Saturday, December 12, 2015

Final thoughts

Thus ends the 40-Years Tournament. It went considerably faster than I had anticipated. The rhythm of such a tournament feels ideal for a card-and-dice player such as me: Play four to seven games, work out the stats, play four to seven games with different teams, repeat. There was seldom a day in which I didn't do something to advance the cause. That's far different than my experience with the Presidential League, during which I took at least two lengthy breaks.

So I expect I will do such a tournament again. Not immediately; I have a different Strat project in mind, which I will start detailing in the next few days. But before I drop this, a few comments to have on the record for future review:

The Pascual Perez Principle works. I never codifed this in the rules for the tournament, but I fell in to it early and stuck with it throughout: A pitcher with less than 100 innings on his card may not start more than once in a series. Named for the pitcher who had 70 innings with a 2.30 ERA for the 1987 Expos, and in '87 that was REALLY impressive. This rule may have swayed some series, and it certainly added complexities to handling some pitching staffs (2009 Padres for one). But it was, I think, realistic.

The limitations I placed on every-fourth-day starters worked.  For the first four rounds, I attached a one-inning point-of-weakness penalty for starting on three days rest for asterisked pitchers UNLESS their cards had 40 starts or 300 innings. For the fifth round the boundaries were 35 starts and 250 innings, and the penalty was lifted entirely for the final round; as it transpired, the changes didn't change how I actually used pitchers.

I should not have used similar roster construction for each team. All active rosters had nine to 10 pitchers; I may have expanded it to 11 for the 09 Padres, who were desperately short of 100-inning arms. The 2009 teams, however, came from an era in which everybody carried 12 or 13 pitchers, and the bullpen arms in particular just aren't coded to work multiple innings. Regardless of my beliefs about the best way to run a bullpen, it's silly to try to use the relievers of the 2009 Red Sox in the same way as the relievers of the 1987 Twins. Their weakness factors get in the way.

Mixing rules was not a good idea. I don't really regret using the 1987 teams to fill out the Ringo bracket; indeed, revisiting those cards these many years later was like meeting old friends. But my future tournaments should involve only cards coded for superadvanced play.

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