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Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


Welcome to Super Mega Baseball 3



This will be a hybrid Let's Play where I serve as your GM and front office of a team you pick to own. You control the purse strings and every big decision will be run by this thread.

The Super Mega Franchise, created and published by Metalhead games, started years ago with Super Mega Baseball, an unpolished gem of a game that featured a remarkably deep baseball simulator behind a fun, simple, arcady interface and cartoony graphics. The second game came out 2 years later and had all that with updated graphics and a massive suite of customization features, allowing users to fully build out teams and leagues to their hearts' content. I spent 250 hours in that game and probably half of that was spent with the team creator.

The one thing Super Mega Baseball 2 was truly missing was an in depth franchise mode that would allow those players you painstakingly created to develop and retire while those teams you built evolved over time. Super Mega Baseball 3 came out to address that need and it does so admirably. Franchise mode has two major additions in free agency and player development, which in Super Mega fashion hides a complex and deep system behind a simple presentation.

If you know nothing about baseball, don't panic!

If you need a primer on the basic rules of baseball and Super Mega Baseball mechanics, you can start here. I also made this reddit post specific to game mechanics for new and returning players. My goal in this thread is to bring more fans into the game I love and this video game series I truly enjoy so if you are new to baseball then just settle in, enjoy, and feel free to ask any questions.

You should also check out TheMcD's excellent LP of The Closer, a hilarious and brilliant LP of a hilarious and brilliant game. You should do this regardless of how you feel about baseball, and the linked update zero contains an excellent primer on the basics. He also writes in a much more concise and organized way than I do. I'm probably going to borrow from him a bunch while making this (with permission).

Regardless I am not going to judge anyone for their level of knowledge of any game, and I will try to avoid using jargon but if I do please don't hesitate to ask what it means! You can't spend time around something without soaking in some of the language and sometimes I do it without thinking.

Free Agency

The above guides have a lot more in depth information on game systems, but here's the quick and dirty.

This is a new system to this series that allows you to swap out players who aren't working out, upgrade positions to make a run or open up some developmental money when your team is clearly falling behind. When a free agent first hits the market they will demand exorbitant contracts that will drop over time to more reasonable rates. If they spend too long on the market without getting signed by any team they will eventually decide to retire.

Free agents are signed through a salary cap system. The total amount is set when you begin a new franchise and you are not allowed to go over that amount. Leftover cap money can be used to increase the skills of your players through development opportunities (more on that below). Every team has 21 roster spots and all of them must have someone, even if they're just keeping the bench warm.

During the offseason some of your players will decide to test free agency or retire and you will have to enter a 32 round negotiation process to refill your team roster. Similar to the regular season system, these free agents will start at a high price and gradually reduce what they're asking for with each successive round until they are signed by a team or the negotiations end. This is a very fun, tense, high stakes system. AI teams will reach for superstar players and pay out exorbitant contracts, and they will grab some incredibly valuable players as well right before you decide to pull the trigger.

We will be playing with the standard league which normally is balanced around 140 million in cap space, but when you start a custom franchise (which you have to if you want to simulate games) I'm not sure if salaries are randomized. Regardless we should be right around 140 million in total cap room.

Player Development

Player development money is paid out every game and determined by leftover cap space divided by the number of games in the season, so in a 20 game season with 10 million in cap room, you would get $500,000 per game. These opportunities are used to boost player stats and can offer beneficial situational traits, but some also have the risk of conferring negative traits. Player stats will also fluctuate over the course of a season on their own, with older players tending to degrade and younger players improve over time.

Player development is the balance to big free agency contracts. If you're around .500 at the season's midpoint and it doesn't look like you'll make the playoffs then the strategic moves may be to replace those big star contracts with scrubs and focus on building up your young prospects for the coming year.

There is also some risk to focusing on development, as any player can demand a bigger contract at the end of the year (a tradeoff for us being able to release them at will), or they could just decide to hang up the cleats. It's rare for a player under 30 to retire but it does happen. You can also accidentally give players negative situational traits through development. We'll go over all that as it comes up.

Development funds carry over from season to season.

The LP

The most important thing to note is I will not be playing any of the games myself, all games will either be simmed or recorded in AI vs AI and posted as video. My lack of skill will have no bearing on the team's performance, my only role here will be as a team manager. Pace will kind of be at my discretion, the early season may go by with a bunch of games per update just because nothing tends to happen, then there may be updates with multiple videos if there's a big rivalry series or we're playing for playoff seeding. We will always have a video for the season opener.

We're going to play 48 game seasons, which will give us enough games to play series against our division and conference rivals without being so many to be a drag. This should translate to about 15 updates per season (maybe a few more with playoffs), fewer if we have a really bad season. I am open to increasing or decreasing this number.

I haven't set a real ending goal for this. I'd like to win a championship but I don't think I'd end it immediately after (if) we get one. I guess basically this will continue until the thread dies or it isn't fun anymore.

Videos will be posted with broadcast style commentary. I am completely new to commenting and am learning as I go, so I'll be posting a commentary free version as well if you just want to enjoy the game (note: this may not be the case for every game). Here's an example video I made for the Sandcastle between two of my custom teams:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iua4J7P_TVo

This was updated from the first few I made to show how my commentary approach has started to evolve as I've done these. The first few games I was trying for a "sports broadcast" approach that was frankly beyond my abilities to pull off. I decided to change it to something a little more authentic and genuine to me and I think it comes across much less stilted. In the LP itself this new approach begins in game 6, and I won't be offended if you start with that one.

Also, you can customize teams and leagues in this game. The Rattlers were made in Super Mega Baseball 2 and ported to this game, while the Barn Stormers are my most recent creation. It's an incredibly powerful system and loads of fun; I have teams of players named after bbq dishes, beers, presidents, classic baseball movie characters, and entirely randomized teams or teams with a few customized players and the rest random.

And yes, I have signed Ladybird Johnson as a free agent.

While you can customize the appearance and names of team members I'm not really planning on setting up a waitlist for people to be added to the game, but if anyone has any specific requests I'm happy to listen and try to make it happen.

Thread Participation

You (the thread) will be acting as team owners, like Packers fans only less cheesy. All contract offers or terminations will be submitted for your approval. I will also be passing along scouting reports on free agents of interest and you can set an upward limit on what I money I can offer them. You hold the purse strings here, you sign the checks. I can offer my advice but if you decide you have to have that overpriced free agent pitcher then it's my job to create the cap space to sign them.

On the other hand, if you decide you want to take that collective vacation to the Poconos and we need to maintain 10 or 20 million in cap space to afford it, then it's my job to field the best team I can within those constraints. Tanking a bad season to focus on player development is a valid strategy in this game.

Your first decision is which team you decided to buy. Since an exhaustive look at each roster would be impractical, you are going to have to make this decision based on entirely subjective blurbs written by me!

Voting is now closed! With 4 votes, the Freebooters were our near unanimous selection

To see your options with a short summary of each team, please CLICK HERE
(edit: with voting now closed, this link will remain for anyone curious about the standard teams and conference structure in the game)

Vote Tally

Moonstars - 1
Freebooters - 4
Moose - 1

Cuveball Sliders fucked around with this message at 19:30 on May 30, 2020

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Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


Table of Contents
Custom Teams Showcase
Barn Stormers vs. Rattlers (no game audio)
Pheonix vs. Jazz
Banditos vs Irish Brigade (tried ditching the broadcast commentary style I've been going for on this one)

Pre-season year 1
Baseball and Gameplay Primer
League and Teams Summary
Primer on Pitchers and Pitching
Preseason look at the Freebooters

Season 1
Opening Day
Game 2
Games 3 and 4
Games 5 and 6 (5 was simmed on screen) New watchers should start here. This is most representative of my commentary after struggling to figure it out through the first 4 and the game itself is outstanding.
Game 8


The All Star List

A player who is having an exceptional season can be nominated to have their card added to an all star list, which I may eventually do something special with. This list will be divided by year as a record of our best performers, and will contain the player's stats for that year as well as a short blurb on why they were nominated.

Anyone can nominate a player but me. However if an argument arises regarding the player's candidacy I will cast the vote on whether or not they qualify. Multiple players can be called all-stars each season.

Stats are not the ultimate arbiter! If there's a player whose numbers aren't great but always seems to come through in big moments they can absolutely be considered. I will always take a good baseball argument over nerd absolutes any day, so have fun with your nominations!

Year 1





Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame is a list of players throughout the league who have put together amazing careers, making our all star list multiple times or just absolutely seeming to dominate us every time we play them. This list is not limited to our team, any retired player can be considered.

The standard for this list will likely evolve over time. We may see some 1 or 2 year players make it in early but in later seasons look more for body of work.

This will also be a place to maintain single season records. Unfortunately we can't keep career records until the update expanding stat tracking drops (hopefully in June).

Nominating Players

To nominate a player for the hall, you have to write a short speech about why they deserve to be in and what they've done for the history of our league. If they are approved this speech will be posted alongside their player card.

There is also an exhibits section. You can write, draw, or otherwise create something that portrays a remarkable team or career moment even if the player(s) involved may not be hall of fame caliber. Have fun with it.


Hall of Fame Plaques



Hall of Fame exhibits



Single Season Records:

Hitters

Batting Avg:

Homeruns:

RBI:

Runs:

Pitching

ERA:

Strikeouts:

Wins:


Cuveball Sliders fucked around with this message at 02:00 on Jun 2, 2020

theenglishman
Jun 24, 2009


I'd suggest keeping the gameplay audio (at a low level) in future broadcasts, since it adds to the atmosphere.

DivineCoffeeBinge
Mar 3, 2011

Spider-Man's Amazing Construction Company


I vote we play the Freebooters, because A) you said you don't know why they're bad, so let's see if we can figure it out, and B) that logo is gorgeous.

theenglishman
Jun 24, 2009


My vote's for the Moonstars. The good offence/bad defense will make for interesting, dramatic games.

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


theenglishman posted:

I'd suggest keeping the gameplay audio (at a low level) in future broadcasts, since it adds to the atmosphere.

For sure. I was still figuring out capture settings when I made it so it's more posted to show a commentary and gameplay example (my other test video had game audio but horrendous sound quality because of mic settings) and some of the custom teams in the game.

Thanks for the feedback and I'll do my best to incorporate it going forward, like I said it's a definite learning curve!

Edit:

DivineCoffeeBinge posted:

I vote we play the Freebooters, because A) you said you don't know why they're bad, so let's see if we can figure it out, and B) that logo is gorgeous.

It isn't just me apparently either, maybe they're cursed? Great logo though.

Cuveball Sliders fucked around with this message at 15:43 on May 23, 2020

skeleton warrior
Nov 12, 2016

I HAVE A RAGING HARDON

AND THE ONLY CURE

IS JOE BIDEN


Fun Shoe

I want to play, like, all of these teams the logos and challenges are so interesting. But I agree with DivineCoffeeBinge on all points, so let's go with The Freebooters.

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11xwMs-XDqk

Here's a video that includes game audio with commentary (I was figuring out settings when I made the first one and didn't set OBS to capture headphone audio). The music is a little overpowering at the beginning but I like these levels overall since they turned down crowd noise. Let me know what you think, as always I'm very new to this and happy to incorporate feedback.

I know I trip over words and names a lot. This game moves way faster than real baseball and it's a challenge to keep up sometimes.

Unfortunately this is probably as good as the quality will get. I'm doing this on a 7 year old potato of a desk top and given the way things are, I think I'm going to have to put off upgrading the graphics card or processor. I'm actually a little impressed the game runs as well as it does when capturing video.

Edit: One of the issues I'm noticing consistently is a tendency to say the last name on my mind, so there's a line in the video where I say "glover stevens taps out to the catcher" followed almost immediately by "glover stevens gets a single up the middle".

Pace of play and my own naturally disorganized thought process is getting the better of me in those instances, I'm hoping it will improve with practice. All that said I'm really enjoying making these.

Edit edit: I have to say, I think the Jazz are one of my favorite logos I've ever made. Not my favorite roster (they're actually a bit overpowered) but my favorite uniforms and logo combination. I think I'm going to keep doing these custom team exhibitions and maybe post video of making a team from scratch as side content.

Cuveball Sliders fucked around with this message at 19:15 on May 23, 2020

OOrochi
Jan 19, 2017


There are a few really interesting ones, but I'll put in another vote for the Freebooters

ilmucche
Mar 16, 2016

The magnificent story of Dwayt al-Shrood.



Be the moose. resign munstar and become unstoppable

Their defense isn't great at first base and their backup catcher is quite possibly the slowest non-pitcher player I've seen, but they can put the runs up and have a decent pen if you never put farmhand in the game

ilmucche fucked around with this message at 15:05 on May 24, 2020

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


A Primer to Pitches in Baseball
And how it relates to the Super Mega League

In order to understand how to identify quality pitchers, you have to understand both how pitches work in real life and how this is represented in the game. In real life every pitcher has about 2-5 pitches they are able to throw at a professional level. Even in cases where the pitcher has 4 or 5 pitches (usually starters), they will generally throw 2 of them about 80% of the time as primary pitches.

This is because everyone has a different level of comfort with throwing different pitches, and this is often based on the body mechanics of the pitcher's throwing motion and how long they've been throwing a specific pitch. This is also based on their ability to disguise their grip, arm angle, and body motion while throwing so the batter can't identify what's coming.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUbAAurrnwU

That's former Ranger's pitcher Yu Darvish, overlayed throwing 6 pitches. There is next to no difference between his deliveries yet they were all different speeds, locations, and/or pitches. The ability of a pitcher to disguise his delivery and deceive hitters during the windup is considered as if not more important than his ability to throw really hard or with a lot of movement.



Windup and arm angle are also two important components of a pitch. The windup is the arm and body motion of the pitcher prior to delivering the pitch, while the arm angle refers to the angle of the pitcher's arm when the ball is released. A release of 45 degrees or higher is generalized as overhand, while below that is considered sidearm. There are other classes within that (including submarine, when the pitcher throws below the plane of the shoulder) but that's good enough for our purposes.

Super Mega Baseball has an overhand, 3/4 (45 degrees above the shoulder line), sidearm, and submarine delivery. These not only look different to a batter but will have different movement patters, with sidearm deliveries generally offering more horizontal movement and overhand with greater vertical movement.

Why this matters to you as an owner

In addition to mixing up handedness it's a good idea to have a mix of arm angles in the bullpen. This gives hitters a "different look" which can mess up their mental expectations of what pitch is coming. Batter anticipation is modelled in the game and having a bullpen that offers a significantly different look to hitters is good strategy in single and multiplayer.

Stats and Pitch Selection

In game pitches are selected off of a wheel. The game offers 9 options, though in reality there are dozens of pitches and each has its own variations.

Instead of pitch quality being based on the pitcher's comfort level throwing it, all pitchers have 3 stats: Velocity, Junk, and Accuracy. These stats govern the pitcher's ability to throw the pitches at their disposal.

Velocity is a measure of how hard the pitcher throws. Velocity over 70 is what I would consider good, and over 85 would be elite. Velocity correlates most strongly with the fastball family of pitches (4F, 2S, CF, FK) as well as the changeup (Ch). It can also influence the quality of a thrown slider, as that's the highest velocity breaking pitch.

Junk determines how much a pitch will move, or break, along its path to the catcher. This can determine the length of the break but also influences direction: low junk pitchers' curveballs will break streat down, while high junk will break down and horizontal. Junk correlates with the breaking pitches (SL, CB, SB, Ch), and there is some overlap with the fastball pitches as it will impact the tailing fastballs (CF, 2S) and the forkball (FK). Pitchers with low junk stat also have a stronger possibility of throwing "hanging" pitches, or breaking pitches that remain straight.

Accuracy is a measure of how well the pitcher can control their pitches. It impacts all pitches and applied generally is a major factor in how many walks the pitcher gives up. It also influences wild pitches, dropped pitches, and passed balls (the latter two are also heavily influenced by the junk stat). In Super Mega Baseball 2 this stat could be ignored and low accuracy was at times an advantage, now it's vitally important to a pitcher's ability to control the strike zone.

There are 9 pitches total, and every pitcher has at least one of the 3 major fastballs (4F, 2S, and CF). Starters almost always have at least 4 pitches while relievers can have anywhere from 2-4.



4F stands for 4 seam fastball, a reference to how the ball is held (the fingers touching the seams of the ball 4 times). It is the hardest pitch and is sometimes referred to as a "rising fastball" because it drops less than the batter's brain anticipates, creating the illusion of it breaking upwards. The fastest I've ever seen this one go in the game is 103 mph, in real life I believe the record is 105. I read an article once that stated the fastest a structure like the human arm could theoretically throw a baseball is about 115-120 mph. There's a sweet spot in terms of build, where to a point the more muscle you add on actually slows the pitch by getting in the way of the whip-like arm motion necessary.

I dabble in kinesiology as part of my career, it's a lot of fun.



2S or 2 seam fastball is a fastball that breaks away from the pitcher's dominant hand, in exchange for some velocity. It's generally about 5 mph slower than a 4F by the same pitcher, but the break can make it tough to square up on.

CF is a cut fastball, similar to a 2S but breaking towards the dominant hand. Made baseball famous by closer Mariano Riviera, the first player to ever be unanimously elected to the hall of fame, it results in a lot of broken bats in a same handed matchup because the ball breaks into the thinnest part of the bat. It has also broken fingers.



FK is a forkball. A similar (and more well known) pitch is the splitter in that they're both fastballs that drop before hitting the strike zone. These are very effective in getting ground balls though throwing a lot of them is murder on a pitcher's elbow.



The changeup (CH) has a similar delivery to a fastball but a different grip and release that gives it some lateral movement and slows it significantly. This is a popular strikeout pitch because hitters have a hard time adjusting to the change in velocity, but if a hitter is looking for it the slow speed makes it an easy target so it's best used sparingly. A devastating 2 strike pitch.



CB, or Curveball, is a slower pitch with a ton of vertical movement. There are a lot of variations on it but the game keeps it vanilla, low junk pitchers throw a curve that drops straight down (not quite a 12-6 curve which has more drop, but same idea) while high junk pitchers throw curveballs that have huge downward movement that also breaks away from the dominant hand.



SL, or slider, is a pitch with a sharp diagonal movement away from the pitcher's dominant side. It does not break as much as a curve but it is thrown harder and the break occurs closer to the plate, making this a somewhat more risky but very popular strikeout pitch. In game I've found pitchers with good velocity and middling junk through pretty good sliders and it definitely uses both stats, although high junk pitchers tend to be more effective with it.

https://www.wikihow.com/Throw-a-Screwball

SB stands for screwball, and it is the last pitch modeled in the game. A screwball is a breaking pitch that you don't see very often that breaks laterally to the pitcher's dominant side, making it a dangerous pitch against opposite handed batters (who usually hold the advantage in a matchup).

So with that you should be as caught up as you need to be. As always don't hesitate to ask any questions, I probably won't know the answer but I'll at least pretend to!

Source for above images.

Cuveball Sliders fucked around with this message at 00:27 on May 25, 2020

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


ilmucche posted:

Be the moose. resign munstar and become unstoppable

Their defense isn't great at first base and their backup catcher is quite possibly the slowest non-pitcher player I've seen, but they can put the runs up and have a decent pen if you never put farmhand in the game

Love the Moose.

In 2 I thought they were hands down the best constructed team top to bottom, a good enough bullpen with great starting pitching and the ability to score runs in bunches. I actually have yet to touch them in 3 because I've focused on the Sand Cats and Beewolves and am holding off on trying out different teams until this vote is over, so I don't know what they've lost.

In any season mode and especially franchise I've found it's a good idea to have a C or C+ rated bullpen guy like Farmhand to soak up innings when you're down big or have a big lead, saving your useful arms for when they're needed. They're also super cheap so you can focus that money elsewhere. However the AI is going to be making my in game substitutions until Metalhead decides to add the ability to sub pitchers in AI vs AI, and they might not have the same philosophy as me.

Edit: Sorry about the double post.

Cuveball Sliders fucked around with this message at 21:39 on May 24, 2020

ilmucche
Mar 16, 2016

The magnificent story of Dwayt al-Shrood.



It's nice to have someone soak up innings, but I've had a few games where he comes in up by 6 or 8 and comes out with 0.0 IP, 5H and a lead reduced to 1. Considering he replaced Munstar it's a heck of a gulf!

theenglishman
Jun 24, 2009


Is it not possible for SMB3 pitchers to throw an eephus?

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


Voting is open until 7 pm EST today! This should let any stragglers in to get a say before we get started, and give me a chance to enjoy the day with my family before getting started. First update should be up tonight and the first game should be up and posted tomorrow provided there aren't any issues at work.

The Freebooters currently have the lead with 3 votes and barring a late rush will probably be our team. As I said I know very little about this squad other than that the simmer seems especially unkind to them, as I don't ever recall seeing them win a division in the 300 hours I've spent between this game and Super Mega Baseball 2. They play in the Beast division which include the aforementioned Moose and the Hot Corners, both of which are very tough teams in my experience. Hot Corners are new to this game with outstanding offense and good to very good pitching. Though their defensive rating is low I haven't noticed this as a weakness in game and every time I've played them it's been a close, exciting, and intense matchup. As the Freebooters we should be able to look forward to some outstanding pitching duels with both these teams.

The Herbisaurs and Wild Pigs round out the division and I don't want to overlook either of them. This is my first real attempt at an AI vs AI matchup so while I've never had much trouble against those teams while playing I'm curious to see how they line up with all else being equal. Herbisaurs usually put Henry Hampster at leadoff who looks traumatized but is very tough and very fast. The Wild Pigs are a team that doesn't get on base much but hits for power and can create havock on the basepaths with their speed. I'm hoping our pitching will be enough to stifle them.

I don't know if it particularly matters to anyone but the Freebooters are in a DH conference (meaning they put a player whose sole purpose is to hit in the lineup instead of the pitcher). I like the DH but the in game pitcher substitution logic still seems to be balanced around having a pitcher in the lineup and I've found the AI leaves the starter in too long when I'm playing. Oddly I haven't seen this issue as pronounced in the AI vs AI games I've watched so hopefully it won't crop up for us. Some hate the DH so I thought it worth mentioning, personally I like it and was thrilled it made it to this game but it will definitely make things harder on our defense and pitching.

One final note on lineups and game bugs. Currently the AI will use its own lineup card when you sim or watch games. The developers accepted my report on this about a week ago so I'm hoping it will be fixed in the near future, but there are some critical bugs on Switch they definitely need to attend to first. For now I'm letting the coach set lineups.

Edit: To theenglishman, unfortunately the Eephus didn't make it in the game. In Super Mega Baseball 1 if you forgot to select a pitch you would throw what the game called a meatball which was a slow 4 seamer, that's the closest thing to an Eephus they've ever had.

It's probably the most requested additional pitch in addition to the knuckleball. The developers haven't added any pitches since the 1st game and at this point I don't expect them to unfortunately.

Cuveball Sliders fucked around with this message at 15:05 on May 25, 2020

theenglishman
Jun 24, 2009


The best pitch in all of baseball is missing from this game. What a shame.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKMYs-9LW2w

DivineCoffeeBinge
Mar 3, 2011

Spider-Man's Amazing Construction Company


The eephus is great but as a big Tim Wakefield fan I am sad that there is no knuckleball.

oldskool
Aug 9, 2010





Lipstick Apathy

Another for the Freebooters!

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


Voting is now closed!

The Freebooters take it in as big a landslide as I've every seen 4 votes create. I've finally taken a look at the roster and it's kind of a mess, I think I get why they are so bad now. Definitely excited to take a crack at this group.

We'll take a pre-season look at the roster, lineups, and budget hopefully tonight then opening day should be tomorrow afternoon! See you then!

DivineCoffeeBinge
Mar 3, 2011

Spider-Man's Amazing Construction Company


yessssssss kickass pirate logo is GO

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007




A quick look at settings. I find 48 - 64 games to be a good number for an intermediate season. Multiples of 4 allows each pitcher to get an equal number of starts, and this should let us get a couple seasons in without them seeming too fast.

I really thought hard about the number of playoff games per series but went with 3 for a few reasons. We are going to be watching most of them and there are 3 series per playoff, plus we'll be watching other teams in their series at least in elimination games (that is a feature in this game). While I normally prefer best of 5 series doing that would create almost as many videos as the regular season. With 8 teams it seemed prudent to go with the smaller number, plus it could create some exciting, quick matchups.

8 playoff teams allows for 2 division winners per conference and 2 wild card winners. This means there will be 3 post-season series. Less than half of the teams will ultimately get in, which creates exciting races during the season. Some people are all about the division but I really like having wild card teams.



And here we are, the hub where the free booting is going to happen. To the right is the league schedule and it will also show updates on player development events (random events that influence your players' stats), salary demand changes from free agents we're following, and whether other teams sign those free agents (and who they release in the process).



Here's our economy screen, it's pretty much self explanatory. We start with no player development funds and earn payouts per game based on how much cap space we have going into the game (as the Freebooters, we have 7.6 million to start). Essentially every team makes $140 million a season and whatever doesn't go towards player salary is made available for development. Player development funds carry over season to season but can't be put towards signing players.



Speaking of, here's what we have available at the moment. Relief pitcher Grace Loopinovich can learn how to hide pine tar on her body to throw harder and more accurately (a lot of these reference real life incidents), and center fielder Stockton Brickhouse can attend jazzercise classes to get a bit faster and throw a bit better.

It'll be a little while until we'll realistically be able to afford these, but fortunately they hang around for a while. There's a chance of them disappearing if you don't use them after a certain number of games, at which point each game they stick around the chance will increase.

You can also see that teaching pitcher's how to cheat has a chance of conferring the negative trait "bb prone". A bb (base on ball) is shorthand for a walk. Pitcher's with this trait will have more walks in simulated games and in games will suffer an accuracy penalty in 3 ball counts.



Here's our first 17 games. The question marks are just referring to there being no starters set more than 4 games out (which changes based on how many starting pitchers or sp/rp's you have on staff). When there's more than 1 game against the same team in a row that's referred to as a series. The game prioritizes division games, then conference games, then finally cross-conference similar to how the NFL typically builds a schedule, so we'll have plenty of series against teams in our division, one or two against teams in the other division within our conference, and a bunch of isolated games against the other conference.



Here are the division standings. At the moment they're obviously tied because no games have been played.



By flicking over on the stick, I can switch to wild card standings view. This gives a picture both of what teams would be in the playoffs if the season were over as well as how far behind the other teams are. In the event of a tied record the team with higher run differential (runs scored minus runs given up) wins.



Here's a look at the roster of the Freebooters. We'll do a bit more of a deep dive in a moment and I'll show it sorted by position. Quick first impressions are excellent outfield starters and depth, ok starting pitching, great bullpen, absolute mess in the infield. We are also very weak at catcher and on the left side of the infield, and very limited defensively.

Before we look at free agents lets take a quick look at the default lineups.



This is the DH lineup that we'd be playing with if we were playing and not simming/watching. It isn't even close to what I'd consider optimal for this team and Badhop Brown should absolutely be DH'ing with Pomp Duchee at 3B (third). Brown's defense is abysmal and even with Duchee at a secondary position he's a better defender.

Unless players have the Utility trait they suffer a penalty to their defense stat when played at a secondary position. They can also be played at a completely unfamiliar position in which case they'll suffer a significant defensive penalty, I think over half the stat.



Just for thoroughness' sake here's the team's default lineup with no DH. There's an interesting bug I ran into in cross conference play that I'll address when we get to it, if it hasn't been fixed by then.

The bad news is that if I change these lineups it won't mean anything for the time being, the AI sets its own lineups going into games. The good news is that this is apparently a bug and should be fixed soonish. The other bit of good news is that the AI is actually fairly robust when setting lineups and will take things like the opposing pitcher, conference, player injury/fatigue, and I think even ballpark into account when it creates those lineups. Sometimes it can outsmart itself but generally it does about as well as most coaches.

With the players playing on their own I honestly don't mind if the AI coaches as well. The one concern I have is that its bullpen management in DH leagues is not very good (for some reason it's fine in non-DH leagues though).



Here's our roster sorted by position. One thing I would note is that overall grade doesn't always tell the whole story, there are some B's on this list I'm not really crazy about and a couple C's I think will be performers for us.

Let's start with Catcher, as there's a reason that's at the top. Jermaine Raines is a serviceable starter at the moment but Rocky Backstop is living true to his name with terrible defensive stats, I would like to move on from him as soon as free agent prices come down. Fortunately we do have some options there including one already on the roster!

Edit: Rereading this in the light of day I realize I never explained why backup catcher is so important. Catching is an extremely physically demanding task, and most catchers require significant time off. The game models this by having catcher health degrade over time, usually to the tune of one bar every 3 or 4 games.

What this means is whoever we have at backup is going to end up starting at least 10% and probably closer to 20% of our games, making backup catcher the most important bench position on any team in game and in real life.

Edit Over

Also of significant immediate concern is Second Base. Both our starters at that position are really backup quality and because they're both right handed they can't really even be platooned.

On that note our entire roster is very right hand dominant, top to bottom. There's only 2 left handed hitters and a switch hitter in the lineup and 2 lefty pitchers. Fortunately both of those lefty bats are excellent offensive options in Sturdy Woodman and Patience Evergreen, but our switch hitter in Kache Basket is at best a developing talent.

So I would say I have four lineup priorities right now. In order:

1. At least upgrade at backup catcher, but if the opportunity is there to find a better starter then we ought to look into it as well.

2. Get more left handed bats! Almost the entire back end of our lineup is right handed and they'll get mowed down by a right handed starter.

3. Find an everyday starter at 2B, 3B, or both. This may happen through roster competition or we may have to look at the free agent lists. I do think we can address point 2 by replacing at least 1 of the starters at these positions through free agency though. For now let's see who performs.

4. Defense is a huge issue on this team, which is in itself a huge issue with a team built around pitching. We are going to give up a lot of baserunners to errors or just to lack of defensive range in the outfield. Offensively our outfield is excellent, but it may be worth either moving on from one of them or moving them to DH (if we can afford to) and bringing in a fast center or left fielder with good defense. Again let's see how they perform for now, but I'm expecting bad defense to cost us.



Pitching

I think our starting rotation is worse in practice than on paper. Angel Verde is an excellent ace pitcher but Winnie Noelle, though he has great stats, suffers from a very limited pitch selection. That amazing junk stat is really going to waste with just that slider to pick from. Unfortunately you can't teach pitchers new pitches or change their roles (he would be outstanding as a spot starter/long reliever like Ratherwell), and I don't anticipate he's going to be worth a $9 million contract.

Lana Rhymes conversely has poor stats but a much better arsenal on a much more team friendly deal. Her numbers likely won't be quite as good as his but in terms of dollars per win I would expect her to be a much better value.

Kent Ratherwell is an interesting option as fourth starter/long reliever. Ok stats, very good control, but most importantly amazing pitch selection. He's also our only lefty and is on a super team friendly deal. Only concern here is that SP/RP's can't throw as many pitches before getting tired.

All in all we're spending around $25 million on our rotation and I think we could restructure it after the season to spend that money more effectively. I think Noelle is fool's gold but if we really want to hold onto him I could focus player development on his accuracy and velocity if those opportunities arise. I just look at that junk stat with that pitch selection on a starter and see wasted overall grade which translates directly to wasted money.



Bullpen

That card is of the man, the myth, the steamboat. Steamboat Wisselle has been around forever and he's still one of the best in the game. He throws hard, he throws with movement, and he can control a strike zone like few others. Between him and S ranked closer Kay Frequin I feel good handing this game over to the bullpen in a must win situation.

Grace Loopinovich and Ryder McPride should be on notice, I think we need to be looking at filling one or both roster spots with a left handed B or B+ arm and a C or C+ rated inning eater, or even a fourth dedicated starter. Right now I see 15 million in cap space and, again, we could be spending that money better.

Day after edit: One thing I didn't note and should have was that while our starting rotation costs around 25 million, our bullpen is breaking the bank at $35.5 million. I think we can definitely bring this down by midseason without sacrificing too much quality in order to free up some space to pursue position players.

Overall our pitching situation is better than our lineup by a bit but it's also much more expensive per player. My pitching priorities are as follows:

1. Find left handed talent, same as the lineup. Kay Frequin and Kent Ratherwell are our only left handed pitchers and we need to get more diverse if we're going to compete against left handed lineups.

2. Find a suitable replacement for Winnie Noelle who offers higher value. This would ultimately be to your discretion though, as you all sign the checks. It will be a while before free agents at that level become affordable anyway so we should get a good look at how he performs.

3. Look at replacing Loopinovich or McPride with a cheaper or higher value option.



Here's a look at the available position player free agents. Anyone with a gold star is someone I'm interested in following for now. Axton Khan would be great but SS and OF (outfield) are the two positions we're already strongest at.

I also added Russel Davilla to the list, but for now left handed bats at positions of need are slim pickins. Hopefully once the market becomes more active it will pick up.

2 interesting targets at catcher here: Stephen Appleseed is the real deal and everything you look for in a franchise starting catcher. The only issue is that he's going to cost significantly more than Raines, but I think if we're still competitive when his asking price comes down around 8 or 9 million we may want to take the plunge. At just 28 he's got a few years of his prime before we even start seeing stat regression.

At backup I'm also keeping a bit of a leery eye on Placido Roy. He isn't much of a defensive upgrade over Backstop but his offensive stats are good enough that he could be a great DH when not subbing for Raines.

However I have another idea at backup catcher.



Kenna Quorm. On the card she's listed at right field, but we already have tons of outfield depth and she plays catcher as a secondary position and has outstanding defensive stats with backup appropriate offense, bad but not offensive. Team friendly deal at just $3.7 million as well. Even as a secondary position her defense wouldn't be a step back from Raines and her arm is actually better.

Since the game is making our lineups for now it'll probably automatically play Backstop at backup, but if we release him and sign someone else I believe it would use her at backup. Once they fix the lineup issue that'll be a moot point anyway.

Worth a thought if nothing else.

Note on game mechanics: You may notice these guys are all way more expensive than our players. When a player first enters free agency they almost always ask for absurdly high salaries. After each game there's a chance their asking price will go down. This is based on season length, so the price goes down significantly faster in a short season while an MLB length 162 game season can see 40 or 50 games before it's worth actually signing free agents.

In my experience free agents become worth considering right after the season is 1/3 of the way through. They're still generally pricier than the average for your position but it's sometimes worth pulling the trigger anyway. This is also around when the AI starts signing and releasing players.

When you sign a player you have to release someone on your roster, and you can't release players without signing someone else. Pitchers and position players are not interchangeable in this system. You get 13 position players and 8 pitchers, though there is no limit on what positions or pitcher types. If you want to field a team of catchers and closers that is possible in the game's engine. It'd be terrible but you can do it.

...Don't get any ideas.



Zap Castanado is awesome and I love everything about him. That said we probably aren't going to get a chance to sign him, AI teams will typically overspend on A and S ranked pitchers, and I doubt we could nab him for less than 14 million (even then I'm not confident he would get that low). I just want to see where he ends up.

Crew Hughes and Ed Reed, on the other hand, will probably still be around and affordable if we want to expand or upgrade at starting pitching. Rufus Houndstooth is also an intriguing left handed starter with control issues, but he's young and less likely to test free agency so he may be worth picking up as a developmental project. Plus that name!

Nib Bermal may be ugly and have a stupid name but he's one of the best free agent relievers currently on the market and would be an outstanding left handed arm to add, I'm just not sure we can afford another talent at that level. Depending on whether we're competitive at midseason it may be worth downgrading from Steamboat Wisselle. At 40 years old the Steamboat isn't likely to stay past this year.

I starred Antonnio Ramsey because he's just a stud, but we're more than set at the position for the next few years and there are other fish in the sea.

Note on game mechanics: Age is a major factoring in determining if a player will decide to leave at the end of the year. All contracts are year to year with the team able to terminate at any time and the player able to leave and test free agency at the end of each year. Older players are significantly more likely to leave or retire (older players will also suffer more regression events game to game while younger players are waited towards progression events).

THAT SAID young players can and will retire or leave. There are significant risk/reward mechanics to player development, not least of which is the prospect of, well, your prospect deciding to test free agency after you spent the last 2 seasons building them from a C+ into an A overall player. On average you should have 5-6 years with a player below 30 before they decide to test free agency, but some of them will decide to leave and some will suffer scandals and leave in shame.

This is why you want to be very careful in which players you choose to develop and how you develop them. Raising overall in ways that don't contribute to how you use them can come back to bite you at the end of the season when you suddenly have to pay them double but they aren't any more productive.



So that's it for now. Mostly just game mechanics and some things to keep in mind while we watch this team start its season. I anticipate that we're going to see a lot of roster turnover this season and the sooner we start thinking about what that should look like, the better off we'll be.

I'm treating our current cap hit of 132.4 as a soft budget for now, especially since it'll be a while before we'll be able to think of actually making moves and currently I can't even make any moves to free cap space. However, remember this is your money I'm planning on spending and you have to decide if maybe winning a championship is worth it year to year.

Day after edit: One thing when you first start a franchise is that you won't really be able to do much for the first third of the first season. I think this is intentional to make team choice a more important decision. It works pretty well, to me that initial bunch of games serves as a great test and evaluation period and I've had some unlikely heroes rise up as well as some players who didn't quite perform but showed me enough to want to keep them around (and some I thought were studs who just never got going, this is going on in my current standard franchise). That said for the time being there won't be a ton of thread interaction other than discussing relative player performance, identifying starters and possible developmental targets, and who we want to move on from. It will pick up but this evaluation period also has a lot of value in a new game.

The first season is the only year the game mechanics enforce this, every season after this will have a bunch of free agents left over from the brilliant offseason negotiation system in addition to some newly released players and rookies.

With all that out of the way, hope you're all excited for opening day tomorrow!

Cuveball Sliders fucked around with this message at 13:27 on May 26, 2020

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVs3uh02SjA

No Commentary Version



We got a nice thrashing to open the season here, a 10-5 pounding that wasn't even that close (2 of our runs were tacked on with 2 outs in the 9th inning) and a rough start for Winnie Noelle who got the start over Angel Verde (AI coach decision), giving up 9 runs and being pulled after just 3.2 innings. Our defense wasn't great in this one and that run "given up" by Wisselle in the 4th was downright embarrassing, but most of those Sawteeth runs were walks and homers that our players really couldn't do much about. This was just a terrible start for Noelle.



The pitching numbers are ugly. Noelle goes 3.2 innings giving up 9 runs which puts her ERA (earned run average) somewhere around 27? Wisselle was alright in relief of her and would have gotten us out of the inning if Walker Runs didn't call for that pop up, that was just a mess of a play all around.

(Gameplay note: I'm not going to call that a bug. Miscommunications happen especially on bad defenses)



I grabbed a shot of Jermaine Raines consoling Noelle after the second home run given up.



Offensive numbers weren't terrible although they weren't great. Just 5 hits in the game and most of our at bats weren't good or productive, it didn't seem like pitch count was ever really a concern for them and our guys didn't do a great job working counts and being patient. Being aggressive at the plate is well and good but you have to put good swings on the ball and for the most part we were lost out there.

However 3 Home Runs on the day is a nice stat and a bit of positive to start the season with. If we can get more baserunners to go with that power hitting then maybe we can get a run going. I do think Angel Verde is going to pitch better tomorrow so as long as the bats show up I think we can win the game and at least split this opening series.



Here are the players of the game for opening day. The game chooses the top 3 performers regardless of team, and today we didn't crack the list.

The Positive

I did love what Guns Jackman showed today, going 1/3 at the plate with a home run and a walk (and scoring off that walk as well). Pomp Duchee and Oakley Stiffs also flashed power at the plate with solo home runs, and the base clearing RBI double at the end by Patience Evergreen was clutch. We were very efficient at the plate and only left one runner on base (though we also only had 3).

Unfortunately we put up a ton of zeroes. When we hit Fabulo it tended to go far, but we didn't hit him very much.

As for the pitching, the bullpen did what it was supposed to do. Wisselle and Loopinovich went 4.1 innings between them giving up just 1 run. Loopinovich especially impressed me giving up just 1 hit in 2.1 innings of work. I mentioned her and Ryder McPride being on the hot seat, and she's definitely made a strong opening statement for why she deserves to stay with this team today.

All that said, the game of baseball is always unpredictable day to day. We have our true ace on the mound tomorrow in Angel Verde and we should be looking for a solid bounce back performance.

I'll be posting the next 3 games as full videos with commentary, the commentary free versions are something I'm doing for big games only because it takes a bunch of extra time and in this heat wave I'm a little concerned my computer will melt while processing them. This will give us a look at each starter in action, then we'll sim a couple games and see how we're doing once free agency starts to pick up.

Cuveball Sliders fucked around with this message at 01:26 on May 27, 2020

ilmucche
Mar 16, 2016

The magnificent story of Dwayt al-Shrood.



Maybe not the place for it but I don't think there's an smb thread. I just lost a franchise game 10-9. They had 2 earned runs -_-

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


Discussion doesn't have to be focused on our season, if you want to talk about your own franchises or games or even your own ideas about baseball then go for it. I love the game and frankly right now more posts gets us to the next page (this one's getting a bit crowded) and I want this to be fun for everyone.

The game definitely models errors a lot more in 3 than it has in the last 2 games, to the point that there are complaints about the frequency of dropped throws and pitches. Personally I don't mind it, baseball is a game that you can do everything perfect and line out or you can fall all over your own rear end on a swinging third strike fastball and end up on first when the catcher can't handle it. You can throw the perfect sequence of pitches and the batter just goes down and golfs it over the wall.

It's an unpredictable, awesome game and one thing I'm hoping with this LP is for more people to both see that side of the sport and how well this video game captures it. For the most part quality (or lack thereof) shows itself over a full season but in a small enough sample size just about anything can happen.

Still sucks when it happens to you though, that's pretty rough. Who was playing?

Edit for clarity: I don't mind this serving as a discussion thread on the game as long as the let's play doesn't get lost. If there is an existing thread in games I don't want to step on their toes but I think pretty much all Super Mega Baseball and general baseball discussion is relevant to this thread, within reason.

Another edit: Finally got around to changing my username. I hated that old thing, set it when I was young and edgy back in college. Figured Lowtax could use an expensive latte.

Cuveball Sliders fucked around with this message at 14:27 on May 27, 2020

Thordain
Oct 28, 2011

SNAP INTO A GRIMM JIM!!!


Pillbug

Very excited to see this, I'm most of the way through my first franchise season with the Jacks, but I keep running into a bug with checked swings that pushes me away.

I think the Freebooters great strength as a team really comes from the fact that they play in the New Orleans stadium, which is just gorgeous. But they're definitely a team in need of renovation.

ilmucche
Mar 16, 2016

The magnificent story of Dwayt al-Shrood.



Error rate has definitely gone up, it's normally not too bad but swinging passed ball 3rd strike -> dropped throw to first -> grand slam is a tough pill to swallow. Was playing the moose against the buzzards. Perry Quaker has always been a bit rough at 1st.

I love the random aspect of baseball, sometimes they just get you. Part of why the season is (normally) 162 games. Gotta try and factor out the crazy variance.

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


Thordain posted:

Very excited to see this, I'm most of the way through my first franchise season with the Jacks, but I keep running into a bug with checked swings that pushes me away.

I think the Freebooters great strength as a team really comes from the fact that they play in the New Orleans stadium, which is just gorgeous. But they're definitely a team in need of renovation.

Glad to have you aboard! Ultimately I'd still have to go by Red Rock or El Viejo as my favorite stadiums. The revamped Red Rock especially with the full glass dome.

Now that I'm watching them play I have to say I really like the Freebooters as an offense but they are so slow and inconsistent on defense. I can see this being an incredibly frustrating team to play as online or singleplayer. They're just one of those teams that's balanced on paper but their stats are extremely not optimal, to put it nicely. All that said they can be a lot of fun to watch, even in the blowout loss those solo jacks were exciting and they made it a little interesting at the end there.

ilmucche posted:

Error rate has definitely gone up, it's normally not too bad but swinging passed ball 3rd strike -> dropped throw to first -> grand slam is a tough pill to swallow. Was playing the moose against the buzzards. Perry Quaker has always been a bit rough at 1st.

I love the random aspect of baseball, sometimes they just get you. Part of why the season is (normally) 162 games. Gotta try and factor out the crazy variance.

Tough pill to swallow is a good way to put it but it's also a good attitude to have. The baseball gods will get you back (especially for the Moose).

On the issue of crazy variance, I remember reading a study done years ago that indicated the baseball season is something like 20 games too short to guarantee (as much as you can) that the best teams hold the best records. Wish I remember where I'd read it.

Thordain
Oct 28, 2011

SNAP INTO A GRIMM JIM!!!


Pillbug

Red Rock is good too, the Hummer climbing up the wall in left field does give it a certain Peyote fever dream vibe that I enjoy.

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDyOmKPK1kc

Angel Verde was electric today and the roster wasted his 7 inning, 2 run, 6 strikeout performance with a late bullpen meltdown and just a refusal to score when they had multiple outstanding opportunities. The bullpen was supposed to be the strength of this team but after yesterday's overuse they're clearly getting tired. Loopinovich was again pretty good but Wisselle, who I really thought was better than this, gives up some unlucky hits then just seemed to lose his stride. Ryder McPride really underwhelmed in his debut.

I hope you can hear how deflated that late home run made me.

It'd be great if we could get Kay Frequin a late lead to show her stuff, so far she's just been a $13 million bench warmer in the bullpen. That bench had better be a sauna at that price.

The Good: Angel Verde was outstanding, he flashed that ace stuff I was hoping for and with our bullpen that really should have been enough today. I know, I just got done talking about how anything can happen in baseball, well today I got to relearn that lesson. That said, we only get 1 start every 4 games from an ace like that and to waste it like we did hurt.

Also I was sure Verde was a girl before the game. That surprise early in the video was genuine. Thinking about it Angel is a boy's name so I'm not sure why I was so convinced.

The Bad: I really think that bullpen meltdown was a direct result of overuse yesterday but the coach should have avoided going right back to the two arms that already covered multiple innings the day before. Ryder McPride wasn't good today but he also came into a bad situation and it felt a little like he was set up to fail.

We also left way too many scoring opportunities on the table. Multiple times 2 runners with nobody out and nobody gets across the plate. That always comes back to bite you and it certainly did today, even just an extra 2 runs could have given us a shot at the end.

I don't want this team's identity to become too little, too late.

The Ugly: What the hell Steamboat. We go 0-6 on player of the game mentions which I don't know that I've ever seen a team do



And we take sole possession of last place for that ugly little cherry on top.



Loopinovich unfortunately got the loss, I think there was a fielding error in there because I don't remember her having an earned run today. Tomorrow we'll get to see the back end of our starting rotation with Lana Rhymes taking the start against the Bartholomew Draculo and the Blowfish.

Draculo is an outstanding #3 with solid velocity and control, and the Blowfish are one of the best all around teams in the game. Lana Rhymes has good movement on her pitches as well as a good pitch selection for her skillset, I think for a C+ overall she's a tremendous value but our work is definitely cut out for us.



Here's the development screen, the only new opportunity is a juicing program for Oakley Stiffs. We should be able to afford that or Jazzercise by the end of this 4 game stretch.



Quick look at the standings. Obviously it's silly to give up on the season 2 games in but we really couldn't have gotten off to a worse start. That said, the baseball gods take away and they'll give it back.

See you tomorrow for our 1 game stand against the Blowfish!

Edit: Game audio is way too loud, sorry about that. I ran some quick tests on those settings and it was good so not sure what happened but it'll be quieter tomorrow. I have my levels figured out with audacity but still fiddling with OBS's capture settings. Also messed around with the game audio settings to try to get a little more environmental noise but apparently overdid it.

Cuveball Sliders fucked around with this message at 03:10 on May 28, 2020

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


A double-feature today! Not quite a double-header because we played different teams. I'm going to try posting the games as separate posts from the write ups from now on so you don't have to stare at the summary as you're trying to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=od1cwUw0XQM





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CvAv-YPEtA



Screenshot update incoming.

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


We drop both games of the double feature to start the season 0-4, retaining sole possession of last place not only in our division but our conference.

The Good

Slim freakin pickings right now. We finally got to see Kay Frequin (only because our bullpen is so gassed they can barely stand up at this point) and she is dynamite late in games, so on the off chance we do hand her a close lead I actually feel fairly confident she'll get the save. Also some of our hitters are over .300?

The Bad

Draculo is pretty good but at this point we're going up against third and fourth starters and our offense looks as lost as it did against the Sawteeth aces. Worse even. The Buzzards aren't even a good pitching team and we couldn't buy a run in a diarrhea store against them.

This team has been awful with runners in scoring position (a baserunner on second or third). We've probably had 5 or 6 opportunities so far this season with multiple runners on and nobody out and have gotten 2 runs out of them? Sure you give respect to the pitcher for getting out of trouble but at some point that's an issue with the hitters not executing.

The worst issue though is that our starters can't get out of the fifth inning and our bullpen is turning to taffy having to throw so many pitches. We just cannot keep games close through the eighth inning.

That's not even getting into the defense. Jackman went to grab a cutoff in that second game, realized the fielder was throwing out the runner (and would have gotten them), and tries to duck out of the way but instead the ball bounces off him. This isn't the first time defensive miscues have cost us outs or runs and extended innings.

The Ugly

Not only are we 0-4 to start the season, but this game picks 3 of the top performing players each game to honor. This is done without regard to which team won.

4 games means 12 mentions for top players, we have 1. That's as ugly as it gets.

I should expand the hall of fame to include a hall of shame at this point.



A shot of the division standings. Fortunately nobody is undefeated so we're only 3 games back for now and even closer to a wild card spot. If we can turn this around a bit and get some good starts from Winnie Noelle and Angel Verde we do have a shot of staying relevant to the wild card race. There are still 44 games to play after all.


Click for big version!

Here are our stats for the season so far. Surprisingly the AI took my advice to use Kenna Quorn as the backup catcher. We actually do have some offensive performers but they just don't seem to be getting those hits when they count.

I'm kind of back and forth on Loopinovich and McPride, neither has been particularly great to this point and honestly I have no objection to firing both of them.



Speaking of, I'm kind of interested in Aldo Blonchi. Given how few innings our starters seem to be giving us it seems like it'd be a good move to pick up a long reliever to work exclusively from the bullpen. The pitch selection and stats aren't great but at this point the stamina would be worth it. We may have to overspend though, other teams love to snap up SP/RP's.



A list of the free agent position players. Prices are slowly and steadily coming down and we should be able to start making moves in another 6-10 games. Let me know if there's anyone I should be tracking or if you want to know more about anyone.



New development opportunities! Winnie Noelle can go to the spa to build junk at the expense of a little velocity, not at all worth it given her arsenal is almost all fastballs. Badhop Brown could work on throwing harder from third which may not be a bad idea if we plan on holding on to him, personally I'm seeing that as a position that needs addressing through free agency though.

Kache Basket can also start a vegan diet to work on her outfield defense. I'd feel bad putting her through that but if we plan on keeping her it'd be nice to have someone with actual range out there.

We do have enough money to start targeting these now, so we'll be opening a vote/debate on this and some other stuff before the next update.



Now that we've been through the rotation once I'm going to follow a video update pattern of watching 1 game chosen by the thread and simming the rest of each 4 game cycle through the rotation. I would also like to continue to show series like the upcoming 2 game set at the Wild Pigs.

So take a look at games 5-7 and let me know which starter you'd like to see. Assuming Rhymes gets out of today healthy she should be playing game 7 against the Beewolves. Here's a quick breakdown of each upcoming start.

Game 5: Winnie Noelle vs The Wide Loads: Noelle had a terrible opening day against the Sawteeth. I won't say I told you so because I didn't anticipate she would struggle that badly but she lacks a good 2 strike pitch to go with that junk stat. The Wide Loads aren't a great team offensively but they have a ton of power which may be dangerous against a fastball pitcher. She's hoping to bounce back in this game and get her (and our) first win.

Game 6: Angel Verde vs. the Nemesis: Angel was brilliant in our second game against the Sawteeth with 7 innings of 2 run ball. The Nemesis are a different beast though with an outstanding lineup. Verde is going to have his work cut out in stifling these bats and giving our offense a chance to win it. On the other hand if we can't score runs on this staff we deserve to lose.

Game 7: Lana Rhymes vs the Beewolves: The Beewolves are not a great team but have some really good players like SS Handley Dexterez, an S overall (the highest grade in the game) who can play any position on the field other than catcher and hit from both sides of the plate. We probably won't get to see their ace pitcher Hurley Bender and that's a good thing, he's one of the 2 or 3 best in the game. Lana Rhymes flashed those junk pitches early aginst the Blowfish but her pitch count ballooned and she had to be pulled in the fourth inning so I'm really hoping she can be a little more efficient in this one. Fran Gipani (scheduled starter for the Beewolves) can be very tough but she's hittable.

We will watch one of those games followed by both of the 2 game series against the Wild Pigs, which should involve Kent Ratherwell and Winnie Noelle.

Vote

1. Pick one of the above starts to watch. It will be posted in addition to both games of our series against the Wild Pigs

2. Pick one player development opportunity to pursue. Skip is also an option if you want to save up.

3. Not a vote so much as a debate, but who are our bottom 3 performers we should be looking at replacing immediately once free agency opens up? Everyone is fair game here.

Addendum
4. I recently learned of a workaround to the lineup issue that would allow me to set the lineup for at least the games we watch. Should I continue to let the AI set the lineup and starting pitcher or should I take advantage of this?

Cuveball Sliders fucked around with this message at 20:12 on May 28, 2020

ilmucche
Mar 16, 2016

The magnificent story of Dwayt al-Shrood.



1. Pick one of the above starts to watch. It will be posted in addition to both games of our series against the Wild Pigs
I'd like to see some away games, so the wide loads would be nice. There's the two game set against the wild pigs, but to see if a change of environment helps the team would be nice.

2. Pick one player development opportunity to pursue. Skip is also an option if you want to save up.
Badhop brown seems the only real opportunity worth it, and it's a cheap one. Always up for a bit more of an arm, though with that low fielding I'm not sure if brown is worth keeping.

3. Not a vote so much as a debate, but who are our bottom 3 performers we should be looking at replacing immediately once free agency opens up? Everyone is fair game here.
There's two noticable mendoza line problems in the lineup. Evergreen is 35 so her stats are only going to drop. Maybe there's a cheaper younger option you could pick up? Same with Duchee. Give them a few more games to try and turn it around, but once moves start happening they'd be up near the top for me, especially if the team keeps dropping games.
Steamboat Wiselle I'd be looking to drop as well if the team keeps losing. The bullpen workload is chewing them up, but at 41 and on $9.8m I'd be looking for a cheaper innings eater, with loopinovich as my higher leverage reliever.

These are all recommendations based on the team continuing to lose, if things turn around then probably not worth it dropping players depending on what's available free agent wise as well.

Addendum
4. I recently learned of a workaround to the lineup issue that would allow me to set the lineup for at least the games we watch. Should I continue to let the AI set the lineup and starting pitcher or should I take advantage of this?
Give it until after the wild pigs series? I don't think lineup has been too much of an issue. I'd drop woodman to 5 or 6, and maybe move duchee/runs up the order for a bit more speed but probably better to see if the team can start stringing some hits together. The pitchers getting blown up is something that unfortunately can't really be helped

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


I'm going to try something new with the videos. Initially I was going for a broadcast style but a lot of it felt and sounded (to me) forced. As someone who loves radio baseball I was doing my best to recreate that style but I'm not sure the results were really what I was hoping for.

I did a custom team showcase in a much more informal, traditional let's play style that I personally found a lot more fun and free.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iua4J7P_TVo

Let me know your thoughts, if you'd prefer this type of commentary going forward or if I'm trying to fix something that's not broken.

ilmucche posted:

1. Pick one of the above starts to watch. It will be posted in addition to both games of our series against the Wild Pigs
I'd like to see some away games, so the wide loads would be nice. There's the two game set against the wild pigs, but to see if a change of environment helps the team would be nice.

2. Pick one player development opportunity to pursue. Skip is also an option if you want to save up.
Badhop brown seems the only real opportunity worth it, and it's a cheap one. Always up for a bit more of an arm, though with that low fielding I'm not sure if brown is worth keeping.

3. Not a vote so much as a debate, but who are our bottom 3 performers we should be looking at replacing immediately once free agency opens up? Everyone is fair game here.
There's two noticable mendoza line problems in the lineup. Evergreen is 35 so her stats are only going to drop. Maybe there's a cheaper younger option you could pick up? Same with Duchee. Give them a few more games to try and turn it around, but once moves start happening they'd be up near the top for me, especially if the team keeps dropping games.
Steamboat Wiselle I'd be looking to drop as well if the team keeps losing. The bullpen workload is chewing them up, but at 41 and on $9.8m I'd be looking for a cheaper innings eater, with loopinovich as my higher leverage reliever.

These are all recommendations based on the team continuing to lose, if things turn around then probably not worth it dropping players depending on what's available free agent wise as well.

Addendum
4. I recently learned of a workaround to the lineup issue that would allow me to set the lineup for at least the games we watch. Should I continue to let the AI set the lineup and starting pitcher or should I take advantage of this?
Give it until after the wild pigs series? I don't think lineup has been too much of an issue. I'd drop woodman to 5 or 6, and maybe move duchee/runs up the order for a bit more speed but probably better to see if the team can start stringing some hits together. The pitchers getting blown up is something that unfortunately can't really be helped

Lafayette Park is pretty gorgeous but it will be nice to get out a bit, maybe the change of scenery will help our team figure things out.

I hate to say it but moving the Steamboat may be the best option to let go regardless of how we're doing if our starters keep getting pulled before the 5th. Our bullpen is rated very well but it isn't built to cover 3-5 innings per game, and I think if we can't find starters who can pitch longer we may want to look at either replacing Frequin or Steamboat with an SP/RP who can help them out a bit. We may even want to consider rolling with 3 of our current starters and bringing on an extra reliever.

Cuveball Sliders fucked around with this message at 19:41 on May 29, 2020

DivineCoffeeBinge
Mar 3, 2011

Spider-Man's Amazing Construction Company


1. Game 6. I want to see how Angel handles the Nemesis' bats.

2. Skip it. Hopefully later we get training opportunities for players we're sure we want to keep.

3. Evergreen, Duchee, and Wiselle for the reasons already mentioned by ilmucche.

4. Leave it for now. I don't think the team's issues can be sorted with creative lineups right now. Give it some more time and see how things shake out when we have a larger sample size.

OOrochi
Jan 19, 2017


1. Game 6

Angel was good so far and I definitely want to see more of them.

2 Skip

Nothing seems both interesting and on a player we aren’t thinking of replacing.

3 A bit too much in detail for me, so I’ll skip though Ilmucche’s reasoning makes sense to me.

4 Leave it for now

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


I guess there are a couple lineup moves I could make, Badhop Brown has no business touching the field and I'd rather have Pomp Duchee at third. Guns Jackman should eventually move to second where his defensive shortcomings won't be as obvious (although I don't see anyone better suited to covering short right now unfortunately). Overall though I can't really complain about the AI lineups and it's a pretty solid and adaptive system.

For those curious, the workaround is just starting the game and setting lineup/starter as though you're going to play then exiting out before the first pitch is thrown. You can then watch or sim the game with your lineup in place. It's a bit clunky and only works for simming one game at a time but until Metalhead updates it's all we have.

On the note of players on notice, I know it's tough to get through full videos (working on my commentary and I'm going to abandon the broadcast style for something more informal going forward) but if you could get through the commentary then I have to say Patience Evergreen may be struggling but that RBI double in game one was clutch and she also has 2 walks in 4 games. Most importantly it seems like she's one of the few players who puts together quality at bats and forces the pitcher to throw tons of pitches. She's got the foundation to be a really good player and is one of our better defensive outfielders right now.

Obviously if she continues to struggle I'll add left fielder to the free agent search but I'd encourage a bit more patience with Patience for now.

Edit: I'm going to close the vote in order to keep things moving along. We're going to watch game 6 to see Angel Verde take on the Nemesis at home then the next two updates will be games 8 and 9 at the wild pigs. Good news is we may be able to start signing free agents after this series!

I think the cheapness of the development opportunity would have worked for Badhop to help out our terrible defense at third whether we planned on keeping him or not, but with one lukewarm recommendation and 2 votes for skip I'm going to skip development for now. We'll see what's available after game 6.

We will also continue to allow the AI to set lineups and pitching rotation.

I apologise if you didn't get a chance to vote this time but it's a long season and there will be plenty of opportunities.

Cuveball Sliders fucked around with this message at 18:14 on May 30, 2020

Cuveball Sliders
Oct 9, 2007


Apologies for the double post but it's update time!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HhMcPdZ0YM

Definitely watch this video, this game was everything I love about baseball and I hope the commentary did it justice. The actual game starts at 3:30 if you want to skip simming and stat checking.

I also changed my approach to commentary in this one. Before I was going for more of a broadcast style and while I liked the idea the results seem stilted and forced, which I'm sure you could hear. I felt like I was inadvertently forcing myself to play a character instead of just sharing a really fun, really good game. Please let me know what you think!

Screenshot update will be posted once I've emotionally recovered enough from the game to work on it. It may actually come after the Wild Pigs series as a summary unless I see some new development or free agent opportunities.

OOrochi
Jan 19, 2017


Oh dang, that was a good game.

Also, the commentary on this one was great! Since you said that this style was more enjoyable, I'd say you should definitely stick with it.

tomanton
May 22, 2006

beam me up, tomato

The Crocs were my team in SMB2. I hated the Nemesis, feared the Sirloins and snickered at the Freebooters' names. The Overdogs were surpisingly hard to play against when they got hot (and juiced). The biggest surprise was the Grapplers who I never pegged to completely choke the Crocs bats out, I remember a playoff game where Jovita Pulo () pitched a one-run game into the 12th before I handed the game over to the pen and ultimately blew it in the 16th.

I'm four seasons into a Custom franchise partly from being scared off from that Standard not saying simulation was allowed led me to think it wasn't, but this is neat. Weird that my strategy for the Booters was 'worry about the top third of the order but that's it' when on paper they're championship contenders.

Aside from the precarious Catcher situation the fielders are all decent, the only crimes of Walker Runs and Patience Evergreen is that they're old. I guess it would also be reasonable to see who of the top three is doing worst halfway through the season and move them for a left-handed bat. Also by the halfway point of the season there will be plenty of cheaper C+ players to choose from, but I think Kenna Quorn makes a decent backup catcher, and I would also like to play devil's advocate for Badhop Brown who sucks but has pinch hitter potential and is only 20 so who knows. Rocky Backstop on the other hand is not worth one penny of his contract.

You have some serious thinking to do about the pitching staff, Winnie/Grace/Ryder are long term but the rest might not be around to see the fruits of the development that their cap hit is stalling. I think Steamboat Wisselle is an easy move though, I wouldn't pay 10 million to watch a three-pitch reliever decay.

I wouldn't mind seeing the free agent bargain bin in case there are any prospects kicking around down there. You never know.

e: I can't believe I made these takes before I watched Game 6.

tomanton fucked around with this message at 08:42 on May 31, 2020

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theenglishman
Jun 24, 2009


I've been working on my own franchise, but one thing I can't quite understand mechanically is how the bullpen works. I don't seem to be able to get relief pitchers and closers to "warm up" (this seems to be done automatically) but how does the game compensate for a pitcher running into a bad start and needing to be pulled?

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