Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Extra Fun & Games: Head-to-Head CFCL

From time to time over the years, Rich and I have cooked up some additional side competitions for the league … things Rich used to refer to as Extra Fun & Games (EF&G). One such competition was the Head to Head League that ran simultaneously with the regular CFCL season.   
The concept was this: 
  • We set up a schedule where each CFCL team would face off against another team for a week-long series.
  • Each team would submit a starting lineup for the week composed of hitters from their CFCL roster: 3 outfielders, one guy at each infield position, and a catcher, plus a pinch hitter and pinch runner. Here are some sample lineups from 1988:

  • Every day of the week (when at least half of the NL teams were in action0, Rich would take the stats accumulated by the hitters in each team’s lineup and, using a simplified version of Bill James’ Runs Created formula, calculate the Offensive Production for each team.
  • Rich would then use that day’s stats for all of the pitchers on each team’s CFCL roster to calculate the Runs Allowed for each team (using the standard Earned Run Average formula).
  • For each matchup on that day’s schedule, Rich would average a team’s Offensive Production and the Runs Allowed for the team’s opponent, with the result being the number of runs the team scored for that day’s game. He’d then repeat the process, averaging the team’s ERA and the opponent’s Offensive Production to calculate the number of runs scored that day by the opponent. A simple comparison of the calculate runs scored by each team provided the result for that day’s game.
Using this process provided amazingly realistic scores on a game-by-game basis, with the periodic low sample size aberration where a team’s only pitcher on a day would give up 8 runs in two-thirds of an inning pitched, resulting in something like 56 runs for the opponent.
Rich calculated the Head to Head results by hand on a daily basis, and then reported the updated standings in the CFCL Newsletter each week. Once the concept took off, Rich started phoning each day’s scores to Bob Monroe, the only computerized owner at the time, who compiled advanced standings reports for each week, which was printed and packaged along with the newsletter. Here’s a sample from 1989 (click to embiggen):

The Head-to-Head League ran for three season, from 1987 through 1989, and was pretty much dominated by the Bald Eagles (H2H Champs in 1987 and 1988, 2nd place in 1989) and Dem Rebels (2nd place in 1987 and 1988, H2H Champs in 1989.  
The link below provides the detailed instructions and scoring process overview that Rich wrote up for the 1988 season:

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