Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New York State of Mind: Darryl Strawberry and Gary Carter

Let's head across town to see what going on in Flushing.

Darryl Strawberry. He was the first case where I looked at the stats and said "Wow, it's a shame what he did with his career. What might have been..."

His OB 9 and six extra-base results usually put him in the 3-4-5 slot on a team. I like that his defense is average, and the speed will surprise some people. Overall, a nice little slugger for 450 points, which can allow for nice back-up.

From the 2011 Topps set.

Gary Carter is a Met and not an Expo because I just liked this one picture best.

He's on the border with OB 7/8, which explains the five outs he has on his card. No real weaknesses, just a catcher with excellent defense who does okay with only four extra-base results (two of which are homers), and a whole lot of singles. I would park him maybe in the #2 slot (though his speed is a potential problem) or lower in the order (5-6-7) because he can still drive in runners with all those singles.

Card made from a Google image. Not hard to find.

New York State of Mind: Phil Rizzuto

So, having discussed how I did the "Legends", let's start in the Big Apple!

Phil Rizzuto represents the traditional MLB shortshop: good defense, low power. Unlike a true good-field/no-hit shortshop though, he could actually get hits (mainly singles, but whatever).

Clocking in at an OB 8, Rizzuto is a good candidate to lead off in a line-up, especially coupled with his Speed A. SS+5 is always a nice thing to have, and his low cost (240 points) allows you to take a chance of hitters with questionable fielding but better bats around the infield.

Now, there isn't a lot of power. Only three extra-base results, none being homers, will limit some stats (like RBI). But, all around not a bad little piece.

A brief review of my "Legends" series of MLB Showdown cards

When I make my "Legends" series of MLB Showdown customs*, I have to be careful how to scrutinize the data.

1) Dead-ball era and 1960s era hitters are a pain to try and do. Just do the best you can, and I usually up the offense a little bit, imagining if they played in today's era.

2) Peaks matter. I usually take a stretch of time when the player was at the top of their game (as judged by OPS+ or ERA+ as a quick reference), not taking into account decline because frankly you remember those players at their best, don't you?

3) Take the down with the bad, don't cherry-pick. This isn't usually a problem, but players like Roy Campanella were up and down. Just smooth out the data.

4) Make an average of the peak (min. 5 seasons I prefer) and extrapolate from there.

*It's got Hall of Famers and non-Hall of Famers, so the blanket term for cards for retired players is "Legends".

Friday, May 17, 2013


My oh my, life has gotten in the way for far too long. I'm planning a wedding for this summer, so forgive me for the long absence.

Some of you may have noticed that the costs for some of the MLB Showdown pitchers differ a bit (usually costing more) from their counterparts that were actually printed. The reason being simple... the costs were originally undercosted.

Say you have a 19 pitcher (16 outs +3 Control) and a 20 pitcher (16 outs +4 Control). Assuming IP 6, the first will cost about 330 points, the second about 450 points. One step up to a 21 pitcher, and we have 550 points.

Now, a +5 control pitcher (15 outs) and a +4 control pitcher (16 outs) are functionally the same. Both are 20 pitchers.

Why is it that these 20 pitchers, with 6 IP, when stacked with other 20 pitchers with 7 IP only see a 30 point increase?

As such, a 20 pitcher with IP 7 has been bumped up a smidge to about 510 to 530 points to bring costs in line.

Also, the 2001 cards were undercosted as a whole as well. Power creep is best done when not blatant...