|Sacrificing fielding for hitters like Gomes has consequences.|
Our teams got whooped up on by the young guns in Matthew Pike & Reese Mooney, and we (James & I) would only play 1 game of our 3-game series, due to the fact that our division play ran over & the fact that we wanted to spend quality time with others at the tournament. During that one game though, Jim would introduce me to the aspects of Optional Fielding, and what he does to make it easy for him to make game play go by easily. He mentioned that it is nice to have a easy go-to-index card or sheet, to make the process easily.
I would take that idea & place it on a index card that I use now, it helps a lot -- plus the more you play Optional Fielding, the more & more you recognize the usual numbers used for this play. At first, I would maybe miss a optional fielding opportunity number, but now that I have been playing with Optional Fielding since that Tournament in July, it comes so natural & easy.
Above is my index card, on the right side using Picassa, I highlighted an arrow towards the infield defense which also plays an effect on numbers such as results 21, 22, 24, 25, 29, 33 & 34 -- plus results on left side with the other following positions.
In a recent game for my APBA 2K9 Project, in which the best players from each of the 30 franchises from 2009, 2010 & 2011 seasons -- playing a 162 game season, based off the 2016 MLB schedule, and with Houston as part of the American League; I have decided to show the effects of that game using Optional Fielding to show how it can completely can come into play.
|Late career Chipper, definitely a liability.|
I have also seen how Optional Fielding would play out when a late-career Chipper Jones' 3B-3, would result in a 5-3, with runner on 1st advancing to second -- instead of a better fielding third baseman would have pulled off a throw to second, to catch lead runner & pull off a double play -- this is where Optional Fielding plays a huge difference in more realistic play... this is where Chipper's defense will haunt your team from getting out of an inning later, than rather sooner.
So late in a game between the American League Houston Astros visiting Milwaukee, playing the Milwaukee Brewers, I noticed on a few occasions how this game was effected with the realism of Optional Fielding.
Bottom of the 6th:
Both teams are fielding 2 (37) - Bases Empty, Milwaukee up with Ryan Braun leading off the inning, rolls a 53-16 result... If you are playing with the regular basic rules, we all know that the '16 result' against a fielding 2 results in a single, but with OPTIONAL FIELDING, you go to the CF's fielding grade, against the Astros' center fielder Michael Bourn's OF-3, which is a fielding 1 for that position, which results in a FLY OUT with Optional Fielding.
The very next batter was Corey Hart, rolled the same dice roll 53, which in this case was a '17 result' with Houston's right fielder was Hunter Pence (OF-2), a fielding 2 on optional fielding, which this time resulted in a single. Pence has been a fielding 3 in multiple seasons, but for his 2011 card, he's a OF-2, which resulted in a hit over his usual sure out.
Later in the game, Top of the 9th:
Bases empty, one out, Carlos Lee comes to the plate for the Houston Astros, he rolls a 53-15, against Milwaukee's Ryan Braun in left (OF-2) resulting in fielding 2's '15-Single'. Chris Johnson comes to the plate next, rolls a dice roll 53-19, with the '19 result' playing against Milwaukee's Casey McGehee, who is only a 3B-3 -- which results in fielding 3 option, and a single, advancing the runner to second. Now if, this play was hit to a 3B-5 or 3B-6, which the Brew Crew would have Aramis Ramirez in later years at third (3B-5), this play would have resulted in a 5-3, ground out, with runner advancing to second.
Miguel Tejada would roll a 63-31 on next at-bat, which is a FLY OUT result all across the board, but let's say the CF was a fielding OF-1 instead of OF-2 in this case, and that the pinch-runner Jason Michaels (in for Carlos Lee at this point) was F (Fast), he would have tagged up -- this is just another case, where the fielding not being as good as it can be, can come back on the defense & where opponents can scrape a few more runs.
Back to factors such as Chipper Jones, you can see the difference in grading compared to that of a 3B-5 or 3B-6 in players such as Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt & Brooks Robinson; Plus checkout how both Lou Whitaker & Alan Trammell would be fielding 1's in Optional Fielding, which will pay dividends if the Detroit Tigers happen to be fielding a basic game normal fielding as a fielding 2 with a 38 or 39 for example -- using optional fielding will show the payoff of having the best double play combination in MLB history at your disposal.
Now that I took the Optional Fielding challenge, I will keep at it for ALL my solo projects, I would love to take this time & bring this more realistic touch to some of my other Basic APBA player friends, and see if they would take the challenge... believe me, you will love it. I would love to see someone like my friend Rich Z or someone else maybe bring this touch to their solo projects, maybe for one of their solo tournaments, or even a short series.
Anyways, I hope my readers enjoyed this article, I wanted to feature this for many good reasons. I hope you found it entertaining at least.