INSTRUCTIONS for DIAMOND MIND LIVE Baseball
SETTING UP YOUR GAME
To start your game, go to your Diamond Mind Live home page, select whether you'll be playing against the computer or another player, then click on the Create Game button. To play against another player, either copy the link provide in the Invite Opponent page and email it, or enter your opponent's Diamond Mind username in the space provided and send the invitation. Once your opponent accepts the invitation, you can set up the game.
A pop-up box will appear (you will need to enable your computer to allow these), and you can set up your new game by making choices of the following:
Choose a Park: You can select from dozens of historical ballparks in which to play, including all current venues. Each park will have its own idiosyncrasies, so you might want to click on View Park Details before you make your selection. All available ballparks will be displayed with the following information: type of surface (grass or turf), cover (outdoor, dome, retractable), dimensions, and park factors. Park factors are displayed in terms of favorability for left-handed batters (LHB) and right-handed batters (RHB), with 100 being average or neutral. Factors over 100 are more favorable to the hitters (those under 100 favor the pitcher and defense), and are broken down in terms of the types of hits: 1B, 2B, 3B or HR. For more information on ballparks, see the Reference section.
Era of Play: The default is Standard Era (1920-92), but you can play in the Pitchers' Era (1963-68) or the Home Run Derby Era (1993-2004). Each of these will have an effect on the game, so you might want to review the section on Eras of Play in the Reference text.
Next, choose which team will be Home, whether or not you wish to employ the Designated Hitter and the types of Injuries that the sim will allow for that game. Injury choices are Player Profile, meaning that the frequency and length of injuries will be based on the individual player codes; Random; or you can turn Off the injury mode and no player will be hurt.
After you have made these choices, click on Continue. If you are playing against another player, he must accept the terms of the game before you can continue.
The next step is to choose the weather conditions. There will be a default, but you can manually change the Temperature, Field Conditions (Dry or Wet), Sky (Sunny, Some Clouds, Cloudy, Rain Clouds or Night Sky), Wind Direction (the default is Out to Center, but there are nine different choices), and the Wind Speed (from zero to 30 MPH). After choosing your weather conditions, click on Continue; if you are playing against another player, he will have to accept before you can continue.
The next step is to select the teams that will be facing each other. Use the dropbox to choose either one your own Standard teams (and/or custom teams if you are playing vs. the computer), or from an assortment of Preset Teams. Then choose whether you want to use the default lineup and starting pitcher, or if you want to set your own lineup and starter. If you are playing another player, he will make those decisions for his team.
Game Play Options
You're almost there now. Next choose your Game Play Options: For the Level of Detail, you can show each pitch of the game if you want to micro-manage the game, or you can show each play. Don't worry if you change your mind afterward - you can change this anytime during the game once you're underway.
You will have another selection to make also - Spectator Access, in a future release. You will be able to restrict view of the game between you and your opponent by choosing Spectators not allowed. Or if you have Diamond Mind friends you want to let in on the action, opt for Spectators allowed. You can also give them access to the chat area that will be up for your game (you and your opponent will always have access to the chat area) by selecting Spectators can watch & chat.
Click continue, and when your opponent has given you the green light, you're on the field!
PLAYING THE GAME
Now you're at the ballpark. You should see on your Game Screen the ballpark image, which is accurate as to its dimensions, and the scoreboard. Above that is your manager control board with varying options for your use in playing the game. To the right is the play-by-play screen and below that is the chat area. Finally, to the far right are the lineups, bench players and bullpens.
Manager Control Board
My Turn - Simply alerts you that it is your turn to select a tactic.
Reports - Gives you access to the Roster, Boxscore, Gamelog, Scoresheet, Park Detail, Play-by-Play (PBP) Log and the Weather report.
Level of Detail - Here is where you can change the level of detail from show each pitch to show each play, or vice versa.
Quickplay - If you want to jump ahead in the game and let the computer take over for a spell, you can jump ahead by half-inning or to the end of any inning, or to the conclusion of the game.
Pause - You can pause a game for up to 72 hours, after which it will be deleted. If you stop a game in progress, it will be retained in your list of Active Games on your DML home page for that time, and you can elect to continue the game by clicking on the Open Game link. You can delete games by clicking on that link.
Autopilot - If you want the computer to take over while your opponent continues to micro-manage, use this option to take a break and relax. (NOTE: This option will not be available until version 2.0 of DM Live)
Layout - This will allow you to change the configuration of the Game Screen, moving any of the features to an area that is most comfortable for you. (NOTE: This option will not be available until version 2.0 of DM Live)
Subs - If you are at a point in the game where you need to make personnel changes, pull down the Subs box. Click on the tab to the right of any player currently in your lineup to view the available players on your bench. Select your sub (field player or pitcher) by clicking on his name. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are making a double-switch, make sure to click on the tab to the right of their positions to make the appropriate changes. Check the entire lineup before submitting your changes with the Save Substitutions button.
Another useful function of the Subs option is the Review Roster link. You can bring up your roster, your opponent's roster, view batters or pitchers, or see all players. You also have access to their batting, pitching and defensive ratings - which is something you'll need to know to anticipate upcoming moves.
Each play or pitch will start with the team on the field selecting its defense. The options are:
Normal - This is self-explanatory.
In - If there is a runner on third and you want to prevent him from scoring in a tight game, bring the infield in to try to cut him down at the plate.
Corners - If you anticipate a bunt, you might want to bring in the third and first basemen to nullify the threat.
Line - Ahead in a close and late game? This will have your players guarding the foul lines to cut down on the possibility of an extra-base hit that could tilt the balance of the game.
Once your defense is set you will have six pitching options available to you:
Challenge - Have your pitcher attack the strike zone to get ahead in the count or force the issue.
Pitch Around - If you're ahead in the count and think the hitter is going to be aggressive, use this to get him to chase a bad ball. Or if it's Babe Ruth you're facing and you don't want him to get a good look, try this to see if he goes fishing.
Walk - Intentional walk.
Pitch-out - Think you can catch a base runner napping? Here's one way to take advantage.
Pick-off - With a swift thief on the basepaths, you can keep him honest by tossing a few his way. Be careful though - too many pick-off attempts can wear down your pitcher's arm more quickly that you want.
Quick - This is your option if you want to speed up the action.
When your opponent entered his defensive and pitching tactics, you'll see the My Turn button activate on your screen. At that point you must choose from your offensive options:
Swing Away - Gives the hitter the green light.
Bunt - You can use this option with no one on base if your hitter is adept at bunting for a hit. And when you have base runners, use this to try to sacrifice and move them up 90 feet. With a runner on third, the Bunt option will give you two options:
Suicide Squeeze - You'd best be sure your batter can handle the stick, and if he can, you can tally up one run.
Safety Squeeze - If you don't want to risk losing your lead runner, try the safety squeeze and he won't wander too far off the bag until he sees the ball in play.
Hit & Run - If you want to make sure your runner moves up and avoid the possibility of a double play, try this if your hitter can make contact.
Steal - Take advantage of a pitcher with no move to first or a catcher with a noodle arm.
Take Pitch - Ahead in the count or facing a pitcher who has control problems, or is just tiring? Run up the pitch count here.
The Roster Stats can provide you with the information you'll need to manage your team to its full potential. Included are the player historical Major League statistics, along with individual ratings for offense, defense and pitching, as well as injury tendencies. The filters at the top of the Roster Stats box allow you to view your team or your opponent's, show batters or pitchers, and to view all players, available players on your bench or only those players who are on the field.
Rating = (wild pitches * 1000) / (batters faced * .43)
DIAMOND MIND LIVE - REFERENCE
Click here to go directly to viewing and modifying era information.
Much of baseball's rich tradition is due to the unchanging nature of the game. Nevertheless, some aspects of baseball have changed dramatically over time. For example:
Today, league batting averages are typically around .270. But over the past seventy years they have ranged from under .240 to over .300 due to changes in rules, ballparks, and equipment.
At the turn of the 20th century, it was common for shortstops to make over 60 errors in a season. Today, few shortstops make more than 25 errors.
Also at the turn of the 20th century, it was common for starting pitchers to complete over 80% of the games they started. Today, teams rely much more on their relief pitchers, with starting pitchers completing fewer than 10% of their starts.
Pitchers in leagues using the designated hitter rule usually allow one more run every two games than they would in a non-DH league, because they do not face weak-hitting pitchers.
It is not possible to play realistic games among teams of different eras without adjusting for these changing playing conditions. For example, without these adjustments, a 1912 team would have almost no chance of beating a 1984 team because it would make two to three times as many errors. Are the 1984 fielders really that much better? Of course not. They just have the advantage of using modern gloves and playing on artificial turf.
Or, to use a modern example, a pitcher from a DH-league typically allows an extra run every two games compared with a pitcher who does not have to face a DH. If you want to see what would happen if this pitcher was traded to a non-DH league, or you wanted to release all of the players from both leagues and draft new rosters, you need a way to make sure the DH-league pitcher is not unfairly punished.
DMB uses eras to adjust for these factors. In DMB:
A .280 hitter in 1968 (when the league batting average was under .250) is a better hitter than someone who hit .280 in 1930 (when the average player batted .300).
A shortstop making 40 errors in 1912 is a better fielder than a shortstop making 30 errors in 1993.
A starting pitcher completing 30% of his games in 1984 is more durable (relative to his peers) than someone who completed 50% of his starts in 1920.
A DH-league pitcher with a 3.30 earned-run average is a better pitcher than someone with a 3.00 ERA in a non-DH league.
For many DMB owners, it is enough to know that you are using a game that adapts to different playing conditions. However, if you want to create or modify players, create new leagues and rosters, or play games with teams from different seasons, you need to know a little more. The remainder of this help topic describes the information contained in an era and the procedures for adding, changing and deleting eras.
The DMB historical era database
Once upon a time, anyone who wanted to create players in DMB had to start by creating the era against which those players should be evaluated. If you were creating all of the players for a single real-life season, that wasn't too bad, because you'd need only one or two eras. If you were creating a collection of all-time great players drawn from all of baseball history, you might need to create dozens of eras.
To simplify the process of creating players, DMB now includes a database with an era for every big-league season that has been completed since 1894. You can use these historical eras directly in the player creation and modification process, and you can import any of those eras into your database so you can use them in your own leagues. In short, you may no longer need to create or modify your own eras.
If, however, you are creating players for a fictional league, a foreign league, or one of the minor leagues, or if you wish to use an era based on a range of real-life seasons, you won't be able to use the eras in the historical database. You can, however, create and modify your own eras with a few simple steps.
Baseball is rare among professional sports in that the playing field is not standardized. The official rules of baseball provide for precise measurements within the infield, but only a few guidelines for distances to the outfield fences, leaving room for a wide variety of shapes, sizes, playing surfaces, building types, and so on. Combine these physical variations with the effects of altitude and climate in different parts of the country, and you can easily see how a ballpark can exert a large influence on games played there.
For this reason, ballparks play a large role in DMB. When players are created, their raw statistics are adjusted for the statistical impact of their home park. This (along with the era-based adjustments) helps us create park-neutral ratings for all players. And when you play a DMB game, the nature of the home park plays a significant role in the outcomes of games played there.
These park adjustments add realism to your DMB games. If you use the real-life rosters and the real-life schedule, the park effects that are removed during player creation are canceled out by those that are added during game play, so the players will produce statistics in DMB that are very consistent with their real-life stats. If, on the other hand, you draft new rosters, many of your players will be playing their DMB games in different parks than in real life, and the change in parks will have an impact on their DMB statistics.
This is the way it should be. In real-life, when a hitter is traded to a hitter-friendly park, you expect their statistics to rise even if their talent level doesn't change, and you discount their real-life stats for the effects of their new home park. The same is true in DMB. If you move a player to a new park that is quite different from his real-life park, you can expect to see his statistics be affected by this move.
Parks: Statistical Factors
The idiosyncrasies of ballparks impact on the number of singles, doubles, triples, and home runs hit by left- and right-handed batters. These numbers can range from 20 to 500, with an average park having a rating of 100. If the park allows only 58% as many home runs as the average ballpark, the home run rating for that park is 58. And if a park allowed 40% more triples than average, its triples rating is 140.
Here's an example. If a team's road games included 140 home runs and its home games included 100 (both for and against), you can conclude that the home park allows only 100 / 140 = 71% as many homers as the average of the other parks in the league. So you would assign a home run factor of 71 for this park.
It is unusual for a singles rating to be outside the range from 85-115, because there are very few ways that a park can affect the number of singles that are hit. The ranges for modern stadiums are usually 70-130 for doubles, 50-200 for triples, and 50-150 for home runs. Many years ago, there was more variety in stadiums, and larger differences in park ratings were more common.
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