All Star Baseball 2003
F.A.Q./Game Guide
spongeking@email.com
v 1.1.61  August 6, 2003
Nintendo GameCube

--------------------------
| 1. Table Of Contents   |
--------------------------

1.  Introduction
2.  Versions
3.  Controls
4.  Know Your Pitches
5.  Strategy
  A.  Hitting
 Ai. Timing
 Aii. Location
 Aiii. Power
 Aiv.  Contact
B.	Base Running
C.	Fielding
D.	Pitching
6.  Dictionary
7.  Glitches/Errors
8.  Contact Info
9.  Copyright Info

---------------------
| 1. Introduction   |
---------------------

Welcome to All Star Baseball 2003.  This is my first foray into the 
series, so as such I'm unfamiliar with its history.  But is it good? 
Yes.  The best ballgame out there?  By far.  But is it perfect?  Far 
from it.  Though lacking an incredible amount of polish, All Star 
Baseball offers unparalleled depth and realism.  But buyer beware, do 
not purchase this game without buying a spacious memory card.  The 
Franchise and Expansion modes are all but unplayable on the standard, 
and horrid, GameCube memory card (I own the Interact 16x myself).

So if you're looking for a quality baseball title, don't hesitate to 
pick this one up.  Boo, Triple Play!


----------------------------
|   2. Version History     |
----------------------------

- Version 1.1.61 This FAQ is pretty much done.  Still taking Glitches                     
  submissions and answering questions, so feel free to email me.
- Version 1.1.60 Rounded out "Know Your Pitches," fixed some typos, got                    
  rid of disgruntled logo.
- Version 1.1 Added "Know Your Pitches," Angels glitch, errors
- Version 1.0 Enters the world on July 16, 2003.  My first Game FAQ!


---------------------
|   3. Controls     |
---------------------

[ At Bat ]

A--------Swing (release in mid-swing to check swing).
B--------Toggle power/contact icons.
Y--------+ Direction of base runner to steal (takes off immediately in 
All Star).  + Down on D-pad to steal signs (I have not gotten this to 
work, however.)
X--------Hold before windup to bunt.  Press during pitch to drag bunt.
L--------Advance runners' leads.
R--------Pitch/Location Guess (Hold and press corresponding 
button/direction to guess.)
Start--------Pause.  Brings up menus only when ball is not in play.
C-stick--------Manipulate contact icon.
Analog Stick--------Move contact/power icons around strike zone.
Digital Pad--------Same as above.

[ Base Running ]

A--------Not used.
B--------Not used.
Y--------+ D-pad to advance single runner.
X--------+ D-pad to retreat single runner.
L--------Advance all runners.
R--------Retreat all runners.

[ Pitching ]

Every button is available to pitch-select.

- After Pitch Select -

Someone please tell me how to do a slide-step!

A--------Throw pitch.
B--------Pick off to third.  (Hold B+A to fake home, then pick off.  
Right-handers only.)
Y--------Pick off second.
X--------Pick off first.  (Hold X+A to fake home, pick off first.  
Left-handers only.)
L--------Bring up third base window (All Star only).
R--------Bring up first base window (All Star only).
C-stick--------Not used.
Analog stick--------Move pitching cursor.
Digital Pad--------Same as above.

[ Fielding ]

A--------Throw home.
B--------Throw to third.
Y--------Throw to second.
X--------Throw to first.
L--------Jump/Dive for ball.
R--------Jump/Dive for ball, rob homerun.
C-stick--------Not used.
Analog stick--------Move fielder.
Digital Pad--------Not used.

---------------------------
|  4.  Know Your Pitches  |
---------------------------

Before we get started, you must know what the pitches are and what they 
do.  How you should use each pitch is explained in detail in the 
pitching section.

[ Fastballs ]

4-seam - This and the 2-seamer are your standard fastballs.  The 
highest velocity of any pitch available, but also with the least 
movement.

2-seam - Most pitchers have either the 4-seam or 2-seam as their stand 
fastball.  The 2-seamer has little more movement.  In this game it 
moves down and in to opposite side hitters.

Cutter - Not quite as fast as the 4-seamer, sharper break than the 2-
seamer.  Moves in to opposite side hitters.

Splitter - A lot faster in this game than it actually is, a pitch that 
fools batters with its slow movement and sharp downward break.

[ Offspeed pitches ]

Changeup - Meant to fool hitters anticipating a fastball.  Usually 
around 10-12 mph slower than the 4-seamer, if successful catches batter 
"out in front" for a swing and miss or weak ground ball.

Circle Change - Same as changeup but with far more downward movement.  
Not named because of the way in which it breaks (in the game for some 
reason it breaks in a "C" shape) but rather the shape made between 
index and thumb when gripping the ball.

[ Breaking balls ]

Slider - More break than the cutter but less than the curve ball.  The 
velocity falls in between as well.  Has sharp horizontal movement away 
from same sided hitters that fools them into swinging out of the zone.

Slurve - In between a slider and curve ball, the slurve breaks 
diagonally down and away from same sided hitters.

Curve Ball - Comes in two main forms, the first being a vertically 
breaking 12 to 6 curve ball intended for swing-and-misses (David Wells 
and Aaron Sele have good 12 to 6's).  The 10 to 4 curve catches hitters 
looking with its sweeping movement through the strike zone (Barry Zito 
has the best one in the majors).

Knuckle Curve - Unlike what the announcers might say and though they 
share certain qualities, the knuckle curve and knuckle ball are two 
different pitches.  Contrary to the looping curves mentioned above, the 
knuckle curve has "late life" in that it has a sharp break just before 
it crosses the plate, similar to the splitter.  Mike Mussina and Roy 
Halladay throw these.

Knuckle Ball - The knuckle ball gives the slider competition for 
"toughest pitch to hit."  A very, very slow pitch with a lot of 
movement around the strike zone but particularly downward.  Most 
knuckleballers throw this pitch exclusively.  Ranging anywhere from the 
50's to mid 60's in terms of velocity, this pitch forces hitters to 
dramatically adjust to be able to made good contact.

Screw Ball - Difficult pitch to throw that causes tremendous wear-and-
tear on the arm, the screw ball is very effective against opposite-side 
hitters as it moves down and away from them.

Fork Ball - Similar to the splitter, just far slower.

Palm Ball - Pretty near identical to the changeup, and as it should be, 
considering a changeup is "palmed" as well.


---------------------------
|  5a. Strategy - Hitting  |
---------------------------
**Note: Unless otherwise noted, all playing accounts are in All Star 
difficulty**

Forget about pitching, batting is the most important aspect of the 
game.  Master this, and you will be scoring 10+ runs a game at will, 
even on All Star Mode.  It's pretty simple, actually, so let's get to 
it.

There are two keys to hitting - Location and Timing.  While you will 
hit poorly if you can't handle location, on the other hand you won't be 
able to hit at all without timing.

[ Timing The Pitch ]

When you first jump into the game, the hardest pitch to hit is the 
fastball.  Start off in rookie mode to get a good feel for the timing 
of the fastball, or just jump into batting practice to save yourself 
the time.  Jump all over the fastball.  You have to be able to time it 
and pull it if you want to hit for any power at all.  This is the 
easiest pitch to take yard, so don't miss out on your opportunities.  
There is one simple rule to timing in baseball - expect the fastball, 
adjust to everything else.  Follow it. Obey it.

Ok, now that you've "mastered" the fastball, timing these pitches will 
not be a problem.  

Timing changeups.  Changeups are a sort of uber-pitch in All Star 
Baseball.  You can be consistently late on the fastball, and suddenly 
the opposing pitcher throws a changeup, and you are _still_ so far out 
in front of it you swing and miss entirely!  An 80 mph changeup and an 
80 mph breaking ball move at completely different speeds, making the 
changeup all the more unhitable.  Does that sound fair?  Well, not 
exactly, but trust me when I say that if you expect the pitcher to 
throw a changeup the ball will be hit hard, very hard.  So don't worry 
your pretty little head.

Timing breaking balls.  Breaking balls are not difficult to time at all 
as their lack of velocity isn't over-dramatized like the changeup is.  
The trick with these is location, which I'll save for later.

Timing knuckleballs.  If you thought timing the changeup was tough, 
watch out for knucklers.  I've only faced one knuckleballer so far 
(Steve Sparks) and I lost in 10 innings 3-2 (which is noteworthy, 
because I average 10+ runs a game).  My only scores came off of a 2-run 
shot by Garret Anderson off one of his fastballs.  Knuckle balls are 
tough; they move all over the place and they move very slowly.  The 
toughest part is when the pitcher mixes his knuckle balls with 85-90 
mph fastballs.  If they start doing that just sit on a fastball because 
it's impossible to effectively hit both.  If he's going strictly 
knuckle balls, then sit back and adjust.

[ Location ]

Hitting balls in proper locations is far easier than people think 
(particularly those new to the game).  You have to realize one thing: 
The computer will never consistently hit one corner, or any corners at 
all for that matter, even on All Star mode.  Never hold the cursor in 
any one corner - keep it in the middle.  Adjust the cursor as you track 
and time the pitch.  If your timing is good, you'll be able to realize 
just how far you can move the cursor before you run out of time.  
Keeping it in the middle allows you to cover not only the most area in 
the strike zone, but the best locations to hit the ball.  Below is a 
diagram of the only places you should be swinging at.  (Keep in mind, 
some batters happen to hit the low-ball well. For instance I only swing 
at high pitches with sluggers like Frank Thomas or Troy Glaus, but with 
J.T. Snow my hot zone is in the lower middle part of the plate.)



                     |-------------------|
                     |     _________     |
                     |    /#########\    |
                     |   |###########|   |
                     |   |###########|   |
                     |   |###########|   |
                     |    \#########/    |
                     |                   |
                     |                   |
                     |                   |
                     |-------------------|



Remember, just because it's a strike, doesn't mean you should swing at 
it.  That is the single most important rule to hitting in All Star 
Baseball.  Not only does the CPU frequently miss corners and hang 
pitchers over the middle, the CPU will not recognize it if you never 
swing at pitchers in corners or certain hard-to-reach places. In an 
effort to avoid predictability, it becomes predictable in its complete 
randomness.  So don't get worried if the computer throws the ball down 
and in for a strike, because chances are they won't do it again.

Remember, the CPU loves to throw up in the zone which = homeruns.  Here 
are individual pitch breakdowns.

Hitting the fastball. Once you have the timing down, it's very easy to 
hit.  It can be tough to handle up in the zone if you don't expect it, 
but if you do...

Hitting the changeup.  It's appalling how often the CPU throws offspeed 
pitches up in the zone.  They'll catch you off guard every once in a 
while, they certainly do for me, but if you happen to recognize this 
infatuation during the course of a game just sit high and tight and 
blast one out of the park.  It doesn't get any easier.

Hitting the splitter.  The splitter is the nastiest pitch in the game 
if used properly.  The CPU, of course, doesn't.  In reality the 
splitter is another form of the fastball akin to the changeup in that 
it's a slower form of the fastball with downward movement, just a lot 
_more_ downward movement.  In All Star Baseball however not only does 
it have that sharp downward slope it also moves at the same speed as 
that pitcher's 4-seam fastball.  You would think this unfair, at the 
very least unrealistic, but there is hope.  The CPU pitchers like to 
throw splitters high and have them drop in for a strike.  What ends up 
happening is that you race your cursor upward in an attempt to catch up 
with what looks like a fastball, swing a few inches underneath it in 
desperation, and watch gleefully as the ball drops right into your bat 
and propels out of the stadium.

Hitting the slider.  This is, in my opinion, the toughest pitch to hit 
because most of the time it looks just like a fast ball.  If the 
computer throws it as it should (starting it on one side and having it 
move off of the plate) you'll be swinging at a lot of balls out of the 
strike zone.  But, of course, they don't usually throw it properly.  
You can do one of two things, sit on a fastball (if you can recognize 
it) or wait for the pitcher to try the oh-so-pathetic "start the slider 
off the plate and watch it move it back into the zone and hope they 
don't swing."  This of course just moves the ball right into the sweet 
spot of your bat, so if you recognize it you'll get a nice fat pitch to 
hit.  That, or the splitter scenario mentioned above will occur, just 
horizontally instead of vertically.

Hitting the curve ball.  A nice looping pitch that's slow and easy to 
recognize.  It sounds simple enough, but the great amount of downward 
movement it has makes it pretty difficult to hit when the pitcher is 
fresh.  Watch for the computer to throw it up in the zone, and crush 
it.  Do you see a pattern?

Hitting the slurve.  The slurve is a wicked pitch when the pitcher is 
fresh and it has its full break.  It'll soon loose that.  Just wait for 
the pitcher to throw it for strikes.  Take a few pitches until you're 
comfortable swinging, but be careful if you get behind with 2 strikes.

[ Hitting For Power ]

The game would love for you to believe that it's easier to get hits 
using the contact icon rather than the power icon, but it isn't.  My 6 
power hitters on my franchise team (Paul Lo Duca, Troy Glaus, Garret 
Anderson, Frank Thomas, Tim Salmon, and *rookie* Jeff DeVanon) all had 
averages ranging from .320 to .400.  My contact hitters, on the other 
hand hit .290 (Frank Catalonatto) and .260 (Craig Counsell and David 
Eckstein).  I am getting better at hitting for contact, however, but 
even so it proves the point that hitting for power is easier and as 
such I will begin with it.

To hit for power simply toggle the shaded, horizontal triangular icon 
off with the B button.  The power icon looks like a yellow recycle 
logo.  This does a couple of things.  I'll list the pros and cons.

_____Pros______________________________|_____Cons_____
Increases line drives.                 | Increases pop ups.
Decreases grounders.                   | Shrinks contact area.
Greatly increases homers and doubles.  | Um...
Increases singles between infielders.  | No it doesn't...lies!
Increases chicks.                      | Darn it, you have a point!
 (They dig the long ball).             | I yield. *sigh*


Here, picking a proper pitch to hit becomes even more critical.  
Pitches up in the zone are particularly tasty.

There you have it, power's simply the way to go.  The only real reason 
to hit for contact would be A) your current batter has no power 
whatsoever (but it can still be done!) or B) you, like myself, need a 
challenge.

[ Hitting For Contact ]

I've made some recent discoveries that have greatly improved my ability 
to hit for contact.

1)  Contrary to what any authentic contact hitter would tell you, you 
need to lift the ball to get it out of the infield.  The "vacuuming" 
trick that the infielders tend to do dramatically decreases the infield 
holes, making punching a grounder through the defense unnecessarily 
difficult.  So that means: hit it over their heads.  Give the C-stick 
2-3 light downward taps for that slight tilt.  You may want to pull the 
ball slightly towards the gap to increase your doubles.

2)  Do not try to pull the ball to increase power.  I've tried it, it 
doesn't help.  It's impossible to hit a ball down the line because of 
the "vacuuming" trick, so don't even bother.  If you want to hit for 
power just well, do it.

3)  Drag bunting is tricky, but great for a suicide squeeze.  Press X 
just as you would A to get the bunt down.  Tapping the C-stick up helps 
keep the ball down, but there doesn't seem to be any benefit to moving 
it left or right to help drop a bunt down the line.  I just end up 
bunting it foul.  I'll have more as I discover it.

4)  And it is possible to hit a homerun with the contact icon on, even 
on All Star mode!  Today I just hit a homerun that way with contact 
hitter Craig Counsell.  Just aim higher, pull the ball more, and hit it 
dead center where your power icon is.  However, this also greatly, 
greatly increases weak popups if you don't hit it perfectly.

5)  Last, and most important. Do not try to walk!  It almost never 
happens unless it's intentional.  The main reason is the lack of foul 
balls.  The only foul hits are line drives down the line and the 
occasional sky-high popup.  You cannot "fight off the pitch" and "stay 
alive," and as such the number of pitches you will see is severely 
limited.  Keep this in mind, and don't let good pitches sail by you.  
Go first pitch swinging if they're good pitches to hit.

--------------------------------
|  5b. Strategy - Base Running |
--------------------------------

Just a few tidbits.

1)  Scoring a runner on second on a single is extremely difficult, due 
in part to an especially nasty "vacuuming" trick.  In one instance I 
attempted this feat and the centerfielder threw home, hit the mound and 
bounced the ball about 10 cyberfeet straight in the air.  POOF!  As 
soon as that happened the ball was in the catcher's glove and I was 
tagged out.  I have many more examples, but I'll save those for the 
glitches section.

The best and safest way to do so is with less than two out, have your 
runner on first go for second simultaneously as your runner on third 
goes home.  What'll happen is the CPU will always go to second to get 
the easy(er) out and let the runner score.  Now if you're quick with 
the d-pad you can probably have your runner retreat to first, but I've 
yet do this myself.

2)  Stealing bases is automatic in All Star mode.  Get as big a lead as 
you want, on any mode, because the CPU never attempts a pick off move.  
Never.  In All Star mode you take off immediately when you press Y+D-
pad, but in the other modes it waits until the pitcher goes into his 
windup.  When you're in All Star mode just watch the first base window, 
and as soon as you see it move take off.  It doesn't matter who the 
runner is - Frank Thomas, Ichiro, whatever, you'll be safe every time 
UNLESS the pitcher uses a slide step.

- Defeating the slide step -

If you aren't familiar with a pitcher, watch his move from the stretch 
to see if he's using the slide step.  Keep in mind that most pitchers 
use the slide step only sporadically; eventually they'll go back to 
their high leg kick.  Pick your spots and go.  If you begin a steal and 
suddenly realize the pitcher's using the slide step, just hit R 
repeatedly to return to the bag.  You'll be fine.

You have to use wisdom when stealing in Veteran or Rookie.  Use players 
more adept to stealing and continue avoiding the slide step.  The 
catcher sort-of comes into account, but I've never worried about it.  
And make sure you always get a good lead, stealing or not.

Only steal from first to second in Rookie and Veteran modes, unless A) 
you're bunting or B) it's a full count (though I wouldn't necessarily 
be running on a full count with less than 2 out.  Know your base 
runners.)

3)  Sacrifice Fly's are simple.  Usually your runner at second or third 
(do not tag from first to second) will automatically run back to the 
bag and tag if they think it's deep enough, but their estimates are 
rather conservative.  You can tag on most fly's to the outfield, so 
don't hesitate to make them tag yourself.  To get a good, intentional 
sac fly just adjust your contact icon to lift the ball into the air.

4)  Bunting is tricky.  It's difficult to not bunt the ball directly 
back to the pitcher, which will result in a double play almost every 
time.  However, it's a skill you must master if you play in the 
National league because your pitchers aren't going to do a whole lot 
otherwise.  I play as the Angels in the American League so I don't 
worry about this much, but I have some tidbits.  Showing bunt before 
the windup will increase your contact area and help to bunt it down the 
baseline but also alert the corner infielders and increase chances of 
popping up.  The drag bunt is more difficult to make contact 
(especially with pitchers) and more effective, but very difficult to 
hit down the line for a base hit.  They both have their advantages.

--------------------------------
|  5c. Strategy - Fielding     |
--------------------------------

If you're not quite an expert at All Star Baseball, I recommend using 
"Assist." It'll greatly cut down on the number of runs you give up, 
while still giving you ultimate authority.  I prefer Manual even though 
I give up more hits because it's just more fun!

[ Shifts - Infield ]

I pretty much only use two infield shifts: In and DP Depth.  DP Depth 
is the most useful as it greatly helps with turning those oh-so helpful 
double plays, while In is for preventing a crucial run from scoring 
from third.  Here's the list of infield shifts.

Lines
Corners
DP Depth
In
Deep
Shade L
Shade R
Shift L
Shift R

Lines - Useless if you're using Assist mode, because your third and 
first basemen will dive and "vacuum" everything hit down the line.

Corners - Brings in the third and first basemen in anticipation of a 
bunt.  Not necessarily meant to catch the lead runner because a corner 
infielder caught off guard by a bunt will often give up the infield 
hit.

Deep - I'm not quite sure what this is for.  I can only imagine it 
would be used to prevent a bloop 2-out single with a runner on third 
with a power hitter at the plate.  A speedy hitter would likely bunt 
with this kind of shift on.

Shade/Shift - Seen often against Barry Bonds, they're not very useful 
because batters don't pull the ball in this game as often as they do in 
real life.

[ Shifts - Outfield ]

I don't really use outfield shifts.  There are a couple that are useful 
though.  Here is the list.

Normal
Normal L
Normal R
Shallow
Shallow L
Shallow R
Deep
Deep L
Deep R

Shallow - Most useful in preventing the game-winning run scoring from 
third with less than two out.  Prevents the bloop single, while 
ignoring fly balls that would sacrifice the runner over anyway.

Deep - Most useful in Coors Field, against power hitters, or preventing 
a double that would score a runner from first.

Shifts - These would be more useful if batters actually hit balls where 
they're pitched.  For instance, I've seen hitters hit balls high and 
inside opposite field for a homerun.  In the MLB the outfield will 
shift opposite field if the pitcher is setting up outside, for 
instance.

[ Diving ]

I just can't recommend this.  Diving in the infield will either not 
make a difference, let a ball go through that shouldn't, or get your 
fielder hurt.  If you have the setting on Assist then you don't have to 
worry about this.

Outfield Diving is frustrating.  I've been using L to dive which 
actually jumps, so I switched to R which dives, jumps, and sometimes 
slides.  It's unpredictable and I have yet to figure it out.

And I haven't had an opportunity to rob a homerun in 3 months, so I've 
never done it!

--------------------------------
|  5d. Strategy - Pitching     |
--------------------------------

Pitching is important.  When I first started playing on All Star mode I 
was scoring 3 runs a game while giving up about 15.  I've learned a few 
lessons, and here I am passing them on to you neophyte gamers.

[ Locating Pitches ]

Location, location, location.  Movement and velocity aside, if you can 
place your 4-seam/2-seam fastball, you can pitch a lot of innings and 
win.

Always pitch down in the zone.  No less than 99% of the time.  Hit the 
corners and stay off the plate.  A favorite strategy of mine is to hit 
a fastball right on the corner, usually with the batter taking the 
first pitch.  Then I move it off the corner, just out of the strike 
zone.  The batter will usually swing, and if they swing they miss.  
Then I go back to that corner a third straight time (usually down and 
away) with the batter down 0-2 and throw it a little more outside and 
off the plate, usually resulting in a swing and miss.  This strategy, 
starting in the strike zone and moving farther and farther away, works 
wonderfully with any pitch.

Every now and then you'll get antsy and want to challenge the hitters 
upstairs.  Always throw out of the zone.  The ball will naturally come 
down anyway, usually just into the strike zone (this may be good or bad 
depending on the hitter).  Up and in is more tempting for a hitter to 
swing at, so don't go anywhere near it unless you're packing at least a 
95 mph fastball.  If it's an opposite-side hitter and you have a 
cutter, use that.  Up and away is tougher to hit and still tempting to 
swing.  Throw a cutter to same-sided hitters and have it tail away from 
them.  And only do this with 2 strikes on the batter, you won't get 
away with anything else in All Star mode.

For breaking balls, it's a good idea to start the ball somewhere around 
the middle of the plate and have it move away and into a corner.  For 
instance, have a curveball start on one side of the plate in the middle 
of the zone and have it drop to the low corner.  Sliders are great for 
this, because it's easier to get hitters to chase it out of the zone 
for a swing and miss.  Use the 3-pitch technique works much better with 
the slider than the curve.  Batters are more tempted to swing at 
sliders than curves because of their deceptiveness.

Never throw splitters for strikes!  They're most effective when they 
fool a hitter into swinging/flailing hopelessly as the pitch darts 
through the bottom of the strike zone.

[ Pitch Selection ] 

*Note: If your pitcher has a good sinker or knuckle ball (pitches are 
ordered from best to worst, button A being the best, B second best, 
etc.) then substitute the fastball with that pitch as they serve the 
same purpose.

**First pitch 0-0**

Getting ahead 0-1 is imperative, so a fastball is the obvious choice.  
Be very precise early in the game when your pitcher has the most 
control of his pitches.  As they get tired you'll have to be looser and 
throw fatter pitches but as long as they're first pitch strikes you'll 
be ok.

You might find that opponents are creaming your first pitch fastball. 
This could be for a couple of reasons.  You could be throwing it up in 
the zone (shame on you) or over the middle of the plate.  In which 
case, pitch lower!  Or your pitcher may just be poor and the hitters 
are just taking advantage of him.  In that case, you can either start 
the fastball just off the plate or go to a breaking pitch.  I overcame 
struggles with Eric Gagne (I use him as a starter) by throwing nothing 
but curve balls early in the game.  It works well enough.

**Second pitch 0-1**

1 of 2 things happened, either A) the batter stared at the first pitch 
fastball or B) they swung and missed.  Either way you'll want to go 
back to the same location and move it a little farther in/away.  If 
they swung and missed and your pitch was in the zone, they're 
definitely going to swing again so make sure you get it farther off the 
plate.  The CPU loves to swing when down 0-1, especially at strikes, so 
be weary.

**Second pitch 1-0**

A number of things could've happened, but chances are you just missed.  
Go to the same location and try again.  If you intentionally threw a 
ball (like a splitter) off the plate anticipating a first-pitch swing, 
then go back to a fastball or any pitch that you can throw for a 
strike.

**Third pitch 0-2**

This is a great time to use an "out pitch" such as a splitter, cutter, 
or changeup.  If you're using a relief pitcher, definitely go with your 
best pitch.  With a starter, especially early in the game, you'll want 
to establish that fastball and avoid using breaking pitches until the 
3rd or 4th inning (or sooner if you get in a jam).  Splitters and 
cutters are just different forms of the fastball, so just let those 
fly.  This is a fun time to throw a cutter up in the zone and have it 
run off the plate (Mariano Rivera is famous for using his cut fastball 
against lefties, moving it in on there hands and splintering there 
bats).  Throw the splitter and have it drop out of the zone.  If they 
don't swing, then...

**Third pitch 1-1**

A pretty good count to be in.  A good time to throw a breaking pitch if 
you haven't already, like a curve ball.  If the batter's been swinging 
at your fastball then throw a changeup, or you might want to save that 
for the next pitch and try your fastball for the time being.

**Third pitch 2-0**

A good hitter's count.  If you were at the plate, you would be looking 
dead red.  Keep that in mind.  Good time for an offspeed pitch.  A 
breaking ball isn't a bad idea, but if you're behind 2-0 then you 
probably already tried that and missed.  I don't recommend giving a 
straight fastball or even a splitter, but a cutter isn't a bad idea.

**Fourth pitch 1-2**

Great, you're ahead.  If you were down 1-1, use the same strategy you 
would as if you were 0-2.  If you were 0-2 and missed with say, a 
splitter, try throwing the splitter again just in the opposite corner.  
I've gotten a lot of swings this way.  You can throw anything in this 
count, just make sure you don't overcompensate for a missed strike by 
moving in over the plate.  Stay tough and on the corners.  If you're 
getting into too many deep counts and your starter is starting to 
waiver, however, challenge the hitter and make them put them ball in 
play.

**Fourth pitch 2-1**

Gotta throw a strike here.  Don't throw anything that'll end up over 
the middle or up in the zone of course, but make sure it hits the plate 
nonetheless.  A breaking ball would work well here.

**Fourth pitch 3-0**

You're in trouble here.  Your pitcher is probably tired and missing his 
spots dramatically, but that doesn't mean he can't finish the inning.  
Throw anything but a fastball down the middle and see what happens.  
Most hitters won't be swinging 3-0, but they will be at 3-1.

**Fifth pitch 2-2**

There are worse things than going to a 3-2 count, so keep in mind that 
you have the advantage.  Great time for an offspeed pitch if you've 
been throwing fastballs/splitters.  If you started 0-2 or 0-1, it's 
time to try something different.

**Fifth pitch 3-1**

Another great hitters count.  Offspeed would be my best recommendation.  
A fastball on the corner would work well too, if your pitcher can 
locate it properly.

**Sixth pitch 3-2**

This is a great time to catch a batter looking.  Try starting a slider 
or cutter off the plate and have it come back over for a called third 
strike.  Hitters will stare at close strikes on 3-2, so keep that in 
mind.  You could try to get hitters looking with that technique in 
other counts but I don't recommend it.

------------------------
|  6. Dictionary       |
------------------------

Oh, so you're looking for help because you're not familiar with 
baseball?  Well let me explain the various jargon I've been using.

Dead red - Fastball.  Red referring to "heat" or "heater."
Heater - Fastball.
Breaking ball - Slider, curve ball, knuckle curve, slurve, screw ball.
Offspeed - Changeup, circle change.  Considered "offspeed" because of 
discrepancy in velocity between it and its faster brethren, the 
fastball.
Splitter - Split-fingered fastball.
Cutter - Cut fastball.
"Go yard" or "Take him yard" - Hit a homerun.
Pull - Hit the ball to leftfield for righties, right field for lefties.
"Hit corners" - Throw a strike at 1 of 4 corners of strike zone
Sluggers - Power hitters.
High and tight - High and inside.
Slide step - Short, quick motion by the pitcher towards the plate in an 
attempt to prevent base stealing.  Notable by the lack of forward knee 
lift, the pitcher appears to be sliding his front foot towards home.

------------------------
|  7. Glitches/Errors  |
------------------------

[ Glitches ]

My oh my, where do I start.  The awful interface?  The unfinished 
ballparks?  The flawed AI?  The "vacuum" effect?  I enjoy this game a 
great deal, but I wonder how good it would have been if it had been in 
development another 4-6 weeks.

1. Base running glitch
This one was the first so far, because it froze my game.  I stole 
second with Troy Glaus, the catcher threw to second, I was safe.  
However, after Glaus slid he kept running the bases.  The second 
baseman just held the ball as Glaus made it home and then returned to 
the dugout.  The camera remained frozen on the second baseman.  I could 
do nothing but reset.

2. Catcher glitch
For some reason the catcher can't pickup the ball after a wild pitch.  
The ball gets behind him and I run around the ball in circles, as if 
summoning by heretic incantation a baseball demon that will imbue him 
with the power to telepathically lift the baseball into his hand.

3. Foul ball glitch
Sometimes, after a foul pop fly the fielder will just stand there 
holding the ball as I tag and round the bases all the way home.  
Perhaps he is biding his time?

4. "Vacuum glitch"
Ok, I can understand this when a fielder is grabbing a ball on the 
short-hop and the glove isn't positioned perfectly, but when a player 
is diving for the ball, or the ball is launched 10 cyberfeet in the 
air, I don't think it's necessary at all to have them "vacuum" balls 
obviously out of their reach.  This completely eliminates hits down the 
baseline and another thing, I threw the ball into the mound with my 
centerfielder once and it DIDN'T teleport into my catcher's glove!  
Where's the equilibrium?

5. Advance runners glitch
When you get multiple runners on the base, especially with the bases 
loaded, things get hectic.  Sometimes I'll be mashing "L" like a mad 
cow to advance the runners, and the ones on second and third stay put 
while the one on first decides to take off to second!  What the hizzle 
fo sizzle?

6.  Infield error glitch
I'm not sure exactly if it was a fielding error or infield hit, but the 
ball went into a place in the infield very difficult to get to after 
all the runners had been safe and the POOF! It's in my right fielders 
glove!  Strange...

7.  Angels glitch
This irks me terribly.  This season the Angles changed their uniform to 
a more throwback, red and white/gray uniform that is faithfully 
represented in the game.  However, about every other game instead of 
wearing their new jersey they wear their old blue jersey with the wing 
logo!  The worst part of it is they only have the jersey changed - the 
pants, socks, and hat are all still red and gray.  How clashing!

8.  Ejected Pitcher Glitch - submitted by Joey B.
This hasn't happened to me, but apparently during a game when the CPU 
comes down to their last pitcher if their pitcher gets ejected the game 
freezes.  Tsk Tsk.

[ Errors ] 
- For the "best baseball game available" I'm being quite nitpicky, but 
these are the facts, and you are the quacks.

1.  Splitters are as fast as 4-seam fastballs.
2.  Breaking balls break less as a pitcher gets tired and velocity goes 
down (though the former is far worse than the latter).  On the 
contrary, there are a quite a few pitchers whose velocity goes up (Curt 
Schilling) and most pitchers' breaking balls break more as they get 
tired, because breaking balls only lose their break when they are 
thrown too hard.  The fatigue actually contributes to their 
effectiveness at times.  However, pitchers do usually lose control as 
they get deeper into games (although there is the inverse, Kaz Ishii).
3.  The AI isn't _bad_, but they're really dumb in some obvious places!  
Why do they throw so many offspeed/breaking balls up in the zone on ALL 
STAR difficulty?  They get crushed!
4.  The AI never attempts a pick off move, making stealing routine and 
100% safe on All Star mode, even for *shudder* the catchers.
5.  The dugouts are unfinished and untextured.  Love the "All your base 
are belong to us!" sign though!
6.  Larry Walker is a b!@#$&#.  He frigging homers off me every game!
7.  When I'm in the playoffs, since Roster Management is disabled, I 
can't look and see if my relievers are tired or when my injured players 
are coming back.  Ba numi?
8.  When I'm looking at player stats, why can't I look at a pitcher's 
pitches, and his velocity?  Why can't I see how a lefty pinch hitter 
fares against righties?
9.  Why don't my lineups EVER make it into the game?  They are always 
horribly disfigured and mutilated and I have to adjust it every 
frigging game I play.
10.  Why can't I design my own team logo? Ever hear of Jet Set Radio?  
Tokyo Extreme Racer 2?
11.  Sometimes (quite frequently actually) when making adjustments to 
your lineup right before a game it will say you're going against a 
right-handed pitcher when you're actually going against a left-handed 
one and vice versa.  Very frustrating.

Submit your own gripes/errors/glitches to spongeking@email.com. If you 
think the game is unrealistic in some way, please explain why. 


----------------------------
|  8. Contact Information  |
----------------------------

This is where I post my home address and invite chums from the internet 
over for free video gaming tutorials and premarital sex.  Or not.

Questions, comments, corrections?  If I get enough emails (one should 
suffice) I'll put up a Frequently Asked Questions section to better 
fulfill this file's namesake.

Email me at spongeking@email.com.

----------------------------
| 9. Copyright Information |
----------------------------

Copyright (c) Andre Castillo 2002. Plagiarize my material and your 
entrails will be looped around a tree.  

Of course the game itself is copyright blah blah blah, I don't know who 
made it.  Acclaim? Ok.