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OOTP 19 - Fictional Simulations Discuss fictional simulations and their results in this forum.

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Old 05-18-2018, 10:43 PM   #61
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Oh my! He may be a dreaded Spinner, but we Barry's need to stick together. Poor fellow. Hope he recovers quickly, I sincerely do. (Although, given that was heading for camp in mid-December, I have to wonder if he isn't terribly bright. Or if he was planning to walk the entire way from his home in San Jose, California to training camp in Arizona?)
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:46 PM   #62
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With the long, cold winter finally coming to an end, WPK teams back in full swing playing exhibition games, and every team's fans thinking, maybe this year is our year, let's take a look at how the offseason moves affected the teams in the WPK.
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:52 PM   #63
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While it was not a very active hot stove league for trades, the Free Agency market was quite active (with a handful of good to very good players still unsigned) and several teams will look very different going into 1966. One of the most transformed teams will be the El Paso Dawgs, who lost 15 players, including their star first baseman Frank Hernandez, while gaining 5 players, at least 2 of whom could be significant contributors (veteran sluggers Josh Ackland- RF, and Mike Kuehn-1B.) Still on the whole El Paso looks to have lost much more value than they gained.
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:56 PM   #64
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The top 3 teams in terms of WAR gained in the offseason are all key MGL rivals for the Brewers- Phoenix, who's biggest move was signing star FA second baseman Chris Flaim, Oklahoma City, who added veteran first baseman Willie Rodriguez while losing very little of value, and Portland, who, as mentioned previously, scored big by picking up the reigning MVP of the SJL, Frank Hernandez.
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Old 05-19-2018, 05:10 PM   #65
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The Brewers, meanwhile, took a very quiet approach to the winter, and in losing center fielder Ruben Baeza to Free Agency while not adding anyone to the team, they ended the winter with a -3.4 WAR differential. The only news the Brewers made in terms of player personnel (other than some very back-page local sports items about veteran FA's signed to minor league contracts) was in re-signing veteran fan favorite and starting third baseman A.J. White, who was set to be a FA at the end of the 1966 season, to a one-year, $85K deal. White, who was the 2nd player taken by the Brewers in the inaugural draft, was something of a disappointment during the 1965 season, in spite of leading the team in batting average (.260), turns 36 prior to Opening Day 1966, but is still a skillful player, puts fannies in the seats, and is a respected member of the team. Plus, the $85 K represents a significant step down from his current $222K pay. While White remains fragile, the Brewers have several players who can ably step in an play third on a short term basis should he be unable to play (he missed only 6 days to injury- foot contusion- during the '65 season.) Foremost among them is great fielding Hector Uribe but also providing depth is super-sub defensive specialist, Jose Bravo.
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:06 AM   #66
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A.j.

A good signing for multiple reasons. He still looks like a force on the field, and, yeah, definitely at the gate.
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Old 05-20-2018, 01:03 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevem810 View Post
A good signing for multiple reasons. He still looks like a force on the field, and, yeah, definitely at the gate.
Yes, I'll admit my expectations for him were probably a bit too high given that he was my second overall pick in the initial draft. But he is a very solid player and solid contributor to team unity and certainly helps with the fan interest (boosted from 80 to 86 upon him signing this one-year extension.) I will hope that his contributions on the field are even a bit greater this year.

Ah- and I should probably admit that this was one of the goals my owner set for me as well, so pretty much a no-brainer all the way around.

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Old 05-20-2018, 01:27 PM   #68
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And now a few words about baseball statistics/numbers as they relate to this project.
While I was sitting at the coffee shop this morning reading Keith Law's excellent, Smart Baseball, if occurred to me that I should probably clarify a few things regarding the numbers/statistics I report here for this fictional league.
I've been trying to find the right balance (still trying) between respecting that this league is set in the mid-1960's but that I am playing this game with some of the baseball knowledge we have gained from the sabermetric movement since then.
So while I will be talking about things like batting averages and pitchers wins and ERA, etc., this should not be taken as evidence that I am personally leaning heavily on these outdated and not terribly useful baseball indicators. Still, 1960's baseball certainly did so I don't want to ignore them completely either.

But as an example- my Denver Brewers finished in 2nd place in the MGL and with the 5th best record in the 20-team W.P. Kinsella League while finishing last in the MGL in both batting average and OBP. But with the 3rd best HR total in the league and the 1st best stolen base total (more about that in a minute) the Brewers managed a 5th place tie in the league in runs scored and that combined with above average pitching and very good defense led to a winning season. Now, that last place finish in batting average really doesn't matter that much to me. On the other hand, I very much hope we can improve on our low OBP skills and have confidence that going forward we will. As for the stolen bases, well, this is not about any belief on my part that the stolen base is a strong baseball strategy, statistically speaking. But with the current skills-sets on the team, the pitching rich environment, and my own personal preference for the speed game- my team was instructed to be aggressive on the base paths. It might not be good sabermetrics, but for me it is good fun and not a totally crap strategy given the overall circumstances. Whether my team finished as high in the standings partly due to this strategy or in spite of it is I guess a matter for debate.
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Old 05-20-2018, 03:02 PM   #69
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So an interesting Spring Training story is developing around the probable last spot on the 25-man roster for the Brewers when the 1966 season opens. It was thought this would likely belong to young outfielder, Tom O'Donnell. But O'Donnell went on the 10-day DL very early in Spring Training due to back spasms and continues to have back stiffness which is delaying his return to action. In the meantime, 37-year old RF'er Justin Schumann, who was signed to minor league contract as a FA in the offseason, has been impressive (granted, small sample size) and it is starting to look like he may earn a spot on the club coming out of camp. He would provide a very young starting outfield group some steady, veteran backup.
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Old 05-20-2018, 05:01 PM   #70
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As for young Mr. Zach Barr- he of the AFL No-Hitter- well, he's pitching above expectations once again. Again, an admittedly small sample size, but in 12 2/3rds IP, he has allowed just 2 runs on 7 hits, with 4 walks allowed and 13 strikeouts. He has an 0.87 WHIP, a 281 ERA+, 0.7 HRA/ 9 IP, 2.8 BB/9 IP, and 9.2 K/9 IP. Not that Spring Training statistics are terribly meaningful and again, small sample size, but gosh darn it, if he continues to do this every time he's given a chance he just might earn a major league call-up and soon.

And if the bullpen suffers any injuries between now and Opening Day, don't be surprised if Mr. Barr doesn't start the season on the active roster.
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Old 05-20-2018, 06:49 PM   #71
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Just remembered something I keep forgetting to report concerning the 1965 season. Some of you may have read the thread I started here regarding family legacies in fictional OOTP universes. If you have, then you know that I spoke of creating a process by which I will identify current WPK players who will have relatives who play professional baseball, at some level, in this universe as well.
While this is still a work in progress I have advanced far enough in creating this system that two players during the 1965 season were identified whose sons (in both of these cases) will eventually also go on to be professional ballplayers.
John Carr, a 26 year old relief pitcher for the Pittsburgh Roadrunners, became the father of a son named Madden on April 27th, 1962. By traveling to the future in the WPK time machine, we know that eventually young Madden Carr will become a pitcher also- in his case a starting pitcher of the workhorse variety. Madden will be eligible for the WPK Amateur Draft in 1980. Whether young Madden ever makes it to the big show is a mystery that will only be revealed in due time.
Leo Gavilla, a 22 year old outfielder for the Columbus Whalers, became the father of a son named Frankie Gavilla on April 7th, 1965. Frankie, like his father, will be a speedster, though unlike his father Frankie will play shortstop and will be available to be drafted by WPK teams in the 1983 draft.
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:16 PM   #72
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Young righty starting pitcher Jon Goldman had his worst outing in a pretty dismal spring training today and was sent back down to the AA camp to get ready for the season and avoid any further embarrassment.
On the other hand, Zach Barr pitched another solid 2 innings- allowing 2 harmless hits but no runs while striking out 3 and walking none. With Ben Malzone, who was expected to start the season in the Brewers pen, struggling as well, Barr is looking more and more like he will be given an opportunity to start the season in a Brewers uniform.
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Old 05-22-2018, 05:04 PM   #73
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I like the 'not too detailed' glimpses into the future in regards to the family tree and the league. Nice touch.
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Old 05-22-2018, 07:56 PM   #74
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Quote:
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I like the 'not too detailed' glimpses into the future in regards to the family tree and the league. Nice touch.
Of course, part of that is simply the result of much still being mysterious to me as well.

BTW- I've been meaning to tell you that I love that the Head Scout for the Basse-Pointe team in your Francais Baseball League is named Patrick Beck. One of my best buddies shares that name and his family used to have a place down in the British Virgin Islands. I can totally see my buddy Patrick heading down to Martinique to be a baseball scout. I think he would love this alternative life for him.
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Old 05-22-2018, 08:10 PM   #75
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The March 31st, 1966 Denver Brewers Spring Training game against the Oklahoma City Diamond Kings, which the Brewers won 7-2, gave a tantalizing taste of what just might- the Brewers brain-trust hopes will- be what the future holds. Pretty much every young Brewer who the team is pinning their hopes on for 1966 and beyond had a great game. The team was led by 21-year old Ruben Souffront, who was named Player-of-the-Game after going 3 for 3 with 2 runs scored, 2 RBI, and an inside-the-park HR. Budding star LF'er, Antonio Puente, 22 years old, went 2 for 3 with 1 run scored and a double. 19-year old shortstop Chad Brown was 2 for 3 with 2 runs driven in and a double. Relative veteran, 25-year old second baseman Tanner Yurek, did not start the game, but came in mid-way through and went 2 for 2 with 1 run scored. Center fielder Zach Banks, all of 23 years old, went 1 for 3, scored 1 run and stole 1 base while being his usual steady self defensively. Armando Cruz, 20-year old fireballing reliever, pitched a solid 1 1/3rd innings, allowing just one harmless hit while striking out 2. 24 year old Bill Roache continued his great spring (0.00 ERA) with 1 2/3rds nearly perfect innings (1 walk) to earn the save. Even 22 year old Manny Castillo, who is not considered much of a prospect, chipped in with a monster HR. And young Pat Rondeau, who took over mid-game in CF, came up with a great defensive play late in the game when the Diamond Kings were threatening to get back into the contest.
Unfortunately, young reliever Zach Barr had his worst outing of the spring. But Brewers management could be seen with big grins on their faces at the end of this one and clearly have high hopes that this is just a taste of better times to come.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:32 PM   #76
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So, of course, on April 1st our Head Scout (Nick Meskill) delivers some development updates and while there is some good news there (Ruben Souffront, for instance, sees his potential contact rating rise to 8, his current HR power rating rise to 5 and his potential in this area rise to 6) there is on the whole more bad news than good.
And then the Brewers drop a stinker to the Detroit Falcons, losing 7-3 (and that sounds closer than it really was.)
But perhaps worst of all (short term, at least) is that on a great, diving catch veteran RF'er Justin Schumann, who had earned a spot on the 25-man opening day roster, suffered a concussion and went on the 10-day DL, not expected to be fully recovered for about 2 weeks. (Which, I suppose, could be good news for whomever gets to take his place, however temporarily, on the 25-man roster.) Schumann, of course, is considered an iron man in terms of injury proneness. But there is no such thing as invincibility in baseball. (Or life.)
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:05 PM   #77
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With Opening Day fast approaching, and just one more Spring Training game on the Brewers schedule, they find themselves having whittled down the active roster to 27 men. Some of the last (but inevitable) cuts were 19-year old right-handed pitcher Chris Martin, who had a pretty good spring and seems to be a bit rejuvenated as a prospect heading down to the single A Bainbridge Brawlers, and very possible future starting Brewer center fielder, Pat Rondeau, who was sent to AAA Chester Big Stick for a bit more seasoning.
Also sent down was shortstop Corey England, who was on the big league club all of 1965 but appears to be fizzling a bit as a prospect in spite of solid defensive skills and fine work ethic.
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:15 PM   #78
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With two cuts still to be made, the Brewers management realized that it would be one of three young relievers who would remain while two others would have to take their place in the minor leagues, at least for now. Two of the three had the advantage of major league experience the second half of the 1965 season- Ben Malzone and Brad Schmidt. The third, Zach Barr, pitched so impressively in the Arizona Fall League (including throwing a no-hitter) and also had great success in Spring Training.
Although in some ways Malzone looks to have the best potential of the three, he was not particularly good in his 1965 Brewer's stint and had a weak Spring Training and it was decided that he likely needed some time in AAA to regain his confidence so he was sent down to the Big Stick club.
So, heading into the last game of the exhibition season, the question remains: which one will get to start the season in the Brewers pen- Schmidt or Barr?
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:00 PM   #79
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I like Malzone, but, he hasn't really demonstrated the art of control. But, not sure either of two will outshine him in that area. Barr is pretty good if you need a Long Relief guy.
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Old 05-26-2018, 08:49 AM   #80
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I like Malzone, but, he hasn't really demonstrated the art of control. But, not sure either of two will outshine him in that area. Barr is pretty good if you need a Long Relief guy.
I agree with your assessments. Very much about nibbling around the edges of talent here with these three. Not likely any of the three will ever become terribly useful major leaguers. But I decided to enter the season with 7 relievers, particularly with one of my five starting pitchers (Montefusco) being fragile (and often injured during the 1965 season) and another (Campos) showing signs of potential very goodness if not really greatness but still also likely to have several outings at this point where he gets shelled early.

The other thing that I am working out regarding this project is how I want to approach decisions in terms of balancing out performance on the field with what I know (given limitations of how much to trust my scout, things unseen, and random talent change, etc.) about the players beyond that. What I'm trying to say is that the most logical action for me to take is to keep Malzone and demote (or trade, whatever) the other two. But given recent on-field performances (partial 1965 Brewers season, AFL, and Spring Training) it feels to me like a team might be more likely to give a guy like Schmidt a try and let Malone marinate in AAA a bit. Given that Schmidt is 25 and Malzone 21 (as is Barr), makes that even more likely.
When I first started playing OOTP (not long ago) I was all about mastering the game and WINNING! I took over the 1993 Colorado Rockies and made a flurry of moves, for several seasons of play, and before long winning was the norm. Turns out, when you have the hindsight of knowing how players careers actually turned out IRL, it isn't that hard to win.
With the Denver Brewers and the WPK, I will be disappointed if winning comes that easily. It's not that I want (necessarily) to make bad moves and have a losing record, but I want to make moves that feel both mostly smart and organic in the baseball context of the league.

And, in a way, I want to play experiment a bit with the game engine. I want to see if it matters if I send Malzone down to AAA a bit. For better or for worse. I want to sometimes (at least) make the less logical move just to see what happens then.
And I very much want to (again, within reason) make decisions based upon emotions at least part of the time. So I will have favorite players and I might play them/keep them longer than I should. And the team might suffer as a result. And that's okay. Because I will be having fun.
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