MLB 2019: Can't Hurdle the Turtle


Spring Training is upon us! Must be time for a new thread.

Oh hey, look at that - a wonderful little oral history about Cleveland throwing a Strat-o-Matic All-Star Game in 1981 because the strike screwed them (temporarily) out of the actual game they were supposed to host.

Anyway, good luck not getting obliterated by the Dodgers, everyone!


Speaking of the Dodgers, 99 PI did a great episode on Chavez Ravine history recently.

I’m calling them the Bridegrooms now.


Great article about Strat-O-Matic and Cleveland, @Adam_B. For some reason that article brought back a flood of memories about me playing SOM when I was a kid.

I spent hundreds of hours playing Strat-O-Matic baseball when I was a kid. I spent probably every night in my room for 2 or 3 hours playing the game. It’s how I spent a lot of my adolescence.

I would play 162 game seasons for 12 team leagues. By making lineups and rolling the dice for each game. I’d score the game on a scoresheet. Compile the statistics by hand after each week of play. Write up complete stat sheets for each team, with all the stats you would see in a “real” compilation (including BA, OBP, and SLG for batters). Compile league leaders in 20 or so categories on a separate sheet. Staple all those sheets together. And do it again after the next 10 games of play. I had a poster in my bedroom that I cut a flap into - I could lift the flap to show a standings board for my baseball teams. The teams and records were on cardboard strips so I could move them up or down as the standings changed.

I played the MLB teams. I re-drafted and made my own teams. I played season after season. Always scoring games, always compiling the stats. I spent so much time compiling the stats that I memorized fractions like 5/16’s or 3/13ths, so I wouldn’t have to do long division to figure out this guy’s batting average.

When I first played Strat-O-Matic they only had composite stats for each batter. After a couple of years they switched to lefty/righty stats. I can tell from the photo in the article that the guys in Cleveland were using the lefty/righty version (the composite cards were vertically oriented, and the lefty/righty were horizontal!). For years I had Frank Howard’s 1969 Washington Senators card in my desk drawer (I just looked for it but couldn’t find it… sad). I bought the game via mail-order from an ad in some magazine - I’ll never forget the day the big flat red box arrived full of baseball players (actually when you got the game, it came with 2 or 3 or 4 teams and you had to pony up more cash to get the entire league… of course I did that!). What a great game.


Oh that’s fantastic, thanks for sharing! I played a bit of my older brother’s late-70s SOM hockey as a kid (the Canadians were ludicrous! And the North Stars were pretty bad; it was shortly after they expanded I think and they didn’t have much of a roster), but never baseball.


I played Strat-O-Matic baseball in the 60’s, and then again with some friends in the 80’s.


On another note, sharing this article about the Baseball Reference site. See that church in the second picture? I live literally three houses away. I walk by that church every day when I walk my dogs. I had heard that the Baseball Reference founder lived in my neighborhood, but I never realized the whole damn site (and related sites) were run out of the church on my street!


Aw man.

Boston Globe Red Sox beat writer Nick Cafardo died this morning. Seems like it was very sudden, as he had been in Florida for spring training with the team, filing stories yesterday.


Wonder how much of a cut of Harper’s salary Heyman will get?


I’d really just like him to make a goddamn deal. The speculation game is getting really old.


The replies to Heyman’s tweet were epic. A favorite: “Scott, are you gonna give Jon his phone back after Harper signs?”


Yay, baseball on the radio!


Are we sure he is a real person and not just a burner account? This whole thing is getting embarrassing for several people.


So a half serious baseball question as I try not to vomit while seeing pictures of a clean shaven James Paxton pitching for the Yankees, since we was traded and not signed via free agency, what if he told the Yankees “no” when they asked him to shave. Do you think that was discussed before the trade was approved?


I’m sure they had to discuss it. It would suck to trade for a player and then not be able to play them because of the policy.


Rockies break the hearts of baseball fans of 31 other teams by signing Arenado to an 8-year, 250-260m dollar deal, with an opt-out after year 3 that he’s supremely unlikely to take.

Highest AAV contract in the majors.

I think it just got a teensy-bit harder to sign Harper. :)


Dude must be pretty good if whole other leagues want in on him.


HA! And they do. :)

Cardinals will announce later today that they’ve extended Miles Mikolas – who could’ve been a free agent at season’s end – to a 4 year, $68m deal.


Get in the mood for ball with some organ music! ELT is a great little podcast, enjoyed this episode particularly. The segments with Nancy Faust are especially fun.


Oh man. Shit day today has me patronizing a local establishment for a late lunch, and they have some godawful Mets-Marlins spring training game on and even meaningless ST baseball between two bad NL clubs I don’t care about is improving my mood.

Baseball, you guys!


Hah, I just saw part of that same game while I was at the gym. I have zero interest in spring training games, especially between those two, and yet I had the same reaction…I feel better just seeing baseball, terrible or not!