The Talk Show – August 2015

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.
           It’s more and more an integral part of the game with starters going less innings and teams matching up to nth degree, so here’s the rule we use in our league, which I daresay is near perfect. Basically, there’s symmetry to it:
1. A pitcher can go up to 3 IP if he pitches in 3 consecutive games, at which point he immediately becomes weak. Then he must sit out one game.
2. A pitcher can go up to 4 IP if he pitches in 2 consecutive games, at which point he immediately becomes weak. Then he must sit out TWO games.
3. A pitcher can go up to 5 IP if he pitches in 1 game, at which point he immediately becomes weak. Then he must sit out THREE games.
            See how easy it is to remember: we sort of call it our "3/3, 4/2, 5/1" rule.
Clay Grant, Atlanta
            One of the most important things a league must agree upon is the limit on player use. And the limit for relief pitchers may be the most important of all, because of how easy it is to abuse them otherwise. Leagues that don’t think this through are going to end up with unpleasant results and perhaps even some hard feelings. I’ve seen a lot of systems and some are too complex to be fun. Yours, Clay, is very similar to the rule I used most often – it has the virtue of being easy to remember and easy to apply. Thanks for sharing this.

A Gift That Will Keep on Giving
            I have been playing SOM baseball off and on since 1984. I recently received as a gift the 2000 Hall of Fame game. I was wondering if I purchased the 1969 season and combined the two games would the charts be compatible for both games. I have an old 1968 and 1970 game that I combined and the fielding charts and player cards were the same. But I noticed in the 2000 Hall of Fame cards and charts the player card fielding rates were from 1 to 6. In the 1968 and 1970 games I have are 1 to 4. Are the cards and charts for the 1969 game 1 to 4 or 1 to 5.
Bill Howell, Michigan
            Great gift! That’s the most beautiful card set Strat-O-Matic ever has created. And when I played the set for the first time, I had a tightly bunched eight-team pennant race. But I don’t know where you saw a fielder rated 6, Bill. Five is the limit – and it’s plenty bad enough! So the HOF and 1969 sets are compatible. It’s amazing how versatile Strat-O-Matic’s Hall of Fame sets are: They play very well as a self-contained set, or combined with the Baseball Heroes set and the Negro League Stars. I think you’ll enjoy mixing the HOF players with the 1969 set. I think we have Hal Richman’s idea to base the HOF players on the average of their seven best seasons for this versatility. If the all-time greats were based on their best season, those would be awesome cards to look at, but they would dominate in any mix of season sets. We can also thank SOM for the double layer of normalization so that these players can co-exist in any era. You’ll notice, for instance, that Dead Ball and Lively Ball-era error ratings are in line with much more recent eras. Now, with a season like 1969, when many players had career years, the Hall of Famers will fit much more comfortably.
Anticipating 2016
            Any word yet as to what “extras” will come out next year for baseball? e.g., new seasons; reformatted seasons; new heroes set?
            I wish the Talk Show was monthly instead of bi-monthly; are you are getting enough “letters” from us? Keep up the good work.
Larry Kapit, Coral Springs, FL
            No official word yet on classic seasons or specialty sets for release in early 2016, Larry. I think we can count on at least one set in addition to the 2015 season. Following the release of 1953 this year, there are few remaining post-World War II seasons not yet created (1946, 1947, 1949, 1952) and many more possibilities for updated seasons (from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s). Since SOM often has alternated between decades and ’53 and 1969 were offered this year, it’s a good bet that next we’ll see a more recent season updated in Super-Advanced form.
            I am using just about every item submitted for The Talk Show and for the Great Moments in Strat. Sometimes the supply is short; sometimes my deadline work on Strat-O-Matic baseball and football ratings takes priority.