The latest edition of The Talk Show with Glenn Guzzo

THE TALK SHOW Host: Glenn Guzzo

You can submit your question or insight on any Strat-O-Matic game to When you do, kindly include your name and town. Other gamers like to see that. And the display format below works better that way. Reminder: Send us your “‘Great Moments in Strat” – your playing experiences that you just have to share.

My Roar’n ‘20s league has a bit of discussion about which Pitcher Fatigue rule we should use for the most realism. We are playing ’32 and over the years I have used SADV + Pitch count. I have managers questioning that in that era MLB managers never counted pitches or limited pitchers to a certain number so why should we include pitch count in our rules? My thinking is that pitch count numbers just correlate to the innings that pitcher typically pitched. Are there guidelines on for what seasons which rules should be used? If not I’d love your opinion.
– Steve

Glenn: No guidelines that I know of. While your managers are correct about pitch counts, you are correct, too – Strat-O-Matic’s ratings have elevated counts for players of that era, whose regular fatigue ratings are higher. Personally, I think I would not use pitch counts until at least the 1980s for the reasons you state. But I’d also want to use the regular fatigue ratings for the 1930s because starters then were expected to complete games and bullpens were seldom used unless the starter failed.

Strat-O-Matic has refused to print playoff-only cards for years, yet this year they made an exception for Kyle Schwarber. Why? In hockey, especially the years teams only used one goaltender, there were opportunities to card a second goaltender that played only in the playoffs. For example in 1950-51 Jack Gelineau played the entire 70 game season by himself yet Gord Henry played 2 games in the playoffs for the Boston Bruins. Again in 1952-53 for the Bruins Jim Henry played the entire season alone but Gord Henry played 3 games in the playoffs. In 1955-56 Gump Worsley played the entire season for the New York Rangers without help but Gordie Bell played 2 playoff games. The excuse of Schwarber is needed for a correct playoff replay doesn’t fly with me. The goaltenders who didn’t play in the regular season are also needed for a correct hockey playoff replay. Either card playoff players for all sports or don’t card them at all. Show some consistency.
– Bill Donnelly, Indio, CA

Glenn: There are several points to make here: 1) To be precise, Schwarber’s card is not a playoff-only card, but a combination of his brief regular-season stats and his vital role in the World Series. In Strat-O-Matic Hockey, there are computer ratings for goalies and others whose roles in the post-season were much more extensive and consequential than their regular-season contribution. Montreal, especially, used Ken Dryden throughout its post-season march to the Stanley Cup in 1970-71 after he played only six season games. In fact, Dryden was the Conn Smythe winner as the playoff MVP. In 1983-84, the Habs rode Steve Penney to the semi-finals, though Penney played only four games in the regular season. 2) Strat-O-Matic made the judgment – spot on, in my opinion – that the Cubs’ historic World Series victory, in just about the most dramatic fashion possible, would be replayed by a huge part of the Strat-O-Matic audience. Schwarber had to be part of that after playing a central role in the victory. By comparison, those 1950-51 Bruins did not even reach the Stanley Cup finals. The 1952-53 Bruins did, but won only one game. The goalies you mention started two games each and had a combined 1-5 record. Unlike the Schwarber situation, the absence of those goalies in SOM would not wound a championship team. 3) Schwarber’s feat happened just a few years after Strat-O-Matic began issue “bonus cards” of little-used players for the baseball game. No doubt, that made it easier to consider a Schwarber card based on limited data. 4) New practices have to start somewhere and, as often is the case at Strat-O-Matic, they start with the baseball game. Perhaps the extra-special circumstances that gave us a Schwarber card will cause company personnel to consider special cases for players in its other sports games. I’d like to see them, too. 5) Whether that happens or not, a lot of us are grateful for the Schwarber card.

What ballpark numbers should I use for the first two games in 2014 that the Dodgers and Diamondbacks played that was in Sydney, Australia?

Glenn: SOM has not rated this ballpark. Its advice is to just use the home team’s ballpark numbers.
– Andrew Horvath

BACK TO THE FIFTIES Glenn, are the 1950 and 1956 (and even 1930) seasons being considered for eventual updating to super-advanced?
– Jack Thompson, Phoenix, AZ

Glenn: Strat-O-Matic never has announced a schedule of future set releases. However, I think there’s a good chance the company will update all the seasons that were not released in Super Advanced form. My calculated guess is that 1968, 1962 and 1956 would come before 1950 and 1930. And I would expect that, based on the popularity of 1970s updates, we’ll see more of those before some of the pre-1970s seasons. I’m a little surprised that 1956 has not been updated yet, since it was the season SOM chose to do first, in 1982. Mickey Mantle’s Triple Crown, Don Larsen’s perfect game in the World Series and a season rich in Hall of Fame players made it great choice then and could be attractive to gamers again. Similarly, the 1962 season was Strat-O-Matic’s first to have all the teams – a milestone season for SOM and a season with a National League playoff, a dramatic seven-game World Series, Maury Wills’ then-record 104 stolen bases and huge seasons for such Hall of Famers as Willie Mays, Frank Robinson and many more.

This is not a huge deal but I’m watching The Strain (basically an apocalyptic show set around NYC) and even during the worst of times, the lead character, Eph, walks into their safehouse and sees a fellow survivor – PLAYING STRAT! Phillies/Mets. He even rolled for him. Even in the worst of times – we have STRAT!
– Jim Miller (Binghamton, NY – STRAT player since 1979)

Glenn: Eternal truth! Well, at least it’s been true for all of my sports-loving life. The perfect way to end this edition of The Talk Show. Thanks, Jim!