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Vol. III, Issue #3 - November 2015

** Strat Wise - Part I **
(by Marc Wasserman, Commissioner of the Cyber Baseball Association {CBA} )

(Note from the Wolfman: - For those of you who have been following our newsletter, you are familiar with the column called "Commissioner's Corner written by Marc Wasserman, the commissioner of the CBA as he has discussed his experiences and insights about being a commissioner of a Strat-o-matic baseball league. Well for this issue and going forward, Marc has decided to rename his column to "Strat Wise" and will be sharing his insights on a variety of topics that are linked and important to the Strat Baseball World. This is his first articles as such, lets link in and hear what he has to say ....)

Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletterr, Marc Wasserman, CBA Commissioner, Head of Strat Alliance, partner with Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter
Comments on the World Series, the Ultimate Strat Baseball Youtube Channel, the Strat-o-matic Family and the legendary Bruce Bundy

Lots is happenin' around the Strat-o-matic World.  We've had quite a nice response from our readers and several league commisioners to Ultimate Strat Baseball.  So much to talk about with so little space to do it but here we go ...... 

The MLB season ended with a great post season between the Mets and KC Royals.  Young teams built for an evolving game.  It was great fun to watch --  Power bats and Power pitching vs. the fundamentals of the game with the fundamentalists winning out.  KC completely outlasting the Mets in the World Series games.   How will it translate to Stratball?

It was obvious due to an increased OBA (on-base average) with all the so important variables like "Hit and Run".  Quite an under rated part of the Strat game.  The impact of adjusting a hit and run "B" rating up to the golden "A" rating is rather significant in our game.  When a speedy runner is held on, such as in case of point, when the KC runners were able to get aboard with threat to steal, the defensive mechanism's of the holding pitcher's attentiveness, the defensive posturing necessary, all of this helps to create an enhanced environment for the "hit and run" to proliferate.  The chances for fair hit opportunities are increased, and in the World Series, this cost the Mets dearly in advanced game situations.  

This World Series was a case study where in the SOM game itself, it will be able to mirror real life baseball giving to KC a few Hit and Run - "B" ratings in the new cards to come. Strat-o-matic's variable of the hit and run seems to simulate quite well this intricate part of Major League Baseball.  Our columnist and good friend, the legendary Bruce Bundy has mentioned in his public statements how there over 60% positive outcomes that can result when a batter goes up to a do a hit and run and is rated in the game an "A".  Therefore, how can this be combated then? Well, Bruce shares with us on our video channel insights such as this and much more linked with his winning strategies and techniques.   More about this topic can be found further down in this article.

The Ultimate Strat Baseball Channel on Youtube.com is completely dedicated to our SOM community.  There's many hours of video for you to enjoy for sure.  Bored on a rainy day? -- then its a must to watch and to listen to our strategy laden videos for great insider tips on how to win at Strat-o-matic.  Our friends contributions to this channel have brought some great feedback and have stirred lots of interest in the community. I am quite proud of the groundbreaking information our video channel has broken into reaching out to the Strat community.  It has been extremely successful so far in reaching other SOM gamers out there.

Why just over this past year alone we brought you interviews behind the scenes at the Strat-o-matic Game company.  Have you ever wondered where your favorite game comes from? Our Youtube "Ultimate Strat Baseball Channel" takes you behind the scenes. We give you the family behind the game you love as we were able to hold some powerful interviews with the Richman family. This included the special insights that were shared by Hal himself. Just head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rN06fLgM_U 

Here we met the whole "Strat-o-matic Family" which for me,  I must say, these individuals are really the coolest people!  John, Adam (Rosen), Len, Adam (Richman) and Hal, with their entire family are first class.  Good people whom absolutely love their customers and fans. They are quite personable and welcomed our video interviews which just give you a glimpse of who they all are.  These interviews were done on "Opening Day" which is a true event of friendship and sharing common bonds, was alot of fun, and really is a totally community experience for those who do attend.  This Strat-o-matic family is young, optimistic, and vibrant. If you have ever considered attending "Opening Day" then you must watch these videos on our channel. Head over to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqRqHjBVIro.

The Newsletter has developed a relationship with several interesting and well known baseball broadcasters, players, journalists, and personalities, in addition to you our fans.  This year we produced a little Strat-o-matic series for you to enjoy called the "Billy Sample Challenge". Below are two links to "Part 1" and "Part 5" where Billy actually hits a Strat-o-matic Homerun! So why not take a night (or day) to sit back and watch what happened in this series? 

Guys, this was a special moment for all of us.  Wolfie introduced the members of our newsletter to Billy (who he met on Facebook), and then, in a Zen moment it occurred to me to reach out to Bryan Swank whom I did an interview with for the newsletter. If his last name sounds familiar, think of his dad Tom Swank.  I arranged to have Bryan, who is just as rabid and apparently as good a Strat-o-matic fan as his dad Tom, to meet with Billy Sample and the rest is history.  Bryan's friend, and his father's good friend and another avid Strat-o-matic gamer, Kenneth Mackay, took the ride as well and met with Billy during this series.  For all of us (including myself doing the video) it was a dream come to life. Three Strat-o-matic players actually lived their dream of not just meeting one of their hero's but had a great day including now a lifetime of good memories of this dramatic Strat-o-matic 3 game series.

Through the videos we have on our channel, you can watch all the parts of the series and see how this special relationship with Billy began and evolved.   As a follow up note, we all still keep in contact with Billy and share occasional chuckles over the series and other things related to MLB and our personal experiences.  There is also some never seen before footage that is also enjoyable on our channel.  So please stay tuned as we will continue adding more exciting videos to Youtube, as video is a key part of what we will be offering.  Again below are links to two of the videos sharing "The Billy Sample Challenge":

Now, let me share with you some of the feedback we have received from our viewers who responded to the videos we show on our youtube video channel....

After watching the series ("The Billy Sample Challenge"), 'RedfanRod' wrote: "Even though I'm an APBA guy it was great to see you Strat guys battle it out."

Dave S wrote: "Like they said in the video, nothing beats the cards and dice experience!" Dave also enjoyed our video interview with Hal Richman, Adam Richman, John Garcia, and Adam Rosen from the game company.  As in this interview, you see for the first time ever, the fans were literally able to see behind the scenes at the game company and meet the people running the show and their passion for sure.  A Great bunch of individuals for sure.  This interview we did features in this year (2015) for the first time, an interview with the Strat-o-matic creator and his son. Among topics discussed are latest news about the baseball game, Strat-o-matic and education, effect of PED's on Strat-o-matic, and will there ever be another -6 arm in the OF?

Mike Grummert wrote: "Good Stuff but I don't see the need for background music"  LOL.  I guess some of our viewers just don't like musical distractions in their Strat play.

Our video Channel has a playlist of quite a few very interesting Strat-o-matic related videos that you might enjoy aside from what I am speaking about here directly.  But, all in all, there are hour upon hours of great Strat videos and insights you can watch or link to, which has been our pleasure to share with our members.

Occasionally we get some email or comments either for the Video Channel or USBN (our newsletter) itself ... here's a few more:

The following comments came as a response to our video channel, the video that is linked to Bruce Bundy discussing the importance of the "Hit and Run", check this video out at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJ1RJTLrOIQ

jobu88 writes:

"I didn't use H&R hardly at all for the longest time until I finally pulled my head out of my a## and did the math. An "A" rating will hit safely 22% of the time and will at a minimum move the runner over to 2nd 75% of the time (if the result comes from the H&R chart); "B" rating hits safely 19% and moves the runner 66%; "C" hits safely 14% but still moves the runner over 64% of the time which is virtually the same as a "B" rating. Also as pointed out in this video, hitting against 2004 Randy Johnson or 2014 Johnny Cueto is not a lot of fun, but the H&R chart can work to your advantage. Nice video."

USBN's Bruce Bundy replied:

"Thanks! Actually, the results are even more serious than you thought. As displayed through this chart, runners (on 1st and/or 2nd) will advance a whopping 23 of the 36 possible chances (63.8%) when using a H&R with the batter in an "A" situation. the BMP (Batter Misses Pitch) means the runners must steal, which is a negative (not if used correctly). That leaves an "A" H&R hitting a whopping .270!!! -BB  with 2 - Double***; 3 -Single**; 4 - gb(1b)C; 5 - Single**; 6 - gb(2b)C; 7 - BMP (batter misses pitch); 8 -gb(2b)C; 9 - Lead Runner out; 10 - popout(2b); 11 - gb(1b)C; and 12 - Single**"

Writes Greg Mitchell:

"I think small ball is best utilized with NL players. I don't think there are that many B bunting Pitchers in the AL, DH league."

Writes Bobby Vaught:

"Interesting about Strat baseball is that thinking about situations, just like actual baseball, is just endless. One of the things I like to do in arranging the lineup if I know I am going to have a player bunt more is to put that player just behind a reasonably good, but not great, base stealing threat in the order. Here is why... I may try to bunt him over instead of risking the caught stealing. But, occasionally even a good bunter will miss the pitch and now my runner is trying to steal. I still want at least some chance of the successful steal. The same analogy goes with the hit and run."

Writes Harry Schnepp:

"I can only agree with you that small ball is lost with many table top managers I for one will bunt bunt bunt, hit and run, I managed modified softball and my all time favorite manager is Billy Martin, he was the best of the small ball men, thanx for passing on good info."

Bruce Bundy responds: "The point of bring up "small ball" is to alert managers of a key component to the situational baseball  - using an "A" Bunt or H&R has such a high success rate.  For example - an "A" H&R situation gives 23 positive results of 36 possible(68% positive result).   Strat does a great job at situational baseball....."

To conclude for this article: As I Reflect upon this year and season of 2015 is rapidly coming to a close upon us, I am most proud of the fact that here at the USBN we have been able to bring through the newsletter some good strategy trips for our members, help to build our community, and some great articles and interviews to you at no or little cost.  It's better to know that through our sharing of all this great content that all of our members can greatly benefit.  I am very willing to take the time and help with the expense that is needed to make sure we can get all of this amazing information out there as we hope to just cover our costs to do so. 

So please, let us know if your personal experiences with our USBN Newsletter and our Video Channel makes you guys happy.  We always appreciate your feedback and in some ways this is what drives our passion to continue this newsletter supported with the youtube channel.  I also want to personal thank all of you who are supporting the cause to keep our newsletter and video channel free and on the internet.

-- Let them dice roll! 

Wass (Marc Wasserman)


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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 JOHN DEWAN, owner of Baseball Info Solution, chapter for a book about Bill James.

  MLB STORY with BILLY SAMPLE, Talks about "Bat Flipping" and Willie Montanez while a Ranger.

  ARTICLE with CHUCK TINKLER, another special article by Chuck, one of our members about a real Strat Master he met in his early days of playing Strat-o-matic

  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 finds on the internet and three leagues respond to be interviewed and tell their stories! 
To view any individual interview, click on the links below or start with Part I and finish with an in-page link to Part II for the two interviews, more interviews given in the December issue coming:

INTERVIEW with Kurt Meunier, FVSL, P-I (F2F League in Wisconsin)

INTERVIEW with Robert Latorre, 60's Decade Keepers League, P-II, (CDROM-email)

  SOM/MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD NEWS with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO, editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" shares the Special Fielding Ratings given by John Dewan's Group with Baseball Info Solutions and an update on the SOM Baseball Projection Sheets shared by the legendary Bruce Bundy, author of the periodic column called "Strat Thoughts".

  REPORT with TOM NAHIGIAN (1961 cards), Personal friend of the Wolfman, known in Guzzo's book as "The Collector", returns and we take a peak at some of the early strat cards printed from 1961.

  ARTICLE with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO -- the editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" and 2012 CBA Champion, the "Wolfman" goes back into the far past and pulls out one of his first articles to the Strat-o-matic Review from 1973, when he really was becoming known as the "Wolfman" (the Skokie Wolfman) as he challenged one of the first female strat gamers, Donna Chevrette to a play against him via play-by-mail.  This is series used the MLB All Star players from 1971, with the Wolfman taking the National All Stars and Chevrette taking the American.  The series became known in the Review as "The Battle of the Sexes".  After this series was played, and a victor uncovered, the combats switched teams and played a second series (which is an article by Donna Chevrette) that will be reported in our December issue.

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

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