Baseball Mogul 2011 – toy of the week

I’ve been a big fan of the Baseball Mogul franchise for many years as I’ve always felt it married fun and complexity in the most user-friendly way possible. This year’s version added what I consider the last big piece to the puzzle: free agency bidding.

Baseball Mogul 2011 GM simulator

Baseball Mogul 2011 GM simulator

Players can no longer snap up top free agents on the cheap. Computer-controlled GMs submit counter bids.  It’s a simple, elegant solution to a long-standing problem in Baseball Mogul. This feature alone is worth the cost of the new version. Like damn near every other feature in the game, it can be toggled on or off, a game design approach that has always served Sports Mogul well.

The only thing missing that I would love to see is the ability to hire and fire managers and coaches. Not wanting to turn this into Dungeons and Dragons for baseball, I don’t want to burden the managers with too many stats. Let’s say: infield defense, outfield defense, batting, pitching, bullpen, clubhouse demeanor. The latter would affect the happiness of the players and have a small influence on their contract demands. A batting and pitching coach have the same stats. The highest stat of the three is applied to the players. (For more complexity, you could add a first base and third base coach plus a base running stat which would affect steals, extra bases and tagging up.) Ideally, it’d be amazing to hire a former player who just retired to come coach a minor league team and then move him up to the majors eventually. There would have to be a free agent market for managers and coaches too.

See how easy it is to suggest stuff when you have no responsibility whatsoever to implement and code it?

Baseball Mogul 2011 is our toy of the week. Clay Dreslough continues to add great new features every year, and, most importantly, he has retained a consistency throughout the franchise that has never been mired by, for example, radically altering the user interface year to year just for kicks (a problem that constantly plagues EA Sports and the other ‘big guys’).

Baseball Mogul 2011 GM simulator screenshot

Baseball Mogul 2011 screenshot. Click to enlarge.

For more info, check out Sports Mogul.

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