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 Post subject: AOW's Expansion Mode Challenge - Honolulu Heroes
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:32 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:18 pm
Posts: 1231
Location: Charlotte, NC
Favorite Team: Red Sox
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Nintendo Wii
Favorite Japanese title: Don't Own
I used the same name for an earlier expansion mode team, where I added in a few success mode players, including my attempts at shouldn't-have-retired guys like Bonds, Clemens, and Bernie Williams. That was too easy!

This time, it's game-created expansion players only. Graybars! The best the game had to offer, culled from 8 or 9 expansion teams, into one arrange team. I will be playing in the AL West, focusing on one player per post, and adding a tip of the day to other guys trying this Expansion Mode Challenge! Lets see who can post the best record over a whole season!

This team is branded from Honolulu, but I gave them a home park of Panpaka….oops. I might restart and change that, but for now here goes!

Settings:
Rosters: 2008 Edited, with any created players signed before the 2008 draft.
Difficulty: All-Star (CPU Batting, Fielding, Pitching)
Pitch speed: Fast
Manual fielding, semi-auto baserunning

Tip of the Day:
When facing a pitcher in the best possible condition (purple jumping smiling face), if they have a lot of breaking pitches, try to take more pitches. With all the additional movement, curves and changes are more likely to land outside the strike zone. I just faced Kelvin Herrera and was able to work a few walks using this strategy!

Player of the Day:
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1B Heitpas is a righty first baseman with very lackluster fielding abilities. He has one tool, and that tool is power. His 170 power leads the team, and a 4 trajectory on top of it? Well, it almost offsets his terrible F ratings in everything else. Hietpas is basically Terry from success mode - you have to hope for a pitch down the middle. So far he's hitting .274 with 2 HRs, 9 RBI.

With another high-power 1B on the roster with better fielding, Hietpas is our first choice at DH. We really wish he was a lefty, but some lefty IFers and OFers give us enough balance overall…who teaches their kid to throw lefty but hit righty?? What a terrible mix. Still, given the plethora of sub-par expansion creations, we're lucky to have a B in anything. A few months of practice at contact might make Hietpas a true threat.

_________________
maccrash21 wrote:
a lot of classical music is completely sterile cut-and-pasted Sweet Lines with 0 emotional heft.

Expansion Mode Challenge!
2008 Real-Life players from Success Mode - Please assist if you have the time!!
Older/dead logs:
Let the Fielders pitch! New log
MLB Life Mode log - OF Ryan Evert, Athletics
Honolulu Heroes Season Log - real-life players join a scrub team! Find out how they do in the AL West!


Last edited by Alloutwar on Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: AOW's Expansion Mode Challenge - Honolulu Heroes
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:00 am 
Benchwarmer
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Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:49 am
Posts: 122
Favorite Team: Blue Jays
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Nintendo Wii
Favorite Japanese title: Don't Own
I immediately thought Terry. This looks good, I'll be following! I really like the idea of a player of the day, even more so since we don't know any of your guys (though we undoubtedly know some names).


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 Post subject: Re: AOW's Expansion Mode Challenge - Honolulu Heroes
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:16 am 
Ace
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:33 pm
Posts: 865
Location: Houston
Favorite Team: Astros
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Nintendo Wii
Favorite Japanese title: Don't Own
Alloutwar wrote:
Payer of the Day:


Poor guy, did he get fined?

_________________
ZeroGibson13 wrote:
What if someone dug a really big hole, and buried all of the shovels in the world?


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 Post subject: Re: AOW's Expansion Mode Challenge - Honolulu Heroes
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:29 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:18 pm
Posts: 1231
Location: Charlotte, NC
Favorite Team: Red Sox
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Nintendo Wii
Favorite Japanese title: Don't Own
Just won a serious challenge of a game. Was down 5-3 against the Angels and they bring in K-Rod in good form (red face). I figured I was dead. But I got ahold of a pitch for a double, then singled a few times, and tied it up 5-5. K-Rod out of the game, I scored one more run with my catcher running his legs off. 6-5 and my closer shuts them down 1-2-3.

We're in first place!! This is incredible. I haven't even trained significantly - one pitcher has improved control to C from D, and Hietpas' contact just hit E today. Yet I am owning the AI way more with this team. The result of culling the best from so many expansion squads!

I won yesterday but it was mainly due to having a guy round third with the 3B chasing him, double back, the AI throws to third but no one covering the base! Ball flies into LF and I score. Exploiting the AI bugs, instead of being handcuffed by them…its so refreshing!


Tip of the Day:
Do you ever hit something into the OF that should be a double, but your guy doesn't make the turn around first when you press the button? This happens all the time to me with those ones that land fair and go foul, or split the OFs. If your runner has reasonable speed (8+), just send him towards 2nd anyway. The AI will throw to the cutoff man, and when he gets the ball, turn around and head to first. They'll throw to first, so immediately continue on to 2B. You'll get a double out of it every time! Thanks for the extra base, Power Pros!

Player of the Day:
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SP McConnell doesn't have the fastest top speed at 93, but what he does have is pretty good stamina (for an expansion player), and a boatload of breaking pitches. Seriously the AI is facing Maddux here. Huge break on a SLD-4, TWO downward pitches with lvl 4 break (FORK and PALM), and a curveball for the strikeout. A CUT lvl 2 in there as well, in case you are bored. Any of 6 pitches could be coming down the pipe! leads to confusion.

I hesitate to call him my ace, because two starters have actually been better (!!), but McConnell's junk ball abilities are a definite #3 in my expansion rotation. A lefty with 93mph fastball and 3 level-4 breaking pitches? That would play on any MLB team!

_________________
maccrash21 wrote:
a lot of classical music is completely sterile cut-and-pasted Sweet Lines with 0 emotional heft.

Expansion Mode Challenge!
2008 Real-Life players from Success Mode - Please assist if you have the time!!
Older/dead logs:
Let the Fielders pitch! New log
MLB Life Mode log - OF Ryan Evert, Athletics
Honolulu Heroes Season Log - real-life players join a scrub team! Find out how they do in the AL West!


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 Post subject: Re: AOW's Expansion Mode Challenge - Honolulu Heroes
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 10:34 am 
Benchwarmer
Benchwarmer
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Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:49 am
Posts: 122
Favorite Team: Blue Jays
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Nintendo Wii
Favorite Japanese title: Don't Own
Yes sir, that guy's pretty good.

Oh man, that tip brings back a lot of good memories. You can absolutely wreck AAA ball with it in MLB Life-I actually think the MLB players are smarter than AAA players about it (it still works, but slightly less).


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 Post subject: Re: AOW's Expansion Mode Challenge - Honolulu Heroes
PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:18 pm
Posts: 1231
Location: Charlotte, NC
Favorite Team: Red Sox
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Nintendo Wii
Favorite Japanese title: Don't Own
I just had a guy spot-start, since all my SPs were in bad form or tired, and it went great…at first. I was working walks - my FIRST at bat was a walk against Tomko, and we hit him so hard, 5 runs in 2 IP, that he was out and Bale was in for the 3rd. Wow!

5-1 vs the Royals, my spot-starter leaves after 5 great innings. Allows a hit to open the 6th, then yanked.

Then a lefty reliever (Salas) comes in, gives up:
hit
error (thru the SS legs into LF)
hit to the wall that gets stuck (jesus don't they all) - 2 runs
3-run homer to John Buck

and suddenly its 7-5.

Royals win 9-5. God I hate them - the speedy Grudzielanek and DeJesus, the not-good-hitting Teahen and Gload, friggin Guillen in RF, Bale tossing to like a 2.15 ERA right now….urgh i hate that team. Pushes me down to 3rd place, bumps me from 2nd after I fought so hard.

Tip of the Day:
To tire out the opposing pitcher, try to get a minimum of 10 pitches per inning. 15 pitches per inning is even better. IRL that would be a pretty easy outing, but in MLBPP that's enough to get a pitcher sufficiently fatigued - complete games only happen with 65-75 pitches (meaning you were a VERY free swinger!). With most pitchers tired, or at least not completely rested due to poor management and MLBPP coded to need 7 days rest (!!), this is an advantage you can really press through a long season.

Player of the Day:
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Chiaffred, a decent SP who is rocking the ERA right now. CUT and CB are okay, but having two CHG types is devastating - the fast FORK, or the slow KN? They don't know what's coming, and both turn into out pitches. I love mixing up FB, KN and FORK to the same hitter - fast straight, fast break, slow break?!? It's too much.

Chiaffred isn't the best starter by abilities but his ERA is surprising and he's sticking in the rotation. Getting 5 IP or more, thats the problem, ugh. C stamina!!

_________________
maccrash21 wrote:
a lot of classical music is completely sterile cut-and-pasted Sweet Lines with 0 emotional heft.

Expansion Mode Challenge!
2008 Real-Life players from Success Mode - Please assist if you have the time!!
Older/dead logs:
Let the Fielders pitch! New log
MLB Life Mode log - OF Ryan Evert, Athletics
Honolulu Heroes Season Log - real-life players join a scrub team! Find out how they do in the AL West!


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 Post subject: Re: AOW's Expansion Mode Challenge - Honolulu Heroes
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:18 pm
Posts: 1231
Location: Charlotte, NC
Favorite Team: Red Sox
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Nintendo Wii
Favorite Japanese title: Don't Own
Okay so I hate a lot of teams. Add the Indians to the list - somehow Hafner and V-Mart and Peralta make sooo good a lineup that they swept me easily. 3rd game I was ahead and had a solid lead, but they came back and decimated me of course. Luckily next we face the Rays, and despite getting the solid David Price in our first matchup, I was able to break my FIVE GAME losing streak. Ugh. No matter, Edwin Jackson just came out for game two and kept us off balance, pushing us down to 4th place in the division, with 6 losses in our last 7 games.

The number of foul pop-outs I hit is infuriating - I put on power swing, take a stab at the first pitch, and boom easy foul pop up. Happened maybe 5 times last game. I have a real problem getting it out of the infield - my last homer was with CF Stultz off Price, one of those huge camera-angle-switching shots pulled into the LF bleachers. If I do threaten with a hit to the outfield, so many times its lined right at an OF, or within their running distance. Today off Edwin my 3B, Lorraine, hit a HUGE power shot to dead center - the kind that has no indicator on the ground, cuz its usually GONE. I was behind 2-0, and was already adding a homer in my head: 2-1, I thought. Then amazing CF BJ Upton caught it at the wall. No homer, no run, just an out. Wow.

Tip of the Day:
If you setup Roles and assign starters to the rotation, those guys will have numbers on them. They will ALSO be tired longer. However, if you have NO ONE in the rotation via Roles, and just start guys, then the CPU won't know who your starters are and doesn't assign the extra tired-ness to players. You can use the same 5 guys all season - well, maybe not - but at least you can get more starts and less gray tired face out of your SPs this way.

Player of the Day:
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Moriarty is my relief ace. D control is pretty solid, 93mph works, and 4 breaking pitches to boot makes for a pretty good player. The Fork is definitely one of the better changeup-type pitches (Knuckleball and Splitter probably top it, maybe V-SLD/CCHG) - give him great condition and that thing drops like a stone. As you can see, an ERA around 2, when I am pitching on highest difficulty, is pretty stellar.

Moriarty looks to get the lion's share of closing opportunities, assuming he is healthy. Other guys like Gemoll, who earns a mention just because of his level 4 curveball, will be profiled later.

Division place: 4th

_________________
maccrash21 wrote:
a lot of classical music is completely sterile cut-and-pasted Sweet Lines with 0 emotional heft.

Expansion Mode Challenge!
2008 Real-Life players from Success Mode - Please assist if you have the time!!
Older/dead logs:
Let the Fielders pitch! New log
MLB Life Mode log - OF Ryan Evert, Athletics
Honolulu Heroes Season Log - real-life players join a scrub team! Find out how they do in the AL West!


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 Post subject: Re: AOW's Expansion Mode Challenge - Honolulu Heroes
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:18 pm
Posts: 1231
Location: Charlotte, NC
Favorite Team: Red Sox
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Nintendo Wii
Favorite Japanese title: Don't Own
I just had my first sweep this season - sweeping the other expansion team, the Sacramento Wings. I passed them in the standings when it happened. Glory glory hallelujah.

With the toughest settings, and an expansion team of scrubs - even cherry-picked-from-4-teams scrubs, with cash boost, and thus items for training - MLBPP is a challenge. Teams beat me more often than I beat them.

I guess that's what makes this mode worth playing, 8 years later!

Current record: 23-32
Divison place: 4th, 9.0 GB

Tip of the Day:
When playing with an expansion team, the smallest advantage is important. Stock your team full of good backups, and rotate them in and out of the big leagues based on form. If someone has the red bopping' face of the purple flipping face, get them up and pitching or hitting. Blue or violet sad faces, send them down to AAA. There's no limitations in MLBPP, you can do this every darn day!

Same with pitchers that just threw - no need for him to be on the roster until his gray sleepy state goes away.

Player of the Day:
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Brazell is clearly the star of this team - he is a testament to how important blues are. I have 2 other 2Bs with almost his exact stats, and while they can hit .290-.320, Brazell is a .400 hitter through two months of the season (currently leading MLB in hits, Jack Merluzzi says). Good defense, D speed so he can steal, and that amazing contact bat. No homers, no power,

Brazell has hit leadoff in just about every game for me, and probably has a steal every other game roughly. I'll check his stats later on.

_________________
maccrash21 wrote:
a lot of classical music is completely sterile cut-and-pasted Sweet Lines with 0 emotional heft.

Expansion Mode Challenge!
2008 Real-Life players from Success Mode - Please assist if you have the time!!
Older/dead logs:
Let the Fielders pitch! New log
MLB Life Mode log - OF Ryan Evert, Athletics
Honolulu Heroes Season Log - real-life players join a scrub team! Find out how they do in the AL West!


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 Post subject: Re: AOW's Expansion Mode Challenge - Honolulu Heroes
PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:18 pm
Posts: 1231
Location: Charlotte, NC
Favorite Team: Red Sox
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Nintendo Wii
Favorite Japanese title: Don't Own
A special treat - pitching stats, two months into the season.

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Notes:
51 IP is the most I have for any pitcher, since with gray tired face and bad form, they are juggled so often
Caceras leads the team with 5 losses, despite allowing no HRs in 51 IP (also team lead)
16 different pitchers have started a game for me.
I have ONE complete game, Chiaffred.
Two holds on the whole team? Wow. Well, when you lose a lot…and I usually go starter -> closer.
Ugueto leads the team with 5 walks. I think those may be intentional, there was a stretch where I had to walk sluggers to avoid HRs.

_________________
maccrash21 wrote:
a lot of classical music is completely sterile cut-and-pasted Sweet Lines with 0 emotional heft.

Expansion Mode Challenge!
2008 Real-Life players from Success Mode - Please assist if you have the time!!
Older/dead logs:
Let the Fielders pitch! New log
MLB Life Mode log - OF Ryan Evert, Athletics
Honolulu Heroes Season Log - real-life players join a scrub team! Find out how they do in the AL West!


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 Post subject: Re: AOW's Expansion Mode Challenge - Honolulu Heroes
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:11 pm 
Ace
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Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:33 pm
Posts: 865
Location: Houston
Favorite Team: Astros
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Nintendo Wii
Favorite Japanese title: Don't Own
Eckelman for MVP

_________________
ZeroGibson13 wrote:
What if someone dug a really big hole, and buried all of the shovels in the world?


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 Post subject: Re: AOW's Expansion Mode Challenge - Honolulu Heroes
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:18 pm
Posts: 1231
Location: Charlotte, NC
Favorite Team: Red Sox
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Nintendo Wii
Favorite Japanese title: Don't Own
aaaaaand now that I have beat the Marlins, here are hitting stats!

Note: Moran just joined the team via trade. That's why he has triples, strikeouts, etc. He's a graybar from the other team, so trading for him was acceptable!

Attachment:
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Notes:
- I have two AMAZING second basemen, both entirely due to the blue ability "Contact Hitter". Powerful stuff! If the game valued them fairly, I would trade one for an upgrade somewhere else. But, not trading for any 'real' players, so meh.
- Hietpas can homer, but otherwise he hits like crap - .232 and he strikes out often
- 30 walks total on the team, out of 2500+ plate appearances. Hovering just over 1% - and I am patient, have a good eye, and foul off a TON! Wow.
- 121 team steals, and 5 guys with 10+ steals! only 11 CS team-wide.
- Borland is coming around and could be our breakout star. He started the season poorly and was in AAA, but hit a homer today, a long shot to deep Center in Dolphin Stadium.

_________________
maccrash21 wrote:
a lot of classical music is completely sterile cut-and-pasted Sweet Lines with 0 emotional heft.

Expansion Mode Challenge!
2008 Real-Life players from Success Mode - Please assist if you have the time!!
Older/dead logs:
Let the Fielders pitch! New log
MLB Life Mode log - OF Ryan Evert, Athletics
Honolulu Heroes Season Log - real-life players join a scrub team! Find out how they do in the AL West!


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