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OOTP 15 - Historical Simulations Discuss historical simulations and their results in this forum.

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Old 11-27-2014, 03:10 AM   #1
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Rob Neyer's Baseball Dynasties

Hi all. So I’ve just discovered this game and I’m very upset I haven’t discovered it years earlier! I can’t wait to do some of the hundreds of things I’m thinking about. While eventually I will be getting very in depth, in both historical and fictional setups, I wanted to start simple.

This idea is based on the book by Rob Neyer and Eddie Epstein published in 2000 where they attempted to determine the greatest teams of all time. I am going to do a fictional league, containing historical teams, running for three years….with the goal of answering this question for them.

First for those of you unfamiliar with the book, a quick summary. They use the Pythagorean method and other sabermetric influenced thinking to rank their 15 greatest teams ever. They want to identify a dynasty though, not just a single season team. While the term “dynasty” as they use it may be open for debate, they are targeting 3-year runs of excellence. So the 1984 Tigers won’t be on their list (one fantastic season), but the 1912 Giants will be (3 straight WS losses). Below is the list of teams in order of Neyer’s ranking.

1939 New York Yankees
1970 Baltimore Orioles
1998 New York Yankees
1975 Cincinnati Reds
1906 Chicago Cubs
1927 New York Yankees
1929 Philadelphia Athletics
1986 New York Mets
1942 St. Louis Cardinals
1961 New York Yankees
1911 Philadelphia Athletics
1974 Oakland Athletics
1912 New York Giants
1955 Brooklyn Dodgers
1953 New York Yankees

Question 1:
The first decision I had to make was whether to keep it to the 15 teams mentioned in the book, or add a 16th to make it even? Even numbers have always been my preference, so who to add? Well the book was written in 2000, are there any teams that can be included from the last almost decade and half? I considered the most recent champs from San Francisco. While titles in 3 out of the last 5 years certainly opens the discussion of a dynasty in today’s landscape, none of those regular seasons were particularly impressive, and the two “off” years included no post-season appearance and even a sub .500 season. They’re out.

I looked at the Red Sox next. They’ve won in 2004 and 2008, and had over 100 wins and a game 7 ALCS loss in 2003. But they were too unimpressive between those WS titles to be under serious consideration. Plus I’m a Yankees fan.

OK the new century wasn’t going to produce a great candidate so how about we rewind it 100 years, give or take a decade? The 1909 Pirates might be a good candidate. They won 110 games, and in 1908 won 98 regular season games before losing the World Series to the juggernaut Cubbies. However in 1910 they dropped to 3rd place. Moving on but staying geographically close….

…I really wanted Honus Wagner to make an appearance. Thanks to his famous T206 tobacco card he has always epitomized the turn of the century era for me. So I took a look at the 1901-1903 Pirates. In only a 139-game schedule they won 103 games in 1902 and 90+ the other two years, on their way to three straight NL pennants. However there was no postseason play for them to prove their mettle in 1901-1902, and they lost the first ever WS in 1903. Plus Wagner was still primarily playing the outfield in those years so it wouldn’t have been as fitting anyway.

Finally I settled on the 1995 Braves. While some may think of them as the biggest chokers ever, what is more fitting of the term “dynasty” than 14(!) straight postseason appearances? Yes they only won the WS in that entire time once, but don’t forget they were alive in 1994 still. We all like to hand the Montreal Expos that division because it was a good story and they had a six game lead when the strike happened, but the Braves were already battle-tested and it is very conceivable that they surge in September and go back to back ’94 and ‘95. They followed up 1995 with a WS loss in 1996 and a 101-win season and NLCS loss to eventual champs in 1997.

Question 2:
With the 16th team question answered, my next question was which three seasons to use for each team. The book laid this out, but unfortunately the book is about 10,000 miles away in storage as I have recently moved from the US to Singapore and left many possessions behind. So I was able to google the book’s list of teams, but it just gave me for example “1939 Yankees.” So is this the ‘37,’38,’39 Yanks?, the ‘38,’39,’40?…etc….? Some cases were obvious, some not so much. The reason this is so important is because I want to start a league with the first season of that historical team and then run it for three straight. So the league would be started with the “1937 Yankees” and then those players would play three straight years and progress through the league.

Question 3:
Once that was done, I had to split them into their leagues. There was no good AL/NL, geographic, or chronological way of doing it. Instead the scientific method of taking Neyer’s final rankings and splitting teams by odd and even numbers seemed to work just fine. Without further ado, below is the lineup for the first season of the Rob Neyer-inspired ‘Baseball Dynasties League’.

Rob Neyer League Eddie Epstein League
1937 New York Yankees 1969 Baltimore Orioles
1998 New York Yankees 1974 Cincinnati Reds
1906 Chicago Cubs 1926 New York Yankees
1929 Philadelphia A’s 1986 New York Mets
1942 St. Louis Cardinals 1960 New York Yankees
1909 Philadelphia A’s 1972 Oakland A’s
1911 New York Giants 1954 Brooklyn Dodgers
1951 New York Yankees 1995 Atlanta Braves

Question 4:
Now I had to decide about the DH. Of the 16 teams, 14+ of them did not have a DH in real life. Only the 1998 Yankees and the 1974 A’s played their seasons with the DH. And considering the 1974 A’s are starting in 1972 for this league one of their seasons didn’t have the DH anyway. With only 5 of the 48 real-life seasons having used the DH, no DH is clearly the right call here despite Joe Torre’s protests.

Question 5:
Playoffs or no, and if so what format? The book was heavily reliant on both regular season performance as well as playoffs. As such it was a no-brainer to me to add in some chance for dramatics. Should I just have the two league champs play a WS like the oldest format? Or on the opposite end of the spectrum have some modern day influenced play-in game/round? I decided to just have the top two finishers in the league play a best of seven LCS, followed by the WS round. Might lessen the importance placed on the reg season slightly but these are some of the greatest teams ever. No way I can pass up the chance to see more classic October baseball.

OOTP Questions:
The fictional details of the league are decided, but now I need some help from the experienced folks here around the settings I should use to make this happen. I am also playing around a bit in the meantime to see if I can answer the questions myself, but being new if you remember there is a lot to learn!

  • I want no previous stats to show. I will want the entire population of stats in the game to consist of the three seasons I will be playing. How do I do this at setup? Or can I only do it after setup?
  • I don’t want any new players coming into the pool in the form of Drafts and Intl FAs. I think I figured out the draft part, but I still see INTL FA signing period. Did I miss something?
  • I DO want real-life historical rookies to appear on their teams. I don’t think this can happen the way I want it to, correct? I think what I have to do is pick a year to start the league, and therefore even if I’m using the 1906 Cubs since I am playing in 1975 for example, if there is a great rookie that came to the Cubs in 1907 he will not enter my game? Only rookies that entered MLB in 1976 will enter in my season #2 if I turn on historical rookies, right? Can I manually add certain historical players to teams?
  • If I can’t have the rookies appear as I want, and I still don’t want new fictional players entering the player pool, do I run the risk of not having enough players to field rosters in seasons #2 and #3? Or am I OK? In the previous example, will all my 1906 Cubs make it through 3 seasons? Is there a chance some retire? Can I stop that from happening?
  • How do I make sure the players perform as they “should” and not progress based on the new fictional game? Example, Mickey Mantle was a rookie in 1951. If he has a tough year in my season #1, I would rather his growth not be slowed, and the “1952 Mantle” get a fresh start in my season #2. Is this possible?
  • This is more of an opinion and not just a “how-to”….. what year should I start this on and what strategy settings should I use? I have teams from all across history. If I pick settings to mimic the modern bullpen use, or the dead ball era SB frequency, etc… I would imagine it gives advantages to certain teams. If I choose “normal” will that mean “each specific team’s normal” or does it mean “normal for the year I have chosen, applied to all teams regardless of their year” If I am correct on my “normal” assumption then I’m just gonna have to try and pick a historically neutral year. Any suggestions?
  • Where do I see pre-season predictions?

I think that’s all I have right now. Once I finalize and start this I will try my hand at a thread dedicated to updates. and allow everyone to follow along.

Thanks in advance for the help, and Happy Thanksgiving!

tavo2311 is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
Lukas Berger (11-27-2014)


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