Team by Team September Observations


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The Scoresheet computer might not make the moves you expect.

Be warned that Scoresheet will occasionally make substitutions probably not the way you were counting on. It is a complicated process and there are a few quirks. Here are a few I have found:

1. Instead of filling a position with the top man on the bench, the computer first checks to see if the DH can play that position. If so, it moves him to it. Then after filling all the other positions, it takes the top pinch hitter left and moves him into the DH spot. For example, on my championship team (Slick Silk Sox), I have Ken Griffey listed as one of my outfielders, Many Ramirez listed as the DH, Rusty Greer listed no. 1 off my bench, and Brian Daubach with the top PH Ranking (against righties). I designed it this way, so Greer will fill in if any of my outfielders were out, but Daubach would be in the line-up if Ramirez or my firstbaseman were out. Instead, Daubach has been in the line-up for Griffey not Greer. Scoresheet moved Ramirez to the outfield.

I could eliminate that by listing Ramirez as just DH instead of DH-OF. However, with Griffey already hurt, there is a good chance I will need two substitute outfielders. I would rather have Ramirez in the outfield with Daubach DHing, than have one of my right-side batting outfielders out there with Greer. I have to weigh whether having Greer instead of Daubach as the first sub is more important than having Daubach instead of Vernon Wells as the second sub. (I chose the later. In fact, I`ve been lucky Scoresheet has been using Daubach instead of Greer.)

2. The Scoresheet computer can`t seem to handle too many fielding possibilities for checking the best alignment. On my building team (Hot Stat Rats), I`ve got Jose Valentin for a starting and defensive sub shortstop. He`s listed at all his positions SS-3B-OF. I have Shane Halter on the bench as SS-3B. He is my defensive sub thirdbaseman. Yet, when my starting thirdbaseman missed some games, Halter came in at shortstop and Valentin was moved to third.

That just ain`t right. Fortunately, I can fix this by taking away Valentin`s -3B. In the future, we should all be careful about listing unnecessary positions. Only, if I had another shortstop who couldn`t also play third would I ever need that extra flexibility.

3. About five years ago, my top pinch hitter and defensive substitute firstbaseman came in to DH. My starting firstbaseman remained at first. That little quirk has been fixed. Last week I noticed substitute extraordinaire Daubach was actually playing firstbase with Jason Giambi and his slightly inferior fielding range taking the DH position.

4. If you just list your outfielders as OF, the best range playing will always be in center. The next best range will be in rightfield and the outfielder with the weakest range will end up in left. Unfortunately, defensive subs don`t work that way. They just go to the positions you list them as.

You might not want to use OF all the time, anyway. For example, if you only have one decent back-up centerfielder from your bench or starting line-up, but plenty of better hitting outfielders, then list those outfielders as RF-LF, and the sub centerfielder as CF.

It is usually a good idea to list your best defensive sub at each position, even if they are much worse offensively. It could save enough at bats of your starters to allow him to start an extra game.

Keep that in mind when deciding where to put in whom as your defensive sub. If your starting leftfielder is too good of a hitter to get subbed for, list him as LF in your starting line-up, then dont put any defensive substitute under LF.

Don`t forget centerfield is the most important position in Scoresheet to have an outstanding fielder. That multiplier intensifies the differences between good defensive centerfielders and the less adequate.