Sports Contest

Monday, March 23, 2015

1994 Season Replay: Reviewing Out of the Park Baseball 16

Very seldom does anything live up to the hype, Out of the Park Baseball 16 did that and then some. I had Brad Cook of Out of the Park Developments on The Big Mike Podcast a couple weeks back and we discussed the new features of OOTP 16. The new feature list was impressive but now it was time to try them out.

To try out some of the new features, I went ahead and simulated the 1994 season. Here are the things that I really liked a lot.

The first thing that caught my attention are the new player pages. Below is Tony Gwynn. What stood out to me is after his height and weight it has symbols for Gold Gloves, All Star Appearances and Silver Slugger Awards. If you hover over one of the symbols it will give you the year in which it was accomplished. I love it. Speaking of awards, there are new ones this year. The Cy Young Award(Best Pitcher Award) is back but now you have an actual MVP award. There is also an option that lets you decide if a pitcher should be eligible to win the MVP award. You also have the Silver Slugger Award for each position. Really nicely done.

As we progress through the season you will notice other great changes. The All Star voting system is one of the cool changes. The game starts giving you All Star voting updates and as a manager you also have your own ballot to submit.

Then we get to the Pennant Chase. Brad Cook mentioned that in this version there would be more emphasis on the pennant chase. The pennant chase screen becomes active with 30 days left in the season. This is how it looks:

You will also notice the logos that are historically accurate for 1994. This happens automatically when you start a league thanks to the new license with MLB

You can see all the logos here as we look at the final standings:

As you can see, Frank Thomas had a monster year and broke the homerun record of Roger Maris. It wasn't good enough to get the White Sox into the playoffs. The Mariners got a horrible break as Randy Johnson made only 22 starts until he got hurt and was lost for the season.

The Yankees had an unreal season and the Kansas City Royals just had everything go right led by all people Bob Hamelin.

Remember, 1994 was supposed to be the first year with the wildcard and the extra round of playoffs.

Another new feature is naming a playoff series MVP. The Yankees would sweep the Indians and Wade Boggs would be named series MVP

The Yankees and the Braves would have the best records in this alternate 1994 but it would not lead to the pennant for either of them.

The Reds would win it all and you have to love this next screen with the trophy and the official MLB logo. Nicely done.

One of the other features that was added was the all time playoff leaderboard. Really sweet. It keeps both individual postseasons and career postseason numbers. You can see what a historic postseason Bob Hamelin of the Royals had in this new 1994.

Is that it? Not close. We now move into the Hall of Fame. Once again, another feature which is much more interactive. All active managers get their own HOF ballot and just like real life, a player must get 75% of the vote to gain induction and get at least 5% to stay on the ballot.

Curious as to the results? Here they are, not only for the current year but for all the years. Once again, nicely done!

You also get the full voting results

That is not the best part, the actual Hall of Fame and the way it looks might be my favorite feature. Check it out

Amazing! These are not even all the features. Because I did a quick simulation of a replay season the new coaching, managing and GM modes were not utilized. Trust me, those are also very cool. I will post about them next. Enjoy Out of the Park Baseball 16! Markus and staff have outdone themselves again.

Buy Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 4 Buy Franchise Hockey Manager PC & Mac Buy OOTP Baseball 15 PC & Mac

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

(1981 Replay) Weekly Wrap Up: Yankees Top Power Rankings, Marathon Game and Bobby Grich Shows Power

April 13, 1981

The first week of the 1981 season is in the book, while it was a short week it did have a lot going on. The Yankees are off to a 3-0 start to grab the top spot in the power rankings. The Royals, who are 2-0, are the only other undefeated team.

 The Giants and Padres were involved in a 20 inning game on Saturday night in Candlestick Park. Larry Herndon collected five hits but needed 10 at bats.  Vida Blue and Rick Wise got the start but they were nowhere to be found as the game entered the 20th inning. The Padres would score three times in the top of that inning and hold on for a 6-3 win. Jack Clark would hit the only homer in the game, it was in the bottom of the 17th to tie the game at 3.

Also on Saturday, there was some pitching as Dan Petry of the Tigers threw a complete game shutout of the Blue Jays while Jerry Koosman of the Twins did the same thing against the Oakland Athletics.

Bobby Grich of the Angels and Hector Cruz of the Cubs were named Players of the Week for their respective leagues.

Buy Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 4 Buy Franchise Hockey Manager PC & Mac Buy OOTP Baseball 15 PC & Mac

Monday, March 2, 2015

1994 Replay: Weekly Wrap Up, Buhner and Gwynn Red Hot

April 11, 1994

The first week of the 1994 season is in the books and the Houston Astros sit on top of the power rankings.

The Astros 5-1 record is tied with the Mariners for best record in all of baseball

Tony Gwynn and Jay Buhner took home Player of the Week Awards

Around the League:

Greg Maddux threw a complete game shutout on Saturday and then Steve Avery turned around and did the same thing on Sunday.

Kirby Puckett picked up his 2,000th career hit on Friday while Paul Molitor picked up his 2,500th on Sunday.

Buy Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 4 Buy Franchise Hockey Manager PC & Mac Buy OOTP Baseball 15 PC & Mac

1994 Replay: Greg Maddux Shuts Down Dodgers

April 9th, 1994

Greg Maddux was dominant against the Dodgers but it almost didn't lead to the win. The game was scoreless in the 9th inning when Mark Lemke drove in the go ahead run with a double. Maddux came out for the 9th inning and did what he did all game long, shut down the Dodgers. Jim Gott would get the loss but it was Ramon Martinez who pitched really well for the Dodgers but would take the no decision.

Buy Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 4 Buy Franchise Hockey Manager PC & Mac Buy OOTP Baseball 15 PC & Mac

Monday, February 23, 2015

1981 Replay: Season Predictions

Our 1994 Season Replay has started but we sent out requests via Twitter for other suggestions and the 1981 season was brought up several times. The 1981 season has a lot in common with the 1994 season, both were seasons ruined by a strike. However, the 1981 season did have a conclusion and did crown a champion. Did it crown the correct champion though? In 1981 MLB used a split season format. The winner in the division from the first half received a playoff berth and the winner in the division on the second half received a playoff berth.

107 games were played in total and the playoff teams in the American League were the Yankees, Athletics, Brewers and Royals. The Yankees would head to the World Series. The issue with this is that the Yankees went 59-48 overall which was the fourth best record in the AL East.

In the National League, the playoff teams were the Phillies, Expos, Dodgers and Astros. The Dodgers would go to the World Series and win it all. The problem with this is that the Dodgers had an overall record of 63-47 which was four games worse than the Reds in the NL West.

In the NL East, the Cardinals owned the best overall record at 59-43, two games better than the Expos yet they did not sniff the playoffs due to the split season format.

1981 is the kind of season that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. We are going to fix this with the help of Out of the Park Baseball.

Just like the 1994 season replay, we will use actual transactions but play a full 162 games. There will be no split season format.

Here are the preseason predictions. Once again, this looks interesting...well except for the AL East

Buy Draft Day Sports: Pro Basketball 4 Buy Franchise Hockey Manager PC & Mac Buy OOTP Baseball 15 PC & Mac