Playing the Rube: A Baseball Experiment – Chapter 17: The Natti Meeting

The Phillies won a world championship in 2008.

Then Ruben Amaro Jr. was named general manager.

The Phillies didn’t win another world championship.

Tim Malcolm and Dan Walsh wonder if they can do better. So, we continue “Playing the Rube,” a bi-weekly series with accompanying podcast in which Tim and Dan attempt to steer the Phillies to more victories, starting in 2009, through the deep simulation gameĀ OOTP Baseball ’18.



Imagine an otherwise empty conference room in the ground floor of a Center City hotel. Keurig machine. Diet Coke cans. Long tables and stacked chairs. And Tim and Dan planning the long-term mission of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Natti Meeting is a four-day exercise in going over the past, looking at the present and preparing for the future. We uncover our needs (a big bat, one good arm, a ton of depth) and begin discussing names just as the trade deadline begins creeping up on us.

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  1. art kyriazis

    April 5, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    I merely wanted to note that I’ve simmed with many different programs, having a biostatistics and computing background, etc. but OOTP in its various iterations is a very simple and yet robust simulator for most baseball fans, which I’ve utilized to produce fairly accurate forecasting result in the past. for those wanting to venture further, you can utilize its features to program and modify the OOTP interface considerably to your own specifications so it can perform many functions. It is a useful piece of baseball software for the money, and, I would argue, actually a programming platform of sorts.

    My normal starting point for considering “what if” is usually after the Phillies 1980 championship–considering they had Ryne Sandberg, George Bell, Julio Franco and many others in the farm system–and somehow let them all go, which possibly cost them a dynasty, as Mike Schmidt continued until 1987 to be a supremely great player.

    • Tim Malcolm

      April 14, 2018 at 11:02 am

      OOTP is truly a gem. Obviously I would say that.

      And I love your 1981 sim idea. I started a personal sim that starts in 1984, after all the gas has seemingly run out on the dynasty. I was able to stay competitive and added Dave Winfield at the trade deadline, giving the Phils the division title.

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