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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Out of the Park Baseball 15 Announced!


So how do we improve on an A+ grade? By working on OOTP’s extra-curricular activities, of course, and we have a bunch of them in store for OOTP 15, including support for 3D ballparks and 3D in-game ball flight, seven real international leagues, a new ratings system, a revamped interface, and much more.

Goodbye, free time.

Gamingboy Posted: January 25, 2014 at 12:52 PM | 82 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: games, ootp, out of the park baseball, sims

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: January 25, 2014 at 09:56 PM (#4646362)
OOTP 15's interface features an extensive overhaul, starting with a default design for widescreen resolutions (16:9 or 16:10), instead of the 4:3 ratio we've used in the past. This results in a cleaner look with more room for statistics and other information. We've also reworked the menus and added tooltips to most menus and buttons, so beginners will find the game easier to navigate.


This is very, very welcome news. The interface for 14 had gotten so cluttered that it really got in the way of enjoying the game. The game has been suffering from Button Creep for many, many versions now. It's good that they are apparently aware of that and cleaning it up a little.
   2. PreservedFish Posted: January 26, 2014 at 03:16 AM (#4646403)
The seven real international leagues thing is intriguing. That sort of depth is what makes Football Manager so amazing. And bewildering.
   3. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 26, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4646421)
I sure as hell hope the 3D graphic #### can be turned off. I play OOTP on my graphics-challenged laptop, and anyway who plays OOTP for the graphics?

I'll have to keep an eye on this before I instantly drop $40 on it like I usually do.
   4. Dan Evensen Posted: January 26, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4646440)
I hope that in-game ball flight is improved. It was so poorly implemented in OOTP 14 that it actually detracted from gameplay. It looks miles behind Action PC Baseball, which in turn still looks years behind Microleague Baseball.
   5. puck Posted: January 26, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4646484)
Isn't there a competitor to OOTP, another league/career type sim?

Edit: Baseball Mogul? What's the difference?
   6. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 26, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4646510)
I have this problem in OOTP -- guys just never hit for me. I thought this was an effect of playing as the Mariners all the time, so I tried the Red Sox . . . same thing. I mean, I can sign Bryce Harper when he's 26 and he'll still be a star, but a much less significant one, for the rest of his contract. Over and over again this kind of thing happens. It's frustrating.
   7. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 26, 2014 at 03:51 PM (#4646512)
I played Mogul for three years before converting to OOTP. Mogul is inferior in every way.

Voxter: Yes, I run into the same issue. But my pitchers usually do better than they ought to. I play out (as manager) every game so in my case I've long assumed it's something with the game-by-game management that run scoring is lower than it ought to be.
   8. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 26, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4646514)
Still no Baseball Pro 98 for enjoying watching and managing a game. 15 years I have been waiting.
   9. Graham Posted: January 26, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4646518)
I've asked this before in one of the "OTP: video games" threads, but I didn't get an answer: How does Diamond Mind Baseball compare to OOTP? My understanding is that you simulate the same season in DMB (unless you buy more), and the simulation is more accurate, but that you do less team-building. Is this accurate? I really enjoy OOTP, but I've thought about branching out recently.
   10. Poster Nutbag Posted: January 26, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4646522)
Diamond Mind is one of the few I have never tried either. I would also be interested in how similar/different it is. There has got to be someone here who has played both.
   11. The Kentucky Gentleman, Mark Edward Posted: January 26, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4646526)
I have this problem in OOTP -- guys just never hit for me. I thought this was an effect of playing as the Mariners all the time, so I tried the Red Sox . . . same thing. I mean, I can sign Bryce Harper when he's 26 and he'll still be a star, but a much less significant one, for the rest of his contract. Over and over again this kind of thing happens. It's frustrating.


I haven't played OOTP since OOTP 10 (Football Manager is my current addiction), but my biggest issue was the player performances were quite... random. Example: I'd have a 4-star player. One year he'd post a .900 OPS, the next year down to .600, year after that .900, and so on. It became impossible to build a team or scout players because you never knew what you were going to get. Each year, league leaderboards would be filled with entirely different players.

I do love the idea of international leagues/expanded universe. Football Manager blows OOTP out of the water in that regard.
   12. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 26, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4646531)
You can tweak settings in OOTP to get less year-to-year variance (and I think the default aging curve in OOTP is slightly too steep; that also can be tweaked).
   13. Foster Posted: January 26, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4646532)
I bought last year's and found it far too cluttered to get into after enjoying previous versions. Hoping this will be an improvement. I have played the hell out of their ipad version (iOOTP) which is not nearly as immersive but for $5 or whatever it cost is probably the most entertainment bang for the buck I've ever had.

   14. bradc Posted: January 26, 2014 at 05:50 PM (#4646534)
RE player performance: That has been improved quite a bit over the past few years. We're now using PECOTA in the game. (In the interest of full disclosure, yes, I work for the company.)

Also, RE the 3D stadiums and in-game ball flight: Both of those things will be optional, so you can turn them off if your computer can't handle them. And all things 3D will always be optional in the future, as we add 3D players running around on the field and such.
   15. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 26, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4646541)
I've played OOTP since version 5 through OOTP 14 and have played DMB since v6 and also have v10, although I haven't played DMB much in the past few years.

The newer versions of OOTP use an entirely different engine than OOTP v10 and there are now options to control the degree of random variation in the newer ones. You'll get fairly realistic results on the default variation, IMHO. If you make it too deterministic, it can get a little dull. For historical replays, you can also turn off the in-season player development and so it's simply reset every year (based on that year or a three-year average).

DMB used to be a better simulation engine, in terms of producing results very similar to past seasons. But with the more recent historical replay functionalities of OOTP, I'm not sure that it is strictly dominated anymore. If you want a tightly scripted (i.e., historical transactions and lineups with a high degree of fidelity), then DMB may be better. But for pretty much any other type of playing style, OOTP is either as good or much better than DMB (certainly for any team management against an AI). Factor in the costs (e.g., you have to purchase separately every season individually on DMB plus the program, whereas OOTP is just the $35 once) and I don't know that there are too many people for whom DMB is a better option. OOTP also has a very active community that develops a variety of mods and there are all sorts of online leagues, whereas DMB no longer has that type of community.

   16. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: January 26, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4646543)
11th year in a row I've bought OOTP, and 7th year in a row I've pre-ordered. It's the only computer game I play, ever.
   17. JJ1986 Posted: January 26, 2014 at 06:22 PM (#4646544)
I really like OOTP, switched from Mogul on recommendations here a few years ago because Mogul was incredibly buggy, but I wish the historical seasons in OOTP had players in the correct draft classes. It uses some simple algorithm (I think it's one year before debut) instead of having a year stored with each player.
   18. PreservedFish Posted: January 26, 2014 at 06:56 PM (#4646548)
DMB is best not thought of as a game, really. It's a recreation engine.

Mogul and OOTP are the same sort of game, but Mogul is the silly and casual one.
   19. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 26, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4646557)
I don't think there's a single thing Mogul does as well as OOTP. It would be an acceptable toy if it cost $10, that's about it.

Granted I played the hell out of Mogul for three years before I became aware of OOTP. It can be played and enjoyed. But if you want realism OOTP isn't in the same ballpark, it's not in the same league, it ain't even in the same ####### sport.
   20. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 26, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4646570)
Football Manager is my current addiction


Speak for yourself.

I can quit playing FM any time I want.

Let me just finish this season and I'll show you!
   21. PreservedFish Posted: January 26, 2014 at 09:48 PM (#4646576)
Football Manager is the only simulation sports game I've ever played that I was never able to crack. With almost any game it doesn't take long to figure out the winning strategy. With a silly game like Baseball Mogul it's easy to start running off 120 wins at a time.

FM - never happened for me. My team was always exactly as good as it should have been, or worse, and never better. One time I downloaded some "cheating tactics" and my team started scoring 4-5 goals per game, promoted two years in a row, but it wasn't fun.
   22. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 26, 2014 at 10:34 PM (#4646583)
I have OOTP14 (Steam gift during Xmas) and it's so very frustrating to play as the Jays.
No one can hit the ball...except for Josh Thole. He's in the middle of a 17-game hit streak, leads the league in AVG/OBP and OPS.
John Lackey threw an almost perfect game against me on "May 1st, 2013"...he faced the minimum 27 batters, as Thole got the only hit but was then doubled-up on the next pitch.

Also, VERY weird player evaluations some times.

I offered up Mark DeRosa for anything I could get from the league (he was ######## about playing time), and the Rangers offered me 3 different players in a 1-for-1 swap:

I could have:
Jeff Baker
Derek Holland
Joe Nathan

Now, Baker wasn't doing much, but Holland had a sub-4 ERA in May, and Nathan had a 1.48 ERA and 10 saves.

   23. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 26, 2014 at 10:37 PM (#4646585)
While we're here, an item from my "things I've noticed from playing out many seasons' worth of games that are kind of annoying but not worth ######## about to any official channels": My team's baserunners regularly get picked off, but picking off an opposing baserunner is practically impossible. Over the thousands of games I've played it has to be at least a 3:1 pickoff ratio in favor of AI opponents.
   24. JJ1986 Posted: January 26, 2014 at 11:18 PM (#4646595)
You can probably mess with pickoffs in the sliders. I had to turn Wild Pitches down to almost 0 because there were multiple WPs a game, usually with men on 3rd.
   25. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 26, 2014 at 11:33 PM (#4646596)
Forgot to mention, one thing that I do prefer DMB to OOTP is that DMB has a pitch-by-pitch option with the in-game play so you can work the count if you want, whereas OOTP only has play-by-play with the exception of being able to take a pitch. IIRC several years ago, Markus promised it (i.e., advertised it as an upcoming feature when soliciting preorders) and then couldn't get it to work, which ticked a lot of people off.

I should note that, in the nearly 10 years that I've been purchasing OOTP, that was really one of the few features that was promised and then never delivered (the other one was head-to-head over the internet in OOTP9 or OOTP10). Consequently, Markus has been pretty conservative about promising new features until he gets them to work, which means that there is usually a pretty cool feature in the release version that wasn't previously discussed.
   26. puck Posted: January 27, 2014 at 01:28 AM (#4646614)

FM - never happened for me. My team was always exactly as good as it should have been, or worse, and never better. One time I downloaded some "cheating tactics" and my team started scoring 4-5 goals per game, promoted two years in a row, but it wasn't fun.

Hmm, neither sound that fun. Though people must be able to have success, otherwise why would so many people play it only to finish behind ManCity/Chelsea again?
   27. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 02:22 AM (#4646625)
I raised a team from the bottom levels of English Pro Soccer to a Champion's League title (Up the Shaymen!), but was never able to win the Premier League. Manchester City just ran #### in that league. I love Football Manager. I'm currently playing as Wrexham, in my fourth season overall (got fired from my first job), and looking to get promoted to League One.

Baseball Mogul was a silly little game, but fun. OOTP is also fun, but not as fun as FM.
   28. PreservedFish Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:15 AM (#4646629)
Though people must be able to have success, otherwise why would so many people play it only to finish behind ManCity/Chelsea again?


I think other people are just better at it than I am? I don't understand soccer strategy very well. I would tailor my tactics to the qualities of my best players. That didn't seem to work. Then I would just do what the assistant suggested. That didn't seem to work. Or I would just stick with a good old 4-4-2. That didn't work. When I read tutorials, that stuff would fly over my head. I would read some website where people said they would watch every game to see how one player interacted with another, and then make minute changes to the formation as a result. I would think: "there's no way you really need to get that detailed, right?" But maybe you do. Scott, please elucidate me.

The thing I was good at, and enjoyed most, was scouting other leagues, buying young talent, watching it grow. I could always increase the value of my club significantly by signing the right young Brazilian or Nigerian kids, soon I'd have a 19 year old that had far more natural talent than the #### players I'd inherited. But it was difficult to make that translate into victories. I would have liked the ability to only do the GM stuff and leave the tactics to the computer. Maybe you can do that now, it's been a few years since I last gave it a go.

Mostly I think the game is just damn difficult. OOTP isn't easy, but it only takes a few seasons to see what type of prospects tend to succeed, or what types of players the fake GMs tend to undervalue, and you can build your team out of that. But FM is tough. It's kind of a slog, sometimes. You can't just zoom through a year.
   29. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: January 27, 2014 at 09:39 AM (#4646644)
I tried to switch from mogul to OOTP because of the reasons mentioned here but found the OOTP interface so awful that I switched back. A decision that required one click on mogul took 4 or 5 entirely different screens in OOTP.
   30. zonk Posted: January 27, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4646649)
I don't disagree that the OOTP UI has gotten a bit bloated.... but one problem is that there's so much stuff I discover that I find myself not wanting to lose anything.

For example, the compare players feature also has a historical comparison (not unlike BBREFs similar players/similar by age). I've purchased every iteration of OOTP since OOTP2 (on disk!) and I'm sure i'll buy 15, but I have no idea how many versions this has been a part of... I just discovered it a few weeks ago.

On one hand, it almost begs for a configuration wizard... i.e., highlight features you like, lowlight those you don't use... but I think we all know that nobody uses such things.

It's a problem without a solution - when you dig into the details, it's not a matter of everyone not liking or liking the same thing.
   31. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4646657)
Forgot to mention, one thing that I do prefer DMB to OOTP is that DMB has a pitch-by-pitch option with the in-game play so you can work the count if you want, whereas OOTP only has play-by-play with the exception of being able to take a pitch. IIRC several years ago, Markus promised it (i.e., advertised it as an upcoming feature when soliciting preorders) and then couldn't get it to work, which ticked a lot of people off.


I'm not sure what you mean. OOTP has had pitch-by-pitch for at least two years. I frequently use it when my pitcher is closing in on his pitch count limit (i.e., the precise point where his fatigue will roll over to needing an extra day's rest.)

You can probably mess with pickoffs in the sliders. I had to turn Wild Pitches down to almost 0 because there were multiple WPs a game, usually with men on 3rd.


Yeah, that's another good one I've noticed. I have a super-control pitcher on my staff and I just went back and checked--the last three seasons he's averaged 31 walks and 9 wild pitches a year. But unlike pickoffs, the AI-controlled pitchers also seem to have an inordinate number of wild pitches.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4646744)
I find Baseball Mogul too simplistic, and OOTP waaaay too complicated. I wish there was a middle ground.

I'd like to be able to get through a season in 15-20 minutes.
   33. Sean Forman Posted: January 27, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4646778)
I've got Football Manager addiction really, really bad. Currently playing as a Polish national and lead Hertha BSC to the Champions Lg in my fifth season. It's probably too easy to grab wonderkids and train them, but I like to them it's just hard work on my part. The tactics are very hard imo.
   34. zonk Posted: January 27, 2014 at 02:06 PM (#4646793)
The one thing I guess I'd like to see in OOTP -- but I'm just not sure how to do it -- is to make it more difficult.

I've found it pretty easy to take ANY team and turn them into juggernauts without any out and out cheating (that is to say, actually editing players, etc). I have to bind myself to house rules on a lot of things. The problem is, I don't know how these things could be fixed without breaking the game.

For example, the tried and true --

- Trade all your players make above the league minimum - you can easily scrounge up pretty good prospects plus young, cheap surplus to play in the meantime (and then deal once they hit arb)
- Jack your player development budget waaaayyyy up, while likewise hoarding the plusplus instructors
- Do the one year on/one year off International FA splurges (i.e., buy everyone one year, deal with the limits the next, rinse, repeat)

Some of the little AI fleeces have gotten better -- the AI doesn't quite get so jumpy to put valuable players on waivers, for example... and the 5 player max helps defeat the "10 for 1" prospect trades.

However, the AI is still far, far too willing to give me value for veterans I sign to minor league contracts prior to season one (I have no idea why the AI likes Carl Pavano so much, but he's free and he almost ALWAYS brings me a B prospect in trade).

By year 3, I've almost always got a cheap 90 win team... Keeping replenished there on out is easy -- your 40 man starts to get awfully crowded, so I do a lot of 3-4-5 for 1 players. This actually works out well for both teams -- the receiving team gives me a very young, blue chip prospect that I can put in my low level minors while they get some decent nearer term help.

It's just so easy, though... but I don't know how you fix it.

House rules that I put in place:

1) Trades with 'rebuilding' teams cannot return prospects/minor leaguers
2) Waiver claims must spend 30 days on my roster before being traded
3) No signing minor league FAs until 30 days after the 'rest of the league' has had a chance to pick at them
4) No more than one trade per month
5) No trades may involve INBOUND cash (the AI will always, always, give you a mil or 2 for free if they have it)

   35. AROM Posted: January 27, 2014 at 02:18 PM (#4646804)
I've played OOTP for the PC, many years ago, but found it too complicated and I didn't have the time to invest in it. Recently I tried it as an iPad app after my brother recommended it. For iPad it's perfect, giving you a good game with minimal set up time. It's nice when I might have a few minutes to play, and can just press a button and be ready instead of having to wait through a PC bootup.

Trades are a little too easy. In my first season I traded a package of so-so players and prospects to land Kershaw and Darvish. They didn't pitch as well as I expected, so I figured if a low cost starter can give me the same 3.75-4.25 ERA, then who needs them? I'll tell you who, AI Dipoto needed them. So I gave him both and took Trout off his hands.

Right now I'm in the 2026 playoffs. Trout has declined a bit but after a while I start getting attached to guys and try to keep them around instead of making the business decision. He's about 2 years away from 3000 hits. I signed Harper after he had his best years, but he's still pretty good. My other stars are some of the randomly generated draft picks over the years.

I've won my division about 10 times in 14 years, only one losing season which started out as injury hell and ended up as a "tank for a better draft pick" once I figured the playoffs weren't going to happen. The draft pick gained from that year is now a 39 homer, gold glove winning 2B. Usually picking at the end of the round I'll pick the best reliever available. You can usually get 5 star guys later in the draft that way. As a result, I've got a well stocked bullpen of guys throwing upper 90's without too much cost, as once they hit free agency I just go with the next prospect.
   36. AROM Posted: January 27, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4646807)
Some of the little AI fleeces have gotten better -- the AI doesn't quite get so jumpy to put valuable players on waivers, for example... and the 5 player max helps defeat the "10 for 1" prospect trades.


For the app, they limit trades to 3 players per side.

You don't get any animation, just a baseball field with player names and a text play by play. It's the same stadium, I'll have to check if getting real stadiums is something I can buy.
   37. PreservedFish Posted: January 27, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4646808)
The one easily exploitable thing about these types of games is usually that prospects are too reliable. On the other hand, when they get this right - you draft a stud pitcher #3 overall and in a year he's downgraded to a 2-star prospect - you get enraged. The last version I played, I found OOTP's engine a little bit too weird. Lots of players would lose it, suddenly, at age 26-28.
   38. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4646811)
I still prefer DMB over OOTP because (a) the sims are more realistic; (b) I liked the pared down interface; and (c) I feel like I have greater control over what is happening in DMB. DMB's big weakness IMO is it relies on past performance, so say if you want to see what Roberto Petagine's career might have looked like had he been given a chance, OOTP would be the way to go, as Diamond Mind will rely on what he actually did. I think Dan had talked about maybe doing past seasons projection disks which would be amazing, but it doesn't look like there is much of a push for that.
   39. AROM Posted: January 27, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4646813)
I hope that in-game ball flight is improved. It was so poorly implemented in OOTP 14 that it actually detracted from gameplay. It looks miles behind Action PC Baseball, which in turn still looks years behind Microleague Baseball.


Microleague was so awesome. Last played it in 1996, when my league moved over to APBA. I've had to live without the animation since. Now you've got video games with incredible animation, and simulation games that mostly lack that.

Some of the video games do a decent enough job as simulators, like MLB the Show games. Keeping track of stats on a multiyear basis, team building, financial aspects, and aging the players. Still your statistical realism is limited when the player performance is so dependent on user skill, and games like that don't really have a way of creating your own player list and importing it from an excel sheet.
   40. AROM Posted: January 27, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4646816)
The one easily exploitable thing about these types of games is usually that prospects are too reliable. On the other hand, when they get this right - you draft a stud pitcher #3 overall and in a year he's downgraded to a 2-star prospect - you get enraged. The last version I played, I found OOTP's engine a little bit too weird. Lots of players would lose it, suddenly, at age 26-28.


I don't know if the computer game has a full draft, but the app has a 5 round draft. As the other players age and retire, you pretty much need all 5 rounds to keep the pipeline moving. So your top of the first round guys are pretty close to guaranteed stars, second half plus second round should become average players, and 3-5 rounders have a decent chance of making it in bench roles.
   41. zonk Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4646835)
The one easily exploitable thing about these types of games is usually that prospects are too reliable. On the other hand, when they get this right - you draft a stud pitcher #3 overall and in a year he's downgraded to a 2-star prospect - you get enraged. The last version I played, I found OOTP's engine a little bit too weird. Lots of players would lose it, suddenly, at age 26-28.


I don't know -

I think the variance is fine.

I set my my "change in ratings" variance to 85 (100 is normal) and I set my scouting accuracy (I use scouts) to "high" (right above the normal setting).

This works out perfect -- I still get plenty of high profile busts... for example, I've got a guy that I paid a then-record 8 million dollar foreign FA signing bonus who is now 23 and can't get out of short season A ball. My #2 overall pick from 2 years ago looks increasingly like a AAAA player rather than any sort of real prospect.

OTOH -- Sammy freakin' Diaz -- who is a bit of a slap hitting MI pseudo-prospect in the Reds org, was traded to the Yankees as a toss-in to a larger deal and two years later, he's Robbie Cano.

Pitchers seem to get hurt and lose their luster 'properly'.

I likewise use the 'personal attributes' stuff -- and generally speaking, only go after the 'hard workers' type players and virtually never trade for, sign, or draft (with high picks) the lazy guys. As such, I have seen the occasion where guys I remember passing up do turn into stars -- but my own guys show a lot less variance.
   42. just plain joe Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4646837)
If you want to make OOTP more challenging you need to play in leagues where real, live people run the other teams and not the AI engine. It is a lot more difficult to fleece a flesh & blood owner out of his stars in exchange for warm bodies than it is when trading with the AI. Different strokes and all that but every time I've tried to play solo in OOTP I find myself quickly getting bored. In contrast I have played in one OOTP league for 30+ seasons; we moved from DMB to OOTP beginning in 1958 and are currently in 1982.
   43. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4646840)
In my current OOTP franchise an Orioles sort-of-prospect named Dennis Raben suddenly developed into a 50 HR a year beast, won three straight MVPs, then tore up his knee and was pretty much never heard from again.

Also in 2019 MLB lowered the mound and a superstar second baseman named DeVarrell Tyrance on the Rangers immediately hit 76 circuit clouts and drove in 189 runs.
   44. AROM Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4646857)
They do come up with some good names in the league. I just beat Texas in the playoffs, they have a young speedy CF named Brady Sanders. He was just an ordinary player last year, but this season he broke out for 51 homers and took 156 walks. He strikes out a lot and hit just .257, but what an overall talent.

Brady Sanders is a cool baseball name, I'm glad they didn't waste it on somebody who wasn't good.
   45. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4646858)
Also in 2019 MLB lowered the mound and a superstar second baseman named DeVarrell Tyrance on the Rangers immediately hit 76 circuit clouts and drove in 189 runs.

That's awesome. I love the "Automatic Evolution" feature.
   46. zonk Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4646872)
They do come up with some good names in the league. I just beat Texas in the playoffs, they have a young speedy CF named Brady Sanders. He was just an ordinary player last year, but this season he broke out for 51 homers and took 156 walks. He strikes out a lot and hit just .257, but what an overall talent.

Brady Sanders is a cool baseball name, I'm glad they didn't waste it on somebody who wasn't good.


I have a feeling something is corrupt in my names file -- I occasionally get bad names like Mike MCDA or Javier Ago'c or Don (paragraph symbol)sdf.

I rename my studs... My all-star switch hitting catcher who is a brickwall behind the plate is Matt Walbrecht... My power hitting 3B, from high-Polish heritage South Bend, IN is Tanner Popleczewski... My power pitcher ace out of Texas is Travis 'TNT' Tackett... my #2 crafty lefty with unhuman control is Nathan 'The Mayor' Daley....
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 03:54 PM (#4646880)
If you want to make OOTP more challenging you need to play in leagues where real, live people run the other teams and not the AI engine. It is a lot more difficult to fleece a flesh & blood owner out of his stars in exchange for warm bodies than it is when trading with the AI. Different strokes and all that but every time I've tried to play solo in OOTP I find myself quickly getting bored. In contrast I have played in one OOTP league for 30+ seasons; we moved from DMB to OOTP beginning in 1958 and are currently in 1982.

Right, but the leagues I play with people we use DMB. But there, you're only playing one season per season.

The point of playing vs. the computer is to be able to simulate seasons much faster.
   48. AROM Posted: January 27, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4646896)
The point of playing vs. the computer is to be able to simulate seasons much faster.


Yeah. You spend a few hours building your team through free agency and trades, get to the start of the year. It's Friday night and you don't have to work the next morning, and you want to see how well the team turns out. So you play it out till 3 in the morning...I've done that a few times.
   49. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4646907)
They do come up with some good names in the league. I just beat Texas in the playoffs, they have a young speedy CF named Brady Sanders. He was just an ordinary player last year, but this season he broke out for 51 homers and took 156 walks. He strikes out a lot and hit just .257, but what an overall talent.

Brady Sanders is a cool baseball name, I'm glad they didn't waste it on somebody who wasn't good.


I actually go through and rename everybody drafted in the first five rounds, plus any low-round picks that happen to develop into regulars, that have names like "Fred" and "Norman" and "Walter" that haven't been used in 50 years. I trawl college and high school rosters for modern names to replace them with (and basketball rosters, in the case of black guys).
   50. madvillain Posted: January 27, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4646915)
I'm very familiar with OOTP 13 and usually do a fictional MLB with a fantasy draft to start. Sometimes you get lucky with the fantasy draft and sometimes you don't, but inevitably with 3 years I'll have a 95 win team with a top rated farm system. I adjust the sliders to have the scouting ratings give more weight to the previous 2 seasons which I think helps, the default ones give a bit too much weight to 3 years ago and current season.

That said, it can be challenging if you're a small market team to keep your players and I find that aspect nice and realistic.

My biggest complaint is that there is no mass highlight and release feature, as I play with a full minors and without fail 5 years in my rookie league team is stocked with 75 players, 50 of which are 28 year olds that should have been out of pro ball long ago. Releasing them each one by one is a huge POA.

If there is a feature that does this that I just don't know about well lemme know!

Also, as noted by others, the interface is awful, especially compared to Football Manager. FM sets the bar so high I find myself playing it almost exclusively now for my sports sim experience, but I will certainly take a look at OOTP 15 as it's a great game as well, even if it can't quite get as immersive and yet streamlined as FM.
   51. A New Leaf Posted: January 27, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4646927)
I have this problem in OOTP -- guys just never hit for me. I thought this was an effect of playing as the Mariners all the time, so I tried the Red Sox . . . same thing. I mean, I can sign Bryce Harper when he's 26 and he'll still be a star, but a much less significant one, for the rest of his contract. Over and over again this kind of thing happens. It's frustrating.

I have that problem, and have also experienced extreme year-to-year variance. It's actually made me question PECOTA a bit. I didn't know there were settings for the year-to-year variance, I might tinker with those. I actually have more problems with pitchers (relievers in particular) than with hitters on this score, which is correct, relatively, but like one of the other posters above alluded to, it makes it very difficult to build a team, as you really don't know what you're getting in any given year. This is of course true in real life, but it feels much more extreme in the game.

I recently played a season where I finally won the World Series. To punish me for this insolence, the next season practically every player saw a significant decrease in performance and/or significant injury. At one point, I simultaneously had my four best position players and two best starting pitchers on the DL, most of which with multi-month injuries. I had hoped my farm system could fill the gap, but when two prospects who are rated close to 80 on a 20-to-80 scale combine to hit .200, that is generally not good for winning games. The team was a catastrophe.

I did just start a league beginning with 1871. That was wacky fun. 30-game schedule, and you have a game about once a week, which is good as each team only has one pitcher who can pitch deep into games. It did set up a championship series for me, a best-of-seven. Those games were on a normal World Series schedule, and as such the SP were getting exhausted a few innings into later games. I almost feel like I was cheating for going to my bullpen earlier than the AI, but I don't really see why I should sit there and give up 10 hits in a row, either. I won the series.
   52. zonk Posted: January 27, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4646929)
My biggest complaint is that there is no mass highlight and release feature, as I play with a full minors and without fail 5 years in my rookie league team is stocked with 75 players, 50 of which are 28 year olds that should have been out of pro ball long ago. Releasing them each one by one is a huge POA.

If there is a feature that does this that I just don't know about well lemme know!


There is --

In the transactions view -- you can place checks multiple player boxes and release multiple players at once (or demote/promote multiple players, offer all minor league extensions, etc).

That said, the best way to build a juggernaut is to do this more gracefully... I pick a month in the offseason -- usually over the winter meetings when I can get an immediate response -- and do a ton of 5 for 1 trades. I don't use this to acquire big time prospects... but for example, if my high level minor leagues are short on lefty relievers -- I use this to grab a couple of 23-24-25 yo bullpen lefits (you can always get a solid minor league reliever for 5 rookie league guys). Or - if I want a RHP corner OF masher who is limited defensively (say, as a pinch-hitter) -- that's when I do it. Or -- a utility IF that can run a bit?

It takes me a good hour or two to do this every offseason, but I hyper-manage the heck out of my minor league rosters. In fact, nothing makes me angrier than when I accidentally hit the "automanage minor leagues".
   53. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 27, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4646944)
Now you've got video games with incredible animation, and simulation games that mostly lack that.

Exactly. Which is why I'm 17 years into my Baseball Pro 98 league. Although at this point I've invested too much time, I'm never giving it up now. I'll be playing season 67 from a nursing home. A nursing home that some how has access to something that can run Windows 98.
   54. madvillain Posted: January 27, 2014 at 06:00 PM (#4646963)
hey thanks a lot zonk, that will help a lot. One think the AI does that's very stupid is they overvalue MLB relievers but undervalue stud MILB closers. I can seemingly always find some team willing to trade their stud 19 year old closer with a 3/1 kk/b ration in AA for some "proven" MLB reliever.

Actually, maybe this is a feature not a bug.
   55. PreservedFish Posted: January 27, 2014 at 06:29 PM (#4646975)
Baseball Pro 98 had Randy Johnson on the cover, right? I thought that game was incredibly buggy. I remember shortstops leading teams in saves.
   56. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 06:41 PM (#4646979)
One thing I would desperately love is to be able to use my mouse's back and forward buttons in OOTP.
   57. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 27, 2014 at 07:16 PM (#4646992)
#55 - Yes on Unit, not really on buggy. Most everything can be righted through use of the configuration file (pb.ini). That file is basically sliders before there were sliders and mine is perfect.

It biggest problem which cannot be completely mitigated is the lack of a discipline rating for hitters. Walks are far too much the function of the pitcher. You cannot really create a Francoeur type hitter - fir better or worse.

But it sims well, graphics are good enough to watch when managing, it does a reasonable job with both.
   58. madvillain Posted: January 27, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4646997)
In fact, nothing makes me angrier than when I accidentally hit the "automanage minor leagues".


Ha, that's a lot of work man! I usually ID my best prospects and manually assign them leagues (say my top 20 guys or so) but the rest of the minors I let the computer run and yea, they are pretty damn bad sometimes at assigning leagues. Your young toolsy CF that's tearing up low A ball will get "stuck" there even if you've got an org depth CF or two at the higher levels that should be benched.

I know in mogul that the minor leagues literally don't matter at all in development, is that that case in OOTP? I'd have to think they've built in a function of improvement at least a bit influenced by playing time and level appropriate time at that.
   59. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 27, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4647003)
I have OOTP14 (Steam gift during Xmas) and it's so very frustrating to play as the Jays.


You have to admit, they really nailed the realism.
   60. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: January 27, 2014 at 07:39 PM (#4647005)
I played the OOTP iPad app and just destroyed it - within a few years after the fantasy draft, I was routinely winning 110+ games a season, culminating in a 130 win masterpiece. I stopped playing quickly - no fun in that.
   61. FrankM Posted: January 27, 2014 at 08:23 PM (#4647027)
You can make it more challenging if you use the feature to keep the displayed ratings hidden (granted they are not the "real" ratings anyway, and have an error margin). Then you have to go by performances and whatever other inferences you can draw, like round drafted etc.

That's if you're using fictional players; with real players of course it's a bit different.
   62. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 08:41 PM (#4647033)
I just don't make trades that I know no absolutely no GM would accept in a million years. Well, unless I'm trading with Dave Littlefield or Ruben Amaro. I mean, come on.
   63. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4647046)
Also in 2019 MLB lowered the mound and a superstar second baseman named DeVarrell Tyrance on the Rangers immediately hit 76 circuit clouts and drove in 189 runs.

That's awesome. I love the "Automatic Evolution" feature.


I bought OOTP 14 a month or so ago, and I'm still on my first franchise (GMing the Mets), up to 2035 I think. I've moved some teams (Rays --> New Orleans Pelicans (now Knights), Diamondbacks up to Portland, and the A's taking over the D-Backs' old stadium), and eventually expanded to 32 teams (welcoming the Raleigh-Durham Bombardiers and Honolulu Volcanos-- who stunk for years and moved to Vegas) and reorganized to four 4-team divisions per league.

The big "Automatic Evolution" things that happened are: 15-day DL became 11 days and eventually 9; 40-man roster became 38; the season extended to 166 games; the Marlins were renamed the Piranhas; and just a season ago, the AL expanded by 2 teams (Jacksonville Shepherds and San Antonio United) for a total of 34. I'm digging the automatic evolution.

I'm fairly sure Stephen Strasburg is the only real player left, hanging on at 45 or 46.
   64. PreservedFish Posted: January 27, 2014 at 10:04 PM (#4647050)
This is still funny:

7. PreservedFish Posted: September 15, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4236685)
I'm playing a Baseball Mogul game where some bug has made it so that almost every player in the league is best friends with Ramon Hernandez. In contract negotiations with free agents, I keep hearing that players are "lonely" and that they'd rather be playing for whatever team that Ramon Hernandez is on. Most of my players are unhappy because they miss Ramon Hernandez. Hernandez is over the hill and overpaid, but I may acquire him just for the morale boost.
   65. AROM Posted: January 27, 2014 at 10:38 PM (#4647063)
RA Dickey played until he was 45, which is realistic for a knuckleballer. David Wright in his late 30's became an incredible OBP machine, taking about 120 walks a year. His defense fell to zero but with his power, very valuable. Right now he's 43, the power is gone, he can only DH. But still a useful player with OBP around .380. He's got over 3000 hits and will have no trouble making the hall.
   66. AROM Posted: January 27, 2014 at 10:40 PM (#4647064)
Felix Hernandez is 40 but unlike most has aged well. Had a near Cy season at 38. He's breaking down now, but with 280 wins just might make it to 300. I'd sign him to give him a chance if my team wasn't way over budget.
   67. zonk Posted: January 27, 2014 at 11:04 PM (#4647073)
It was in ootp13, but I had a guy break Pete Rose's all time hit record...

He was the perfect player to do it -- signed as an international FA at 17, in the majors to stay by 19. He would take a walk, but only to the tune of 60ish BBs a year, good speed, played LF... doubles machine (also broke the record for career 2Bs). Also very durable.

I had to drag him to the finish line -- the last 2 contracts covering his last 3 years were horrific overpays and his last two seasons, he struggled to hit .220, wasting about 400 PAs on him in each... but he got there, breaking the record in late July of his last season when he mercifully chose to retire, saving me his 5 million for the next season (he insisted on a two year deal). Great, great player -- probably in the running with Ted Williams (he also smacked ~450 HRs) for all-time LF. His career line got dragged down by the Biggio-esque quest for the record, but he still ended up somewhere around 340/400/500.

I also had a 400 win pitcher -- power arm with amazingly good health (only 2 DL trips, neither longer than 3 weeks). Had to cheat a bit to get him to 400 -- well, not cheat, but his last season, he was 6 wins shy of 400 but his stuff was absolutely gone... I spot-started him against bad teams, vultured 3 wins in a couple of sneaky ways... I'd pull my SP in the early innings of blowouts and put him in relief (he managed to blow a 7 run lead in the quest for 399), I'd save him for tie games/extra inning games in the hopes. He mercifully made it 5 innings in an early September start where my offense exploded for 15 runs (he gave up 10 over 5).
   68. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 27, 2014 at 11:19 PM (#4647079)
There's a Dutch guy (from the Netherlands) named Dobbe van Campen who broke Henderson's single-season steals record (131 on 149 attempts!) and won the MVP award, hitting .330 with decent walks and power and gold glove defense in left. If this guy really existed there would no doubt be people vehemently arguing on the internet about whether calling him "The Flying Dutchman" is allowable, right? I'm envisioning broken friendships and record levels of Twitter snark over Honus Wagner's good nickname.
   69. RickG Posted: January 27, 2014 at 11:43 PM (#4647086)
I have a guy in my OOTP14 minor leagues right now named "Mysterious Carpenter". He's a nothing-prospect, but I'm waiting to see what happens when he hits 32 or so. Maybe he'll be the first player to come back from a career-ending injury, too.

Count me among those who also loved BBPro '98. I still have my disc - it's just impossible to play on modern systems, which makes me very sad. I know some guys who keep an old computer around just to run their league.
   70. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: January 27, 2014 at 11:56 PM (#4647091)
I've found it pretty easy to take ANY team and turn them into juggernauts without any out and out cheating (that is to say, actually editing players, etc). I have to bind myself to house rules on a lot of things.

My favorite house rule is that I only allow myself to use catchers that I've taken in the Rule 5 draft, or who were minor league free agents at the end of spring training, and I'm not allowed to re-sign any catchers when they reach free agency (arb is OK, but it has to go to the arbitrator). My league fortunately expanded the roster to 26 guys, so I usually have 3 catchers on the roster and always carry a guy whose only job is to pinch hit for the catcher. My current starter is a very good defender with something like a 180/230/270 career batting line, and the #3 catcher is a switch-hitter from Norway.

Had to cheat a bit to get him to 400 -- well, not cheat, but his last season, he was 6 wins shy of 400 but his stuff was absolutely gone..

I did something similar to get Johnny Damon to 3000 hits, kept running him out there as my DH in the face of injury and sub-.200 batting averages. I force unretired him three times when he tried to quit and end the suffering. It took 6 or 7 years to get those last 231 hits, but he made it there at last.
   71. PreservedFish Posted: January 28, 2014 at 12:06 AM (#4647096)
In BBPro '94 the physics of the game were all out of whack and the faster a pitch was thrown, the harder it came off the bat, rendering flamethrowers like John Wetteland useless and elevating the Wegmans and Tewskburys to the top of their craft. I think this was fixed in subsequent versions.

I also remember - and this might have been FPSB '96 - playing 15-20 years into the future, which took an unbelievable amount of time. The new player creation engine didn't work. It would never ever ever create an All-Star player. The draft was just a hundred future bench players. Which meant that I got to a point where all of the best players were over the age of 35 (it happened to be guys like Bobby Higginson and Joey Hamilton). If I had kept going it would have been a world of uniform mediocrity, and although there's something fascinating about that, it wasn't worth the effort.
   72. zonk Posted: January 28, 2014 at 12:07 AM (#4647099)
I did something similar to get Johnny Damon to 3000 hits, kept running him out there as my DH in the face of injury and sub-.200 batting averages. I force unretired him three times when he tried to quit and end the suffering. It took 6 or 7 years to get those last 231 hits, but he made it there at last.


Heh... I love doing this sort of thing in my inaugural seasons - it's a shame Vizquel is gone - in OOTP13, I'd trade for Vizquel and Moyer, sign Damon, Abreu, I-Rod, and Miggy Tejeda, and force start them all.

Got Vizquel to 3000 hits a couple times... ditto I-Rod. The best I could ever do was get Moyer to 280 wins. Abreu, I could get to 300/300 and 2500 career hits. Tejeda, to 2300 and something like 500 career 2Bs.

Playing as GM, it's actually not an awful thing -- the fans get upset (and thus, my fan interest plummets) when I trade everyone -- but increases as I sign the yesteryear all-stars...

   73. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 12:08 AM (#4647101)
I have to say I'm really happy that I picked up FM 2014 during the last Steam sale and decided to upgrade, even though the last season in FM '13 might just well have featured the most dominant squad I have probably ever coached. 6 titles (Community Shield, Euro Super Cup, CWC, Capital One Cup, Premiership, FA Cup). The only blemish was a CL Finals loss to Arsenal (damn you, David Moyes!) where we lost on a howler of a back pass from my world class left back.

Anyways, I think '14 is the best FM yet. I'm really digging the 3d match engine, there's easily the most "football" (as opposed to what I'd call, "FM Ball") being played ever. There's real cohesion and team work, you can see plays developing in steps. In one of the last matches I played, there was this sequence where my left winger got the ball in some space about 1/2 between the line and the center and then proceeded to deliberately waste time with a series of step overs in front of the right back, all the while patiently waiting for my left back to come busting down the line on an overlap, before hitting him in stride with a perfectly weighted pass that led to a cross and a goal.

It was genuinely exciting to watch develop and come off.

As for tactics, I pretty much play the same formation that I have since FM '10: 4-2-3-1 (narrow). I've pretty much always built teams with one philosophy, the fewer moving parts the better ... and certainly, the cheaper. As soon as I can, I screw wingers and go with 3 swapping AMC's. The midfield of a BWd and a B2Bs does require separate kinds of players, but usually they're close enough to swap in for each other in a pinch. Get the best scouts you possibly can, scout the hell out of the world, buy only the very best youngsters (4+ stars) and play them aggressively. I only play my 1st squad in the PL and the CL, everything else is for the 2nd team and prospects. I'm sure in real life the regulars would pitch a fit sideways about it, but they don't seem to mind in FM.
   74. zonk Posted: January 28, 2014 at 12:10 AM (#4647103)
One thing I've always wanted to OOTP be able to do, but to my best knowledge -- it still can't:

Create a wholly fictional league -- but populate history books (or at least, populate player stat lines for active players).

The main reason I still use real rosters is that it just seems so.... wrong... to start with guys that have zero historical numbers. It makes it seem almost wrong to bother with studs on the wrong side of 35, knowing they'll be retired without having any sort of impact career-wise.

   75. PreservedFish Posted: January 28, 2014 at 12:31 AM (#4647112)
As for tactics, I pretty much play the same formation that I have since FM '10: 4-2-3-1 (narrow).


It always bothered me what a huge percentage of the world's great players were AMC's, and how they don't seem to fit into most of the traditional formations. This is a good solve for that.
   76. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 12:44 AM (#4647117)
It always bothered me what a huge percentage of the world's great players were AMC's, and how they don't seem to fit into most of the traditional formations. This is a good solve for that.


Pretty much exactly why I play it. For whatever reason, FM always seems to churn out loads of 80 and 85+ potential AMC's, it seems a shame to not take advantage of that ...

Top drawer B2Bs? Now those are a ####### PITA to find ...
   77. puck Posted: January 28, 2014 at 12:49 AM (#4647118)
Get the best scouts you possibly can, scout the hell out of the world, buy only the very best youngsters (4+ stars) and play them aggressively.

So, as the young players establish themselves in league and CL play, do the big money clubs poach them a la Real Madrid and Bale or Barca and Fabregas? (I assume you're not playing as ManU, City, Chelsea.)
   78. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 01:16 AM (#4647122)
So, as the young players establish themselves in league and CL play, do the big money clubs poach them a la Real Madrid and Bale or Barca and Fabregas? (I assume you're not playing as ManU, City, Chelsea.)


Depends on what the gulf is between my squad and the giants. One tactic I've used in the past (I'm assuming it still works in '14, but I haven't tried it specifically) is to take advantage of the fact that a player on a newly signed contract isn't interested in looking elsewhere for 6 or so months. There are times I'll pro-actively renegotiate a contract with a player I want to keep that is at risk of being a transfer target, just to buy time to get the kind of results that will keep them happy.

Sometimes, there's nothing you can do, but I'd say that the AI seems less aggressive and destabilizing in FM than the real life club counterparts and once you get a few results/trophies or get consistent CL play, it's probably too easy to keep players at significantly lower wages that are being paid by the giant clubs.
   79. OsunaSakata Posted: January 28, 2014 at 08:06 AM (#4647143)
Right, but the leagues I play with people we use DMB. But there, you're only playing one season per season.

The point of playing vs. the computer is to be able to simulate seasons much faster.


You just have to find people who are willing to play faster. I've in one league that's been around for 41 game years another for 28 game years.
   80. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 28, 2014 at 10:30 AM (#4647196)
I did something similar to get Johnny Damon to 3000 hits, kept running him out there as my DH in the face of injury and sub-.200 batting averages


Do you also run the Cleveland Indians in real life?
   81. Rusty Priske Posted: January 28, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4647223)
I sure as hell hope the 3D graphic #### can be turned off.


Just FYI, you WILL be able to turn off the graphics.

I asked as well, because I have no desire to slow my game down by watching the same play clip sover and over.


OOTP is a GREAT game.
   82. AROM Posted: January 28, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4647336)
I've in one league that's been around for 41 game years another for 28 game years.


My league is going into the 32nd calendar year and 38th game year.

One thing I've always wanted to OOTP be able to do, but to my best knowledge -- it still can't:

Create a wholly fictional league -- but populate history books (or at least, populate player stat lines for active players).


That would be nice. For my leagues I just have the historical record separate from the game itself (since APBA doesn't have more than one season displayed at a time anyway.) I am running the league on an old computer anyway, 64 bit computers wont run the game. My brother found a way to run a virtual 32 bit system within his computer, but I haven't taken the time to figure out how to do that.

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