Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Greatest Hitter Tournament 2010

This blog normally keeps its eye on baseball, football, and hockey. I offer my thoughts on the professional game and players from a fantasy perspective. But, as this blog evolves, so will the content. Enter the wonderful world of simulations and this is an ambitious task for this year. All throughout this year, we are going to hold the Greatest Hitter Tournament, matching up the best hitters of all-time against some of the greatest pitchers in a simulation to see which virtual players rise to the top. I think it will be something interesting to follow and something that might arise some debate as to who belongs in this field and who does not, as well as the seedings and the results. What follows is the idea for the tournament, the timeline, and the format.

Tournament Idea
Who would win in a game with nine Ted Williamses against nine Joe DiMaggios? We might find out in the Greatest Hitter Tournament. This tournament will pit the best hitters of all time in their best single-season performances against each other to see who really is the best of all-time. Throughout this year, the games will be simulated on Out of the Park Baseball X (OOTP X), from the first pitch on New Year’s Day to the Final Round, which is scheduled to be completed in December.

Who would pitch to this Murderers’ Row? There have been seven pitching staffs compiled to make these hitters work for their hits, 77 pitchers in all in their best single-season performances in a major league uniform. With each round of this tournament, the pitching staffs will be tougher and the hits and home runs will be harder to come by. We will find out how pitchers from the present and recent past would have fared against the greatest hitters of all-time.

Tournament Schedule
November 23-December 31, 2009 – Bracket Determination
January 15, 2010 – Tournament First Pitch
January 15-February 25 – First Round (Field of 96) – 6 weeks
February 26-April 8 – Second Round (Field of 64) – 6 weeks
April 9-May 20 – Third Round (Field of 32) – 6 weeks
May 21-July 1 – Fourth Round (Field of 16) – 6 weeks
July 2-August 12 – Quarterfinal Round (Field of 8) – 6 weeks
August 13-September 23 – Semifinal Round (Field of 4) – 6 weeks
September 24-December 16 – Final Round – 12 weeks

Tournament Format
Each tournament “game” will consist of 162 games between two teams in which all hitters on each team are the participant in the Greatest Hitter Tournament. The pitching staffs will be the same for all hitters in a specific round to keep everything else constant, but the pitching will be tougher with each passing round. Each Greatest Hitter Tournament team roster will consist of 14 versions of the same hitter and an 11-man pitching staff, which will have seven starters and three relievers with one wild-card. To neutralize the different eras these hitters and pitchers played in, all players’ statistics will be smoothed out so that a hitter from the Dead Ball Era is not at a disadvantage against a hitter from the Steroids Era or the Expansion Era.

The 162-game schedule will be split between both participant’s home parks and will take place in six months of playing time. For the first six rounds, one month of time will be simulated each week. This means, while the field dwindles from 96 players to two players, each round will take six weeks to complete. In the Final Round, two weeks of time will be simulated each week, which will take 12 weeks of real time to complete. During these simulations, we will stop for major events. Injuries will be turned off and any need for backup players will be handled by creating another version of the player that has to be replaced.

Along the way, a recap of each simulation will be written, covering the results, statistics, and any news that transpired during the simulation.

Stay tuned to this blog for the seedings and pitching staff assignments, which will be reported later this week. For all blog entries about this tournament, search for "Greatest Hitter Tournament 2010".

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