What is Career Mode?
Career mode refers to a player's career historical stat line deployed to create probabilities at game-time in the sim. The original NSB concept featured only itemized seasons for players, randomized anew with each new season, in order to simulate the ups and downs of player performance across the span of their careers. Beginning with Version 7.0, it is possible to draft a player in career mode (CAR for short) and use the CAR stat line for the duration of their contracted term. CAR mode comes with benefits and risks, and it's wise to understand them before deciding when to use it. We'll get to that, but first let's see how CAR works by looking at a typical player stat set in the Database Window.
In this first example you see 3 stat lines for the pitcher: 1928, 1929, 1930. Below them, shaded in gray, is the Career (CAR) stat line. This line is a weighted representation of the pitcher's career stats set to a standard, in this case 225 Innings Pitched. The 225 IP standard ensures that you can use this pitcher up to 225 IP (plus the usual 5% leeway) or so without incurring the RPL penalty for overuse.
Note: Pitchers used primarily in relief have their CAR lines set to a standard of 75 IP instead of 225 IP.
It's important to know how this stat line is created, so observe now Example 2.
By expanding the selection to include ALL seasons (note the highlighted button) we can see that this pitcher also pitched a little in 1932. In regular mode, the 1932 stats are never drawn upon at game time. You would get either the 1928, 1929, or 1930 season when the pitcher was randomized. In CAR mode, however, all the historical stats matter, and they affect performance. So, it's important to know what's "under the hood" so to speak.
The salary of a player also changes in CAR mode. If we scroll over to the far right of the screen we see the career PV (total player value), the amount on which his contracted salary will be based. This figure is not a simple average of seasonal player values but rather an assessment of the player's relative career worth set to 225 IP.
CAR mode adds a little more complexity to player research and drafting, but ultimately makes our sim more flexible.
What Should I Consider Before Using it?
- CAR mode never uses splits and situational stats. Historical tendencies (home/road, left/right) are still active, but they remain a constant and do not fluctuate by season.
- CAR mode must be indicated on the draft card (see below). This is the only time to put a player in CAR mode.
- Once drafted a player remains in CAR mode for the duration of his contract. Contract duration is unaffected by CAR mode. For example, a player can be signed for multiple seasons, released on waivers, have his contract renegotiated or bought out, just as in regular mode.
- CAR mode stats are park and era adjusted only at game time. The CAR stat line itself does not adjust on screen when you click the adjustment buttons because, in effect, it removes the player from the park and seasonal norms and enters him into an alternate adjustment "universe." While you can't see adjustments for the CAR line you can see them for itemized seasons and this will give you a reasonably good idea how the adjustments are made.
- CAR mode can make many expensive players more affordable.
- CAR mode offers you the chance to use part-time (bench) players as starters.
- CAR mode mitigates against seasonal gyrations in performance.
- Since CAR mode uses career defensive stats, position players will typically be able to play at more positions, eliminating in many cases the need for "drag effects" when players are used out of position.
- Most importantly, in line with our commitment to full integration, CAR mode allows us to use Negro League players as full-time players and not relegate them mostly to the so-called odds and ends pools (OEB,OEP)!
How do I Put a Player in Career Mode?
The only way to select a player for career mode is via the draft. When filling out your draft card, note the column header CAR. It's a "hot" or clickable column and you can toggle player into career mode once he's on your card. When in CAR mode, the 'TM' symbol appends to the player's name. In the following example, Dennis Leonard has been toggled into CAR mode. When drafted, the sim will access a separate career database to generate his probabilities.
Career Mode and Auxiliary Rosters
Any Negro League Player taken from an Auxiliary Roster will automatically play in Career Mode.