May 27, 2018

SHL Update — What is taking so long?

December 14, 2008 by · 3 Comments 

Since I’ve been writing for Seamheads, the “Seamheads Historical League” is the most exciting project I’ve been involved in.  From the moment Mike got excited about it when I brought it up,  I knew the idea would take off.

Then, as the idea got more elaborate and more involved — like introducing “celebrity” GMs and using ONLY statistics from the player’s history with a specific team to allow players to play for multiple teams — the project became more intriguing.  It also became more time consuming to get off the ground.

Here’s the good news:  There was definite progress made during the past week in moving the “league” toward opening day.  However, there is still some work to be done and a few of the touches had to be scrapped and moved to a second season, if season one is a hit.  So far, the increased traffic around Seamheads looks like it will be and even with the delays, there is still likely to be a good three months of offseason baseball for baseball history geeks to enjoy thanks to the SHL.

If you are wondering what the hold up is, I thought it would be a good idea to put up a post to give insight into why.  Now that all the rosters are finalized, it is pretty safe to talk about some of the how the simulation is being utilized.

The simulation we went with for the league is Out of the Park 9.  Because of its limitless customizability, OOTP was hands down the first choice.  Because of the amount of customizations, I got bogged down in the details in the beginning and lost a lot of time playing with a lot of the bells and whistles while ignoring the core of the simulation.  The good part of that is there are a lot of ideas that could be added to future installments of the SHL if Season One meets expectations.

Then, the focus went into putting in the rosters and developing player ratings.  With 40 players per team and 28 teams in the league, that is over 1,000 players to input.  And to input the players into OOTP, it is not a point and click process.  It’s not difficult but it is time consuming.  Add to that, the statistics had to be team specific and there needed to be some sort of neutralization of the statistics to use players from different Eras.  Again, easier said than done.

These processes involved heavy use of the Lahman Database, Baseball Reference and Microsoft Excel.  It also took about 20 hours of trial and error to find the best possible way to enter the teams and get the most acceptable numbers.  Also, to protect the integrity and the consistency of it all, I decided it made sense for me to be the only one to enter the data.  That guaranteed consistency across the board but also has turned the last month or so of my life into numbers, numbers and more numbers.

Since there is still going to be input from some of the GMs on lineups and such, I don’t want to divulge too much into how the stats were neutralized and want the rosters and decisions to be focused on the players and not the simulation.  This has always been about celebrating baseball history and not exploiting a simulation’s weak spots — every simulation has them.

Finally, in the past three weeks, I’ve also been in the process of moving from an apartment to a house and for the past two weeks, I had limited access to a computer and the Internet and that has slowed things down even further.

Now that all of the hiccups and speed bumps have been overcome, the league should be starting soon.  It’s tough to say how soon but the goal is to under promise and over deliver here while giving a good explanation as to why the process is so slow.

Keep checking back for more updates and feel free to leave comments with questions if you have any and they will be answered ASAP.


3 Responses to “SHL Update — What is taking so long?”
  1. Lou says:

    Have you tested OOTP and this type of league before? I love the functionality of OOTP, but it really falls apart in these type of historical leagues. So much so it becomes unusable in my opinion. The stats become so non-historical after a time. Did you look at Diamond Mind Baseball? Costly, but it is truly the best there is out there.

  2. Keep up the great work Brian…it will be worth it in the end!


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  1. […] Thanks, Mike. That’s not what I wanted to hear, though. What do you think about the SHL project at It would be interesting to know more about the "neutralization" process. Blog Archive SHL Update — What is taking so long? […]

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