As we get ready for the kick-off of the 2010 Greatest Hitter Tournament, let's take a look at how the matchups and pitching staffs were determined.
The seeds were determined by separating players into tiers of greatness. There are 32 players in each “tier”, representing players across eras and players with different playing styles. Within those tiers, the players were ranked according to their best single season in their career. That single season was used as the model for each player, as the 14 hitters on each team are representative of that single season.
Each round contains a 11-man pitching staff to complete each team’s 25-man roster. There are different pitchers that will be featured in each round. Each staff has seven starters and four relievers. Based on the matchup and based on overall talent, a five-man rotation and bullpen roles will be determined. During the season, after each month, changes may be made to staff roles, but the personnel will stay the same throughout the entire season. For hitters, even though all players have the same statistics, their ratings may differ slightly and hitters get on hot and cold streaks. Each lineup will be revisited after each month.
The tournament will be played in a bracket format. Every hitter in the first tier (ranked #1-#32) receives a bye in the Round 1. The bottom 64 teams will play each other in 162-game head-to-head “seasons”. The 32 teams that win more games than they lose will move on to the round of 64. Even if a team has “clinched” a 162-game series victory, the full schedule will be played out so that a full season could be played by each hitter and pitcher. In the event of a 81-81 tie, a one-game playoff will be played at the end of the “season” in order to crown the winner of that matchup.
In Round 2, those teams will all face players that received the Round 1 bye. From there, the 64 teams that remain would constitute a normal bracket with four “regions” of 16 teams. Play will continue until there is one team remaining. Players and pitchers will be re-imported for each season so that they do not age. The eventual champion will participate in seven seasons if the winner is not among the top 32 teams or six seasons if the winner is one of the top 32 teams.
In the next post, we will reveal the seeds and analyze the Round 1 matchups and pitching staffs.