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Rules


Table of Contents

League Structure
Club Roster
Managers
Players
Teams
Finances
Games
Game Strategy
Ballpark
Weather
Team Ownership, Limits & Restrictions
Bugs & Irregularities
Cheating
Game Engine Algorithm Discussion
Glossary of Abbreviations & Statistics

League Structure

The league structure is that of a pyramid. There is one top league, two second level leagues, four third level leagues etc. The winners of each league division will be promoted and the fifth and sixth place finishers will be demoted. Note, the division winners will play at the end of the season in the league playoff, but it will have no effect on promotion.

Club Roster

Each team is allowed to have up to 50 players on their roster. 30 of those players can be assigned to the major league club (13 pitchers & 17 position players) and the remaining must be allocated to various minor league affiliates. Players in the minor leagues should be 25 years old or younger. Rookie ball players should be 22 years old or younger.

Managers

Managers have several attributes that effect both players' in-game performance and their development over time. Initially, a manager has no track record and his value to the team can only be measured based on his reputation. Eventually, as he has manages more games, his true value will become more clear.

Manager ID #: unique reference number for the manager.

Name: first and last name. They aren't necessarily unqiue.

Age: indicates how old a manager is. Managers can generally keep working until they are between 65 and 70 years old.

Nationality: where a manager is from.

Experience: approximation of how much total experience a manager has accumulated (years managing in the big league).

Salary: manager's yearly salary in US dollars. Note, the minimum manager league salary is $500k per season.

Offense: how well does the manager handle hitters and influence their offensive production.

Defense: how well does the manager coach emphasize defense and ultimately influence their performance in the field.

Pitching: how well does the manager handle pitchers and influence their pitching performance.

Player Development: how well does the manager develop young players in both the major and minor leagues.

Fielding Development: how well does the manager develop young fielders in both the major and minor leagues.

Pitcher Development: how well does the manager develop young pitchers in both the major and minor leagues.

Reputation: a comment about the manager's approximate skill set.


Players

Players have a number of attributes. Most of the in-game attributes are variable, in that they have a base value and a potential value and the current value is somewhere between then depending on training, experience and eventually the effect of aging.

Player ID #: unique reference number for the player.

Name: first and last name. They aren't necessarily unqiue.

Primary Position & Position List: the primary position (the position listed at the top right of the player page or on the left side of the roster page), is the position that a player is most experienced at playing. It's not necessarily the position he would be best suited to play in the long term. The position list (available on lower right side of the player page), lists all the positions that a player is experienced playing (those in upper case have more experience, those in lower case have less experience). A player can gain position experience by playing at that position in any game (including spring training games and in the minor leagues) which over time will result in the position list expanding or changing. Additionally, with sufficient playing time at another position, a player's primary position can change. This, however, may take as long as a couple of seasons to occur.

Position ratings are a measure of how experienced and how well a player will play a specific position. In addition to having appropriate defensive skills (range, fielding & arm) for that position, a player should have some experience at the position to play it well. A superior rating at a position will affect all aspects of defense at that position including catching, fielding, throwing and more complex operations like turning double plays etc.

Note: all outfield positions (LF, CF & RF) are treated as common (OF).

Bats/Batting: what side of the plate does a player bat from, either Left (L), Right (R) or Switch Hitter (S). Note, as a rule, right hand hitters hit better against left hand pitchers and left hand hitters hit better against right hand pitchers.

Throws/Pitching: which hand does a pitcher or fielder use to throw or pitch the baseball. See note above about hitter pitcher match-ups. Also note, most infielders tend to be right handed with the except of the first baseman, who is often left handed.

Age: indicates how old a player is. Age is an important factor in training speeds and ultimately, the player's age determines when skills begin to decline. All players will age one year during the off-season.

Nationality: where a player is from.

Birthplace: where a player was born.

College: the college or university a player attended (if applicable).

Height: simply how tall a player is in feet and inches. Pitcher will on average be taller than position players.

Weight: how heavy a player is in pounds.

Form: A measure of recent hitting or pitching performance. Hovering over the value will result in the actual statistics being displayed.

Experience: approximation of how much total experience a player has accumulated (years in the big league).

Training: approximation of how much total training a player has accumulated.

Salary: player's yearly salary in US dollars. Note, the minimum major league salary is $0.5M per season and $0.2M per season in the minor leagues.

Scouting Report: a report with information about the prospect's skill set and ability to improve. Also may include an assessment of the prospect's overall potential.

- Batting Skills

Hitting: ability to hit the ball and put it in play.

Bat Control: ability to make contact with the baseball, especially important for avoiding strike outs and successful bunting.

Plate Discipline: ability to discern strikes from ball. Batters with good plate discipline will walk more and make the pitcher throw more pitches.

Power: ability to drive the ball, albeit not necessarily in a high trajectory.

Speed: ability to run fast around the bases.

- Pitching Skills

Velocity: ability to throw the baseball at a high velocity - a good fast ball. High velocity pitchers produce more strike outs.

Change of Speeds: Ability to throw the baseball at differing speeds - a good change-up. Helps confuse batters and get them out.

Movement: ability to put movement on the baseball as it's pitched to the plate - a good curveball.

Control: ability to throw strikes rather than balls and to "paint the corners of the plate". Good control prevents walking and hitting batters.

Stamina: ability to throw a lot of pitches without trying. Important for a starting pitcher.

- Defensive Skills

Fielding: ability to catch a ground or fly ball without making an error.

Range: amount of space a defender can cover either in the infield or outfield.

Arm: strength of a defender's throwing arm, important for completing double plays and for throwing base runners out from behind the plate or the outfield.

- Overall Skill Measure

Skill Index: a weighted total of all relevant skills. For position players, it's the sum of the five offensive and three defensive skills. For a pitcher, skill index is weighted more towards pitching skills.

      Position Player's Skill Index = 1.0 * (hitting + plate discipline + bat control + power + speed) + 1.0 * (fielding + range + arm)

      Pitcher's Skill Index = 1.25 * (velocity + change of speeds + ball movement + control + stamina) + 0.5 * (fielding + range + arm)

Potential: a measure of all relevant skill potentials for a prospect. Note: this may include some level of uncertainty.

- Training, Experience & Aging

Players essentially have two limits on each skill. A base defines the starting point for the skill and a potential defines the maximum to which a skill can increase. Three factors determine where the player's current skill level is: training, experience & aging.

Training: is primarily gained in the minor leagues and is especially effective for younger players. Even in the majors, the some training is gained. Players will get training in all categories, but a team can select a primary and second training focus for its players. These categories will receive additional training during the training cycle.

Note: training occurs weekly on Friday morning (Pacific Time).

Experience: is gained while playing in the majors and to a limited extent in the minor leagues (ie. Playing in spring training games). There are several ways in which experience is gained: with each at bat for hitters, with each batter faced for pitchers and with each inning played in the field for positional defense purposes.

Age: is the final factor that effects where a current skill level is. As a player reaches 28-32 years old, certain skill levels begin to decline. Each skill declines starts at a slightly different point and can decline at different rates. After several years of decline, skill levels will be highly attenuated and may even drop below the base skill level.

- Current Skill Values vs. Potential Skill Limits

A player has a current skill level which dictates how a player will perform in games and is the approximate value displayed for each skill. Then there is a player's potential for each skill which is unknown, but eluded to through the scouting report. As a player gets more training and experience, his current skill level will approach his potential skill limit. Then, as a player ages, his skills will again drop below his potential value and approach zero. Note, some skills will generally start much closer to their potential value than other skills.

- Scouted Skill Values vs. Real Skill Values

So are there skill values displayed for each player accurate? Just as in real baseball, where there is some uncertainty about a player's talent level, in Broken Bat there is also built-in uncertainty in displayed skill levels. The visible skill values for each player are an approximation of his current actual skill level and may deviate by up to 20% from it true value for some skills. Additionally, just like in real baseball, as a player plays more games, his displayed skill value will approach his true current skill level. Note, this may result in a player's displayed skill level actually dropping, even though he is receiving regular training and playing time. His skill value is not actually dropping, but because his actual skill level is better known now, a more accurate and lower value is now displayed.

- Hidden Values & Skills

So are there hidden skills? No, there are no hidden skills. There aren't any player attributes that can be trained or improved with experience nor that erode with age. There are however fixed player values that affect certain in-game outcomes. There effect is significant, but much smaller than the affect of the relevant skill.

- Player Management - Game Tactics

Each player has a number of parameters that can be changed or adjusted to effect how he plays during a game. There are termed player game tactics and can be modified on the management page. Some dictate how offensive players will behave while others effect only pitching decisions.

Steal: determines how aggressive a player is when trying to steal a base. Players may be set to more aggressive or less aggressive or to not steal at all. Note: even if a player is set to not steal, he may end up attempting a stolen base in a hit & run / strike out situation.

Base Running: determines how aggressive a player is when trying to running the base paths (this is aside from steal attempts). Players may be set to more aggressive or less aggressive or to never try to take the extra base.

Bunting: determines how often a player is likely to bunt (assuming the appropriate situation). Players may also be told to not bunt at all.

Hit & Run: determines how often a player is likely to hit & run (again assuming the appropriate situation). Players may also be told to not hit & run at all.

Pinch Hit For LHP | RHP: indicates whether the player should be pinch hit for and what is the earlier inning that is allowed. Managers can indicate pitching hitting separately for situations with left and right handed pitching.

Pinch Run For: indicates whether the player should be pinch run for.

Replace for Defense: indicates whether the player should be replaced for defensive purposes late in the game.

Pitch Count: sets a limit on the number of pitches a player will throw before he is removed. For LH and RH Setup Men, you have the option to convert them to specialists (use the ◊ symbol) and limit them to only facing LH or RH batters.

Fatigue Limit: set a limit on the frequency of appearances and number of innings a relief pitcher will pitch. A positive value means he will be able to pitch more often with greater fatigue, but might be less effective in those performances. A negative value means he will pitch less often, but will be fresh for those outings.

"++" and "+" translates into pitching with some level of moderate fatigue. " " and "-" translates into pitching with some level of light fatigue. "--" translates into pitching only with no fatigue.

Hook: set a limit on the runners and runs a pitcher is allowed before he is pulled. Essentially, is compared to the number of earned & unearned runs a pitcher has given up, plus the number of base runners. The higher this value, the longer the manager will leave the pitcher in the game.

Basically, the pitcher is replaced if either of the following conditions are true:

     - 2 * Earned Runs > Hook
     - Total Runs + Base Runners > Hook

First Inning: set a limit on the first inning that a reliever would be brought into the game. Has no application for starting pitchers.

Smallest & Largest RD: the smallest and largest run differential for which the pitcher will be brought in. A positive value implies that the pitcher's team is ahead and a negative value implies that his team is behind. So a setting of -1/+1 means the pitcher should only be brought into close games (one-run or tied games). The default setting (Δ) will use the pitching role to determine the smallest & largest run differential.F

Intentional Pass: limits whether the pitcher is permitted to offer intentional walks (when appropriate) or if he should pitch to every batter.

Settings:
"x"     never (or no limit for fatigue limit)
"--"     much less often
"-"      less often
" "      default setting
"+"     more often
"++"   much more often

- Injuries

Any player that plays in a game can experience an injury. Playing some positions will result in more injuries than others and duration of injuries maybe varying between 1 day to 35 days. When a starting starter is injured, then the spot starter will generally fill in. For position players, the game engine will select the most appropriate player to fill based on position and place in the batting order.

- Signing New Players

Draft
Once every week, a team will have the option of drafting a new player from one of five sources: from High School, from College, from a Latin Academy, an International Player or a Free Agent. Each source will produce players of varying ages, nationalities and experience.

High School: A 17 or 18 year old player from the United States or Canada.

College: A 20 to 22 year old player from the United States or Canada.

Latin Academy: A 16 to 21 year old player from Latin America.

Asian Posting System: A 22 to 25 year old player from Asia. Note, the Posting System is a player transfer system between Asian and American professional baseball leagues.

International: A 18 to 23 year old player from Europe, Australia and the rest of the world.

Note: older players will tend to have more training and experience.
Other Methods
Free Agency: Players that have been cut from others teams can be signed via free agency. Their age and skills will vary, but they will tend to be older, more developed players that other teams didn't want or couldn't afford. Also, for fairness reasons, all free agents must be signed before September 1st. Afterwards, roster additions are frozen until after the playoffs.

Waivers: Released players will go on waivers for up to a week before being released into free agency. Players on waivers can be viewed from the free agent search, but cannot be immediately signed until they come off of waivers. If you would like to sign a player on waivers, you can put a claim on him and when his waiver date arrives, he will be randomly assigned to a claiming team (provided they have roster space).

Trading: Because unbalanced trades are almost impossible to regulate and can lead to cheating and uneven game play, they are not permitted at this time.
How to sign new players:
To sign a free agent, click on the 'Free Agent' link on the navigation panel on the left side of the page. Select the parameters for the free agent search and submit. Find the player you'd like to sign and click the 'Sign' button.

To draft a youngster, click on the 'Draft' or 'Roster' link on the navigation panel on the left side of the page. Select the 'Add Player' button at the bottom of the page and click on the appropriate button for the type of player you'd like to obtain.

- Releasing layers

A player can be released at any time without financial penalty and regardless of assignment. This is provided that the roster doesn't fall below certain minimum number of players, pitchers and major leaguers.

Players can be released from their player page or from the roster reassignment page. Those over 35 years old will immediately retire upon release while the other players will go through waivers and if unclaimed, become free agents.

For new team owners, there is a restriction on releasing players above a certain quality. This is done to protect the new owner from making serious mistakes while starting out. It is also designed to prevent others from acting nefariously.

Teams

A team or club is the entity that the user manager controls. The club's roster consists of 50 players (28 at the parent club and approximately 15 in the minor leagues). In addition, there is a ballpark, a pile of cash and history/legacy for each team.

- City, Mascot, Logo & Color

City: The city where the major league team plays [can only be changed during the off-season].

Mascot: The team's mascots, like the Tigers or the Cubs. [can be changed under profile tab].

Logo: The visual logo which appears on the team page [can be changed under profile tab].

Color: The color or colors of the uniforms. This affects how the player images appears [can be changed under profile tab].

- Player Assignments

Major & Minor League Assignments: Each franchise has a major league team of 25 players. In addition, each franchise also has several teams for development purposes. Those teams are AAA, AA, A and rookie league teams – AAA being the closest to the majors and rookie league being the farthest. Additionally, players can be designed as unassigned for short periods of time as a result of transactions or other player maneuvers.

- Lineups & Pitching

Lineups: Each team can set three types of lineups; a spring training lineup and a lineup to be used against left-hand pitching and right hand pitching. Each lineup must have 9 players assigned to all nine non-pitching positions [C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, DH] and each position in the battering order [1st through 9th].

Depth Chart: In addition, for each player in the starting lineup, a backup player can be selected to replace the starter in case of injury. This player must not be a starter at another position for that particular lineup. If a backup is not listed, then the game engine will select the most appropriate player to fill in. Note, a player can be listed as the backup to multiple positions, but in case of multiple injuries, he will replace the injured player that is higher in the batting order.

Pitching Rotation & Bullpen: Each team can set two types of pitching setup; a spring training setup and a regular season setup. Each set must have 4 to 6 starting pitchers assigned to rotation and a handful relief pitchers assigned to the bullpen. The six bullpen roles are: spot starter, long reliever, middle reliever, left handed setup man, right handed setup man and closer.

- Ratings

Rating: Continuously updated estimate of the team's strength based on regular season, cup and playoff wins.

Prestige: Accumulated prestige from winning divisions, leagues, cups and playoff series.

Fan Mood: A measure of the current fan mood and the likelihood that larger numbers will show up in attendance for home games.

- History

Historical Record of Past Seasons: A record of games won and lost and achievements over the previous seasons.

Trophies: Trophies won from division, league and cup championships.

- Hall of Fame

Each team has a Hall of Fame which they can add players to with a small note concerning their contribution to the team. Players will be displayed on the Hall of Fame page with some baseball attributes, their team statistics and this team note. To be eligible for this honor, a player must have played in 500 games or pitched 500 innings for that team. There is also a limit to the total number of players that can be placed into the Hall of Fame.

Finances

- Balance Sheet

Balance ($): How much cash a team currently has available.

Team Balance Graph: This provides you with a graphical display of how your finances are doing over the last several seasons.

Yearly Cash Flow Table: This table shows the amount of money produced and consumed by the various balance sheet items. Additionally, it provides the yearly profit/lose (cash flow) for the team.

- Revenues

Revenues: Teams will get revenue from ticket income for games played. Additionally, teams will get income from TV and radio contracts (based on league level) and merchandise sales with each economic update (weekly).

Ticket Income: Income from gate receipts and ballpark revenues and is based on attendance. For playoff and cup games, income is split between the two teams. For league and spring training games, income is distributed to the home team only.

TV contract revenues: Income from the sale of television broadcast rights. Is based on the league level for which the team is currently playing. Declines significantly at lower league levels.

Radio contract revenues: Income from the sale of radio broadcast rights. Is based on the league level for which the team is currently playing.

Merchandise: Income from selling team merchandise at the ballpark and elsewhere. The amount of merchandise income is based on the prestige of the team.

- Expenses

Expenses: Each economic update, teams will need to pay salaries for players, managers and coaches and also cover ballpark and other miscellaneous operating expenses.

Player Salaries: Are based on the total salaries of all the major league players on a team. Note, there are ten economic updates (pay periods) per season, so your players will be paid one tenth of their wages every update.

Players' salaries are updated annually during the off-season. They are based on the players' performance over the last several seasons and the quality of the league that they played in. Additionally, salaries are discounted for players that have been with a team for a few years or that were drafted by their current team.

Minor League Salaries: Are based on the total salaries of all minor league players on a team.

Manager Salary: Is based on the manager you chose to employ. Manager salaries are based on his success as a manager, specifically the number of wins and his success in the playoffs and cup.

Coaching Staff Salaries: Is based on the league level for which the team is currently playing.

Ballpark Expenses: Is based on the size of the ballpark. See the Ballpark section for more details.

Miscellaneous Expenses: Is fixed and is the miscellaneous cost of running a baseball franchise.

Taxes: Teams are required to pay a 1% tax on any cash balance above $50M.

- Bankruptcy

Both user owned and computer controlled teams are subject to bankruptcy restrictions. If a team is below the bankruptcy limit (-$10M) for 3 successive weeks (3 economic updates), then the team will enter bankruptcy. If this is a user owned team, the user will be removed as owner and the team will be managed by the computer thereafter. For the next 5 weeks (updates), the team will sell off its highest paid players in an effort to reduce costs. Additionally, the bankrupt team will have its ballpark capacity reduced and its prestige penalized. Finally, after completing this process, the team will have its debt absolved and will be allowed to continue to compete as a regular team thereafter.

Users of bankrupt teams will be allowed to request other teams when they are removed from clubs entering bankruptcy. Since the club entering bankruptcy will be computer control for 5 weeks, it will be unavailable for that time period.

Games

- Game Types

Spring Training Games: Spring games are at the start of the new season and just for practice. In addition, spring games are not restricted to the 25 man roster, but can include players from the minor leagues as well. Thus, these games are an excellent way to check out younger players and get them a little bit of experience.

Barnstorming / Exhibition Games: Although not implemented yet, in the future, there maybe opportunities to play exhibition games against other teams that the user managers are able to setup and schedule. They would have no effect on league standings or cup play, but it would surely be fun to run up the score on your outspoken buddy/rival in another league.

Cup Games: The cup is a competition, separate from league play, that is open to all teams. All the teams from an association will be invited to the cup, but seeding is random. There are two stages: a group stage and a knock-out stage. In the group stage, all the teams will be divided into groups of six teams and play 4 games against all other group members. The best teams will advance to the knock-out stage. In the knock-out stage, teams will play a best-of-three-game series against opponents, in a single elimination style tournament. The number of participates for the knock-out stage varies by association size, but in the USA with 756 teams comprising 126 groups, a total of 256 teams will advance to the knock-out stage. The winner of each group will automatically advance to the knock-out stage and then the at-large teams will be selected by record and run differential to fill out the rest of the bracket. Please note, cup results will have no affect on league standing, but will result in a larger cash payouts, happier fans and more prestige.

League Games: Teams will play more league games against their division rivals and fewer against the other division. Each season, a team will play 20 games (in 3 and 4 game series) against division rivals (100 intra-divisional games total). Additionally, in the middle of the season, each team will play 10 games against each team in the other division (60 inter-divisional games total). So the season is 160 games, plus the top club from each division will play in the playoffs.

Playoff Games: League playoffs are in the best of seven format. There are several days of rest between the start of the playoffs, so pitching rotations will be rest (best pitcher will start game 1). Both playoff teams will promote, but winning the playoff will result in a larger cash reward, happier fans, more prestige and a bigger, better trophy.

All-Star Games: This is an entirely for fun game. It has not affect on anything in the game and simply matches the best players from each division against each other. The All-Star Game does mark the midpoint of the league season.

Minor League Games: Minor leagues games are played between randomly selected teams of players from a particular minor league level. There will be games played for all four minor league levels (Rookie through Triple-A) during each minor league game date. Game results are incidental, but statistics are collected for each player and those can be a good indication to the player's development.

- Schedule

The schedule consists of 20 spring training games followed by 160 league games. For teams of sufficient rank, cup series will be inserted in between league series from the season start to approximately the midpoint of the season. At the midpoint of the season is the all-star game followed by the conclusion of the league schedule. Winners of league play will then play a 7 game playoff series before the calendar flips to the next season.

Game Strategy

- Setting Up Your Batting Order

This describes the desired type of hitter and skills for each slot in the batting order:

1st: The "leadoff" hitter should be a player that gets on base and has speed to get around the bases and score. Usually, they should have good hitting and plate discipline (to draw walks) and speed is also desirable.

2nd: Batting second if similar to the lead off hitter, but may require bat control if you like to bunt or hit and run a lot.

3rd: Usually the "three hole" is the best all around hitter. He should hit for a good average and with power to drive in runs. He should have good hitting and power and plate discipline and batter control don't hurt.

4th: The fourth place hitter is said to be batting "cleanup" because it's considered his job to drive in runs. He usually is a good hitter with power. Getting on base is less important than driving in runs. He should have hitting skills and lots of power.

5th: The fourth through the sixth spots in the batting order are the heart of the order. These hitters usually have similar characteristics, good hitters with power to drive in runs. The fifth spot is usually occupied by the next best power hitter after the clean up spot is filled. He should have hitting skills and power.

6th: The sixth spot, as above, is occupied by the next best power hitter after the fifth spot is filled. He should have some hitting skills and power.

7th: The seventh slot may vary a lot depending on how deep your team is. He's usually the next best remaining hitter, but may not have much power or may hit for power, but not much average. On deeper teams he could still be a pretty good hitter, on weaker teams he's probably not. He should have either some hitting skills or power or a little of both.

8th: The eighth spot is generally a weaker offensive player. He may be a catcher or middle infielder whose primary attribute is his good defensive skills. Hitting and power is desirable, but usually not found here.

9th: Historically the pitcher, being the weakest hitter, would bat ninth. With the designated hitter (DH), the pitcher does not bat, so usually the weakest player bats here. He often has very little hitting skills and no power, although some managers like to employ a player with similar skills to the leadoff hitter in this slot in the batting order.

- Setting Up Your Defense

This describes the desired defensive skills for each position in the field. Note, position experience will help at each position, but some positions also require more range, fielding or arm strength.

Pitcher: The pitcher (P) is always selected for his pitching skills and ability to get hitters out. His defensive ability is secondary.

Catcher: The catcher (C) does not field many balls, but is required to try to throw out runners trying to steal bases. For this the catcher should have a good arm. Range and fielding aren't particularly important. Also, because most batters are right handed, being right handed makes this throwing to second base easier.

First Base: The first basemen (1B) will field a few balls, but primary is required to just catch balls from other infielders to force the batter at first base. This usually requires minimal defensive skills, but it's helpful to be left handed.

Second Base: The second basemen (2B) will field a lot of ground balls, line drives and pop ups. The distance to first base is short, so he doesn't need a particularly strong arm to make the throw to first base to force the batter out. Hence, for this position, a player with good range and fielding is required, but not necessarily are strong arm. Additionally, it is helpful to be right handed.

Third Base: Third base (3B) or the "hot corner" will field a fair number of ground balls, line drives and pop ups. The distance to first base is long, so he needs a strong arm to make the throw to first base. Thus, the third baseman needs good fielding and a good arm with some range. Additionally, it is helpful to be right handed.

Short Stop: The short stop (SS) position is the most difficult defensive position. They will field a lot of ground balls, line drives and pop ups and the distance to first base is long, so he needs a strong arm to make the throw to first base. Hence, the short stop needs good fielding, range and a good arm. Additionally, it is helpful to be right handed.

Outfield: There are three outfield (OF) positions: left field (LF), center field (CF) and right field (RF). Outfielders are required to track down fly balls and field ground balls and line drives that make it through the infield. There is no real defensive advantage to being right or left handed. Often weaker defenders are put in the corner outfield positions (LF or RF).

Left Field: Left fielders (LF) need range, but not much fielding skill. A strong arm is nice, but not required.

Center Field: Center fielders (CF) generally handle more balls than the other two outfield positions and so you want your best defensive outfielder to play here. Center fielders need range, but not much fielding skill. A strong arm will prevent runners from taking extra bases.

Right Field: Right fielders (RF) need some range, but not much fielding skill. A strong arm is important to prevent runners from taking extra bases, especially third base which can be a long throw from right field.

- Setting Up Your Rotation

The rotation is set of starting pitchers that start games on successive days.

Starting Pitchers: There are four to six starting pitchers (SP) that make up the Starting Rotation. Usually, the best starting pitchers occupy the top slots in the rotations and the weaker pitchers are later. If a pitcher is injured or not listed, then the spot starter or longer reliever from the bullpen will fill in. Starting pitchers usually pitch between 5-8 innings unless they get "roughed up" early or are pitching a real "gem". Starting pitchers are required to have stamina so they can pitcher more innings and essentially should have high levels in all or some of the other four pitching skills.

Rotation Size There are four pitching rotation size options: 4-man, 4 ½-man, 5-man and 6-man rotations. Choose an option based and the quality and depth of your starting pitching. A rotation starts with the first pitcher in the rotation and will progress sequentially each game until the rotation size is reached. Then the first starting pitcher will take the mound again.

In the case of the 4 ½-man rotation, the fifth starting pitcher only pitches every other iteration through the rotation. This can be useful in occasionally providing full rest to all starters while still ensuring the better pitchers in the rotation get more starts.

The 6-man rotation is the default for spring training, but it's typically not used in the regular season. Most teams would prefer to have their top four or five starters pitch as many games as possible. If this option is selected, then the spot starter will act as the sixth starting pitcher in the rotation.

The rotation will reset to the top of the sequence three times during the season: at the start of the season before the first cup game, mid-season immediately after the All-Star break and at the end of the season before the playoffs.

- Setting Up Your Bullpen

The bullpen is where relief pitchers reside during the ballgame and warm up before coming into the game. Relief pitchers come into pitch when the starting pitcher gets tired or in trouble or for situational purposes (for example: to face a left handed hitter or to close out a close game).

Spot Starter: The spot starter (SS) is the pitcher that will start when the regular starting pitcher is injured or not listed. When not starting, he can pitch in relief. He generally needs the same skill set as a starting pitcher.

Long Reliever: The long reliever (LR) is a pitcher that is brought in if the starter falters early in the game. Usually, his team is behind and he's expected to pitch most of the remaining innings. Because the game is often decided by the time he comes in, his role is less critical and he's usually a pitcher of lesser quality. Stamina is useful, the other pitching skills are nice, but not critical.

Middle Reliever: The middle reliever (MR) is a pitcher that is brought in if the starter falters in the middle innings or to replace the long reliever. Generally, the middle reliever pitches fewer innings than the long reliever and the game may still be on the line. He's usually a higher quality pitcher than the long reliever. Stamina is nice as well as some other pitching skills.

Left Handed Setup Man: The left handed setup man (LHS) or left handed specialist is usually a left handed pitcher that is brought in to face one or two tough left handed hitters. He is not required to have stamina, but needs some of the other pitching skills to get outs.

Right Handed Setup Man: The right handed setup man (RHS) is less common than the left handed specialist because of the relative effectiveness of right handed pitchers versus right handed hitters. Similar to the left handed specialist, he's brought in to face right handed hitters. He is not required to have much stamina, but needs some of the other pitching skills.

Setup Man: The setup man (SET) is brought into a close game to pitch an inning or two until the closer is brought in. He's probably the second best relief pitcher and may actually pitch more innings than the closer. He is not required to have much stamina, but needs decent levels of the other pitching skills.

Closer: The closer (CLR) usually comes in to close games usually in the 8th or 9th inning to close out games that his team is narrowly winning. He is not required stamina, but needs some of the other pitching skills. Many closers have high velocity levels so they can quickly strike out their opponents.

- Starter versus Reliever

Some pitchers are better suited for starting as opposed to coming out of the bullpen. Obviously, stamina is required for pitchers that throw more innings (i.e. starters). But other things to think about is the value of throwing heat (velocity) out of the bullpen and the value of having multiple pitches (balance between velocity, movement & change of speeds) the second and third time through the lineup.

Ballpark

Ballparks have several attributes that effect game play and financials. Each park has a limited seating capacity that restricts the number of paid spectators to the game and therefore the income each game can generate. In terms of in game parameters, each ballpark can be grass or synthetic turf (aka Astroturf), can be open or domed and has fixed dimensions. These parameters can result in more errors, more hits and more home runs depending on the parameter and magnitude.

The game can be affected by the following ballpark features:

Grass: tends to increase infield error rates.
Turf: tends to reduce infield errors, but yields more hits.
Domed Roof: elimiinnates weather effects, but may cause slightly more outfield errors.
Foul Territory: large foul territories tend to decrease batting averages.
Outfield Dimensions: large park dimensions tend to decrease home runs, but increase hits and extra base hits (other than home runs).
Wall Height: higher walls tend to reduce the number of home runs.

During the off-season and spring training (and for a period of 20 days after an ownership change), teams can adjust their ballpark features, including the capacity. Keep in mind, a larger ballpark means greater costs associated with running and maintaining the facility. For each seat, the ballpark expenses are $20 per economic update. That is offset by greater ticket income. Ticket prices are $15 per fan and are split evenly for cup and playoff games and kept by the home team for spring and league games.

Please note, spring training games are played at different facilities in Florida (Grapefruit League) or Arizona (Cactus League). Teams will receive ticket revenue, but it will be much smaller and not restricted by your ballpark capacity.

Recommend ballpark sizes are based on league prominence:

I (Legends): 50,000 capacity
II: 45,000 capacity
III: 40,000 capacity
IV: 35,000 capacity
V: 30,000 capacity
etc.

Weather

Weather can most certainly affect ball games, however in a domed ballpark, it has no effect.

The following weather types can affect the game:

Hot: tends to decrease pitcher's stamina.
Sunny: no affect on game play. Slightly increased attendance.
Partly Cloudy: no affect.
Cloudy: tends to slightly increase pitcher's stamina.
Windy: tends to increase outfield error rates and may increase or decrease home runs.
Rainy: tends to increase error rates. Slightly decreased attendance.
Cold: tends to depress batting averages increase pitcher's stamina. Slightly decreased attendance.

Team Ownership

It is recommended that you only have one team so that there are no conflicts of interest between teams and so there are enough teams available for other players.

- Activation & Inactivity

When granted a team, you will have 25 days to activate the team. Afterwards, if you are inactive for more than 50 days, you may lose your team depending on how active you've been in the past.

- Relocation

Teams can relocate to other cities during the off-season. To do this, go to Update Settings from the Profile page. A drop down menu will give you a selection of available cities that you can move your franchise to. Note: there are some limitations to the new locations that are available to you based on whether you're in the East or West division and also which cities other teams have already taken. Please note, team #1 ("Cincinnati") cannot be relocated.

- Changing Teams

You may change teams to any unmanaged teams if you think that would improve your prospects of winning or enjoyment of the game. Team changes will be limited to the off-season and the All-Star break to avoid causing too much confusion. Please try to limit teams changes as one of the goals of the game is to build your team into a winner.

- Multiple Owners Sharing A Computer

Just a cautionary note, if you have multiple owners sharing a computer, it would be considerate if you would inform the admin. In general, we try to limit the number of accounts from a single computer to avoid conflicts of interest, abuse and cheating.

Bugs & Irregularities

Please report all bugs or irregularities to the Bug Reports Forum. Although we make every effort to fix bugs and correct game irregularities, it is impossible to go back and re-play specific games or re-run specific game tasks or updates. In short, we apologize for any impairment to your team, but all results are final.

Cheating

If you believe another club is cheating, please PM (private message via BB mail) the admin. We would request that you don't post allegations of cheating or other types of misconduct on the forum.

Game Engine Algorithm Discussion

- Pinch Hitting

This is a description of how the pinch hitting mechanism works in the game engine.

Pinch hitter check is run before each batter (5th inning and beyond):

If Not Too Earlier to pinch hit for current hitter
      Position Upgrade: Check bench players; evaluating overall and defensive value for current hitter's position
            Determine best overall player from the bench (whose defensive value is above some minimum)
                  If bench player value is greater than current hitter + some margin
                        Replace current hitter
      If 7th inning and beyond
            Determine the criticality of the hitting situation based on inning, outs & score
            If current hitter's offensive value exceeds the minimum value determined by the criticality of the hitting situation
                  Keep current hitter
            Pinch Hitter: Check bench players; evaluating offensive value only
                  Determine best offensive player from the bench
                  If bench player value is greater than current hitter + some margin
                        Replace current hitter

- Relief Pitching

This is a description of how the relief pitching substitution mechanism works in the current game engine. Hopefully it will give you some insight into how and why a pitching change is made.

Relief pitcher check is run before each batter:

If Save Situation (except for no-hitter)
      If Closer Assigned and Available (not injured) and Not Fatigued1 and Not Too Earlier2
            Replace current pitcher with closer

If Current Pitcher's Pitch Count or Hook Settings exceeded
      If Close Game (trailing by no more than 4 runs [or Smallest RD] or leading by no more than 5 runs [or Largest RD])
            Check bullpen in the following order: LHP1/LHP2 versus LHB, RHP1/RPH2 versus RHB, Setupman1/2
                  If Pitcher Available (not injured) and Not Fatigued1 and Not Too Earlier2
                        Replace current pitcher
      Check remaining bullpen in the following order: MR1/MR2, LR1/LR2, Spot Starter (not checked for 6-man rotations)
            If Pitcher Available (not injured) and Not Fatigued1 and Not Too Earlier2
                  Replace current pitcher

If Excessive Pitch Count3
      Check bullpen in the following order: SS, LR1/LR2, MR1/MR2, Setupman1/2, RHP1/RPH2, LHP1/LHP2, Closer, Unassigned
            If Pitcher Available (not injured) and Not Fatigued1
                  Replace current pitcher
      Check bullpen in the following order: SS, LR1/LR2, MR1/MR2, Setupman1/2, RHP1/RPH2, LHP1/LHP2, Closer, Unassigned
            If Pitcher Available (not injured)
                  Replace current pitcher

1 - Whether a pitcher is fatigued from previous appearances is dependent upon the amount of pitches he threw, how much rest he's had since and the Fatigue Limit management setting for the pitcher

2 - Too ealier is before First Inning Used management setting for that pitcher

3 - Excessive pitch count is defined as above 155 for starting pitchers and 105 for relief pitchers. This is a different mechanism than the Pitch Count management setting. It's basic function is to limit pitchers from throwing an unrealistic number of pitches just because the bullpen is fatigued or thin.


Glossary of Abbreviations & Statistics

- Position Abbreviations

P: pitcher
DH: designated hitter
C: catcher
1B: first base
2B: second base
3B: third base
SS: short stop
OF: outfield
LF: left field
CF: center field
RF: right field
Position Player: a non-pitcher

- Hitting Statistics

G: games played
AB: at bats
R: runs
H: hits
2B: doubles
3B: triples
HR: home runs
RBI: runs batted in
BB: base on balls / walks
K: strike outs
SB: stolen bases
CS: caught stealing
SH: sacrifices (successful bunts)
FS: failed sacrifices (unsuccessful bunts)
SF: sacrifice flies
LOB: left on base
AVE: batting average
VLHP: batting average versus left handed pitchers
VRHP: batting average versus right handed pitchers
OBP: on base percentage
SLG: slugging percentage
OPS: on base plus slugging percentage
POTG: player of the game awards

- Pitchings Statistics

G: games played
W: wins
L: losses
S: saves
H: holds
IP: innings pitched
H: hits allowed
R: runs allowed
ER: earned runs allowed
BB: walks
HB: hit batters
K: strike outs
HR: home runs allowed
GS: games started
CG: complete games
SHO: shut outs
ERA: earned run aveage
BAA: batting average against
VLHB: batting average against against left handed batters
VRHB: batting average against against right handed batters
WHIP: walks plus hits per innings pitched
WP: wild pitches

- Defensive Statistics

FA: fielding attempts
PO: put outs
A: assists
OA: outfield assists
E: errors
DP: double plays
OSB: opponents stolen bases
OCS: opponents caught stealing
CS%: caught stealing percentage (for catchers)
PB: passed balls
FP: fielding percentage

- Training Statistics

PA/: plate appearances for this training period
BF/: batters faced for this training period
DIS/: defensive innings started for this training period

- Team Statistics

E: error
RF: runs for
RA: runs against
RD: runs differential
Pct: winning percentage
GB: games behind

- Tactical Terms

Hit and Run: base runners run on the pitch and the batter is required to swing at the pitch and try to put it in play. Takes advantage of the fact that the infielders may be out of position because the base runners are running with the pitch.
Sacrifice (Bunting): a bunt to advance base runners by giving up an out
Sacrifice Fly: a fly ball out that allows a base runner from 3rd base to score

- Scheduling Terms

Double Header: playing two games on a single day
NPY: Not Played Yet

- Awards

National Team: National team selection [National Team]
All-Star: All-Star team selection [All-Star]
All-League: All-League selection [All-League]
MVP: Most Valuable Player [MVP]
Cy Young: Most Valuable Pitcher [Cy Young]
Rookie (Pitcher) of the Year: Best new player or pitcher. Note: to qualify as a rookie, the player must have fewer than 130 at bats, 50 innings pitched and have been in the major leagues for fewer than four training/financial updates. [Rookie of the Year]
Gold Glove: Top Defensive Player at a position [Gold Glove]
League Champion: Player was on a league championship winning team. [League Championship]
Cup Champion: Player was on a cup tournament winning team. [Cup Championship]

- Special Note

League statistics are maintained forever. However, spring training and minor league statistics will only be kept for the duration of the season for which they apply.