Thursday, January 28, 2016

Draft day trickery

So I am doing an online retro baseball draft for the 1971 season and it reminded me of something

In 6th grade, we were choosing softball teams and there were 3 captains and if got to be near the end of the draft and one team was complete and another team had just one slot left but I still had 5-6 slots open. I believe we had to bid for players and I spent a huge amount for Paul Skinner, who I believed was most likely the best player in the draft, until Mr. Melrose added himself as the last available player.

I induced the other captain to trade one mediocre player to me for 2 very good players of mine. He thought he swindled me until it was realized I would automatically get Mr. Melrose for "free" with no bidding as both of the other rosters were now full.

I was told the faculty lounge got a big kick out of my trickery.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Dynasty Dilemma

I always found it hard when doing projects to pick one team out of a mini dynasty, so often I would create monster sets of leagues etc to accomodate ALL the teams from a dynasty
Let's look at some examples (of course as always my focus in on the 1960s and 1970s)

The 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964 Yankees
Wow 5 pennant winners in a row, 2 world champions. Of course the record breaking 1961 team is great but outside of HR power and infield defense not a lot of other strong points (as Bill James likes to point out). The 1960 team was great because it "filled" in the decade (as well as all the other teams) when the recreated set was released, but you have the different card patterns which are a turnoff to me. Pitching is mediocre as well. 1962 I like a lot but that was the lowest win % of the 5 teams. I really like the 1963 team, although Mantle had less than 200 AB. 1964 had good pitching but a lot of holes in the lineup.

The 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966 Dodgers
1965 was my first exposure with the oldtimer set, and a memorable game I played when I was 14 had Sandy striking out 17 1927 Yankees in a 2-0 shutout. Drysdale also had a very good year that year (not counting his 7 HR a well) but the offense was  miserable. 1966 adds future Hall of Famer Don Sutton to the rotation and the offense is improved, but Drysdale had an off year. I was elated to get the 1963 team when the past season set was issued, good enough offense with batting champ Tommy Davis and Koufax was super, but even better for many was the 1962 team, although Koufax missed a few months. Interesting note is in 1964, both Koufax and Drysdale had perhaps their best pitching cards, although the team was an also ran.

The 1964, 1966, 1969, 1970, 1971 Orioles.
Many think Baltimore would have begun their awesome run in 1964 when they finished 2 games out if Boog Powell had not got injured (39 HR in 424 AB). I like that team a lot, especially the bullpen and Brooks in his MVP year. Of course 1966 was a world championship team with a triple crown hitter, but they have no standout starting pitcher. 1969 is an exceptional team but Brooks had an of year hitting .234. 1970 was a powerhouse team but even Cuellar and McNally with 24 wins each had higher ERAs than normal. Of course, 1971 had 4 20 game winners and a solid lineup although no hitter had a great year. Oddly enough the 3 teams in a row 1969, 1970, 1971 all were included in the past season set but note ...

1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975 A's
... the 3 WORLD CHAMPIONS the A's had in a row, 1972, 1973 and 1974 only one team was included in the past season set.   1972 has excellent pitching but Vida Blue sat out part of the year and only ended with 6 wins. They do hit a lot of home runs although there are glaring weaknesses at SS, CF, C (BA) and even 3B. 1973 has better hitting but Catfish gave up a whopping 39 HR in a 21 win season. Joe Rudi had a down year as well. 1974 had Catfish in a Cy Young Year, but Tenace only hit in the low .200s with lots of HR and BB and C and 2B were weak spots. 1975 is an oft forgot year because the Red Sox swept them (tough to start 2 LH in Fenway park to start a best of 5) and many players had good years but there is nowhere to put Claudell Washington unless you move Joe Rudi to 1B. Reggie did hit 36 HR and Rudi, Tenace, Washington and to a lesser degree a few others had good years. Losing Catfish hurt for the post season. That leaves 1971 which I like more than the other 4. Vida Blue was a great MVP and CY winner, Catfish was very good and Reggie and Sal Bando had very good years and many others had good years.

The 1964, 1967, 1968 Cardinals
The 1967 team had the highest win % of any NL team that decade. Cepeda was MVP and Brock Flood Javier and McCarver all had excellent years. Carlton was coming into his own and Hughes was VG except for giving up gopher balls. But Gibson missed a chunk of the season and only had 13 wins. 1968 was Gibson and Hoerner, with Briles Washburn and Carlton but literally very poor offense. How that team won the pennant by so many games is a mystery. I personally like 1964. Boyer and White were still there and Flood Brock and McCarver were good. Javier was OK and even Groat was serviceable.

The 1970, 1972, 1975, 1976, 1977 Reds
Of course 1975 and 1976 are all time great teams, but 1976 Bench had his weakest year and there were no top starters in the rotation. 1975 was a very well balanced team but outside of Morgan and perhaps Rose, no individual had a standout year. 1972 has a few holes but the pitching is strong. 1970 you have the well oiled Big Red Machine with perez and Bench having monster years and Tolan, May, Carbo and Rose also being very very good. Pitching is OK but there are weaknesses at SS and 2B as of course Morgan had not arrived yet. I could have included 1973 and even 1974, but 1977 is fun with a great offensive team led by Foster and Seaver added at midseason. For one game, this is a very tough team.

The 1965, 1969, 1970 Twins
In many ways, the pennant winner was the weakest of the 3 teams. 1969 was great but in an expansion year they had 2 expasnion teams in their division. 1970 was almost as good although Carew missed about 100-110 games. I have had projects where the 1965 team was off the chart good and off the chart bad. I also think Killebrew in 1965 due to a variety of reasons is not the real Killebrew.

The 1974, 1977 1978 Dodgers
Almost all about the same with a little more offense in 1977 and a little more pitching in 1978. 1974 is good in their own way.

The 1976, 1977, 1978 Yankees
1976 would seem to be th e worst of the 3 but they actually do OK for me in projects. 1977 is more offensive but I prefer 1978 with Guidry, adding Gossage and a better Hunter.

The 1976, 1977, 1978 Phillies
I like the 1976 team, dislike the 1978 team and the 1977 team is very powerful but I don't like them as much.

The 1976, 1977, 1978 Royals
In truth just the 1977 team is impressive.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

2 steps forward, 3 steps back and OCD

So about 18 months or so ago, I decided my Strat baseball collection was too big, took up too much room, and there was so much I could never ever play all of the sets.

I decided to dump a  large part of  it, all of the recreated sets (nearly 40), and all the regular issue seasons from 1990-2013. I even then went and also sold 1980-1989.

Good moves, although I have since reobtained about 10 of the classic recreated seasons (and 1955) and a few of the 80s sets (will get all 10 eventually).

I got interested in Replay baseball for reasons I have enumerated before, but suddenly had about 19 sets and they were just taking up the space that used to house the Strat sets I sold, and I never ever looked at them or played them.

I wanted to get an original APBA 1964 set as that was my first exposure to TT baseball and suddenly I have about 20 sets of APBA too as these sets were more readily available and comparatively much less expensive..

The Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) had struck again.

Coming to my senses. Replay is a wonderful game engine,, but I have returned to Strat and just don't have time (or room) for more than one game engine.

I have decided (oh well) to move my Replay collection and most likely my APBA collection.

Hopefully, it will be 3 steps forward and not any steps backward this time.