It’s quite a race, and it makes me stay up late at night rolling games to see how this turns out.
I’ve reached Sept. 25, 1981. I’m replaying every game scheduled that season and am ignoring the baseball strike that wreaked havoc on the actual season and converted the national past time into a goofy, minor league-like farce with its split playoff system.
I wanted to correct that and wanted to see what happened if each team played its full 162 games. Like I said here before, there’s no player strikes, lockouts or rainouts in APBA.
For those of you unfamiliar with the game, APBA is an amazing stat-based game that uses cards and dice. For the more high-tech players, the game does come in a computer format, but I’ve shied away, both because I am a traditionalist and I’m a computer idiot. (We've just changed computer systems at the newspaper where I work. The adjustment has been a bit rough and one of our techs actually told me that my inability to understand the newfangled stuff gave them job security).
Each player’s season is represented on a card. Players roll dice to determine play outcomes, corresponding the roll with numbers on the cards. It generally takes about 15-20 minutes to play a game. A full season replay, in my case, has taken about 17 months.
It seems like a long time, but when you have a pennant race like the one ensuing in my replay, it’s worth it.
Here are the four teams in the American League East Division as of games ending on Sept. 24, 1981.
New York 90-63
The Orioles will play three at Yankee Stadium and Milwaukee heads to Detroit for a three-game series.
The National League is wrapped up. Montreal currently has record of 106-46 and is an amazing team to play. They lead Philadelphia by 14 games. Los Angeles, with its four 21-game winners in Fernando Valenzuela, Burt Hooton, Jerry Reuss and Bob Welch, lead Houston by 10 games with 10 to go. The Dodgers will play the Astros in Houston for three games and more than likely will wrap up the West during that series.
Kansas City leads California by 4.5 games with nine games remaining in the Royals’ season.
So, it’s late, but I plan to play a few games before bedtime tonight, advancing this great season. I’ll head to work a bit bleary-eyed tomorrow, but it’ll be worth it. And if it appears I’m zoning out, I’m not catching a nap, but thinking of the games I’ve yet to play and how this will all play out.