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My OOTP Career Thread: Congratulations to the 1995 World Champion Blue Jays (1 Viewer)

Back to 1994.  Played forward to the 4th of July including a nine game losing streak.  Playing in Denver is killing me.  I'm running a 13 man staff and still struggling to keep the bullpen fresh.  I don't know how morale works in the sim but everybody except Jose Vizcaino is very unhappy.

We're on 110 loss pace at 28-56, a whopping 20.5 GB the division leading Dodgers.  In the Central, the Reds and Pirates are tied for the lead.  Reggie Sanders is having a MVP season for Cincinnati.  The Braves lead the East despite a bunch of pitcher injuries.   The Mets are lurking 4 games back. 

In the AL, Toronto has overhauled the Yankees and lead them by 3.5 games.  Minnesota leads the Central by a game over Cleveland.  Marty Cordova is a star in this OOTP universe.   Seattle has the best record in baseball and leads WC leader Oakland by 6.5.  Griffey Jr. is slashing .358/.408/.679.

Have you tried the modern invention of having an "opening starter"?
I usually quick sim through the first 4 or 5 innings.  If the Rockies are winning or the score is still close, I'll manage the game through conclusion.  If we're getting blown out, I'll move on to the next day.

I'm at the end of August 1994.  The Rockies are at 46-88 and have been mathematically eliminated from the divisional race.  Injuries have been a problem all year.  I've gotten 73 PAs all season from Mark Whiten in between his injuries and setbacks.  SPs Joe Hesketh, Jamie Moyer and Mark Gardner are all out for the season.  I traded for Scott Scudder and promoted Billy Wagner to fill the gaps in the rotation.  1B continues to be a sinkhole.  Kevin Maas is hitting .239/.285/.469 at altitude. He has 26 HRs but nothing else. 

The Indians, Mariners, Braves and Dodgers lead their divisions comfortably.  The AL East has been a battle all summer between Toronto and New York.  It's a weird Yankees team with Danny Tartabull, Carl Everett and JT Snow leading the way.  The Reds have been passed by Houston and Pittsburgh in the Central but the three are separated by only 2.5 games.

The usual suspects dominate the individual leaderboard.  Griffey, Frank Thomas, Bonds, Chipper and Larry Walker are the best hitters.  Smoltz, Benes, Drabek and Juan Guzman have been the best arms.  The Mariners are winning without Randy Johnson who went down in June but Seattle has a rando named Jim Converse who has won ten games filling in.

Finished the year 58-104 without a single month with a better than .400 winning percentage.  A-Rod hit .330/.413/.612 with 7 HRs after his call-up so I think he's ready.  Lee did slightly worse at .325/.404/.566.  I'm feeling better about the bats heading into the off-season but pitching is still a mess.

The playoffs are starting with Oakland vs. Seattle Mariners, Toronto vs. Cleveland, the Mets vs. Atlanta and Pittsburgh vs. LA.  The Twins and Padres who made the playoffs in both previous years finished under .500.

Barry Bonds won the Triple Crown batting .358 with 47 HRs and 144 RBIs.

John Jaha is a star in this universe.  He's had back to back seasons with 39 and 44 HRs while batting .297 and .344.  Unfortunately, the Brewers pitching was the second worst in the AL after the Red Sox (Roger Clemens missed most of the season due to injury).

The 1994 World Series is set.  Pittsburgh won 88 games in the regular season and overtook Houston for the division in the final weekend.  Kevin Young carried the Bucs past LA and Atlanta with an OPS of 1.342.  He was MVP of both series.  Barry Bonds started slow against LA but has been heating up. 

Oakland came in as the Wild Card but have been all business in the postseason.  They beat Seattle 3-1 and swept past Cleveland.  It's a different A's club than the one that won in 1989.  They've won with pitching this time with a stout rotation of Jose Rijo, Greg Swindell and Ron Darling.  They lost John Smiley in September with a torn UCL that'll keep him out all of next season as well.  The Bash Brothers are gone to Toronto and SF.  Rickey is still around but their best offensive players are Michael Tucker, Gregg Jeffries and Troy Neel.

It's more fun fast simming the playoffs than it was managing the Rockies this year.

Series is tied 2-2 .  Game 3 was an epic with Oakland hitting three HRs off of Vincente Palacios in the 14th.  Pittsburgh evened the series in game 4 behind a quality start from random rookie Roland DeLaMaza.

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Pittsburgh are the 1994 World Champs after winning 8-7 in game 7.  It was a see-saw affair with the A's fighting back to tie in the bottom of the 8th, only for the Bucs to put up two in the 9th.  Rickey Henderson flied out to RF to end the series with the potential tying run on third base.

Pittsburgh are the 1994 World Champs after winning 8-7 in game 7.  It was a see-saw affair with the A's fighting back to tie in the bottom of the 8th, only for the Bucs to put up two in the 9th.  Rickey Henderson flied out to RF to end the series with the potential tying run on third base.
This is so awesome. Those early 90's Pirates were a lot of fun. It was a real shame they never broke through to the WS. 

Quiet off-season for me.  The GM AI loves to give out long contracts to aging free agents which seems dumb given the aging curve in the sim.  I drafted Hideo Nomo in the amateur draft since the default settings had international FAs disabled.  He's major league ready and eliminates the variability of development.  My only other pickup was Scott Erickson on a small one-year deal.  I have an offer out to Mike Bordick as a utility IF.

The Mets signed Larry Walker and Clemens bringing their payroll over $50M, more than double my payroll.  Randy Johnson is headed to ATL as he rehabs his elbow.  The Yankees signed Albert Belle and are looking dangerous after falling short in 1994.

I overpaid Don Mattingly on a one-year contract to bring some veteran presence and give Derrek Lee another year to develop. 

It'll increase fan interest as we move into Coors Field.

Opening the 1995 season with a rotation of Nomo, Pete Smith, Mark Gardner, Scott Scudder and Wally Whitehurst.  I have some depth at AAA if any of the veterans start off shaky.

Had a couple of memorable debuts in the opener at Shea.  Nomo pitched 7 no-hit innings and Don Mattingly had an unlikely inside the park HR. in a 5-0 win  The bullpen blew a two-run lead in the second game of the series.

May 1, 1995 update.  Made it out of April with a 10-14 record, 3 GB the Dodgers.  A-Rod was voted Rookie of the Month with 9 HRs and a .340 AVG.  We won a 21 inning marathon vs. Houston which messed up the pitching staff for a few days.  My closer Kent Mercker was 1 for 4 in SV opportunities and will be a FA after this season so I trade him and throw-in Mike Bordick to the Padres for Storm Davis who's a closer in this universe.  He's better than what I had and it gives the pen better R/L balance.

Elsewhere in baseball, the Blue Jays and Yankees have resumed their AL East battle from last season.  The Twins are back this year and are 0.5 games up on Cleveland while Seattle leads Anaheim in the West.  It's a three way battle in the NL East with Atlanta, Montreal and New York separated by 2 games.   The defending champs Pittsburgh lead their division by three games behind Bonds 1.261 OPS.

Finally made it to June.  The Rockies played .500 ball for the month but remain 3 games under at 24-27, 3.5 games behind the Giants and Dodgers.  It's the most mediocre division in baseball.  My Pete Smith was NL pitcher of the month so that's nice.  Storm Davis has solidified the bullpen.  The offense has cooled off though as A-Rod and Mattingly have come back to earth.  Scott Brosius and Mark Whiten are having poor seasons at the corners and Matt Williams has an OPS+ in the 70s.

Elsewhere, it's still the Yankees and Blue Jays.  The Twins and Brewers trail Cleveland, while Seattle leads Texas in the West.  In the NL, it's the same old story with Atlanta leading the Mets, Pittsburgh the class of the Central and the SF-LA battle.  The Marlins are a couple of games over .500 which annoys me to no end.

Gave up in WIS so turned my attention back to this.

Played through June 15, 1995.  The Rockies are at .500 only 1 game back  in the division.  SF and LA are both ahead of me.   I only have three bats with OPS+ over 100 (Burks, Mattingly & Arod) but fortunately they're all above 125. More production is needed from Matt Williams and Mark Whiten.  I just brought up 290 lbs. catcher Nate Dishington who's been tearing up Colorado Springs.  Hideo Nomo is leading the NL in strikeouts and Pete Smith has been a reliable #2 starter.  The rest of the rotation has been poor.

Elsewhere in baseball, the Yankees have opened up a 5 game lead over Toronto.  Minnesota and Cleveland are battling it out in the Central while the Rangers, Angels and Mariners are all close in the West.  Rookie Vladimir Guerrero is hitting .401 for the Royals.  Jose Lima has been the best pitcher in the AL but the Tigers are still in last place.  The Braves and Pirates lead their divisions.  Javy, Chipper and Barry lead the NL in WAR.  I traded Tim Wakefield to Pittsburgh in the off-season after two years of getting crushed at Mile High. He's 10-1 for his new team. 

Big Deal Includes Maddux and Knoblauch:

The I's still need to be dotted and the T's crossed, but the Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins have agreed to a trade. Chicago will receive 27-year-old 2B Chuck Knoblauch, while Minnesota gets 29-year-old RHP Greg Maddux, 23-year-old LHP Bobby M Jones and 29-year-old RHP Heathcliff Slocumb in the swap. BNN first reported word of this trade two days ago, but at the time Cubs general manager Jason Bonica called it "nothing more than a rumor." The rumor has now been confirmed. The players are expected to join their new clubs shortly.

To date this season Maddux has compiled a 10-10 record with a 3.51 ERA in 24 starts.

This year Knoblauch has hit 12 home runs and posted a .329 batting average.

Up to September 1, 1995

The Rockies have been hanging around .500 all year and are now 2 games under.  We were 2 games over before getting swept by the Pirates.  This is good enough for second place in the NL West but trail the Dodgers by 9.5.

I revamped the roster before the trade deadline bringing in Marquis Grissom, David Nied and a high potential pitching prospect named Chris Seelbach.  I traded away the expiring Ellis Burks, reliever Steve Reed and some prospects that my scout was down on.  Time will tell if these work out better than my trading away Tim Wakefield who is now 21-2 for Pittsburgh.  Nied has stabilized the rotation but the bullpen continues to be up and down.  Hideo Nomo has been great with 23 quality starts in 27.  He leads MLB in strikeouts by a margin of 25.  Arod has 32 HRs and 24 errors.

The Blue Jays got hot and picked up 7 games vs. the Yankees.  They're now 3 games up but New York leads the Wild Card race.  Cleveland is the only team above .500 in the Central.  Anaheim leads Seattle by 4 in the West.  The Mets lead Atlanta by 3.5 in the East.  Pittsburgh has the best record in baseball and is running away with the Central.  Vladimir Guerrero has cooled down a bit but is still hitting .373.  Sim legend John Jaha leads the AL in RBI.  Javy Lopez has 50 HR on September 1st in only 108 games started. 

End of 1995 regular season

Got hot at the end going 20-8 after September 1st and closing the season on a nine game win streak.  This allowed to Rockies to close to within 2 games of the division winning Dodgers.  86-76 is a huge improvement over last years 104 loss campaign.  Rookies Alex Rodriguez and Nate Dishington led the way with OPS of .931 and .947 respectively.  Arod put up huge numbers and should win ROY.   Nomo had a 7.1 WAR season with 282 Ks in 237 IP.  Pitching was improved over last year with four semi-reliable starters.  Mike Macfarlane and Storm Davis are my only significant free agents so I'm looking forward to further improvement in 1996.

The NL West was one of only two close pennant races.  The Blue Jays took 2 of 3 from the Yanks over the final weekend to win the AL East.  Cleveland, Anaheim, the Mets and Pittsburgh won their divisions pretty easily.  The Yankees won the wild card so they'll square off again vs. Toronto again in the playoffs.  Houston took the wild card in the NL.  The Pirates were the only club to win 100 while Cubs and Marlins both lost 100 games.

Rookie Vladimir Guerrero of KC led MLB with a .376 average.  McGwire hit 58 HRs for the Blue Jays.   A number of contenders lost key pitchers to injury down the stretch and will have to go without Gooden, Drabek and AL ERA winner Melido Perez in the playoffs.

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Toronto, Houston and LA swept their first round series.  Anaheim took the deciding game from Cleveland in their series.

Houston beat the Dodgers in six games to advance to their first World Series.  The Blue Jays beat the Angels in 7 to win the pennant and look to be the first AL team to win the World Series since I started the sim.

Well, that didn't take long.  The Blue Jays swept the Astros.  Todd Stottlemyre pitched a two hit shutout in game 4.  Toronto's rookie 2B Todd Walker hit three HRs in the four game series to take the MVP award.

Fat Drunk and Stupid said:
Have you tried the Perfect Team part yet?
I'm still running OOTP 19.  I think they discontinued Perfect Team support for the old version when 21 came out.

I'm still plugging away.  The September surge last year encouraged me to go all in for 1996.  I signed Gary Sheffield and Junior Felix as Free Agents and made a bunch of trades in an attempt to catch the Dodgers.  I churned the entire bullpen and now have Gregg Olsen, Scott Bankhead and Bobby Thigpen along with the perennially unreliable lefty Mike Stanton. 

The wheeling and dealing is slightly more fun than the actual games and I'm still trudging along around .500.  I threw the dice on Bernard Gilkey because both Brosius and Whiten hit the age wall hard.  Veterans fall off a cliff in this sim although big stars seem to maintain performance better.  That's my strategy on Sheffield although there's no way I'm going to play six more seasons of this.


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