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Vol. IV, Issue #1 - Janaury 2016

** Welcome to USBN as we enter 2016!! **

Comments from the Wolfman about
this current issue as we begin our fourth
year (2016) of publication with a new year of excitement, providing for our
readers the most unique and interesting aspects of Strat-o-matic Baseball with links
to Major League Baseball.  Time to meet some of the most interesting people who
are connected to the game we love -
2016 is gonna be a big ride with all the
new products and services that Strat-o-matic is offering - stay tuned -
from your staff at the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter ....


Wolfman Shapiro, editor of the Ultimate Strat Baseball NewsletterHello again dear Strat Baseball Family! Here we are again as we enter a new year of delight and thrilling excitement linked with SOM Baseball, as we move into 2016. Now, regardless whether you are involved with (one or more) baseball leagues -- face-to-face, via the windows computer game or on-line, its going to be an amazin' amazin' year. And within this newsletter, with all the new announcements coming out this month from the game company you will understand why I feel this so strongly. Or, perhaps, you are even now preparing for all the tournaments that will take place this year through the various groups or individuals who offer them, another exciting way to play the game I dare say to challenge your skill sets and game play.

But this year, for the first time ever, we will have a new way to Play Strat-o-matic Baseball, which I am preparing (in my mind) to do!!  And that is with the new service called "Baseball Daily" !  We now have the chance to manage our favorite MLB team day by day right along with the current Season (2016).  Why my God, you better believe I am going to not only watch my beloved Chicago Cubs (I was born in Chicago) get to the World Series this year but I will help to guide them there as well.  I will be contesting with Joe Maddon himself to see if I can do a better job. And this will be my first time that I have been alive (born in 1955) that I will witness this feat. Of course, my intention here isn't to insult fans of the other 29 franchises - only saying, you can do the same with the team you root for too!

Also, we hope to eventually interview the game company for a future issue to find out more about where the Idea came from for this amazing new service and will be giving a lot of coverage to it this year.  So I don't know about all of you, but I am "Damn" excited about the 2016 year of play with the game we love in front of us, plus I am "Damn" excited about what you are going to see through our newsletter - this year we are gonna "Wow" you all and that is a promise. As we already are planning to do reporting and sharing the likes you have never seen before!  But I get ahead of myself. Anyway -- Welcome to 2016 and our 1st issue.

Before I do my usual philosophizing, and discuss what we have in store for you in our January issue, I first want to personally thank each of you for being our members. For trusting in us, to bring you the latest and greatest news, updates, information and videos related to Strat-o-matic Baseball and Major League Baseball.  We appreciate YOU!   From Day 1, in January of 2013, what turned from an idea, to an experiment, to now a solid newsletter that ain't going away any day soon we are here and doors are opening for us to continue this labor of love.

Our goal has been all along to help unite our community, to be a neutral friend who wants to see every strat baseball gamer have the best information they can, to enhance their enjoyment of the game. A game which has evolved greatly in its use and play, now in its 55th year of existence. Especially with the new announcements that came out this month from the Game Company (see our SOM Baseball & MLB News page) this month, so when they share their motto on their website, "Eat, Sleep, Strat"  this is what we are going to be doing this year without any doubt.  The tremendous value of this newsletter doesn't just come from the people who are behind the scenes at USBN cranking it out but it comes from all of us, we are co-creating it together.  This is your newsletter, and as it greatly expands this year, we always have room for new people to join our staff -- to help us with various aspects of the newsletter. So think about this - if you like to be where the action is and in the middle of everything!

Therefore (and I am putting out a call now to our members, if you have experience making websites with wordpress I want to talk with you, please email me) if you would like to be a part of the creation process, just let us know.  Doing a newsletter can provide some great experiences learning what it takes to do a website and a newsletter, should you ever decide to do these things yourself in the future. Thus, as we enter 2016, I am very excited because we are beginning to see more contributing writers step-up (to the plate so-to-speak) and I expect we will see new sections coming into the newsletter.  Plus, our video channel is also beginning to explode too.  So besides being a member and subscriber and just a passive reader - we hope 2016 is going to be our year for more member participation in the new activities and projects which will be unfolding - so kindly stay tuned.

Well enough of my crazy ideas and expectations of what I think and feel 2016 is going to be about linked to the newsletter and the game play this year ... you have come here to get your next issue - so what do we have to share this month with you?

Well, our good friend Marc Pelletier is back.  Now, we have heard grumblings in the background from our readers to have more statistical articles given, and boy oh boy does Marc get us started in the right direction for this in his new article. We asked Marc to share his system to evaluate the card images for our readers in what he calls the 20XX leagues that are played on-line in the newly named Baseball 365. Further, he claims that his system ultimately can be used in draft leagues as well. And he is also preparing you for what we now call the "Marc Pelletier Challenge" as he will educate me on his system as I prepare to use it and enter a 2015 Baseball 365 League shortly, which we must wait for the system to be upgraded in March.  So expect more articles to come from Marc.

We hear again from Wass, with his new column, "Strat Wise", giving his thoughts on a variety of topics including the new "Baseball Daily", the revolutionary and new concept how to play Strat that I mentioned above.  Also our page, "SOM Baseball & MLB News", as stated covers all the new announcements from the Game Company for 2016, includes the tweet posts on Twitter with Strat as gamers asked how "Baseball Daily" works.  This service will begin on April 4th (when Major League Baseball opens) and will be an add-on for the new version of the windows game and Baseball 365.  Getting back to Wass and his column, he talks about some of the new videos we have added to our Youtube Channel with a link to directly watch the ones we recommend.

Next, have you ever wanted to change the ballpark images on the main screen of the windows game in the 3 panels, Chris McMurry will tell you how.  Pete Nelson, our good friend from the Strat Tournament Players Club returns to talk with us as again, as he roared through their champion tournament this year held in Pittsburgh as he became their "2016 Worlds Champion"; he tells us how he did it.  We hear from another baseball league called BIGS as their commission Rob tells all. (Note, interesting enough, this league was started by our contributing writer Chuck Tinkler, who will be back in February.)  Also, Matt Eddy, another good friend of Chuck (again, what a blessing he is), who writes for a company known as Baseball America, and is a member of a Strat League; we talk to him about his strat experiences and his expertise about MLB Prospects.

Going back to our SOM Baseball News page - we also share about the release of the Baseball Rating Guide/Book, more info about Baseball 365, Baseball Daily and a sharing from the 2016 Winter Newsletter just released by the Game Company about which new seasons Strat will offer with cards and the rosters just for the computer game (several Negro League seasons and the 2015 Japanese Season).  Plus we share some of the key new features of the windows game version for 2016.  So yes dear members, this is indeed going to be a great and thrilling year! 

So with Major League Baseball still getting its final free agents sorted out (most of the big names have signed by now), on-line baseball projections for 2016 coming out everywhere; in a short time the MLB camps will start as they gear up for the exhibition season; and stories abounding with which new prospects will be the future stars and impact their team -- life is good and we are all gearing up for baseball heaven. The pioneers of statistical baseball, Bill James and John Dewan, what have you done to us?  If you want to run a highly successful draft team in Strat, you have to be just as prepared just like any real franchise management has to be.  Who knows how our lives are gonna be changed by Baseball Daily, a whole new level of play with new strategies that we will need to learn.  So in other words, being a strat manager is no simple task any longer.

Anyway, we wonder now if in the  2016 MLB Season, if it will be the year of the Cubs and we will see them return to the world series finally? (That the movie "Back to the Future" was off by a year?) Can KC repeat? What about Houston?  Now that Cespedes is back with the Mets, with all those young arms they have, is it their year? Don't forget about the Giants, its an even year again and they have filled their wholes?  Who knows who will win the Eastern Division in the AL? Yes so many questions but this is what makes our lives as SOM Fanatics so great!

So dear readers you now have at your fingertips the next and first issue of this new and great year for the newsletter you love.  Dig in - roam around, sit down and takes your shoes off - take time to digest all we have to offer for you in this issue. Please, feel free to tell your all strat buddies about us and as always, always, this newsletter is and will forever be FREE.

I again make the small request I did last month, just a suggestion but it does help us with the costs we have to endure to continue this fine publication. As you know on each page of the newsletter, we have a little area called "Support the Cause" where we ask for your donations.  So again consider, if each member would make a minimal contribution (using the "Support the Cause" area below), like just $1, this would really help us out a lot, not so much to ask :-).  

Note (our monthly reminder): Once again, if you have just joined us recently or haven't had a chance to read all of our bulletins and prior newsletters (since January of 2013), you can find everything you desire by visiting our archive webpages at:


So here we are go again, as MLB is about to prepare for its new season, as many league are preparing for their spring draft with the new cards coming out next month (or perhaps you have a retro league); we offer to you all our new version of the newsletter, one of many to come out in 2016.  We thank you again for your kindness and support and don't be shy to contact us if you have some suggestions how to improve the newsletter or wish to become a contributor. Its all good!!

To a glorious 2016, enjoy your leagues, replays and touraments,

Wolfman Shapiro
on behalf of the team at USBN

PS -- if you didn't receive the special file (excel spreadsheet) we attached to our November 2015 issue of USBN, or is now a part of the free gifts we offer to new members who sign up, (a yearly spreadsheet we receive from Bryan Kernal) that has the final 2015 MLB Stats of every player who was active during the past season including their lefty/righty splits and game positions, it is available below. Just click on the link below and this spreadsheet will come up in your browser to be downloaded to your computer:




Support the Cause

If you are enjoying the content and information our newsletter shares with you, why not support us with your helpful contribution for our minor expenses and time?

Contained inside this exciting issue of Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter:
(to view the various interviews, articles, columns and special sections click on the links {underlined} and this will take you to the appropriate webpage)

  ARTICLE by MARC PELLETIER, another well known and successful strat baseball gamer in the on-line version of the baseball game shares with us his system to evaluate positional players for the 20XX leagues on the newly renamed Baseball 365.

  STRAT WISE with MARC WASSERMAN -- commissioner of the Cyber Baseball Association (CBA) continues his column sharing various perspectives on the new and exciting new service SOM has announced called Baseball Daily (fully described in the SOM Baseball World News Page). Also speaks about the draft feature within the windows computer game version and about the USBN Youtube video channel.

  INTERVIEW with MATT EDDY,writer and editor at Baseball America, specializing in MLB Prospects plus discusses the league he plays in as well.

  INTERVIEW with PETE NELSON, our good friend and supporter, the advisor to the Council for the Strat Tournament Players Club returns and discuss his 4th champion at their supreme tournament known as the "Worlds" held in Pittsburgh the middle of January.

  SOM BASEBALL LEAGUE REPORT with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO -- the editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" and 2012 CBA Champion, the "Wolfman" puts out a call to commissioners of various Strat-o-matic Baseball Leagues that he has discovered on the internet and shares the stories and experiences from another baseball league (one he was investigating to possibly join). This is a continuation of a new section of our newsletter that will continue for the rest of this year, so if you would like to share about your baseball league in our newsletter, send Wolfman a private email.

INTERVIEW with ROB STRICKER, BIGS, P-V (Two Leagues, one is Netplay, one is Computer)


  SOM/MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL NEWS with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO, editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" shares with the complete details of all the new announcement Strat-o-matic made in January about the new products and services they are releasing ranging from the new Baseball Ratings Book (printed or digital) to the renaming and updating of the on-line game now called Baseball 365 to the new service called Baseball Daily to play the 2016 MLB Season to the new features in the 2016 version of the Windows Computer Game.

  ARTICLE by CHRIS McMURRY, What if you would like to change the ballpark images shown on
the three panels of the main screen of the windows game -- well Chris gives you the exact procedure how to do it.

  RECOMMEND ON-LINE SOM RESOURCES -- On-line Strat-o-matic and Baseball related websites
that offer amazing information, special tools and products to improve your game play that we strongly recommend. In most cases, we have had personal contact with these sources who agree with the principle to work together and help promote each other.

  BOOKS TO DIE FOR and Become a BASEBALL GURU -- This page is specifically about special books we are finding that either will expand your insights about the game of Baseball, help you in the creation of your current league teams or with your replays and learn more about the Strat-o-matic Baseball Game and Game Company's history.  We have a special arrangement with Acta Sports, who is a publisher of a number of great baseball books (including Bill James Handbooks) to offer for our members a 10% discount. We will continue to add more books to this page in the future as we uncover other gems our members should know about.


Contact Us for Questions or Submissions

Wolfman Shapiro
co-Founder/Editor, the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter

email: wolfman@ultimatestratbaseball.com
: www.facebook.com/wolfman.shapiro
twitter: @StratBaseball4U

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