Theory 4 video: Baseball “Sacrifice” At Bat Evaluation (RallyBird Baseball Board Game)

What is the shape of value of the “sacrifice” At Bat in baseball? In this intuitive approach, I try to offer this. I call it a shape because it’s more than just a yes/no thing, more than a simple risk/reward relationship, but highly situational. Even when you consider all batters equal, there are still a lot of factors to weigh. The answer may have to be your choice of will, not your confident calculation. Lines and shapes are ways to try to wrangle the forces that push on the outcome.

Df6O3sMUEAA-9dl.jpg-large.jpegWhen you’re playing the RallyBird Baseball board game, you have the opportunity to make these evaluations for yourself based on your runners on base, how many outs you have, your inning, the number of runs you need, your opponent’s defensive style, and how many runs you want to score. What combination of risk and reward works best for you tactically and strategically?

This video explores the dimensions of risk and reward behind a decision to hit a ball in such a way to trade the batter’s Out to advance a runner already on base. To me its a fascinating risk/reward question with multiple, drifting variables. With all batters equal, when is it better or worse to hit a sacrifice rather than attempt a normal At Bat? This is one of the decisions you need to make when playing the RallyBird Baseball board game. As I say in the video, this need to make decisions provides the “good pain” in board games that I like.

For sale now (June, 2018) here: https://bit.ly/2rvmzBa .

Also see: RallyBirdBaseball.com . Thank you for watching.

Unintentional Revelations As My Next RallyBird Baseball Theory Video Is Almost Complete

I filmed the next RallyBird Baseball theory video yesterday and editing it today. I’m uploading it now. It should take about six years to upload, possibly quite less than that. Perhaps even later today. I filmed it via my laptop, because I think my camcorder’s audio quality may be irredeemable. That dictates the angle and make it hard not to show my face. (“Don’t look at me!) Here is a still pic of me with my baseball tie and one of my colorful graphs.Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 2.48.15 PM

It is funny and disconcerting to view myself–full stop. For one thing, this video shows my eyes looking upward when I try to be precise about my spoken language.

I asked google about this posture, and it offered this: Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 2.55.53 PM

So I suppose it’s disconcerting to see myself processing information in a way that isn’t entirely self-aware. I’m only self-aware from the inside viewpoint. (“Let me out!”) Sadly I don’t have a sidekick who walks around with a mirror for me, like that wonderful man in the band called “The Time”… you may recall the highly engaging and hilarious performance from the movie Purple Rain.

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Back to my somewhat less hypnotic and groovy examination of the shape of value of baseball’s sacrifice At Bat… I take an intuitive approach to evaluation, and explain why, and how it reflects on the RallyBird Baseball Board Game.

Here is the RallyBird Baseball board game’s place in BoardGameGeek.com: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/252879/rallybird-baseball

And here’s where you can pick up a copy: https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/rallybird-baseball

PS. Where’s my Mirror Guy?

Preparations for the Next RallyBird Baseball Video. Topic: “Sacrifice” At Bats

With the assistance of graphs (see pic) I’m gathering my thoughts for my next RallyBird Baseball video to add to my previous five available on YouTube here.

SacFlyVideoPrepJune12,2018

While I can offer no computer graphics, I do offer my fuzzy, halting, semi-articulate, grainy human self. At least there are no PowerPoint slides, right?

Note to human self: turn on the microphone.

Baseball Logic

In response to this question about a Runners In Scoring Position double play situation, I amended the rules to include this specification…

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This does not change any rules. It’s just a clarification that makes explicit the logic of baseball. I want people with different levels of baseball confidence to enjoy the game, so I’m happy to make this addition. I write about all this more extensively in my previous post.

Thanks to the RallyBird Baseball gamers who asked the question!

RISP then Double-Play? What Happens?

An early purchaser of the game contacted me with a request for clarification on this question which came up in a play session.

When there’s a runner on 1st and 2nd base and the batter hits a Grounder Right into a double play, does the runner on 2nd base advance?

Yes.

Let me fully specify. In RallyBird Baseball terms, the card that Offense played is one of these five:

Infield Right, Infield Left, Grounder Right, Grounder Left, Bunt Hit:

What happens in a common Double Play (dice < Gloves result) with no Outs if there are also runners on 2B, 3B? By common Double Play I mean with runner on 1B put out while forced to advance to 2B and the batter put out while advancing to 1B.

Baseball logic applies. Since there is a runner on 1st base, a runner on 2B must advance to 3B during the hit which quickly turns out to be a Double Play at 1B and 2B.

If there was also a runner on 3B (in other words Bases Loaded), the advancing runner from 2B to 3B in turn forces a runner on 3B to score. If there’s no runner on 2B, a runner on 3B stays on base during the Double Play result.

For Sac Right/Left in this situation, runners on 2B and 3B must hold. They had to return to base after the fielder caught the ball, and then the infielders had control of the ball.

Although baseball logic makes sense here, I’d like the game as much as possible to specify the resolution. I want players with different levels of baseball confidence to enjoy the game. I don’t think I can fit all this information on the respective cards, but will look for a place in the rules. Actually I already know there is no room in the rules, so will have to agonize a little…

Incidentally, if a runner scored on a double-play, that doesn’t count as an RBI for the batter! This is a clue to baseball tradition’s sense of relative value between outs and runs, and helps me think about the sacrifice fly & sacrifice bunt. I’d like to do another video on that topic, but I’m still cogitating and scribbling graphs in a dog-eared notebook.

(Runners on 2nd and 3rd base are Runners In Scoring Position in baseball lingo, or RISP. This is a good acronym to have in your ready baseball vocabulary.)

10th Inning, 1 Out, Need 1 Run to Tie…

Here are sample pictures of a tense game situation in a recent play session of RallyBird Baseball. I’m on the right, playing Home (blue). The situation as we join us is… It’s the 10th inning, with 1 Out. Score is Red 3, Blue 2.

Note: The RallyBird made an appearance earlier, which I squandered, so it flew away. I’m on my own now!

The pictures below are screen grabs from the video I took of the match–while failing to turn the microphone on, as I mentioned in my previous post.

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As blue offense, I made my At Bat decision and laid the card down. Red defense has started to place her defensive tiles, starting with the pitcher zone…
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Red completes placing the defensive tiles
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I reveal the At Bat card. It’s a hit that Drives Left. The sum of the relevant Glove zones is a 7. I roll the dice… a 9. Success!
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Since my Drive Left succeeded in moving a runner, Defense has to flip (if white numbered) or remove (if red numbered) one of the tested zones. She decides which one…
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I move the runner tokens according to the result on the card for beating the Gloves sum–it was a double.
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I take the Drive Left card back into my hand.
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Here’s the situation as I consider the tactic for my next batter. I have set up runners on base in a way that avoids the common double-play threat. My opponent is showing her array of Glove tile values as a courtesy.
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I select my next At Bat card and place it face down.
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Visitor puts down her defensive Glove tiles.
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I reveal my At Bat card: Infield Left. The sum of the relevant Glove tiles is 7.
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I roll the dice, a 10, which beats 7. Success! However, the details on this particular card explain that runners on base only advance if forced, so there’s no score.
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Red (visitor) has to choose which Glove tile takes the impact. She flips the tile in the pitcher’s Glove zone. (Sorry that the screen capture includes the mute video play controls.)
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Here’s the field situation as I contemplate my next At Bat. 10th Inning! Bases loaded!!! One out. Score is still 3-2. I’m one run behind…
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I made my decision and placed my At Bat card face down… Note that I’m looking down so my opponent cannot read my face, which she did earlier in the game.
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Defense has placed her Glove tiles… Not that the course of the inning has lead her to have at this moment a lot of stronger Glove values, except for that 2. If I could hit at that weakness, it would help! I turn my face down to the table in nervousness…
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Nope, I hit against her strength. I chose a Drive Right. Her relevant defense Glove zones add up to a value of 9.
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My die roll result is a 6, quite less than a 9. Is that right? Is 6<9 or maybe 6>9 today? Should I challenge and have the HQ in New York check the video…. Oh no… It’s my second Out! Defense holds!

 

Here’s the situation… 10th inning, 2 outs, bases loaded, down by 1 run. And due to limitations with the video source, here I have to leave you hanging. Folks, it’s a mystery what happened next. Yep, I guess we’ll never know if I hit in another run or perhaps even two for a Walk-Off. No, we’ll never know.

Okay seriously my next At Bat was another Out… I left ducks on a pond stranded…  What a finish! Visitors 3 – Home 2 was the final score. Congrats to my worthy opponent M. who persevered in this tense game session of RallyBird Baseball.

If I can recover pictures of the remaining (tragic) play I’ll come back and add them.

Now on BGG: the RallyBird Baseball Board Game

The RallyBird Baseball board game now has a presence on the premier board game website, Board Game Geek. If all goes right over time, more content about the game will show up there. Here’s the address (or click the picture below): https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/252879/rallybird-baseballScreen Shot 2018-05-27 at 10.47.40 AM.png