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OOTP 14 - Historical Simulations Discuss historical simulations and their results in this forum.

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Old 07-01-2013, 03:27 PM   #1
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A Realistic OOTP Workable Franchise History from 1871-1901

Long post warning:

Been working on this for weeks. Finally came up with a very realistic way to organize the leagues from 1871-1900. I barely have to add any extra teams, except for 2 in 1877-78 and 4 in 1900, which isn't too tough to do. This was a lot harder than it looked, as trying to get balanced leagues, with some continuity and a realistic 'storyline' isn't easy. Hopefully this will save other ambitious OOTPers the work. Maybe this could replace the default in the game, which has too many teams from 1892-1900.

The leagues stay evenly split, with 4 teams each from 1871-1881, and 6 teams each from 1882-1900. You can use all real teams, basically I just removed the very worst teams, but used 'continuity' as a tie-breaker. I would recommend manually placing the free agents on the most appropriate team, generally the team they played with the most recent to the current season, either before or after - leaning towards putting them on the worse team or the team with an obvious weak spot at their position.

For years where you need to add a team same thing - unretire a few guys (especially younger ones that disappeared), manually add some ratings. For the NY and Philadelphia teams that folded (actually were kicked out of the league) after 1876, use some combination of their rosters as if they hadn't been kicked out, and merge the with 1879 Troy and Syracuse's guys too.

For 1884 and 1890, you have plenty of extra players, I would lean towards manually keeping players from the UA and PL on their 1883/85 and 1889/91 teams wherever possible.

My rules were simple. In order of priority:

Chicago and Boston stay NL throughout - they are the only teams than can trace their NL lineage back to the NA.

Try to separate the two best teams in the league whenever possible, when you have to make an arbitrary decision on AL or NL.

Fill the bad teams into leagues in such a way that promotes balance . . . IE if you have 8 teams and 6 are accounted for, place the worst of the two remaining teams in the league with the better top 3.

Keep NY and Philly NA in opposite leagues so that the 1877 loss of them in real life does make things too unbalanced.

Everyone has to fit into an AL or NL, since autoexpansion cannot deal with leagues folding or being created.

Number of teams can only go up, the game cannot deal with contraction.

So without further adieu, here goes:

1871 NL: Boston, Chicago, New York, Cleveland
1871 AL: Philadelphia, Washington, Troy, Fort Wayne
1871 free agents: Rockford (includes Cap Anson). You could merge Rockford and Fort Wayne and they'd still suck :-)

from here I'll just list the changes:

1872: Chicago (due to the Fire), Washington and Fort Wayne fold. Brooklyn Atlantics replace Chicago, Baltimore replaces Washington and the Brooklyn Eckfords replace Fort Wayne. Middletown and the Washington players are free agents.

Note that in real life Troy folded at the end of July, I would just keep their players there if you don't play an as played schedule.

1873: Cleveland and the Eckfords fold and are replaced by a new Washington franchise in the NL this time and a second Philadelphia franchise in the AL. Troy moves to Elizabeth. The entire baseball world at this point runs from DC to Boston on what is now I-95. The Baltimore Marylands are free agents (the one that played 6 games, not the Canaries who finished 3rd).

1874: Elizabeth moves to Hartford. Washington again folds and Chicago returns. This is the team that will eventually become the Cubs.

1875: Baltimore moves to Washington, the capital's third try. The Brooklyn Atlantics (who were 2-42 in real life) fold in our world, and St. Louis (the Brown Stockings version) replaces them, giving Chicago a partner out west in the NL.

The following teams' players are free agents in our world: New Haven (7-40), Keokuk (1-12), St. Louis Red Stockings (4-15), Philadelphia Centennials (2-12) and the Brooklyn Atlantics (2-42).

1876: Washington and the Philadelphia Whites fold, Cincinnati and Louisville replace them in the AL. Note that Cincinnati was an American Association team, in real life they didn't move to the NL until 1890 - so starting them in the AL makes sense.

Refresher in case you lost track: NL: Boston, Chicago, New York, St. Louis. AL: Philadelphia, Washington, Hartford and Louisville.

1877: NY and Philly are kicked out in real life, so do your best to cobble a roster together for these teams for two years.

1878: Hartford moves to Providence. St. Louis moves to Milwaukee. Louisville moves to Indianapolis. Note, you can makes these all 'moves' or 'folds', just edit the teams.csv and teamsfranchises.csv appropriately.

1879: Massive upheaval. Half the league folds, New York and Milwaukee in the NL are replaced by Troy and Syracuse. Philadelphia and Indianapolis are replaced by Buffalo and Cleveland in the AL.

1880: Syracuse moves to Worcester.

1881: Cincinnati folds and is replaced by Detroit.

1882: Our first expansion. The Worcester franchise folds. All other existing teams except for Detroit move to the NL. Detroit joins the new American League, which includes St. Louis (the current Cardinals), Louisville, Philadelphia, Cincinnati (the current Reds) and Pittsburgh (the current Pirates).

Players from Worcester and the Baltimore team in the American Association are free agents.

Since we are only using 12 teams from 1882-1891 while real life had 14-17 (not including the UA and PL), the very worst teams aren't going to be used. This means some expansion teams (the worst) will arrive later and some existing teams will fold earlier than they did in real life. Baltimore doesn't become a top 12 team until 1886, for example, so that's when we'll add them.

1883: Pittsburgh of the AL folds, an expansion team in New York takes it's place. In the NL, Troy folds and the NL expands back to New York City after 4 years in exile upstate. This team is now the Giants. Philadelphia (NL), Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Columbus real life players are free agents.

1884: Cleveland of the NL folds (a year early) and the NL expands into the vacated Pittsburgh market. The NL at this point includes Boston, Chicago, New York, Buffalo, Providence and the real life Pittsburgh AA team. The AL includes the AA's St. Louis, Louisville, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, New York teams and Detroit from the NL. I chose league continuity in this world over swapping teams back and forth willy-nilly, which is why Detroit has stayed in the AL. Pittsburgh was in the real NL by 1887 anyway, and Detroit folded after 1888 so there aren't any real long-term consequences.

1885: Buffalo folds (a year early) and is replaced by the Philadelphia NL team (now the Phillies), finally a reasonable team in real life. The New York AL franchise folds (3 years early), and a new team in Brooklyn (a year late) takes their place. This team will eventually become the Dodgers we all know and love or hate.

1886: Providence folds and the NL poaches Louisville from the AL. The AL responds by (finally) expanding into Baltimore. I chose Louisville for 1890s balance. Putting this whole thing together like a big jigsaw puzzle helped a lot. Most of our moves are done at this point, only minor changes over the next 15 years.

1887-88: Stability - no changes! Current lineup: NL Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Louisville. AL Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Brooklyn.

1889: The Detroit franchise folds and is replaced by a new team AL team in Cleveland.

1890: No changes. Manual adjustment will be needed for players that jumped to the Players' League.

1891: The Philadelphia AL team folds. Pittsburgh moves to the AL and the NL expands to Washington. MLB decides they want to split Baltimore and Washington between the leagues. In reality, I made this decision for league balance and that's a good storyline.

1892-99: No changes! Equillibrium has finally been reached. NL Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadephia, Louisville and Washington. AL St. Louis, Cincinnati, Brooklyn, Baltimore, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. This set up has what were the two best teams in the real 1892-99 NL in different leagues every year except for 1895-96. For the entire period of 1891-1900, the NL is at .492 and the AL at .506 (I averaged team W%, schedules weren't 100% even which is why it doesn't add up to 1.000).

1900: In real life Cleveland, Baltimore, Louisville and Washington fold. I would handle it by keeping these four teams with makeshift rosters for 1900 like we did in 1877-78.

1901: Louisville and Washington fold, while Brooklyn, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and St. Louis move to the NL. Baltimore and Cleveland are joined by the rest of the real AL (Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and yet another new Washington team, their 5th franchise if you've been paying attention).

At some point in the next day or two (I hope) I'll be able to put together teams.csv and teamsfranchise.csv files that will make this easy to do on your own.
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