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2019 Holiday Sales & Baseball Sims

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  • 2019 Holiday Sales & Baseball Sims

    Diamond Mind Baseball is having a "buy 1, get 1/2 off" on their past season lineup. Their best "normal" deal is a 30% discount for orders over $300 so this is effectively giving you the same discount, but you don't have to spend the $300 minimum. Pretty good deal, though it's limited to past season disks so if you're looking for the 2019 season and/or the regular game itself, this doesn't apply. Still, it's a great way to stock up on some past seasons for your collection if you want to grab a few extra. Past season disks are no more than $24.95 each (depending on the year/disk type). I believe the All-Time Greatest Players and All-Time Greatest Teams disks are also included in the sale. This sale will last until Christmas.


    Out Of The Park (OOTP) Baseball is now available for 75% off the regular price. Some people swear by this one and it's certainly the most "complete" GM/managerial experience built within a game. It's only got better year-in, year-out. Folks, this is everything you need to play (no season disks) for the low price of $9.99. This sale lasts through the off-season.


    Strat-o-Matic Baseball is offering 20% all board games and card sets. Not their PC products, apparently. But for Strat collectors or those who enjoy the tabletop experience (or want to teach their kids), you can't beat a game of Strat. The experience of receiving your new set of cards in the mail before the season and opening them up to look at your favorite players is unique in baseball simulation games. This is a "Black Friday" sale so carpe diem.


    Playstation is offering MLB The Show at a deep discount. You can pick up this year's version of the only MLB console game for as low as 20 bucks now and purchase "stubs" (which are the in-game currency with which you buy packs of cards to either buy random packs of player cards to improve your team's roster if you're into that mode of the game). This is another "Black Friday" sale, so take advantage of it while you can. If you wanted to purchase one of the premium versions of the game, those too are heavily discounted. IIRC Matt Vasgersian and Mark DeRosa are the voices in the broadcast booth for this game.


    No sale going on, but for those who want to stroll down memory lane, APBA Baseball still exists. They don't appear to be putting much into the product any more (relative to Strat-o-Matic, who was their primary competitor back in their heyday), but they are still making the product and, it appears, keeping things relatively current. Enjoy, old-timers!


    Along, these lines, Statis Pro Baseball has been resurrected and offers a free demo download. The game appears to be a one-time $25 with $8 per season update, which is very reasonable. Whoever is doing this must have been a big fan of the old cards-and-dice game. If that describes you, this appears to be a faithful rendition of the original and may well be worth your time, at least to try out the demo. This is the only game on this list (besides Dynasty League below) which I have not personally played (though I used to play the board game). I'm intrigued.


    Mike Cieslinski's Dynasty League Baseball is still going strong. No apparent sale being run, but they look to be the earliest to have the 2019 season available to their customers. (DMB is typically mid-December and Strat typically late January, IIRC.) Cieslinski was the brains behind the old Pursue the Pennant game, which was a leap forward for PC sims over products like Earl Weaver Baseball and Micro League Baseball. IIRC, Mike left to start his own game (Dynasty League) while Tom Tippett took over PTP and turned it into Diamond Mind. (Tippett sold DMB, unfortunately, when he went to work for the Red Sox, BTW, and hasn't been associated with DMB for quite some time.)


    Baseball Mogul (no sale, apparently) does have a free version of the game (single season only) to try. I'm not going to bad-mouth any of these games. I've played very nearly every one and given money to most over the years. Heck, I've been a beta tester for a few of them. I will say this, for what it does, Baseball Mogul was always a fun game to play. In price and performance for this kind of sim, OOTP is the leader.


    Baseball Century is a free "what if" romp through the 20th Century. If you like the flavor of the sport's early years, you may like this one. It's a web-based game with nothing to download, but despite its simplicity, it can keep you occupied for hours. It even tracks your franchise's all-time statistical leaders! A neat spin on things.


    The free version of What If Sports' SimMatchup Baseball. Ever wondered how the 1994 playoffs would have turned out? Want to know if the 2001 Mariners are as good as the 2017 Astros? Now you can find out. Enjoy your hypothetical matchups and play a single game or a complete series between any two teams in MLB history.


    Dave Schmidt's Strategic Baseball Simulator is still free to download. This is a nifty program and lots of fun if you don't have the cash to spend on some of the big hitters in the lineup above. Unlike Baseball Century or SimMatchup, it is a full program that you can set up and play on your own computer. Dave put a lot of work into this and has graciously maintained it for free as a public service. God bless him.


    For those games that utilize the Lahman Baseball Database for past seasons, you can find it as a free download here.


    Happy Thanksgiving, you baseball nuts. May you find something in this list which brings you joy as we enter the holiday season!
    Last edited by Chadwick; 11-27-2019, 07:17 AM.
    "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
    "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
    "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
    "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

  • #2
    Thanks for posting all the links to these in one thread. I have at least one issue with every game on the market, which is why it is my belief that baseball fanatics like us should design and make our own strategy based games to fit our own personal likes and dislikes. Here are the reasons why I don't like some of these games, without calling any particular game out.

    1. I don't believe in clutch performance at the plate.

    2. I believe that in any one season, the left/right batting/pitching cannot be determined. It takes at least 1,000 or more plate appearances before a batter's true efficiency against left and right handed pitchers can be known. If you look at many of the baseball regulars from any era prior to 2000, you will find that a lot of these players over their entire careers were about equal against left-handed and right-handed pitchers. In the mid 1960's, some NL lefties may have batted much lower against southpaw pitchers, but when you look at their gamelogs, they faced Sandy Koufax a lot for a few years and then Steve Carlton a lot. Against all other lefties, they may have had slash lines almost equal to facing right-handed pitching, but because of just two pitchers, it looked like they couldn't hit southpaws.

    3. I want to have sets where all the teams have a chance to win a pennant if a 154-game or 162-game schedule is played. I don't want to pay for the 2019 Orioles, Royals, Tigers, Marlins, etc. I'd rather play the best teams of each franchise in an era. The 1927 Yankees playing the 1927 Browns is no fun, but the 1927 Yankees playing the 1922 Browns or 1929 Athletics is much more entertaining. Lefty Grove in 1929 or 1931 pitching against the Babe and Lou Gehrig beats having the two sluggers face some stiff that had a .400+ OBP allowed and .550 slugging average allowed.

    4. There are games where the stolen bases don't simulate properly. Give me a game where the base-runners have to both get a good jump on the pitch to the plate and will then steal according to their percentages with both the pitcher and catcher's talent in preventing or allowing steals. There is a big difference between player A with 8 steals and 2 CS in 250 SB opportunities and one with 56 steals and 14 CS in 250 SB opportunities. Also, somebody with 15 SB in 1955 might be better at stealing than someone with 35 SB in 1975. Also, when figuring stolen base percentages, you must factor the number of times that a player was in a SB attempt due to a hit and run with no contact on the ball.

    5. Some games allow the manager to insert a relief pitcher at any time. Where's the time it takes to warm up? Also, the pitcher should not fatigue all at once. Some games have the pitcher pitching normally until he gives up a certain amount of hits, walks, runs, etc, or faces X amount of batters. This is not a consistent thing in real life. Bob Gibson sometimes was stronger and more effective in the 9th inning than it the 1st or 2nd. There are stats that show what each pitcher has done over his career. There are some that start tiring after single digit batters faced and some that need some bfp's before they reach prime effectiveness.

    6. I have seen games where somebody like Bob Hazle in 1957 can be the second coming of Rogers Hornsby in the early 1920's. It is obvious that he would not have hit .400 playing a full season. There has to be a way to adjust his batting without limiting him to the PA he had. A real manager could have inserted Hazle or any other player into the starting lineup in every game. Just because he didn't, it doesn't mean he couldn't.

    6A. The same goes with pitchers. Walter Alston could have put Don Sutton in the bullpen in 1966 rather than have him start every 4th day. He could have made Joe Moeller his 4th starter. Not that it would have been smart, but it would have been possible. Most games on the market won't allow you to make the same managerial decisions due to their games' rules. Every player on every team should be able to do anything a player can do in a real game. Somebody might want to experiment with having two pitchers in the lineup, placing the one not pitching in the opposite outfield spot from the batter's strong point. Imagine having Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman in the lineup together. Seaver would pitch to righties and Koosman to lefties. The 1969 Mets didn't hit much any way, so having them both in the lineup might reduce opponents runs by more than the Mets would lose offensively.

    I could list many others, but the MRS. says its time to come help in the kitchen.

    Comment


    • #3
      Wes, I agree with all your points (although a couple of those games do at least one of those things, if not necessarily well). You make some excellent arguments.

      Moreover, I think the market for baseball sims could be grown with a top-notch product that is backed by superior customer service leading the charge (and gobbling up market share). There is a great deal of tribalism (for lack of a better word) in the market, but over time, a better mousetrap would win out over nostalgia for most.

      Moreover, the lack of customer-oriented practices and processes for some - not all - of these companies practically invites someone to come in with a better business model.

      I cannot imagine, for example, that the larger baseball community would not flock to support the construction and sale of a new, better game. Ultimately, translating that game to other avenues besides the PC would be necessary for long-term financial success, but I believe it still starts with the PC version. Baseball as a simulation is too well suited to that format.

      If only we could gather a few Grade-A baseball minds and some quality programmers and form a company.

      Sigh.
      "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
      "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
      "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
      "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

      Comment


      • #4
        Strat-o-Matic has a "buy 3, get 1 free" sale on their season disks for Cyber Monday. Deal lasts until noon (ET) on Tuesday.
        "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
        "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
        "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
        "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

        Comment

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