Tag Archive: OOTP


After reworking the rotation there were two positions I was really committed at shoring up. I wanted a new catcher and a new second basemen. I had an idea who I might get for each position. What surprised me is I didn’t give up any of things I thought I would was really wanting switch up.

Royals send:
Jason Bourgeois, CF, 30, 2*/2*
Justin Trapp, SS, 21, 1*/1*

Astros Send:
Jose Altuve, 2B, 21, 4*/5*

First I decided to approach Houston about Acquiring Jose Altuve. I love this guy. He’s a small second basemen like I was and he hits for average. That was the man reason I targeted him I wanted at a guy who could get on base and show a bit of speed. His speed is not as good as Bourgeois admittedly but I like his age and over all he’s better and more useful. Oddly however when I started the season the manager did not have him as the starter. He deferred to Chris Getz which is even more strange when you consider we have Giavotella a fine major league ready prospect in his own right in the minors. I actually wanted to build this trade around Getz with that in mind but Houston didn’t find him as desirable as Bourgeois.

The next trade had several false starts. I wanted Brian McCann. I wanted a good catcher and there were not a lot of great young options there. My idea was to build this trade around Alex Gordon but the more I tried to work this deal out the more hesitant I became Lt’s look at McCann and Gordon and I’ll explain why.

 

 

 

My hesitance begin with this. McCann in my opinion has been a top three catcher in baseball since his rookie year but he also has a history of injury. Granted you have freak injuries such as his scratched cornea a while back but still its always something. Then there is the fact he is 28 in a game that is not kind about age and he happens to play a position that ages really quickly. On the flip side Gordon has had a disappointing career to say the least but he is on the up swing. While also 28 he plays left field and shouldn’t hit an age wall like McCann. The final thing was I wasn’t sure I would want to resign McCann when his contract ends. He’ll be thirty and I’m sure he’ll want a five year deal. The contract he has now is over $8 mil this year with an option for 2013 valued at $12 mil. He could be asking for upwards of $18 mil when it comes time to resign. I am trying as best I can to build a firm foundation and I was not sure signing McCann was that. That being said I felt week at catcher so I pulled the trigger.

Royals send:
Jarrod Dyson Cf, 27, 1*/1*
Max Ramirez C, 27, 1*/1*
Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B, 33, 1.5*/1.5*
David Lough LF, 26, 1*/2*
Alex Gordon LF, 28, 4*/4*

Braves send:
Brian McCann C, 28, 5*/5*

I also made free agent offers to Vladimir Guerrero, Jeff Larish, and Jason Kendall. I made the Guerrero offer when I noticed Bryce Harper had been bumped to the majors and was starting. I figure Guerrero might give him more time in the minors. I made the Larish offer purely to trade him. I made the Kendall offer because he’d make a great back up to McCann. That along with the Roy Oswalt of was the end of my preseason. Next are games.

 

I am a huge Braves fan and I host an internet sports radio show(plug) and I use that show to let every one know how big a Braves fan I am. So I had this brilliant idea I’d get Jason Heyward and finish out my outfield trio. I had already acquired Bryce Harper and Mike Trout in previous trades(click link for trade details.) so Heyward would solidify that. It was a deal I had just done in my last Royals dynasty but I could not remember what I traded. This deal in my head though would see me send Alex Gordon to the Braves as the main part of the deal. Frank Wren was having no talks of this deal getting done. They were asking for more than I was willing to give up. But something fun came out of the conversations. I got fixated on the idea of getting Julio Tehran. That was a deal the Braves were willing to do but looking back I paid a steep price.

Royals send:
Jose Mijares RP(L), 27, .5*/.5*
Jake Odorizzi SP(R), 22, 1*/3.5*
Aaron Crow MR(R), 22, 3*/3.5*
Wil Myers RF, 21, 1*/4*

Braves send:
Julio Teheren SP(R), 21, 5*/5*(I think my scout will adjust soon)

It’s always tough for me to give up Odorizzi but it inevitably happens every play-thru I do.  I almost always get a pitcher in the deal also. I think he’s got a really bright future just not on this ball club. Crow on the other hand is a guy I always trade away without much second thought. He was in my minor leagues as a starter but it looks like the Braves have designs on him being a reliever. I’ll be interested to see how he develops. I rarely see him become a dazzler but when he does I always feel the bite a bit. Especially since in last years OOTP baseball he did have a really sound career for me eventually I even traded him there but he was good.

Myers almost meant this deal didn’t happen. He’s rated well and while I haven’t actually started my season here yet he has hit 36 home runs in the minors in real life. I trade Myers a lot but never check back up on him. I really wanted to give him a shot. In the end the prospect of having a young front-line pitcher won out though.

The number on Teheren here are a bit skeptical in my opinion. Still I like Teheren a lot and I feel he can start this year. If growing pains get to be too much I’ll send him back down for a bit. He seems like he could be a good starter from day one however which would be nice in this rotation. Makes me a bit anxious to see him get a good shot in real life.

The next deal I made by shopping starter Luke Hochevar around. Colorado offered me Chatwood and I adjusted the deal a bit till we got something I liked.

Royals send:
Brett Eibner CF, 23, .5*/.5*
Adalberto Mondesi SS, 16, .5*/1*
Derrick Robinson CF, 24, 1*/1*
Clint Robinson 1B, 27, 1*/1*
Luke Hochevar SP(R), 28, 2*/2

Rockies send:
Nolan Arenado, 3B, 20, 1.5*/4.5*
Tyler Chatwood SP(R), 22, 2.5*/4.5*

My side of the trade isn’t interesting at all. Mostly scrubs and a pitcher I had no want or desire of who at 28 has probably reached his peak Getting Chatwood as a replacement for him is nice. My scouting report sees him as a future one or two starter. I see him as more of a solid three.  Which is fine by me. He has a fragile injury history which has me a bit concerned but we’ll have to see.

Arenado is who I’m really excited to get. A solid third base prospect with some good defense already in tow. If Moustakas struggles I may give him a look in the majors this year. If Moustakas does well however it might make for a tough choice one day.

The next deal that happened started when I decided to shop Jeff Francouer. Honestly he strikes out way to much for my taste. I want a higher average and my outfield  was beginning to get a bit crowed. Texas bit and offered me an offer. Here’s how it turned out.

Royals send:
Jack Lopez SS, 19, .5*/1*
Rey Navarro SS, 22, 1*/1*
Yuniesky Betancourt , SS, 30, 1*/1*
Jeff Francouer, RF, 28, 3*/3*

Rangers Send:
Neftali Feliz SP(R), 23, 2*/3.5*
Martin Perez SP(L), .5*/4*

When the Feliz trade got offered there were two reasons I wanted more. 1) He is  injury prone and I have really bad luck with injury prone guys. 2) I’m not sure whether he should be a closer or a starter. (I ended up having him as my opening day starter.) 

It will be interesting to see if he stays healthy this year(As you can tell he didn’t). More importantly at what point if at all do I try him in the pen. I honestly feel he could be a very effective starter for me if given the chance.

I was really excited to get Perez. I think his pitches alone make im a work while pick up. All three look like they will be good to great pitches but also his stuff movement, and control all project to be good in the future. He started in the minors but as you can see at some point he got called up. I really wanted that development time for him.

Jonathan Broxton was another contract I really wanted to see gone. I am a huge Jonathan Broxton fan. He grew up only three hours from where I lived(side note: I grew up in Broxton, GA). I love the players from my state.(Many of which I’ve seen and some of which I have played with or against). I also thing he is a really fine pitcher. That being said I don’t really see us competing for the play-offs this year. So I was really set on freeing that money up. At the same time I wondered if I could get a good reliever back who was a bit younger and cheaper. The answer is a mixed bag but one I love.

Royals send:
Louis Coleman RP(R), 25, 1*/2*
Jonathan Broxton, 27, 4*/4*
$1,000,000

Braves send:
Jonny Venters, 27, 4.5*/4.5*

Venters is only a little less than a year younger than Broxton but the I did make an improvement and I shed cap space. All in all I like the deal. I originally wanted Craig Kimbrel but the price was too steep. That being said I love the addition of Venters. I think his stuff is virtually un-hittable and if we do find ourselves in a position to compete I honestly believe he can hold down the bullpen even better than Broxton. I will have to deal with arbitration though and I hate paying for relief pitching so I may deal him in the next couple of season just to save cash. Also who knows when he’ll hit the age wall.

The final pitching trade came after I started writing this post. Chris Sale kept coming up when I shopped various players and I began to wonder what the was the least valuable trade I could offer to add him to my team. Coming into the season I knew little about him but his names been all over baseball this year so I thought I might give him a try on OOTP. The deal I ended up with worked out well for me.

Royals send:
Jonathan Sanchez, SP(L), 29, 1.5*/1.5*
Mitch Maier, CF, 29, 1*/1*

White Sox send:
Chris Sale, SP(L), 4*/4.5*

Truth Be told I liked Sanchez’s stuff looking back on it just not his price or age. Sale is only a guy I’ve really heard about. If my scout is to believed his pretty much the pitcher he’s going to be right now. He looks pretty good. We’ll have to see how he deals with the rigors of starting this season.(fun note Sale lost his first game and Sanchez pitched a No-Hitter)

I would have a pic here of my starting rotation but it’d be really confusing now that I have played some more and gotten some new additions. But after this trade it looked good. I immediately put an offer out there for Roy Oswalt too with the intention of trading him but the more I thought about it the I felt I might benefit from keeping him. I will list who I added to recap.

Added:
Julio Teheren SP(R), 21, 5*/5*
Nolan Arenado, 3B, 20, 1.5*/4.5*
Tyler Chatwood SP(R), 22, 2.5*/4.5*
Neftali Feliz SP(R), 23, 2*/3.5*
Martin Perez SP(L), 21, .5*/4*
Jonny Venters, CL(L) 27, 4.5*/4.5*
Chris Sale, SP(L), 23, 4*/4.5*

Lots of young pitching with room to grow and a young third basemen who projects really well. It was a really long blog but thanks for reading. I promise I will do my best to never be this long again. It will help once I get out of these beginning of the season deals.

Alex Ingram is the host of Occupy The Game a sports radio show featured on obr.fm on Monday nights from 7PM EST to 8. He is a former United States Airman, and an avid OOTP baseball player and blogger. Add to that that he is a huge Royals fan and you’ve got a hell of a guy.

For more of his candid thoughts on the royals and updates on blog posts for this dynasty and more follow his show twitter@occupy_thegame for a more personal varied thought stream check his personal twitter@ingrammi6.

I have made a decision I will change the trade settings after the first season. It never really occurred to me to do such a thing. I don’t know how that is but somehow in my head the thought never even crossed my mind. I suppose maybe it was the eagerness to get started or perhaps I just haven’t used the system as much as I should. Either way the Mike Trout trade has me a bit perturbed. That being said in some ways I really feel the Angels made me work for this deal. It was yet another trade where I gave up a lot in number of players and even a bit more in talent than I did in the Harper trade which is not surprising seeing as Trout is a more ready player.

Royals send:
Bruce Chen, SP, 34,  1.5*/1.5*
Michael Antonio,  SS, 20, .5*/1.5*
Elier Hernandez, CF, 17, .5*/1.5*
Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B, 19, 1*/4*
Alejandro Viloria, SP, 16, .5*/4*

Angels send:
Mike Trout, CF 2.5*/5*

I’m so happy to have rid myself of Bruce Chen’s contract. I love Bruce Chen. He was with the Braves way back when and even though he wasn’t great I still liked him. Seeing as Kansas City is my second favorite club and I love getting the chance to watch him even if he isn’t doing well. That being said his $4 mil+ contract wasn’t doing it for me. I felt I could improve our pitching and get younger. My next trades worked on that but that is the next post.  I wanted to drop some cash and this is the beginning of that.

Now if my scout is to be believed I gave up two 4* potential prospects in this deal. If I had to pick one of these players to haunt me a bit in the future it’d be Cheslor Cuthbert.

Cheslor iis a nice 4* potential guy at 3B. He’s 19 and I always feel like teenage prospects could go either way. I like but not love his projected batting rating and he is a solid fielder. In my last couple of dynasties I saw really good third base prospects in the draft so I might be able to deal with the loss here. The thing that mad it easiest to make this deal though was the presence of Mike Moustakas. I feel he has a lot of room to improve. Even though he is only a 3* potential. I will be hunting third base prospects however.

Viloria is interesting. He has a 4* rating and ok stuff at the moment with great projections, and his pitches are already good and will continue to improve. His control and movement though will never be more than serviceable. I hate pitches like that. at to that his 44% ground ball rating and I’m skeptical of his development. He is another teenage prospect but I don’t see him being one I regret letting go. I always stock pile pitching and this franchise is no different.

Anyone else feel like Trout’s offensive numbers are a bit conservative even before this amazing season? That complaint aside I still like trout. He’s really fast and I steal a lot. Also he’s ready to play today. I kind of want to see him back in the minor leagues to work on hitting but my fans need something to root for. Trout is a good fielder and I suspect that his eye and contact projects will have him batting pretty solidly during his career. With Bryce Harper already on the club. I have a solid outfield base to build my future around if I so choose. Hopefully we can win some and have management open up its pockets to allow me to lock these guys up.

This trade was all was a definite win in my opinion.  And if the Angels are lucky it will be a win-win. OOTP doesn’t see names but it does feel weird to get Harper and Trout. That being said I am tasked with the job building a better ball club. Next piece will cover how I completely reworked pitching with three trades.

So I have decided to do an OOTP 13 play through with the Kansas City Royals. I suppose I should explain why I picked the Royals. I’ll start by pointing out there were only four teams really in the running for this particular play through. Those teams were the Atlanta Braves, Boston Redsox, Kansas City Royals, and the New York Yankees. I grew up a huge fan of the Braves, Yankees, and Royals. I currently live in Boston and get a little fonder of the Redsox with each day that goes by. The reason I picked the Royals over the others is simple. I want to build back up their history. During my lifetime I have seen plenty of success for the other three teams. No one ever questions it when I say I love those teams. The royals how ever come with a myriad of questions and skepticism. So even if it’s for my own benefit I every year play as the Royals to start a tradition of my own.

So It’s the first season. I suppose I should set some goals for what I want. Here are my top 5 goals in not particular order:

1. Get more prospects. I don’t feel like the roster is quite there yet. I want us to be a machine when it does get there. Pumping out young talent after young talent. I don’t necessarily love the way OOTP has some of our young prospects rated so I may trade them away in pursuit of others. For example I love Bubba starling and I think in real life he’s going to be amazing. He never works out in OOTP therefore I will probably move him.

2. Acquire young major league ready talent. This one is going to be tricky. I for see myself having to give up some talent I like to get talent I want. One player I am specifically targeting is Jason Heyward. Part of this decision is personal and part of it is he plays and develops really well. Mike Trout and/or Bryce Harper are also on my shopping list. this may mean Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, and some good prospect see their way out of our organization.

3. Shed some payroll. The Royals have a tiny budget starting out. I already plan to lift the player development budget so it will get a bit tighter in the first season. There are players I feel such as Jeff Francour that are signed to poor contracts. To be perfectly honest with the state of the team I’m not thrilling with Butler’s contract either.  I feel this maybe the easiest goal to achieve.

4. Add a veteran front-line pitcher. I think I already no where I might go with this one. I think I will pursue Zach Grienke.  My only problem with this is I don’t want to give up a lot to get him. I also want to be able to resign which ever pitcher I go with. I will look for other options but if at all possible I want the pitcher to be under 30 and with at the very least a five-star potential. I won’t make a desperation move though. I’m not giving up my future to make this move.

5. Play .500 ball. This may not be realistic with all the changes I plan to make but we’ll see. I hope I find a way to work it out. I will be personally managing each game. I’m pretty bad at that but I want to improve as my team improves. It could be a really tough year but I plan on sticking it out.

Anyway those are my goals going into the season. At the end of each month in the season we’ll see how I’m doing at each.

Disclaimer:I’ve never written a game review in my life so be kind. haha.

ALSO AT THE END OF THE REVIEW IS A LINK TO A PODCAST WITH BRAD COOK FROM OOTP DEVELOPMENTS.

When I first read the book Moneyball I was a bit skeptical. Don’t get me wrong, I love the underdog and numbers just as much as anyone but a book about it seemed kind of dull. Surprise, surprise however, I read the book and loved it. After years of playing MLB The Show I wasn’t quite sure if a game like Out Of The Park Baseball(OOTP) was going to do it for me, but four years later I’m still playing and still loving every minute of it. The game filled a gap for me that was missing from a game like MLB The Show. I love playing franchises and while The Show has a fine franchise it isn’t nearly deep enough for me. I want that numbers experience that requires me to know the ins and outs of collective bargaining, the risks of picking a guy based on tools and not numbers, and the fun of organizing contracts to avoid future budget constraints. OOTP gave me that and every year it gets better.

Let me start by saying I can’t begin to explain to you how deep OOTP 13 is or even how much you can customize and control everything about your league and experience in the game. Do you want a 30 man roster? You got it. Do you want to mimic 1930’s financials in 2012? Go for it. Maybe you want to put certain guys into the Hall of Fame who didn’t get in? You can do that too. I could  spend all day just talking about the things you can do in the game to truly make it yours.

To begin with there are three main modes in OOTP baseball as well as a quickstart option and online for those who want to share the love. The first of the is Major League Game which sets you up with a basic MLB set up complete with players, salary fixtures, and minor league teams. One of the first things you’ll notice when you start speaks to some of the freedom you’ll have in this game. You can choose to be commissioner of your league which means you can change rules, adjust player ratings, force trades, set computer rosters, manage computer teams, and generally have run of the league. You can set it where you can’t be fired, you can as of the last update play solely as the GM, and you can even choose to start your career as a minor league manager for that extra challenge.

Once you finally enter the game you’ll notice is the logos aren’t MLB logos. This has to do with licence issues and such but one quick stop to forum and you’ll learn this is easy to mod and all the hard work in that direction has been done for you.  The games features crisp and smart menu design which is nice considering you have a world of information at your disposal. Up top you have to main widgets to click for drop down menus and on the side you have buttons that take you to some of the most frequently used screens. There is a ton of information to be had in this game but it never feels daunting. I think that is in large part because of the menu set up. Of course within these menus you’ll find your standard options like like stats and leaders, trade, roster overview, and such but you’ll also fine a prospect ranking, salary obligations. and shop a player. These are some useful items not found in every game that helps OOTP 13 stand out a bit.

Trading: I actually love trading in this game. I’ll admit you can work over the AI and sometimes I wonder if the AI has any real plan moving forward past the season you’re in and the next but I still find some trades really rewarding. If you have draft picks trading on trading gets a bit easier in some ways but very interesting on the whole. With  it off(the default) its tougher but so fulfilling. Just today I was trying to get Strasburg from the Nats and failed but felt good about my failure cause it made sense and felt real. Shop A Player is big for me. You select a player from your team it shows you   instantly players a team would trade you in a one for one deal. You can only shop three players per day but this has often been the beginning of major deals for me. If nothing else it is a good barometer for a players perceived value around the league.

Free Agency: All the rules are here. Compensation rights, A and B free agents(if you turn off the new CBA rules), the new draft compensation rules, and arbitration. This year there is an off-season section that shows you estimated free agent demands, teams interested in a player, and a ranking of how a team’s off-season is going using WAR(wins above replacement.).  Free agents have demands on how much they think they should be offered and in what structure but you can adjust it to fit your needs before making an offer. Me myself I prefer a decreasing contract(makes it easier to trade later). Free agents will think about the deal and get back to you in email about they like your offer or not. The game is smart enough to have players leverage other teams offers against your for more money. I personally find it frustrating to not know what each team is offering at any given time but it is realistic and when i get out bid at the last second i smile because its still fun. One thing that does bug me is contract demands can get pretty crazy. As the off-season goes on they usually go down but its still kind of bothersome. It often leads to really big names being free agents into spring training.

Managing Games: I’m not much of a game manager myself but when I do I enjoy myself. You set the lineup just before the game. Taking into account the pitcher handedness, playtime, perhaps match up stats, and whatever is important to you. Once actually in the game you can play pitch to pitch or at bat to at bat. There are plenty of options for telling you batter or pitcher how to approach any given situation in the game. For instance i pitch around power or high contact guys, I do a lot of hit and runs, and I steal bases. You can make mound visits which the pitcher may or may not appreciate, you can double switch, sacrifice squeeze, or do any of those other nifty things that managers do. Almost everything you need to know to move forward in a game such as pitch count is easy to see or find. If at any point you want to skip ahead you can quickly do so.

Stats: There are stats everywhere and its great. The box scores for games have various options of the amount of time they kept and along with that you can control the level of detail career stats and historical stats will be kept in your league moving forward. All you classic like homeruns, ERA, and Walks are kept and ranked. Each Player also has saber metric stats like runs created, WHIP, and VORP recorded. Minor league stats, Major League stats, and college feeder league stats are all available. I suggest to get a full grasp player around with the menus and check it all out.

Rosters: The rosters for the Major and Minor leagues are easy to view and have many filtering options. Sometimes changing filters takes a bit more time than I’d like but I’m nit picking. Players actual and potential rating can be tracked and displayed in various ways and customized just to fit your style. Almost every menu shows these rating by default when looking at rosters. Moving players between minor and major leagues is pretty simple to do on the menus and there are screens that even advice you on the process. Of course you could turn that control to your minor league managers.

Scouting and Financials: The scouting in this game is still kind of a mystery to me. I don’t know how they do it. You scout can favor ability(stats today and the natural evolution of someone that age) or tools(favors potential over stats). Not all scouts are created equally. Keeping this in mind may help you find some diamonds in the rough. The financials are pretty brilliant. The Salary Obligations screen is very useful. Attendance ratings and such are readily available information. I feel the AI in the league is often smarter than real baseball which is good and bad. The is a lack of sentimental valuer on the AI’s part which cause moments like the Yankees to trade or release Jeter before he retires which would never happen in real life. They also give you good info on the trade screen about the money ramifications for each team although in my custom leagues this always gets out of whack after about ten years.

Everything else: There are newspapers which report on everything from trade and trade rumors to a one of you players opening up a BBQ restaurant in the city. The latter of which is apart of the new interactive storylines implemented in OOTP 13. Lots of times this will lead to choices. Like a hitter complaining about playing time which forces you to make a decision to comment on it or not which in turn affects player morale and such. I love the sound of this but admittedly never seen it in action, possibly because of the way i manage my teams and the success we have. A brand new real-time simulation modes let you watch games play-off  side by side which makes for excellent drama near the end of a season. Playoff races have never felt more real in the game than they do now. When you get to watch updates from games and se and feel teams play-off chances rising or slipping away.

Historical mode allows you to do all you can in the Major League except all throughout the history of baseball. Miss the Steroid Era? Then jump back in the nineties and play as the the Cardinals. Want to down Murderers Row jump back and play the Red Sox. By default teams move and change names at all the proper times in history, and player develop on a similar trajectory. All of this can be customized to high degree which aids you if you really want to change the tide of history.

Custom Leagues allow you to create whole leagues from scratch. You can you use preset templates and even start with preset leagues from counties like Japan and Taiwan. This year it is easier than ever to create a Euro or world league with the option to pick regions for your league not just countries. I love making a Euro League based in multiple countries.

All in all this is a great game. The best part about it though is the community. There is a highly active forum that you can learn so much from just by checking it out. The developers seem pretty responsive and way more active than you’ll see from EA or Take 2.

To close out: I recommend this really anyone who loves the financials of sports. I also recommend to people looking for something different. Its a great game that gets better and better every year. Sure there’s not fancy graphics or complete player control but for anyone who thinks they can run day to day operation of there team better then the guys in charge now this is ultimately rewarding as it gets. You can do almost anything your mind can dream of for the game.

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