Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Why Does Baseball Mogul Hate Me?

Especially when I love it so much?

A few months ago I turned 24. One of my presents was Baseball Mogul 2009. I was given BM 2003 several years ago and loved it, so I was awfully excited about '09.

And for good reason. It's not a terribly realistic simulation of Major League Baseball. The rosters are absurdly flexible; you can shift players up and down from the minors to the majors without repercussions or limitations. Want to get that hotshot first baseman who's been tearing up Double-A on the postseason roster? Well, don't worry about fancy roster machinations. Just move him to the big club on October 1.

There's no 40-man roster. The game does include arbitration, which was lacking from the first version I was gifted years ago.

But realism isn't necessarily the point, though it does aim for a demographic that wants more than the "see ball/hit ball" dynamic of console games. (Which I also adore, for the record) There's a certain nerdy joy that comes from assembling a team and winning a virtual World Series with it. Granted, I haven't actually managed to pull that off yet, but hey, those back-to-back National League pennants were a lot of fun.

There's a tiny problem, however. Baseball Mogul players are crafted from candy glass. Every one in the league is like some unholy hybrid of JD Drew and the Samuel L. Jackson character from Unbreakable. Rarely is a game simulated without a box popping up on my screen to notify me that some crucial member of my carefully constructed roster has been crippled with a horrifying case of gingivitis.

Take the following injury log of the Atlanta Braves, accrued from April 1 through June 1 of the 2025 season:

April 12: Jim Karns out for two weeks. (Finger stress fracture)
April 21: Jose Fretga out for four weeks. (Wrist stress fracture)
May 2: Kurt Hafer out for three weeks. (Spiked Achilles Tendon)
May 7: Brian Widdess out for two months. (Broken ankle)
May 17: Jose Cisneros out for two weeks (Pulled groin)
May 21: Daniel Tyler out for two weeks. (Sprained finger)
May 22: Enrique Lucero out for two weeks (Sprained knee)
May 29: Jose Fretga out for two weeks. (Finger stress fracture)

All big league players, and that list doesn't include the litany of minor injuries that took players from the lineup for two or three days at a time.

So a suggestion for my good friends at Sports Mogul Inc.: you make a wonderful product. Really, a great way to kill time during my long days of waiting for my cell phone to ring or for my email inbox to receive exciting job offers. There's a definite old-school Civilization vibe, a "just one more turn" dynamic. Kudos for that.

But for the love of God, let me go two or three games without learning of a new injury. (And some of these injuries are bizarre. "Bruised kidneys" and "lacerated spleens" come up with frequency, which is slightly less troubling than the fact that those ailments only keep guys out for two or three games) You kill the fun when you eviscerate my roster.


Anonymous said...

Sigh, Im going through the same problem - just had to turn the game off it became impossible to play the '78 Yankees with half of my roster on the dl

Good luck with the job search

Anonymous said...

I started with the Washington Nationals in 2008
I currently sit in first by 12 games in year 2011
However i have 7 Starters on Offense on the DL 6 of which are above 90 and all 3 of my LH relievers.

Anonymous said...

Go to "League". Then go to "League Settings". Then change the injury frequency to -70% or -80%. This seems to be much more realistic. Just one change that I would recommend. I have others if you're interested.

-Jeff Ward
Midlothian, Va

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