The Undesired Peace


The Undesired Peace (or why we WILL have a NBL/AABC World Series this year)

One of the things a lot of people like about OOTP, I’m sure, is that it does a lot of things for you automatically so you don’t have to do them manually.

Which is all well and good, except when you can’t get it to not do something you don’t want it to do.

I’m sure 95% of the things OOTP does for me automatically are things I’m happy it does, even if I don’t think about them. The 5% of things I wish it would not do sure are annoying, though.

As you know if you read the “About Us” page, this league has a backstory which, while fictional, is largely based on, or inspired by, real-life events.

  1. Before 1882 the National League was the only “major” league; that year the American Association set up shop. It was not received warmly by the National League. The leagues did eventually make peace, of sorts, and did eventually begin playing a sort of proto-World Series a couple of years later. Most of the "World Series" contests of the 19th Century had more of an air of exhibition than of a true title bout, which is why they are not considered to be "real" World Series by modern historians. In any event, they stopped playing them even before the American Association folded after the 1891 season.
  2. There were also two one-year-only "major leagues" in the 19th Century—The Union Association (1884), and the Players’ League (1890). The UA was clearly several cuts below the NL and even the AA in quality of play, while the Players' League may have actually been the best of the three major leagues in 1890; but in both cases, the upstarts were seen as threats to the established order and were not accorded the honor of playing the established leagues in the postseason.
  3. You may have heard of the American League, which began play in 1901 after a nine-year period in which the National League was again the only "major". The NL/AL war was just as contentious as earlier inter-league conflicts (maybe even more so), but this time the war was short, and what is now considered the first World Series took place just two years after the AL's inception.
  4. In 1914 the Federal League—the last successful attempt to launch a challenger to the existing major leagues in baseball—began play. Like all earlier attempts to challenge the existing order, it was met with fierce resistance, was not accorded a seat at the postseason table, and folded after two years.
  5. Challengers to the existing order have come and gone in professional football (the AAFC and AFL, among others), basketball (the ABA) and hockey (the WHA). The same pattern is followed in every instance:
    1. if the challenger lasts just a year or two, all of its franchises sink with it
    2. if it lasts longer, some or all of its franchises are absorbed into the established league
    3. unless the upstart league really takes root (e.g. the AL, the AFL), it never plays the established league in the postseason

Following the well-established real-life pattern, my intent was for the AABC to have to “earn” recognition by surviving for a few years before the NBL would be agreeable to a postseason series. Two years, three years, maybe five.

OOTP had other ideas.

When you’re setting up leagues in OOTP, you have a lot of options, but the options aren't infinite. To create the two leagues I wanted to create, I had a choice between creating two separate leagues that were part of what OOTP calls an "Association", or one league with two “Sub-Leagues”. Each choice comes with benefits and limitations. Going the Association route allows you to have different rules for both leagues, but it also means the leagues will be permanently separated in certain ways: separate sets of statistics, separate league records, separate Halls of Fame. The Sub-League route gives you uniform stats, records, and a single Hall of Fame, but does not allow the two leagues to operate under different rules.

And also, as I have found out too late, does not allow you to not have a postseason championship series between the two leagues.

In test sims, I tried to “cheat” by canceling the individual World Series games after the league automatically schedules them. That didn’t quite work—you can cancel those games, but then OOTP expects you to reschedule them at a future time, and if you don’t, it thinks the season hasn’t ended yet, and it refuses to schedule awards voting, or Winter Meetings, or a draft, or the next season’s Spring Training, etc. In other words; it holds you hostage—play a World Series, dammit, or you’ll never play another season.

Another option is to turn off the postseason in the league setup. You can do this, but it eliminates the whole postseason. So if I were to do that the NBL East could not play the NBL West for the NBL Championship. That doesn’t strike me as realistic: “We’re mad at the AABC so we’re not even going to play our own championship.” Makes no sense.

So, whatever. OOTP has decreed that if I want any postseason at all I have to go whole hog, so fine, OOTP wins. The two leagues will make peace at some point before this season ends, and the NBL champion will face (and crush, no doubt) the AABC champion in the first inter-league World Series this year. I suppose “I'm cancelling the cancellation of the World Series” is much better news than “I’m cancelling the World Series”. So, Merry Christmas.

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