All Time Baseball - About DMB

ATB Parks of ATB Draft Day Rules/About DMB Owners History
 

OVERVIEW

- General Game Info

 

PLAYER RATINGS

- Defense

- Offense

- Pitching

 

ROSTER CONSTRUCTION / TEAM LINEUP FORM

- Pitching Chart

- Manager Tendencies

Player Tendencies

- Offensive Tendencies

- Pinch Hitting Tendencies

- Pitcher Tendencies

- Catcher Fatigue

 

OVERVIEW OF ERAS

- General

 

 

 

OVERVIEW

Time after time, Diamond Mind Baseball has been chosen as the best computer baseball game for your PC by reviewers throughout the industry. Why? Ease of use, unmatched realism, statistical accuracy, speed and in-depth player research.

 

As the manager of your own big league club, you choose your starting lineups from rosters of real players. You decide when to use a pinch hitter, attempt a steal, take the extra base on a hit or fly ball, bring in a relief pitcher, pitch around a hitter, and more. After the game, you can print or save to file a boxscore or play-by-play scoresheet of the game.

 

Almost everything that happens on the field in big-league baseball can happen in Diamond Mind Baseball, including rundowns, pickoffs, outfielders missing the cutoff man, arguments with umpires, ejections, dropped third strikes, brawls, and pitchers leaving games when their arms stiffen during a long rain delay.

And Diamond Mind Baseball offers the first and only statistically accurate pitch-by-pitch simulation ever developed. You'll be amazed at how much more strategy and drama is introduced to the game when you can call for pickoff throws and pitchouts, give your batter the green light on 3-0 pitches, and change your tactics on every pitch.

 

Your players make great plays and a few blunders, too, just as in real life. Certain ballparks will yield many more doubles and homers than other parks. The outcome of some games will turn on a wind-blown fly ball or a fielder slipping on wet turf. You may suffer an injury to a key player just when you need him most, forcing you to sign a free agent, make a trade or call up a player from your farm system.

 

Diamond Mind Baseball automatically tracks injuries, forces managers to rest pitchers and catchers when they are tired, and compiles detailed batting, pitching, and fielding statistics. And it's easy to exchange rosters, computer manager instructions, and game results with managers in other cities.

You can use real-life rosters, teams and leagues, or create an entirely new league with the players drafted onto new teams. You can even create new teams, parks, and players, or assemble a custom league with teams from many Diamond Mind Baseball Season Disks.

 

For much more detail please see this article on DMB Home Page.

 

PLAYER RATINGS

 

DEFENSE

Range

This rating indicates a player's ability to reach balls hit in his direction and turn those batted balls into outs. Most baseball announcers use the "range" to mean the ability to cover ground, and that's certainly an important part of what goes into our range ratings. But it's not the whole story.

 

Our range rating (which takes values from Excellent to Poor) measures each fielder's overall playmaking ability (minus his tendency to commit errors, as we have a separate rating for that). Playmaking ability is not just about range, it's also about positioning, handling the ball cleaning, throwing quickly and accurately, and making good decisions about where and when to throw the ball.

 

For modern seasons, we carry out very extensive studies of play-by-play data when assigning our range ratings. We look at each player's individual performance on the balls hit his way, overall team defense, the effects of neighboring fielders (3B often take balls that the SS could have handled anyway, so we don't punish the SS for failing to make those plays), and ballpark effects.

 

Unfortunately, good fielding data can be hard to get for past seasons. The best sources we've found are the team section of the Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia and the STATS All-time Major League Handbook.

 

By comparing putouts (for outfielders) an (for infielders), and adjusting for playing time, you can get an idea how a player compares with his peers. These types of measures (commonly known as range factors) can sometimes be very misleading, however, as they don't take into account the groundball/flyball nature or left/right mix of the pitching staff. The more of these factors you can take into account when assigning range ratings, the more accurate your ratings will be.

 

Error rates

This rating is a percentage indicating how this player's error rate compares to the average fielder at his position in the era in which he played. A rating of 100 means the player is average -- that is, he makes 100% of the errors expected of someone at that position. A player who makes only 50% as many errors as his peers is rated 50. Someone who makes twice as many errors as his peers is rated 200.

 

The following table summarizes how error rates have changed over time, in five-year intervals. Each entry in the table is the number of errors made per 100 full games (or 900 defensive innings).

Year

P

C

1B

2B

3B

SS

OF

1895

24

27

26

44

46

67

19

1900

22

24

23

38

38

59

14

1905

18

22

20

31

28

50

10

1910

16

19

18

28

25

45

9

1915

16

17

15

25

22

40

9

1920

14

14

13

23

20

35

8

1925

12

12

11

21

17

32

8

1930

10

10

10

19

16

30

7

1935

10

10

10

18

16

27

7

1940

10

10

10

17

15

25

6

1945

10

9

9

16

15

23

6

1950

10

9

9

15

15

22

5

1955

10

9

9

14

15

20

5

1960

10

9

9

13

15

19

5

1965

10

9

9

13

15

19

5

1970

10

9

8

12

15

18

5

1975

10

9

8

12

15

17

5

1980

9

9

8

11

15

16

5

1985

9

9

8

10

15

16

4

1990

9

8

8

9

15

15

4

1995

9

8

8

9

15

15

4

2000

8

7

7

9

14

14

4

This table shows the errors per 100 games over time by position.

 

For example, to assign an error rating to a shortstop from 1912, determine how many errors that player made per 100 games. Suppose the player made 39 errors and was the shortstop about 80% of the time. Based on a 154-game schedule, that's about 123 full games. In 100 games, he would have made 39 x 100 / 123 = 32 errors. Looking at the rows for 1910 and 1915 in the table, we can estimate that the average shortstop in 1912 made 43 errors per 100 games. Our shortstop's rate is 32, which is 74% of 43, so his rating is 74.

 

Outfielder throwing

The strength and accuracy of an outfielder's throwing arm are indicated in this rating, which is used whenever a runner tries to take an extra base on a single, double or fly ball. These ratings takes values from Excellent to Poor.

 

When we assign throwing ratings for modern outfielders, we use detailed information about the number of extra bases opposing runners took on singles, doubles and fly balls hit to that outfielder. We also look at the number of runners thrown out, but outfielder assists can be misleading. Some outfielders pick up meaningless assists on plays where one or two runners score on a weak throw to the plate, and the batter is retired when the throw is cut off.

 

If you are assigning throwing ratings for past seasons, we suggest you compare assist totals across the league. Generally speaking, the higher the assist total, the better the throwing arm. This is not always true, of course, because some outfielders have such a great reputation for throwing that nobody tries to run on them (meaning their assist totals are low). So you will need to use some judgment here.

 

Catcher throwing

This rating indicates the strength and accuracy of the catcher's throwing arm and is used whenever a runner tries to steal second or third. It has values from Excellent to Poor.

When we assign catcher throwing ratings for modern seasons, we use detailed studies of play-by-play data to see how often opposing runners challenged each catchers arm and what percentage of those runners were thrown out. Our studies take into account any SB that were credited to trailing runners on double steals and how often a runner was caught stealing as a result of a pickoff throw by a pitcher. Most importantly, we look at the performance of each pitcher-catcher pair, an approach that helps us determine whether it's the pitcher or catcher who deserves the credit or blame for the results.

 

When assigning throwing ratings for past seasons, you can start by comparing assist totals across the league. Unfortunately, the best throwing catchers often don't have high assist totals because opposing runners don't run on them in the first place, so you will need to use some judgment.

 

Passed ball rating

This number indicates how many times a catcher will allow a passed ball in 1,000 plate appearances with runners on base. The formula is similar to that for wild pitch ratings for pitchers:  rating = (passed balls * 1000) / (batters caught * .43)

 

Official statistics don't include batters caught, so you'll need to estimate it. For example, if a team's pitchers faced 6300 batters and this catcher was behind the plate 72% of time, he caught about 6300 * .72 = 4536 batters.

 

The .43 factor indicates that about 43% of all plate appearances occur with runners on base. This number rises and falls with the level of offense in the league.

 

Playing out of position

You can use a player at a defensive position for which he is not rated, but his performance will suffer. How much? It depends.

Players can make a relatively painless transition to an easier position that is similar to one they're already rated for. The penalties are much greater for moving to a very different position that is also more difficult to play.

 

For example, a CF can play LF or RF without suffering much at all. Both positions are similar and easier than the one he's rated for. A LF or RF moving to CF has a more difficult time because there's more ground to cover. Similarly, a move from SS to 2B won't cost you too much, while a move from 2B to SS will hurt more. And the moves that will hurt the most are (a) from any position to catcher, (b) a catcher moving to any position except 1B, and (c) a 1B moving to CF or another infield position.

How will these penalties show up? In lots of ways. More balls in their zones will go for hits. They'll make more errors. Guys without outfielder throwing or catcher throwing ratings will be easier to run on. Unrated catchers will have more passed balls. Unrated middle infielders won't start as many double plays on balls hit to them, and they won't turn two as often when they're the pivot man on the play.

 

You might ask why we apply penalties even when a player is moving to a less difficult position. Couldn't a top-rated SS play 2B as well or better than the average 2B? In the many years that we've been assigning fielding ratings, we've seen a lot of players get higher ratings when they make the transition from a harder position to an easier one (especially SS -> 2B, 3B -> 1B, and CF -> LF), but we've also seen plenty of cases where the player needed some time to learn how to play the new position.

Every position requires mastery of a different set of skills. A CF moving to RF needs to learn how to play the caroms on balls hit down in the corner. A 3B needs great reflexes to handle the hot smashes that come his way, and that might not be the strong suit of a middle infielder moving to 3B. A SS moving to 2B must learn how to make the pivot with his back to the runner.

 

If our out-of-position adjustments assumed that every player could instantly adapt to a new position, even an easier one, we think it would create too many opportunities for managers to abuse the game by moving players around in ways that real-life managers would never get away with. So the game imposes penalties of varying degrees on all out-of-position players.

 

OFFENSE

Sacrifice bunt rating

The Sacrifice bunt rating indicates the player's ability to advance a runner with a sacrifice or squeeze bunt.

 

In real-life games, bunt singles are quite rare in sacrifice and squeeze situations (about 10% of the time), but the runners advance over 80% of the time when the batter gets the ball in play. But a significant percentage of bunt attempts are fouled off, putting the batter behind in the count and significantly reducing his effectiveness. The ability to get the ball in play is often the thing that separates the best bunters from the worst.

 

When we assign bunt ratings for modern seasons, we study pitch-by-pitch and play-by-play data from every real-life game to determine which bunters have more success getting the ball in play and advancing the runners.

 

The ratings range from Excellent to Poor. The better the rating, the fewer the number of foul bunts, and the higher the success rate when he does get the ball in play.

 

Bunting for a hit

Most of what we just said about sacrifice bunts applies to bunting for a hit, except that this rating applies only when the batter attempts to bunt with the bases empty or with two out.

 

In real-life games, bunt singles are fairly common in these situations. The best bunters are successful over 40% of the time. But because the hitter often tries to get a running start on these bunt attempts, two-thirds of them are fouled off, putting the batter behind in the count and significantly reducing his effectiveness. As with sacrifice and squeeze bunts, the ability to get the ball in play is often the thing that separates the best bunters from the worst.

The ratings range from Excellent to Poor. The better the rating, the fewer the number of foul bunts, and the higher the success rate when he does get the ball in play.

 

Running rating

The running rating measures the player's ability to take extra bases on singles, doubles, and caught fly balls. It measures both running speed and the player's judgment about when to take the extra base. Some slow runners have good ratings because they know when to try for the extra base. Some fast runners have low ratings because they don't read the ball off the bat very well or because they're too aggressive and get thrown out frequently.

 

When we assign running ratings for modern players, we use detailed information about the number of extra bases a runner takes on singles, doubles and fly balls, and the number of times each runner is thrown out on the bases.

 

If you do not have this information, you can assess a player's running ability based on statistics and other factors -- triples, stolen bases, defensive position, batting order position -- that suggest speed or lack of it. This method isn't foolproof -- our studies always uncover fast players who don't seem to succeed on the bases -- but it's a good method when you don't have play-by-play data to work with.

 

The running ratings range from Excellent to Poor. We rarely assign a running rating better than Average for pitchers and catchers, but there are exceptions from time to time.

 

Jump and steal ratings

The jump and steal ratings work together to indicate how well this player can steal bases. The jump rating measures his ability to read the pitcher and get a good jump on a steal attempt. The steal rating measures how successful he is on those attempts.

 

When we assign jump and steal ratings, we look at the player's stolen base and caught stealing totals, but we also examine the play-by-play data to see whether these statistics are telling the whole story. Some players pick up a few bonus steals as a trailing runner on double steals that were really earned by the lead runner. Others are very selective, trying to steal only against the weakest catchers and pitchers. So we don't rely on a strict formula when developing these ratings. However, because most people don't have access to this type of information, we've put together some guidelines to use when creating your own players.

 

One way to calculate the jump rating is to divide the number of steal attempts by the number of times the player reached first base (singles + walks + hit by pitch), using the following table:

Rating

Rate

Ex

at least 25%

Vg

at least 15%

Av

at least 9%

Fr

at least 3.5%

Pr

less than 3.5%

Excellent stealing ratings are reserved for players who succeed at least 83% of the time. Average stealers are successful about 67% of the time. Poor stealers are thrown out more than half the time.

 

Hitter type

This rating indicates whether the batter is a pull hitter or spray hitter. A right-handed batter is considered a pull hitter if he hit theball to the left fielder, third baseman or shortstop at least 50% of the time in real life. The same rule is appliedto left-handed batters, but the right fielder, first baseman and second baseman are used instead.

 

Power rating

This rating doesn't appear on the ratings form, but we'll mention it because it's on the player profile and in other places in the game. It indicates how well a player hits for power (doubles, triples and homers) against left- and right-handed pitching, and it is automatically calculated by DMB whenever you create a player or modify a player's event table.

 

This rating, which has values ranging from Excellent to Poor, does not determine the outcome of any plays. Its purpose is to give you a quick indicator of how much power is represented in the player's event table, and is therefore a useful companion to the player's batting average.

Statistically, the rating represents a batter's rate of extra-base hits after adjusting for park.

 

PITCHING

Durability as a starting pitcher or reliever

These ratings (which take values from Excellent to Poor) are used to determine how quickly a pitcher gets tired.

 

A player who was not used as a starter in real life does not have a rating. If he is used as a starter in DMB, he tires more quickly than a player with a Poor rating.

 

A player who was not used as a reliever in real life does not have a relief rating. If he is used in relief, he will have above-average durability in that role, since his arm is accustomed to long outings.

 

There are three ways to determine how durable a pitcher was. The best way, which can only be used for recent seasons, is to look at the average number of pitches thrown per appearance. These days, only the most durable and effective starting pitchers throw an average of 110 pitches or more. Most are in the 90s.

The second way is to compute the average number of batters faced per start. As you can see from the following table, which shows the average number of batters faced per appearance, pitchers are being used very differently today than they were 100 years ago. Back then, relief pitchers were used only in emergencies. Today, a complete game from a starting pitcher is unusual.

Year

Starters

Relievers

Year

Starters

Relievers

1895

35

17

1950

29

8

1900

34

18

1955

29

7

1905

34

13

1960

28

7

1910

33

12

1965

28

7

1915

33

10

1970

27

6

1920

32

10

1975

27

6

1925

32

9

1980

26

6

1930

31

9

1985

26

6

1935

31

9

1990

26

5

1940

30

8

1995

26

5

1945

30

8

2000

26

5

The third way is to look at a pitcher's complete game percentage compared to the norms for his era.

 

We consider all three of these pieces of information (when we have them all) when assigning durability ratings to starting pitchers. But keep in mind that there are some other factors that you may also want to consider:

  • bad pitchers don't last long, but it's not necessarily because they tire out. For a pitcher like this, you may want to assign a better durability rating than would normally be assigned based on batters faced per game. On those rare occasions when he's pitching well, this pitcher might indeed be able to go deep into the late innings or even throw a complete game.

  • it follows from the previous point that starter durability rating is most important for good pitchers. It doesn't matter much if a bad pitcher is allowed to stay in your games too long, but if a pitcher was very effective but didn't consistently pitch into the late innings, his starter durability rating is the only thing that will stop him from completing too many games.

  • a pitcher on a bad team may also be more durable than his batters faced numbers indicate if he's frequently removed from games for a pinch hitter

  • today's pitchers throw an average of 3.8 pitches per batter. Historical data of this type is not available, but we estimate that pitches per batter have risen over the past 100 years from the a low of 3.0-3-2 to today's much higher levels.

  • the values in the above table are averages, not maximums. In any given game, a pitcher can usually face 5-6 more batters than these tables indicate without getting tired. The values in the table reflect an average of the pitcher's short outings (the ones where he got pounded and he left the game before he could get tired) and his longer ones.

In DMB, as in real life, there is no magic indicator to tell you when a pitcher is tired. You must make a judgment call based on his performance in the current game and from his durability rating.

 

The following tables may help you decide when to remove a pitcher. Keep in mind that these tables are based on how pitchers are used today, so you'll need to make adjustments if you're playing older seasons. And remember that fatigue sets in gradually, so you may occasionally get away with pushing a pitcher beyond the normal limits.

 

For starting pitchers (pitch counts):

Rating

One game

Five days

Ex

125-135

210-230

Vg

115-125

195-215

Av

105-115

180-200

Fr

95-105

165-185

Pr

85-95

150-170

For relief pitchers (pitch counts):

Rating

One game

Five days

Ex

60-70

100-115

Vg

45-55

80-95

Av

30-40

50-65

Fr

25-35

40-55

Pr

20-30

35-50

 

Holding runners

This rating indicates a pitcher's ability to hold runners close on steal attempts. An Excellent rating indicates a pitcher against whom opposing runners attempt to steal with the next base open less than 5% of the time. Poor pitchers allow attempts almost 30% of the time.

 

When we assign hold ratings for modern seasons, we use detailed studies of play-by-play data to see how often opposing runners challenged each pitcher and what percentage of those runners were thrown out. Our studies take pickoffs into account, along with any steals that were credited to trailing runners on double steals. Most importantly, we look at the performance of each pitcher-catcher pair, an approach that helps us determine whether it's the pitcher or catcher who deserves the credit or blame for the results.

 

Unfortunately, there is very little information available for past seasons. It's only in recent years that stolen bases against pitchers and catchers were routinely published.

 

ROSTER CONSTRUCTION / TEAM LINEUP FORM

PITCHING CHART

The pitching chart includes your starting rotation, rules for how your starters are to be used, a list of other pitchers who may start from time to time, and the assignment of relief pitchers to various roles.

 

Roles

You can assign up to five pitchers to each of the following roles:

  • Starting rotation. You identify the pitchers that make up your starting rotation and the order in which they appear. You can use a rotation with three, four or five pitchers -- just leave spots empty if you don't want to use five pitchers. You also indicate whether starting pitchers should be used in strict rotation, in rotation but with the option to jump to the #1 starter if off-days make him available, or in proportion to the number of starts made in real life.

  • Spot Starters. If you want a pitcher to make occasional starts, you can designate that player as a spot starter. The list of spot starters parallels the list of pitchers in the starting rotation. If you want someone to start 20% of the time in place of the number four starter, enter this player in the fourth spot in the spot starter list, and enter 20 when you are prompted for the percentage.

  • Mopup situations. You can designate up to five pitchers for the mopup role. This role is used for the weaker pitchers on the team. They will normally be used only when your team is winning or losing by a large margin and the outcome of the game isn't really in doubt, though they may appear in close games if other pitchers are not available due to injury or fatigue.

  • Long Relief. You can designate pitchers for the role of long relief. Long relievers are generally used when the starting pitcher is replaced prior to the seventh inning, but will also be used in other game situations when required, particularly when a team is losing by a large margin and wants to preserve its better pitchers for future games.

  • Setup Men. There are two lists of setup men, one to face left-handed batters and one to face right-handed batters. Setup men are generally used in the seventh inning or later in close games, but will also be used in other situations when required.

  • Closers. There are two lists of closers, one to face left-handed batters and one to face right-handed batters. Closers are generally used in the eighth or ninth inning when the team has a lead in a close game, but will also be used in other situations when required.

In most game situations, the computer manager uses the first available pitcher in the appropriate list whenever a reliever is called for (excluding players on the reserve roster). So it is important that you list your players in the order you wish them to be considered, with your first choice at the top of the list.

 

However, there are other situations where another choice will be made. If the bullpen has been used heavily, the computer manager may use the most rested pitcher. If either team has a big lead, it may choose to use a less talented pitcher to make sure your top pitchers are rested for future games. If a game goes into extra innings, everyone in the bullpen is a candidate to enter the game.

 

Enter a pitcher on more than one list if you want him to be considered for more than one role. For example, your top setup man may also be your number two closer. However, there is no need to fill up all of the lists, since the computer manager chooses from other lists if nobody in a particular role is available.

 

MANAGER TENDENCIES

There are twenty tactics for which you can influence how the computer manager makes its decisions:

  • seven govern offensive plays: bunting for a hit, sacrifice bunting, squeeze bunting, using the hit and run, stealing, baserunning, and taking pitches.

  • four influence how frequently pinch hitters will be used in various situations: for a pitcher, for a non-pitcher, for a platoon partner, and in the late innings of a blowout.

  • three affect defensive tactics: holding runners, guarding the lines, and bringing the infield in.

  • and six help determine how the pitching staff is used: pitching around hitters, intentionally walking hitters, pitching out, making pickoff throws, using relief pitchers, and using closers.

The values you can set for each tactic are Most Frequent, More Frequent, Neutral, Less Frequent, and Least Frequent.

 

Playing the Percentages

For each of these tactics, Diamond Mind has studied play-by-play data to analyze the frequency with which they are deployed by real-life managers. We have examined how those frequencies are affected by the inning, number of outs, the score, baserunner locations, the ability of the players involved, and other factors.

 

When set to Neutral, the computer manager attempts to replicate these real life patterns by choosing, for example, to bunt with only the best bunters in the most appropriate bunting situations and when the batter wouldn't do better against this particular pitcher by swinging away. In other words, if you set everything to Neutral, the computer manager plays the percentages.

 

Based on an analysis of thousands of real-life games, the computer manager knows the odds of winning a game in any situation (such as when you're the away team and down by a run in the seventh), and it knows the probability of scoring a certain number of runs in any situation. So it sometimes plays for a big inning, and sometimes it plays for one run, whichever gives it the best chance to win. And it preserves the element of surprise, so you cannot always predict what the computer manager will do in a particular situation.

 

If all of your manager tendencies are set to Neutral, a team with more good base-stealers will steal more often than a team with fewer good base-stealers. A team with more good runners will take more extra bases on hits and flies than a team with fewer good runners. This is equally true of real-life rosters and draft-league rosters. As a result, the Neutral setting is the best choice for most teams, especially teams with which you are not too familiar.

 

The other settings are intended to override the computer manager's natural inclination to play the percentages. If you want your team to sacrifice bunt less often, despite having many good bunters, set your Sacrifice bunting tendency to Less Frequent or Least Frequent. If you want your team to try to pressure your opponent into making throwing errors, set your Running tendency to More Frequent or Most Frequent. But be aware that being more aggressive may mean taking more chances than the percentages would normally call for.

 

What the settings mean

Because there are too many variations in game situations and talent levels among different rosters, there are no precise answers to the question, "What will the computer manager do if I choose this setting?" However, you may want to consider the following when making your choices, then play some games using the computer manager to see how it handles your team in different situations:

 

Bunting. As is the case with all tendencies, a player's bunt rating is still the most important factor in determining how often the computer manager asks a player to bunt, but you can use the three bunting tendencies to increase or decrease bunt attempts by the players on your team.  

The squeeze bunt tendency is used whenever there's a runner on third with less than two outs.  While it is true that some real-life managers will use the sacrifice bunt with runners on first or third in order to move the runner from first to second and holding the runner at third, the DMB computer manager does not use this tactic.  It prefers not to give up an out when it already has a runner in scoring position.

 

The bunt for hit tendency is used whenever there are two out, the bases are empty, and in a couple of other situations where runners are on base but sacrificing makes little sense.  For example, with a position player at the plate, real-life managers rarely call for a sacrifice with one out and a single runner on either first or second, so DMB uses the bunt for hit tendency in those situations.  With nobody out, or a pitcher at the plate, it's a different story, and DMB uses the sacrifice bunt tendency in those cases.

 

The sacrifice bunt tendency is used with nobody out and a runner on first, a runner on second, or runners on both first and second.  With one out, the sacrifice bunt tendency is used with a pitcher at the plate, but the bunt for hit tendency is used when a position player is batting, because real-life position players rarely sacrifice with one out.  More often than not, they're bunting for a hit even with a runner on base.

 

Hit and run.  When deciding whether to use the hit and run, the computer manager is looking primarily at the batter's ability to make contact (and thereby protect the runner) and the likelihood that he'll hit into a double play if he does.  High strikeout rates discourage the use of the hit and run, while high rates of ground ball double plays encourage the use of this tactic.  The settings for this tactic nudge the computer manager in the direction you choose by adjusting the contact-rate and GDP-rate thresholds it uses to make these decisions.

 

Stealing. When set to Neutral, the computer manager is reluctant to attempt steals with runners owning low Steal ratings, since they will be thrown out too often. If you want to further restrict your steal attempts to those players with the highest steal ratings, choose Less Frequent or Least Frequent. This will not stop your best stealers from running, but will restrain other players.

 

Running. This tendency governs how many chances the computer manager will take on the base paths. When the computer manager makes a running decision, it compares the chances of gaining the extra base safely to a minimum threshold based on the game situation.

The chances of gaining the extra base are determined by the nature of the batted ball, whether the runner was going on the pitch or on contact, the running rating of the runner, and the throwing rating of the outfielder.

 

The minimum threshold is based on the game situation and whether it makes more sense to play for one run (as in the late innings of a close game) or a big inning. Depending on the number of outs and where the runners are situated, the value of taking the extra base can be high or low, as can be the cost of getting thrown out. The computer manager takes these factors into consideration when deciding how high the chances of success need to be to justify taking the risk of getting thrown out.

The Running tendency controls the minimum threshold. If you choose "less frequent" or "least frequent", the minimum threshold rises. That causes the computer manager to send the runner only when the chances of success are higher. If you choose "more frequent" or "more frequent", the minimum threshold is lowered, and the computer manager will take more chances.

 

NOTE:  This tendency applies to singles, doubles and fly balls. It does not affect the decision to send the runner home from third on a ground ball.

 

Taking pitches.  This tendency enables you to increase or decrease the likelihood that your best hitters will have the green light to swing with three balls and no strikes. It doesn't affect any other counts. And you don't need to use this tendency to prevent your weaker hitters from swinging at 3-0 pitches because the computer manager never gives them the green light.

 

Pinch hitting.  In all game situations other than blowouts, the computer manager uses a pinch hitter only if he is rated to be better than the scheduled hitter against the current pitcher. This assessment takes into account the handedness and the left/right splits of both the batter and the pitcher.

 

A "least frequent" setting tells the computer manager to pinch hit less often; that is, only when the pinch hitter is much better than the scheduled hitter. A "most frequent" setting tells the computer manager to pinch hit more aggressively; that is, even when the pinch hitter is only a little better than the scheduled hitter.

 

Pinch hitting in blowouts is a different matter altogether. In these situations, the goal is not to gain an advantage, it's to replace the team's better players to reduce their risk of injury. In blowouts, the computer manager generally replaces a better player with a weaker one, so the relative strength of the players is not a concern. Instead, the blowout pinch hitting tendency influences the computer manager decisions about (a) how big a lead is needed for the game to be treated as a blowout and (b) how early in the game it will begin to remove players.  In blowout situations, the "In blowouts" tendency takes precedence over the other pinch hitting tendencies.

 

Holding runners. When set to Neutral, all runners but the worst are held. Choosing Most Frequent causes all runners to be held. Choosing Least Frequent causes the first basemen to play behind runners with low Jump and Steal ratings.

 

Guard the lines. This setting controls the inning in which the computer manager begins to think about guarding the lines:

Tendency

Inning

Most frequent, more frequent

7th

Neutral

8th

Less frequent

9th

Least frequent

never

Infield in. This setting controls the inning in which the computer manager begins looking for opportunities to bring the infield in:

Tendency

Inning

Most frequent

1st

More frequent

4th

Neutral

6th

Less frequent

7th

Least frequent

8th

This tendency does not affect the decision to bring the infield in at the corners, which can occur anytime during a game to discourage a batter from bunting.

 

Pitching around and Intentional walk.  The computer manager issues intentional walks with first base open and a dangerous hitter at the plate if the on-deck hitter is much less of a threat.  If the intentional walk tendency is set to most frequent, the computer manager will issue a walk with a smaller difference in hitting ability between the next two hitters.  If it is set to least frequent, the computer manager will issue the walk only if the current hitter is even more dangerous relative to the on-deck hitter.  

 

If the next hitter is more dangerous than the on-deck hitter, but not to a large enough degree to convince the computer manager to issue an intentional walk, the computer manager might instruct the pitcher to pitch around the next hitter.  The pitching around tendency is very similar to the intentional walk tendency in that it determines how large the gap in hitting ability must be to justify the decision to pitch around a hitter.

 

Pickoff throws and pitchouts.  Both of these tactics are used to slow down opposing base stealers.  You may find that the "most frequent" and "more frequent" tendencies are helpful, especially if your pitcher and catcher are not especially good at shutting down the running game without a little extra help.  Keep in mind, however, that pitchouts can give the hitter an advantage in the ball-strike count and too many pickoff throws can lead to errors and/or wear and tear on the pitcher's arm.

 

Using relievers, using closers.  The decision to use a reliever is very complex.  Each decision involves so many factors -- including the inning, score, location of baserunners, quality of the current pitcher, quality of the potential reliever, left/right matchups, fatigue, the makeup of the pitching portion of the manager profile, fatigue, and more -- that it's not possible to lay out simple rules that tell you exactly how these tendencies will affect the computer manager's decisions.  The basic idea, however, is that they influence how quickly the computer manager will make the move to bring in a reliever (in non-save situations) or the closer (in save situations) when the current pitcher begins to get into trouble.

 

PLAYER TENDENCIES

Reasonable limits

DMB is a strategy game that is designed to provide you with a real baseball experience.  It's not like many video games that give you so much control that you can easily play games and produce statistics that bear little or no resemblance to real big-league games.  As a result, there are reasonable limits on the impact of player tendencies.

 

It's not possible, for example, to set a tendency that tells a certain player to attempt a steal every time he reaches first base with second base open. There isn't a player in history who has done that, and it's just not realistic to allow that to happen in your DMB games. Similarly, it doesn't make sense to allow a runner with a Poor jump rating and a Poor steal rating to attempt 50 steals a season.

 

It is possible, however, to set a player's Stealing tendency to Most Frequent. By doing so, you're telling the computer manager to give that player the green light more often than it normally would for a player with his ratings.

 

How much more often? It varies from tactic to tactic, but it's generally in the range of 20-40%. In other words, you can't use player tendencies to double or triple the rate at which a player attempts to steal, take extra bases, bunt for hits, and so on. Game situations and player ratings are still the most important factor in how the computer manager makes decisions.

 

On the other hand, it's not all that unusual for a real-life player to go several seasons without trying to steal a base or drop down a bunt. So it is possible to assign a Never tendency, and the computer manager will honor that request.

 

OFFENSIVE TENDENCIES

Most of these tendencies have the same meaning as in the context of manager tendencies, so we won't describe them again here.

 

Bunting. As is the case with all tendencies, a player's bunt rating is still the most important factor in determining how often the computer manager asks a player to bunt, but you can use the three bunting tendencies to increase, decrease, or eliminate bunt attempts by this player.

 

Setting the Bunting for a hit tendency to Never only stops a batter from attempting a bunt in non-sacrifice and non-squeeze situations. If Sacrifice and Squeeze bunting tendencies are not set to never as well, it is still possible for a batter to get a bunt single if he beats one out in a sacrifice or squeeze bunt situation.

 

Similarly, if you set Sacrifice bunting to Never but do not do the same for Squeeze bunting, it is possible for a hitter to sacrifice in squeeze situations. This is why the batter would compile sac hit statistics.

 

Hit and run. DMB players don't have a hit and run rating, but the computer manager does look at a player's skills to determine how often he should be asked to execute a hit and run play. Strikeout-prone hitters are less likely to be called upon, while contact hitters and slower runners (who are prone to grounding into double plays) are more likely to participate in a hit and run play. You can use the hit and run tendency to increase, decrease, or eliminate the hit and run play when this player is batting.

 

Stealing. As is the case with bunting, this tendency is quite straightforward. The computer manager will continue to rely on the ratings of the players involved (jump and steal for the runner, hold for the pitcher, throwing for the catcher) and the game situation to decide when a steal attempt makes sense. You can, however, use this tendency to increase or decrease the attempt rate for a player, or eliminate steal attempts altogether.

 

Running. This tendency governs how many chances the computer manager will take on the base paths. When the computer manager makes a running decision, it compares the chances of gaining the extra base safely to a minimum threshold based on the game situation.

 

The chances of gaining the extra base are determined by the nature of the batted ball, whether the runner was going on the pitch or on contact, the running rating of the runner, and the throwing rating of the outfielder.

 

The minimum threshold is based on the game situation and whether it makes more sense to play for one run (as in the late innings of a close game) or a big inning. Depending on the number of outs and where the runners are situated, the value of taking the extra base can be high or low, as can be the cost of getting thrown out. The computer manager takes these factors into consideration when deciding how high the chances of success need to be to justify taking the risk of getting thrown out.

The Running tendency controls the minimum threshold. If you choose "less frequent" or "least frequent", the minimum threshold rises. That causes the computer manager to send the runner only when the chances of success are higher. If you choose "more frequent" or "more frequent", the minimum threshold is lowered, and the computer manager will take more chances with this runner.

 

Setting the Running tendency to Never means that the runner will always be held if there is any chance he could be thrown out. Because taking an extra base is automatic for even the worst runners on some batted balls (e.g. very deep flies), especially if the hit and run is on or the runner goes on contact with two out, players with a Running tendency of Never will run from time to time. But you won't see them trying to advance when the outcome is uncertain.

 

NOTE: The Running tendency does not apply to situations where a batter tries to stretch a single into a double or a double into a triple. In those cases, the batter/runner makes his own decision and is not influenced by any manager or player tendency.

 

While it's true that you can dramatically reduce the number of outs your players make on the bases by assigning the Never tendency, that doesn't necessarily mean it's good strategy. You may miss out on high percentage opportunities to score a runner from third on a fly ball or from second on a single, and if the other hitters don't cash those runs in, your team will leave more runners on base. You may also hit into more double plays if your runners aren't taking advantage of running opportunities.

 

Taking pitches. This tendency enables you to increase or decrease the likelihood that your best hitters will have the green light to swing with three balls and no strikes. It doesn't affect any other counts. And you don't need to use this tendency to prevent your weaker hitters from swinging at 3-0 pitches because the computer manager never gives the green light to weaker hitters.

 

PINCH HITTING TENDENCIES

There are four tendencies in the category of "Remove for pinch hitter" that govern how often this player should be lifted in different situations:

  • the "Versus LHP" and "Versus RHP" tendencies enable you to indicate how seriously the computer manager should consider using a pinch hitter in place of this player. Choose Never to tell the computer manager not to pinch hit for this player (except perhaps in blowout situations).

  • the "In a platoon" tendency applies only if this player is in the starting lineup and a platoon partner is listed in the depth chart at his position. To prevent a player from being removed for a platoon partner, choose Never. (You can achieve this same effect more easily by removing the platoon player from the depth chart.)

  • the "In blowouts" tendency applies only in the late innings of a game in which one team has a very big lead.

In all game situations other than blowouts, the computer manager uses a pinch hitter only if he is rated to be better than the scheduled hitter against the current pitcher. This assessment takes into account the handedness and the left/right splits of both the batter and the pitcher.

 

The player tendencies for pinch hitting indicate how much better the pinch hitter needs to be. A "least frequent" setting tells the computer manager to pinch hit less often; that is, only when the pinch hitter is much better than the scheduled hitter. A "most frequent" setting tells the computer manager to pinch hit more aggressively; that is, even when the pinch hitter is only a little better than the scheduled hitter.

 

Pinch hitting in blowouts is a different matter altogether. In these situations, the goal is not to gain an advantage, it's to replace the team's better players to reduce their risk of injury. In blowouts, the computer manager generally replaces a better player with a weaker one, so the relative strength of the players is not a concern. Instead, the blowout pinch hitting tendency influences the computer manager decisions about (a) how big a lead is needed for the game to be treated as a blowout and (b) how early in the game it will begin to remove players.

 

In blowout situations, the "In blowouts" tendency takes precedence over the other pinch hitting tendencies. If a player's tendencies are set to Never for the three non-blowout situations, he can still be replaced by a pinch hitter in a blowout.

 

PITCHING TENDENCIES

Most of these tendencies have the same meaning as in the context of manager tendencies, so we won't describe them again here.

 

Using relievers, Using closers. These settings indicate how aggressively the computer manager should go to the bullpen with this pitcher already in the game. They have no any impact on how often this pitcher is brought into the game in the first place.

 

The Never setting for "Using relievers" and "Using closers" doesn't really mean never. It would be highly unrealistic to ask a pitcher to stay in the game no matter how tired he gets or how hard he's being hit. The computer manager always reserves the right to lift a tired or ineffective pitcher regardless of your tendencies, though it will stick with an ineffective pitcher longer if you choose "less frequent", "least frequent", or "never".

 

Instead, a setting of Never tells the computer manager to keep this pitcher in the game until he gets tired, until he loses effectiveness, or until the opposing team creates a meaningful threat, whichever comes first. With this setting, the computer manager won't go to a setup man or closer just because that potential reliever is a better pitcher.

 

TIP: If you want a closer to be used as often as possible, set the team's manager tendency for "Using closers" to "most frequent". Or, if you want a little more control, set the "Using closers" tendency for some of the team's starting pitchers and middle relievers to "most frequent".

 

Catcher fatigue

The catcher fatigue system is designed to ensure that you limit your starting catcher to about 85-90% of total playing time. It does so by monitoring usage within a moving ten-day window as the season goes along.

 

If you're in a stretch where your team has no days off, your catcher will almost certainly get tired if you start him ten games in a row. Giving a catcher an off day once every ten days is sometimes enough to keep him rested, and giving him two days off will definitely keep him at full strength unless he caught a couple of long extra-inning games in that stretch.

 

A catcher's workload is determined on a batters-caught basis. In a modern season, a team typically faces about 6250 batters over a 182-day schedule. That's about 344 batters per ten day period, and because we try to limit catchers to 85-90% of total playing time, you should try to keep your catchers from facing more than 300 batters in a ten day period. You can monitor catcher usage using the Team Status report and the Status page of the player profile window.

 

If a catcher is used more than this, he will be less productive as a hitter and fielder, with the penalty being greater the further the catcher is over the limit. The penalty is very severe if you let someone catch every inning of every game, so it's not something you'd want to try on a regular basis.

 

Using a catcher at another position (including designated hitter) is equivalent to giving him the day off, but you need to do this in advance. If you catch him too much and he gets tired as a result, you can't play him at another position the next game without penalizing him at the plate. But if you play him somewhere else once in a while, that will help keep him rested in the first place.

 

OVERVIEW OF ERAS

Much of baseball's rich tradition is due to the unchanging nature of the game. Nevertheless, some aspects of baseball have changed dramatically over time. For example:

  • Today, league batting averages are typically around .270. But over the past seventy years they have ranged from under .240 to over .300 due to changes in rules, ballparks, and equipment.

  • At the turn of the 20th century, it was common for shortstops to make over 60 errors in a season. Today, few shortstops make more than 25 errors.

  • Also at the turn of the 20th century, it was common for starting pitchers to complete over 80% of the games they started. Today, teams rely much more on their relief pitchers, with starting pitchers completing fewer than 10% of their starts.

  • Pitchers in leagues using the designated hitter rule usually allow one more run every two games than they would in a non-DH league, because they do not face weak-hitting pitchers.

It is not possible to play realistic games among teams of different eras without adjusting for these changing playing conditions. For example, without these adjustments, a 1912 team would have almost no chance of beating a 1984 team because it would make two to three times as many errors. Are the 1984 fielders really that much better? Of course not. They just have the advantage of using modern gloves and playing on artificial turf.

 

Or, to use a modern example, a pitcher from a DH-league typically allows an extra run every two games compared with a pitcher who does not have to face a DH. If you want to see what would happen if this pitcher was traded to a non-DH league, or you wanted to release all of the players from both leagues and draft new rosters, you need a way to make sure the DH-league pitcher is not unfairly punished.

 

DMB uses eras to adjust for these factors. In DMB:

  • A .280 hitter in 1968 (when the league batting average was under .250) is a better hitter than someone who hit .280 in 1930 (when the average player batted .300).

  • A shortstop making 40 errors in 1912 is a better fielder than a shortstop making 30 errors in 1993.

  • A starting pitcher completing 30% of his games in 1984 is more durable (relative to his peers) than someone who completed 50% of his starts in 1920.

  • A DH-league pitcher with a 3.30 earned-run average is a better pitcher than someone with a 3.00 ERA in a non-DH league.

 

 

 

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