Skip to content

A world in which the 2008 Phillies went 79-83

May 31, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

APBA Baseball

The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., Michael G. Kovacevich, Prop.

Michael G. Kovacevich has figured out a way to play an entire baseball season without a rainout, assuming he avoids spilling a diet pop on his infield. The 58-year-old historian and extreme baseball fan is near completion of the 2008 Major League Baseball season, playing every game for all 30 teams with a tabletop game called APBA. That adds up to more than 2,400 games, which take about 20 minutes each.

Obviously the existence of APBA or other tabletop baseball games is not news, but it’s neat to see them getting some play in a normal paper like the Akron Beacon-Journal.  For what it’s worth, Kovacevich has spent a couple of years on this. And he’s made a tweak or two that makes me happy:

”You’ll notice there’s only two divisions,” he said. ”Everything’s the same as real except two divisions [in each league] and not three, and no interleague play, because I don’t like either of those. I’m kind of a traditionalist.”

Also nice: his simulations have the real world World Series champion Phillies at 79-83.

(thanks to Vince Grzegorek for the heads up. And the first sentence in the post is a reference to this book, which Old Gator sent me last year and which — if you’re into baseball sims — you should totally read)

  1. Chris Fiorentino - May 31, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    “The 58-year-old historian and extreme baseball fan”

    They left out the word LOSER in that description.

    • heyblueyoustink - May 31, 2011 at 9:47 AM

      Harsh…man, no one likes coming back to work after a 3 day holiday weekend, but sheesh! Haven’t you ever heard of the phrase “Geek and let Geek” ?

    • CJ - May 31, 2011 at 9:50 AM

      He must be a Rays fan…

    • JBerardi - May 31, 2011 at 10:58 AM

      Chris, is your ego really perpetuated on the idea that you’re better than this guy because of his choice of hobby? That’s the only thing I really get out of your post, and it’s sad. That mentality is just juvenile. High school was a long time ago. Grow up and learn to appreciate the diversity of people in the world?

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 31, 2011 at 12:49 PM

        When I was 11 years old, my brother and I played dice baseball every single day for an entire season. We kept stats(this was before the Excel Spreadsheets) and we used our 1982 topps baseball cards. It was a great time and we enjoyed it a lot.

        If this were the story of an 11-year-old boy who did this in his spare time after school and delivering newspapers and whatever, then I would be like “God Bless Him…what a cool way to spend your time instead of getting into trouble.”

        For a 58 year old man to do it…well, there’s a 5 letter word for a guy like this. It begins with an L and ends with an R and has OSE in between.

    • Chris Fiorentino's Rash - May 31, 2011 at 11:28 AM

      ugh. you embarrass me sometimes.
      by the way, i need to be cleaned every once in a while. you don’t smell that?

    • Chris Fiorentino - May 31, 2011 at 12:18 PM

      Geeze, you boys are wrapped entirely too tight.

    • Chris Fiorentino - May 31, 2011 at 12:26 PM

      Just so I am clear…this 58 year old man spends around 48000 minutes, which is around 33 days, playing a dice baseball game of the 2008 MLB season. He has a girlfriend. He tries to get her into it, but she says she isn’t interested. And he is NOT a loser? Give me a break. I ain’t no Brad Pitt, but I knows me a loser when I see one…and this guy should have a capital L tattooed on his forehead. You guys can hate all you want, but if you really took a second to think about all the worthwhile things this guy could have done with those 48000 minutes, you will agree what a complete and utter waste of time and energy this was. “Geek and let Geek” is one thing. To be a 58-year-old man and roll dice playing a baseball game for what amounts to 33 full days? L-O-S-E-R.

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 31, 2011 at 12:31 PM

        Like it or no Fiorentino is right.

      • JBerardi - May 31, 2011 at 2:15 PM

        Chris, what even is the significance of being a “loser”? How do you even define the term? Why should he care? What’s going to happen as a result? Is he not gonna get a date to the prom or something? Are the jocks gonna give him a wedgee?

        I seriously don’t get what world you’re living in where you A) get to be the ultimate arbiter of who’s a “loser” and B) the status of “loser” has any real meaning or consequence?

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 31, 2011 at 2:57 PM

        JB, in my humble opinion, a loser is someone who, for instance, is 58 years old and spends the equivalent of 33 full days rolling dice to replay the 2008 MLB season. Does that have any real meaning or consequence? Nope. Neither does anything you or I write on this blog. It’s my opinion. He’s 58 years old. He doesn’t have much time left on this rock and he’s rolling dice for 48,000 minutes. To me, in my opinion, that’s a loser. To you, it’s obviously not. OK we’ll agree to disagree. I’m not going to try to change your mind or debate you on your feelings. You feel one way and I feel another. I wouldn’t spend time trying to change your mind, nor would I say your opinion is wrong. You feel how you feel and I feel how I feel.

        When I read the article, it screamed loser out to me. It didn’t do so to you. To each his/her own.

      • pjmitch - May 31, 2011 at 7:15 PM

        So Chris, Tell us what you do with your free time that makes you so much of a winner?

  2. gogigantos - May 31, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    I actually read that book as a teen, bout the same time my friends and I moved over to Pursue the Pennant, now Diamond Mind I believe. It was eerily prescient and relevant then, and still is really. It should be read by all who can get their hands on it. There may be a bit of Mr. Waugh in all of us.

  3. mercyflush - May 31, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    79-83 is still better than the real 2008 Braves’ 72-90 record.

  4. sdelmonte - May 31, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    So did the Mets hold on, or did someone else catch them as they broke our hearts?

  5. halladaysbicepts - May 31, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    2008 Phillies 79-83 record???

    This is exactly why all sabermaticians, fantasy leaguers, and stat boys can all eat bags of d**ks, because none of your little fantasy simulations mean crap.

    The real game is played on the field, not on a computer simulation. It’s played by real men, not ones and zeros.

    • drmonkeyarmy - May 31, 2011 at 10:44 AM

      Perhaps you could have said it a bit more eloquently, but your sentiment is right on.

    • hank10 - May 31, 2011 at 10:51 AM

      RIght, let’s leave out inter-league play, and 3 divisions . . Hey Stat Boy, while your at it cherry picking how ‘you’ want the season to play out, why not leave out Ryan Howard’s and Chase Utley’s stats and substitute Dobbs and Bruntlett.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - May 31, 2011 at 10:54 AM

        hank10, are you just halladaybicepts in drag? It’s crazy what can rile up some of these Phils phans. The best part is the quotes around “you”. Does that mean you question Kovacevich’s very existence as well?

      • JBerardi - May 31, 2011 at 11:14 AM

        You’re seriously mad at this guy because you think he’s trying to put the Phillies at a disadvantage in a fantasy world of his own creation?!. Get a grip, man.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - May 31, 2011 at 10:51 AM

      Sabermaticians and fantasy leaguers didn’t exist when this game was created, which makes you the biggest dick in the bag. Forgive the guy for having a hobby and talking about it, will you? You seriously don’t even cherry pick info to help your opinion, in fact, you don’t even bother seeking information in the first place. That makes you the baseball birther, as someone so aptly put it last week.

      http://www.apbagames.com/stadium/games/board/baseball/pro_baseball.html

      Since 1951!

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 31, 2011 at 11:12 AM

        Sabermetics and fantasy leagues didn’t exist in 2008?

      • Alex K - May 31, 2011 at 11:20 AM

        He meant when APBA was created.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - May 31, 2011 at 11:27 AM

        Holy shitballs. If this post read the Royals’ simulated record instead, no Phillies phans would be whining. I conclude that Craig did this to annoy the extreme side of the Phillies phanbase (as he often does in respectable fashion), but as an unintended consequence, has riled me up as well. Thanks Craig, thanks a lot.

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 31, 2011 at 11:28 AM

        I’m not even sue what ABBA is but it cannot be adapted using sabermetric values? If not, then truly what is the point. We all know that unless the raw numbers are plugged into some convoluted formula using data that doesn’t come close to approaching statistical significance, then it cannot conceivably be valid.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - May 31, 2011 at 11:43 AM

        That’s easy! ABBA is a Swedish pop group! No analysis needed!

    • JBerardi - May 31, 2011 at 11:08 AM

      Amazing, the guy who hates fantasy and sim baseball doesn’t really understand the point of fantasy and sim baseball. Shocking

      It’s not supposed to be a simulation. What would be the point of playing the game if it didn’t produce novel outcomes?

      Would you buy Madden if EA programmed it so that whatever team won the superbowl that year would always win it in the game, too?

      • halladaysbicepts - May 31, 2011 at 11:12 AM

        Madden is a video game that one plays with your hands and eyes. You are actually interacting with the game on the TV and physically playing it with a controller.

        Fantasy and simulations are completely different. Bad analogy.

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 31, 2011 at 11:14 AM

        What is the point of playing table baseball anyway, particularly for kids? I mean, instead of eating fritos playing some ridiculous baseball simulation, pick up a ball and glove and go outside. Maybe then the United States wouldn’t get made fun of for being a bunch of fat asses.

      • JBerardi - May 31, 2011 at 11:18 AM

        “Madden is a video game that one plays with your hands and eyes. You are actually interacting with the game on the TV and physically playing it with a controller.”

        Have you ever played sim baseball? You’re obviously unclear on the concept.

        You’re imagining chinese jibberish: http://joeposnanski.blogspot.com/2011/03/chinese-jibberish.html

      • JBerardi - May 31, 2011 at 11:20 AM

        What is the point of playing table baseball anyway, particularly for kids?

        1. People enjoy it.
        2. This guy is 58.

      • rebarratige - May 31, 2011 at 11:21 AM

        ‘cepts –

        I’m curious, can you define Sabermetrics for us? Seriously. Just give us a 1-2 sentence, value-neutral definition of the term.

      • halladaysbicepts - May 31, 2011 at 11:23 AM

        Listen to the good Doctor Monkey, kids. Staying in and playing Fantasy Baseball all the time can cause obesity and lead to a heart attack.

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 31, 2011 at 11:26 AM

        Yeah, I realize the guy is 58….that is why I said for kids. I’m not suggesting this guy go out and try to play 9. My overarching point of the post was that things like this are problems for kids and the overall fattening of the American youth. I understand the notion of enjoying video games or even table baseball, but all to often it is at the expense of healthy exercise.

      • JBerardi - May 31, 2011 at 11:27 AM

        “Listen to the good Doctor Monkey, kids. Staying in and playing Fantasy Baseball all the time can cause obesity and lead to a heart attack.”

        I can only assume you’re posting this from a smartphone while you scale Everest or something. Otherwise the hypocrisy of your statement would be so overwhelmingly obvious that no reasonably intelligent person would ever embarrass themselves by posting it in a public forum.

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 31, 2011 at 11:31 AM

        I exercise an hour before work everyday. I frequently play tennis on the weekends. So, I don’t think it is hypocritical on my part to say that people should engage in some type of physical activity. Listen, in my line of work I see firsthand the consequences of living a sedentary lifestyle. I don’t want that for myself and I don’t want that for the youth of this country.

      • halladaysbicepts - May 31, 2011 at 11:38 AM

        JBerardi,

        Look, Doctor Monkey and myself are concerned about the youth of this great nation and the obesity problem that this country faces. There are many studies that have been done that suggest playing Fantasy Baseball for extreme amounts of time can cause obesity, especially in the youth.

        You may turn a blind eye to this and not be worried, but, believe me sir, I am extremely worried about our youth.

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 31, 2011 at 11:41 AM

        Very true Bicepts. All we are saying is that we care about the youth of America…..and disdain sabermetrics.

      • Alex K - May 31, 2011 at 12:03 PM

        Why do you disdain sabermetrics? They can be, and are, very useful tools that help us understand baseball on a different level. Pitcher wins, RBI, batting average, errors, and the like are just a very basic primative form of sabermetrics. Recording what happened and trying to put it in context.

      • Tim's Neighbor - May 31, 2011 at 12:13 PM

        I love fantasy baseball. I love simulation baseball leagues. I also enjoy sabremetrics. Even more than those, I love to play. And I play whenever possible. However, unlike you guys apparently, I am capable of having more than one hobby. On many days I’ll even play a sport, check out my sim league team and then check out my fantasy team. Can you believe that one day holds enough time for all of that? It’s amazing I haven’t died of exhaustion.

      • JBerardi - May 31, 2011 at 2:17 PM

        ” There are many studies that have been done that suggest playing Fantasy Baseball for extreme amounts of time can cause obesity, especially in the youth.

        I would LOVE to see one.

        I usually take about fifteen minutes on sunday to set my lineups in both my leagues for the entire week. Do you know anything about fantasy baseball at all?

    • Alex K - May 31, 2011 at 11:52 AM

      Sabermetrics can mean a lot. You may not understand them or like them, but they have meaning.

      Fantasy and Sim leagues are just hobbies, so they aren’t supposed to mean anything. Do you have hobbies? Are they all bursting with meaning? Probably not.

      You are right that the game is played on the field….and no one wants to change that. People who enjoy fantasy, sim, sabermetrics really just trying to find a way to spend more time thinking about baseball.

    • Alex K - May 31, 2011 at 12:24 PM

      Woah, Tim’s Neighbor. I don’t believe you. The day simply cannot have enough time for all the activities you have listed!

      • Alex K - May 31, 2011 at 12:25 PM

        Why, yes. I did reply to the wrong post.

  6. cur68 - May 31, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Ahhhh. I was wondering how a post about table top baseball was generating so much traffic. Never mind me. Carry on.

    • drmonkeyarmy - May 31, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      Cur 68,
      You don’t have anything that you would like to add to the conversation? I would like to know your opinion on the subject of table baseball.

      • cur68 - May 31, 2011 at 12:25 PM

        I’m with Tim’s Neighbor on this one; play the table version AND play the real version. Do both because exercising the mind AND body is important unless you want to wind up on Viagra and Aricept before you’re 50.

      • drmonkeyarmy - May 31, 2011 at 3:39 PM

        Why did people give me a thumbs down for asking your opinion? I understand why a vast number of my posts get numerous negative ratings, but not this one.

      • cur68 - May 31, 2011 at 6:22 PM

        Ahh, I bet I know. It’s me. Some find me “belittling, self aggrandizing, florid, mastrabotory” and lord knows what else. I’m keeping a little list of these terms. I intend to work them into my CV sometime soon.

  7. jimbo1949 - May 31, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    Uh oh, Craig’s trolling for bicepts again.

  8. rebarratige - May 31, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    “There are many studies that have been done that suggest playing Fantasy Baseball for extreme amounts of time can cause obesity, especially in the youth.”

    Link, please.

    • halladaysbicepts - May 31, 2011 at 1:05 PM

      Do your own research. All I do is provide facts with the vast amount of reading and research that I do. I don’t have time to research my facts just for you.

      • rebarratige - May 31, 2011 at 2:49 PM

        PROTIP: If you ask for evidence of a claim, and the claimant responds with some variation of the hoary “do your own research” argument, the original claim is 100% bunk.

      • Tim's Neighbor - May 31, 2011 at 4:27 PM

        My cat is a fatass because of all the fantasy baseball she plays.

  9. professor59 - May 31, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Isn’t this the same blog that was extolling the virtues of the MLB 2K11 perfect game the other day? I fail to see the difference.

  10. mboling52 - May 31, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    What gives anyone the right to call another person a loser based on their choice of hobbies anyway?? I have held this ‘hobby’ in high regard since the late 1960’s, am now retired and still enjoy it and am FAR from alone! I have raised a family, had a successful career and marriage, made hundreds of friends over the years in all walks of life due to this hobby. Who is anyone to call another person a loser???

  11. schmedley69 - May 31, 2011 at 10:19 PM

    My buddies and I spent many a Summer day playing APBA when we were kids. One of the cool things about the cards was that they had the players nicknames on them. My favorite: Enos “Old Dude” Cabell.

  12. irenebrady123 - Jun 1, 2011 at 3:24 AM

    Ever wonder about all the free stuff you see on the web? It appears like everybody wants to give stuff away for nothing, nada, zilch. But are these items truly free of charge? If so, how can these companies afford to give away all of these coupons and samples? It’s truly all about you, the consumer. We live in a very competitive world marketplace place. The internet has upped the ante in terms of who could be seen and heard via all with the mass media. Now companies need to make lots of noise and this is one way that can do it. One of the best place on the web is called “123 Get Samples” and get your free stuffs

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Three legends off to Cooperstown
Top 10 MLB Player Searches