We have an opening in our Out of the Park Baseball League. Anyone want to play?

The Unofficial SDMB Out of the Park Baseball League currently has an opening and we are looking to fill it.

For those of you who don’t know, OOTP is a baseball simulation game that puts you in the owner’s/General Manager’s seat. In short, you have a twenty-five man Major League roster, as well as three levels of minor leagues (AAA, AA and A). You draft and develop players, sign free agents, offer and negotiate trades, set promotion dates for your team (Bat Day, Bobblehead Day, etc.), manage your team’s finances, etc. The game is available through their website.

The league is currently finishing up it’s fifth season. The Cecil Cup is currently being decided and the 2007 season will be beginning shortly.

The franchise that is currently available is that of the Austin Pioneers. The Pioneers finished the season with a record of 79-83, a fourth place finish in the six-team Zotti League.

The Pioneers are a team with some strengths, some weaknesses and a potential problem.

The high points of the team are:

1B Frank Nunn. Nunn is a lefty slugger, who has 199 career home runs over the last five years, along with a career batting average of .323. On top of that, he’ll also steal about 15 bases a year. Nunn has been an All-Star all five years of the League’s existence, and was the Outstanding Batter (our MVP equivelant) for the 2002 season.

SP Roberto Olivas. Olivas had a breakout year this season, posting an 18-8 record with a 3.16 ERA. He is 31 years old and is under contract for the next three seasons.

LF Tony Demiras. Demiras was Austin’s first round pick (second overall) in the 2005 draft. He’s got very good potential both as a power hitter and a hitter for average. He’s only 19 and could, with his ratings, contribute at the major league level already, although many owners might leave him for another season of seasoning. In fact, in 2005, at age 18, he got 97 at bats at the major league level, ending up with an average of .278 with 4 home runs. If he did that, at age 18, with under 100 AB, imagine what he could do at age 23 with 550 AB? And, on top of that, he’s a pretty good runner too.

SP Ed Scull. Scull is a 25-year old pitcher, currently throwing for Austin’s AAA team. He was a first-round pick in 2003 and has matured over the years to the point where he should be ready to contribute in the next year or so.

SP Isaac Diehl. Diehl, a second round pick in 2006, is currently the #22 prospect in the league. He went 12-6 for AA this year and will probably start next year at AAA.

The team, however, has some weaknesses: The hitting could be better, the pitching needs major improvement (the 4.39 ERA ranked 10th out of 12 teams in the league). Austin pitchers gave more free passes to opposing batters than any other team in the league.

There is one major potential problem with the team: Frank Nunn.

Nunn, as he is, is a great hitter. But he’s 34 years old. And he’s got a huge contract for the next six years. He may continue hitting for a few years, but at some point, he’s probably going to start declining. It’ll be up to you to try to figure out how to handle his contract when his production starts going downhill. Maybe you’ll find someone to trade him to. Maybe you’ll just eat the contract or play him. But the choice will be yours.

Your job will be to take this franchise, rebuild it (faster, stronger, better) and make it into a contender.

You can see the team’s full roster and details at the team’s page.

After the season ends, you’ll be able to “relocate” and rename the team to your own suiting.

The basic parameters of the game are as follows:

Fictional players
No salary cap
No designated hitter
Modern-style play

All we ask is that you participate actively. Once a week you will have to download the league file to your computer, make any necessary changes to your team, and then upload the file to the league website.

The game is available for download at Out Of The Park Baseball. At the end of this season, we are going to upgrade to the newest version of the game, version 6.5. If you own version 6, the cost to upgrade is $9.95. If you do not own version 6, you will have to buy it ($19.90) and then upgrade to 6.5.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask and either I, or one of the other league members, will be more than happy to answer.

Zev Steinhardt

Consider me officially interested. I’d love to do this.

Allow me to encourage you, Atreyu. I’m part of the league and enjoy it immensely.

From the baseball threads some of you may know me for the stat-head analysis junkie that I am. This game satisfies that need of mine almost completely. Yet it’s straightforward enough that someone who doesn’t enjoy spreadsheets can get just as much pleasure from it.

Truly, it’s a blast. And only as time consuming as you make it. Heck, in addition to the SDMB league that Zev runs for us I’ve run over 100 seasons in my own league just me against 29 AI teams. I play Washington.

OK, the spot’s filled.

Zev Steinhardt