Friday, March 7, 2008


I'm back, after a week and a half of homework. Let's get down to business.

What Era to use?

Due to the way this disk is constructed, the era setting can change a season dramatically. Use a big hitting era, such as 1930 or 1994, and the batting averages will be off the roof. Use a pitching era, such as 1966 or 1968, and see a lot of 1-0 and 2-1 complete games. Indeed, due to the nature of Diamond Mind Baseball's engine, a lot of variation in replays comes from whatever era is used.

I haven't talked much about how my league is structured (that's what happens when you're a college student). As I briefly mentioned before, the teams I am using will be based in China (with a few exceptions, but all in Asia). I've divided the organization up into northern and southern leagues, and have worked hard at choosing ballparks that best reflect the character of each city (i.e. a cold northern city like Harbin gets a dome stadium, there's a lot of rainfall in the southern cities, etc). I've also tried to give each league its own personality, giving cities in the north better hitting parks on average, and, likewise, giving southern cities better pitching parks. Among other things, this adds a large degree of unpredictibility to an already unpredictable league, and should make postseason play interesting.

In keeping with this theme, I've decided to give the northern league the 2001 AL era, and the southern the 1966 AL. We're talking about a difference of 27 points in batting average between the two eras, and nearly 60 points in slugging percentage. That ought to make things interesting!

I'll post more about the individual leagues soon.

So what have I been up to lately?

Every time I think I'm out of the woods, another assignment comes up and drags me back. I'm working on a 6 page essay in Chinese on Chinese-Japanese Relations, a 10 page English essay on Japanese colonial policies in Taiwan from 1895 to 1945, another 10 page essay on Chinese economic development, and a few odds and ends, including a German independent study class. My biggest paper, however, is already done. I finished a 20 page paper on the development of Meiji-era Japanese nationalism for my Japanese Political Science class. I'm guessing most of you find such topics rather dry, but I enjoy that sort of thing.

A few days ago I purchased a book on Japanese baseball cards Sayonara Home Run, which I strongly recommend to anybody even remotely interested in baseball cards. The book is essentailly a gallery of the best looking Japanese baseball cards, from the pre-war era to around the mid-1970s. It should come in handy as my DMB project progresses, too, since I'll be able to put faces and names together.

One more thing

If you haven't seen it yet, check out some of the anti Sam Zell videos on Youtube. My favorite is here: Seriously, why anybody would want to sell the naming rights to Wrigley Field is beyond me.

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