to the great games of Strat and your wonderful Fanatics book. This particular question might have come up before, but I have to bring it up again. Does Strat plan to do some cosmetic changes to the game screen in baseball? The card images that pop up when you roll the dice are hard to read, the pie charts are more difficult with the color schemes, numbers seem to overlap and fonts are too small. Do love most everything else, especially the hi-res parks. Lastly, any plans of updating NetPlay? Get booted off too much during online games.
Earl Christensen, Orlando, FL
Though I’m not getting any younger (and have worn glasses for more than 40 years), I haven’t had the problems you describe. However, from the game screen, try Options/Game Screen Layout. There, you’ll see options to change the size and color of type, and the option to hide any display items that you find unhelpful. Strat-O-Matic has not announced plans for updating screen cosmetics in other ways. Every company that publishes software is today faced with a myriad of platforms to target. Strat-O-Matic currently creates Windows and Online games, and has announced plans for developing Apps. Allocation of development resources is a challenge for all software companies, and of course that applies to Strat-O-Matic as well. Because of the flux in the industry it is hard to predict what changes will be made on any given platform.
Someone wrote this: “I love the big season cards with big stat numbers. Bonds 73. Williams .406. Belle 50/50. Gibson 1.12. Any chance of a set featuring these cards?”
Your answer didn’t mention that all these cards are in the ATG8! For $25, he can try to have all them on his team, plus Nolan Ryan’s 383K, Hack Wilson’s 190 RBI (+1), Ichiro’s 262 hits (or Sisler’s 257 hits), Rickey’s 130 SB, and Clemente’s -6!
Marc Pelletier
Thanks for chiming in, Mark – a worthy plug for Baseball 365, Strat-O-Matic’s highly popular online game, and the All-Time Greats 8 player set there. Check it out at:
How about?
When presenting a list of leagues, teams, players, sort the list in the order of the displayed info. 
Examples are:
Promote/demote eligible team players.
League list in ‘model new league based upon old …’ and ‘import ballpark data,’ etc. 
When importing a ballpark, you have to select a league and team to do it, so why does one have to reselect the league/team to import the ballpark to? Show panel with only the league of leagues/teams from where you want to import from and show the league/team importing to as textual info only.
Put consistency in all the panels used in the game. Today, some will do nothing if you hit enter when they’re open, others will close, yet others have default actions.
Fix NetPlay.
Get rid of the archaic ms/dos restrictive 8.3 file-naming restrictions. Can also make more meaningful files names, especially for stats files. No more 2015xxab … can at least use the 3-letter team code, maybe a longer-than-2-character league code.
Fix imports/league lzp files so that they are not dependent on the file name to work correctly. Some people rename files and they can be worthless after that.
Nick Flory
Strat-O-Matic maintains a Wish List of ideas like yours, submitted to them by the community. Part of the upgrade process each year includes evaluating the list and determining which items are possible given their production schedule, and then which of those offers the best mix of improvements for that year. No other text based sports company upgrades their games on such a regular schedule, and every year new features requested by the community are introduced. The safest way to know that your ideas will be considered during the annual upgrade process is to send an email to Strat-O-Matic’s tech support address at least 6 months out from the launch of the game.
Would you please publish how the rosters for the 2016 Hall of Fame set are broken out on the computer game? (Pre-War AL, Post-War NL, Left Outs, etc.) I found this a big help to constructing my C&D teams in 2000 and again in 2010. Creating realistic rosters for these teams are impossible, but seeing how the computer rosters are set up is invaluable. Many of us are pure C&Ders (I am) so I would really appreciate you doing this for us 16 years later.
Jeff Mordock, Wilmington, DE
Happy to help. Here’s how they show on the computer teams. A few players appear to be out of place, but solve roster problems elsewhere. However, there’s no need for Nellie Fox on the NL Post WWII team and that looks like a mistake.
AL Post DH: Alomar, Blyleven, Boggs, Brett, Eckersley, Fingers, Fisk, Gossage, Griffey Jr., Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Randy Johnson, Martinez, Molitor, Murray, Palmer, Puckett, Jim Rice, Ripken Jr., Ryan, Thomas, Winfield, Yount
AL Post WWII: Aparicio, Berra, Boudreau, Carew, Doby, Feller, Ford, Jimmie Foxx, Gordon, Hunter, Kaline, Killebrew, Lemon, Mantle, Newhouser, Rizzuto, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Wilhelm, Ted Williams, Wynn, Yastrzemski
AL Pre WWII: Appling, Averill, Cochrane, Combs, Coveleski, Cronin, Dickey, DiMaggio, Doerr, Faber, Ferrell, Gehrig, Gehringer, Gomez, Greenberg, Grove, Hoyt, Kell, Lazzeri, Lyons, Manush, Sam Rice, Ruffing, Ruth (batter and pitcher), Sewell, Simmons
Dead Ball Era: Baker, Bender, Three Finger Brown, Carey, Chance, Chesbro, Cobb, Eddie Collins, Evers, Goslin, Hafey, Heilmann, Hooper, Walter Johnson, Pennock, Plank, Roush, Schalk, Sisler, Speaker, Tinker, Wallace, Walsh, Wheat
NL Post DH: Biggio, Brock, Carlton, Carter, Dawson, Glavine, Gwynn, Larkin, Maddux, McCovey, Morgan, Niekro, Perez, Perry, Piazza, Sandberg, Schmidt, Seaver, Ozzie Smith, Smoltz, Stargell, Sutter, Sutton
NL Post WWII: Aaron, Ashburn, Banks, Bench, Bunning, Campanella, Cepeda, Clemente, Drysdale, Nellie Fox (should be on AL Post WWII), Bob Gibson, Irvin, Jenkins, Kiner, Koufax, Marichal, Mathews, Mays, Mazeroski, Musial, Reese, Roberts, Jackie Robinson, Santo, Schoendienst, Slaughter, Snider, Spahn, Billy Williams
NL Pre WWII: Alexander, Bancroft, Bottomley, Cuyler, Day, Dean, Frisch, Grimes, Haines, Hartnett, Herman, Hornsby, Hubbell, Travis Jackson, George Kelly, Klein, Lindstrom, Lombardi, Maranville, Medwick, Mize, Ott, Rixey, Terry, Traynor, Vance, Vaughan, Lloyd Waner, Paul Waner, Hack Wilson, Ross Youngs
Old Timers: Anson, Brouthers, Clarkson, Connor, Cummings, Davis, Delahanty, Ewing, Galvin, Hamilton, Keefe, King Kelly, Marquard, McCarthy, McPhee, Radbourn, Spalding, Thompson, Ward, Welch, White
Travelers: Bell, Ray Brown, Willard Brown, Charleston, Cooper, Dandridge, Dihigo (batter and pitcher), Big Bill Foster, Rube Foster, Josh Gibson, Hill, Judy Johnson, Leonard, Lloyd, Mackey, Mendez (batter and pitcher), Paige, Rogan (batter and pitcher), Santop, Hilton Smith, Stearnes, Suttles, Taylor, Torriente, Wells, Smokey Joe Williams, Jud Wilson
Turn of Century: Beckley, Bresnahan, Burkett, Clarke, Jimmy Collins, Crawford, Duffy, Flick, Jennings, Joss, Keeler, Joe Kelley, Lajoie, Mathewson, McGinnity, Nichols, O’Rourke, Rusie, Waddell, Wagner, Willis, Cy Young