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A speculative season with the Sox

April 13, 2016
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One of the understood, carved-in-stone rights bestowed upon every sports fan is the ability to second-guess.

We live in New England; our armchair quarterback game is just as strong asthe actualquarterback taking snaps for the red, white, and blue jugger-dynasty in Foxboro. Take a journey through any of the Big Four's recent past and the number of misses stacks up favorably to the number of hits, which is saying a lot considering the outrageous success of the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins over the last fifteen years.

But for every Trader Danny tradethat reels in a Hall-of-Famer and every pinch-running Dave Roberts stealing abase and changing a franchise's history,there are other moments - those snapshots etched into our collective memoriesthat are even easier to recall because of the hurt, the absoluteagony that means they never fade into the grey.

Whyis Bill Buckner still playing first? Why won't Grady go get Pedro?

Why? Why? Why?

This baseball season on 'Downtown with Rich Kimball,' heard daily from3-6 p.m. on AM 620 The Pulse,we will take the idea of being the sports contrarian to a level that was impossible to imagine even a year ago.

We've partnered with Strat-O-Matic,the New York-based game company whoseproducts are showcased in Cooperstown, for an exciting new sports-simulation adventure using their brand new offering, Baseball Daily.

For those of you unfamiliar with Strat-O-Matic, it began as a baseball board game in 1961using cards and dice and mathematical probability to determinethe outcome of each at-bat based on each player's individual statistics for a given season. They've expanded over the years, venturing into football, basketball, and hockey board games before developing a computer sim that took them into the next generation.

Baseball Daily is an equally large leap forward, using past statistics andprojections based ona bevy of sabermetrics to produce new player updates every single day to reflect how a player is actually playing. A pitcher gets blown up the night before? His ratings reflect it in the game as it happens. A pair of errors for the hometown shortstop? The chances are greater he might airmail one in your next game, too.

On 'Downtown,' it is certainthat we will be spending a lot of time talking about the Red Sox this season.And considering the breadth of what-if situations that surface in the Boston summer just as often as the sun does rise, we thought it might be interesting to take a longer look at some of those 'What would you do?' moments alongside some of the show's favorite guests.'Downtown'has hostedaward-winning writers, legendary columnists, and famed baseball historians alike; it is a veritable who's who of people in the know when it comes toboth Boston andnationalsports.

So why not put some of them in the hot-seat alongside John Farrell and allow them to flex their managerial muscles and put theirskippering abilities to the test?

Every day, one of the 'Downtown' team or one of our guests will play that day's Red Sox game on Baseball Daily and, periodicallyas the season progresses (or as real-life managerial gaffes warrant), we'll update you on the progress of the alterna-Sox.

Legendary broadcasters Jon Miller and Ken Colemanonce played Red Sox games with Strat-O-Matic during the baseball strikeof 1981, filling in the blanks for fans with organ music and authentic radio-calls for the fictitious action. It was so real that it became something not unlike a sports 'War of the Worlds' situation, with season ticket holders calling the radio station and asking if the work stoppage was over.

We're not hoping for that kind of a reaction. We're realists. After all, who believes anything they heard on a sports-talk radio show?

(Ryan Waning is a stand-up comedian and co-host of the 'Downtown with Rich Kimball' radio show, airing from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday on AM 620 The Pulse and on downtownwithrichkimball.com.)

Last modified on Wednesday, 13 April 2016 12:41

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