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Vol. V, Issue #1 - January 2017

** Welcome to "The Chuck Stop" with Chuck Tinkler **
"Old Guys Rule!!" (Part II)

(We welcome you to this new periodic area of our newsletter that is known as "The Chuck Stop"
which features one of our favorite contributors, Chuck Tinkler.  Our boy Chuck returns with his
latest article talking about -- the value of draft pitchers & their worth -- Welcome back CT!! ... )

Comments from the Wolfman:  We wish to thank Chuck for yet again coming up with his latest article for The Chuck Stop which began last month and continues in the current issue with Part II.  In this edition, Chuck looks at the value of young pitchers over time and then views elite (old guy) pitchers over their careers building on top of what he shared in Part I.  Another thought provoking article and masterpiece by Chuck.  If you missed Part I of "Old Guys Rule", here is where to find it at:


Once again, feel free to email our boy Chuck with your questions or comments related to his latest article. You will find his email is listed at the end of this article.  Thank you again Mr. Chuck for your most recent and entertaining contribution!!

To read any of the previous articles which Chuck has shared with our newsletter since 2014, you will find them listed below.  Enjoy his insights here at USBN in the future by visiting "The Chuck Stop" ...

(his first article for our newsletter about Ballparks - quite insightful, check it out)


(This is the link to Part I of this article about the Strat Master with Sections I & II) )

(This is the link to Part II of this article about the Strat Master with Section III)


(This is the link to Part III of this article about the Strat Master with Sections IV & V)


(This is the link to Part IV of this article which concludes Chuck's report on the Strat Master)


Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter, member Chuck Tinkler writes an article about SOM Baseball Ball Parks  
Old Guys Rule
(Part II)

A Continuation of Chuck's new article ...

Before subjecting ourselves to the bloodshed that was that deal for Josh Beckett, consider this for a moment: Would you trade Chris Sale for a 5th, 10th and 20th overall pick (in your draft)? That would be Chris Sale for, just to make it as close as possible to the original trade, Alex Reyes, Julio Urias and Orlando Arcia. Would you do that deal?

I don't know about you, but even despite having experienced the horrors of a number of other drafts do I look at this deal and still think I'd do it. It just takes one of the guys to go off and the rest of the deal is gravy. But truth is, despite looking at this deal and all of its league-dominating possibilities, in my gut do I know that such a draft will do anything other than turn out as expected. Reyes is not going to be Syndergaard. Urias is not going to be Johan Santana. Arcia would be lucky to have even Alexei Ramirez's career. They'll all have their careers of course, but having seen so few that have met our lofty expectations, it's hard to be optimistic about their chances. Yet despite knowing this, the urge to reach for more is as strong as ever. This though is exactly what that deal felt like back then, and it's as tough a call to make as ever.

Comparing Josh Beckett to Chris Sale may seem like a stretch and the numbers would seem to support that, but as far as stature and perceived worth, Beckett was everything at that point in time that Sale is now. They both achieved a lofty status that very few obtain. To get away though from loose comparisons, let it be said that a "star" pitcher is anyone who is at Beckett's level and above. That is, from here forward, we will consider a star pitcher to be any pitcher who produced a 20.4 WAR by the age of 27, as Beckett did, or better, as a handful of other pitchers did. We'll use the years of 1996 to 2009 to keep it relevant to modern baseball as well as to keep most active pitchers off this list. Here's what those filters produced:


WAR accumulated through age 27 season

Sabathia, C.C.  --  34.8

Martinez, Pedro  --  31.0

Santana, Johan  --  27.7

Peavy, Jake  --  26.9

Vazquez, Javier  --  26.6

Oswalt, Roy  --  25.6

Buerhle, Mark  --  25.3

Sheets, Ben  --  24.6

Zambrano, Carlos  --  23.9

Hudson, Tim  --  23.0

Zito, Barry  --  22.0

Halladay, Roy  --  21.2

Beckett, Josh  --  20.4

Wood, Kerry  --  20.4

Average of Pitchers shown here: -- 24.9

This list looks about right...if anyone would have called on one of these guys (we used telephones back then), the answer would have been something like: Haha! (click). And just based on my recollections, the rate of attrition doesn't appear to match the dreaded "I hate pitchers" complex that most of us have. Ben Sheets and Kerry Wood completely fell off, but other than that, that list looks pretty strong. Z (Zambrano) was kind of a dud too if I remember correctly, but I don't know that anyone really expected that much from him anyways.  Zito would have been well-served to be taken behind the barn a bit sooner, but all and all, that list has to leave us feeling pretty good about the longevity of our young aces. Here's what they actually did - again, this is their WAR, from the end of their season after age 27 until the end of their careers (acknowledging that a couple are still active):


WAR accumulated from age 28 onward

Sabathia, C.C.  --  28.6

Martinez, Pedro  --  44.5

Santana, Johan  --  17.8

Peavy, Jake  --  17.7

Vazquez, Javier  --  27.3

Oswalt, Roy  --  26.7

Buerhle, Mark  --  26.6

Sheets, Ben  --  8.4

Zambrano, Carlos  --  6.9

Hudson, Tim  --  28.4

Zito, Barry  --  19.3

Halladay, Roy  --  44.8

Beckett, Josh  --  15

Wood, Kerry  --  3.8

Average of Pitchers shown here: -- 22.5

Not too shabby! At least, not nearly as frightful as we'd probably have imagined. An average of 24.9 on the front end and 22.5 on the back end...tough to complain about that. The devil though is in the details of course - one man's 20 WAR is not another's. Bartolo Colon pitching until his social security kicks in is of debatable utility. Nonetheless, we know these guys and we know what happened, and now we have a number to use for comparison. But who to compare them to? None other than Phil Hughes, Clay Buchholz and Cameron Maybin, of course. Til then!

Chuck Tinker

(FINAL NOTES from the WOLFMAN: We want to thank Chuck again for sharing his new and exciting article for our members. We can't wait to see where this next one will continue onward as Chuck is a great strat story teller.. Again, we are always open to new ideas and submissions by our members and perhaps (we hope) that Chuck has been an inspiration for you that you might consider to send to us one of your own offerings. As stated before, Chuck as always is up for chatting about Strat, reach him at: chucktinkler@yahoo.com  )



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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 with MATT EDDY, Writer Baseball America, Matt who is a manager of his own team in a Strat-o-matic League, besides being a key writer at Baseball America who has his pulse on all the good young prospects and players in the minors, shares with us his top recommendation of Key Prospects to give attention to who receive a computer image card in the 2017 SOM Card Set as well as describes their skills and give them a ranking.  Matt is a periodic contributing writer for our newsletter.

  ARTICLE with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO - How to Setup Your Draft League Team, the Second Part of this article, Wolfman, continues his article from our last issue to share with us the meat and potatoes of his strategies how to build his 2017 Skokie Wolfmen in the CBA, a computer league as he prepared for this Keeper League's draft.  By using his team as an example, you may receive from this article so suggestions and strategies to use for your own team.

  SOM Baseball and MLB World News - January 2017, This is our periodic column where we share any exciting news and updates linked to either the SOM World or MLB. In this issue, we first discuss the wide range of new and amazing products (the Ratings Guide, the new mobile Apps, the new seasons with printed cards and computer rosters, the 2017 edition of the computer game and more) that Strat-o-matic will begin releasing on January 31st.  Also we give a report on the new champion of the Strat Tournament Player's Club WORLDS tournament and discuss the enhanced new features of Version 1.1 of the 2017 USBN Esseential Draft Guide.

  INTERVIEW with J.G. Preston, Baseball Writers Extraordinaire, J.G. was one of our first guest to interview in the life of our newsletter in January 2013.  He used to work at the game company when he was younger and for the Wolfman, he is the person who gave him this name back in the 1970's.  J.G. has become a prolific baseball writer for SABR as well as on his own blog site sharing histories of players and insights about MLB. We ask J.G. what he is up to these days as we believe our members might wish to read his writings.  But at heart, he is still a SOM Baseball gamer ...

  SOM BASEBALL LEAGUE REPORT with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO -- the editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" and 2012 CBA Champion, turns his attention to talk to members of various face-to-face Strat-o-matic Baseball Leagues that he has discovered through the league registry service offered on the Strat-o-matric website. Each commission speaks about the history of their league and their experiences. To read these interviews, click on the links below:

INTERVIEW with KEVIN THOMAS, Commissioner of CAABL (Face-to-Face)
INTERVIEW with RYAN MORRIS, Commissioner of Dave Cash League (Face-to-Face)

  INTERVIEW with EARL REED, Earl is the head of his own Youtube Strat Baseball Channel called Tenacious Strat, of which a few of his videos have appeared on the USBN Youtube channel. We interview Earl to find out more about his video channel and how he became interested in Strat Baseball.

  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
Founder/Editor, the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter

twitter: @StratBaseball4U

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