The Talk Show – October 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.


            Do the SOM games have any kind of program checking to verify that the dice rolls are realistic? It would be interesting to get some feedback on what numbers are "hot" in the last week or 20 games, etc.
            Also at one time the SOM Lite version could be upgraded to the full version game. Is that still the case?  I don’t see it in the product info. 
Orin Beitlich, Inver Grove Heights MN
            Realistic? Strat-O-Matic has reported previously that the program has been tested to make sure the rolls are random. As for outcomes, there is no statistical report to show all dice rolls. However, there are clues. The Play Account that can be accessed when viewing a Box Score at the end of each game shows the dice rolls for each batter. The Play Accounts can be saved to a file of your choosing. Also, in league play, you can check the Board Game Breakdown under League Statistics. It won’t show exact dice rolls, but will show you how many times each team’s rolls were on batter cards and on pitcher cards.
            Strat-O-Matic no longer has upgrade pricing on any of its computer games, including the Lite versions.
            I asked in the winter, if Strat would reprint the 1961, 1962 baseball seasons in the 3-color format as you do with past seasons like 1958. You stated that was now a possibility, due to digital printing. Can you give me an update on this?
Phil, Passaic, NJ
            I think that updates of pre-1970s seasons into Super Advanced form will happen. But SOM has to make the economics work and that is more of a challenge than it anticipated when it promoted digital printing as a solution. When SOM can update its pre-1970s seasons that were done before Super Advanced features were developed, I think ’61 will be at the top of the list. Of all those seasons (1930, 1950, 1956, 1961, 1962, 1968 and 1969), the explosive ’61 season probably would be the most popular.

I was motivated to do a short (50-game) replay of the ’63 season with these teams after seeing a sort program on Sandy Koufax on PBS. I was also encouraged when my replay (50-game) involving the ’62 Dodgers (36 Past Season teams), Giants (60s Series B old-timers), Mets (60s Series B old-timers), and Pirates (home-made cards – it’s hard to get an individual team on the secondary market) came out about right:

SF 31-19
LA 27-23
PIT 25-25
NYM 17-33

However, my ’63 season replay is not as accurate.  Right now the Pirates are in first:

PIT 24-16
LA 21-19
SF 21-19
NYM 14-26

Although I am a Pirates’ fan, I take no great pleasure in the Pirates 24-16 record (roughly the opposite of what it should be).  I looked at (team-against-team records) to see what really happened and I see this:

LA 38-16       –
SF 35-19        3
PIT 24-30     14
NYM 12-42   24

But, thanks again, to Mr. Richman for designing, testing, and manufacturing a great game and other fun products.

Henry Dearborn, Summit, NJ
            I would be shocked if all your replay standings were in close alignment after 40 games, and for each 40-game segment thereafter. The randomness of dice rolls simply does not permit that level of precision for such a small sample of games. There are other factors, including your player usage and managing style. For example, if you are benefiting from 20-20 hindsight to use the best ’63 Pirates players against their top opposition more than real Manager Danny Murtaugh did, we would expect your Pirates to do better and their top opponents to do worse.
             If you are playing a balanced schedule with your four teams, it’s likely the Pirates will decline in your standings after a good many more games. But even when playing a full season with a full league of teams using the as-played schedule and lineups, some variation in the standings is likely.
            I just completed a replay of the 1958 National League. Those Pirates, with many of the players who were on the 1960 champions, overachieved all season and held first place from May 30 (when they were 26-15) until Milwaukee (the real ’58 NL champs) finally overtook them in the final 10 days. After those first 41 games, the Pirates were on pace to win 98 with a .634 win percentage. From my final standings below, you will see that the replay Pirates could not maintain that pace, but their fast start helped them win seven games more than the real Pirates, and their performance was the widest deviation of all my 1958 teams:
LEAGUE STANDINGS FOR 1958 National League
                                                                                    ACTUAL-TODATE ACTUAL-TOTAL
                                    WON LOST PCT  GB  MAGIC#   WON LOS PCT  WON LOS PCT
1958 Milwaukee MLN          94    60   .610   —-  *WON*     92 62 .597           92 62 .597
1958 Pittsburgh PIN            91    63   .591   3.0                  84 70 .545           84 70 .545
1958 San Francisco SFN       82    72   .532   12.0                80 74 .519           80 74 .519
1958 Cincinnati CIN            76    78   .494   18.0                76 78 .494           76 78 .494
1958 Los Angeles LAN         70    84   .455   24.0                71 83 .461           71 83 .461
1958 Philadelphia PHN        69    85   .448   25.0                 69 85 .448           69 85 .448
1958 St. Louis SLN              67    87   .435   27.0                 72 82 .468           72 82 .468
1958 Chicago CHN             67    87   .435   27.0                 72 82 .468           72 82 .468

            Given the online game has played thousands of seasons, has there been a hitting streak that exceeds DiMaggio’s 56-game skein? If so, how many and which is the longest?

            The longest hit streak in my replays was Kiki Cuyler’s 39 in 1930. I have not heard of any SOM streaks longer than 56. I wonder if, say, 1911 Ty Cobb (who hit .420) has gotten close? Anyone out there seen a 50-game streak?