The Maniac is taking some time away from obsessing about the real Florida Marlins to tell you a little bit about his obsession with the fake Florida Marlins, as in the Fish as managed by him on Out of the Park 12, the latest installment of the OOTP baseball simulation franchise.
Honestly, OOTP 12 has been awesome for me so far. If you are as much of a sim junkie as I am, you will love the gritty details that OOTP provided. Taking one look at the League Setup options should show you the level of fine detail that the game can reach. You can customize anything about your league, from the simplest decisions (DH or no DH?) to the more in-depth (trading of draft picks allowed?) to the more in-depth (how much service time do teams get for players in pre-arbitration and arbitration?) to the crazy in-depth (changing the settings of the finances over the lifetime of the league!). Earlier versions did have some funky glitches, particularly in the free agent demands section, where demands were a bit low (Albert Pujols demanding $13 million a year?), but in the latest patch everything has been fixed and it is all as you would expect from the actual majors.
One thing that I absolutely loved about the game were the availability of various different advanced stats. If you know me, you know I am a stats junkie at heart, and the presence of things such as wOBA or WAR or FIP in the game alongside classics like ERA and OBP makes me feel tingly. It is truly awesome to see how the season plays out and who ends up leading in what advanced stat categories. And trust me, the environment that they set up for the league is as realistic as ever, meaning you can get a very close simulation of what is going in the real league.
Basically put, there is something for everyone in this game. If you just want to follow your favorite team, you can plug yourself in as a manager and simply watch the games unfold. If you want to put on your GM hat and make big decisions, the game lets you do everything from manage the major league squad to making daily lineup changes for your High-A affiliate. You delegate as much or as little responsibility to the coaches you hire (in the majors, I’m in control, but in the minors, I let my hirees do their thing). If you’re interested in making your own baseball world, all the tools you need are there. Heck, you can even start a new expansion team, which has always been a personal dream of mine (I’ve always wanted to do the expansion draft)!