Though bunting seems to becoming a lost art, let’s rediscover this fine hidden gem and how to use it when playing Baseball Classics baseball game.

The second of three playing levels available in Baseball Classics is the Intermediate play level.  This level includes everything in the Beginning play level (see Blog post How to Play Baseball Classics: Beginning Level) and adds more baseball fundamentals to enjoy to your play, tapping into more strategic moves including bunting, base stealing, base running, and fielding.

All batter player cards contain individual ratings for bunting, base stealing, base running, and fielding while pitcher cards also contain individual fielding ratings.  All ratings are based on their actual MLB season performance.

Keeping with the consistent easy to play in 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 bunt, steal, and base running rating are grouped to the left just below the name of the player and team.  There are up to four different positions listed for each batter card and one per pitcher card for how they field their position.

In this article I will cover how to play using bunting in Baseball Classics baseball game and provide several play examples.

Bunting

The team on offense can call a bunt anytime prior to rolling the dice for the current player’s at bat and there are less than 2 outs.  There are 3 types of bunts available in Baseball Classics depending upon the game situation.  Let’s review them.

Sacrifice Bunt – The batter is attempting to move any base runner(s) up 1 base in exchange for being thrown out at 1st Base.

Suicide Squeeze Bunt – The batter must be attempting to move a base runner on 3rd Base to Home safely in exchange for being thrown out at 1st Base.

Safety Squeeze Bunt – The batter must be attempting to move a base runner on 3rd Base to Home safely in exchange for being thrown out at 1st Base.  There are 2 differences between this type of bunt and a suicide squeeze bunt.

1)    if a batter strikes out, the base runner on 3rd holds and is not forced to steal home.  See play example 4 below.

2)    a safety squeeze is successful only when the result is a green box with a check mark; a result of a green box with a black dot in the center is considered a foul ball.

The Baseball Classics Play Chart contains a Bunting Chart and Legend.  After either a sacrifice or suicide squeeze bunt is called, roll the 3 six-sided color dice and refer to the Bunting chart for the result based on the sum of the dice total for that batter’s Bunt rating on his card.  The Legend states the meaning of each color-coded square in the Bunting chart.

75 MorganLet’s use the following 1975 Joe Morgan Cincinnati Reds player card for the following play examples.  He has a yellow bunt rating.

Play Example 1 – Attempted sacrifice bunt result is a successful

1 out, base runner on 1st Base, a sacrifice bunt 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 7 (2, 3, 2)

Looking under the Yellow rating column, a roll of 13 is a red filled square with a DP.  The Legend indicates this is a “Sacrifice bunt, otherwise foul ball”.  Since a sacrifice bunt was called, it is a successful sacrifice bunt.  However if a Suicide Squeeze bunt was called, it would have been a foul ball.

 

Play Example 2 – Attempted sacrifice bunt result is not successful

1 out, base runner on 2nd Base, a sacrifice bunt 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 11 (4, 4, 3)

The result is a GO when cross-referenced in the Yellow rating column.  The Legend indicates a GO as a Groundout.  The team in the field applies one the options available listed in the Baseball Classics Groundout Result Table located in the Field Manager’s Rulebook.

 

Play Example 3 – Bunt result is a double play on an attempted suicide squeeze

1 out, base runner on 3rd Base, a suicide squeeze bunt 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 13 (6, 3, 4)

The result is a DP when cross-referenced in the Yellow rating column.  The Legend indicates a DP as a Double Play.  In the case of bunting with a DP, it is a popout so the batter is automatically out and the runner coming Home is out as well, doubled off from 3rd Base.  The same result holds true when attempting a sacrifice bunt and DP is the result, both the lead base runner and batter are out with less than 2 outs.

 

Play Example 4 – Sacrifice bunt result is a strikeout

1 out, base runner on 2nd Base, a sacrifice bunt 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 (2, 4, 2)

The result under the Yellow bunt rating is a Suicide squeeze bunt, otherwise foul ball.  Since a sacrifice bunt was called, it is a foul ball, thus strike 1 on the batter.  The team at bat may elect to take the bunt off and swing away, however let’s proceed with another sacrifice bunt attempt in this at bat.  A roll of (6,1,1) is another 8 which means this is strike 2 on the batter.  Again, the team at bat may elect to swing away, but should they choose to continue attempt to sacrifice again they may, a very risky move, though could pay off.  A third dice roll of (2, 5, 1) is another 8.  In this case the risky move does not pay off.  This would be a strikeout, as the result is another foul ball.  Since MLB rules apply, a batter attempting any type of bunt with 2 strikes and fouling the ball is out via a strikeout.  In this example the batter is out and the base runner on 3rd Base must attempt to steal the base.

 

Next let’s look at how base stealing is played in the next Blog post article titled “How to Play Baseball Classics: Intermediate Level – Base Stealing and Running”.  When you manage your team, do like to bunt and when or do you feel bunting has gone by the way side in today’s modern Major League Baseball play?  Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.