A Word About The Ground Rules

As previously indicated, this season replay is being conducted using the Strategic Baseball Simulator software created and made available by David Schmidt. When I started this blog a while ago, the most recent version was 4.9 but a newer version, 4.91., is now available, so that is what is being used.  A 4-man rotation option provided in the schedule mode of this software is used, allowing for spot starters. 

I have made two modifications based on several abortive simulations that were initially run using the Auto Lineup feature, which is designed to allow on an occasional basis for bench players to replace starters in the starting lineups.  When I ran the 1936 simulation with this feature on throughout the entire schedule, I saw two bizarre things that needed to be corrected. 

First, in one simulation, on opening day, one of the match-ups was between the New York Yankees and the Washington Senators.  The automated lineups had Ben Chapman starting in the outfield for both teams!  It seems that the 1936 schedule file, in being completely faithful to the historical statistical record, lists Chapman on both teams’ rosters, accurately placing him as a reserve player on the Yankees, where he began the ’36 season, and as a starter on the Senators, where he ended the season and had most of his plate appearances.  Unfortunately, when using the schedule file as is, over the course of the season, there is a possibility that a simulation will place Chapman in the same game for both teams, a possibility which, as a logical matter, necessarily increases when the Auto Lineup feature is used without discrimination.  The schedule file also has Jake Powell on both rosters for the same reason, putting him as a reserve with the Senators and a starter with the Yankees.   So, without modifications and using Auto Lineup without discrimination, one may see two Jake Powells in the same game at the same time or,  more likely, two Jake Powells playing for two different teams on the same day.  (In the actual 1936  season, the teams exchanged Chapman and Powell mid-season in a one-for-one trade.)

Using the Auto Lineup feature without discrimination can also lead to bizarre results, in my view, when significant games are played.  I saw this in another abortive simulation, when the Yanks’ lineup for opening day had the “manager” benching starters Dickey, Selkirk and DiMaggio and starting role and utility players in their place.

In an attempt to avoid these aberrant results, I modified the Yankee and Senator Roster files to eliminate Chapman as a reserve from the Yankees and to eliminate Powell as a reserve for the Senators.  Each team simply has one less player on its roster.  I then substituted these modified Roster files into the 1936 schedule file so that the modified rosters would be used when each team plays in the simulation.

Additionally, for  the first set of series of the season, the Auto Lineup feature is turned off, on the thinking that at the start of the season, each team would want to showcase its starters and that it was too early for teams to give their stars occasional rests.  Whether the Auto Lineup feature should remain off under this rationale for a longer period during the beginning phase of  the season is an open question; I made the arbitrary choice to proceed without this feature only for these  initial series. For similar reasons and because pennant races during this time frame may be entering critical periods, I am toying with the idea of turning off the Auto Lineup feature for the last set of series as well.  How much  before season’s end the feature should be turned off is, again, an open question and, again, this is an arbitrary line.


4 Responses to “A Word About The Ground Rules”

  1. Mr. Baseball Says:

    You’re making it a lot harder than necessary. You can edit the .dat files according to real-life transactions…simply put “inactive” players below a ### line in the .dat file and they won’t be used…it has nothing to do with the Auto Lineup…it’s the .dat files. To do the type of detailed replay you’re undertaking, you really need to do the real-life transactions and have players on only one team at a time. Extra work? Yes, but you really need to do it.

    Also, you should use the optimize batting order option “C” (conditional) for most realistic usage and results. Also added this version was an “F” option for fixed places in the batting order…you can assign fixed spots to individual players. Why would you want Pete Rose not batting leadoff? This option fixes that for you! Auto Lineup works great with properly maintained .dat files – no need to turn it off!!

    You really are making it a lot more difficult on yourself than necessary. I also recommend fixing the coding for your box scores…can’t really read them at all right now.

    • tpaine2009 Says:

      Thanks for your comments. I appreciate them. I am still learning my way around the SBS software and the blogging software used by wordpress. 🙂

  2. Mr. Baseball Says:

    After reading my comments, I’m sorry for coming off too blunt – I really like your setup and all the historical stuff is great…what was going on in the world, etc. I love replays like this, and SBS is a great game.

    Try the “C” or “F” settings with the auto lineups to see if that helps getting the right guys in the games. I’ve done a lot of replays and the game is pretty good about using the starters enough, but you’re right about reserve-types in the starting lineups as the game is designed to get them their at-bats. Doing manual trades can be tedious, but you’ll have better control over fringe guys showing up in the lineup…also, if you have some guys that have low at-bats, you can simply add ### at the end of the .dat and move them there…then they’ll be inactive. A little tweaking and you’ll have a very realistic replay!

    Good luck! 🙂

  3. tpaine2009 Says:

    No need to apologize. I appreciate direct criticism; it’s the best and clearest way to learn and improve. I will take up your suggestions in the simulation going forward. Thanks again.

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