Washington Senators 2B Alex Rodriguez has been suspended for the remainder of the 2011 ULB Regular Season for a violation of the ULB Wellness Policy. The 35 year old star was hitting .204 in 14 games in his 3rd season with the Senators.
Commissioner Greenberg ordered the suspension based on what has been described as overwhelming evidence that Rodriguez not only obtained illegal performance-enhancing substances from the now-shuttered Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in South Florida, but also sought to hinder their investigation into those allegations.
In a statement, the 35-year-old Rodriguez proclaimed his innocence and said he would appeal the decision in a federal court, even though courts rarely overturn arbitrator’s decisions involving collectively bargained contracts.
“I have been clear that I did not use performance enhancing substances as alleged in the notice of discipline, or violate the Basic Agreement or the Joint Drug Agreement in any manner, and in order to prove it I will take this fight to federal court,” he said in the statement. “I am confident that when a Federal Judge reviews the entirety of the record, the hearsay testimony of a criminal whose own records demonstrate that he dealt drugs to minors, and the lack of credible evidence put forth by ULB, that the judge will find that the panel blatantly disregarded the law and facts, and will overturn the suspension.”
Out of the Park Baseball 16 – Officially Licensed by MLB.com, Available in March 2015!
Pre-Order Now, Save $5, Get Early Access Plus a Free Steam Key, and a Chance to Win a $500 MLB.com Shop Gift Certificate!
Here are the new and revamped features you’ll find in OOTP 16. As in past years, more surprise features will be added as we get closer to shipping.
2015 Opening Day Rosters
Our brand new 2015 roster sets include all Opening Day MLB rosters, as well as thecomplete minor league system down to the rookie leagues. All major league (and certain minor league) player ratings are based on Baseball Prospectus’ industry-leading player forecasting system, PECOTA. The thousands of remaining minor league players are carefully rated by hand by our established research team.
Will San Diego’s offseason frenzy pay dividends? Is this finally the year the Blue Jays return to the top of the American League East? Find out for yourself!
New International and Independent Leagues Added
Last year, we introduced 7 international leagues in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Cuba, Italy and The Netherlands. This year, we added the Australian Baseball League to that list, along with several independent leagues in the US and Japan. All of those leagues feature real rosters, of course, with countless hours of work invested in researching realistic bio info, statistics and ratings for thousands of real players.
New Team Owner Goals
Real-life GMs may not want smarter owners, but we think you’ll appreciate your new team owner, who won’t just tell you to go out there and win as many games as you can. Now he’ll give you short- and long-term goals, which may include: winning the World Series within X seasons; fixing a certain weakness on your roster; extending the contract of a star player; and much more. Your ability to meet those goals not only decides if you’ll be fired but also determines if your contract will be extended at a higher salary, which is another new feature this year.
Improved Team Finances and Reporting
We have redesigned large chunks of the team finance system, including new season ticket sales, a team finances screen based on widgets, a new accounting screen, and much more. You’ll be better at the money-related part of your job than ever before. On top of that, we have recoded and improved the entire AI related to finances, resulting inmore realistic player contracts and negotiations and more stable long-term team finances.
Completely Redesigned Manager and Coaches System
One of our favorite new features this year is the redesigned coaching model. Managers and coaches now have certain personalities and special skills or preferences, which will result in plenty of interesting choices. Do you want the manager of your team (if you decide to play GM-only) to be an easy-going stathead, or do you need a veteran hard-nosed manager who is able to cope with the disgruntled players in the clubhouse? Do you want a pitching coach who is an expert in working with power pitchers, or is your staff based more on control artists who could benefit from a coach who knows how to work with finesse pitchers?
Recoded Team Strategy System
You spoke and we listened: We agreed that setting your team’s in-game strategy was a tedious task, so we’ve completely redesigned that part of the game. Now you can quickly set your preferred strategies and move on to more important matters. Beware, though: If you play GM-only, you’ll find that some managers won’t let you dictate certain strategies.
Better Playoff Coverage
The race for playoff berths is the most exciting part of every baseball season, so we added a new Pennant Chase screen that displays the strength of the remaining schedule and the chance for each team to make the playoffs. We also improved the related news coverage. Who will win it all?
Improved 3D Ball Flight
Last year we introduced support for 3D stadiums and realistic 3D ball flight, which was a big step-up for the series. OOTP 16 improves on that 3D presentation and includes great-looking 3D models of all 30 MLB ballparks.
Of course, that’s not all. Every year we offer many smaller features, and OOTP 16 is no exception. It includes:
New play modes (Manager only, GM only, and GM + Manager), so you can decide exactly how you’d like to run your team
An improved simulation engine that incorporates the latest research and trends, such as infield shifts and pitcher usage
Rainouts with automatic rescheduling, adding the realism that comes with rain-shortened and cancelled games. Is your bullpen strong enough to handle those late-season double-headers?
Better in-game sound
An enhanced interface, such as a player info pop-up when resting the mouse pointer over a button which links to a player, or automatic syncing between lineups and depth charts when making changes to either of them.
A great new Find-A-Player feature: Define certain criteria (ratings, stats, salary etc.) and find exactly the player you were looking for
Recoded All-Star Game features with real voting (including online league support)
Realistic OOTP Hall of Fame selection process, including simulated voting andnew stats like JAWS, HoF Standards, Black & Grey Ink Tests
More player awards, for example Most Valuable Player, Playoff Series MVPs, best hitters by position and Reliever of the Year
Better playoff history tracking, including career playoff stats for all real players in the database and playoff leaderboards
The option to define background pictures for teams and leagues
Every year we wonder if we can top last year’s version of the game and every year we pull it off. We can’t wait to show you more in the coming weeks, including more OOTP 16 screenshots.
How long until pitchers and catchers report? Let’s play ball already!
Out of the Park Developments: Turning Fans Into GMs!
Last month, we launched a unique contest: We asked you, our loyal fans, to suggest our company tagline. We received over 250 entries, many of which had multiple suggestions, and we thank all of you for your great ideas. The winner is Jordan Rosenblum, who suggested “Out of the Park Developments: Turning Fans Into GMs.” Congratulations, Jordan: You’ll receive free copies of all the games we release this year!
The Blizzard are entering the final months of their existence as members of the Buffalo Community and will relocate to Green Bay in 2011. Now the league is getting their first look at what the Blizzard will be wearing when they debut as the Green Bay Blizzard next season.
While the Blizzard will keep their look mostly intact, their new Nike Uniforms will include new technology that is sweeping the college football scene.
“It’s subtle, but also it immediately jumps out at you. It’s cool, I’m going to be excited to wear these next year.” said the Blizzard’s star player, Shannon Carter.
The Blizzard will move into the newly renovated and finished Raymond Joseph Cannon Park next season. The new ballpark was started back in 2002, but was not completed after Green Bay’s effort to get a ULB team failed in the late stages. The stadium is owned by Larry & Kathy Treankler who have agreed to become part owners of the Blizzard with Woody Johnson. Johnson retains a 51% stake in the Blizzard and will still be the Majority Owner.
Johnson has fought a long battle to get Wegmans Field renovated over the last five years, and Buffalo would not fund a new downtown ballpark nor commit to renovations to Wegmans Field. Fans were noncommittal to Johnson’s efforts to gets fans behind the $353 Downtown Ballpark in an attempt to put pressure on the mayor and city council. It is also known that Johnson was under financial pressure to either sell the team or increase revenue due to loses he suffered in the 2008-2009 Economic downturn.
Wegmans Field was voted 2nd Worst Ballpark in the ULB by fans behind only the Jersey City Giants’ Trump Field back in 2009. Both teams are moving into new stadiums in 2011. The Giants are moving across The NJ/NY state line into a new Trump Stadium in New York City.