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Vol. IV, Issue #8 - December 2016

** Welcome to "The Chuck Stop" with Chuck Tinkler **

"Old Guys Rule!!" (Part I)

(We welcome you to this new periodic area of our newsletter that is known as "The Chuck Stop"
which will feature one of our favorite contributors, Chuck Tinkler.  Our boy Chuck returns with his
latest article talking about -- Who to take in Your Leagues' Draft -- Welcome back CT!! ... )

Comments from the Wolfman:  We wish to thank Chuck for yet again coming up with his latest article for The Chuck Stop which begins this month with Part I.  In this edition, Chuck looks at the value of a first round draft pick and more.  Another thought provoking article by Chuck.  Once again, feel free to email our boy Chuck with your questions or comments related to his latest article. You will find his email is listed at the end of this article.  Thank you for your contribution again Mr. Chuck!!

To read any of the previous articles which Chuck has shared with our newsletter since 2014, you will find them listed below.  Enjoy the insights here at USBN at "The Chuck Stop" ...

(his first article for our newsletter about Ballparks - quite insightful, check it out)


(This is the link to Part I of this article about the Strat Master with Sections I & II) )

(This is the link to Part II of this article about the Strat Master with Section III)


(This is the link to Part III of this article about the Strat Master with Sections IV & V)


(This is the link to Part IV of this article which concludes Chuck's report on the Strat Master)


Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter, member Chuck Tinkler writes an article about SOM Baseball Ball Parks  
Old Guys Rule
(Part I)

Here we go with Chuck's new article ...

   About this time each year, many of us find ourselves faced with a question that has haunted us many a time before: Who should I take in this year’s draft? It is the cause of both hope and trepidation, for the seasoned Strat GM knows the potential for disaster lurks around every corner. For this our fellow travelers have created many aids, helpful tips in our quest to avoid the unavoidable: draft lists, prospect guides, mock drafts, etc. Despite the advancements, the draft remains as unpredictable as ever and leaves us knowing only one thing for sure: It will turn out in ways resembling anything but what was expected.

What may not though often get mentioned, at least, what does not get the degree of attention, is the strategy of trading out of the draft entirely, or, trading draft picks for established players. For as much as we contemplate some variation of "Who should I take?", questions that follow often go something like "Should I trade up? Or down?" or "Should I get out of this thing altogether and trade for someone I know?" And for questions such as these, our intuition tends to be our only guide. These though are questions as important as any, ones to be targeted here, in at least some form, in this article. Our search for answers to questions such as these may too in a small way bring more light to the mystery we’d really like to solve: What is a draft pick really worth?

Consider this: In 2007, Josh Beckett was arguably the best pitcher in the game. He was big, threw hard, and had the kind of mound presence managers dream of. There may have been pitchers with better numbers, but come playoff time, there was no one a team would rather have on the hill than this guy. For proof, one need look no further than Game 1 of the 2007 ALDS, Red Sox vs Angels. It ended up much less a game than an act of total domination. A buddy and I caught it in a bar in Anaheim and it was captivating stuff. Here, before us, did we witness the power of having a dominant ace in your staff. Beckett just went beast on the lowly Halos. It was like he just single-handedly stuffed them back in the box they came out of. It actually was kind of sad in a way…well, not really, we are talking about the Angels here. But it was more than a win or a great pitching performance - he humiliated them. Batters walked back to the dugout with a look on the face that said something like, "Wow. I just got schooled." At least, that’s the way it looked to me that day.

Driving home that night, I was beaming. Not only had I witnessed what was surely an excruciating Angel loss, but I owned Josh Beckett! Me! He was on MY team! I never had good guys like that, seemed like everyone else always did. But here, at last, I had an awesome player! I had the guy that everyone would want! What an incredible feeling it was. Wow. Me. I finally had a great player.

It didn’t of course take long though for my brain to get in there and make a mess of things. Thoughts started coming in like "you know…he could hurt his arm at any moment …" and "guys may be good in real life but not that good in Strat…" and, and this one’s the kicker, "you know…you could get the WORLD for him right now….". Aaaah the potential for more. It is indeed the slayer of many a perfectly good thing in life. But with a horrible team that was going nowhere, what really was there to lose?

The buddy who I’d watched the game with was a Strat partner from way back and was a connoisseur of fine Strat-O cards. This was a guy who had traded for Sammy Sosa just to have him in the same lineup with Mark McGwire. He was as awe-struck by Beckett’s performance that night as I and it didn’t take him long to figure out that thoughts of moving my prized possession had indeed floated about. The offers came in fast and furious. He knew just where to hit me and in the end, I succumbed to a return of three, first round picks - #3, #8, and #12. Along with the #1, the next George Brett, everything was in place for my team to reign for years to come.

Well, friends, that was not exactly the way things turned out. That, actually, wasn’t even close to the way things turned out. But before dissecting the carnage of that deal, let us revisit the question at hand: What is a draft pick really worth? Can we look at a trade, a 28-year old superstar pitcher for three, first round picks, and have an idea of where the probabilities lie before even filling in the names? Well, that’s what this article intends to do. We’ll follow career paths, assign values, and see what we can come up with.

And oh, back to the trade – the return? The "next great Yankee ace", a "five-tool, perennial all-star who should hit 20-25 homeruns annually" and "one of the few pitchers with true ace potential", one that even had a no-hitter under his belt already. With a haul like that, what could possibly go wrong?

Until next time ....

Chuck Tinker

(FINAL NOTES from the WOLFMAN: We want to thank Chuck again for sharing a new exciting and deep article for our members. We can't wait to see where this next one will go as Chuck is a great strat story teller.. Again, we are always open to new ideas and submissions by our members and perhaps (we hope) that Chuck has been an inspiration for you that you might consider to send to us one of your own offerings. As stated before, Chuck as always is up for chatting about Strat, reach him at: chucktinkler@yahoo.com  )



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Contained inside this exciting issue of Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter:
(to view the various interviews, articles, columns and special sections click on the links {underlined}
and this will take you to the appropriate webpage)


  INTERVIEW with SEAN PLOUFFE, HITTING A BASEBALL, Sean is a pro hitting consultant who works with various minor league and major league players to help them with their swing to be able to be more efficient in hitting a baseball.  In this interview we discussed how Sean was able to become this hitting consultant.  Perhaps Sean can help some of our members hit a baseball better in your physical baseball leagues?

  SOM/MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL WORLD NEWS with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO, editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" roams the world for interesting news linked to SOM or MLB. For this month he shares some gems he found on the Strat-o-matic website, offers two more "Stat of the Week" bulletins through Baseball Info Solutions (John Dewan and Bill James), a special announce of a new draft guide coming out in January through our team in conjunction with Strat-o-gists, new videos on our Youtube channel and a gift shared with our members by a former contributor.

  ARTICLE with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO - How to Setup Your Draft League Team, as we all wait for the new 2017 cards (based upon the 2016 MLB Season) to come out, to our members who are in a Keeper's Draft League, during our off-season we always ponder how to make our teams better.  This article is probably more for GMs wanting to win their first championship, as the Wolfman let's you in on his strategies for building his Skokie Wolfmen in the CBA .... if you are in the CBA don't read this article please ...

  EARLY SOM BASEBALL CARDS with TOM NAHIGIAN, Wolfman's old Strat Friend, Tom Nahigian, known as the "Collector" in Guzzo's book, returns to us as we share images of some of the early SOM baseball cards made for the 1960 season, before Strat-o-matic created the advanced cards that we all know today.  This is one of our favorite periodic columns by our members, also check the links on this page to view the previous release of the early card image from 1960 and 1961.

  SOM BASEBALL LEAGUE REPORT with WOLFMAN SHAPIRO -- the editor of "The Ultimate Strat Newsletter" and 2012 CBA Champion, turns his attention to talk to members of various face-to-face Strat-o-matic Baseball Leagues that he has discovered through the league registry service offered on the Strat-o-matric website. Each commission speaks about the history of their league and their experiences. To read these interviews, click on the links below:

INTERVIEW with ARNIE POLLINGER, Commissioner of SOMBILLA (Face-to-Face)
INTERVIEW with BLAIR CONRAD, Commissioner of Halifax Strato (Face-to-Face)

  RECOMMEND ON-LINE SOM RESOURCES -- On-line Strat-o-matic and Baseball related websites that offer amazing information, special tools and products to improve your game play that we strongly recommend. In most cases, we have had personal contact with these sources who agree with the principle to work together and help promote each other.

  BOOKS TO DIE FOR and Become a BASEBALL GURU -- This page is specifically about special books we are finding that either will expand your insights about the game of Baseball, help you in the creation of your current league teams or with your replays and learn more about the Strat-o-matic Baseball Game and Game Company's history.  We have a special arrangement with Acta Sports, who is a publisher of a number of great baseball books (including Bill James Handbooks) to offer for our members a 10% discount. We will continue to add more books to this page in the future as we uncover other gems our members should know about.


Contact Us for Questions or Submissions:

Wolfman Shapiro
Founder/Editor, the Ultimate Strat Baseball Newsletter

twitter: @StratBaseball4U

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