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Tony La Russa turns to Kickstarter for new phone-based baseball sim

Nov 19, 2012, 7:00 PM EDT

Tony La Russa AP

At least, it sounds like it will be a sim.

Tony La Russa’s Baseball with Fans” is the concept being pitched by Don Daglow, whose design credits include Intellivision World Series Baseball and Earl Weaver Baseball from the 1980’s, the Tony La Russa Baseball series from the 1990’s and the RPG Neverwinter Nights in the 2000’s.

The game is being planned for the iOS and Android platforms. And here’s the pitch:

A new kind of Baseball game that lets you challenge your friends to see who really knows how to handle those tough calls in the dugout.

An interface and design created “from the ground up” just for touchscreens, not re-purposed from existing mouse or console systems.

On-field play that’s based on a physics-driven 3D engine, but displayed in a way that makes the action easy to follow on a smartphone screen.

A single-player option that lets you prove your managerial prowess by challenging Tony La Russa, with AI that Tony himself designed.

A game that kids and casual baseball fans can play and enjoy, but that offers depth and subtlety for sophisticated Baseball experts.

Stat and roster displays designed for fans, not CPA’s, with more detailed data a tap away.

A game that includes links to exclusive video coaching sessions where Tony shares his philosophy and experience from over 30 years as a big league manager.

So, it’s a game for everybody that is going to appeal to, well, who exactly? Will there be any touchscreen bat-swinging at all? A modern-day Earl Weaver Baseball would be neat, but that doesn’t seem likely. A lightweight OOTP hardly seems appealing when the real thing has gone mobile. It’s being marketed to families, but it has a 68-year-old curmudgeon on the “cover.” And there’s a little shot at any statheads who may want to try it.

Still, while skepticism seems warranted, it does have a baseball-design legend behind it. It will be interesting to see what Daglow comes up with if the prospect is funded.

As things stand now, there’s still a ways to go. The Kickstarter, which was posted earlier this afternoon, has received $1,180 in pledges toward a $249,000 goal at the time of this writing.

  1. sabatimus - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Cue the Schilling jokes.

  2. dondada10 - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    I kept reading anticipating Pouliot to take a shot at La Russa. Shockingly, it never came.

    You’re showing growth, Matt.

    • channingtaintum - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:38 PM

      You must have missed this little gem…..

      —It’s being marketed to families, but it has a 68-year-old curmudgeon on the “cover.”—

      • okwhitefalcon - Nov 19, 2012 at 10:05 PM

        He could have played the “dipwad’ card.

        Oh, wait…

  3. Gonzo - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    This guy made tens of millions as a manager and he wants to raise $250k? I hate this drunk clown.

    • cardsfanandi - Nov 20, 2012 at 9:05 AM

      I kind of get the impression this Don Daglow started it and threw TLR’s name on it to bring attention to it. I mean, it’s not a bad idea. This way they can see if it will garner any interest before spending all this money on it. Just makes them look too cheap to gamble their own money.

  4. channingtaintum - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    Sweet, now I can try my hand at 5 pitching changes in the 7th inning.

  5. sfm073 - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Keep hating on one of the greatest managers of all time.

  6. plmathfoto - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Special app, how to play lawyer in the dugout and the clubhouse and pretend to not see any PEDS for years and never admit to seeing anything (special A’s version & Cardinals version as a bonus).

    • paperlions - Nov 20, 2012 at 8:14 AM

      Ha ha…that is so funny….because, you know, there was no one else around baseball for 20 years actively ignoring big muscled players, yep, only those two teams….definitely not coach and manager, nearly every media member with clubhouse access, every front office, and every fan….nope, it was a special attitude that was unique at the time.

  7. dcbear90 - Nov 20, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    Keep hating. All he did was win. Any of you guys would have been thrilled to have him in your dugout.

    • Gonzo - Nov 20, 2012 at 2:15 AM

      Chollie Manuel won a title. I just debunked your argument.

  8. darthicarus - Nov 20, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    The type of baseball simulator I want to see make a return is Baseball Boss. Building teams using sets of cards from various years like those you would collect from Topps, Fleer, etc. Damn I liked playing that game.

  9. jarathen - Nov 20, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    Yeah, I’ll just stick with iOOTP most likely. More baseball simulation is great and all, don’t get me wrong, but when you start ripping apart the analytic approach to baseball, you lose me.

  10. girardisbraces - Nov 20, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Not being an Apple fanboy, iOOTP does nothing for me. I need someone to develop an Android app.

  11. ravensos - Nov 20, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    my friends and i absolutely loved Tony La Russa Baseball 4 on the PC. We would hold off-line drafts daily, sim our seasons, and then play the actual games against each other’s teams.

  12. Carl Hancock - Nov 20, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Anyone ragging on TLR for not funding this himself is an idiot just looking for a reason to bash TLR. his name is just being used for marketing purposes. Does Madden fund development of the football game with his name attached? Hell no. So why do you think this would be the case in this situation? It’s an independent game developer looking for funding to bring the game to market.

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