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Bucky Wilson 2

Bucky Wilson II, Version 1: AIM, 1930s Decade Replay  2014 edition


Wilson II has been designed to handle the second half of the 1930s seasons, roughly 1935+. He may, however, be used for the first half of the decade although Bucky Wilson I would be a wiser choice. Wilson II is better suited for the “lesser” offensive dominant years. So, he’s likely not very good for 1930 or the other high scoring years of the early 30s.

Because the game changed fundamentally during the 30’s – beginning with the offensive onslaught of 1930 – to a more pitching dominated game later in the decade, Wilson II like Bucky Wilson I has been designed to adjust his handling of pitching staffs (and his handling of other areas as well) based on the general “style” of play of the team he is managing. This is done, as with some of the other micromanagers, particularly in his use of the bullpen where many star or quality pitchers were used in dual roles – as  starters who would go quite long in games and as what we now call “closers” or relief pitchers who would enter games late in critical situations. Additionally, Wilson II will significantly alter his pitching changes based on the pitching staff he is managing, alterations that are generally determined by the total relief appearances of the team he is using. This is measured by totaling the relief appearances for the top ten pitchers (as determined by their individual relief appearances). However, other key statistics such as team ERA, QS or QR of the pitcher, strength of the opponent, inning et cetera are also considered.

So, while Wilson II can adjust his strategies, like Wilson I, to handle either half of the decade, it’s best to use Wilson II for the latter five years and Wilson I for the first five.

Two critical factors on a replayers part must be included, then, in this area. One, it’s not advisable (or needed) to bench starting pitchers. Wilson II will keep one rested starting pitcher from being used except in emergencies OR, most important, in critical situations late when ahead. In those latter situations, particularly against strong hitting lineups, Wilson II will use a key starter to squelch a rally. This is  usually only done in the ninth or later with the tying runs on base and more than one out. In other words, very limited. However, if you absolutely want to make sure a starter is not used, you MUST bench him before the game begin.

Secondly, it’s not wise, although not critical, that you do not carry more than 12-14 pitchers on a team. Because Wilson II calculates the total relief appearances of the team he is managing and then uses that measure (in part) in making relief changes, carrying more than a dozen or so pitchers may lead to a quicker hook than was used historically. If, however, pitchers 11+ only had a handful of appearances (less than 10 or so), this shouldn’t affect his decisions.

One additional point to emphasize. Because of the heavy use of starters in relief, it’s advisable not to give dual grades (starting and relieving) to pitchers. Using starting grades ONLY for these pitchers will greatly enable Wilson to use them in relief since their recovery rates will be quicker (i.e. split grade pitchers are given relieving RR’s only: when they do start, they will greatly exceed these RR’s by approximately 15-20+ batters. Thus, they generally require an extra 2-3 days rest before they can pitch again, days that are not required if the pitcher had a starting RR that would be exceeded by a handful of batters).

Among the other strategies of Wilson II to note are:

1) Limited blowout substitution strategy. This strategy is directly related to the game margin and offensive numbers of the player. In very lopsided games, for example, he will be more willing to sub for star players, especially defensively. In “closer” lopsided games, he will tend to only take out superstar-type players. He will occasionally PH for these star players in very one-sided games.

2) Wilson II will, as was done historically, aggressively use pitchers as pinchhitters or pinchrunners. This is especially true, for example, in his use of Red Lucas and Red Ruffing, probably the two greatest hitting pitchers in major league history.

3) You’ll not that with this version along with Wilson I that the PHing strategies have been greatly revamped. Generally, it’s more conservative with only the nonregular and light-hitting players PH for. For most teams this means 6-7 of the starters will not be hit for but a platoon catcher or middle infielder likely will.