All Forums > Hardball Dynasty Baseball > Hardball Dynasty > Most Common Newbie Mistakes
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3/6/2013 10:01 AM
I don't think this is a condescending thread at all, I think it makes a very important point but let's not just yell at newbs.    Let's talk about Why.

I'm going into my third season and I continue to refine my Understanding of The Ratings.  YES it's the most important thing because it affects everything else you do.

But I can't find a Book on The Ratings.  If you read enough of these threads you won't find one.  Some things are obvious, like whether a player can hit for power, others are not, like why a player who looks like he should get hitters out does not.  And there is enough disagreement between writers of these threads over how players work that you can't just write a Book.

I found a Mentor before I even started playing.  He helped me with the mechanics of the game, but he never really said "look for this type of player or that type."  I haven't really asked him much about The Ratings, because it's what you have to figure out for yourself.  Three seasons in and I'm still going.

Understanding The Ratings is important because it doesn't just help you find good players, it defines how YOU VALUE players.  And before you learn to do that, you can make mistakes like these which I have:

1/  Signing what only looks like a good player to a contract he is not worth.  This ties up your money, maybe for several seasons.  It may block roster positions from your prospects as well.  You may wonder why other owners did not pursue this player.  Later you find out that you can easily pick up cheap talent on the waiver wire.  You overpaid for a replacement level player.

2/  As eastonest said, making a player available to the rest of the league through Rule V or Waivers, who you did not realize is more valuable to others than you thought.

3/  Trading a true prospect for replacement level talent - the classic Trade Rape.  (I didn't do this, but I had an offer come in once that I realized right away was a setup.  Not that I'm smart, it was kinda blatant.)

4/  Overvaluing those ratings which don't actually affect on-field performance.  This is where ghengisxcon's point comes in, those ratings inflate a player's Overall without helping him hit or pitch any more effectively.

So yeah, it's all about understanding the ratings.  Like Mike says, you have to take your time doing it.  Don't get all horny to play with the new toy, watch it and figure out how it works and how it doesn't.

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3/6/2013 10:46 AM
And another thing.   N00bs tend to think they need a top 5 player at every position.   That just doesn't happen unless there's been some league shenanigans.    Figure out how to utilize role players rather than attempt to get #1 picks and 30m IFA for five seasons.
3/6/2013 2:06 PM
Overall, understanding the ratings is the most obvious and important factor, but when mentoring a new owner, I always use the league calender.  Basically I tell them let's take this one lesson a day and you're going to be on a quick learning curve.  So really the first factor they have to learn is the economics of the game.  Understanding what you are budgeting and what that means to your team day to day and  what a good or bad  contract is come first.  It all flows from there.  If you start at understanding ratings and don't understand the economics, you'll already be behind the 8 ball before you even have the ability to make a bad trade.
3/6/2013 3:53 PM
My biggest mistakes:

(1) Getting bored and making trades. Or feeling like you need to make a move and making a trade. Trades can be beneficial, but you are essentially pitting your skill against another owner's. I'm a pretty experienced and competent player, but I would say it's only been the past 5 seasons or so that I started winning trades, because I limited myself to two particular types of moves. One would be trading away a veteran when I had a replacement waiting who was as good or better. The other would low-risk swaps of 4A-type bench players. Once I stopped trying to make big moves, I've started getting lots of little wins.

(2) Forgetting to protect a guy in Rule V. I once traded two solid veteran pitchers for a very nice CF prospect, than promptly forget to protect that CF prospect.

(3) Going to arb a 3rd time. Again, this was accidental, but I had the chance to extend a pitcher for 5 x 7.5M and accidentally arb'd him a 3rd time. The next season he got 5 x 15M in free agency.

(4) Overvaluing my own guys. There have been a few guys that I have given extensions to at above-market rates. My general rule of thumb now is that, unless I'm sure the guy would get signed for money in FA, I let him go. Worst case scenario, you sign him or a comparable player for about what he was asking to resign, and a lot of times you can find a cheaper option or just have more flexibility. 
3/6/2013 3:55 PM
FWIW, I think the ratings are actually a relatively minor part of the game, when all's said and done. It's pretty easy to just scan rosters and find other comparable guys in the league to get a decent estimate of what a guy will produce. The much harder part is knowing how much that production is worth and how to get it for cheaper than everybody else in the league.
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