In the absence of any baseball – or indeed sport – across the world at the moment, I decided it was time to take matters into our own hands. Quite literally in fact.
Whilst there are plenty of people out there who are simulating the upcoming season – indeed NBC Sports played out the full Giants-Dodgers home opener, complete with Kruk and Kuip on commentary – there are no MLB simulations which have expansion teams from the north and south of the UK filled with members of the real-life British baseball community (weird, right?).
So I went ahead and rectified that. An impressive 63 of you signed up (as far as I can tell), giving us the ability to fill two rosters and still release another 11 players out into the wild as free agents.
With our player list constructed, I set to work creating our new universe. A standard 2020 MLB season was created on OOTP 20 and an immediate expansion took place, introducing our two new teams to the world.
Into the American League East went our new London-based franchise: Southern Softies.
And into the National League East, our new Manchester-based franchise: Northern Powerhouse.
Plus all of the relevant minor-league affiliates:
Rather than set up an expansion draft, I then filled the rosters with newly created players based on the preferences that were sent in, trying to ensure at least a rough balance in terms of positions. Ability levels were left in the hands of OOTP’s random talent generator, although in some cases I tweaked stats slightly in the hope that players wouldn’t be immediately cut and never seen again…
So, let’s meet those rosters shall we?
Plenty of talent and an… interesting age range across both teams. The Southern roster looks a bit bat-heavy so we will see what the GM chooses to do to rectify that. The team photos are a thing of beauty (if not necessarily accuracy):
So now, it is time for game action! A simulated Spring Training to separate the men from the boys and see how our new teams fare against Major League competition. Keep an eye out for updates and let the smack talk begin!