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Vol. IV, Issue #3 - March 2016

** Welcome to USBN as the Leagues begin,
Baseball Daily is due, MLB is set to go .... 

Comments from the Wolfman about
this current issue as we begin our fourth
year (2016) of publication with a new year of excitement. As we provide 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 NewsletterHey - here we go again withanother great edition of our newsletter, the 3rd edition of this year, stocked full with new interviews and articles along with new videos on our USBN Youtube channel to keep you entertained.  We also want to thank our members who have personally written to us and expressed their appreciation for the newsletter (this means a lot to us) and for those members who shared donations with us last month. .  I have always said and will always believe that this free on-line publication in combination with our video channel is a co-creation by all of us.  Every single member has their own stories to tell, has had their great moments in their Strat lives and we are here to share it.

Well, the MLB exhibition season is basically in its last week of play.  Each team is deciding their 25 player rosters for the start of the season.  Opening Day actually is Sunday, April 3rd, with 3 games including, what could be some of the teams that we will see in October: the Cardinals at the Pirates and the Mets at the Royals. But for those of you who will be exploring the special new add-on to the game, Baseball Daily, this will kick in after the games finish on April 4th.  And as I stated, yours truly will be managing my Cubbies. We plan to devote future issues of the newsletters to cover what Baseball Daily is all about and how it works. Plus, we also welcome any of our members to share their own experiences with it. It will be very interesting how this new service will change our game playing landscape, don't you think?  Also I am curious to see how this will work in Baseball 365 when they play each night 3 games. 

Well, before I share what goodies we have for you this month (and we have some special treats indeed), I want to do my traditional projection about who we might see in the 2016 MLB World Series. I have done so before in our earlier issues, at this time of year. So let's see how I do this time. It is amazing to me, but the last time I checked, the Cubs were the favorites to win it all according to the odds makers.  Of course, I don't want to be bias, and there are still quite a number of good teams in the National League who could contend of course.  Its an even year so we can't exclude the Giants, they did a good job to fill their holes via their trades and free agent signings. The Arizona Diamondbacks also look pretty good with the added pitching they brought in and have done very well in the exhibition season. We obviously can't count out the NY Mets with their fantastic young pitchers and most of their team returning and what about the Pirates, the Cardinals and the Nationals?  Anyway in the National League, even though the Cubs might be the favorite they will surely be tested as any team in NL will be, but with Joe Maddon, and their good young players, I will stay with them.

Now the American League, even though they have the World Champion KC Royals, who have been to the series the last two years, I think their starting pitching has to prove itself losing Cueto.  Toronto still has a good team but I think the Yankees could challenge for the division and don't forget about the Redsox who acquired some key pitchers to go with all the good young players they have.  In the Central I think Detroit will give KC a run for their money, they have a lot of good hitters and improved their relief staff. Cleveland too with their pitching can't be excluded either. I think the dark horse for the AL Crown is going to rest in Houston. They qualified last year as a wild card team - they could be the next KC.  In their division we shouldn't dismiss the Angels or Texas but I think this going to be Houston's year. So the final verdict, I predict it will be the Cubs and Houston, both teams who's recent success has been built with youth and great prospects.

Now moving on to give you a brief overview of the goodies we have for you this month.  I always try each month to interview a new ex-MLB player and via an old friend, who helped me find Tony Brizzolarra, I was able to contact Roger Erickson, formerly of the Twins and Yankees, who nows has a baseball school.  He has some interesting stories to share with our members.  Then we bring back Marc Pelletier to finally offer a true peek into his special system for drafting a team for the 20XX leagues in Baseball 365, and specifically discuss my preparation to join a 2015 league in April. 

For some time I have been trying to interview either Len Durrant or Gary Simonds who are in charge of a dynamic team of volunteers who are creating computer rosters (seasons) of the Negro Leagues, some Japanese seasons, Cuban Seasons and the early early baseball teams of the late 1800's.  Anway, I think that Mr. Durrant asked one of their volunteers, Ken Wenger to contact us and Ken via my interview with him and a beautiful article gives us a good view of what it takes to make these seasons which then are offered to us - this will be another special part of this issue of our newsletter.

The Wass is back with his column, talking about the video interviews he conducted with various members of Strat-o-matic recently (including Mr. Richman), as well as his own memories of visiting the game company since he was young and the respect he has for the Strat-o-matic Creator along with links to the lastest videos added this month on our very successful video channel on Youtube.  Another old friend comes back, Larry Braus who was an early contributor of our newsletter in 2013 with a suggestion about some oldie but goodie players you should consider to pick or trade for to add to your 2016 league teams based on the 2015 set.

Then, we continue with our coverage of Baseball Leagues as we meet the commissioner and their reigning champ from the World Baseball League, a 14 member league that has been around since 1977.  Yours truly, also shares a report from a new league I joined in March, called the Minor League SOM (MLS) - which offered some revolutionary steps on to how to built our teams, including an auction of players and with a key focus on not only building your Major League but your Minor League franchise as well.

We have another version of our SOM World News page - which includes some goodies I found on the Strat-o-matic website you might not be aware of, with some cool reports from various leagues during their drafts with photos on SOM's Facebook page.  We get another view at MLB stats from the weekly report sent out by fellow SOM gamer John Dewan in his "Stat of the Week" email broadcast put out by Acta Sports dealing with a new view of the affectiveness of the current MLB relievers. And finally, we received our first report of one of the live tournaments held by the Strat Tournament Player's Club (which began their first tournament at the end of February), with a recap of their New Jersey tournament in early March including a short interview with the champion.  Plus of course, we have our traditional pages with on-line SOM and MLB resources and books to die for. 

Finally, as we have requested in the past few months, if any of our members are able to help us with a small donation, we are very very appreciative as these funds are used to help us with the costs we have to maintain the newsletter and support special projects. However for those of you who do make a contribution for the newsletter this month, just as I offered last month, there are two special spreadsheets I have personally created to prepare for the two leagues I am a member in for this year which I could send to you as my personal gift in appreciation.  (Thanks to our members who sent to us donations last month.)

I am not allowed to sell these spreadsheets as the core information was obtained for free on the internet from mlb.com and baseball-reference.com and I re-organized it (which took quite a number of hours). But in appreciation for your kind donation, I am very happy to share these spreadsheets with you which might help you with your leagues.  What I have is, #1 - MLB.com's future projections on over 800 players for 2016; and a spreadsheet with all the minor league stats for all the Major League American farm teams, as it shows every player who played for those teams. For a donation of just $3 you can request either "2016 Predictions" or "Minor League Stats" which I will personally attach your spreadsheet of choice to an email or for a $5 donation or more, I will email you both spreadsheets.  Here is how to get the spreadsheet(s) you wish: 

As you know on each page of the newsletter, we have a little area called "Support the Cause" where we ask for your donations.  Just click on the "DONATE" button which takes you to paypal, and if you do a $3 donation, write in the message to us which of the two spreadsheets you wish. Obviously with a $5 (or more) donation we know you want both.  This is our way to thank you for this help.  

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 the MLB teams are preparing for their 2016 Season, many of our SOM Baseball leagues have already done their draft and started (or will soon) their season; with Baseball Daily coming soon -so what a great time to be alive. Please accept this latest and greatest version of your newsletter that we happily offer to our members. 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 and enjoy this next edition!!

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

Wolfman Shapiro
on behalf of the team at USBN



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)

  INTERVIEW with ROGER ERICKSON, Ex-MLB Pitcher, Roger Erickson, for the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees, talks with the Wolfman about his insights on the game of baseball and what experiences he had during his major league career, as we continue to interview more ex-MLB players which we recognize their names from their Strat-o-matic cards in past seasons.

  INTERVIEW/ARTICLE with KEN WENGER, Ken is a volunteer for the support group that works with Len Durrant and Gary Simonds who have been producing cardsets that work with the SOM Baseball Game for over 20 years that include computer rosters/teams from the Negro Leagues, Japanese Leagues and the National Association. Ken talks about his experiences being a part of this team and what it takes to make these computer card set images.

  ARTICLE with MARC PELLETIER & WOLFMAN SHAPIRO, Wolfman Shapiro now becomes Marc's student as he is guided to work with Marc's system to build a playoff bound team for one of the new 2015 based leagues that are be offered in Baseball 365.  Marc explains his blue print how to build a team and shares with us key spreadsheets to show how he evaluates the players in the 2015 cardset. The Wolfman shares his feedback upon the Pelletier system and how it will guide him to draft his team for the on-line Baseball 365 league that he will join in April.

  STRAT WISE with MARC WASSERMAN -- commissioner of the Cyber Baseball Association (CBA) continues his new column sharing various perspectives on SOM Baseball. In this issue he discusses about the coming of "Baseball Daily", his many visits to the Game Company since he was young, and the recent video inteviews done with Hal Richman, John Garcia and Adam Rosen.

  ARTICLE with LARRY BRAUS -- Wolfman's old friend Larry, who he has known since the 1970's from Chicago and the early national conventions, as well as was an early contributor of our newletter in 2013, returns in this issues with some insights on former star players you shouldn't write off just yet ...

  ARTICLE with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO, Wolfman discusses a totally new Computer (CM) based league he joins which is based upon salaries for the players with a salary cap, plus has a big focus on building your minor league players. Through this league he participates in his first time ever an on-line auction to add players for his team.  He reports about his experiences joining this league and the strategies he used to build a team made for the playoffs plus ....

  SOM BASEBALL LEAGUE REPORT with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO -- the editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" and 2012 CBA Champion, talks to members members of various Strat-o-matic Baseball Leagues that he has discovered on the internet about the history of their league and their experiences. This is the first time we get to speak to a League Commissioner and their Champion in the same month as we find out about the World Baseball League (WBL).  To read their interviews, click on the appropriate link below:

INTERVIEW with Jeff Chaput, WBL Commissioner, P-VI (Computer)
INTERVIEW with Ted Wesley, WBL Champion, P-II (Computer)

  SOM/MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD NEWS with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO, editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" roams the world for interesting news linked to SOM or MLB. For this month he shares some gems he found on the Strat-o-matic website and SOM's facebook page, offers another "Stat of the Week" bulletin by John Dewan talking about current relievers and gives the first report of a Strat Tournament Player's Club tourney held in early March in New Jersey.

  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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