I run the Unofficial Straight Dope Message Board Out of the Park league.
Out of the Park baseball is a baseball simulation game where you act in the role of General Manager. As GM, you are in charge of all personnel decisions – you decide who gets promoted to the majors, who gets put in the lineup/rotation, who get demoted to the minors or who gets released. You can trade players with other owners in the league, draft new amateurs every year in the amateur draft and develop your farm system. You set the player development and scouting budgets, hire/fire minor league managers and coaches and direct all aspects of your team.
Our league is one of the longest running leagues in the world - and it began on these boards back in 2002. We were even profiled for our longevity by the creators of the game. We have just completed our 31st season and are now in the off-season, at free agent signing.
What is Out of the Park baseball?
Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP) is a baseball simulation game. You act as the GM.
How does it work?
We simulate games once a week (although we are looking to go to twice per week in the coming season). After we simulate the games, you download the changes to your local copy of the game. You then make whatever changes you want/need to and upload the changes back to the server. When we run the simulation, we download everyone’s changes to the game, simulate the next week or two and then re-upload the results. All this is handled within the game. You don’t have to have any knowledge of FTP or any other technology.
Is this like fantasy baseball?
No. Fantasy baseball uses real players and you earn points based on how your players do in certain statistical categories. In OOTP, the players are all fictional and it’s not just stat-counting - but actual games are played. Your goal is not to accumulate the best stats – it’s to win the most games and take home our version of the World Series Trophy – the Cecil Cup (and yes, there IS a physical cup)!
How much time does this require?
That’s entirely up to you. To download the league file, move some players around (on/off the DL, to/from the minors, etc.) and upload your changes should only take a few minutes. Of course, you could spend more time with your team. You might also spend some time discussing potential trades with other owners. The bottom line is that we don’t require a lot of time, but you can put in as much time as you like.
How much does it cost?
The cost to join the league is free. You do, however, have to own the software. Normally the game costs $40, but until Nov 1, it is on sale for $9.99.
Which teams are available?
We have three teams available, including two of the stronger teams in the league – the Maui Mashers and the Seattle Monarchs. Want a real challenge? Take the Highland Admirals and turn them into winners. You will be allowed to “relocate” and rename the teams for the next season.
Great! What do I have to do to join?
All you have to do is send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), send me a PM or even just comment in this thread. If you have any questions, I will be more than happy to answer them.