SteveMRyan's Blog

August 22, 2016

Fantasy Football Time again!

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevemryan @ 1:33 pm

…And I won’t play.  I used to play fantasy baseball and it helped me in my understanding of baseball.  Fantasy Football caused me to dislike football.  This year I might try to watch some football games other than the Super Bowl.  I might not.

The last time I played Fantasy Football, my team was named the Harrison Redskins.  I created an offensive logo for my helmet and I believe I let the online league website draft my team.

Redskins

Harrison Redskins

 

 

My biggest problem with Fantasy Football is the injury process.  Some teams, like the New England Patriots, seem to respect the players’ privacy in the aspect of the HIPAA Law of 1996.  My wife has worked in the healthcare field and understands the HIPAA Law much better than I do.  My understanding is that personal healthcare information is a private matter and the injured worker controls the release of that information.  This also applies to work related injuries which are what most Fantasy Football Injuries appear to be.  My dad had a bad wreck last December 16th, 2015 and it is a Worker’s Comp situation.  I hope Football Players don’t have to deal with Liberty Mutual for their claims.  The nicest way to say it is Liberty Mutual’s Worker’s Comp division sucks.

My other problem with an injury situation, as it relates to Fantasy Football, is the waiver player pickup process.  Most pickups are the first-come-first-serve variety for people actually watching games and trolling the waiver wire looking for available players.  This is particularly advantageous when a starting QB or RB experiences a season-ending injury and an obvious replacement is waiting in the wings.

That is just another reason I love APBA Games.  Last week, I played a football game.  I rolled play results that would have been injuries for key players but I chose to ignore those results.

Den-Car Scoresheet 081516

 I do the same when I play APBA Baseball using cards and dice.  When I play Baseball for Windows, I let injuries stand since ignoring them isn’t an option.

White Sox Baseball

This morning I rolled a game between the 1965 Twins and the 1965 Cardinals.  Jim Kaat won the game for the Twins beating Bob Gibson’s Cardinals 4-2.  No players were injured in the rolling of this game and an angel got their wings.

65 SLN @ 65 MIN 082216v

65 SLN @ 65 MIN 082216h

65MIN @ 65 SLN 082216

I am still playing my 1965 Tournament and am halfway through Group C with the 1965 Cincinnati Reds and the 1965 Milwaukee Braves advancing to the Knockout Round from Groups A & B respectively.  It has been a fun tournament and I am sure I won’t be done until all of the available Fantasy Football Leagues have drafted and teams are claimed.

August 9, 2016

The Bronx was Burning

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevemryan @ 10:50 pm

In the Summer of 1977, I was 12 years old and between sixth and seventh grades.  I remember following Spiderman in the comics.  And every day I checked the standings for the National League West.  My Reds seemed to be facing an uphill battle as they tried to win their third World Series in a row.  The Reds had the best player in the game in my opinion as George Foster slugged 52 homers.  Cincinnati was in 2nd place, 6 1/2 games back of the Dodgers on June 18th.  The Dodgers would end up winning the division by 10 games but lose the World Series to the Yankees.

On June 18, 1977 the Yankees were in Fenway Park playing the Red Sox.  In the bottom of six, Jim Rice hit a check-swing blooper to right field that Reggie Jackson played into a double.  Yankees manager Billy Martin visited the mound to change pitchers and sent Paul Blair to right field for what he perceived as lollygagging on Jackson’s part.  That is basically the opening scene in the ESPN presentation of The Bronx is Burning.

This is a well-made show chronicling the Summer of ’77 as the Yankees pursued the AL Pennant and World Series along with the serial killer Son of Sam.  New York was in the midst of electing a new mayor and enduring a heatwave that precipitated blackouts due to the demands of air conditioning on the city power grid.

The ESPN story uses what appear to be actual clips from network broadcasts in their telling of the story.  My family didn’t have cable in 1977 so the Game of the Week was a weekly event and my best chance to watch baseball.  I believe that was the summer we got central heat and air.  Even in mid-June, the afternoons were especially hot and we wanted to stay in the air conditioning.  I recall watching the game when Blair was sent to right for Jackson.  I remember the ensuing blowup in the dugout.  It was definitely a zoo in the Bronx.

I didn’t discover APBA until the Spring of 1980.  Ads populated the pages of Baseball Digest and The Sporting News.  I ordered the game after writing several companies for brochures or information about their games.  The brochure I received from the APBA Game Company was pure literature (plus a sample card).  Any person studying Marketing should read the APBA brochures to get an idea how to sell a product.  I ordered the APBA Baseball game with some money I received for my birthday.  When I got home from school I checked the mailbox and front porch every day until the game arrived.  My game came with the 1979 Season card set.  The first two past seasons I ordered were the 1976 and 1977 sets. 

I love the 1976 set because my Reds were awesome.  I love the 1977 set because of the possibilities.  I swapped Dan Driessen with Rod Carew because the Reds needed a better first-baseman.  The Reds let Tony Perez go to the Expos in a trade with Will McEnaney for Woodie Fryman and Dale Murray.  Driessen was better than the aging Tony Perez but Carew was the MVP of the American League after hitting .388 with a .449 OBP and .570 SLG for an OPS of 1.019 to lead the Major Leagues.

When I used my 1977 Reds, I didn’t play a set schedule.  I pitted the Reds against most of the other teams.  I enjoyed learning about other teams and players and usually I followed the suggested lineups on the APBA Roster sheet.  The Reds won a lot of games and I seem to recall playing some tournaments and they won their fair share.

I played APBA in the mid-afternoon.  The mornings were spent playing tennis because it was cooler in the morning and I could be outside.  Later in the afternoon was cooler when the sun was behind the taller trees to the west of the basketball court across the street.  Tennis, APBA & basketball.  What a Summer!

I played Dizzy Dean Baseball but had broken my toe at school after the third game and limped through the rest of the season.  The season ended about the same time the cast came off, a week or so after summer break began.  My team didn’t make the playoffs and I was by no stretch an all-star.  In Dizzy Dean, all-stars were picked to play on league teams that qualified for district then state playoffs.  The previous year, my team had won our district, finished second in the state and gone to the Southern Region Tournament but I skipped all of that to go to camp with my cousin.  I didn’t have a good experience with that team.  It is a testament to my love for baseball that my passion for the game survived.  

I never played for a better team but I had more fun and played for better coaches in other seasons.  But once I discovered APBA I entered my own world where I was the coach.  My players’ cards were treated fairly and without bias. The cards are still treated fairly.

I am currently playing a World Cup style tournament with the 1965 MLB teams.  I have four groups with five teams.  Each group plays ten round robin games, four games per team.  Each team plays the other teams in their division once.  I have completed two groups with the Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Braves advancing.  I could play twenty tournaments and probably get ten different winners.  I love playing the games though and it is very relaxing.

APBA has been a constant for the last 35+ years.  I score the games using Ballscore instead of by hand.  I have all of the teams from 1901 to the latest set.  Mostly I play eight-team, single elimination tournaments but I play other types of tournaments as well.  I have played the APBA Golf, Saddle Racing, Basketball, and Football.  Through the years, I always come back to baseball.  APBA Baseball pleases me.

 

July 17, 2016

The things you learn…

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevemryan @ 8:24 pm

I jumped off the pop culture train in the late 1980s.  Ask me a question about music or most popular TV shows (Seinfeld, Friends…etc) and I draw a blank.  I have always followed baseball, but I lost track of the NBA, most of the NFL and I never really kept up with the NHL.

The Internet has helped some.  I was working today and looking at a variety of blogs.  One was referring to a game company’s Negro League card set for use with their game.  The blog was several years old and said the set was still available.  Being the curious type, I clicked on the link and discovered the set was available either with a full game or as an individual purchase.

I clicked around on the site and saw something else very intriguing.  The company has a basketball game card set available for the 2001-02  NBA Season.  One of the points of interest was the fact that the Nets made the NBA Finals.  Somehow I had totally missed that.  I love Sports-reference.com and the related sites.  I looked on basketball-reference.com and sure enough, the Nets were swept by the Lakers.  Who knew?

Friday I was surfing the internet at work and was reading about the many satellite APBA tournaments popping up mainly in the upper-Midwest.  Several of the tournaments feature divisional round-robin play followed by a single-elimination playoff round.  Baseball is not a game that is good at determining a champion in a single elimination format.  I prefer at least a best-of-three playoff format.

TCABT6

 

There is a tournament in central Minnesota the first weekend in October with the best-of-three playoff format.  Friday when I returned home from work I asked my wife if she would like to make a quick trip to Minnesota.  She said that would be fun.  Last night we found a hotel with a vacancy on those dates and we made a reservation.  There must be something going on that weekend because there weren’t many vacancies at the hotel chains we were familiar with at reasonable prices.

So I will get to play in my first non-APBA Convention tournament and I am excited.  It will be well worth the 30-hour round trip drive.  The team selection is a bit less restrictive than the APBA Convention so I will still use the 1998 Atlanta Braves Great Teams of the Past edition.  The hitting numbers are rearranged but for the most part, they are the same.  There is a small bump for better strikeout ratings and one reliever is an A* up from a B*.  Other teams get the same advantage I am sure so it will all even out.

98 Braves

Yes, I have three versions of the same team.

 

With a new guy being hired at work the overtime should be reduced significantly.  Hopefully, we should be back to working around 48 hours a week with no more than six 12-hour shifts in a row.  The new hire is younger by 20+ years than the guy he is replacing so there shouldn’t be as many sick call-outs and the newbie probably won’t have as many vacation days.  Work should be a less stressful atmosphere.

That is probably why my wife agreed to the quick trip.  Last month I had some vacation days but other than that, I was only off work for two days.  This month I may have four total off days.  I am in the midst of 11 straight days at work.    I tend to lose track of days.

So the APBA Tournament will be great.  Win or lose I will have a blast.  I will know a few people there from the APBA Convention in Alpharetta but I will also meet new friends.  Plus, I will get to be with lots of people playing my favorite game.  I am excited!

 

July 3, 2016

Happy Birthday America!

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevemryan @ 10:54 pm

Almost nine years from turning 250 and I hope we make it.  We won’t find our hope in either Hilary or Trump but there is hope.

I was able to play another game in my tourney using the teams from the 1965 Season.  I captured it with time-lapse photography and figured out how to turn it into a stop motion video on youtube.  Enjoy!

I dragged 200+ photos into the slideshow maker on youtube and then added some public domain music.  My method needs work, but it is a start.

June 27, 2016

Let’s Roll!

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevemryan @ 7:49 am

Todd Beamer lived in Stoneycreek Township in Pennsylvania.  It appears to me that he was obviously an APBA Player.  This past weekend was the 2016 APBA Convention in Alpharetta, GA.

TC-1

Roy even has my cards memorized and waits patiently for me to read my card result

Roy Langhans, an APBA Hall of Famer, won the Tournament with the 1985 St Louis Cardinals.  Roy Langhans has tried to win the tournament since the maiden convention in 1973.

2016 Trophy

2016 APBA Convention Tourney Runner-Up Trophy

There were 50 players participating in the tournament.  The tournament consists of seven divisions with six teams and one division with eight teams.  The Division winners won with records ranging from 8-2 to 6-4.  There was also a team that lost a tie-breaker with an 8-2 record.  After the first round of the playoffs the only survivors were players who had never won the tournament.

HRD-1

2016 Home Run Derby

The competitions began Thursday evening with the first Football Tournament Semi-final between APBA HOFer Greg Wells and Ray Dunlap.  Friday morning saw the second Football Semi-final between Greg Barath and Mike Harlow.  The Hockey Tournament also continued with a best-of-three Final between APBA HOFer Steve Skoff and Chuck Sorce.  Friday was busy with the Home Run Derby in the afternoon before dinner.

HRD-Champ-3

Roy even has my cards memorized and waits patiently for me to read my card result

Personally, I feel the Home Run Derby Trophy is the best trophy.  This year the Derby victor was a first-time attendee.  Steve Skoff dominated the Hockey Tournament winning the Finals two games to one.  Wells and Barath advanced to the Football Finals.  Greg Wells won with the 2015 New England Patriots over Barath’s 2015 Carolina Panthers.

HOF-1

Greg Wells introducing the 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

After dinner the Hall of Fame Inductions were held.  Greg Wells introduced the new inductees.  Last year Greg’s son, Brian Wells – also a HOFer, introduced the inductees.

HOF-2

Ray Dunlap

Ray Dunlap was the first inductee and he has contributed many innovations and ideas for the football game.  Ray lives in the Atlanta area and his wife was able to join him for the ceremony.

HOF-3

Greg Barath

The second inductee was Greg Barath.  Greg is legendary for his solo replays using the Football Game.  He has several videos on youtube.com and on his blog site (oguard62.com) has even more helpful Excel and Powerpoint files.  Greg assured us all that rolling dice was a masculine pursuit.

HOF-4

John Herson (right)

John Herson was the third inductee of the evening.  John is the current owner of the Game company.  He has seen all the baseball seasons carded since the 1901 season and introduced the popular Soccer game.

CT-3

2016 Baseball Tournament Games

Games began at 9 a.m. Saturday morning and the sound of APBA Players rolling dice is music to our ears!

CT-4

The 1962 Mets saw action at the Tourney

The ’62 Mets won two games and beat one of the Semi-Finalist in the division part of the tournament.  One of the teams the Mets beat tied for their division lead but swept two head-to-head games against the other division leader to decide the tie-breaker.

CT-2

Action continues…

There youngest player was ten years old and the oldest player was an octogenarian.  There were men as well as women.  Fun is had by all!

CT-1

Former APBA Journal Editor Eric Naftaly (left)

APBA convention attendees come from as far west as California and as far north as upstate New York and as far south as Florida as well as up and down the East Coast.  There is some talk about naming Tournament Divisions for APBA Players who no longer attend the Convention, such as Jim Sce.

The APBA Convention is the highlight of my year.  I plan my vacation around the Convention and while the Tournament is fun, seeing friends and sharing stories is what the Convention is all about.

APBA trip

Roy even has my cards memorized and waits patiently for me to read my card result

The other highlight of the convention is the trip to the store and an opportunity to save shipping costs, usually $10-20.

$300+ for a hotel

$50 on gas

$120 fee for the Convention itself

APBA Convention weekend – Priceless!

Seems like a wise investment.  Just ask any APBA Player!

June 18, 2016

Picking a team for a tournament

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevemryan @ 4:42 am
Me (Braves Cap), Randy Coryer (Expos Cap) & Skeet Carr at the 2015 APBA Convention

Me (Braves Cap), Randy Coryer (Expos Cap) & Skeet Carr at the 2015 APBA Convention

I enjoy playing APBA Baseball and the highlight of my year for the past few years has been the APBA Convention in Alpharetta Georgia.  The rules are fairly simple and have changed slightly over the years but the goal for most of the players is to have fun while meeting old and new friends.  The game company posts the rules (here are the 2016 rules) well before the tournament so no surprises.  The only two changes I can think of are player limits (50AB or more for position players & 20IP or more for pitchers) and team pool (select from the 1950 season to the current past completed season, 2015 for this year) but those rules seem a bit redundant to me.  As Major League Baseball has grown more players play.  The length and value of contracts dictate the player’s health be considered in the long-term instead of the short-term.  So teams from the modern era don’t have a problem filling the 20 card roster used in the tournament.  Teams and players used in previous tournaments are eligible as long as they meet the minimum requirements unless they won a championship.  The company provides dice.  Many players bring lucky dice shakers or dice towers.  Some even wear lucky clothing as long as it smells fresh.

Me (Braves Cap) talking to the Great George Hines!

Two-time Champion and APBA Hall-of-Famer Brian Wells has written a very detailed article (available here) as well as an Excel Spreadsheet (also available here) detailing his proven process.  Who can argue with a two-time champion and Hall-of-Famer?  The purpose of this article is to describe how I like to pick my team because it works for me and I thought others might be interested.

Two-time Champion and APBA Hall of Famer Brian Wells

Two-time Champion and APBA Hall of Famer Brian Wells

My first point will be explaining why and how I like to play.  I have been a baseball fan since I watched my first baseball game or played in my first T-ball league when I was six or seven years old.  My first memories are of the 1972 World Series between the Oakland Athletics and the Cincinnati Reds.  I liked the Reds since then because they won that particular game and they were clean-cut like my dad.  Oakland had long hair and mustaches and gaudy green and gold uniforms with white shoes.  My first T-ball team was the Beetles and we had orange shirts with black letters and I had black cleats just like the Reds.  I have been a Reds fan ever since.  I grew up reading all the baseball history & biography books I could get my hands on and eventually ‘graduated’ to books that took a more analytical approach.  I learned the strategies that increased the chances of scoring and the strategies that reduced scoring opportunities.  So when I pick a team, I try to pick a team that suits my playing style.  For example, I don’t care much for stealing bases or the Hit & Run play so the 1985 Cardinals don’t really work for me but they are a very good team.

Steve Skoff and John Duke being inducted into the APBA Hall of Fame

Steve Skoff and John Duke being inducted into the APBA Hall of Fame

Next I look at how I construct my roster.  Tournament teams consists of 20 cards.  That means I have a ten player lineup (starting pitcher and eight positions plus designated hitter) and a ten player bench.  Most tournaments seem to prefer a three-man starting rotation so that leaves eight bench players.  Rules also dictate that injuries aren’t used and under no circumstances should a pitcher come to bat.  Therefore if a pinch-hitter enters the game then a defensive substitute becomes necessary.  I like to have a long reliever who would normally be the fourth starter for when a starters gets reduced and needs replacing.  Short relievers can only pitch one inning per game so I try to have at least three.  After the tenth inning all pitchers become a Grade C pitcher with no control letters and a fielding rating of one.  Since short relievers get a grade bump against their first batter (in the middle of an inning – if the batter hits from the same side from which the pitcher throws) one left-handed reliever helps but isn’t necessary.  I prefer to have at least two (one right-handed and one left-handed) pinch-hitters for my weakest hitters with defensive replacements.  I tend to use the strongest hitting lineup so defensive replacements are important for late innings.

Understand that APBA is not real baseball but a tabletop game using cards and dice.  Dice usage means there is chance or luck but the best strategy is to increase probabilities for success.  There are real baseball strategies that work.  Scoring runs increases the chances for winning and purposefully making outs decreases the chances for victory.  That said, if you play for one run or small ball then be satisfied to score one run or less.  I prefer the philosophy of Joe Sheehan (of the Joe Sheehan Newsletter) as he preaches, “Ball go far…team go far!”  A single roll of 66 with a Printed Result Number (PRN) of One – A Home Run – is a lot easier than stringing together a bunch of singles and doubles.  According to the Tango on Baseball website (Run Expectancy Matrix) sacrificing – if successful – reduces the chances for scoring as well as the expected runs so I abhor sacrificing.  I also trust the Game to produce realistic results so I make decisions based on real-life stats more than reading the cards.  While I haven’t won any tournaments, I have fun and my method works for me.

Games being played!

Games being played!

The same goes for stealing bases.  Since APBA Baseball Basic game handles stolen bases in the game engine I don’t worry about having a few speedsters over sluggers.  I try to remember to ‘Play it Safe” with my slow runners.  I prefer fast runners to slow but don’t change my roster to accommodate speed.  I do feel unless players steal bases at a rate of 85% or higher it is counter-productive to success.

I base my rosters and lineups on On-base Plus Slugging Pct (OPS).  Several years ago I took a WebEx course called Sabermetrics 101 through Boston University.  One of our assignments determined the correlation between various stats and winning baseball teams.  There were a few exceptions. but OPS was the most closely related stat to winning for successful teams.  As a result of that, I tend to order my lineups from top-to-bottom (for the most part) in order of OPS from highest to lowest.  I have gotten comments in the past about having power hitters at the top of my lineups but every time through the lineup will get that hitter up one more time and increase my chances of rolling a 66!

Defending 2014 Champion Paul Trinkle (Twins Jersey).  He secretly enjoyed when I genuflected in his presence.

Defending 2014 Champion Paul Trinkle (Twins Jersey). He secretly enjoyed when I genuflected in his presence.

When selecting teams strong pitching is a must.  In APBA stronger pitchers mainly cut the number of singles and walks.  Also baserunners don’t advance when a batter strikes out so I am not afraid of favorable strikeout ratings (KXY).  I try to select starters with good control (Z or ZZ) but I will choose an A over a BZ every time.  Choosing a B over a CZZ is a tougher choice because a ZZ reduces the bases empty walk.  So I choose the higher Pitching Grade, from A to D, and more favorable strikeout and control ratings (KXY, Z & ZZ over R & W) for my starters.  For my bullpen I also use the same priorities but if I have a W rated pitcher I focus on not using him with the bases loaded if at all.

I try to pick teams with decent rated fielders so the Team Fielding totals a One or close.  The APBA Convention Tournament uses the Advanced Fielding Option which rewards higher rated fielders.  Since all teams have a weakness I want a team strong in two-out-of three areas, Pitching and Hitting.  I don’t ignore defense but it isn’t a high priority.  Defense is between 5-15% of the action so I hope I don’t have a lot of bad luck on defense with error numbers.  As I said earlier, where available, I try to keep defensive substitutes available for weaker fielders late in the game.

The 2014 Finals with Sub-Manager Brian Wells v Skeet Carr

So once I choose my team, pick the players for my roster and set my lineup, I am ready to play.  I will pinch-hit toward the end of a close game or in a key spot if a big hit can blow a game open since I have defensive subs available.  I don’t Hit & Run or use the sacrifice strategy at all.  I just roll the dice and wait for good results.

In close games or if my pitcher’s Grade drops then I have to use my bullpen.  Usually I hope for complete games from my starting pitchers.  I will use my higher rated relievers against the better hitters which is usually toward the top of the order.  If I relieve toward the bottom of the order and the weaker hitters, then I will save my higher rated relievers for what I consider higher leverage spots.  If I have a starter get to the 25th out or later and he hits the showers then I will go straight to my best reliever.  I tend to view the opposite lineups in thirds and try to put my relievers in place to succeed.  I will try to relieve in spots where I can get favorable lefty-righty matchups.  But my main pitching strategy is to hope for a complete game from my starter.

1975 APBA Baseball Brochure

1989 APBA Baseball Brochure

I have a couple of tools I use to select my team.  My biggest tool is Excel.  I keep my Season Card Inventory on a spreadsheet.  When I use a team, instead of just having an ‘x’ marking a team I have, I will put the Grades and ratings of the top three starters for that team.  Also, in the Sabr101 class I learned a bit about MySQL.  I was able to set up a spreadsheet with all the players with 50 or more ABs and 20 or more IPed.  I have sorted this according to the last team a player played for because that is how APBA puts players on teams.  I have received some help the past couple of years updating my spreadsheet when Sean Lahman releases his DB.  I have forgotten some of the skills I had learned.  Once you display a skill, it isn’t necessarily yours to keep – Use it or lose it!

So that is how I pick my team for the APBA Convention.  Another key point – my wife is a Braves fan so I have used the 1998 Braves for the last three years.  I am a Reds Fan(!) but the Braves are one of my top four or five favorite teams so this isn’t a struggle.  I will be using the 1998 Braves again.  The Tournament is in Alpharetta (a suburb of north Atlanta) so maybe I can get a bit of a home-field advantage!

bball-box

My Favorite Game

June 11, 2016

My APBA Area

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevemryan @ 12:05 pm

I  don’t remember the last time I posted my APBA playing area.  I have also included a picture of one of my storage cabinets.  If my latest tourney post has been read, the second picture my dice tower will be fully understood.

I could rotate the pic, but the area can be seen clearly.

I could rotate the pic, but the area can be seen clearly.

Storage cabinet with mostly baseball sets.

Storage cabinet with mostly baseball sets.

To keep dice from wondering onto the floor, under the table and into hidden crevices, I taped an index card to the side.

To keep dice from wondering onto the floor, under the table and into hidden crevices, I taped an index card to the side.

I painted the tower to a nice shade of green.  Hopefully it is a shade with will welcome the dice, especially the little tiny white die.

May 28, 2016

2016 Memorial Stakes

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevemryan @ 12:29 pm
2016 MS 1st Move

2016 Memorial Stakes 1st Move

2016 Memorial Stakes 1st Move

2016 Memorial Stakes Scoresheet

As you can see, the favorites did not get good jumps out of the gate.  Alydar (Red) started from the rail and kept up the pace for the whole race.

2016 MS 2nd Move

Board Picture 2nd Move

2016 Memorial Stakes 2nd Move

Scoresheet 2nd move

At this point several horses are keeping pace but need to get to the rail for the turns.

2016 MS 3rd Move

Board Picture 3rd Move

2016 Memorial Stakes 3rd Move

Scoresheet 3rd Move

Heading into the first turn horses are moving toward the rail and the pack is being established.

2016 MS 4th Move

Board Picture 4th Move

2016 Memorial Stakes 4th Move

Scoresheet 4th Move

The pack is bunched in the first three rows near the rail.

2016 MS 5th Move

Board Picture 5th Move

2016 Memorial Stakes 5th Move

Scoresheet 5th Move

The Pack is chasing Alydar out of the first turn.

2016 MS 6th Move

Board Picture 6th Move

2016 Memorial Stakes 6th Move

Scoresheet 6th Move

Alydar seems to be getting some separation from the pack with Bold Forbes in front of the pack from the 10th Gate.  Max Diarmida is taking a chance on the outside in the back stretch.

2016 MS 7th Move

Board Picture 7th Move

2016 Memorial Stakes 7th Move

Scoresheet 7th Move

Max Diarmida missed having the gamble pay off by one tenth of a second but there is still time to recover.

2016 MS 8th Move

Board Picture 8th Move

2016 Memorial Stakes 8th Move

Scoresheet 8th Move

A couple of the horses continue to get bad rolls while some continue to roll along!

2016 MS 9th Move

Board Picture 9th Move

2016 Memorial Stakes 9th Move

Scoresheet 9th Move

It appears that we have a race as Alyday rolls a pedestrian result for the first time in the race.

2016 MS 10th Move

Board Picture 10th Move

2016 Memorial Stakes 10th Move

Scoresheet 10th Move

Just when it looks like a competitive situation we are reminded of the quote by the great philosopher Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!”

2016 MS 11th Move

Board Picture 11th Move – End Of Race

2016 Memorial Stakes 11th Move EOR

Scoresheet 11th Move – End Of Race

Alydar pulls away to win the prestigious 2016 Memorial Stakes.  The time was 2:08 2/5ths which annihilated my previous 11 Furlong record of 2:11 3/5th set by 3-year old 1969 Majestic Prince (ridden by W Hartack) in the TN Handicap and 7-year old 1977 Forego (ridden by W Shoemaker) in the TN Memorial.  2nd Place Bold Forbes ran the race in 2:11 and would have also set a new record for my track.

A couple of comments about my method.  The races are very enjoyable and as my wife has walked in and out of the room she has watched a bit and thinks she would enjoy this game.  As for recording my races, the spreadsheet works well for logging moves and stored up points.  The Pictures tell a story, but I think it would work a bit better if I had a method to take a picture after each move and compile a stop-action video.  Not sure I have the patience to do that with my phone so that is a bit of a stumbling block to getting that done.

Doug Reese’s idea for an APBA Saddle Racing Week is a great idea and while it starts Monday.  Due to some extenuating circumstances I will be working parts of all but two days starting this Monday evening until I leave on Wednesday for the APBA Convention.

May 27, 2016

My contribution to APBA Saddle Racing Board Game Week

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevemryan @ 11:23 pm

With a slight change to my schedule at work, I will be able to run a race this weekend.  I am calling my race The 2016 Memorial Stakes with a length of 11 furlongs.  I selected 10 of my favorite horses from races I have run previously.  I narrowed my selection to three year olds from the 1970’s.  When I run races, I usually photocopy my cards so I can write the jockey names above the horse and do my arithmetic on the space below.  I usually do four across on legal paper but now that I have this dandy spreadsheet, I just cut out my horses from earlier race sheets.  Here are the horses with their jockey in parentheses by post number & odds:

1 – 1978 Alydar (J Velasquez) 5-2

2 – 1973 Secretariat (R Turcotte) 2-1

3 – 1978 Mac Diarmida (W Shoemaker) 5-2

4 – 1976 Elocutionist (J Lively) 4-1

5 – 1977 Seattle Slew (J Cruguet) 7-2

6 – 1971 Canonero II (G Avilo) 9-2

7 – 1978 Affirmed (L Pincay Jr) 8-5

8 – 1979 Spectacular Bid (R Franklin) 5-2

9 – 1973 Forego (P Anderson) 7-2

10 – 1976 Bold Forbes (A Cordero Jr) 9-2

The Post Positions were picked randomly.  I hope to post using the similar format I used in my replay of the 2015 Kentucky Derby.  All of the horses will run in Column I.  This should be a formidable field with Affirmed a slight betting favorite over Secretariat.  Canonero II and Bold Forbes are the longshots.  The track conditions are fast and my previous record for 11 furlongs is held by 1969 Majestic Prince (three year old – fast track) ridden by W Hartack and 1977 Forego (seven year old – good track) ridden by W Shoemaker in a time of 2:11 3/5ths.  That record could be challenged based on the strength of this field.

2016 Memorial Stakes Pre-race

2016 Memorial Stakes Pre-Race Spreadsheet

2016 MS Pre-Race

Saddle Racing Board Picture Pre-Race

Enjoy the Race when I post move-by-move results probably Saturday. – Steve

 

May 19, 2016

2015 Kentucky Derby – APBA Saddle Racing Board Game

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevemryan @ 8:49 pm

Played in my APBA Man Cave at home!

Being a member of the APBA Community has its benefits.  This year has seen the release of a 2015 Triple Crown set of Saddle Racing Cards.  I was fortunate to receive these cards and ran a replay of the 2015 Kentucky Derby.  I posted move-by-move updates on the Delphi Forums – APBA Between the Lines – 2015 Triple Crown Card thread created by the creator of the cards, Doug W Reese.  Mr Reese was immortalized at the website Jim’s APBA Barn with an APBA’view:  https://jimsapbabarn.wordpress.com/2015/12/22/apbaview-doug-reese-4/

I will post an abbreviated recap of my updates here.  Some of the pictures can be enlarged by clicking on the pictures and I realize some of the numbers are a bit small and hard to read.  Read blow:

2015 Kentucky Derby Move One

2015 Kentucky Derby Move One

The Goal of the first few moves is to try and get the horses positioned toward the front of the pack and in one of the first three lanes.  Once a horse enters the turns moves points cost more.  I discovered an error in the reference column for Dortmund and corrected that before I had posted the initial sheet.  Also, there were 20+ horses entered in the 2015 Kentucky Derby but the game works best with races of ten horses or less.  I used the top ten finishers and moved the gate slots up accordingly.  (Example:  American Pharoah actually started in the 18th Gate Post but started in the tenth Gate Post in my race.)

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Two

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Two

The Race is ten furlongs, a mile and a quarter, and the horses start entering the first turn in the 3rd furlong.  Each furlong is eight spaces and each move is usually between six to nine moves.  Unused moves can be saved and ‘spent’ later in the race, so move may be more as the race advances.

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Three

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Three

Usually by the third move the race starts developing a personality.  Some horses are moving up and others are trapped in the pack.  Other horses are clogging up the pack because they aren’t able to store move points for future use.

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Four

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Four

Move Four Saddle Racing Board

Move Four Saddle Racing Board

As you can see American Pharoah is surging ahead and there are several horses nipping at his heels.  The other seven horses are moving in a pack just a few spaces off the pace.  The colors of the game pieces match the colors on the game scoresheet as well as I was able to match them.

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Five

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Five

APBA Saddle Racing Board Picture

APBA Saddle Racing Board Picture Move Five

As pictured above, the leaders appear to be pulling away and the herd seems to be opening up a little bit.

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Six

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Six

APBA Saddle Racing Board Picture Move Six

APBA Saddle Racing Board Picture Move Six

I took the pictures with my iPhone and saved them to my DropBox Folder.  The Scoresheet files are printed to file using Microsoft OneNote as my default printer.  I then save the file as a .png file also to DropBox.

Notice a bit of a re-positioning among the leaders.

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Seven

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Seven

APBA Saddle Racing Picture Move Seven

APBA Saddle Racing Picture Move Seven

I’m not sure if turns in horse racing are considered back-to-back like NASCAR but I will just refer to these curves as the final turn but if may be proper to refer to the turns as the third and fourth turns.  Either way, the pack is breaking up a bit more the some of the horses are in position to make moves toward the front.  If I recall, some of the horses got some poor rolls at this point.

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Eight

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Eight

APBA Saddle Racing Board Picture Move Eight

APBA Saddle Racing Board Picture Move Eight

Looks like some hi-jinks between the leaders coming out of the final turn!  Looks like we will have an exciting final stretch.

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Nine

2015 Kentucky Derby Move Nine

APBA Saddle Racing Board Game Move Nine

APBA Saddle Racing Board Game Move Nine

It would appear the leaders are coming back to the pack, but actually one of the leaders rolled the worst possible result on the card short of the jockey getting tossed.  Some of the trailing horses were also able to get in position to use some of their saved move points.  The Stretch Run is always exciting!

2015 Kentucky Derby Final Race Results

2015 Kentucky Derby Final Race Results

APBA Saddle Racing Board Picture Move Ten - Finish Line!

APBA Saddle Racing Board Picture Move Ten – Finish Line!

(The summary is from my post on the Delphi Forums)

The Official Race Results:

Win:  American Pharoah – 2:03

Place:  Firing Line – 2:04

Show:  Danzig Moon – 2:04 1/5

Dortmund – 2:04 4/5

Frosted – 2:05 2/5

Keen Ice – 2:08 2/5

Mubtaahij – 2:09

Itsaknockout – 2:09 1/5

Materiality – 2:10 1/5

Carpe Diem 2:12 1/5

This is an incredible game.  Like several of the APBA family of games, it can be a bit heavy on the arithmetic, but nothing a 5th grader probably couldn’t do in their head.  Fractions and some decimals are handled in a manner that simple adding and subtracting does it all with out any of that annoying Least Common Denominator stuff.  Don’t let that discourage anyone from playing this game.  Just have a few pieces of scratch paper handy.

The board is fairly large so I used the handy BallRoller v 1.0.4 from Ballstat for my dice rolls.  Two screens has been helpful with posting turn-by-turn updates.  I did a google search for ‘APBA Saddle Racing Scoresheet Excel’ and found this handy scoresheet.  The colors had to be adjusted to match the game pieces but it works well.

As for game play, the instructions are pretty straight forward.  After the initial turn which uses gate position to determine order, I just roll for the horses from the leading inside space toward the horses on the outside then toward the back of the pack.  I make an effort to get all of the horses in the first three lanes going into the initial turn because the move points are less toward the rail.  Every now and then I found a horse in a position the necessitated a move away from the rail but I try to avoid this until the stretch.  All whole-number move points have to be used before the end of the last move to planning for this helps avoid wasted sideways moves in the last turn for a horse.

I found plenty of race results from when I was fortunate to have a job that allowed playing this game while getting paid.  Saddle Racing is a lot like riding a bike.  I reread the instructions to make sure I hadn’t missed anything.  The game came back to me fairly quickly and was as much fun as I remembered.  I highly recommend finding a copy on eBay or contacting the APBA Game Co. to express an interest in a new release of the game. – Steve

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