Well, after a fashion it is


Life plays you some funny hands sometimes.  

No sooner do you paste up a wild shot of Gene's hair, and make that your icon, than ... your own hair starts falling out.  Or you sign on with a 'net company to write astronomy articles and --- > get shoved into the Mariners cubicle.  Or you spend $0.5 billion to make a baseball stadium with a Hit It Here neon sign in right field, and your lefty basher demands a move to Cincinnati.


In 6th grade, Dr. D met a pretty cool kid on the basketball playground and it turned out the kid lived one street over.  Played a bunch of baseball and hoops that summer, and then 7th grade, bam, seated next to each other at P.J. High.  Over the next few years or decades, we formed the UW's most notorious Dungeons and Dragons campaign, married sisters, took aikido, got in horrific car wrecks coming off Stevens Pass, served as the day cooks at Sea-Tac Denny's, none of which occurred in that order.  

We're still working the same shtick.

With us in our 50's now and sharing grandkids/grandnephews, family gatherings are an inside joke.  Something Seahawky happens on the TV screen and everybody looks over.

Nerd 1, without looking away from screen:  "5ok3th!"

Nerd 2:  Cracks up.

Nerd 1:  [the symbol for Boron]

Nerd 2:  "Yeah."  (As in, yeah, right.)

Nerds 1 & 2:  Wide grins

Nerd 2's adult son:  "What!"

There are advantages and disadvantages to semi-telepathic communication.  It's a pretty big plus in two-on-two basketball, but a definite minus when comparing GPA's, paychecks or wives.  You're able to give each other space long before an argument even begins, true, but then again when you fail to do this, the very slightest 'insult' can lead to a week-long grievance.  Did somebody just say that the key to life is not to fight with your spouse?


Relative to every other managerial candidate, Scott Servais is Jerry DiPoto's brother-in-law.  You'll get all sorts of people saying that this is a bad thing.  They'll lay accusations to the effect of:

  • The junior guy will show up late to work all the time, grow a Zack Galifanikis beard, and like that
  • The entire org just became a "Yes Man" groupthink, or
  • Alternatively, the junior guy will want to BECOME the boss 
  • The junior guy is only there BECAUSE he's the boss's friend
  • etc

You can rest assured that such critics have never won a 2-on-2 basketball tournament.  ;- )

Since the days of John F. Kennedy, it's been axiomatic that every U.S. President hire his five best boyhood friends as "advisers."  He automatically becomes a President with staff he can trust, staff that will give it to him straight, staff that will have his back.

There's a corollary here:  when a brand-new manager takes over a new team, he is technically junior to the Robinson Canos and Kyle Seagers who have squatted out their lockers for a year or ten.  If you get a Chone Figgins type interested in gathering dissenters to his revolution, flies will gather in direct proportion to the perception of the manager's instability.  In 2016, Scott Servais' managerial-instability number will be the square root of 0.  So you're talking four free months.


If Nerd 1 and Dr. D were running the Mariners, we would agree on 70% of everything we did before we ever opened our mouths.  Then we'd agree on another 20% by the time we got to the symbol for Boron (four or five seconds in).  And the other 10% of the time, one of us would go "OH YEAH GREAT IDEA WHY DIDN'T I SEE THAT BEFORE!  GOOD CALL BRO!"

It's not perfect, but it beats Wakamatsu and Zduriencik.

My $0.02,

Little Cat B



These guys know one another.  They'll see eye to eye on roster stuff, most of the time.  Add Aramis Bogar and you have "One for all and all for one!"

These guys will disagree some and I'll bet the odd guy out will have no problem voicing an opinion, but they think they have something going that will work.

My bestfriend in High School (who actually flunked out of the University of Washington, brilliant as he was), was one of the few guys who knew the conclusion to this line:  "There's a bar in this town.  It's called the Palm Isle"  (From Slapshot)

Because of our addiction to APBA Baseball we would have been a pretty good GM-Manager combo.  Well, we thought we would have, anyway.  Like you Doc, I dated his sister for 6 years. She and I eventually got lifetimes off for good behavior.  Thank goodness.

Anyway, I'm feeling good about our new Musketeers.

Don't let me down, guys.


And apparently that's two votes for ESP-committee rule ...

Always wanted to try APBA.  But 9,000 Strat-O-Matic battles were enough to slake the thirst.  As I understood it, 70s APBA tended to have all of the "eccentric" stats for kickers playing wide receiver, first basemen playing OF, and so forth?


And apparently that's two votes for ESP-committee rule ...

Always wanted to try APBA.  But 9,000 Strat-O-Matic battles were enough to slake the thirst.  As I understood it, 70s APBA tended to have all of the "eccentric" stats for kickers playing wide receiver, first basemen playing OF, and so forth?


I knew there was an underlying kinship with ya, moe. APBA Baseball (I assume you like I graduated quickly to the Master Game with all the extra cards in sheets where you had to cut them apart along perforated lines.

"Don't Let Me Down" -- the M's have certainly done enough of that since 2001. Time to turn over a new leaf. No REALLY, guys. This time don't just say it, DO IT!


I purchased the 1971 APBA players set during the late summer of '72, I think.  Eventually Ray and I played the whole '71 NL season, redrafting the players (mostly by random) to make up new teams.  There are something like 1000 games in a complete season for 12 teams.  We kept statistics for each team and player, spending Sunday nights tallying up the week's individual totals and recording them on ledger sheets.  Manny Sanguillen led the league in hitting for us, whacking .351 (.319 in real life).  Once we started the season, after redraftting the teams, the 1st AB of the 1st game rsulted in a HR by Ron "Bean Me Again!" Hunt. Each game took about 30 minutes to play and we frequently played 4 or 5 games in an evening.  On rainy winter Saturdays (before there was anything to watch on TV besides Notre Dame football and Keith Jackson (Whoa Nellie!) talking about the "Big old Horses" on the Oklahoma offensive line, we might do an all day marathon.

We thought we had lives, anyway. 

It was too easy in APBA to just use a guy like Gates Brown, who was .338-.408-.549, in 218 PAs for the Tigers that year, as a fulltime regular and watch him pile up the numbers.  After I graduated, Ray replayed the entire AL season....and used Brown everyday. Mostly guys had to stick to their "real" defensive positions, however.  I actually still have that game laying in a drawer in the garage. 

I think I have a life.

My brother and I also bought APBA NFL Football, PBA Bowling, Horse Racing (cool), PGA Golf.  The golf was cool as you could pit Bobby Joes against Sam Snead.  I think we had the Basketball game, too.  But it seemed overly complicated and we could invent easier games that gave you the same thrill.

Never played Strat-o-Matic Football, but Kerry and I were Sports Illustrated Football diehards.  Loved that game.

We even invented a game called Hot Wheels Football:  One guy piled up 11 cars in stacks on the track and the offensive player then ran three blockers down the track, followed the "ball carrier" Hot Wheels car.  We had a 10-yd 1st down stick and everything.  Should have patented that one.

My brother and I thought we had lives.  

BTW, he went on to become a lawyer, then an assistant DA, then a top staffer for a congressman in DC, then legal advisor, speech writer and all-around right hand-man for both Bob and Elizabeth Dole (Liz, first...Bob stole him away), then a State Director for a US Senator, then a lawyer again, and now Director of the Oregon Historical Society.  He's co-written nearly 10 books, several with the Doles, and somewhere found the time to be a 4-time winner on Jeopardy.

Well, at least he had a life!

My current baseball addiction (besides you guys) is WhatifSports Hardball Dynasty.  You run a franchise, from Rookie Ball up to the bigs, drafting, scouting, weathering injuries, etc...just like real ball.  My Syracuse Sicilians just blew a 16-4 streak by losing 3 games to head into the All-Star break.  My 40 Home Run LF is on the DL for the 2nd Consecutive season.  I hate that.  Just traded for a $12M thumping catcher with decent pitch calling skills.  He's helping both my offense and defense.

Crud.  I wish I had a life.




Thassokay, Moe.

For me now it's Diamond Mind Baseball, dated now but still the best non-GM play-the-games-out text-based sim. It takes me about four years to play out a season, I play out every single game and manage whichever team I want to against the AI. I've completed 1974 and 1965 this way, and I'm up to July 21st in the 1966 season.

I don't go so much for GM stuff as playing and managing teams through games. It's great that the normal statistical variation of a single-season sample size allows just the right combination of realism and alternate reality that it makes for a fascinating balance.

And the upshot is the hobby allows me to relive the thrill of the baseball players of my youth.


Haven't heard of that one, Daddy.  Very cool.  Will have to look for it.

Which '66 team are you managing?

Hardball Dynasty is about as close to GM'ing as I will ever get (although I don't get to manage individual games, other than setting lineups, RP hierarchy -if they aren't fatigued-defensive replacements, PH's etc).  I'm setting coaching, player, scouting (International, High School & College are all indiviudally budgeted, as is Advanced Scouting of other MLB'er), Training, Medical, and Salary budgets.  All GM's get the same amount and divy it up as they see fit, with pros and cons to each decision.  I tend to focus on HS Scouting, for example, with considerably less on college players and I don't pay much attention to Internationals).

Each preseason I hire coaches (Hoping most are willing to come back) for every level, sign free agents, evaluate my farm guys, etc.  Trading for the $12M catcher helped me this year (I had some cap space) but since he's contracted for next season, season, too, it will limit my ability to shore up my rotation, which loses two guys.

In the trade for him (I gave up a AAA high OBP catcher with scraggly defensive skills, a low average, high power 1B who had been on my MLB bench the prior two seasons, and a very cheap, very effective LH reliever) I pushed to get a 25 year old LH starter off the other guy's AAA roster, where he was stuck.  He's not great, but will be a cheap #5 for me next year and likly run a 4.3 or so ERA.  He's tough vs. LHB's but not great vs. RH'ers.

My Ace is a 36 year old RHP named, ironically, Hernandez (first name Junior).  In 15 MLB seasons he's got 282 wins and multiple Cy Youngs, but his vaunted ability to bamboozle RHB's is beginning to wane as he ages. He's declined some this season, in fact.  He still VG but no longer the best starter in the game. This is his 2nd season with me and I have him for two more.  His age 38 season will be questionable for his $9M salary.  (Each GM gets $180M to divy around for all budgetary items).  I thought he would get me back to the World Series (I've been 5 times in 22 seasons, losing 4 of them, including 3 in a row at one point) but my bullpen fell apart last year and I had an 80-82 record. 

I was lucky in this year's Am Draft, getting a HS pitcher who projects to be a VG #2 (if he develops and injuries don't cream him) and a battery mate to go along with him.  He'll be a high power, decent average, good defensive catcher who can start about 135 games a year....if he develops.  He was hidden in the draft pool (listed as a DH) and my scouts found him.  These guys are several years away, of course.  They are with my Rookie Team, but I'll promost them to Low A after the All Star Break.

DaddyO, I promise to get a life someday when I grow up.


moe: "I promise to get a life someday when I grow up."

Growing up is good. Losing touch with the positive life-passions of our youth would be sad.

The thrill I get when Sandy Koufax strikes out Willie McCovey in the 9th inning to nail down a 3-2 win, or when Norm Cash takes down a young Jim Palmer with a 3-run bomb, or when Chico Salmon gets hot and helps the Tribe sweep the Senators... who can describe it?

To me baseball is story, not statistics. It is story. Each simmed season becomes a unique story unfolding as I play it out. I guarantee you in my '66 sim Houston was the story of the first two months of the season. Everybody played out of their mind for two months. But the really volatile statistics mostly settle down by the end of July.


... compared to when I was 14 and playing out the lazy summer days over a Strat-O board.  Thanks for the nostalgia Moe.  Now my entire existence seems pointless.  ... wait:  'seems' ?  :- O

It suddenly occurs that SSI is my 50-something version of Strat-O.  :: warmfuzzy ::


moe, DMB links,

The Game:

Wiki article:

About the creator, Tom TIppet:

The best community forum (forget the official one)

The creator of the game is Tom Tippet, a disciple of Bill James, who sold it in 2006 to join James working for the Red Sox. The guy who bought it from him is a jerk who immediately offended the user base and only inteneded to use the engine to power his flop of an online baseball sim site. Significant development ceased at that point. Despite a few minor deficiencies it remains IMO the best game-focused (as opposed to GM-focused) text-sim despite it's dated interface.

Here's an article about Tippet's current work with the Red Sox:

In the days when he owned Diamond-Mind he would release periodic sabermetric-oriented articles about baseball that were similar to those in James' abstracts.

moe: "which '66 team are you managing?"

Well, it depends on which individual game I am playing. As I said, I play out EVERY game for EVERY team. That's why it takes three or four years per season. My choice of which team for a particular game depends on several different factors. I have certain teams I just like more. Or it may depend upon the starting pitchers, or what's going on at that particular time in the season.

The Orioles are a dominant team, and usually if one team is dominant I'll manage against it most of the time trying to cut them down to size and make a race of it (although it's not like you have a major advantage when you manage against the AI--- the players have way more impact than the manager). In the AL I've kind of adopted the Twins and Tigers as the only real possible challengers to Baltimore in it's first season with Frank Robinson. I've got Minnesota in second place 4 games out right now.

In the NL Houston played out of their minds to start the season, but they've faded to a .500 team and will finish well below that. The Giants pitching combined with Mays-McCovey-Hart is so far outpacing a formidable Pittsburgh team and an Atlanta team that has a bevy of outstanding hitters. So I've adopted the Pirates and Braves as part of my "kill the Giants" project. My fav team is the Dodgers, who I managed to match their real-life 1965 destiny of World Series champions, but I haven't been able to duplicate their 1966 repeat. They started poorly and have never recovered.

That's the thing about DMB. The statistical engine is rock-solid, and you get newbies coming along who complain when their sim season doesn't come out exactly as in real life. But you come to grips with the fact that a single season is simply not a sufficient sample size to make that happen. Games that do have "fudge" their engines to do so. Perusing real life statistics shows us that kind of statistical consistency is, well, IN-consistent with real life and with statistical probability. So I enjoy the alternate reality knowing it is not the fault of the engine. Devotees much smarter than I have proven it. If you sim 10 or 100 seasons all the statistics will be dead on. But in a single season large variation is possible, and my Dodgers just happen to be the victims of it this time.

Haven't heard of that one, Daddy.  Very cool.  Will have to look for it. - See more at:
Haven't heard of that one, Daddy.  Very cool.  Will have to look for it. - See more at:
Haven't heard of that one, Daddy.  Very cool.  Will have to look for it. - See more at:

Back in the day my own fave memory is of piling up huge numbers for Larry Csonka.  What a player card that dude had.

And wouldn't Marshawn Lynch be this decade's version of Zonk?  Not saying it lightly.  Beast Mode seems to be a virtual reincarnation.


My brother and I spent the better part of the early/mid 60's at the folding card table in our room, shaking the dice cup. (The noise ultimately drove our Mother to distraction downstairs.)

It was always his beloved Cubs vs. my Dodgers.  I always loved my speed/defense (try beating a Koufax/Drysdale/Osteen/Wills/Willie Davis combo--not easy.)  Of course, there were no dingers.

Which are the same noises the new regime is now making in Seattle.  Make it happen!


Loved the shaking dice in the narrow little cup noise.

We played at the dining room table. 

This site and my Hardball Dynasty fascination are directly related in lots of ways to APBA baseball, I am sure.  I played lots of sporting board games as a kid, inventing them or buying them, but it was only APBA baseball that consumed me.  And of the three recreational websites I frequent, each and every day, 2 are baseball related (the other about swinging flies for steelhead).


I still don't know how he got through college  No question he spent more time on APBA than all his studies combined.  

'League Commissioner' in his house was certainly the only office he held on campus.  

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