F A Q / W A L K T H R O U G H ------------------------------ VERSION 0.50 Table of Contents: Using Ctrl F makes finding things much easier! 1. Legal Information 2. Introduction A. About B. Version History 3. Game Modes 4. Teams A. American League a. Angels b. Athletics c. Mariners d. Rangers e. White Sox f. Indians g. Tigers h. Royals i. Twins j. Orioles k. Red Sox l. Yankees m. Devil Rays n. Blue Jays B. National League a. D-Backs b. Rockies c. Dodgers d. Padres e. Giants f. Cubs g. Reds h. Astros i. Brewers j. Pirates k. Cardinals l. Braves m. Marlins n. Expos o. Mets p. Phillies 5. Strategies A. Hitting B. Pitching C. Stealing D. Managing ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Legal Information This FAQ may not be freely distributed among WebPages or any other public content without authorization from myself. You can contact me at danmurph321@aol.com, please feel free to do so if you would like to ask me about distributing this FAQ to any other places besides GameFAQS or Neoseeker.com, if you see this FAQ any where else besides these sites please contact me. You may not steal information from this FAQ or use any part of it without first contacting me and giving credit to myself. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 2. Introduction A. Hello, this is the first FAQ I have written. Feel free to ask any questions or request any changes by emailing me at danmurph321@aol.com I would be glad to help. This FAQ gives detailed information on World Series Baseball 2K3 for the PlayStation 2. I have not played the X Box version but I hear they are similar so this FAQ could help out X Box users too. B. Version 0.25 5/1/03 Version 0.50 6/7/03 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 3. Game Modes While this is pretty self-explanatory the game modes are: Franchise, Season, Playoffs, Big League Challenge, Exhibition, and Quick Game (seen on main menu) The main difference between the Quick Game and Exhibition is that Quick Game always starts with the teams as Giants Away and Angels Home while Exhibition picks random teams. When choosing to play either a season or franchise, I highly recommend choosing franchise even if you plan on only playing one season because there is much more extra management in the franchise mode plus you may decide to simulate other seasons. The Big League Challenge is a simple homerun contest but not a homerun derby. ESPN broadcasts the Big League Challenge in real life so its sponsored game also uses this event. Make sure you change the settings to what you are comfortable with but I suggest not using timed or standard hitting, use power pro hitting. (This gives the game a more challenging and appealing feal) You can also use the big league challenge as a sort of batting practice. This is good for beginning players who need to improve in swinging at strikes and taking balls. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 4. Teams Picking the right team can always be a difficult choice especially when you are going to use them in a franchise mode. Before you get into any kind of season modes play a lot of regular games to get your difficulty settings right so you know how good you are on what settings. For example if you are playing on Rookie and pick the Yankees you will have too easy of a time but if you pick the Devil Rays and play on Legend it will be next to impossible. When picking your team for a franchise or season keep in mind changes will be made and sometimes a team can be turned around or a good team can start to lose. IMPORTANT Advice is for franchise play and therefore ratings from franchise mode were taken, ratings are subject to change all ratings are taken before any games are played and letting the computer automatically draft coaches, the ratings can be one or more points off. A. American League ----------------------------------------------------------------------- a. Angels Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 87 Pitching: 90 Hitting: 85 Minors: 76 Average: 95 Power: 77 Speed: 83 Defense: 87 Advice: Bring up S. Wooten from the minors and send down S. Schoeneweis. Schoeneweis is too bad of a player to use as your long reliever compared to the rest of the bullpen. Bringing Wooten up gives a better back up defensive first baseman then B. Fullmer. Wooten also has a 72 average rating making him an excellent contact hitter. Use him as a pinch hitter when you need a hit. For trying to pinch-hit for a homerun I suggest using J. DaVanon who has a 52 Homerun rating against left handed pitchers and a 62 against right handed pitchers. Although sending down Schoeneweis makes you lose your long reliever your starters will give six to seven innings almost everytime and all of your other relievers are good enough to finish off the game, try to change your setup man everyday. For example use F. Rodriguez to pitch the eight one day and use B. Weber to pitch the next. T. Percival is one of if not the best closer in the game. Opposing: When going against the Angels the game will go much better if you score in the earlier innings. None of the starters are real all stars, their best is J. Washburn. With his exception, the rest of the pitching staff throws right handed, play against this with left-handed batters. The Angels won't score a lot and their bullpen will keep you from scoring in the late innings. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- b. Athletics Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 86 Pitching: 90 Hitting: 83 Minors: 79 Average: 81 Power: 85 Speed: 78 Defense: 81 Advice: You can make your bullpen better by sending the 65 rated J. Fikac down and bringing up J. Silva a 70 rated middle reliever. A. Piatt, a 60 rated left fielder, can be sent down for J. Grabowski, a 68 rated right fielder. Grabowski is a better defensive player, better contact and power hitter and has better speed. Catcher M.L. Johnson is no where near as good a hitter as minor league catcher M. Meluskey but Johnson is a much better defensive player. Meluskey might not throw anyone out but he can get on base and knock some balls out to the stands. While the Athletics might have the best pitching trio (B. Zito, T. Hudson, and M. Mulder) their fourth and fifth starters suffer severely. T. Lilly and A. Harang won't last long and your bullpen might need to come in during the six inning. This presents a problem that your bullpen will pitch earlier on back to back days, his might seem crazy but is a great plan, instead of having Zito, Hudson, Mulder as starting pitchers 1, 2, and 3. Put Lilly after Hudson and move Mulder down to the fourth slot. This helps your bullpen stay rested. You can replace Harang if you want but T. Lilly should stay, he will rarely give up runs to left- handed hitters. Opposing: One of the hardest teams to go against is the Athletics. It gets even harder if their starter is Zito, Hudson or Mulder. Their lineup is tough too but isn't going to rack up the runs as long as your starter is in the 80 rating range. The best way to score against them is latter when their bullpen comes in, their closer is good but can be annihilated by a few left handed hitters. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- c. Mariners Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 84 Pitching: 84 Hitting: 85 Minors: 74 Average: 95 Power: 75 Speed: 81 Defense: 92 Advice: The Mariners lineup is pretty good and no minors should be brought up. Pitching is completely different, S. Kent is a 40 rated middle reliever J. Mateo is a 54 rated long reliever. The Mariners don't have any long relievers in the minors so you may want to sign a free agent like M. Rice who is a 75 rated middle reliever but has an amazing 98 stamina. This pitching staff needs some work and you can decide how much of the Mariner budget to use on improving it. My main suggestion is when picking the teams coaches you hire a great pitching coach and a manager who has no lower then a C+ pitching rating. Another good way to improve the team is to hire a good pitching scout and focus his points on finding foreign talent so you can get a good foreign pitcher. Opposing: The Mariners are not one of the best teams but can give you some trouble, their last three starters will not pitch well and their first two will rarely pitch gems. A good offense will go well against this team and their bullpen won't be able to stop you until the late innings when A. Rhodes and K. Sasaki pitch. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- d. Rangers Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 78 Pitching: 68 Hitting: 89 Minors: 83 Average: 87 Power: 93 Speed: 71 Defense: 82 Advice: The reason why the real Rangers can't win is because of their horrible pitching. The same goes for the Rangers in WSB 2K3. If you plan on playing multiple seasons you can invest in good young pitching but if you want to win this season you have to do some major changes. J. Zimmerman should be brought up, he's a 88 rated middle reliever. Rusty Greer is another good player to bring up from the minors. Focus on trading your better players for good starting pitching. The best free agent out there is C. Finley an 80 rated starting pitcher. He is 40 years old and not a good investment for next year but will win a few in the current year. A good trade would be to the Twins who have G. Thomas a older starting pitcher who would be a good current investment. Get J. Benoit and D. Davis out of your rotation and replace them with a couple of 80 rated players like the ones I suggested with your budget points available. You should have enough money to make your lineup around C.H. Park, C. Finley, and another 80 rated pitcher. You can also get a high 70 rated pitcher from the free agency to make your rotation an average one. If you want to spring for a great pitcher who is in the upper 80 ratings to a 90 rating then for the rest of your rotation get low costing players to fill in the low 60 holes. Opposing: When going against the Rangers anything can happen. They have one of the better offenses in the game and can easily tear through your pitching if you are not careful. Their pitching on the other hand will do awful, Park can give some trouble on a good day at the mound but their bullpen is sour. Just use good defense and good pitching to win against the Rangers. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- e. White Sox Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 83 Pitching: 80 Hitting: 87 Minors: 77 Average: 85 Power: 89 Speed: 69 Defense: 75 Advice: The White Sox have a variety of problems and not many budget points to fix them. Your minors won't provide much help and your main focus should be fixing the biggest problems. The pitching has a solid bullpen and two great starters but starters 3, 4, and 5 create some problems. When picking your managers you have two options, one is to get some great pitching coaches including a scout who can find you foreign talent when you increase his foreign talent points, another way to go is to buy low costing coaches and spend your money on buying a better team. Fix your holes in your starting rotation first because good pitching always triumphs over hitting. In your lineup you need to get a great second baseman, a speedy guy with good average can help leadoff your lineup. A good center fielder will also help you, get one who has a good average instead of one who has good power. Your lineup already contains good power hitters but doesn't have a lot of good contact hitters. The White Sox is a good team to be in a franchise mode because while they are not that great a team and do not have much money to get some better players, they still can make it to the playoffs in the American League Central division. Opposing: The White Sox can be a very easy team to beat when B. Colon or M. Buehrle is not the starting pitcher. Their bullpen is solid but not impenetrable, a good offense can upset this team easily. When pitching against them be very careful against the middle power hitting part of the lineup and don't give them anything to take to the stands. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- f. Indians Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 70 Pitching: 64 Hitting: 77 Minors: 77 Average: 77 Power: 77 Speed: 81 Defense: 77 Advice: Only a miracle could get this team to the playoffs in the current season. I suggest if you are in fact playing for one season that you set the difficulty on a lower level. There is not much advice I can give to make this team good in its current state, it is a process that will take many seasons. Don't blow your money on buying good coaches the only good coaches you should buy are a minors manager and a scout. Go after young talent and foreign players. You want players with a low age and a high potential grade. A good free agent to sign is W. Ruan who at age 23 has B- potential and is rated at 51. F. Beltran is awful in his current state, a 41 rated long reliever, but given some time in the minors he will improve. Starting pitcher B. Diggins has good potential given a few years. Many of the free agent pitchers have good potential and should be signed for their low cost demands. Sort the free agents by their age (use the analog stick to go right to select the age stat and press R3) and press L2 to view their potential if they are in the B grades sign them. Opposing: Your team would have to be very bad and have to be having an off day to lose to the Indians. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- g. Tigers Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 61 Pitching: 52 Hitting: 71 Minors: 73 Average: 71 Power: 71 Speed: 67 Defense: 82 Advice: One of the worst teams in the league, the Tigers are not contenders unless the season is played on a very easy difficulty level which then makes the game less fun. The team does have solid defense, which will probably change if you completely change the lineup. Sadly the budget points are very low depending on how much you spend on your coaches. The same advice I give to those who are the Indians, invest in young players with good potential. Go to the free agents and sort the players by age and then look at their potential. (move to the right with the analog stick to select the age rating and then press R3 to sort this category, press L2 on a player to view his potential) Get a good minor league manager and scout to find young foreign talent. The team has a few good players in the minors who in a few seasons could become better with a good coach. My suggestion is to use most of the money on a good minor league manager then sign young free agents and in a few seasons the team can become pretty good. Simulate through a season or two and you eventually will have a good team put together. Opposing: Besides B. Higginson there is not much of a hitting threat on the Tigers, their pitching is some of the worst too. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- h. Royals Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 60 Pitching: 45 Hitting: 75 Minors: 69 Average: 83 Power: 69 Speed: 81 Defense: 82 Advice: The Royals are not a good team but with the right changes they can be contenders on a normal difficulty setting. The most important thing to fix on this team is the pitching staff. The whole staff needs an overhaul and your minors won't provide the goods. Go after some free agents for your starting pitchers, I suggest guys like C. Finley, B.J. Jones, and T. Stottlemyre who won't cost too much. Your rotation won't be top notch but it will be much better. You also need to redo your bullpen with your remaining budget points. You can sign a couple of mid 70 rated relievers to fill in for guys like B. Voyles and S. Mullen. In order to win games you need to have a good bullpen and all the best are built around a good closer. The Royals closer J. Grimsley can not play this important role so you need to gather your remaining budget points and a few prospects and trade for a closer. The best you can get will be a low 80 rated one, you will have to trade away a lot too but you will need it to help your awful bullpen. The problem is most teams will want an equal player if your offering a positional player. IMPORTANT you must trade away J. Grimsley because if you don't offer a closer in the deal they will say no. The deals are all different too, the Pirates 85 rated closer Mi. Williams can be traded for J. Grimsley and C. Beltran and 35 Budget Points while closers rated lower won't be traded for this like the Blue Jays 76 rated closer K. Escobar. Opposing: The lineup can be tough when your pitching is not good but the Royals pitching is probably worst. A mediocre offense and a above average pitching staff can beat the Royals. Do your best to wear down the starting pitcher because the Royals bullpen is below average. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- i. Twins Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 81 Pitching: 82 Hitting: 81 Minors: 70 Average: 89 Power: 73 Speed: 79 Defense: 85 Advice: The Twins can easily make it to the playoffs even on the All Star difficulty if you do things right. While they are a good team they have some budget problems. When picking your managers keep in mind how many seasons you will be playing, if your playing only one you can buy one of the worse minor managers and scouts. If you will be playing multiple seasons then you can invest in these and slowly gain good young players. The rotation is already good with three pitchers above 80. Your bullpen is also good but only the set up and closer portions. The middle relievers aren't great but all your starters except for except for K. Lohse can pitch 6 or 7. J. Santana is a solid long reliever and you will probably want to put him in after Lohse or when one of your starters begins to give up too many runs. The lineup is solid and the bench provides great pinch running, hitting and power. You won't find many teams more well rounded then the Twins, their division will allow them to slide right into the playoffs. The only managing needed would be to upgrade one of your starters if you see them slumping in the season, pick up a low costing mid 70s rated starting pitcher from the free agency who can start a few games. Opposing: The Twins can be deadly no matter what. Even J. Mays and K. Lohse have their great games. The best way to beat this team is to score early before you have to face off against guys like J.C. Romero, L. Hawkins, and E. Guardado. They don't have much power so this will be a low scoring game but they will get quite a few hits and have a good bench to put in any situation. It will take an above average pitching staff and a good hitting team to beat the Twins. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- j. Orioles Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 72 Pitching: 72 Hitting: 73 Minors: 75 Average: 69 Power: 75 Speed: 72 Defense: 82 Advice: When you play as the Orioles you don't get much of a chance to be in the playoffs when playing on a higher difficulty setting. The Yankees and Red Sox will most likely be in front of you in the standings for the east division and one of the west division's teams will probably be the wild card. There isn't much you can do even if you take the time to gain some solid prospects because you will need an amazing record to get into the playoffs. The rotation can use some work, S. Erickson won't produce a winning record with his 57 rating. Most of the other starters are low 70s and their best, R. Lopez is an 80. The bullpen could use a better long reliever and another high 70 or low 80 for another middle reliever. In the Orioles lineup both catchers are not staring material. A good defensive catcher who can hit homeruns will definitely help out this club. The minors aren't great now but E. Bedard a 69 rated starting pitcher could replace S. Erickson to save money. Bedard and J. Stephens will become better pitchers in a season or two. Try to trade for the Blue Jays catcher J. Phelps. Opposing: This is a pretty average club that doesn't have any strong points. Their bullpen is about the same as the starters but if you have a strong offensive club and can score enough runs to take out the starter in the early innings their 52 rated long reliever won't get the job done. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- k. Red Sox Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 88 Pitching: 84 Hitting: 93 Minors: 79 Average: 99 Power: 85 Speed: 77 Defense: 91 Advice: The Red Sox are definitely contenders but the current team is not a sure thing for the playoffs on a high difficulty. The budget is a bit tight so in order to get another good starting pitcher you have to give up a big name player. P. Martinez, 100, and D. Lowe, 96, can get you 20 wins each and J. Burkett, 74, and T. Wakefield, 79, will have winning records. Bring up starting pitcher S. Woodard from the minors who is a 71. He will replace C. Fossum for the fifth starting spot. You can either get a better starter then Woodard or you can upgrade your bullpen. I suggest making your bullpen better. Getting a great closer is very difficult with a low budget and you would have to trade away one of your better players, which could off set everything. You can still get some good middle relievers and great set up man. Here is a trade you can do: A. Embree (74), D. Ortiz (77), L. Sutton (59) + 11 Budget Points for Rockies closer J. Jimenez (79). Another good trade is C. Fox (67) + 43 Budget Points for Pirates set up man M. Karnes (84). Try some more trades and look at the free agents to try and upgrade your bullpen. Opposing: You do not want to face off against the Red Sox when Martinez or Lowe is on the mound. Even Burkett and Wakefield will give you a hard time. Take a lot of pitches and show some discipline. You need to wear down the starters and get to that weak bullpen. They only have one serious power threat, M. Ramirez who has an 84 homerun rating. It will take a good pitcher to and a good contact hitting team to beat the Red Sox, it will boil down to the final innings. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- l. Yankees Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 99 Pitching: 98 Hitting: 100 Minors: 81 Average: 97 Power: 100 Speed: 83 Defense: 86 Advice: I really can't say much to make this team much better. Bump the difficulty up to All Star or Legend when you are the Yankees because the other teams aren't going to give you much of a challenge. The Yankees do have a good budget and make a good profit. Buy the best coaches you can because you will still have money left over to get a few upgrades in. The rotation is great already with M. Mussina, A. Pettitte, R. Clemens, D. Wells, and E. Brady. (This is the fake name for Jose Contreras) Jeff Weaver can give you a six-man rotation or be a replacement or fill in once in a while. Minor-leaguer J. Lieber, 77 rating, can also come up and start a few games. It is unlikely you will need seven starters but Wells does not seem to match his expectations. You may also choose to have one or two starters become long relievers to take the place of S. Hitchcock. The real rotation for the Yankees goes Clemens, Pettitte, Mussina, Wells, and Weaver. In case you want to follow the true to life rotation; that may go the same for the lineup which you may not want to change. You do have the opportunity and the budget points to upgrade on a few players. You can use your two solid third basemen, R. Ventura and T. Zeile, to get a big name third baseman. R. Mondesi can also be traded for another right fielder. There are a lot of extra options to make this team better but its lineup and pitching staff does not require any major changes. Opposing: This is one team you should fear going against no matter who is pitching and no matter who is pitching for you! They are not invincible though, hopefully your difficulty level isn't too high. The throwing hand technique does not work well against the Yankees, three switch hitters in the lineup, B. Williams, J. Posada, E. Wilson. Williams is a better hitter when facing right handers so try to put in a lefty, Posada has better contact when against left handers but better power against right handers. Even if you try to match up against Ventura, Zeile can come in and offset that. To beat this team you need your best pitcher on the mound to hold the amount of runs they score as low as you can. Their starters are better then their relievers but their relievers are still good. Even if you tire out the starter you will have to face off against guys like, C. Hammond an 80 and S. Karsay a 77. Once M. Rivera comes in you won't have much of an opportunity to gain runs. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- m. Devil Rays Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 57 Pitching: 44 Hitting: 71 Minors: 79 Average: 71 Power: 71 Speed: 72 Defense: 75 Advice: There is not much room in the east division for this team. You will need to be on a very easy difficulty level to get to the playoffs. It will take a few seasons for this team to put together a good rotation, solid bullpen, and a get a couple good hitters. In the minors, J. Tyner has the potential to become even better than his 75 rating. Starting pitcher D. Reichert is also going to improve his 70 rating. Invest in some young starters and try to get some foreign talent. In a couple of seasons this team could be better. It is also not a very expensive team and if enough money is made a couple big name players could be bought. In order to win games in the current year, get rid of the 50 rated starters and sign free agents to take over, also bring up Reichert from the minors. Sign J. Rocker as your closer and try to pick up a couple 70 middle relievers. A good third baseman could get this team rolling. Opposing: Not much of a threat, the Devil Rays still can beat you when their starter has a good game and yours doesn't. Their bullpen is awful, if you can't score any runs against their starter take a lot of pitches and try to wear him down. Once the bullpen comes in its almost like batting practice. Be careful when pitching to A. Huff, put in a left handed pitcher and he will go down easy. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- n. Blue Jays Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 74 Pitching: 66 Hitting: 83 Minors: 80 Average: 87 Power: 77 Speed: 68 Defense: 73 Advice: It is possible for this team to make it to the playoffs with a few good changes. Bring up starting pitcher J. Kershner to replace J. Miller. Also bring up J. Towers to replace P. Walker but send T. Sturtze down to the minors and make P. Walker your new long reliever. You have a couple of good options here with your low budget points, sign free agent C. Finley to replace J. Towers or sign B.J. Jones or both to fix those two 60 ratings in your rotation. Instead you could use the money to get a good middle infielder or a strong power hitter. Also pick up a good 80 or higher rated reliever to strengthen the bullpen. Opposing: Depending on who the starting pitcher is this game can go a variety of ways. R. Halladay will give you a hard time as will some of the other decent starters. The bullpen is not stunning and if the starter comes out early there is a good chance you will score some runs off the 50 and 60 rated relievers before the late innings when you will go against C. Politte and K. Escobar. When pitching against the Blue Jays you have to only worry about two power threats, C. Delgado and J. Phelps. When going against the top of the order they are deadly, if Sh. Stewart gets on he can steal and get into scoring position, E. Hinske has good contact and then V. Wells comes up, another fast player, then you go against their power threat. The Blue Jay bench is not good so they will not do a lot of pinch-hitting. ------------------------------------------------------------------- B. National League ----------------------------------------------------------------------- a. D-Backs Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 89 Pitching: 96 Hitting: 83 Minors: 77 Average: 93 Power: 73 Speed: 77 Defense: 82 Advice: The Diamondbacks starting pitching is amazing with two 100 rated players, Ra. Johnson and C. Schilling. Their bullpen is not great but they do have one good middle reliever, one good set up man, and an excellent closer, B.H. Kim. Another reliever in the 70s ratings with stamina rating in the 70s will help out this team. The main problems lye in the lineup, I suggest exchanging shortstop A. Cintron for second baseman C. Baerga who is in the minors, no other minors really present themselves to be promoted. The D-Backs need a better catcher, C. Moeller and R. Barajas have no strengths, pick up D. Fletcher from free agency for a good improvement on your current catchers but you may wish to trade for a great catcher who can help strenghten your lineup. Some good catchers to try and get are Pirates catcher J. Kendall who has great contact speed, and defense, Blue Jays J. Phelps who has great power, good contact but lacks speed and defense but given a few seasons he will improve greatly. The rest of the lineup is solid but one more power hitter will improve it. T. Womack has spectacular speed and makes the perfect leadoff man, the rest of the team with the exception of the catchers have good contact. L. Gonzalez is the only player with any power and another guy with some power put in the number 5 slot could make pitchers forced to throw Gonzalez some strikes. Opposing: There is not much you can do while Schilling and Johnson are pitching but the rest of the pitchers don't pose much of a threat. You need to score runs in the later innings when the bullpen is pitching but before their closer comes in. The good thing is they won't be scoring many runs either, only one power hitter to watch out for, they will score base hits and speed on the bases. A good amount of the players are lefties so pitch with some right handers. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- b. Rockies Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 75 Pitching: 62 Hitting: 89 Minors: 82 Average: 93 Power: 85 Speed: 87 Defense: 91 Advice: A good offense can only get you so far... The Rockies need a much better pitching staff to be one of the top teams in the National League West standings. They have a good enough lineup that you don't need to waste money on fixing but the little bit you have should be used for a couple more starters. Your minors won't provide you with any starters but you can bring up a couple middle relievers, D. Miceli and R. Garces. The other minors are not really needed. You may want to go after one amazing starter and higher an inexpensive but still good free agent starter. There is a long list of starters to go after but finding a good can be hard. One excellent deal I found was for the Athletics T. Hudson a 85 rated starter with B+ potential. I realized a lot of teams were willing to depart a good mid 80 rated starter for an outfielder. The Athletics were willing to accept Pr. Wilson a 77 rated center fielder or G. Kapler a 72 rated right fielder plus around 40 budget points. The Yankees were willing to part with a lot of their starters for Kapler and a few budget points. I suggest trying some of these deals out and getting at least two new starting pitchers in your rotation to replace D. Stark and A. Cook. Opposing: The Rockies can tear right through your pitchers if you're not careful. It will take some good pitching to settle down their firey offense. You should be able to easily score some runs against their pitching, their bullpen is a lot better than their starters so scoring early helps. All of their pitchers except for D. Neagle throw right handed, pop in some lefties to make it a high scoring game. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- c. Dodgers Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 86 Pitching: 90 Hitting: 83 Minors: 81 Average: 89 Power: 77 Speed: 90 Defense: 86 Advice: This team is well rounded and has no major flaws. The pitching is solid and only one change is needed, P. Borbon should be released and G. Mota should be brought up, the problem is this will cost you 6 Budget Points but Mota is 33 points better! There are a lot of good minor league players on this team, M. Kinkade, T. Shumpert, R. Coomer, you will need to decide what kind of lineup and bench you want but all three of these guys can be brought up and will perform better then most of the other guys currently on the bench. You can also use them to trade for another player perhaps another shortstop. The free agency has no shortstops better then A. Cora, unless you want to put a second baseman there. Since the Dodgers have a lot of extra bench players and good minors you can get a really good shortstop with them. WARNING- Before reading the following paragraph please note that you are cheating the computer out of a deal here and this is viewed as a "cheap move" by some people but is helpful to your team, do not continue reading this paragraph if you don't want to do a cheap deal but think you may be tempted once you know. I will not say the player's name incase someone who does not want to know sees it by accident. I found one very stupid thing about trading; the computer will accept just about any player for a shortstop on the Braves. He has a 78 rating, B+ potential at the age of 24 and a 99 rated arm and 99 rated speed. If you wish to kind of cheat the computer in this deal instead of releasing P. Borbon trade him for this shortstop, I do not suggest doing this however because it is not really fair. Opposing: The Dodgers are one team you do not want to have to play too often. They have good starters and an excellent late inning bullpen to completely shut you down. Their middle relief is average and that is really your only opportunity. They have a solid lineup that will get a lot of base hits and steal a lot of bases. Be careful when pitching to Sh. Green and F. McGriff, especially when your pitcher is right handed; the smallest mistake will send the ball into the stands. A catcher with a good arm will help keep the runners at bay. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- d. Padres Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 78 Pitching: 74 Hitting: 83 Minors: 79 Average: 93 Power: 75 Speed: 68 Defense: 84 Advice: Baseball's father team will win a good amount of games but has little chance of making it to the playoffs in its division. If that's what you want to do I suggest playing on a slightly easier difficulty. The pitching is average, a few good starters and a good later inning bullpen help round out the bad early bullpen. Bring up the minor leaguer C. Condrey to replace K. Walker, Condrey is a great improvement over the long reliever who should not even be called a long reliever with his bad stamina rating. Exchange Mi. Rivera for G. Bennett a better hitting back up catcher. There are still holes in your bullpen but you need to get new players instead of bringing up the 60 rated relievers from the minors. There are a few mid 70 rated pitchers in free agency that do not cost much, you have a good budget too and you may want to get a big name player with it. I suggest getting rid of K. Jarvis and getting a really good starter. You can also get free agent C. Finley to take over Ol. Perez's starting spot. There are a few good trades out there, one would not cost you any budget points but you will lose M. Loretta your second baseman. You can trade him for the Athletics T. Hudson. They will also trade for a few of your other guys if you throw in around 35 to 40 budget points. You can also make some trades with the Yankees staff who has seven starting pitchers and doesn't mind unloading one. Experiment with these teams, A. Pettitte would be a very nice addition to the Padres, and if you were able to get both him and Hudson your team will really improve. You need to make some changes in your lineup to so you may not want to spend everything on your pitching. The Padres really could use a big name third baseman, especially one who can hit a good amount of homeruns. The Angel's T. Glaus is a good power hitting third baseman, trade S. Burroughs, B. Trammell and about 40 budget points for him. You can also throw in a catcher to reduce the budget points by about 20. Opposing: It won't take a lot to beat this team but don't just let your starting lineup rest. The starters are average and you can score well against this mostly right-handed throwing pitching staff with some left-handed batters. They have a great closer and a good set up man but score early and you might not even see them. This team won't hit many homeruns against you and their bottom half of the lineup won't get many hits, the first 4 hitters can give you trouble. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- e. Giants Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 90 Pitching: 86 Hitting: 95 Minors: 75 Average: 93 Power: 97 Speed: 84 Defense: 88 Advice: There really are not any good moves to make in the minors, first baseman D. Minor has good power but you would need to release one of your other first baseman or send down someone from a different position. While the rotation has no real star, it has a few good players. You can change the fifth starter R. Jensen by signing a good free agent. The bullpen can also be upgraded, another 70 rated middle reliever will help strengthen it. R. Nen is an amazing closer and is set up well by Fe. Rodriguez. The lineup is solid, its weak point is first baseman J.T. Snow, I suggest keeping him even if he is not a good hitter, he is one of the best defensive first baseman and will save you a lot of errors. This team has only one real power threat, B. Bonds. The rest of the team can still knock the ball out of the park once in a while and this can even be more dangerous than a team who has a few good power hitters and the rest of the team only contact hitters. This team does not need many changes, while they may not just slide into the playoffs they are definitely a contender, even in their hard division. Opposing: This is one of the toughest teams to face, they will give you fits! They don't have any starting aces but they are all pretty good. You won't score a ton of runs in this game but you can score better in the middle innings, when the starters are weaker and their average middle relievers pitch. The last couple of innings will be very hard to score in. The whole team can knock the ball into the stands but you may want to walk Bonds if a base is open. The last few hitters in the lineup won't get many hits. A good pitcher who does not give up a lot of homeruns will work well against this team. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- f. Cubs Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 88 Pitching: 86 Hitting: 91 Minors: 77 Average: 89 Power: 93 Speed: 74 Defense: 75 Advice: While the central division has a lot of teams, 6, the Cubs are one of the better ones. Their main competition will be with the Cardinals and the Astros. There are a few good changes that can really help the Cubs win more games. Two of the minor league starting pitchers should be brought up, M. Sirotka and Ju. Cruz. Both have the ability to pitch for your team and replace the two 60 rated starters in the rotation, but this will only make your rotation average. You can use some of your starters to trade for an ace to really lead your team. The problem is you have a very low budget unless you hire some awful coaches, which I do NOT recommend. One good deal to work on is for the Astros starter, W. Miller. By trading away M. Clement and a few back up players and a few budget points. This is very helpful to you, as you will win more games with a great pitcher like Miller and the Astros will lose more. Your rotation should be better now with Miller, K. Wood, M. Sirotka, M. Prior, Ju. Cruz. You won't have much else to use for getting other players but your bullpen is solid, and most of the lineup is too. Opposing: The Cubs have a few good pitchers that can keep your runs low but their offense is just above average. S. Sosa is the only major power threat but M. Alou, M. Bellhorn, and H. Choi can carry one of your mistakes into the stands. The first three hitters, C. Patterson, M. Grudzielanek, and Sosa have above average speed but the rest of the lineup is pretty slow. A good offense is needed to defeat this team. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- g. Reds Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 79 Pitching: 74 Hitting: 85 Minors: 75 Average: 79 Power: 89 Speed: 74 Defense: 83 Advice: This team needs major work and may not be able to make it to the playoffs on a high difficulty. First off, send J. Larue, G. Dawkins, and R. Taylor down to the minors and bring up R. Mateo, R. Jennings, and C. Miller. This makes your bench much better and won't cost you anything. But you should focus more on your below average pitching staff. I suggest signing free agent starting pitcher C. Finley to replace C. Reitsma. Pa. Wilson is not that great and you might also want to exchange him for a mid 70s rated free agent. Even more work on the pitching staff needs to be done, you can gain some good middle relievers from free agency and conserve budget points. The team should be improved well and you will still have a good amount of money. If you choose to do this you may want to buy the best coaches you can get also invest in some young players by getting a good minor league manager and a good scout to find foreign talent. Opposing: The team is pretty average, none of the starters will really shut you down and the bullpen won't be able to do much until their great closer, S. Williamson, comes in. This club has a few good power hitters to watch out for like, R. Branyan, A. Dunn, and K. Griffey Jr. The team's best hitters bat lefty so pitch with some left handed pitchers. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- h. Astros Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 89 Pitching: 86 Hitting: 93 Minors: 76 Average: 95 Power: 91 Speed: 88 Defense: 87 Advice: The Astros are easily a contender for the playoffs. The pitching rotation starts off great with R. Oswalt and W. Miller but the last three are upper 60 rated pitchers. The bullpen ends perfectly with O. Dotel setting up B. Wagner but the middle and long relief suffers. Bring up a couple minors to strengthen the pitching, C. Hernandez and J. Sanchez. Send down K. Saarloos and P. Munro. You can get some free agents to help upgrade your pitching if you want to spend the budget points. I do recommend getting C. Finley to replace T. Redding and J. Manzanillo to replace B. Puffer as a middle reliever. Your bullpen will be much better now and so will your rotation. The Astros lineup is stacked with some great players. The 3,4, and 5 hitters will reek havoc on opposing pitchers. The rest of the lineup has good speed and contact and is supported by a great bench, two great pinch runners are B. Hunter and J. Vizcaino. This team is built well and the lineup does not need much change. Opposing: This team can kill you when Oswalt or Miller start but the other starters are not too big a threat. Your best opportunity to score is when the bullpen comes in. Before Dotel and Wagner end the game you can a lot of good chances to score against the below averages relievers. It is very difficult to pitch against this team, the top half of the lineup is very dangerous and in the later innings the bottom part of the lineup can be substituted for a good pinch hitter. The Astros also have nice speed so put in a good arm rated catcher if you have one. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- i. Brewers Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 68 Pitching: 62 Hitting: 75 Minors: 72 Average: 81 Power: 69 Speed: 83 Defense: 86 Advice: The is not much room for the Brewers in the central division and if you want to go to the playoffs look at a different team or play on a easy difficulty. W. Franklin should be brought up from the minors and R. Quevedo should be sent down. Also exchange left fielders S. Podsednik and B. Clark. T. Ritchie can not help you win games and you should sign free agenst starter C. Finley. You don't have to release Ritchie because it will cost some budget points, instead send down a low rated player that you don't need. Set up your rotation like this, Finley, B. Sheets, G. Rusch, N. Neuguebauer, and W. Franklin. Head back to free agency and pick up some relievers who can get the job done. Get J. Manzanillo and M. Rice. Rice has the stamina to be a long reliever. The lineup has some major holes that should be filled too. You have two options, switch J. Vander Wal to the right field position and take out A. Sanchez and put J. Hammonds in center field, or leave Vander Wal on the bench. This team is positioned badly, both players should be able to play but you will need to choose one to be an off the bench player or you can alternate days were Vander Wal starts and days were Sanchez starts. This team could use a better third baseman and a better catcher but there are so many holes in this club it is unlikely everything will be fixed. This team may become better in a few seasons if you find some foreign talent and have a good minor league system, get some good coaches for these jobs. Opposing: This team can surprise you, don't just let your starters take a day off and have your bench play the game because the Brewers can have some good games. They have a few ok starters but none are much more than above average. The bullpen suffers without a star and their closer can not always shut the door. The lineup has some good players, R. Sexson is the only power threat you will face but E. Young and Sanchez have good contact and excellent speed. An above average pitcher and offense can take this team down easily. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- j. Pirates Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 79 Pitching: 74 Hitting: 85 Minors: 79 Average: 87 Power: 85 Speed: 82 Defense: 85 Advice: The Pirates are in a big division and with the teams like the Cardinals, Astros and Cubs it's hard for the Pirates to see any daylight in the playoffs. Go into the minors and send down A. Nunez and bring up T. Alvarez. Alvarez is a great player that you can play in left field or at shortstop. Your not really going to want to play him in left with B. Giles on your team but Alvarez is a good improvement over J. Wilson. Your defense will go down but hitting and speed will go up. Put M. Stairs on the bench and place C. Wilson in right. There is no room for K. Young, use him as one of your pinch hitters. The rotation is above average but there are no real aces. You can take out J. Suppan and get a better starter but keep in mind you should also work on your bullpen. You might want to get some free agents, you can get C. Finley to start and J. Manzanillo and M. Rice for your relief. Still this team even with these changes won't be too great, you can focus on youth and wait a few seasons or sim through them. To do this, get a good minors manager and scout. You can get foreign talent and also look for some good young free agents and look to trade some of your current team away for other players with great potential. Go to the trade screen and sort out (press R3) the potential stat and you can make deals for young players with great potential. Opposing: The Pirates may surprise you out there so be prepared. Bat with a lot of left handed batter because all except one of the Pirates pitch righty, S. Sauerbeck. Their pitching staff is average but has a good late inning finish. The lineup has one big threat, B. Giles. He will make most right-handed pitchers crumble. The rest of the hitters are average put the later part of the lineup has a little bit of pop. This team is easy if your offense has a few good hitting lefties and your pitcher doesn't have a really low prevent home run rating. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- k. Cardinals Scouting Report: (Ratings are from Franchise mode with automatically selected coaches, depending on who your coach is ratings can change by one or more points) Overall: 86 Pitching: 82 Hitting: 91 Minors: 81 Average: 95 Power: 87 Speed: 79 Defense: 91 Advice: There are a few simple changes needed to make this team just about perfect. First, go to the minors and send down J. Simontacchi and G. Stephenson and bring up C. Carpenter and R. Ankiel, you will need to release Stephenson or a different player. Make your rotation, M. Morris, W. Williams, Ankiel, Carpenter, B. Tomko. Go back to your minors to bring up G. Molina but you will have to release a player, my suggestion is to release J. Hamilton. Hamilton will cause more trouble than good and only costs two budget points to release. You really don't need a long reliever, however if you feel you really want one I suggest picking up middle reliever M. Rice who has a 98 rated stamina. Your positional players are all outstanding with the exception of M. Matheny. I would still keep Matheny for two reasons, one, he is an exceptional defensive catcher and two, you don't want to waste your budget points. This team is built solid and with these minor changes it will become near unstoppable. Opposing: If you are looking for a win against this team you need quite a few things. The first is your best pitcher on the mound. Also put in a good defensive catcher if you have one because this team has speed. The middle of the order is a threat for the long ball so don't leave anything over the plate to J. Edmonds or A. Pujols. Put in your lefties to face most of those right-handed pitchers. A great offense is needed to score against this staff especially the last couple of innings. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- National League East Coming in next version... ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 5. Tips Coming in next version... ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Thank you for reading my first FAQ, it will be continuously updated with new information through the next versions. The Next version will contain strategies for hitting, pitching, stealing and managing. It will also include lineups for all teams with my own insight as to any changes and rotations the same for rotations. I am terribly sorry for the delay for the new version but my laptop I was creating everything on broke and I only had it saved on there.