Monday, November 29, 2021

Scherzer Strong for Nats After Trade News, But BoSox ...

After turning our focus to college basketball, news of Max Scherzer's trade to the Mets seemed a good reason to get Max Scherzer on the mound to see if the Dodgers could beat the Red Sox for the Statis-Pro Baseball World Series. Click here for photos of all Statis-Pro player cards being used in the series. 

It just so happened this year that the two things to make it through the 30-team Statis-Pro season to our simulated World Series were the two teams who fell one step short in real baseball. Therefore this season was a bit of a "what if" consolation series like the old days when a consolation game was played between the two losers of the Final 4 games.

In our World Series Game 1, Scherzer pitched six innings of 2-hit ball for a 5-0 lead, but then ...



Garrett Richards went 6 innings with only 1 earned run allowed in Game 2 to even the series heading back to Boston.

The hitting star of the first two games was former Tampa Bay Ray Renfroe, who has hits in six consecutive at bats culminating in a home run.

While Scherzer took a 5-0 lead into the top of the 7th, Santana (who entered the game on a double switch), Renfroe and the Vazquez chased him from the game with three straight singles. Vazquez was the one change we made from the AL Commissioners Red Sox line-up just to get his throwing arm (TA) in the game due to the speed of Trea Turner and Mookie Betts at the top of the line-up.

With bases loaded, set up man Kelly was brought in an inning earlier than we usually use him to quell the fire, but things simply got more dangerous.

Kelly induced a grounder to 1st, but Muncy misplayed it to keep the bases loaded and pull the Red Sox within 5-1. after catcher Smith made a great clutch defensive play for the first out, Verdugo doubled home two more runs, and then Bogaerts' infield single made it 5-4. Kelly then induced a 1-6-3 grounder to end the inning with a 5-4 lead, and Muncy later made up for his error with a grandslam homer to cap a 5-run bottom of the 8th and give the Dodgers a 10-4 win in Game 1.

Game 2

Richards six inning gem to outduel Buehler (4 innings, 4 earned runs allowed for the loss) was made even more amazing by the fact that he contributed at the plate as well. Like most AL starting pitchers, Richards only gets a hit on 2 of 64 possible numbers, a Random Number of 11 or 12 from the 11-88 possibilities.

The Red Sox jumped on Buhler early with a 2-run homer by Martinez in the first, and then singles by Renfroe, Hernandez and Bogaerts, with the help of a sacrifice bunt for Richards to amke it 4-2 after two innings.

In between the two 2-run innings, the Dodgers scored two in the bottom of the 1st. Richards did not look on the path to a gem when he walked Turner, who stole second, then gave up an infield single to Betts. Muncy then reached on an error to Renfroe, who was as bad in the field at 1st base as he was good at the plate. Smtih hit a sac fly,and Pollock doubled to give Richards two runs allowed with only one batter retired, but he would throw shutout ball the rest of the way to leave with a 5-2 lead after six innings.

Vazquez 3-run homer in the top of the 7th just about sealed the win at 8-2, through three of the 1st four Dodgers to bat in the bottom of the 9th inning reached off closer Barnes, who was back on the mound to regain confidence after being shelled in Game 1, and they did get one run across to make it an 8-3 final.

The Red Sox now have the pitching edge with Chris Sale (a PB2-9) slated to start Game 3 in Boston and therefore also slated for a deciding Game 7 if needed. The games in Boston will also include a DH, which lets the Red Sox put their normal line-up in place, but also lets the Dodgers bat Chris Taylor as DH rather than simply pinch hit.


Sunday, November 28, 2021

128 All-Time Great College Teams Now on 1 Easier to Read and Use Doc

You can now click this google doc or this pdf to open and print the improved cards for 128 all-time great college basketball teams for use with the free Value Add Basketball Game.   You can still use the original 98 teams still  just tried to make the cards easier to use as explained below. Yes, it took a long Thanksgiving weekend away from the office to get it all done :-) and I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.



1. The time consuming part of the improvement to the cards was adding suggested playing time by position for all 10 players on all 128 teams. We already listed the Stamina, for how many of the 44 possessions a player could be used - but now we have the actual suggested possessions.

The teams are set up so that the five recommended starters are the top row for each team, so for the final part of the game you can just look at the top row unless someone fouls out or you make a strategic change. However, we circled the players who would actually be in for the 44th possession to begin the game if Kareem's UCLA played Jordan's UNC. Jordan is actually the only UNC starter would would rest one possession (the 44th) and then all 5 UNC starters would be on the court for the rest of the game. However, for UCLA Kareem is the only starter who would be in the game for all 44 possessions, with the other players beginning the game circled.

However, we start the game with reserves on the court. On the UCLA 1967 team I have circle the suggested playing time for each player when the game begins with "Possession 44" (counting down to the final "1" Possession).

You will note that Kareem is the only "starter" we have circle to begin the game because his Stamina rating is 44, meaning he can play the entire game (all 44 possessions). However, none of his teammates can, so we circled each player we suggest "starts" in the game with a "44-" some number.

For example, at the bottom of Don Saffer's cards, we inserted "PG 44-37" to note that we suggest using his 8 possessions (Stamina 8) to put him at point guard from the 44th to the 37th possession.

We added a light pencil mark to point to the mark at the bottom of Gene Sutherland's card, where our "PG 36-32" indicates we suggest he takes over at point guard for those 5 possessions.

Another pencil mark points to the actual starting point guard Mike Warren, where the "31-1" indicates we suggest he plays the final 31 possessions of a game at point guard. 

These are suggestions, and you can play any player whenever you want. Just keep in mind if a player plays more possessions than his stamina, then every die roll involving him his adjusted by 1 to hurt him. So if you used Warren the entire game, then he would run out of Stamina for the final 13 possessions of the game. During that time, he would only steal on 11-14, block a shot on 21, he would foul on 35 or 36, he would turn it over on 41-44, his dunk range would drop to 51-57 and adjustment to his opponent's dunk range would be only a -3. On rebound he would only get it on a 1-4, and then all 20-sided shots would be adjusted by 1 - so only a 1 would be a made 3-pointer, a 2-8 a made 2-pointer, a 1-14 a made free throw. If someone more than doubles their Stamina (if Heitz played his 40th possession despite his Stamina of 20) then all die rolls adjust by 2.

2. Another adjustment we made was to increase the font size from 6.5 to 8, which seems to make it easy to read even when I play a game while walking on the treadmill desk.

3. One final note is the top line under the green "20-sided" die line, where the best result is "made 3-pt shot," in most cases. In 1967 there was no 3-point line, so we have used various methods to estimate if a player likely put up jump shots that indicated he could have taken advantage of the 3-point line. You of course have the option of playing a game without a 3-point line and just counting all shots as 2-points - and all cards are accurate within 2% of a players actual field goal percentage except for a few cases where missed shots were not recorded. Players overall value comes out correctly because of an adjustment to the dunk range that is better if he has slightly fewer estimated 3-point shots or vice versa.

However, one thing we do know is that in earlier years centers like Kareem, Bob Lanier, Bill Walton and others in the game clearly did NOT take any 3-point shots and thus do not have any numbers there. However, note on Kareem's card that some of these great centers instead have a top line on which they make a 2-point shot and are fouled - meaning they will go to the line to try for a 3-point play.

These should be all the updates for a while as - like most of you - I head back to work in the morning. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Bonnie's HoF Lanier Not Enough for Maryland's trio of Branch, Bias and Coleman

 With the Bonnie's off to a great start this season, we put their great 1970 squad on the court.

Bob Lanier did not disappoint with a 25 point, 11 rebound performance but no other Bonnie in double figures, but Maryland won with incredible balance. All 5 Maryland starters scored between 12 and 14 points. The Terps 1984 squad is one of the few on which all 5 starters can play all 44 possessions. (Keep in mind all 10 players are assumed to have played 11 possessions and scored 2 points to get to our 20-20 score for the starting point of the game.

In their real careers, Lanier would go onto be the No. 1 overall NBA pick and then have a Hall of Fame career. He took the Bonnie's to the Final 4, but did not play in it after he was injured in the Elite 8 game - leaving Bonnie's fans to wonder if this would have been a national championship team.

Maryland won the ACC title behind a front line all destined for the NBA, but Len Bias did not follow Ben Coleman and Adrian Branch to the league due to dying of a cocaine overdose 2 days after he was the No. 2 overall pick by the Celtics in the 1986 draft. 

His death rocked the Maryland program with Lefty Driesell resigning, and Congress passed the Len Bias law to require long mandatory sentences for dealing cocaine.




Reposting the 3 Key Posts to this Website - old hoops cards still valid

Even though this is the featured post at the bottom of the first page if you are in the website mode, it does not appear if you are on the phone. Therefore I periodically repost this short blog noting the three main posts references for this blog as a new post to get it to the top.

3 Key Posts - Hoops and Baseball Game and Player Ratings

The key three links for this blog site the links to two free games with player cards - Statis-Pro Baseball Game and the Value Add Basketball Game - and the database rating all the college basketball players of this century at www.valueadddbasketball.com.

One key note is that while we just made available the 30 new all-time great college basketball teams, the original 98 all-time great team cards will all continue to work fine.

We are touching them up slightly so that the format is the same as the new 30 teams (larger font is easier to read) and I am also going through each team to type in suggested possessions in the game for each player. It can be a little jigsaw puzzle to get each good player there maximum possessions played - but for the 10s of thousands of you who have printed out the other 98 teams you can keep using those even once I finish the link to the set of all 128 in the new format.

Friday, November 26, 2021

DePaul beats UNLV in battle of No.1s - WEST - 1-seed UCLA (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) BRACKET

 We set up four blogs to track the results of our tournament between these 30 new all-time great basketball teams in the Value Add Basketball Game.

DePaul's incredible 15 steals sink UNLV 82-64

The No. 1 teams from 1980 and 1987 clashed in our opening round. Perhaps fitting for a UNLV game, the first dice (opening tip) were rolled at 1:10 am and the game finished at 1:45 am - 35 minute play time. Some history first on the two teams No.1 ranked seasons without a title:

Both DePaul and UNLV went into their actual March Madness those years with only a single one point loss. UNLV finally lost in the Final 4 to Bobby Knight and Indiana.



DePaul had already beaten defending national champ Louisville but suffered one of many stunning tournament upsets with St. Joe's using tactics that would have not worked with modern rules (see account of game here). 

That season St. Joe's slowed it down with no shot clock in effect and used a late foul of Skip Dillard to force a 1 and 1 (there was no double bonus) and when he missed the front end St. Joe's beat the buzzer for a 49-48 stunner.

In this VABG game it was DePaul pulling the upset with Clyde Bradshaw completely disrupting the UNLV offense with 7 steals that led to transition baskets at the other end from one of the greatest duos to ever play the game - Mark Aguirre and Terry Cummings - the player of the Year and future NBA Rookie of the Year respectively.

Aguirre scored 18 and Cummings 20 in a dominating 82-64 win to get DePaul that elusive first round win and get the winner of Duke 1986 vs Holy Cross 1950.

Here is Kareem's card for the No. 1 seed UCLA who is the team to beat in this bracket.

 

Here are 1st round results and match-ups from the MIDWEST - 3-seed Kansas (Paul Pierce) BRACKET, and at the bottom of all 4 blogs you can click on links to the other three brackets.

  • No bracket games played yet.
Here are the links to all 4 brackets.

 WEST - 1-seed UCLA Bracket (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)

  • Michigan 1965 vs. Arkansas 1978 (winner faces UCLA 1967)
  • UNLV 1987 vs. DePaul 1980
  • Duke 1986 vs. Holy Cross 1950
SOUTH - 4-seed North Carolina Bracket (Vince Carter)
  • North Carolina 1998 vs. South Carolina 1973
  • Loyola Marymount 1990 beat Kentucky 1970,  142-116
  • Michigan State 2000 vs. Miami FO 1965
  • St. Bonaventure 1970 vs. Maryland 1984
EAST - 2-seed Duke Bracket (Jay Williams, Shane Battier)
  • Marquette 1971 beat Kansas 1988, 67-58 (Marquette plays Duke 2001 next)
  • Illinois 1989 vs. Notre Dame 1981
  • Indiana 1981 vs. Georgia Tech 1990
MIDWEST - 3-seed Kansas Bracket (Paul Pierce)
  • Kansas 1997 vs. Niagara 1970
  • LSU 1992 vs. Kentucky 1948
  • Houston 1983 vs. Arizona State 1980
  • Jacksonville 1970 vs. North Carolina 1957

Pierce Kansas Pulling Away from Calvin Murphy - MIDWEST - 3-seed Kansas (Paul Pierce) BRACKET

We set up four blogs to track the results of our tournament between these 30 new all-time great basketball teams in the Value Add Basketball Game.

Here are 1st round results and match-ups from the MIDWEST - 3-seed Kansas (Paul Pierce) BRACKET, and at the bottom of all 4 blogs you can click on links to the other three brackets.




3-Kansas 1997 neat 30-Niagra 1970 84-68.

Final note: Calvin Murphy finished with 26 points in a losing effort, as Kansas won 84-68. Our note with 5 minutes left in the game:

The family pulled me away for a day trip drive before I could finish the game, but we are penciling Paul Pierce and the top seed in our Midwest onto the second round. Right before being called away Pierce had scored and was fouled, completing the traditional 3-point play to give the 1997 Kansas team an almost insurmountable 74-53 lead.

Pierce combined with his Frontline teammate twin towers, LaFrentz and Pollard both at 6-foot-11, to outscore the much smaller Niagra front line 35-17 so far. LaFrentz has a game-high 18 against a Niagra team with no player taller than 6-foot-6.

While the Kansas 1988 squad lost the day before to Marquette 1971, the Kansas 1997 team was the top seed which did not get a bye. Therefore they faced the worst seed, Niagra 1970, which had a strong team that year but was selected based on having one of the greatest college PLAYERS of all time, Calvin Murphy - who already scored 17 points.





Here are the links to all 4 brackets.

 WEST - 1-seed UCLA Bracket (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)

  • Michigan 1965 vs. Arkansas 1978 (winner faces UCLA 1967)
  • UNLV 1987 vs. DePaul 1980
  • Duke 1986 vs. Holy Cross 1950
SOUTH - 4-seed North Carolina Bracket (Vince Carter)
  • North Carolina 1998 vs. South Carolina 1973
  • Loyola Marymount 1990 beat Kentucky 1970,  142-116
  • Michigan State 2000 vs. Miami FO 1965
  • St. Bonaventure 1970 vs. Maryland 1984
EAST - 2-seed Duke Bracket (Jay Williams, Shane Battier)
  • Marquette 1971 beat Kansas 1988, 67-58 (Marquette plays Duke 2001 next)
  • Illinois 1989 vs. Notre Dame 1981
  • Indiana 1981 vs. Georgia Tech 1990
MIDWEST - 3-seed Kansas Bracket (Paul Pierce)
  • Kansas 1997 vs. Niagara 1970
  • LSU 1992 vs. Kentucky 1948
  • Houston 1983 vs. Arizona State 1980
  • Jacksonville 1970 vs. North Carolina 1957

Results Tracker - SOUTH - 4-seed North Carolina (Vince Carter) BRACKET

We set up four blogs to track the results of our tournament between these 30 new all-time great basketball teams in the Value Add Basketball Game.

Here are 1st round results and match-ups from the SOUTH - 4-seed North Carolina (Vince Carter) BRACKET, and at the bottom of all 4 blogs you can click on links to the other three brackets.

  • Loyola Marymount 1990 beat Kentucky 1970,  142-116
  • Maryland 1984 beat St. Bonaventure 1970 by 74-64
Here are the links to all 4 brackets.

 WEST - 1-seed UCLA Bracket (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)

  • Michigan 1965 vs. Arkansas 1978 (winner faces UCLA 1967)
  • UNLV 1987 vs. DePaul 1980
  • Duke 1986 vs. Holy Cross 1950
SOUTH - 4-seed North Carolina Bracket (Vince Carter)
  • North Carolina 1998 vs. South Carolina 1973
  • Loyola Marymount 1990 beat Kentucky 1970,  142-116
  • Michigan State 2000 vs. Miami FO 1965
  • Maryland 1984 beat St. Bonaventure 1970 by 74-64
EAST - 2-seed Duke Bracket (Jay Williams, Shane Battier)
  • Marquette 1971 beat Kansas 1988, 67-58 (Marquette plays Duke 2001 next)
  • Illinois 1989 vs. Notre Dame 1981
  • Indiana 1981 vs. Georgia Tech 1990
MIDWEST - 3-seed Kansas Bracket (Paul Pierce)
  • Kansas 1997 vs. Niagara 1970
  • LSU 1992 vs. Kentucky 1948
  • Houston 1983 vs. Arizona State 1980
  • Jacksonville 1970 vs. North Carolina 1957