Strat-O-Matic and Marquee Sports Network expanded their existing partnership into more data and additional sports simulations for the Chicago Cubs home broadcast partner. Cubs and Major League Baseball fans can look forward to engaging with sims involving past, present and future, multimedia generated content during the 2021 season. The Sports Techie community blog has reported on Strat-O-Matic sports technology and business development over the past five years. Look for the inaugural tournament to include 32 of the best Cubs squads in MLB history. Each sim creates matchup’s between Cubs legends, both living and passed away, versus the best lineups of all 2021 opponents.
2021 Ultimate Cubs Sims
This blossoming sportsbiz partnership started in 2020. Strat-O-Matic first produced a handful of Cubs-related simulations, with one of the most popular involving Marquee broadcast announcer Jim Deshaies, currently in his ninth season as Cubs TV analyst and the first of three pitchers to strike out eight batters to begin a game, as he pitched to the 1927 Yankees greats and the Ultimate Cubs lineup. In this tournament, selected Marquee broadcasters chose the all-time great Cubs teams.
“The simulations last year proved a hit with viewers, and we couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with Strat-O-Matic again this season,” Marquee Sports Network General Manager Mike McCarthy said. “Our broadcasters enjoy being involved and we look forward to getting them as well as fans involved in the new programming.” The network is jointly owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI) and the Chicago Cubs.
The newest, planned and season-long tournament simulations by Strat featured the Cubs and Braves game last week in a winner take all format. The rosters have 16 players, 9 starters and a DH, with 3 players on the bench and 3 relievers in the bullpen. The Cubs opponent rosters are determined by how the players historically performed against them.
The Cubs won 5-3 as you can see on the boxscore image accompanying this story. First thing that struck me was seeing all the amazing ball players and Hall of Famers that played for both organizations over the years. The home team featured Mr. Cub himself, shortstop Ernie Banks, as well as Billy Williams and Ryne Sandberg, to the starting pitcher for both teams, ace Greg Maddox, who gave up 3 earned runs to each team. The visiting Braves, meat of the order is over-the-top intimidating with Chipper Jones batting second, followed by Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron (RIP) and Dale Murphy, then the ‘crime dog’ himself, Fred McGriff, backed up by Andrew Jones. Murph hit 2 homeruns but it wasn’t enough because former starter, reliever and closer, John Smoltz, took the crushing loss in extra innings giving up the third Cubbies homerun of the game in a unique career that saw him only give up only 2 walkoff hits among his more than 150 saves as a closer and 150 wins as a starter. This bottom of the 10th inning, first pitch, fastball HR frozen rope went to current Cubs 1B, Anthony Rizzo, who’s hit 4 walk-off homeruns to date, giving the sim tourney win to this Cubs dream-come-true lineup.
“We are pleased to be expanding our partnership with Marquee Sports Network after a great start last year,” said Strat-O-Matic President Adam Richman. “We just touched the surface of the many opportunities to bring Marquee’s tremendous content to share with Cubs fans, who are so passionate about the team’s history as well as the 2021 team.”
Boston Sports Sims
This Strat biz dev happened after working with NBC Sports Boston to re-created the great debates of New England sports history champions involving the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins. These Massachusetts-based teams earned a championships in each of the major sports over the last few years putting fans of the BoSox and the rest at the cities sport teams at the top ranks of fandom across the USA.
These “what if” scenarios asked each fan to imagine if NFL GOAT, Tom Brady, stayed attached to Coach Belichick at the hip as New England’s quarterback for 2020 and not moved to Tampa Bay in order to win Super Bowl LIV leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Kansas City Chiefs for his seventh Super Bowl win among 10 appearances. How about a what if Big Papi played for the 1975 Red Sox team, would they have won the World Series over the Big Red Machine, Cincinnati Reds? Or, what if Larry Bird was on the 2021 Celtics roster? My Bruins knowledge is not so large but I can add this what if, Bobby Orr had more talent around him, could his hockey team’s have won more than two Stanley Cups back in 1970 and 1972 after making the playoffs for eight consecutive years. Here is an easy what if jab at Boston sports. What if Bill Belichick never cheated, would the Pats have been as good during his tenure? This one is so subjective, even a Strat sim might not be able to forecast the highly predictable outcome.
Sports Techie, last September, Strat-O-Matic began working with schools interested in teaching math and stats to kids using Strat School and baseball as a means to help with making decisions while the Pandemic interrupted education curriculums for children, often relying on online, distance learning only.
Additional content using Strat-O-Matic predictive data partners is to be announced in the coming weeks with regional and national media partners as well.
I would love to know when the Cubs Strat sim matchup with the Seattle Mariners all-stars is scheduled because with Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Ichiro, and Alex Rodriguez, along with Randy Johnson, the M’s will give the Cubs greats another run for their money.
Can we bet on Strat sims? Not yet but who knows, maybe someday.
Like Banks said, and Smoltz wishes after the latest Cubs sim by Strat, “Let’s play two.”
A one-game sim series is just not enough.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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