December 12, 2018

Seamheads Sneak Peek — Coming in November

October 18, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

For some us, baseball is a year round obsession.  Even though the Major League Baseball season ends, we find ways to fill the off-season with talk of the “Hot Stove League” and the occasional Winter League tidbit as we patiently wait for pitchers and catchers to report.

Here at Seamheads, we don’t want the season to end but inevitably it has to.  Or does it?

Enter the Seamheads Historic League (SHL) — name is a work in progress.  Starting soon after the World Series ends, the SHL begins.  But what, you ask, is the SHL?

The SHL is a concept formed about two months ago after I had a discussion with Matt Sisson about another possible project to fill the idle time of the offseason.  That project, unfortunately, fell through — for now — but a side project of a continuation of the excitement of the baseball season in the off months and bringing it to the Seamheads began to blossom.

The first step was to contact Mike Lynch and see what he thought of the idea.  Basically, the idea was to form historical All-Time rosters of every Major League franchise and simulate a league using “Out of the Park Baseball” (OOTP 9), a computer simulation program.  Mike thought the idea was definitely one to push forward with so the groundwork for the SHL began.

In concept, the idea was imperfect though.  Under the current configuration, it didn’t make sense for the Toronto Blue Jays to compete with the New York Yankees straight up and how historically relevant were the four most recent franchises?  But then again, this was a historic league and baseball had a number of division and league configurations in its time.  To balance the league for competitveness, seven four-team divisions were formed:

National Originals – Teams Who Began In The National League
Braves
Cubs
Giants
Phillies

National Association – Teams Who Began In American Association But Moved to National League
Cardinals
Dodgers
Pirates
Reds

American Atlantic – American League Teams Along the East Coast (Originally)
Athletics
Red Sox
Twins
Yankees

American Midwest – American League Teams in Midwest (Originally)
Indians
Orioles
Tigers
White Sox

Expansion A – Teams Added in ’61 & ’62
Angels
Astros
Mets
Rangers

Expansion B – Teams Added in ’69
Brewers
Nationals
Padres
Royals

Expansion C – Teams Added in ’70s & ’90s
Blue Jays
Mariners
Rockies/Diamondbacks
Marlins/Rays

All franchises are allowed to select players when the current team played in a different location.  For example, the Nationals have access to the Montreal Expos.  And the schedule is set for teams to play more games in division than out and for the two National divisions to play a few more games against each other, the two American divisions to play a few additional games against each other and the three expansion divisions to play a few games against each other.

Once the divisions and schedules were set, the next step was to set up rosters.  At first, the concept was simple.  Share the idea with the Seamheads team and come up with rosters.  However, then the idea took a new direction.  Instead of the Seamheads writers being the “General Managers” of these All-Time franchises, why not seek out some of the best baseball minds and baseball fans out there?  So, we did.  I turned to Mike and Joe Hamrahi from Baseball Digest Daily for help and the three of us — mostly Mike and Joe — landed some big names in the baseball world to help give the project an addition that makes it more interesting.  Plus, it gives our writers a chance to help weave a story about the season without any personal interest in one particular team.

As far as who the “GMs” are… well, that will continue to be a loosely guarded secret — if you are familiar with Facebook and join the Seamheads group there, you’ll find a few names there and some of the “GMs” have asked for help on their blogs and such.  The names will be revealed here on the blog soon but it doesn’t take a bloody sock to figure out some of them.

Anyway, hope this is enough of a taste of what’s to come.  Personally, I’m working on the daunting tasks of entering all of the All-Time franchises into the simulation and some other details.  And more information will be revealed next Saturday… but hopefully this is enough to get you checking back for more and while you are, check out all the great writers on Seamheads and leave comments on what you think of the idea especially constructive ones since there’s still time to make minor tweaks.

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