SkeptiSys

May 19, 2013

OOTP 14 released: the best baseball experience outside of the park

Filed under: Sports, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — skeptisys @ 11:57 am

The software gurus at OOTP have done it again.  They improved their already outstanding in-depth baseball experience software.  OOTP 14 is the newest release of this game, available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.  As a former Mac and hopeful Linux user, I can appreciate the cross-platform dedication.  There is also an iPhone version (iOOTP) that I have yet to use.  My simulations are all based on the Windows version of OOTP 14.

New to the game?  Out Of The Park Baseball is baseball simulation software that allows the user to simulate an entire career as a team manager, owner, or GM.  Either be the super-user ‘commissioner’ who can change all  qualities, or just a manager who can be fired at the whim of his team’s owner.  If you choose to GM, you will be responsible for keeping your team’s roster and finances in order.  Initiate and respond to trades, watch over the waiver wire, and promote that young player lighting it up on your triple-A team.

Any ballclub in MLB baseball history is available, from 1871 to 2013.  Re-live your childhood by taking over the team you grew up watching.  Using add-on central, historical logos, caps, jerseys, and pictures can be uploaded.  The game also works extremely well using fictional players.  Using their cool FaceGen system, players photos show aging over time.

OOTP 14 startup screen

OOTP 14 startup screen

For me, it took no time before I was completely immersed in this complex simulation.  Is my lineup or pitching staff too imbalanced towards RH or LH?  Do I have good pinch hitting opportunities but no backup infielders to replace my starters once I pinch hit for them?  Should I trade my prospects and draft picks to try and win this season or dump my veterans?  My owner won’t give me the resources to trade for that player, I better dump some salaries.

If at any time the decisions start to become overwhelming or there is a desire for more OOTP information – current OOTP game users gather on a tremendously helpful forum.  The software developers are part of this forum, and encourage suggestions to better their software.

OOTP 14 updates worth mentioning (complete list of updates is here):

1. updated to include full 2013 major league and minor league rosters.

2. while simulating a game, the probability of each team winning the game is updated every plate appearance.  Up 4-3 in the 4th inning with 2 outs bases loaded and 2 outs?  Now you know how likely that you will lose or win this game.

3. updated scouting system.  my scout just informed me he signed a 16-year old Dominican kid with a promising fastball.  I will follow his development closely.

4. better fielding development system.  As player’s age, they more accurately move across the defensive spectrum.

5. better player development tracking.  every month I receive an update on how my players are developing.  My ever informative scout (depending on the scout accuracy level I choose) also tells me which minor leaguers should be promoted or demoted.

6. The complexities and enjoyment of being the GM are enhanced in this new version.

8. Updated game simulation experience.  From crowd sounds to pitch type, speed, and location – the immersion is fun.

recreate baseball history

recreate baseball history

For baseball fans of all ages, OOTP14 is a well-worthy pickup.

1998 mlb career milestones

1998 mlb career milestones

August 2, 2012

Patriotic Zombies

Filed under: humanity, Sports, Strange — Tags: , , , — skeptisys @ 11:04 am

New Yorkers love to make fun of people in the middle of America for blindly doing what they are told.

Stop at the intersection!  Don’t park here!  Go to war with those brown people!  Don’t be Gay!  Go to church every Sunday!  Cover your heart!  Give up your freedoms!  Do this!  Do that!  Don’t do that!  While North Korea, the old Soviet Russia, and Kansas says, “yes sir!”, New Yorkers respond, “oh yeah?  says who?”  An eerie event at the Mets game told me those days of NY pride may be over.

Eating overpriced pizza and drinking beer with my significant other on a busy hot Saturday at Citi Field before a Mets game.  Thousands of fans were bustling around us in the left field concessions, an area full of food, alcohol, souvenirs, and carnival games such as ‘dunk the poor college kid wearing the opposing team’s jersey’.  The sound of a crowd of loud baseball fans talking loudly all at once made it difficult to hear each other without shouting.  Then suddenly, it stopped dead.  No moving, no talking.  Not just some people, but literally everybody but us 2 turned to an quiet immobile statue.

As we looked up to see thousands of people stopped dead where they stood, listening to the National Anthem quietly…we panicked and ran.  Not one person seemed to notice us, the only moving people in the area, dodging their stiff bodies.  ‘How much time will our baseball caps save our lives if they start to eat our brains?’, we thought as we danced around the statues.

Then, as suddenly as it began, the silence ended.  The National Anthem had ended and the multitude of people started moving again loudly, all at once.

I wanted to compare them to well-trained dogs, but even dogs move in anticipation of the next command.  Trillions of dollars spent in PR have turned this country into obedient sheep, and I am afraid.  And apparently, with only 2 of 40,000 in this sample size, I am in the minority.

We are still freaked by this event.  Are we becoming the new Soviet Union, with blind patriotism and poverty replacing freedom and happiness?

June 5, 2012

Ten basketball and bathroom terms

Filed under: Sports, Strange — Tags: , , , — skeptisys @ 8:01 pm

Top 10 basketball/bathroom terms

10.  behind the back dribble
9.   give and go
8.   bounced between the legs
7.   3-footer
6.   finger roll
5.   putback
4.   back court violation
3.   air ball
2.   flagrant foul
1.   floater

May 7, 2012

Dallas Mavericks players vote ‘no playoff share’ for Lamar Odom

Filed under: News, Sports — Tags: , , , — skeptisys @ 11:22 am

The Dallas Mavericks players, who were swept out of the NBA first round playoffs, decided not to give any of the money they received to Lamar Odom.  But exactly how much credit should Lamar receive for the Mavs barely making the playoffs?

Dallas Mavs’ record this season:

with Lamar Odom 31-19

without Odom 5-15

 

The players are being petty by not voting a share of the money to Lamar Odom.

 

no, I’m not really sure which Kardashian I married

 

November 23, 2011

OOTP 12 review : the Evolution of the Baseball Simulation

Filed under: Buying stuff, News, Sports — Tags: , , , , — skeptisys @ 1:28 pm

The attentive people at Out Of the Park Development have already released the 5th major update for OOTP12, so maybe I should take a pause from simulating seasons with OOTP12 to let you in on all the fun.  Yes, it is super addictive.   Buy it now, before it gets scheduled like heroin or cocaine.

OOTP12 buy it here.  My quick recommendations, for those who want to avoid the ramblings of a baseball addict:

1. if you never used OOTP before but you like baseball, get it now.  The fictional simulations are amazing!  Your players will age, disappoint and surprise in a vaguely predictable way, just like the major leagues.  You can create every aspect of your league, even team colors and player mustaches.  I use the historical simulation with actual teams and players, so I can make up for the faults of whichever monkeys were running the Mets when I was growing up.

2. if you have played an earlier version of OOTP:  The changes and updates from the prior version make for a worthy upgrade.  The quality of play and accuracy has improved significantly.  Their update system functions by allowing their fanatical users to communicate with each other on the OOTP forum and recommend changes to the OOTP creators, who are very sensitive to the users’ needs.  IOW, if you get OOTP12, you will have input into the changes put into OOTP13.

(End of quick recommendation)

My first baseball high came at a young age.

By the age of 7, I realized I would be a dedicated baseball fan for the rest of my life.  At that age, studying box scores was a morning ritual, except I prayed for a Kingman homerun and not eternal health.  I was obsessed.  What kept me from being put in a home for the mentally ill was the simple fact that millions of other people were just like me.   I was normal!  Soon I found friends who shared this disease.  Together we started slow,  trading baseball cards.  I traded Johnny Bench for Ron Hodges, and was proud of it (don’t you mock me! My friend was a Reds fan, so I could take advantage).  Eventually we found simple game simulations, and we bloodied our fingers flicking at metal spinners while recreating a season.

The evolution of the baseball simulation is not a myth, from board games like strat-o-matic, statis pro,  and pursue the pennant, to computer games like Earl Weaver baseball.  Those were wonderful times, but increased computer power and memory meant improved simulations, up to Diamond Mind Baseball and then OOTP.

The perfect or best baseball simulation is still yet to come.  The way we will reach is through the constant changing and upgrading the product.  DMB used to do this.  They would drastically improve the AI and simulation accuracy with every new version.  Then, in 2006, the company was sold and they appear to have stopped the progress.  So, OOTP took the baton…

OOTP is the best baseball simulation because they realize their audience all have unique ideas about what makes the perfect simulation.   My recent historical simulation starts with the 1968 season and I use the DH in both leagues.  Four teams make the playoffs, I prefer 16 teams but the software does limit the number of postseason teams to 4.  My schedule includes teams from both leagues, and I can take advantage of the upgraded storylines and manage pitch by pitch, or I can regulate myself to GM and only deal with roster moves.

The key to OOTP’s future success is to continue to add user options, and update accuracy of the computer AI.

Here are some other reviews of OOTP12: (reviews)

October 9, 2011

U iz bettuh lawndree maker, pweeze come baks

Filed under: cats, pictures and videos — skeptisys @ 1:35 pm

August 9, 2011

Gulp! Stop-motion animation shot on a Nokia N8.

Filed under: art, pictures and videos — Tags: , — skeptisys @ 12:20 pm

This stop-action short film was made entirely using a smartphone.  Created by SumoScience.

When I was a kid, we used our phones to open walnuts.

April 15, 2011

Reasons why a faulty argument is no substitution for an objective one

Filed under: blogging, books, News, pictures and videos — Tags: , , , — skeptisys @ 9:25 am

As usual, I was perusing over at BoingBoing, one of the top online sites for years, when I found this poster of desperation:

The photo is from a University Library poster created by the author of “Fool’s Gold: Why the Internet is no Substitute for a Library” by Mark Y. Herring.  The book is available from Amazon for $45 which, based on this poster, is a bigger waste of paper than a stack of Paris Hilton posters.  Strangely they also have a ebook version available for only $16.49,  partially invalidating the book’s message.

I do have a giant bias: I love Libraries, particularly University Libraries.  Most of my research was done in libraries, and I still visit as many as I can.  I do not understand why anyone would spend $200 to go to a sporting event, as opposed to zero to go to a library.  I agree with the author’s premise fully, but the arguments are hogwash and comical in their presentation.  Looking at all 10 arguments in order:

1. Not everything is on the internet: Yes, excellent point to start.  Then again, not everything is available in a library.  This argument is convincing to those who have already finished reading the internet.  Completely ran out of things to read online, please find me more.  Kthxbye.  Geez, I found this poster online, is it really available in every library?

2. Drown online, difficult to find answer within the many answers returned in search engine:   Oh no, scary computer doesn’t give me what I want, better go to the library so I can use the card catalog.  Hmmm, not here.  Better ask the librarian who has a search engine on her computer.  Oh, whoops.  First point was that not enough is online, second is that too much is online.  Off to a good start.

3. Quality control doesn’t exist, conspiracy theory, pornography, ghosts, Hitler, demons, boo:  The last few libraries I went into had books available by Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck.  Everything I read online is at least as accurate as those books. and far less pornographic.  I don’t want a library to QC the books, especially not someone like Mr. Herring.  It’s called censorship.

4. Online articles are not full text, like a race car without the keys:   Starts ok.  The only thing I know online that leaves out important notes, graphs, citations, etc, is the poster shown above.   Then? Race car?  Your audience are  book readers, not NASCAR fans.   If you drew a Venn diagram of race car fans and people who visit University libraries, it would look like Ellen Page’s tits, slightly touching but hardly overlapping.  (just assume I didn’t spend the last hour trying to but together a simple Venn diagram before giving up and using a tasteless Pop culture analogy instead)

5. States can buy a book to give to libraries online, NOT: Stupid 80′s phrases aside, why is receiving a book online bad?  Sure it isn’t nearly enough and unfair copyright laws hurt libraries, but the sign looks offended by the offer.  Sad sign  :O(

6. Reading ebooks is a chore: I can read the complete works of Shakespeare on my iPhone – you want to try that with full text books on the subway?  Also, ‘a generation away’ is only a few years in this new eVerse.

7. No library-less universities: At this point, I peed myself laughing.  Princeton University hasn’t demolished their libraries yet, so they are better than the internet?  Almost 100% of Universities were created before the last few years, yet they are almost all online in some capacity, or planning to do so.  Another example of faulty logic.

8. Billion dollars to digitize a library of books: How many competing quotes did Mark get?  No, seriously, why would anyone need to scan every page from a library?  Many have already been done and are already available online.  I would send my copy of the complete works of Shakespeare to Mr. Herring if it wasn’t so full of conspiracy theory and pornography.

9. Most of what’s on the internet is less than 15 years old:  …and much is older than that. If you read my blog, you saw that I have referenced all decisions of the US Supreme Court ever, available online.  So much more is available through a simple search.  Mark Y. Herring is being deceptive or ignorant.  I can’t tell which.   BTW how many Millions of dollars does Herring think it cost to put the Supreme Court Decisions online?

10. Internet is ubiquitous but books are portable: More crap.  I can go hiking and stop to read either Sherlock Holmes, Shakespeare, or the friggin Iliad on my iPhone.  You can’t put all those books in your backpack.  EBooks are much more portable than traditional books.  I too love taking my paperback Rex Stout book with me on trips, but I am not deceived into thinking it’s more than an emotional connection.  Young’ins are getting that same connection with eBooks now.

Please don’t listen to Mark Why Herring.  Libraries are helpful, important, and need resources.  Visit your local public library and university library and ask how you can help.  Many have online websites that facilitate donations.  Here is an excellent site for Princeton Public Library.  Most library representatives are doing all they can to educate us – don’t punish them because of one idiot.

Photo of Mark Y. Herring courtesy of demotivationals4U.

April 7, 2011

The Wieners Circle Chicago Restaurant adds abuse/humor to menu (NSFW language)

Filed under: Consume, humor, pictures and videos, Strange — Tags: , , , — skeptisys @ 6:47 pm

In Chicago, a hotdog restaurant owner found out by accident that customers love to be abused, if it is funny.  Their restaurant, the Wieners Circle,  is now famous for the abuse they give out, and take in.  The following hilarious clips use NSFW language – do not watch if you are offended by naughty or racist language.

Dave Attel introduces us to the restaurant in Insomniac (great show from Comedy Central).

A man decides to use a different approach to ordering, leading to side-splitting guffaws.

Sure, The Wieners Circle has its critics, those who say it’s too much or waitresses will show their tops for money, and maybe the health code is not up to par.   I am still eager to visit and get my doggie on.

 

File:Wiener Circle Dog.jpg

April 5, 2011

Zach Galifianakis has the best website design

Filed under: blogging, Cool other, Strange — Tags: , — skeptisys @ 3:24 pm

Zach Galifianakis has his own website and has apparently paid top dollar into the design.  Check it out.

http://www.zachgalifianakis.com/

 

zach.jpg

pic from Unreality Mag.

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