Seawolf's Guide to the Single-Season Version of Diamond Mind Online            Back to Reference Index

Diamond Mind Online's Single-Season game includes every player who appeared in even a single major league game from the 1920 season to the present. (And each year we will add the most recently completed season's players to the game.) Yes, even this guy:

 

You can choose to play in a single season, with just the players and parks from that season, or you can draw on the entire player pool of over 70,000 player-seasons, with the same Eras of Play and parks available in the current Classic version of the game.

If you choose to draw on the entire player pool, only one season of a player may be selected. Once one season of a player has been signed, all others will be unavailable, except that, prior to Opening Day, if a player is released, all versions of that player are available again to sign. (After Opening Day, if a player is released, only the released version of the player will be available in the free agent pool.) You can, however, set up your league to allow multiple versions of players to be used, if you wish.

The biggest difference between the Single-Season and Classic versions of the game is the Playing Time Limitation (PTL) system. Once a batter or pitcher reaches 110% of their real-life PA or IP, they will turn into "pumpkins". A "pumpkin" batter or pitcher will perform badly ... below replacement level for their position and the season or era of play in which your league is set. (You can, however, choose to turn the PTL system off when you set up your league.) Note that other aspects of player performance besides hitting for batters and pitching for pitchers will not change: for example, "pumpkin" batters will continue to field and run, and pitchers to bat, as rated, even after they turn into pumpkins.

You also have the option of applying PTL for batters to real-life "splits" plate appearances.  When PTL with batting splits is turned on, the split limits are 200% of real-life PA v L pitchers and 150% of real-life PA v R pitchers, but still 110% overall.  

With the PTL system in place, the cash-in value for players also is different. A player's cash-in value will be equal to his salary times his remaining usage. For example:

0% usage, 100% cash-in
1% usage, 99% cash-in
2% usage, 98% cash-in

and so on, to $0 (with the exception of "cup of coffee" minimum salary players.  For an explanation of how their cash-in value is determined, see the FAQ's below.)

Player usage can be displayed on your team's roster page by ticking the Show Player Usage box. The figure displayed is the % of PA/IP before a player turns into a pumpkin, which is 110% of his actual PA/IP. So let's say a pitcher had 50 real-life IP, and he's had 5 IP in his sim season; his usage will show as 9% (= 5/(50*1.1)).  There also are detailed batter and pitcher usage tables accessible by clicking on the Player Usage link at the top right of the roster page or the U link in the Stats column on the Scouting an Opponent page.

If a team reaches the postseason, player usage is reset for each 7-game series to 0%.  For a 7-game playoff series, a player's PTL will be 10% of his actual PA/IP.  (PTL does not apply to batting splits during the postseason, even if it did during a league's regular season.) So, for example, if your closer had 60 real-life IP during the relevant season, his playoff PTL would be 6 IP per 7-game series.  (PTL is independent of pitcher fatigue, so a pitcher may be fatigued even if he has not reached his PTL usage limit.)

PTL is adjustable when a league is created, or can be turned off entirely.  If the overall PTL % is increased, the PTL % on batting splits (if in effect) will be increased proportionately as well, as will the PTL % applicable to each postseason series.  

If a player is released during the season, his usage will be indicated next to his name in the free agent pool and will carry over to any team that signs him. However, the cost to sign the player as a free agent will still be his full salary.

All of your teams, Single-Season and Classic, are listed on your My Teams page.  (Single-Season teams have an "S" designation to the right of the league name.)  And all leagues - Single-Season and Classic - are created from the same Create a Custom League menu page.

Those are the basics. For some of the finer points, read the FAQ below. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions About the Single-Season Game

Q. How do batting and pitching splits work in the single-season game?

A. Players are rated on the basis of real-life split stats for all seasons from 1928 onwards. From time to time real-life splits may be applied to earlier seasons as the data becomes available. For seasons prior to 1928, all players have standardized league-average splits. You also have the option, in setting up a league, to "turn off" real-life splits and have standardized splits applied to all players.

PTL does not apply separately to batting splits unless you choose this option when setting up a league.  PTL does not apply pitching splits.

Q. How are "cup of coffee" type players rated to hit and pitch?

A. If a batter had less than 20 PA, additional "replacement level" PA's are added to his total to get to 20, from which his ratings are then calculated. If the player is rated on the basis of real splits, the 20 PA threshold applies separately to PA as a L batter and PA as a R batter; if he is rated on the basis of standardized splits, the 20 PA threshold applies to his total PA only. For pitchers batting, the added PA are much worse than for batters. The same type of calculation is carried out for pitchers who faced less than 20 batters, adding replacement level BFP to L and R batters faced for pitchers rated on real-life splits, or total batters faced for pitchers rated on standardized splits.

Q. How is the cash-in value of "cup of coffee" type players calculated?

A. Players go down to $0 release value when their PTL reaches 100%, with the exception of minimum $500,000 salary "cup of coffee" players: batters who had less than 18 real-life (20 PTL) PA and pitchers who had less than 6 real-life (6-2/3 PTL) IP. Those players will lose $25,000 per PA or 1/3 IP used. So, for example, a batter who had just 1 real-life PA (1 PTL PA), will have a release value when their PTL hits 100% of $475,000; a pitcher who has 3 real life IP (3-1/3 PTL IP), will have a release value when their PTL hits 100% of $250,000.

Q. What is the Era of Play and what parks are available for leagues set in a single season?

A. If a league is set in a single season, you may choose as the "era of play" for that league either that season only, or one of the Classic Eras of Play, and you may choose either the parks that were in use during that season, or the list of "Classic" parks. Single-season "eras of play" are only available for leagues set in and limited to the players from that particular season, but single-season parks may be chosen for leagues drawing on players from multiple single-seasons.

Q. Can I customise the players and seasons included in my league's player pool?

A. Yes.  You can choose to use players from one or more specific seasons only (which do not need to be continuous).  You also can exclude players from your player pool who have less than a specified number of PA or IP.  And you can include only players from specific seasons for specific franchises (which can be different seasons specified for each franchise).

Q. How did you determine player salaries?

A. We placed values on all aspects of player performance, then, crucially, adjusted player salaries based on their PTL. For this reason, if you turn off the PTL system when you set up your league, players who performed extremely well in limited PA or IP will be insane bargains.

Q. Do you intend to adjust player salaries?

A. No doubt there will be some salary anomalies in the game, particularly with such a huge player pool spanning so many seasons. We anticipate doing one or more "value" adjustments to salaries after sufficient league play and feedback.  (The first was done as part of the introduction of SSG Version 2.0.)  Because of the size of the player pool and the wide range of different playing environments available, however, there never will be sufficient data for regular "supply-and-demand" based salary adjustments.

Q. Will there be Sim Stats?

A. While records of your past single-season teams and leagues will be available, just as with your Classic teams and leagues, there will be no sim stats database maintained. Again, because of the size of the player pool and the wide range of different playing environments available, it will be a very long time, if ever, before there is sufficient data for a sim stats database to be meaningful.

Q. If there are no sim stats, what about "+" stats, to compare players from seasons with different levels of offense?

A. We hear you, but it's not something that we have in the works at this time. There is a wealth of data of this sort on Baseball Reference, and there are BBREF links ("BR") provided for all players. Of course, if you're playing in a league set in a single season, apart from park effects all actual player stats are directly comparable.

Q. Will the Computer Manager know that a guy has turned into a Pumpkin?

A. Yes, it will. So, for example, it will pinch hit much more readily for a batter who has turned into a pumpkin.

Q. What are Clutch and Jam and how do they work?

A. Many if not most people believe that some players have an innate ability to hit or pitch better in pressure situations. This ability has never been proven to exist or, put another way, no one has ever figured out how to prove it exists. Nevertheless, in any given season, that certain players performed particularly well "in the clutch" is a statistical fact.

In the Single-Season version of the game, such players have been given Clutch or Jam ratings. For such players, their odds of success improve in pivotal situations (the late innings of close games), but they are slightly lower at other times to offset their enhanced "clutch" performance.

Q. With PTL in effect, how many PA/IP do I need over the course of a season?

The highest average PA per team/game in the seasons 1920 to present was 39.55 in 1936, which would equal 6,407 total PA prorated over a 162-game season. In 2020 it was 37.03, or 5,999 prorated over a 162-game season. (Of course, if you have an offense-oriented roster or home park or are playing in an offense-oriented league, you will accumulate more PA than otherwise.)

There is much less variation in innings pitched, which average right around 9 per game (extra-innings games are offset by games where the visiting team loses and does not pitch to the home team in the 9th inning). So your pitchers will need to throw around 1,460 innings over the course of a 162-game season.

Q. What's the difference between the "Classic" (career-rated) and Single-Season versions of the Diamond Mind Online game?

A. There are a few fundamental differences. In the Single-Season version, the players are rated on single years of their careers, rather than their peak or total careers. There are no Playing Time Limits in the Classic version. Salaries are computed differently in the Single-Season version, based on Playing Time Limits as well as player ratings. The release refund schemes also are different. Single-Season leagues can be played in a single season with the parks in use in that particular season, rather than the Eras of Play and range of parks available in Classic leagues.

Other than that, the games are the same in key respects: the Computer Manager is the same for both games and they share the same user interface. All of your teams, Single-Season and Classic, appear on your My Teams page, and both types of leagues are created from the same Create a Custom League menu page.  So the challenge posed by the Single-Season version of Diamond Mind Online will be to develop new team-building strategies and tactics that address its distinct features, within an otherwise familiar environment.

We hope you enjoy the game, and please feel free to ask questions. You can reach me at cwolfson@imaginesports.com. Good luck!

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