Baseball Strategy: Managing Against Real-Time Decision Manager

Baseball Strategy: Managing Against Real-Time Decision Manager

Baseball fans love the game for many reasons.  They have favorite players, teams, and even seasons filled with thrilling Pennant races wire-to-wire.  All major sports have these 3 favorite reasons; they also have a strategy to winning.  Strategy is the next level fans are entrenched watching their favorite sport.  The best part about strategy in sports in my view, are the decisions made and carried out in real-time.

Baseball Classics Real-Time Decision Manager

When managing against the Real-Time Decision Manager it’s all about strategy used based on the players ability to execute and game situation.

Baseball has many factors to be considered throughout a game as listed in the last article 21 Factors Impacting Baseball Board Game Play.  Each factor impacts which strategy to use depending upon the game situation in real-time.  When playing your baseball board game solitaire you take on the role as Manager for both teams.  Calling all the shots depending upon the strategies you see fit then and there.

Baseball Classics has added an innovative approach to your solitaire play so you don’t have to do all the managing from the first pitch to the final out.  The Real-Time Decision Manager can manage 1 or both of your Baseball Classics MLB teams, calling all the shots, making the calls in real-time.

Consider the Real-Time Decision Manager as the equivalent of having a Football Head Coach on the sidelines with a playbook.

The Real-Time Decision Manager can make decisions before, during, and after at bat, hence in real-time.  There are 16 pages that provide the choices made, divided by the current inning played, current score, number of outs, runner(s) on base, and each batters OPS (On base average plus slugging average – listed on each Baseball Classics player position card in the Player Stats column).  These form an intersection that reveals the decision(s) for that game situation.

For example, when the Real-Time Decision Manager is managing the team on offense, an intersection may consist of calling for a steal attempt, sending the base runner(s) as extra base, bringing in a pinch hitter, etc.  When on defense, examples are pickoff attempts, pitchouts, bringing the infield in, changing pitchers, etc.

Some of the decisions are dynamic, such as stealing a base.  A dice roll is used to determine if the Real-Time Decision Manager wants the runner to steal or not.  Other decisions such as sending the base runner an extra base on a hit or intentionally walking a batter are straight up calls.

Once you choose the teams to play, make the lineups, and select the starting pitchers, the game then turns over to the Real-Time Decision Manager handling any game situation.  It’s built to handle your managerial challenge and will keep you guessing from the top step of the dugout move after move.

The Real-Time Decision Manager is seamlessly integrated into your Baseball Classics baseball game play adding the challenge of someone else making the calls to counter your moves.

Let’s walk through a game situation to see how the Real-Time Decision Manager is processing what to do when on offense.  It’s the bottom of the 9th inning, the team is behind 3-2, 2 outs, runner on 1st, and the batter at the plate has an OPS of .832.

Real-Time Decision Manager Example

This would take you to the page in the Real-Time Decision Manager for that game situation.  The Real-Time Decision Manager has pages organized first by managing on offense or defense and the inning, then it’s based on the score, outs, runner(s) on base, and batter OPS.  Note the grouping in the illustration above that reveals the intersection highlighted by the red rectangle.

The icon symbols represent the decisions made by the Real-Time Decision Manager based on this game situation.  The first symbol in the green, calls to send a green Run rating base runner from 1st to 3rd on a single, 2nd to Home on a single, or 1st to Home on a double.

The next symbol is calling for a pinch runner to come in for the current runner on 1st if the following condition is met with an available player on the bench: He has a higher Run rating than the current runner.  If so, then choose an available player from the bench with the highest Run rating when in the 9th inning or extra innings or second highest Run rating when in the 7th or 8th inning.

Every game situation is covered from the top of the 1st to the bottom of the 9th or through extra innings.  Even threatening weather conditions.  And just like watching a Major League Baseball game, you may disagree with the manager’s decisions now and then.  There may be times when you second-guess the Real-Time Decision Manager too; it comes with the territory.

Now you don’t have to play your solitaire games alone, you can always have the perfect companion to play your games against.  Think you can out wit, out play, and out manage the Baseball Classics Real-Time Decision Manager?

21 Factors Impacting Baseball Board Game Play

21 Factors Impacting Baseball Board Game Play

You’re watching a baseball game on TV and a friend walks into the room.  What’s the first question your friend would typically ask you about the game?  Who’s winning, right?

Baseball Game Factors

That’s how simple baseball can be to watch, then again it’s beauty runs deeper than a long blast off the bat of Reggie Jackson in his prime.  Here’s something to think about, consider these 21 factors that can and will impact your baseball board game play and how Baseball Classics incorporates them.  Some may surprise you!

Let’s start with what I call the Situational Factors:

  1. Who’s playing and which one is the Home team?  This fundamental answer shifts the in-game strategy, especially from the 5th inning on.
  2. What’s the score?  The score is constantly running through your mind as you consider this key factor throughout every at bat.
  3. Which inning is it?  The compass for your game play, naturally your decisions vary upon this depending variable.
  4. How many outs?  The most precious commodity outside of runs scored and innings played.
  5. Threatening skies?  Did you know in Baseball Classics you can be playing under inclement weather conditions that can rain out your game?  It’s true and naturally changes how you manage every at bat.
  6. Who is up, pitching, and on deck?  We condensed these 3 essential immediate areas into one that determine how you make the current managerial move.
  7. Who’s on base?  Abbott and Costello aren’t the only one’s pondering this critical question.  Base runners dictate everything.

Let’s start with what I call the Impact Decision Factors for the Offense (team at bat):

  1. What are the base runners steal ratings?  Worth trying a theft or move them over with a bunt attempt, or perhaps just swing away to see what happens?
  2. What are the base running ratings?  It is possible for a base runner to score from 1st base on a single.
  3. What is the batter’s bunt rating? Is it the right time, if so what type of bunt attempt?
  4. How about a Hit & Run?  High risk with double play odds increasing, high reward automatically advancing any base runners an extra base.
  5. When to pinch hit?  Could this force a pitching change and if so, how does that change your decision?

More Impact Decision Factors though for the Defense (team in the field):

  1. Should I make any changes to team in the field to improve?  Read this article to see why this is so crucial.
  2. Is it time for a pitching change?  If so, what am I needing to minimize the strengths of the current batter?
  3. Should you bring the infield in?  Increases the chance for a hit, though also cuts down any runner on 3rd base.
  4. Time for a pitchout?  If the other team is attempting to steal it will cut down his chances of success.
  5. How about a pickoff attempt?  Watch out for throwing the ball away.
  6. Which runner(s) do you make a play on in a Groundout Forceout or Double Play?  Your decision may change depending on who is on deck.
  7. Does your Catcher have the ability to lower your chances of giving up a passed ball or wild pitch?  Especially keep an eye on during close games.
  8. Should you make a play on a runner attempting to advance an extra base?  Doing so could nail him, then again if you don’t, other runners can advance.  In some cases a runner can attempt to score from 3rd base on a base hit!

With these 20 factors and all the possibilities for decisions, it’s another example of why playing Baseball Classics or any baseball board games stimulate your mind.  It’s why I wrote the article Baseball Board Games Generate Brain Power earlier this year.

Another factor to add to this list is an injury.  Surely that too can truly impact the outcome of any game.

Here’s a brief case example for you, I welcome your responses in the Comment section below.  Enjoy!

The combination of these factors will spawn your next move and more interestingly it’s likely someone else would instead have called for a different move.

1. 2013 Washington Nationals at 2012 SF Giants

2. Nationals 1 Nationals 2

3. Top of the 7th

4. 1 out

5. Skies are threatening to rain out the game

6. Strausburg is due up now, Vogelsong pitching, leadoff man Lombardozzi on deck.

7. Runner on 1st, Blue steal rating, yellow Run rating

What do you do if you’re managing the Nationals?

How to Play Baseball Classics: Advanced Level – Play Action Simulator

How to Play Baseball Classics: Advanced Level – Play Action Simulator

With threatening skies to rain out the rest of the game in the bottom of the 6th with the tying run on 2nd base, two outs, and your best pitcher coming up should you pinch hit?  Should you make a defensive replacement at Catcher who is your best hitter, but not so good behind the plate to prevent a passed ball from your flaming throwing stopper coming in with the tying run on 3rd base in the bottom of the 9th and 1 out?

baseball game threatnening skiesThese are many other decisions are all in play when using the Baseball Classics Play Action Simulator.  The purpose is to challenge your management skills requiring important decisions; especially at critical times during your game play.  It’s simulator actions require your reaction or ignite your proactive decision making throughout a game from the first at bat to the last.

Virtually anything can happen when using the Baseball Classics Play Action Simulator.  It is designed to seamlessly flow along with your game play as well as feels like you’re playing against another big league Manager countering your every move.  Thus serves a dual purpose as adding virtually anything that can happen in a Major League Baseball Game while acting as the opposing Manager to the team at bat.

It’s easy to use, let’s take a look.

Baseball Classics Play Action Simulator

How to play using the Play Action Simulator Chart

Before any at bat, the team at bat will announce their play (i.e. steal, bunt, batter  swings away, etc.).

1.  Roll the 3 six-sided dice.

2.  Refer to applicable column on the Play Action Simulator Chart.

3.  If the outcome is “Batter swings away”, roll all dice and refer to the batter or pitcher’s card for the respective play result OR if the outcome is any other play, follow the instruction of that play, then repeat these steps until the result is Batter swings away”

Baseball Classics Play Action Simulator columns

The first column is for the dice roll of the six-sided dice and the next 5 columns depend upon whether there are no runners on base or have at least one base runner.

When there is 1 base runner, reference his Steal rating to cross-reference with the dice roll to determine the play from the Play Action Simulator.  When there are 2 or more runners on base, then reference the Steal rating of the base runner that the team on defense wants to hold closest to the base.

The body of the Play Action Simulator contains virtually anything that can happen in a Major League Baseball game as listed and defined in it’s Legend.  Here are how each play action works in Baseball Classics.

Baseball Classics Play Action Simulator Chart Definitions

Argument with the Umpire

After getting this outcome, roll the dice against the batter and pitcher cards to see what the result is.  If the result is one of the following, the argument with the umpire is with the player as follows:

Walk – Pitcher

All other results – Batter

Heated arguments with the umpire lead to an ejection when it’s the second time in the game that same player had an argument.

Balk

All runners advance 1 base.

Batter Hit by Pitch

Batter is awarded first base, the ball is dead.  Only runners in a force situation at first base, first and second base, or with the bases loaded will advance 1 base.  If a batter is hit right after a homerun, then both benches are warned and the next pitcher to hit a batter by pitch is ejected.  Or if a batter is hit by pitch and the following inning a batter from the other team is hit by pitch, both benches are warned and the next pitcher to hit a batter by pitch is ejected.

Batter Swings Away

When the result is Batter Swings Away, roll all 3 dice again and check the result against the batter or pitcher player card.

Catcher’s Interference

The batter is awarded first base and the play is over.  The only runners that may advance on the play 1 base, are those in a force situation at first base, first and second base, or with the bases loaded.

Dropped Third Strike

When the outcome is Dropped Third Strike, roll all 3 dice against the batter and pitcher cards.  If the result is “Strikeout” then the batter reaches first base safely and all runners advance 1 base.  However if the result was anything other than “Strikeout”, there is no dropped third strike and you will follow the Result from your roll against the batter or pitcher card.

Passed Ball

All runner(s) advance 1 base unless the catcher has a fielding rating of ▲.  If the catcher has that rating then there is no passed ball, instead the result is Batter swings away.

Pick Off Attempt

The pitcher is making an attempt to pick off the lead base runner.  Roll the 3 colored dice; if the result is a 0-0-0, 1-1-1, 2-2-2, 3-3-3, 4-4-4, 5-5-5, or 6-6-6 the runner is picked off.  After a pick off attempt, if using Team Fielding, roll the dice after and check the Error Chart to see if the play was fielded cleanly or an error was made.

Pitch Out

If a steal attempt or suicide squeeze has been called, the base runner attempting to advance must try stealing the base with a reduced rating by 1 triangle.  Roll the 3 six-sided dice and refer to the Steal Chart.  Note, if the runner has a ▼ Steal rating, he is automatically out.

Player Injury

Here’s how to determine which player sustained an injury.  After getting this outcome, roll the dice against the batter and pitcher cards to see what the result is.  When the result is one of the following, the injury is against the player as follows:

Strikeout – Pitcher

Walk – Pitcher

Lineout – Pitcher

All other results – Batter

Roll the 3 six-sided dice and refer to the Player Injury Chart in the Baseball Classics© Baseball Game Chart to determine the extent of the injury.

Note – If you choose to play without injuries, substitute an Injury result with Batter swings away instead.

Rain Delay

When playing in an outdoor stadium, roll all 3 dice before the game.  If a 1-16 is rolled then dark skies and threatening weather conditions exist.  The third time a rain delay occurs in a game, it’s rained out.

If a 1-16 was not rolled prior to the start of the game, then anytime RD is the outcome, instead it is Batter swings away.

Wild Pitch

All runner(s) advance 1 base.

 

Let’s walk through some play examples using the Play Action Simulator using these 3 player cards:  at the plate is 1975 Cincinnati Reds Pete Rose, he’s facing 1962 San Francisco Giants Juan Marichal pitching, and on deck is Cincinnati Reds Joe Morgan.

Baseball Classics Juan Marichal Pete Rose Joe Morgan

Play Example 1 – No runners on base, Single for Pete Rose

Top of the inning, no runners on base.

Roll the 3 six-sided dice to see the outcome in the Play Action Simulator: 9 (3, 3, 3).  Reference the Play Action Simulator Roll column of 9 and cross-reference over to the next column (No runners on base) and see the result is “Batter swings away”.

Now roll all 4 dice (white binary and 3 six-sided dice), the roll is 1, 8 (2, 3, 3) a Single on Pete Rose’s card.

 

Play Example 2 – Runner on 1st Base, Wild Pitch

Pete Rose on 1st Base, the Red Sox catcher behind the plate has a yellow defensive rating.

With Pete Rose being the only runner on base, his Steal rating  will now be used in the column of the Play Action Simulator to determine the play with Joe Morgan coming up to the plate.  The team on offense elects to let Morgan swing away, so they roll the dice and check to see what happens in the Play Action Simulator.

Roll the 3 six-sided dice to see the outcome in the Play Action Simulator: 17 (5, 6, 6).  Reference the Play Action Simulator Roll column of 17 and cross-reference over to the red column  and see the result is “WP” (Wild Pitch – green).  This is a wild pitch UNLESS the Boston Red Sox catcher has a green defensive fielding rating, if so the result would change to “Batter swings away” instead of Wild Pitch.  Since the Red Sox catcher has a yellow defensive fielding rating this is a Wild Pitch.

Since the result wasn’t Batter swings away, once again the team on offense makes their call.  With Rose on 2nd Base the call is again to let Morgan swing away.  Rolling the 3 six-sided dice this time they add up to an 11 (4, 4, 3).  Cross-referencing the 11 and the  column, the result is “Batter swings away”.

Now roll all 4 dice (white binary and 3 six-sided dice), the roll is 1, 12 (5, 2, 5) a Single on Joe Morgan’s card; that puts Rose on 3rd and Morgan on 1st Base.

 

Play Example 3 – Runners on 1st and 3rd Base, Pickoff Attempt and a Pitch Out

Runners on 1st and 3rd Base.

With the next batter up in the Reds lineup, they elect to let him swing away.

The team on defense has a decision to make for the Play Action Simulator, for they can choose either Rose on 3rd Base or Morgan on 1st Base to hold close.  Rose has a Steal rating of  thus he’s no threat to steal home, on the other hand Morgan has a Steal rating of  so he’s a big threat to steal 2nd Base.  Thus the team on defense chooses to make any play on him through the Play Action Simulator, meaning we will cross-reference the  column, not the  column for this next roll against the Play Action Simulator.

Roll the 3 six-sided dice to see the outcome in the Play Action Simulator: 14 (3, 5, 6).  Reference the Play Action Simulator Roll column of 14 and cross-reference over to the red column  and see the result is “PA” (Pickoff attempt – red).

Here’s the definition of what to do with a Pickoff Attempt:

Pick Off Attempt

The pitcher is making an attempt to pick off the lead base runner.  Roll the 3 colored dice; if the result is a 0-0-0, 1-1-1, 2-2-2, 3-3-3, 4-4-4, 5-5-5, or 6-6-6 the runner is picked off.  After a pick off attempt, if using Team Fielding, roll the dice after and check the Error Chart to see if the play was fielded cleanly or an error was made.

Roll the 3 six-sided dice, the result is 2-1-5.  If using Team Fielding, roll the dice again to check whether or not the pickoff attempt was fielded cleanly.

Since the result wasn’t “Batter swings away” yet, the team on offense needs to declare what their intention is for the at bat again knowing the hold is still on Morgan.  With that hold they decide for Morgan to steal 2nd Base.

Roll the 3 six-sided dice to see the outcome in the Play Action Simulator: 9 (4, 2, 3).  Reference the Play Action Simulator Roll column of 9 and cross-reference over to the   column and see the result is “PO” (Pitch out – red).

Here’s the definition of what to do with a Pitch Out:

Pitch Out

If a steal attempt or suicide squeeze has been called, the base runner attempting to advance must try stealing the base with a reduced rating by 1 triangle.  Roll the 3 six-sided dice and refer to the Steal Chart.  Note, if the runner has a   Steal rating, he is automatically out.

With a steal attempt called, Morgan’s Steal rating is reduced from a  to a   rating.  Roll the 3 six-sided dice, the result is an 8 (4, 1, 3) which is Runner thrown out in the  ► column.  Note the  column shows Morgan would have been safe, so the Pitch Out made a big difference in the outcome in the Play Action Simulator.

That leaves Rose on 3rd Base, the team on offense elects to let the current batter swing away.  Rolling the 3 six-sided dice this time they add up to an 13 (6, 5, 2).  Cross-referencing the 11 and the  column, the result is “Batter swings away”.

We demonstrated the impact of the Play Action Simulator in several game situations reflecting how virtually anything can happen in a Major League Baseball game.  It’s the combination of those plays as well as playing against another manager causing the team at bat to either be proactive or reactive.

This 7th How To Play Baseball Classics article concludes a close-up look at how to play from Basic to Intermediate to Advanced levels to further enhance your game play.  We look forward to any questions or comments you have for us.  Please share your experience playing Baseball Classics using any of the areas covered during our series such as bunting, base stealing, base running, team fielding, the Fielding Grid, and Play Action Simulator.

How to Play Baseball Classics: Intermediate Level – Team Fielding

How to Play Baseball Classics: Intermediate Level – Team Fielding

Some of the greatest players of all-time in Major League Baseball history received their glory due to their ability to field their position with excellence.  Brooks Robinson comes to mind among many that developed an outstanding reputation for his glove more than his bat.  He was a master at his craft.

Baltimore Orioles Brooks Robinson

Some would argue fielding in baseball is as important as hitting, if not more so.  Regardless of your position in that debate, it is safe to say that fielding is crucial in any Major League Baseball game.  It’s just as important when playing Baseball Classics next generation baseball board game as well.  That is why we offer two fielding options to play Baseball Classics; one is with our straight-forward Team Fielding & Error Chart and another is with our Individual Fielding Grid for those who want to see where the ball is put into play and if it was handled with or without an error by that player.

This article will cover fielding using the Team Baseball Classics Fielding & Error Chart and a subsequent post will explore the usage of the Individual Baseball Classics Fielding Grid.

In Baseball Classics baseball game Intermediate play level you determine just how valuable fielding is to you when creating your lineup.  This adds another level strategic thinking to your play.  Each player card has one or more Fielding ratings.  All ratings are based on their actual MLB season performance.

Keeping with the consistent easy to play full color theme, the ratings are color-coded symbols.  There are four rating levels as follows:

 Excellent rating      Very good rating      Fair rating      Poor rating

Players fielding ratings are in the upper right hand side located just to the right of their name.

Baseball Classics Baseball Game Play Chart

The Baseball Classics Baseball Game Play Chart has the same look and feel format of our colorful next generation player cards and uses the same lookup when looking up the results of your play actions.  There are 5 columns including the Roll and one for each red, yellow, blue, and red symbol rating.  To the right of the Fielding & Error charts there is a Legend for each.  Note the colors and symbols used to indicate whether a fielding play has been made with or without an error.

Baseball Classics Team Fielding Chart

Team Fielding Play

The Fielding & Error charts in the Baseball Classics Baseball Game Play Chart is your reference point whenever the ball is put into play.  This includes any of the following fielding plays:

  • Groundout
  • Popout
  • Lineout
  • Flyout
  • Double Play
  • Triple Play
  • Single
  • Double
  • Triple
  • Bunt
  • Steal
  • Base Running

Immediately after any of these play results occur, the team on defense rolls all 3 six-sided dice to determine if that play was fielded cleanly or an error occurred by referencing the Fielding chart based on the team’s collective fielding rating.  If there is no error on the play, then continue with the next play or at bat.  However, if an error has occurred, the team on defense rolls again to determine if the error is a 1-base, 2-base, or 3-base error.

In Team Fielding Play, individual fielding ratings of every position player are very important. Each fielders rating symbol are weighted using the following values:

(1) (2) (3) (4)

Add up the values by position to determine the Team’s Fielding Rating. For example, the position players have the following ratings:

Pitcher

Catcher

First baseman

Second baseman

Third baseman

Shortstop

Leftfield

Centerfield

Rightfield

Based on these ratings this Team’s Fielding Rating is 20. (3+1+2+1+2+4+2+3+2 = 20) A 20 is a Blue rating (see the Fielding Chart Legend in the Baseball Classics Game Play Chart).

After each fielding play roll all 3 six-sided dice and look up the outcome based on the Team’s Fielding rating color in the Fielding Chart. If the dice roll equals the color square in that column, an error has occurred.

If an error has occurred, roll all 3 six-sided dice again and refer to the Error Chart to see what type of base error the team has committed. Note if the play was an “Infield Play” or and “Outfield Play” to see if it’s a 1 base, 2 base, or 3 base error.  When a batter reaches base due to an error, the team on offense may attempt to send any base runners an extra base just like they would if it was a hit.

Remember to re-calculate the team’s fielding rating anytime you make a position player substitution during the game.

Play Example 1 – Flyout, no error on the play

No runners on base, the team on defense has a collective rating of 12 points (Green Team Fielding rating).  The Result is a Flyout.

Roll all 3 six-sided dice to see if the play was fielded without an error, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 14 (6, 6, 2)

Referencing the Fielding chart, under the Roll column to 14, then looking under the Green rating column, a roll of 14 is a white filled square.  The Fielding chart Legend indicates “No error on play”.

 

Play Example 2 – Double Play, no error on the play

Runner on 1st Base, the team on defense has a collective rating of 15 points (Yellow Team Fielding rating).  The Result is a Double Play.

Roll all 3 six-sided dice to see if the play was fielded without an error, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 11 (4, 2, 5)

Referencing the Fielding chart, under the Roll column to 11, then looking under the Yellow rating column, a roll of 11 is a white filled square.  The Fielding chart Legend indicates “No error on play”.  That first out was fielded cleanly and is applied towards the base runner who was heading to 2nd Base.

Next, roll all 3 six-sided dice again to see if the second out in the Double Play was fielded cleanly.  Standard six-sided dice total 16 (5, 6, 5)  A reference of the Fielding chart and lookup based on the Yellow column indicates the second out has been recorded successfully.

 

Play Example 3  – Single plus error on the play

Runner on 2nd Base, the team on defense has a collective rating of 27 points (Red Team Fielding rating).  The Result is a Single, putting runners on 1st and 3rd Base.

Roll all 3 six-sided dice to see if the play was fielded without an error, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 16 (4, 6, 6)

Referencing the Fielding chart, under the Roll column to 16, then looking under the Red rating column, a roll of 16 is a red filled square.  The Fielding chart Legend indicates “Error for fielding rating 25 points & up, else no error on play”.

Next, roll all 3 six-sided dice again to see what type of error occurred when the team on defense fielded the Single.  Standard six-sided dice total 7 (1, 3, 3), a reference of the Error chart and lookup based on the Red column indicates “1 Base Error” has occurred on the play, thus moving both base runners 1 extra base.  The runner on 3rd Base scores and the runner on 1st Base advances to 2nd Base.

 

In this article on Team Fielding in the Baseball Classics baseball game Intermediate play level, we covered how important it is to consider the impact of fielding when building your lineup through the easy color-coded, symbolic rating system.  After adding up the total of the team’s defensive point rating, that rating is used to determine if a infield or outfield play was fielded cleanly by referencing the Baseball Classics Fielding and Error charts.  It’s remarkable how one player in your lineup can make or break the defense rating to the next level up or down.  Team Fielding adds a very exciting element to every play all the way to the last out.  It’s easy and fast to use in Baseball Classics.  However if you want to get down to the individual player level, stay tuned for our next article.

The next article, will be our 6th in this series of How To Play Baseball Classics as we focus on the Advanced play level.  I will delve into the 2nd fielding option we offer in Baseball Classics; individual fielding through the use of the Baseball Classics color-coded Fielding Grid.

We always appreciate hearing from our readers, please share your questions, comments, and thoughts on playing Baseball Classics with fielding.

How to Play Baseball Classics: Intermediate Level – Base Running

How to Play Baseball Classics: Intermediate Level – Base Running

One of the most dramatic parts to any baseball game is when runners are flying around trying to safely advance to the next base.  Sometimes even better yet is when a runner is lumbering, huffing and puffing on the base path trying to get to that next base without getting thrown out.

 Chicago White Sox Richie Allen Base Running

One of my favorite greats to watch run the bases wasn’t the fastest, but was one of the smartest.  Dick Allen had a marvelous Major League Baseball career.  From 1972 through the 1974 season he played for the Chicago White Sox and schooled all fans and teams he played against on how to run the bases.

Baseball Classics baseball game Intermediate play level empowers you to make those base running decisions.  Each player card has a Running rating based on their actual MLB season performance.

Keeping with the consistent easy to play full color theme, the ratings are color-coded symbols.  There are four rating levels as follows:

 Excellent rating      Very good rating      Fair rating      Poor rating

The Baseball Classics base running rating for each player card is located on the upper left hand side, just below the name of the player and team.

Baseball Classics Baseball Game Play Chart

The Baseball Classics Baseball Game Play Chart has the same look and feel format of our colorful next generation player cards and uses the same lookup when looking up the results of your play actions.  There are 5 columns including the Roll and one for each red, yellow, blue, and red symbol rating.

Baseball Classics Baseball Game Play Chart

 To the right of the Bunting, Base Stealing, and Base Running charts there is a Legend for each.  Note the colors and symbols used to indicate whether a bunt, steal attempt, or advancing the base runner has been successful or not.

Base Running

The Base Running chart in the Baseball Classics Baseball Game Play Chart is your reference point whenever the team at bat attempts to send a base runner an extra base.

Whenever there is a runner on base and the batter reaches base through a hit or error, the team on offense can make the decision to send any base runner(s) 1 extra base.

When the team on offense elects to try to send a base an extra base, they roll all 3 six-sided dice after the hit or error and lookup the result in the Base Running chart by looking under the Roll column and looking across to the player Running rating.

There are many strategies to consider whether to attempt to advancing base runners for the team on offense and team playing defense in the field.  This includes not only whether to send any base runner(s), but also to make an attempt to throw them out or not.  The following play examples will demonstrate how to attempt advancing base runners in several game situations.

Baseball Classics All-Time Greats Baby Doll Jacobson player cardLet’s use one of the All-Time Greats player cards for these examples; St. Louis-Baltimore Browns-Orioles Baby Doll Jacobson.  This great throw back played 11 MLB seasons.  When he wasn’t roaming Centerfield, he was a danger at the plate with his career .311 batting average and on the base paths, he has a yellow Steal rating.

Play Example 1 – Going from 1st to 3rd Base successfully

1 out, Baby Doll Jacobson on 1st Base, the next batter steps up and hits a Single.  That moves Baby Doll Jacobson to 2nd Base, but the team on offense wants to send him to 3rd base on the same play.

With a roll of all 3 six-sided dice, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 11 (3, 5, 3)

Looking under the Roll column to 11 then looking under the Yellow rating column, a roll of 11 is a green filled square.  The Legend indicates “Runner safe”.  Baby Doll Advances safely and is now on 3rd Base.

Though what about the batter who hit the Single?  Can he attempt to advance to 2nd Base since the team on defense tried to throw out Baby Doll Jacobson?  The answer is yes!  Thus both teams have decisions to make when a base runner is attempting to advance.  Here’s how this exciting play works as demonstrated in our next play example.

 

Play Example 2 – Whether or not to throw out a base runner trying to advance

New scenario with 1 out, Baby Doll Jacobson on 1st Base, the next batter steps up and rips a Single.  That automatically advances Baby Doll Jacobson from 1st to 2nd Base and the batter reaches 1st.

The team on offense is sending Baby Doll Jacobson to 3rd Base.  Next the team on defense has a decision to make regarding if they should try to throw him out.  Why wouldn’t they?

In Baseball Classics baseball game, when a base runner attempts to advance to the next base on a play and the team on defense tries to throw them out, the team on offense can then send any base runner(s) on the prior bases as Green Run ratings no matter what their actual Run rating is.

In this example, if the team on defense decides to throw out Baby Doll Jacobson who is trying to advance from 2nd to 3rd Base, the team on offense has the option to then send the runner on 1st Base (batter who hit the Single) to 2nd Base using a Green Run rating.

If the team on defense decides not to throw out Baby Doll Jacobson at 3rd Base, he reaches it without a play (no dice roll necessary and reference of the Base Running Chart) and the runner on 1st Base cannot attempt to advance to 2nd Base.  Thus this would keep the double play in order with runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out.

In this example, the team on defense elects to let Baby Doll Jacobson advance from 2nd to 3rd Base without a throw, thus keeping the double play in order with runners now on 1st and 3rd Base.

 

Play Example 3 – Sending 2 runners on the same play, one safe, the other thrown out

2 outs, Baby Doll Jacobson on 2nd Base, another runner on 1st Base.  The next batter steps up and lines a Single.  That moves Baby Doll Jacobson to 3rd Base, but the team on offense wants to send him Home on the same play.

With a roll of all 3 six-sided dice, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 4 (1, 2, 1)

Looking under the Roll column to 4 then looking under the Yellow rating column, a roll of 4 is a green filled square with a black dot.  The Legend indicates “If 2 outs runner safe, else thrown out”.  Baby Doll scores and since the team on defense tried to throw him out, the team on offense wants to attempt to send the runner on 2nd Base to 3rd Base (even though you should never make the 3rd out of an inning at 3rd Base!) using the Green Run rating.

With a roll of all 3 six-sided dice, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 7 (3, 2, 2)

Looking under the Roll column to 7 then looking under the Green rating column, a roll of 7 is a red filled square.  The Legend indicates “Runner thrown out”.  Baby Doll Jacobson’s run counts because he scored before the 3rd out was recorded.

 

Play Example 4 – Scoring from 1st Base on a Single

In Baseball Classics baseball game, it is possible for a runner to score from 1st Base on a Single.  In order for a runner to attempt this remarkable baseball rarity, his player card must have both Green () Steal and Run ratings.

Here’s how it works, when the batter comes up for his turn at bat, with a base runner on 1st Base that has Green Steal and Run ratings.  The team on offense calls for a Hit & Run play.

Hit & Run is a high risk/high reward play called by the offense that sends any base runner(s) in motion with the pitch or in the case of Baseball Classics, with the dice roll to see what the at bat Results outcome will be.

With a Hit & Run play on, roll the dice and let’s say the result is a Single for the batter.  The runner on first automatically moves from 1st to 3rd Base without a throw.  If the team on offense wants to send him home, they can do so by rolling the 3 six-sided dice again and refer to the Base Running Chart, Red column for the outcome (even though the runner has a Green rating) of this exciting play.

 

In this Baseball Classics How To Play article we covered about base running options and strategies both the team on offense and the team on defense will be faced with.  There were several base running play examples including the opportunity to keep a double play in order and what it takes to score from 1st Base on a Single.  Do you have any questions about using base running?  If so, please put them in the Comment section below, also share which base runner you always enjoyed watching because they made great decisions when running the bases.

In the next article of this series regarding How To Play Baseball Classics baseball game, I we will see how to use fielding in Baseball Classics Baseball Game, Intermediate play level.

How to Play Baseball Classics: Intermediate Level – Base Stealing

How to Play Baseball Classics: Intermediate Level – Base Stealing

Of all the plays in a Major League Baseball game, one of the most second-guessed is whether or not a player should have tried to take that extra base or not.  Close plays, especially at home plate are as thrilling as it gets.  Though what about those times when the runner is “out by a mile”?

Should the manager risk it and attempt to send the runner or play it conservative and sit tight?

Lou Brock

In Baseball Classics baseball game Intermediate play level you can make those base running decisions managing from the top step of the dugout.  Each player card has a Steal rating and a Run rating.  All ratings are based on their actual MLB season performance.

Keeping with the consistent easy to play full color theme, the ratings are color-coded symbols.  There are four rating levels as follows:

 Excellent rating      Very good rating      Fair rating      Poor rating

Each batter’s steal and base running rating are on the upper left hand side located just below the name of the player and team.

Baseball Classics Baseball Game Play Chart

The Baseball Classics Baseball Game Play Chart has the same look and feel format of our colorful next generation player cards and uses the same lookup when looking up the results of your play actions.  There are 5 columns including the Roll and one for each red, yellow, blue, and red symbol rating.

Baseball Classics Baseball Game Play Chart

To the right of the Bunting, Base Stealing, and Base Running charts there is a Legend for each.  Note the colors and symbols used to indicate whether a bunt, steal attempt, or advancing the base runner has been successful or not.

Base Stealing

The Base Stealing chart in the Baseball Classics Baseball Game Play Chart is your reference point whenever the team at bat attempts to steal 2nd, 3rd, or Home. However runners with a Steal rating of red () are not allowed to attempt to steal any base because they had 0 successful stolen bases that season which is why that column is blank in the table.

When the team on offense elects to attempt to steal a base, they roll all 3 six-sided dice anytime within the inning before or after an at bat and lookup the result in the Base Stealing chart by looking under the Roll column and looking across to the player Steal rating.

There are many strategies to consider whether to attempt to steal a base.  The following play examples will demonstrate how to attempt base stealing in several game situations.

Lou BrockLet’s use one of the All-Time Greats player cards for these examples; St. Louis Cardinals Lou Brock.  As one of the most feared and greatest base stealers in the history of Major League Baseball, it’s not surprise he has a green Steal rating.

Play Example 1 – Attempted steal of 2nd Base is successful

1 out, Lou Brock on 1st Base, a steal attempt is called by the team at bat.

With a roll of all 3 six-sided dice, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 14 (6, 6, 2)

Looking under the Roll column to 14 then looking under the Green rating column, a roll of 14 is a green filled square.  The Legend indicates “Steals 2nd base, otherwise thrown out”.  So a close call, though Lou Brock is safe stealing 2nd base.

 

Play Example 2 – Attempted steal of 3rd Base is successful

1 out, Lou Brock on 2nd Base, a steal attempt is called by the team at bat.

With a roll of all 3 six-sided dice, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 8 (1, 5, 2)

Looking under the Roll column to 8 then looking under the Green rating column, a roll of 8 is a green filled square with a check mark.  The Legend indicates “Steals any base”.  This time Lou Brock makes it rather easily, this is safe stealing 2nd base.

 

Play Example 3 – Attempted double steal of 2nd Base and Home is not successful

1 out and a walk to the next batter runners are on 1st and 3rd Base.  The runner on 1st Base has a Steal rating of Blue, Lou Brock is on 3rd Base with his Green steal rating.  A double-steal attempt is called by the team at bat.

When a double-steal is called, the team in the field determines which of the base runners they want to attempt to throw out.  In this example the team in the field elects to throw out Lou Brock attempting to steal Home.

With a roll of all 3 six-sided dice, we have the following:

Standard six-sided dice total 10 (4, 3, 3)

Looking under the Roll column to 10 then looking under the Green rating column, a roll of 10 is a green filled square with a black dot.  The Legend indicates “Steals 2nd or 3rd base, otherwise thrown out”.  This time Lou Brock is out attempting to steal Home for the second out of the inning and the base runner on 1st steals 2nd Base without a play on him.

 

When it comes to attempting stealing a base in Baseball Classics, we discussed the Steal rating and how to reference it using the Baseball Classics Baseball Game Play Chart.  We reviewed several base stealing play examples including where not only the team on offense is involved in the strategy, but the team on defense too when a double-steal is called.  Who are some of your favorite base stealers in baseball history and would you rather have a team built on speed for base stealing or on power to manage?

In the next article of this series regarding How To Play Baseball Classics baseball game, I we will explore the exciting element of base running in Baseball Classics Baseball Game.