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    Franchise Management FAQ by economiester

    Version: 1.03 | Updated: 05/10/06 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    “MLB `06: The Show” Franchise Management FAQ	
    By MR. Kim Dalton Rodieck
    
    
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    TABLE OF CONTENTS
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Version history
    Introduction
    Explanation of cost structures
    Viewing your financial health
    The Save-Test-Load method
    
    PRESEASON MANAGEMENT
    Franchise goals
    Editing Players
    Releasing players
    Setting rosters
    Free Agents
    Hiring a staff
    Training and rehabilitation budgets
    TV contracts and primary advertisers
    Billboard advertising
    Loans and banking
    Transportation
    
    IN-SEASON MANAGEMENT
    Player fatigue
    Player morale
    Player advertising
    Team advertising
    Promotions
    Ticket prices
    Concession prices
    Overhead
    Adding vendors
    Parking prices
    Adding seats
    Loose Ends
    
    OFF SEASON MANAGEMENT
    Shared revenue tax
    Resigning players
    Trading players
    Amateur Draft
    Signing Free Agents
    How Did I do In Season 1?
    Last Words
    
    OTHER STUFF
    Appendix 1: Elasticity
    Appendix 2: Accounting for the shared revenue tax
    Wish List for Future MLB Games
    Reader questions
    Contact information
    Music List
    Credits and thanks
    Legal stuff
    
    
    
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    Version History
    -----------------------------------------------------
    v.1.0   3/9/06   
    -First version complete.
    
    V.1.01  3/20/06
    
    v.1.02  4/02/06
    
    v.1.03  5/10/06  
    -Corrected as many spelling errors as I could find. 
    -Added "Overhead" section. 
    -Updated "Releasing Players" section
    -Added "Editing Players" section
    -Updated "Setting Rosters" section
    -Updated "Resigning Players" section
    -Updated "Promotions" section
    -Updated "Reader Questions" section
    -Added "How Did I Do In Season 1?" section
    -Added a personal music list at the end
    -Updated "Amateur Draft" section
    -Updated "Ticket Price" section
    
    
    
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    INTRODUCTION
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Hello, once again, baseball fans to another season of MLB video 
    games. The year is 2006 and we are going to take a look at MLB `06: 
    The Show. More specifically, we are going to take a look at how to 
    manage a successful franchise in this game.
    
    In my FAQ for MLB 2006, I focused on, for the most part the 
    business side of running a franchise. This FAQ will contain all the 
    business know-how that you need to run a profitable franchise, but I 
    have also added a few sections that have nothing to do with 
    business. This makes this FAQ more about being successful at more 
    aspects of franchise mode as opposed to just making money (which is 
    actually the point of franchise mode). I also wanted to be a lot 
    more thorough because I believe that there will be many players out 
    there who are totally unfamiliar with the MLB franchise mode, and I 
    would like to give them as much information as possible to see what 
    this game has to offer and what you can do. 
    
    Most of this FAQ is brand new, but there were some sections that I 
    simply copied from my MLB 2006 FAQ and pasted (with negligible 
    modifications) them here because I really have nothing new to say. 
    In such cases, I like what I previously wrote, and I am going to 
    stick with it. In those cases, the rules still apply, and it just 
    saves me a lot of time. However, I really wanted to write a new FAQ 
    because, since the competition for new baseball games has been 
    narrowed, many of you will be playing an MLB game for the first 
    time, as opposed to some of the other baseball games on the market. 
    If you are playing a baseball game from this series for the first 
    time, then this FAQ is really for you. I try very hard to make sure 
    that my strategies are understandable and clear to the average 
    gamer. This FAQ is, after all, about Franchise mode, which can be 
    rather complicated to manage. Therefore, I hope that new players of 
    this series can be helped by my FAQ. 
    
    Many of you are already familiar with the MLB series and I hope that 
    my last guide was helpful to you in being able to run a successful 
    franchise. If that is the case, then I should mention that there is 
    little change in franchise mode from MLB 2006 to MLB 06: TS. If you 
    gained a lot of financial success in the previous game, then all you 
    have to do is apply the same rules and you will continue to be 
    successful. However, I strongly recommend that you at least skim 
    through this FAQ to pick up on any new strategies and 
    recommendations that I have made so that you can compare strategies. 
    There are two major improvements in this FAQ that I have made since 
    the last one, and I hope that you will take a look at them.
    
    First, I added a little section about what the Save-Test-Load method 
    is all about and how to use it. That way, I don’t have to 
    painstakingly describe how to properly employ this method in each 
    relevant section. I can just refer to the STL method, and you should 
    be able get the hang of it.
    
    Second, I added two lengthy appendices at the end which will give 
    you an even deeper understanding of how the business side of this 
    game works. Appendix 1, which is about the economics concept of 
    elasticity, will give you some insight into the dynamic relationship 
    between price and revenue. Appendix 2 is about using a real life 
    example from MLB 2006 to calm everyone’s fears about the dreaded 
    shared revenue tax. In that section, I explain why it doesn’t matter 
    that your income statement shows a loss of $47,000,000. 
    
    Lastly, as I said before, I am sure that there will be many of you 
    out there who will be playing a game from the MLB series for the 
    first time. I hope that this guide is helpful to you, and even more 
    importantly, I hope that I have written this guide clearly enough 
    for anyone to follow.
    
    Play ball!
    
    
    
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    EXPLANATION OF COST STRUCTURE
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Understanding this section is very important to having a good 
    understanding of how costs are paid.
    
    First, almost all costs and revenues are tracked on a daily basis. In 
    other words, you will have to pay out money for salaries, training, 
    rehabilitation, and other things for every day of the season (including 
    the playoffs if you are skilled enough to make it to the post season). 
    For example, if you have a player who has a yearly salary of 
    $10,000,000, then you will have to pay $55,555 per day to that player. 
    This same rule applies for all players as well as coaches and scouts. 
    Training and rehabilitation follow the same rule. If you decide, at the 
    start of the season to, devote $30,000,000 to training, then that will 
    cost you $166,667 per day.
    
    The above principal is very important to making decisions about hiring 
    new personnel (which is discussed later). Here is how to view costs 
    with a simple example. Suppose that you have a hitting coach who is 
    being paid $1,500,000 per year. You decide that you want to hire a new 
    hitting coach who wants $2,000,000 per year. What is the cost of the 
    new coach? The answer is $500,000 because that is how much more money 
    you have to spend in order to upgrade your coach. But we want to view 
    this upgrade in terms of daily costs. Since the cost of the upgrade is 
    $500,000, that added amount spread out over the period of 
    (approximately) 180 days is just $2,778 extra per day. 
    
    Costs like those mentioned above have to be paid every single day of 
    the season, no matter what. You will notice that your balance sheet 
    will be in decline when you have a day off or if you are playing games 
    on the road. That's because you are paying the cost of salaries and 
    such during this time. 
    
    When you are playing home games, you will be able to collect revenue 
    from concessions, tickets and parking. This is when you earn your 
    profits. You are still paying out the costs mentioned before, but you 
    will also be earning revenue from which costs will be deducted. The 
    difference between revenue and cost is your daily profit. Just remember 
    that you can only earn profits when you are playing at home.  
    
    The cost of things like new vendors, additional seats, training and 
    rehab facilities are one-time costs, and you do not pay for these over 
    a time period(aside from maintaining the facilities of course).  
    Transportation is a cost that is paid in full at the start of every 
    year. This will be discussed more later.
    
    
    
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    VIEWING FINANCIAL HEALTH
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    There are two ways to check the financial health of your franchise. The 
    first way is by checking your balance sheet and the second way is to 
    check your funds. Let me talk about the balance sheet first. You can 
    access this information by pressing the circle button when you are in 
    the franchise menu screen.
    
    Your balance sheet (Actually, what you are looking at is not a balance 
    sheet, it is an INCOME STATEMENT, and it annoys me to no end that it is 
    referred to as a balance sheet, because you don’t want this to balance! 
    If it balanced, your net income would be zero. That’s enough of my 
    little accountant rant) has two major categories which are INCOME and 
    EXPENSES. Your NET INCOME is income minus expenses. The balance sheet 
    is just a year to date snapshot of your profits (or losses) for the 
    year. The only real reason to be concerned with the balance sheet is 
    that it can be used as a tool to determine how much money in profits 
    you are earning per home game. When you are about to play a home game, 
    write down how much net income you have earned to date. Play the next 
    game and take a look at your new net income figure. The difference 
    between those two figures is the profit that you are earning per home 
    game. Thus, every time you play a home game, your funds will increase 
    by that much in the short run. Ultimately, every dollar of revenue that 
    you take in and every dollar of expense that goes out is logged 
    somewhere on the balance sheet. Let’s take a look at it the balance 
    sheet and see where your business activities will be logged.
    
    INCOME
    FACILITIES: money earned by selling concessions, tickets and parking.
    LICENSING/AD SALES: money earned from TV, billboard and primary 
    advertising contracts. 
    SHARED REVENUE: this is the rebate that you get at the start of the 
    year from the shared revenue tax.
    LOANS: If you took out a loan, then the amount of that loan is logged 
    here. 
    
    EXPENSES
    STAFF SALARIES: this is where the salaries of your coaches and scouts 
    is logged.
    TRAINING/REHAB: the amount of money that you spend on training and 
    rehabilitation is logged here.
    FACILITIES: When you spend money on new vendors, new seats, training 
    facilities, rehab facilities, the cost will be logged here. The cost of 
    transportation is also logged here at the start of every year. Overhead
    costs are also logged here.
    MARKETING: Money spent on player advertising, team advertising and 
    promotions.
    BANKING: Money spent on repaying any loans that you have taken out.
    SHARED REVENUE: At the start of every year (except the very first 
    year), the amount of shared revenue tax paid is logged here. The shared 
    revenue expense, for you, will almost always be higher than the shared 
    rebate resulting in a large negative balance sheet at the start of the 
    year.
    PLAYER SALARIES: Money spent on player salaries.
    
    Whenever you play a home game, you will notice that your net income is 
    rising. That's the income that you earned for a home game minus the 
    expenses paid. When you add a new facility, like a vendor or additional 
    seats, your net income will fall because you added an immediate expense 
    without adding any immediate income.
    
    In my opinion, your funds are the best way to judge your financial 
    health. This tells you how much money you have to add vendors and seats 
    and such as well as your ability to absorb the hit from the shared 
    revenue tax and transportation costs. The balance sheet simply tells 
    you how much money was added to the amount of funds that you started 
    the season with.
    
    
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    THE SAVE-TEST-LOAD (STL) METHOD
    -----------------------------------------------------
    The Save-Test-Load method is something that I came up with in order 
    to make sure that it is worth it to make a certain business 
    decision. Basically, this works by saving your game at a strategic 
    time, and then simulating the next game as a control test. Once that 
    is done, you load your game back to where you started. Now that you 
    have two data figures (your starting data, and your control test 
    data), you can test the effects of changing certain variables in 
    your franchise such as ticket prices and concessions. 
    
    For example, suppose I want to see what will happen to attendance if 
    I raise the price of left field bleacher seats by $1. The first 
    thing I do is write down the current price and the total attendance 
    to-date for the left field bleacher section. Then I simulate the 
    next home game and I check how attendance normally would react if I 
    did not change the price at all. By doing that, I can discover that 
    attendance increased by 2,165 in a section with a capacity of 3,500. 
    Now, I load my game so that I am back at my starting point. Before I 
    simulate the next game, I raise the price of those seats by $1. Now 
    I simulate the next game and I discover that attendance increased by 
    2,134. Now I load my game again. By doing that test, I concluded 
    that there was no significant drop-off in attendance when I raised 
    the price. In fact, that small drop-off could just be attributed to 
    the unpredictable nature of day to day attendance. Therefore, it is 
    clear that I can raise the price by $1, and since there is no 
    significant drop-off in attendance, the total revenue gained from 
    that section will go up and attendance stays level. I will not stop 
    there however. From there, I will do another test to see if raising 
    the price by one additional dollar will have any effect. If not, 
    then I know that I can safely raise the price of those tickets by a 
    total of $2 now. I will keep doing this until I notice that raising 
    the price one additional dollar beyond my last test shows a 
    significant fall in attendance. If the fall in attendance is 
    significant enough, then it will be made clear that the fall is 
    almost entirely due to rising prices. 
    
    Ultimately, this is how the STL method works, by providing you a 
    safe method to play around with different variables to see how they 
    affect your bottom line and your business goals.
    
    There are five distinct times where you will use the STL method to 
    run some tests, and they are these:
    
    Ticket prices – Your goal is to see how high you can raise the price 
    of certain tickets without having any significant effect on 
    attendance.
    
    Concession prices – Your goal is to find a price that maximizes 
    revenue for each individual concession.
    
    Adding vendors – Your goal is to find out whether adding a new 
    vendor produces a positive net present value.
    
    Parking prices – Your goal is to maximize revenue. (This is the 
    toughest one)
    
    Adding seats – Your goal is to see how many additional seats can be 
    immediately filled by the addition of new seats.
    
    Some of these terms like “net present value” might seem a bit 
    strange, but each one of these sections is described in more detail 
    later, so don’t worry about it for now. Also, these tests should be 
    done precisely in the order listed above. I will get more into that 
    later, but there is a reason why I listed these tests in this 
    particular order.
    
    Also, just to clear up any confusion, testing for concession prices
    and ticket prices should be done in bulk. In other words, test the 
    prices by increasing all prices at the same time and checking the 
    effect on each individual section or concession. If you did a test 
    for one concession at a time, it would take you forever.
    
     
    
    
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    PRESEASON MANAGEMENT
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Before you even play your first game of the regular season, you will 
    need to create a solid foundation for your franchise to grow and 
    prosper. You can treat this section as a checklist of things to do 
    before you begin.
    
    
    
    
    FRANCHISE GOALS
    The very first thing that you have to do when you start a new 
    franchise is to sign on to a list of goals that you must accomplish 
    within a span of 4-6 seasons. Same with last year’s game, the 
    difficulty of these goals is directly linked to how well your team 
    did (in real life) during the 2005 season. This means that if you 
    are a Mariners fan like me, then your franchise goals will not be 
    too difficult to fulfill. Cardinal and White Sox fans, on the other 
    hand, will have to deal with a tougher list of goals that need to be 
    accomplished. Most of these goals will be will be related to on-
    field performance such as winning a post season award, leading the 
    league in a certain statistical category or making the playoffs.
    Other goals deal with non-performance requirements like maintaining 
    a certain level of fan loyalty, earning profits, and such. The only 
    requirement that I don’t like having is the requirement that your 
    stadium host an All-Star game. I don’t know how cities are awarded 
    this honor, and I don’t like it since I don’t have much control over 
    that. You also don’t need to worry about the possible goal “Draft 
    and All-Star potential player”. This one is actually pretty 
    reasonable, and you can read more about this in the AMATUER DRAFT 
    section of this FAQ.
    
    You may ask “OK, so what happens when I finally complete all of my 
    goals after 4-6 seasons?” As far as I know, you don’t get anything 
    other than the honor of being able to keep playing. I’ll try to test 
    this in the future as well as to see what happens if you don’t 
    fulfill all of your goals in the stated time frame.
    
    ***UPDATE***
    For quite a while, I thought that it was not possible to switch teams
    during franchise mode. Apparently, you can and it is directly linked 
    to your franchise goals. Here is what ashawn1234 wrote to me:
    
    "you can change teams in franchise mode you just have to wait to your 
    contract is up and weather or not they want to resign you just click on 
    view other offers and depending on how you did other teams will want 
    you to run there franchise for example i started with the rangers and 
    won 4 world series in a row no cheating and at the end of my contract 
    they wanted to resign i clicked view other offers and the rangers, 
    Yankees, red sox, and giants wanted me to run their operation."
    
    
    EDITING PLAYERS
    Each organization will have about 6-12 real life minor league prospects.
    Chances are, that hot prospect for your favorite team will end up on
    the team's AAA roster, or possibly a few on the AA roster. The rest of 
    the players are all fictional. So it might be a bit of a bummer for
    many fans to find that the one prospect that they had hoped would be
    in the game is not there. If that is the case, then you can always edit
    a fictional player into that missing prospect. You can either edit
    rosters from the game's main option screen or, while you are in 
    franchise mode, go to veiw rosters. From there, highlight the player
    that you want to edit and press the X button.
    
    First of all, when it comes to editing real life players, your options
    are limited. You cannot edit that player's name, age, height, weight,
    or throw and bat hand. Everything else is fair game. When it comes to 
    editing fictional players, you can edit anything you want. Therefore,
    it is very possible to establish an entire AAA or AA roster of real 
    players. The announcer will still not use that player's name in PA 
    announcements, however, even if it is a common name. For example, if
    I edited the name of the Tacoma Rainiers' center fielder to Adam Jones
    (which is the actual name of the prospect), the annoucers will still
    refer to that player as "Number 10". 
    
    Finally, this method of editing is far superior to usinf the create-
    a-player option because inorder to make room on your roster, you will
    have to release current players under contract(see section below), and
    if your prospect his high playing attributes, it can be inordinately
    expensive to sign him from the free agent screen, which is where created
    players end up.
    
    
    
    RELEASING PLAYERS
    If you recall from MLB 2006, you are not really releasing a player, 
    you are in fact buying out his contract for the year. For example if 
    you have a player with 1 $15 million, 10 year contract that pays 
    $1.5 million per year, then you will have to pay out only $1.5 
    million, not $15 million.(I am not sure if you have to pay that player's
    $1.5 million/year salary in following years because the salary
    composition of my team changes every year.)This means that you cannot 
    cut costs by simply cutting players from your roster. The remainder 
    of that player’s salary is spread out over about 180 days, Besides 
    you will need full MLB, AAA and AA rosters to have valid line ups. The 
    only reason to release a player would be if you have too many players 
    at a single position (see the section below) and you need to add some 
    free agents to create valid minor league rosters and line ups. In order
    to release players, go to the free agent signing screen, highlight the
    player on your roster that you want to release, and then release him.
    Look at the bottom of the screen to determine which button to use.
    
    
    
    
    SETTING ROSTERS
    Before you play a game, each level of your franchise must have a set 
    of valid lineups; otherwise you will not be allowed to proceed. This 
    is not too difficult to deal with. Your MLB, AAA and AA teams will 
    each need 25 players, and here is how I recommend setting your 
    rosters:
    
    Position     For each club    Total
    C            2                 6
    1B           2                 6
    2B           2                 6
    3B           2                 6
    SS           2                 6
    OF           4                 12
    SP           5                 15
    RP           5                 15
    CL           1                 3
    TOTAL        25                75
    
    There is some room to move with the infield positions, especially at 
    first base. For example, you can hire a general infielder to cover 
    more than one infield position and use that extra slot to have an 
    extra pitcher or outfielder. This may be especially valuable if your 
    team is an American League team and you want some extra pop in your 
    line up for that DH position. Either way, following this general 
    tactic will ensure that you will have enough players at every 
    position to set valid lineups for each of your clubs. To set your 
    line ups, select LINEUPS in your main franchise menu and toggle 
    between each of your clubs, setting lineups as you go. One other 
    reason why you will want a sufficient number of bench players is to 
    give your regular starters a break once in a while, which I will 
    discuss in the PLAYER FATIGUE section. Finally, it is good to have a 
    nice, deep bench of specialty players, i.e. players who have top-
    notch speed or glove work so that you can also make defensive 
    substitutions or put in a pinch runner when needed.
    
    If you are playing this game for the first time, then I suggest using
    the above table to set your rosters. After you have played a full
    season in franchise mode, then you should have a good idea of your
    own playing capabilities and your own roster needs. Therefore, if you
    feel that you can do with out an extra relief pitcher and you would
    rather have an extra out fielder, then you can make that decision
    before you start the next season. 
    
    
    
    
    
    FREE AGENTS
    The free agent screen can be accessed through your main franchise 
    menu. This is where you get to release players (buy out their 
    contracts for the year), and pick up new free agents. This section 
    is pretty self explanatory, but the one interesting feature here is 
    that when you create a player, this is where he ends up. So, for 
    example, if I wanted to make myself into a player, I could do that 
    on the create-a-player screen and, once I am finished, that player 
    can be found in the free agent screen of my franchise. Of course, 
    the better the created player is, the more it will cost to sign him.
    Be careful with this though, and the reason for this is because your 
    team has a salary budget(you can turn this off in the options screen 
    before you set up your franchise which makes this part moot, but 
    budgets make the game more realistic). When you attempt to sign 
    players, the amount of money that you have available for salaries 
    begins to decrease. You can see this in the signing screen. The 
    difference between your salary budget and your payroll is the amount 
    of money you have left for signing players. You should also keep an 
    eye on your salary budget because it may hinder you from making 
    trades. If for example, you have a available salary budget of 
    $5,000,000, you will be unable to trade for a player that has a 
    salary of $6,000,000 because his salary will exceed your available 
    salary budget.
    
    
    
    
    HIRING A STAFF
    There are two types of personnel (other than players) that you can 
    hire as part of your franchise, and these are coaches and scouts. 
    
    First and foremost, the team’s manager is important to your 
    franchise to the degree that his strategy affects the way your team 
    performs when you simulate games. Your manager does not matter all 
    that much if you plan on playing all or most of season yourself. He 
    has four categories by which he is measured: Aggressiveness, 
    leadership, offense and defense. I am not quite sure what the 
    leadership and aggressiveness stats affect, but offense and defense 
    are pretty self explanatory. The higher the offense stat, the more 
    your coach will focus his players on scoring runs. The higher the 
    defense stat, the more he will focus his players on keeping opposing 
    runs off the board.
    
    The pitching, batting and development coaches are by far the most 
    important personnel that you can hire. They are even more important 
    if you plan on spending a lot of money on training because these 
    coaches will give you the biggest bang for your training dollar. 
    Each of these coaches has four distinct ways in which they benefit 
    the growth of your players.
    
    *Pitching Coach*
    - Control – Makes sure that the pitch ends up where you want it.
    - Velocity – Allows your pitcher to throw a lot harder.
    - Mechanics – I’m not quite sure what mechanics does, but I believe 
    - that it has something to do with preventing injuries
    - Pick-off – Makes it easier to pick off opposing base runners.
    
    ***UPDATE***(Lee Sharp pointed out to me that developing a pitcher's 
    mechanics also helps in improving a pitcher's control as well as 
    velocity.)
    
    *Batting Coach*
    - Power - Increases home run hitting power.
    - Contact - Cuts down on strike outs and increases the chance of a 
    base hit.
    - Base Running – Allows base runners to steal bases more easily, 
    round bases faster and generally become smarter base runners
    - Discipline – This really only comes into play when simulating 
    games and it affects your team’s ability to lay off bad pitches and 
    wait for a pitch to drive.
    
    *Development Coach*
    - Fielding – Increases player’s defensive abilities.
    - Pitching – Increases pitcher’s general pitching ability
    - Batting – Increases hitter’s general hitting ability
    - Base running – Same as above.
    
    The rule here is simple: Get the best coaches that you possibly can. 
    
    Allow me to finish this section by saying a few words about scouts. 
    They are worthless. My strategy here is to replace all of my current 
    scouts with the cheapest and lamest scouts that I can find. I know 
    that this is quite a departure from my recommendations for MLB 2006, 
    but I have found that the information that scouts gather to be 
    useless in the end. What scouts do is go around the world and give 
    you information about amateur players that you may want to draft in 
    the amateur draft at the end of the year. In MLB 2006, whenever I 
    got to the amateur draft, the players that I had scouted had just as 
    much information about them as players that I did not scout. Also, 
    many of the players that seemed talented when I scouted them, turned 
    out to be lousy when I was able to see their abilities in the draft. 
    In some cases, it seemed that they turned out worse than other 
    players that I scouted who I thought were untalented. Therefore, 
    just forget about scouts. Pick the cheapest scouts possible to save 
    money, and just use them to scout potential draft picks.
    
    
    
    
    TRAINING AND REHABILITATION BUDGETS
    In my opinion, training is one of the most important aspects of 
    keeping your team and your players on the winning edge. Without 
    training, your players will, of course, start to get grumpy with 
    you, but more importantly, their skills will begin to deteriorate 
    over time. With a good amount of training, your player’s skills will 
    increase. This is especially valuable when you have a team of young 
    players or some young talent that you want to develop over several 
    years. Training is also very expensive if you decide to maximize 
    your training budget. There are a total of 16 categories in which 
    you can increase your player’s skills.
    
    *Pitching*
    - Stamina – Pitcher can pitch deeper into the game.
    - Movement – Breaking pitches will break harder and fastballs will 
    have more movement
    - Pitch Development – Increases the overall quality of each one of a 
    player’s pitches.
    - Control – Increases the chances that a pitch will end up right 
    where you want it.
    
    *Defense*
    - Speed – Allows you to get to the ball quicker. Crucial for 
    outfielders.
    - Glove – Decreases the chance that a line drive will bounce off of 
    your player’s glove and increases the chance of snagging the ball.
    - Accuracy – Increases your throwing accuracy. This is crucial for 
    your youngest AA players who tend to be horrible at simply making a 
    throw to first base.
    - Arm strength – Makes sure that your throw gets to the target 
    quicker.
    
    *Offense*
    All of the categories here (power, contact, base running and plate 
    discipline) are identical to the categories of the hitting coach.
    
    *Conditioning*
    - Strength – Improves general abilities like hitting power, the MPH 
    on your pitches, arm strength, etc. 
    - Stamina – Your players will tire less quickly.
    - Agility – Increases your “first step speed” that allows you to 
    track down fly balls, get a good jump on a stolen base or get to 
    that ground ball into the hole of the infield.
    - Flexibility – Increases your player’s ability to do things like 
    hit inside pitches squarely or jump against the wall to take a home 
    run away from an opposing hitter.
    
    Those are all of the categories, and my conclusion is that you 
    should maximize the budget each of these categories, with the 
    possible exception of plate discipline. Now, this is going to be 
    very expensive. There are a grand total of 16 categories, and you 
    can spend up to $5,000,000 on each category for a grand total of 
    $80,000,000 in total training costs. This means that you may be 
    spending up to, approximately, $444,444 per day on training. 
    Personally, I think that it is worth it. It may take a few years to 
    for the results of your training efforts to come to fruition, but 
    you will notice that your young players are turning into great ball 
    players. In my personal example, the Seattle Mariners have a good 
    mix of youth and veterans. I would like to hold on to young players 
    like Felix Hernandez, Jeremy Reed, and Yuniesky Betancourt, so 
    having a high training budget is key to making sure that they 
    develop into great players. Having a high training budget will also 
    keep some of my veterans like Richie Sexon, Adrian Beltre and Joel 
    Pinero playing like All-Stars. 
    
    Rehabilitation should be treated a little bit differently. This 
    comes into effect when a player is injured and it is your rehab 
    budget that will, in part, determine how quickly that player can 
    return to the field. If you are planning on simulating every game, 
    then having a maximized rehabilitation budget is crucial because you 
    will run into injuries. If you are planning on playing most of the 
    games yourself, then rehab is not such a big deal because it is very 
    rare to suffer injuries in a game that you are actually playing. 
    Therefore, if you are planning on simulating every game, then you 
    should maximize your training budget. If you are going to be playing 
    most of the games yourself, then I would set the rehabilitation 
    budget at just a bit more than one third of the maximized rehab 
    budget. There are four categories of rehabilitation that you can 
    fund, and you can spend up to $2,000,000 on each category for a 
    grand total of $8,000,000 worth of rehabilitation. I would set each 
    category at about $338,000 for a grand total of about $1,350,000. If 
    you remember from the EXPLANATION OF COST STRUCTURES section, we can 
    spread this cost out over the period approximately 180 days which 
    means that you will end up spending just $7,500 per day on rehab. 
    What this does is keep the players happy and if a player gets a 
    minor injury, he will be back in no time.
    
    
    
    
    TV CONTRACTS AND PRIMARY ADVERTISER
    Here you will have the opportunity to sign a television contract as 
    well as rent space in your stadium to advertisers in order to earn 
    some money. The catch is that you will not be earning the bulk of 
    your contract until the end of the season. When you sign a contract, 
    it will be for a period of 2-8 years for a fixed cash flow. When 
    choosing a contract, the golden rule is that you should choose that 
    shortest contract, not the biggest in terms of dollar value. There 
    is a good reason for this which is that as you become a winning 
    franchise, bigger and better deals will come along in the future. 
    You don’t want to be locked into a deal for 6 years at $2,000,000 
    per year when you have a 3 year deal worth $5,000,000 per year waiting
    for you. A short deal will insure that when a better deal comes along, 
    you have a better chance of nabbing it when your deal expires. 
    The shortest deal that you can sign is for two years, and that 
    is optimal. 
    
    When it comes to primary advertisers, you will have several options 
    as to which advertiser to choose. When you begin your new franchise, 
    your choice of TV contracts, however, is limited. When I say limited, 
    I mean that your only choice will be your home town local channel with 
    a meager yearly cash flow of, usually, less than $1,000,000. This is 
    when it is most critical to choose a short contract. If the contract 
    demanded is longer than 3 years, then it is probably worth it to not 
    sign a contract at all! This may sound crazy, but if you sign a four 
    year contract at $750,000 per year, and then you are presented with 
    an opportunity for a 2 year contract for $4,000,000 per year in the 
    following year, then you will have sacrificed several million dollars 
    by hanging on to your old contract. In that case, you would have been 
    better off not signing a contract in the first year and then picking 
    up the better contract in the second year.
    
    Also, just be aware that when you sign a contract with a TV station 
    or a primary advertiser, there are stipulations that go along with 
    that contract that you must fulfill in order to receive full 
    payment. This means that your contract may require you to have a 
    team batting average above a certain level, an ERA below a certain 
    level, make the playoffs or have a certain level of attendance. You 
    will be able to see what this requirement is before you sign the 
    contract, but make sure that you keep it in mind before you sign.
    
    
    
    
    BILLBOARD ADVERTISERS  
    This one is pretty obvious. When you sell billboard advertising, a 
    certain company will pay you to advertise in your stadium. What the 
    game allows you to do is sign short term advertising deals in your 
    stadium for a fixed amount of time for a fixed number of dollars. 
    Again, short deals are better because better deals may come along in 
    the future. In general, the rate at which advertisers will pay you is 
    directly a function of attendance. This means that it is a good idea to 
    sign deals that expire in midseason. As attendance keeps rising, 
    advertisers are willing to pay you more. Therefore, I think that the 
    optimal length for a new franchise is to choose a deal that expires in 
    the middle of 2006 or 2007. By that point (if you have been winning), 
    your stadium should be 90-97% sold out each game and advertisers will 
    be paying out a lot to advertise in your stadium. Once rates are high, 
    then you can start locking in long term deals.
    
    
    
    
    LOANS AND BANKING
    This is one of the most crucial aspects of starting off your franchise 
    on the right foot. There are several purchases that you can make at the 
    start of the season. When choosing a loan, you want to do two things. 
    First, choose a loan amount that fully covers the cost of all of the 
    investments that you want to make. Secondly, now that you have figured 
    out the appropriate amount for your loan, you need to choose a bank. 
    The optimal choice is the bank that will loan you your desired amount 
    and provides for the lowest monthly payment that you can get. There are 
    two reasons for this. First, payments are made on the first day of each 
    month. Since you are trying to keep your balance sheet high in the 
    black as well as maximize your funds, keeping this payment as low as 
    possible is crucial. The second reason is that you will be paying off 
    this loan during the off season. This means that in addition to being 
    charged for transportation and the revenue sharing tax, you will also 
    be charged for loan payments made over the months of the off season. 
    The shared revenue tax is a pretty crazy expense, so you don't want to 
    make the situation worse by having huge loan payments accumulate over 
    the off season. With this particular loan, you don't have to 
    perpetually hold on to paying it off. In fact, it is good to pay off 
    the balance of the loan a season or two from now, but I will get to 
    that later.
    
    
    
    
    VENDORS AND FACILITIES
    Now that you know the rules about taking out a loan, you have to use 
    that loan to purchase some assets. You can purchase whatever you like, 
    but here are my suggestions for what to get.
    
    batting cage            2,000,000
    face painting             100,000
    playground              2,000,000
    hot tub                 5,000,000
    ice cream guy x20         200,000
    soda man x20              200,000
    peanut guy x20            200,000
    aerobic room           10,000,000
    auto pitcher            5,000,000
    spa room                6,000,000
    massage room            4,000,000
    ---------------------------------
    TOTAL                  35,000,000
    
    This should give you one unit of each asset, except for ice cream guy, 
    soda man and peanut guy for which you should have a grand total of 30 
    units each. 
    
    When you receive your loan, you will want to do two things. First you 
    will want to buy those vendors that will create cash flow, like the hot 
    tub and the playground, and such. Second, focus on those facilities 
    that will help your players such as the auto pitcher and the aerobic 
    room. Ultimately, if you take my full advice based on the above table, 
    then the optimal loan amount is a $35,000,000, 15 year loan from Roll 
    Bank at 7.9%. This should require a payment of just about $340,000 per 
    month. That is the lowest per-month cost that you can get, and it is 
    the least obnoxious when it comes to keeping your cash flow high. I 
    should also mention that not all of you will begin your new franchise 
    with a home game. About half of you will play your first home game a 
    week or more after opening day. If this is the case, then wait until 
    you begin your first home game to make this kind of a financial decision. 
    There is no reason, whatsoever, to take out a loan to gain a certain 
    amount of funds, and then see those funds dwindle by using them to pay 
    for player salaries, staff salaries, training, rehab, etc. For those of 
    you who will start your franchise on the road, wait until you are about 
    to play your first home game to take this loan. This is important because 
    when you buy a new vendor (like the hot tub, for example) you want that 
    vendor to start producing cash flow right away, so you might as well 
    wait until you can get some cash flow before you buy those vendors.
    
    
    
    TRANSPORTATION
    Read my lips! Do not EVER upgrade your transportation. This is the 
    biggest waste of money in the game. You may be tempted to upgrade when 
    you see your players whining and complaining that they have to ride on 
    a cheap bus, but don't worry about it. Sure, riding on a bus is a 
    negative for player morale, but you can more than make up for that by 
    being a winning team. The rule here is that there is no substitute for 
    victory. Your players will put up with having to ride on a bus just as 
    long as your team is having a great year. There is another temptation 
    that you should avoid. As the season progresses, you will notice that 
    the cost of an upgrade keeps falling day by day. Don't be fooled. The 
    reason why the cost of a transportation upgrade keeps falling is 
    because transportation costs are automatically paid in full at the 
    start of each year, and that billing pays for the entire year. 
    Therefore, when you upgrade your transportation near the end of the 
    season, you think that you are getting a great deal, but the cost is 
    low because you are only leasing that mode of transportation for a few 
    weeks, not a full season. The cut off date for transportation upgrades 
    is about three weeks before the end of the regular season. By that 
    point, you will be tempted by the very low cost of the upgrade. 
    However, if you do it, then you will not be able to reverse it until 
    the start of next season. When the off season ends and the regular 
    season begins anew, you will be charged for that one year lease right 
    off the bat. If you upgraded to a team jet just before the season ends, 
    you will be hit with a bill of $200,000,000! You can get a refund by 
    downgrading, but why bother? If your franchise has been wildly 
    profitable, then you will certainly be hit with a massive shared 
    revenue tax and you WILL start next season with a large negative 
    balance sheet. I will get more into this later, but the tax has to be 
    paid from your funds. The same rule applies to transportation costs. 
    The amount of the transportation lease will be paid out of your funds. 
    If your funds are not sufficient to cover your higher mode of 
    transportation, then you will automatically be downgraded to a bus.
    Ultimately, the only real benefit of upgrading your transportation is 
    that your players energy will not decline as fast and you will be able 
    to play your starters more during the year with less days off for rest.
    The problem with is that you have to pay a pretty high cost for keeping
    your players refreshed with more luxurious transportation. Therefore, 
    the only time where you might be justified in upgrading your transportation
    is when you literally don't have anything else to spend your money on.
    If you cannot profitably add more seats and vendors after several seasons,
    then go ahead and begin upgrading transportation.
    
    
    
    
    
    --------------------------------------------------------
    In-Season Business Management
    --------------------------------------------------------
    This section is the most vitally important part of maximizing your 
    revenues throughout the season. Selling soda, beer, popcorn, caps, 
    tickets, parking and such are going to be your main focus of making 
    money. Here, I will discuss aspects of the day to day nature of running 
    a franchise and give you the tools to maximize revenues.
    
    
    
    PLAYER FATIGUE
    As you move along through your franchise season, you may notice that 
    your players suddenly don’t have as much pop in their bat, they are 
    slower, and may even commit more errors. One explanation for this is 
    that your players might simply be fatigued. When you play a game, you 
    begin by picking your starting pitcher, and then adjusting your lineup. 
    When adjusting your lineup, look just off to the side of the player’s 
    names, and you will notice green bars of different lengths. Those green 
    bars represent your player’s energy. When certain players play day 
    after day, they get tired. Giving them a day off once in a while will 
    keep their energy levels high as well as their performance. This is why 
    it is so important to make sure that you have skilled bench players who 
    can sub for you starters every once in a while. Generally, it is a good 
    idea to let any given player to play for five days straight, and then 
    rest him.
    
    
    
    PLAYER MORALE
    Player morale is a general level of the happiness of your players. If 
    you have seen video trailers and some reviews of this game, then you 
    know that a big deal is made, sometimes, about player morale. The truth 
    is that player morale and the maintenance of morale is not a very big 
    deal at all. If you have a player that is unhappy, but signed to a long 
    term contract, then he has no choice but to play the game at your 
    command. There are several variables that affect player morale, but the 
    one factor that overrides all others is winning. If you are a winning 
    franchise, then players will forgive just about anything, including 
    having to travel across America in a bus. Winning a lot will eventually 
    maximize your player’s happiness, and you can forget about most other 
    aspects of morale building. There is only one reason why I would be 
    concerned about the morale of certain players. If a star player is 
    unhappy, then his team preference level will be low(you can view these 
    stats by finding your player on the roster menu, pressing the circle 
    button to bring up the player’s card, and then toggling through the 
    player’s info). If his team preference level is low, he might demand 
    extra compensation when you try and resign him. Other then that, you 
    can always keep player morale high by winning, having reasonable 
    training budgets, quality training and rehab facilities, and giving 
    bench players sufficient playing time. 
    
    
    
    PLAYER ADVERTISING
    One way to get more fans to come to your stadium is to advertise your 
    players to your fans in order to tickle their baseball bone. The 
    benefit of advertising is that it slowly, but steadily increases the 
    support and loyalty of your fans. This in turn has a positive effect on 
    attendance. Of course, when it comes to increasing attendance, there is 
    no substitute for victory. Winning is the best way to increase 
    attendance, but advertising will give your franchise a little extra 
    push. When it comes to advertising players, you cannot directly choose 
    whom you will advertise. Instead, you will choose a marketing strategy 
    based on marketing your team's All-Stars, sluggers, rotation, fielders 
    or rookies. From there, the game will assign a player who fits that 
    description. You should start by setting the budget for advertising. 
    This is a yearly budget, so I like to set the total budget to its 
    maximum level, which comes to a grand total of $13,200,000 per year. I 
    think that it is worth it. Keep in mind as well that once you begin the 
    season, you can always change this amount, as well as the marketing 
    strategy. If you have committed to a maximized advertising budget, then 
    you should probably stick with it, but you should never stick with the 
    same marketing strategy. This can be changed independently of the 
    budget, so you should be mixing this up as the season moves along with 
    different strategies and different players.
    
    
    
    TEAM ADVERTISING
    Team advertising is identical to that of player advertising except for 
    one aspect that keeps team advertising more dynamic. With team 
    advertising, you can adjust the message of your advertisements to be 
    more in sync with your team’s situation. For example, you can begin the 
    season with the “Start of the Season” message, and then change it a 
    week or so into the season. If you have a winning streak going, then 
    you can switch your advertising message to “Keep the Streak.” Some 
    types of advertising have more of an impact than others which means 
    that TV advertising is both the most expensive and the most effective. 
    Keep this open for adjustment based on your team’s situation. Newspaper 
    and magazine advertising are good for generic messages, but use TV and 
    radio to adjust your message to your situation. 
    
    
    
    PROMOTIONS
    The first thing that I want to say about promotions is this: don’t go 
    nuts with numerous, big, expensive promotions as a means of raising 
    attendance. That’s simply not the way to do it. It is more useful to 
    think of promotions as an extension of team advertising. What I mean by 
    that is that promotions can be used most cost effectively as a means of 
    slowly building fan support over a long period as opposed to increasing 
    support in small, but temporary bursts. With team advertising, you can 
    adjust you message to send word to the public about your promotions 
    with the “Upcoming Events” choice. This provides a bit of synergy to 
    the effectiveness of your promotions. Although player morale and 
    support is something that you should not worry about too much, fan 
    support is crucial. One way of keeping fans happy is to constantly have 
    them looking forward to your next promotion. There is also one more 
    reason why doing a lot of big, expensive promotions is a bad idea. When 
    it comes to total fan support, there are so many variables that 
    determine fan support that the weight that promotions have in 
    determining this support does not justify large costs. Some of these 
    variables are things like wins, concession prices, ticket prices, your 
    position in the standings, the time gap between promotions, and 
    advertising spending among other things. With all of these taken into 
    account, promotions alone cannot justify a ton of spending on 
    promotions. Instead, you want to slowly, but steadily, raise fan 
    support over the long run with a bunch of small, cheap promotions. The 
    way to do this is to drop a small promotion in the middle of every home 
    stand, and I must stress that it should be done IN THE MIDDLE OF THE 
    HOME STAND. If you do it on the first day of the home stand, then you 
    will mess up your tests for things like optimal ticket and concession 
    prices when doing the STL method.
    
    The two cheapest promotions that you can do are the “Program Night” at 
    $2 per unit and “Ball Night” at $3 per unit. I like to do a promotion 
    of about 3,000 units for each home stand. The cost is small and your 
    fans will always be looking forward to the next promotion.
    
    I have to make one very important note about free ticket promotions. 
    The game lists the cost of this promotion as zero. Do not be fooled! 
    The cost of this promotion is very real and, as ticket prices begin to 
    rise, this could end up being one of the most expensive promotions that 
    you can do. Although the game says that the cost is zero, you are in 
    fact paying a cost for this promotion since you are forfeiting the 
    revenue that you otherwise might have gained. Let me illustrate with a 
    simple example. Suppose that you have a lemonade stand. Each cup that 
    you sell costs you $0.25 worth of lemons, sugar, and ice, not to 
    mention the paper cup. You are also charging $1.00 per cup of lemonade. 
    Therefore, your expected profit per cup is $0.75. Your best friend 
    stops by and you offer him/her a free cup. Did your give away cost you 
    nothing? No, since you obviously had to pay for the ingredients that 
    went into making that cup of lemonade. Then you might say "So the cost 
    of my give away was $0.25." Wrong again. The true cost of giving away 
    that cup was in fact $0.75. Since each cup earns you a profit of $0.75, 
    you just forfeited $0.75 worth of profits! That is what you truly lost 
    by giving away a cup of lemonade. The same principal applies to a free 
    ticket give away. The cost of giving away tickets is the money that you 
    COULD have earned by selling them. The more tickets that you decide to 
    give away, the more expensive this promotion will be. When tickets are 
    given away, I am not sure which tickets are being given away. They 
    could be cheap seats or very expensive ones. Even if the game 
    distributes the free tickets strictly according to price (cheapest 
    seats given away first), then the remaining tickets will then be given 
    away for the second cheapest, and then third cheapest and so on. This 
    would mean that the cost of the give away will rise in an exponential 
    trend. Here is a hypothetical, totally made up chart to illustrate what 
    I mean:
    
    SEAT            # OF SEATS   PRICE   COST    RUNNING TOTAL
    Bleacher          1,000        5     5,000      5,000  
    LF View           1,500        6     9,000      14,000
    RF View           1,500        7     10,500     24,500
    LF General        10,000       8     80,000     104,500
    RF General        10,000       8     80,000     184,500
    IF Box            4,000        10    40,000     224,500
    Home Plate        3,000        12    36,000     260,500
    
    
    In this hypothetical example, you can see how the true cost of this 
    promotion can build up. By giving away 4,000 tickets, you incurred a 
    cost of $24,500 by giving away the tickets rather than selling them. 
    The cost is then borne by you in the form of reduced profits when you 
    forfeit the revenue from those tickets. This whole example is a great 
    illustration of the economics concept of "opportunity cost". By the way,
    tickets are NOT given away in a "cheapest first" manner. The tickets
    given away are spread out over all of your seating section which means
    that this is indeed an expensive promotion.
    
    There is also another temptation that you should avoid which is the idea
    that free ticket give aways will increas attendance and therefore increase
    the number of hot dogs, beer, soda and such which might off-set the cost.
    This idea was originally sent to me by Chris C. and it was a challenging
    idea. I ended up giving him a long winded answer as to why that is not 
    the case, but there is a much more simple, non-theoretical test which
    proves it with better results. Here is what I did.
    
    I simply started a new franchise with the Mariners, and I simulated the
    first game. The relevant numbers that I got were as follows:
    
    Net Income: -$217,817
    Average Attendance: 23,422
    Ticket Revenue: $619,786
    
    These results are about normal, and doing multiple tests would reveal
    similar figures. Also, keep in mind that this was just for one game, so
    average attendance is equal to total attendance. Then, I decided to do 
    a free ticket promotion of 20,000 total tickets. The following figures 
    that I got surprised me in magnitude, but not in result.
    
    Net Income: -$292,705
    Average Attendance: 29,018
    Ticket Revenue: $460,129
    
    As you can see, ticket revenue dropped sharply. Opportunity cost is
    obviously a factor here. However, the most interesting thing here
    is that Average attendance increased by only 5,600 instead of 20,000.
    This means that of the 20,000 tickets, 72% of them went to fans who
    were going to go to the game anyways, but they got in for free as
    opposed to paying for them. This means that the promotion attracted only
    an extra 5,600 fans who otherwise might not have gone. Did they buy
    more concessions than a smaller crowd would have. Yes, they did, but
    that does not come close to off-setting the cost. As you can see, ticket
    revenue fell by about $160,000, but net income fell by about $75,000.
    This means that those extra 5,600 fans translated into total profits of
    $85,000 worth of concession sales. However, when you subract from that
    the loss of ticket revenue, you get -$75,000 woth of net income. Even if
    you were to sponsor a smaller ticket give away, the results will be 
    similar, but with less magnitude.
    
    
    One reader, Billy Zobel, made a very interesting observation about all
    of the other promotions in that opportunity cost does not apply to other
    give-aways like baseballs, programs and gloves. Suppose that I schedule 
    a promotion of 2,000 baseballs with a cost of $3 per unit for a total 
    cost of $6,000. On the day of that promotion, you will notice that your 
    total sales of baseballs has not fallen at all. (To figure out the total
    number sold, take the average sold per game and multiply that by the total
    number of home games that you have played.) You would think that if people
    can get baseballs for free, then they would not buy them, but they do. 
    Therefore, there is no opportunity cost to giving away goods like 
    baseballs or programs which makes the cost of such a promotion of just a
    pure cash cost. The only reason to add an opportunity cost into your 
    decision here would be if the quantity sold differed significantly
    from the average amount sold per game. If the average amount of sales
    per game is 500 units, but a promotion causes sales to drop by 200 units
    below the average for that day, then you can take that into account 
    because it will increase your total cost. If, for some other reason, the 
    amount sold for that day increases by 200 units above the average, then
    you will be collecting extra revenue, and you can deduct that from the 
    cost of the promotion. Either way, opportunity cost will only come into
    play when the total amount sold for that day differs significantly from
    the long run average sold per game.
    
    On a side note, the only time where I personally was compelled to 
    attend a Mariners game due to a promotion was during "Buhner Buzz 
    Night" when the Mariners still played in the Kingdome and Jay Buhner 
    was our star right fielder. Every fan who was willing to get his or her 
    (and there were several women, oddly enough) head shaved in the parking 
    lot got free tickets to the game. It was actually pretty fun, and it was 
    quite funny to see the right field seats as a sea of bald people. George 
    Costanza would have felt right at home. The upside is that I have not 
    had to visit a barber in over 10 years.
    
    
    
    TICKET PRICES
    This should be done in two stages. First, use the STL method to test 
    for the revenue maximizing price when you begin a brand new franchise. 
    Second, after a few weeks and every test afterward, you will want to 
    see how high you can raise the price before you see a significant drop 
    in attendance. If you want to do an effective test, make sure that you 
    followed my advice in the previous sections with regard to promotions, 
    advertising, and such. Also, this should be DONE ON THE FIRST DAY OF A 
    NEW HOME STAND. The reason is because if you are raising prices, you 
    will also be increasing revenue. To maximize the total profits that you 
    can take in, doing the test on the first day of a new home stand will 
    make sure that extra revenue is collected for each game of your home 
    stand. So, let’s give this a shot.
    
    When you begin a brand new franchise, the first stage of the test is to 
    test for the ticket price that will yield the highest revenue to begin 
    your franchise with. Now, simulate your first home game and check out 
    how much each section yielded in terms of revenue. (you can find this 
    information by choosing Business Management > Facilities > Stadium 
    Updates > and toggle to the Seating screen with R1.) Now, load the game 
    and try again, except this time, raise each ticket price by $1. 
    Simulate the game and see if there is any significant change in the 
    income generated. Load the game and keep repeating until you find the 
    revenue maximizing price for each section. This will get you off on the 
    right foot by maximizing your early cash flow which is low at this 
    point, but it will rise from here on out. 
    
    After a few weeks, your advertising, winning and promotions should be 
    having some effect on the happiness of your fans, and more of them will 
    start to come to the ball park which will make daily attendance levels 
    rise. At this point, and from now on, we want to see how high we can 
    raise the price of each ticket without affecting attendance. Don’t 
    worry about finding the revenue maximizing price anymore since more 
    fans in the stadium will mean that they will buy more soda, peanuts, 
    jerseys and beer. Anyways, at some point during the season, you will 
    want to STL for ticket price effects on attendance. To do this, take 
    note of season section attendance which can be found on the seating 
    screen mentioned above. Now simulate the next game and check out the 
    change in attendance. Keep this new level in mind, because that is the 
    result of our control test. Now load the game and raise each ticket 
    price by $1. Simulate the next game and check your attendance figures 
    again. If there was no drop in attendance for a specific section beyond 
    normal variance (which might be + or – 50 people), then you know that 
    you can raise that section price by $1 with out consequence. Keep doing 
    this until you find out how high you can raise each section price 
    without dropping attendance too much. If attendance drops significantly 
    more than previous tests by raising price by one more dollar, then the 
    price is too high and you should revert back to the last price that you 
    tested for.
    
    It is VERY IMPORTANT that you test ticket prices before you test 
    concession prices. The reason why is because when doing these STL 
    tests, we want to test the result of changing one variable, and ONLY 
    one variable. Since revenue gained from concession sales is both a 
    function of price and attendance, we want to hold one of those variable 
    constant, i.e. attendance. We can hold attendance relatively constant 
    by testing ticket prices first by testing for only one variable(ticket 
    price). Once attendance is held relatively constant, we can now test 
    for concession prices while having only one variable to test. 
    
    Finally, I should mention that in previous games, I was unable to
    maximize both ticket price and attendance. If I set the ticket price
    for any particular section to it's maximum level, then I found it
    almost impossible to sell out that section. Therefore, I think that
    it is OK to create a price ceiling of $1 or $2 below the maximum
    allowable price. You should not be sacrificing too much, and you can
    be assured that happy fans will gladly sell out the stadium at 100%
    capacity after your first full year. From there, you can easily check
    your attendance figures and be confident in being able to sell out
    any additional seats that you add. 
    
    
    
    CONCESSION PRICES
    If you successfully tested for the revenue maximizing ticket price, 
    then you should be getting the hang of how STL is working for you. Now, 
    we want to adjust concession prices to see what price for each 
    concession will yield the highest revenue for that concession. (you can 
    find the data screen that you need by choosing Business Management > 
    Facilities > Vendors and then using R1 to toggle to the Prices screen.)  
    First, just make sure that you do a control test to see what happens 
    under normal circumstances. Now load the game and increase the price of 
    each concession by $1-2 and see what happens to your season income 
    figure (season income is the figure that you want to look at. Ignore 
    the Avg Profit figure). I must note that when it comes to expensive 
    items like jerseys, gloves, signed bats and others, these goods are 
    heavily inelastic (see Appendix 1) which means that you can raise the 
    price much more than normal goods. For these types of goods, try 
    raising prices by $5-10 at a time. Here is where you get introduced to 
    those funny little arrows that indicate customer’s feelings about that 
    price. A blue arrow pointing down means that customers think the price 
    is a real bargain. A green arrow that points right means that the good 
    is in a reasonable price range for the customer. A red arrow pointing 
    up means that customers think that the good is very expensive. My 
    advice is to ignore these arrows. Who cares if customers think that the 
    price of a jersey is too high when you have chosen the price that earns 
    you the most amount of money. Yes, this will cause fans to get a bit 
    angry, but that’s OK. They will forgive you if you keep winning. Also, 
    the fans will get used to the prices, and their attitudes will change 
    for the better. A good that previously had a red arrow for its price 
    may turn into a green arrow price in a month or two.
    
    Normally, I would let you all figure out the optimal prices for the 
    start of the season for yourselves, but I though that it would be 
    interesting if I gave you my list so that you can make comparisons. 
    I should note that since I am playing with the Seattle Mariners who 
    play their first game of the season at home, these prices may not be 
    optimal for you if your team began its season with a one or two week 
    road trip. Your performance will affect demand for goods, but you can 
    use this list as a starting point and then test to see how much higher 
    you can raise the price. Also, these prices are what I found to be 
    optimal, but they may not be optimal for your club. I would test out 
    the prices that I have listed and then see if tweaking the prices up or 
    down a bit can yield better results.
    
    CONCESSION            PRICE      OVERHEAD/UNIT(in$)
    Soda                   5               0.20
    Hot dog                4               1.00
    Hamburger              5               1.00
    Fries                  5               0.50
    Ice cream              6               1.00
    Peanuts                4               0.50
    Pretzels               5               0.50
    Nachos                 6               1.00
    Cotton candy           5               0.50
    Bratwurst              7               1.00
    Sports Drink           5               0.50
    Beer                   8               0.75
    Caramel Corn           5               0.50
    Jersey                 75             20.00
    Hat                    24             10.00
    Jacket                 105            35.00
    T-Shirt                24              7.00
    Glove                  87             35.00
    Foam Finger            10              1.00
    Pennant                9               1.00
    Bobble Head            19             10.00
    Bat                    40             20.00
    Signed Ball            73             30.00
    Signed Bat             118            75.00
    Ball                   8               2.00
    Cards                  9               1.00
    Poster                 8               1.00
    Program                6               1.00
    Calendar               11              1.00
    Mega Jump              7                  0
    Hot Tub                220                0
    Play Ground            7                  0
    Throw MPH              7                  0
    Face Paint             7                  0
    Batting Cage           6                  0
    
    You should be able to test all of these prices again when you begin 
    your next home stand. I must make a very important note here which is 
    that most of your profits will be gained by doing these price increases 
    for tickets, concessions as well as adding vendors. It is very critical 
    to your financial health that you be diligent in testing to see whether 
    prices are set at the revenue maximizing level.
    
    
    
    OVERHEAD
    So what is this thing that you seen in the pricing screen called overhead?
    Basically, overhead is how much money you have to pay in order to sell
    a single unit of a particular item. This means that when you sell a hot
    dog for $4, you have to pay an overhead charge of $1. This means that, in
    net terms, you will recieve $3 worth of profit. I generally use the term
    "maximizing revenue" as opposed to "maximizing profit" because the overhead
    rate in the previous section is fixed and it does not change with the 
    number of vendors. Therefore, as you maximize revenue, you are 
    automatically maximizing profit, so the two phrases can be used
    interchageably. By using the data from the pricing screen, you can compute
    all sorts of things.
    
    (Price - Overhead Rate) x (# Sold per Game) = Average Profit(less exact)
    (Total Profits) / (Total Sold) = Average Profit (more exact)
    (Season Overhead) / (Overhead per Game) = # of home games played
    (# of Home Games Played) x (# Sold Per Game) = Total Sold
    (Season Income) - (Season Overhead) = Total Profits
    (Overhead Per Game) / (# Sold Per Game) = Overhead Rate
    
    So, when you pay $1 to sell a $4 hot dog, where does that $1 get counted
    on the balance sheet? I gets counted under FACILITIES in the EXPENSE
    portion of the balance sheet. That is ultimately how overhead leads into
    the NET INCOME figure. The $4 gets counted under facilities in the income
    portion, and the $1 gets counted under facilities in the expense portion
    which increases net income by $3. 
    
    Since some items have overhead rates of less than $1, like soda, you might
    wonder how the game accounts for fractions of a dollar when the balance
    sheet presents everything in terms of whole numbers. The game simply rounds
    off cents to(I believe), the nearest dollar. Also, the number that you sell
    of most concessions is pretty high, so that large number will traslate into
    whole-dollar costs.
    
    Finally, you can see why I stress being diligent with testing your 
    concession prices. The higher the price, the larger the gap you create
    between overhead and price. Since overhead stays constant, you will be
    directly increasing net income when you increase prices.
    
    
    ADDING VENDORS 
    Vendors are the ones who ultimately put all of the concessions that you 
    sell into the hands of your fans. As you begin to win more and make 
    your fans happier and happier, they will begin to fill more and more 
    seats. And what to fans do when they come to your stadium? They walk 
    around and buy stuff. However, you do not have enough vendors to sell 
    your concessions, your fans will have to wait in line longer and longer 
    which means that the demand for your goods is higher than the quantity 
    that you are currently supplying. If you want to have nice income 
    growth, then you will need to cater to the demand of your customers by 
    increasing your supply capabilities. The less time your fans will spend 
    waiting in line, the more time they will spend buying stuff.
    
    The first thing that I should mention about adding one of these new 
    vendors is that each vendor has a built-in normal rate of return of 1% 
    per home game. So what do I mean by this? If you go to the vendors 
    screen, you will notice that the first vendor on the screen is the 
    Super Food Stand at a cost of $5,000,000 per additional vendor. A 1% 
    home game rate of return means that for each home game that you play, 
    the addition of this vendor will provide you with an extra $50,000 
    ($5,000,000 x 0.01 = $50,000) worth of income per home game. 
    Ultimately, the addition of a new vendor is the same as buying a 
    perpetuity. A perpetuity is a type of financial asset (mostly sold in 
    Great Britain) where if you lend a certain amount of money, the 
    borrower will pay you a certain amount of interest every year forever. 
    The value of a perpetuity can be calculated as PV = C / r where PV is 
    the present value of the investment, C is the level of annual cash flow 
    and r is the interest rate. So if we treat the addition of a new vendor 
    as the purchase of a perpetuity, then the value of an additional Super 
    Food Stand will be $5,000,000 = $50,000 / 0.01. Now that you know about 
    how new vendors increase your cash flow. 
    
    Before doing this of course, you should have already tested for ticket 
    prices and concession prices. So, you should have a saved game right 
    before the first game of a new home stand and you should be ready to 
    test. Do a control test first, of course, to see what happens under 
    normal circumstances. What you are looking for is that particular 
    vendor’s SEASON INCOME which is listed on the vendors screen. Now that 
    you know how much income that vendor will have generated after that 
    game, load your game and add an additional vendor that you want to 
    test. Simulate the game and see how much income has now been generated. 
    If the generated income is the same as before you added the vendor, 
    then supply is already meeting demand (the market has been almost 
    perfectly cleared), and the addition of an extra vendor means that you 
    are not increasing sales any more. Therefore, don’t buy it and move on 
    to a different vendor. Do the same thing with another vendor and see 
    what happens. Let’s use a Super Food Stand as an example. If you test 
    for a new Super Food Stand, and you notice that the increase in income 
    is $25,000, then DO NOT buy an extra vendor. The reason is because you 
    will be overpaying for that additional cash flow. Since the game’s 
    internal rate of return is 1% per home game, then you need to find a 
    vendor that will provide you with at least that. In this case, that 
    would be like spending $5,000,000 for an investment that is only worth 
    $2,500,000 = $50,000 x 0.005. Therefore, it is not worth it to add an 
    extra vendor at that point. Demand will increase in the future, 
    however, and you should try again the next time you are ready. Suppose, 
    however, that instead of yielding an extra $25,000, adding that extra 
    Super Food Stand yielded an extra $50,000. If that had happened 
    instead, then your return would be equal to the value of the 
    investment. In that case, you should consider making that investment in 
    a new vendor. However, there is one buy rule that trumps all others and 
    should signal an automatic buying response. If that investment in a new 
    Super Food Stand yields an amount greater than $50,000, such as 
    $60,000, then you should absolutely buy it. The reason is, of course, 
    that you would be spending $5,000,000 on an investment that is worth 
    $6,000,000 = $60,000 / 0.01. In this case, an extra Super Food Stand 
    would have a net present value of $1,000,000 (Net Present Value = 
    [Present Value of the Investment] – [Purchase Price]). It is a real 
    bargain in this case and you should buy. Of course, that $60,000 per 
    home game will probably return to the normal level of $50,000 in a 
    month or two, but in the mean time you get to take in the benefits of 
    that extra revenue. 
    
    Investing in new vendors should not stop at adding just one extra. If 
    you can afford it, and if you are willing to do so, then buy two or 
    three. Just make sure that if you want to make that investment, that 
    the increase in income is equal to or greater than the 1% rate of 
    return. For example, if I notice that adding one extra Super Food Stand 
    adds $60,000 to the season income of Super Food, then I will buy it. If 
    adding one more on top of that adds another $50,000 to my total 
    ($60,000 + $50,000 = $110,000), then I will that one as well. However, 
    if the third vendor that I add yields only $40,000, then I will not buy 
    that one because that marginal investment has a lower rate of return 
    than the standard 1% return.
    
    Now, here comes the interesting part which is choosing a basket of 
    vendors based on the returns that you can get. As stated earlier, you
    should be taking note of how much extra revenue each additional vendor
    can potentially give you. Once you have made a crude spread sheet for
    yourself, you can determine extra revenue and the total cost of getting
    that revenue. Allow me to use this example from a test that I recently 
    did. 
    
    -total $ figures
    -all $ figures in thousands
    -A = year to date revenue before test
    -B = year to date revenue after control test
    -1,2,3... = revenue collected after adding additional vendors
    -x = no extra revenue
    VENDOR            A      B       1      2       3      4
    Super Food       8939   9251    9315   9363     x      x     
    Food Flat        4194   4335    4367   4388    4410   4422
    Snack Food       6241   6463    6495   6506     x      x
    Drink Stand      4817   4997    5004    x       x      x
    Jersey          26262  27014   27133    x       x      x
    
    Based on the above return figures, I can break down the nubers into just
    increases in revenue due to an additional vendor.
    
    VENDOR            A       B       1     2       3      4   COST OF VENDOR
    Super Food        -       -      64    48       -      -   5,000
    Food Flat         -       -      32    21       22     12  2,000
    Snack Food        -       -      32    11       -      -   1,500
    Drink Stand       -       -      7     -        -      -   1,000
    Jersey            -       -      119   -        -      -   10,000
    
    As you can see, I can get a positive net present value from 1 super food,
    3 Food Flat, 1 Snack Food, and 1 Jerseys 'n Junk. Of course, it would be
    absurdly expensive to buy all of these at once, so you have to pick and
    choose which ones to get. At this point, I really did not want to spend 
    more than $10,000,000 on additional vendors, so I compared my options and
    came up with three baskets of vendors to choose from.
    
    OPTION 1: Jersey 'n Junk (1)
    $10,000,000 investment for a return of $119,000 per day.
    119,000 / 10,000,000 = 1.19%
    
    OPTION 2: Super Food(1), Food Flat(1), Snack Food(1)
    $8,500,000 investment for a return of $128,000 per day
    128,000 / 8,500,000 = 1.51%
    
    OPTION 3: Food Flat(3), Snack Food(1)
    $7,500,000 investment for a return of $107,000 per day
    107,000 / 7,500,000 = 1.43%
    
    As you can see, OPTION 2 gives me the best return when I take into
    account all of the investments that have a net present value. 
    
    I would like to add just a few more things about adding new vendors now 
    that you know the rules about adding them. First, if you see fans 
    complaining that the lines are too long, then don’t simply take this as 
    an indication that a new vendor has to be added. If your testing 
    reveals that you are not getting a good rate of return on your 
    investment, don’t buy the vendor. Your goal is to maximize profits, and 
    that is what you should be concerned with. Second, as I mentioned 
    before, the rate of return per home game is 1% of the vendors total 
    cost. This means that the yearly rate of return is actually 82%! Since 
    you will be playing a minimum of 82 games at home, you collect that 
    cash flow for each game. So be careful when adding big and expensive 
    vendors like a Jerseys & Junk which costs $10,000,000. If you add this 
    vendor at the very end of the season, then you will not be able to 
    realize much cash flow for the season. The best time to add the most 
    expensive vendors is at the very start of the season so that you can 
    capitalize on as much of that cash flow as possible. In the case of 
    Jerseys & Junk, adding a vendor at that very start of the season should 
    yield about $8,200,000 for the entire season ($10,000,000 = 
    $100,000 / 0.01....$100,000 x 82 = $8,200,000.)
    
    Finally, you may notice that even though your tests reveal that you 
    have added income to the SEASON INCOME figure in the vendors screen, 
    that money may not show up right away on your balance sheet in terms of 
    changes in NET INCOME. I don’t know why this is, but in my experience, 
    that extra revenue will show up really soon, so don’t worry about that.
    
    
    
    
    PARKING PRICES
    This is a tough thing to price. The reason it is so tough is because I 
    have found that testing for a profit maximizing price yields revenue 
    figures that can fluctuate wildly. This makes it very hard to pin down 
    an optimal price, so my suggestion is to use the highest “green price”. 
    This means that you should increase the price of parking to point just 
    before that green arrow turns into a red arrow. I wish that I could be 
    more detailed about this, but there is too much variability to nail 
    down the right price. 
    
    
    
    
    ADDING SEATS
    After about two seasons, you will notice from your ticket price tests 
    that attendance is getting up there and certain sections of your 
    stadium are, or are close to, being sold out every single game. When 
    that happens, it is time to let some more fans into your stadium by 
    adding extra seats. To add new seats, go to the seating screen where 
    you checked your ticket price tests. Press the X button and you will be 
    able add additional seats. You will notice two things right off the 
    bat. First, you can add seats in intervals of 10. Second, you will 
    notice that each section of seating has different costs associated with 
    it. Some are, of course, more expensive than others to add. 
    
    Before you add seats, doing a simple control test is not enough. You 
    should do about three or four control tests to make sure that when you 
    play a game, the cumulative attendance for that section increases by 
    the exact amount of the seating capacity. In other words, make sure 
    that if a particular section has a total capacity of 2,500 seats, then 
    you have to make sure that each and every seat is sold out. Check this 
    a few times to be sure that this is the case. Once you have confirmed 
    that a section is consistently selling out, then you can add some new 
    seats.
    
    What you will be testing for is how many people will actually sit in 
    your new seats. Therefore try adding 50 seats at a time when you test 
    for increases in attendance. If those 50 seats are also sold out, try 
    adding another 50. You should have the idea down by now.
    
    Of course with day to day attendance figures, there will be some 
    variability that makes it hard to predict an exact number of seats that 
    you should add. If for instance, adding 100 seats brings an additional 
    76 fans to that section, then sticking with an addition of 100 seats is 
    a good idea since the rest of the seats will fill out in time. That is 
    why I think that increases of 50 seats at a time is a good, 
    conservative benchmark for this particular test and it allows for some 
    variability.
    
    As a supplement to this section, I would highly recommend that you read 
    the appendix section below on the subject of elasticity. The reason is 
    because there is the possibility that you may be in the highly elastic 
    range when you are adding seats. This basically means that if you drop 
    the price by a small percentage, attendance could increase by a much 
    larger percentage. If this is the case, then it would be worth it to 
    start LOWERING the price of tickets to pack more fans in. Here is an 
    example based on the model from the appendix.
    
    Suppose that you have a section that has a seating capacity of 3,000 
    seats, and that section is selling out every game at a price of $70. 
    You add 500 seats, and those extra seats are filled with an additional 
    150 fans. Now suppose that I dropped the price by $2 and I notice that 
    the lower price attracts an extra 250 fans to the game. The percentage 
    change in quantity ( [3,400 – 3,150] / 3,150 = 7.9% )is divided by the 
    percentage change in price ( [68 – 70] / 70 = -2.9% ), which yields an 
    elasticity of -2.72 = (7.9% / -2.9%). Since the relationship between 
    attendance and price is elastic, lowering the price of tickets will 
    increase both attendance and revenue from that section. 
    
    
    
    LOOSE ENDS
    Before you head into the off season, there will be a few things that 
    you might want to take care of. First, if you have plenty of funds in 
    the bank, you may want to consider paying off the balance of your loan 
    before you finish your season. The reason for this is because you will 
    have to make loan payments over the months of the off season. By the 
    end of your second season, you should have plenty of available funds, 
    and you should pay off that loan. Also, by the end of the season, the 
    condition of your field, training and rehabilitation facilities will 
    have deteriorated a little bit. You can fix this at the end of the 
    season in the Stadium Updated screen, and the cost is rather minor. In 
    fact, I like to do this twice. I like to do this at both the end of the 
    season and at the beginning of the season. You may want to do this at 
    the start of the season because these facilities will deteriorate 
    during the off season. 
    
    
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------
    OFF SEASON MANAGEMENT
    -----------------------------------------------------
    I hope that you all had a very profitable and winning season, and now 
    you should get ready to manage your team in the off season. Some of the 
    aspects of the off season have remained the same, but a few 
    improvements have been made to make the off season a bit more dynamic 
    than the last game. 
    
    
    SHARED REVENUE TAX
    Ah, the good old shared revenue tax. This certainly adds more realism 
    to the business side to the game, but it can freak out a lot of players 
    when they end the off season because they will start their next season 
    and notice that their balance sheet shows a net income of $-60,000,000!
    When I saw that number after playing MLB 2005, I almost had a nervous 
    breakdown! This can freak out players, but I am here to assure you that 
    seeing such a large negative number on your balance sheet is really not 
    a big deal. In fact, Appendix 2 is all about giving you a proof as to 
    why it is no big deal, and I highly encourage you to check it out. 
    First, let’s break down what the shared revenue tax is all about. 
    
    When your season officially comes to an end, you will completely cease 
    all of your business operations. From your balance sheet, you will see 
    that you have earned a large amount of revenue. In order to “level the 
    playing field”, the game (just like in real life) will levy a tax on 
    the revenue that you have earned for your season. In fact, the game 
    will do this to every team in the game. All of the tax revenue from 
    each team goes into a giant pool. From there, the total taxes collected 
    are divided equally among every team in the form of an equal rebate 
    check. This means that the tax minus your rebate is the net tax that 
    you have paid. Some teams that have earned very low revenue (I have a 
    sneaky suspicion that this can be more accurately described as a SHARED 
    PROFITS TAX) will actually come out ahead because their rebate checks 
    will be higher than their tax expense. You on the other hand will 
    probably be paying a very large net tax because you managed your 
    business so well. 
    
    Ultimately, the reason why your balance sheet will look so scary is 
    because of a matter of timing. Suppose that you just finished the 2006 
    season, and you are about to jump over to the year 2007. Once the new 
    year begins, you will be hit with the tax on January 1. So you just 
    incurred an expense, but have you earned any revenue? Only a little 
    because this is when your primary advertiser and television contract 
    will keep their promise and pay you. You also are charged with two more 
    expense during the off season. First, you will have to make loan 
    payments over the off season, and those payments will be taken out of 
    your funds every month. Also, you will have to pay for the full cost of 
    your transportation lease. With all of those combined expenses and just 
    a little bit of revenue, your balance sheet will show a large negative 
    number. There are two main reasons to not worry about this. First, the 
    funds that you begin your next season with would be the same regardless 
    of when the shared revenue tax is paid (see Appendix 2). Second, your 
    profits per game will be high enough (you should be earning between 
    $2,500,000 and $3,000,000 per home game by that point) that you will be 
    able to climb out of the red and into the black by around the All Star 
    break. 
    
    
    
    RESIGNING PLAYERS
    This is not only a great opportunity to lower your daily expenses, but 
    you can also free up some additional payroll room in the RESIGN PLAYERS 
    section. Instead of releasing players into the free agent pool and then 
    attempting to sign the, you can simply renegotiate the contract of any 
    player on your roster that is or is not under contract. Also, you will 
    have already noticed that when your season ended you were granted an 
    increase of x% in your maximum salary budget. This increase is directly 
    linked to the success of the season that you have just finished. 
    Winning the World Series will certainly grant you the biggest increase, 
    but if you fail to make the playoffs, then you can expect a salary 
    budget increase of about 1%. I do not know if winning off season awards 
    like the MVP award or the Cy Young affects your budget increase, but it 
    can’t hurt.
    
    Right now, your first priority should be to free up some salary budget 
    room. To do this, take note of all of your players who you would like 
    to keep for several seasons and are in the middle of their contract. 
    Now, try to resign them to a contract that is heavily reconstructed in 
    your favor. To do this, you should start by setting your offer at one 
    year and the lowest salary possible. Now, adjust the length of your 
    offered contract to whatever number of years the player finds 
    acceptable. You can safely try out several contract lengths because no 
    one in his right (except a pitiful AA player) mind will accept such a 
    contract. Once you have found the optimal contract length, now you can 
    raise the salary offered to find the absolute minimum salary that the 
    player will accept. If you do this with the right players, you will 
    notice that the amount of money that you have available for player 
    salaries is increasing. The reason for this is because when you 
    restructure a players contract, that player will accept a lower salary 
    now in exchange for a higher salary later. Since the immediate effect 
    is to lower the salary that you will be paying that player next year, 
    the amount of money that you are allowed to spend on players will 
    increase. This should illustrate the reason why you should do this 
    first, and it is because you want to have as much money available for 
    resigning your best players who have expired contracts as well as money 
    available for signing free agents. 
    
    Your second priority should be your best players who have expired 
    contracts. These are the guys who you definitely do not want to risk to 
    free agency. Now, you should do exactly what you did when resigning 
    players in the middle of a contract. Set the contract length and salary 
    to a minimum, find the optimal length and then the minimum salary that 
    is acceptable to the player. 
    
    At this point, you should have freed up some salary budget room as well 
    as resigned your best players to long term contracts that have been 
    reworked in your favor. 
    
    Finally, I would like to make an IMPORTANT POINT HERE. Several readers
    have e-mailed me and wondered how to release players in the off season.
    As it turns out, you can't. The reason why they wanted to release
    players is because when they went on to signing free agents, they
    realized that they had no more room left on their rosters, and 
    therefore were not able to sign any free agents. To avoid having this
    happen to you, just let go of those pitiful minor league players that
    are waiting for a contract. You can always end the off season and
    sign more pitiful players to fill out your roster later. Just MAKE
    SURE THAT YOU HAVE ENOUGH ROSTER SPACE before you move onto signing
    free agents. and drafted players.
    
    
    
    
    TRADING PLAYERS
    You will be surprised by just how easy it truly is to trade your minor 
    league and bench players for All Stars. This is true all year round. In 
    fact, I found it very easy to trade a minor league pitcher for 
    Dontrelle Willis, Matt Lawton and Carl Everett for Adam Dunn, and 
    another minor leaguer for Austin Kearns. There are a lot of trade 
    opportunities out there that can be made this easily. This is one of 
    the flaws in this game since the trade system is not very realistic. 
    Then again, why not take advantage of it? Trading for players has a 
    distinct advantage signing free agents in the sense that once you trade 
    for a player, you can immediately restructure that player’s contract in 
    your favor as you just did with players that are already under 
    contract. Therefore, you should look around each team’s roster and try 
    to find players that you like which you can trade for. However, you can 
    only trade for a player that is currently under contract with another 
    team. You cannot trade for a player that has no contract. Also, try
    out several combinations of players that you offer until you find
    a combination of players that the CPU will accept.
    
    
    
    AMATUER DRAFT
    This is really the only part in the game where your previous attempts 
    at scouting will come into play. When the draft begins, all teams will 
    select amateur players in an order based on their performance during 
    the season. The worst teams will, of course, pick first and the best 
    teams will pick last. When it is time for you to pick, you truly can 
    pick any player that you want, but almost all of the players will have 
    their ratings kept a secret from you since you did not scout them. If 
    you want to check a player’s ratings, then you must have scouted that 
    player previously. Those players that you have scouted will be 
    indicated by an icon next to that player’s name. Ultimately, the entire 
    draft goes for 5 rounds, and your position in each round is the same, 
    and it is based on your performance during the season.
    
    When you began your franchise, you may have been given the goal that 
    you need to draft an All Star potential player. This is actually not a 
    very unreasonable goal. You can either leave it to chance and pick the 
    player with the highest overall rating(the bar meter) which is not a 
    very good idea, or you can check that player’s potential rating. To 
    check his potential rating, highlight that player and press the O 
    button and then the X button. From there, use R1 to toggle to the 
    player’s rating screen. On the rating screen, you will see six 
    different ratings along with a letter rating from A to F with A being 
    the best. Both pitchers and hitters have OVERALL, FIELDING, and 
    POTENTIAL ratings in common. In order to fulfill your goal, you want to 
    find the player with the highest POTENTIAL rating. An A will almost 
    certainly guarantee that the player will have All Star potential. 
    Drafting a player that has a rating of B will give you a solid chance 
    that he will be a potential All Star. A player with a rating of C has a 
    slim to none chance of having All Star potential. You don’t necessarily 
    need to have an early draft pick to nab such a player. In fact, you 
    could possibly have the last pick in the first round and still draft an 
    All-Star potential player.
    
    General attribute levels like power, fielding, and the quality of a
    pitchers individual pitches can be seen without scouting that player.
    Therefore, if you do not have to pick an All-Star potential player as
    a franchise goal, then picking on the basis of the player's actual
    attributes is perfectly acceptable.
    
    One reader, Clint P. sent me an e-mail where he mentions that for him,
    the draft ended in the fourth round and he was unable to draft more
    than 3 players total. This has never happened to me personally, but I
    do want to mention it if anyone else has had the same problem. I have
    two possible explanations for this. First, this could simply be a glitch.
    Second, it could be that the number of available players simply ran out.
    You may notice that when you are scouting players, there will be a lot
    of 16 and 17 year old players that can be scouted. These are high school
    players and they cannot be picked unitil they are 18(you may have noticed
    that when you try to create a player, the youngest age that you can set
    is 18). Players who are 19 years old are college players, but thay can be
    from either 2-year colleges or 4-year colleges. This means that these
    players will be available when they are 20 and 22 years old respectively.
    I suppose that if a large number of players are in the middle of high
    school or college, then they will not be draftable until they graduate.
    If that is the case, it may explain why a draft might not last a full
    five rounds.
    
    
    
    SIGNING FREE AGENTS
    This is one area of the game that has been almost totally revamped. 
    Hopefully, you have freed up some of your salary budget and left some
    roster spaces open in preparation for signing a top free agent. After 
    the amateur draft is over and you have signed your five draft picks, 
    you will be ready to sign free agents. When you examine the players 
    who have filed for free agency, you may notice the one thing that truly 
    makes this phase of the game different from previous games. Now, you will 
    be put on a timer. At the lower right corner of the screen, you will 
    notice that there is a blue bar that is indicating how much time you 
    have left for that day. Each day takes between 1 and 2 minutes to 
    complete, and there are a grand total of 60 days in which you can sign 
    free agents. This means that if there is a free agent player that you 
    really want, then you had better act fast or else other teams may step 
    in sign him in the first few days of the free agent signing period.
    
    When you spot a free agent that you want to sign, highlight that 
    player and make him an offer. That player will not accept or reject at 
    this point. Instead, he will consider your offer and will take a few 
    days to mull it over. You can make offers to other players as well at 
    the same time. There are a few indications as to how likely it is that 
    your target free agent will sign with you. The first way you can tell 
    is by checking the player’s interest meter. This can be seen when you 
    select the high lighted player. The second way is to check to see if 
    you are truly making the best offer. You can see this on the main free 
    agent screen by looking at the icon in the best offer column. If your 
    team is offering that player the best offer, then your team logo will 
    appear in that column. If another team is making a better offer, then 
    that team’s logo will appear there. Either way, the terms of that deal 
    will appear in the right hand column. If another team is making the 
    best offer, then looking at the terms of the deal will give you an idea 
    of what you need to do in order to top that deal. Once you have picked 
    your free agent targets, just sit back and see if your best offer is 
    taken within a few days.
    
    
    HOW DID I DO IN SEASON 1?
    It's only fair that I put my net income where my mouth is, and let you
    all see some of the financial figures that I endedup with at the end
    of my very first season. I loaded my back up franchise file and wrote
    down the relevant information on what I did.
    
    Net Income: $94,330,941
    Ending Funds : $121,330,941
    
    Ticket Income: $118,353,634
    Parking Income: $14,928,571
    Vendor Income: $163,215,778
    
    Shared Revenue Tax: $83,551,728
    Shared Revenue Rebate: $25,836,771
    
    Starting Funds for 2007: $61,417,718
    
    Not too shabby. I'm sure there are a lot of you out there who did
    better since many teams have larger stadiums than Safeco Field.
    Anyways, Starting year two with about $40 million more in funds
    than I did in year one will give(and has given)me a lot of room
    to add seats and vendors.
    
    
    
    LAST WORDS
    That pretty much does it for the major aspects of how to run a 
    franchise in MLB ’06: The Show. As I mentioned before, being very 
    profitable in this game mostly has to do with diligently testing your 
    prices to see whether they are at the profit maximizing level and 
    making sure that you add vendors at strategic times. What this will do 
    is keep your revenues rising in a slow and steady manner for several 
    seasons. Most of your expenses like player and staff salaries, training 
    budgets, advertising budgets and such will be held relatively constant 
    over the same time period. This means that by being diligent, you can 
    have some very good profits for several years to come. After several 
    years, things like the bite from the shared revenue tax will be 
    lessened (because other teams will become more profitable as well, 
    granting you a larger rebate), revenue from TV and primary advertisers 
    will increase because you will be able to lock in better deals, and 
    your fan base will be loyal. You should now be very familiar with all 
    of the options that this game has to offer in franchise mode, as well 
    as strategies for being able to fully utilize those options.
    
    I hope that you all have enjoyed this game and that you found my guide 
    to be helpful to you.
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Appendix 1: Elasticity
    -----------------------------------------------------
    This first appendix section is not necessary for you to know if you 
    want to be successful at this game. It will, however give you a 
    deeper understanding as to how I came up with the STL method and why 
    this is the most effective tool for understanding how the price of 
    concessions will affect total revenue. 
    
    First, let’s start out with the basic economic model of a demand 
    curve. From my crude (but brilliant) graph below, you have a visual 
    illustration of how demand works. It’s pretty simple actually. On 
    the vertical axis, P represents the price of a good. On the 
    horizontal axis, Q represents the quantity of goods demanded. It is 
    an economic law, but also common sense that says that the lower the 
    price of a good, the higher the quantity demanded. Therefore, if you 
    were to graph this relationship, you would get a graph similar to 
    the one below.
    
       P
       | *
       |   *
       |     *
       |       *
       |         *
       |           *
       |             *
       |               *
       |                 *
       |_____________________________Q
    
    
    However, maximized price does not mean maximized revenue. Because of 
    the dynamic relationship between price and quantity demanded, total 
    revenue changes in a dynamic fashion as well. This is where the 
    concept of ELASTICITY comes in. The price elasticity of demand can 
    be defined as the change in quantity demanded due to a 1% change in 
    price. In other words, we know that when the price goes up, the 
    quantity demanded will go down, but the question is “by how much?” 
    Technically, elasticity is calculated by taking the percentage 
    change in the quantity demanded and dividing that by the percentage 
    change in the price. In the hypothetical demand schedule below, when 
    the price falls from $11 to $10, that is equal to a price drop of 
    approximately 9%. By dropping the price, the quantity demanded 
    increases from 1 unit to 2 units, a 100% increase. 100% / -9% =     
    -11.1. In other words, if the price increases by 1%, the quantity 
    demanded will fall by 11.1% and visa versa.
    
    
    P     Q     TR     %changeP    %changeQ   E   
    11    1     11          x           x      x
    10    2     20          -9         100    -11.1  
    9     3     27          -10         50    -5
    8     4     32          -11         33	  -3
    7     5     35          -12.5       25    -2
    6     6     36          -14         20    -1.42
    5     7     35          -16.6       16.6  -1
    4     8     32          -20         14    -0.7
    3     9     27          -25         12.5  -0.5
    2     10    20          -33         11    -0.3
    1     11    11          -50         10    -0.2
    (note: some numbers may be a bit off due to rounding)
    
    Now, note where total revenue (TR) is maximized. It is maximized 
    around the point where E = -1. What this means is that if price goes 
    up by 1%, then quantity demanded falls by 1%. Those forces then 
    perfectly offset each other because increasing or decreasing the 
    price any further will force TR to fall.  
    
          TR  
           |______________
       TR* |             *
           |         *   |   *
           |       *     |     *
           |      *      |      *              
           |     *       |       *
           |    *        |        *
           |   *         |         *
           |  *          |          *
           | *           |           *
           | *           |           *       
           |*____________|____________*___Q
                          Q*
                elastic      inelastic
            range |E| > 1    range |E| < 1
    
    The above graph further illustrates this. In the inelastic range, a 
    1% increase in price causes a less than 1% decrease in quantity. 
    Price is increasing faster than the drop in quantity, therefore 
    revenue increases. 
    
    In the context of the game, you will notice that when you are doing 
    the STL method to do price tests for concessions, you are ultimately 
    trying to find the point where the elasticity of each concession is 
    as close to -1 as you can get. You should be able to maximize 
    virtually all of your concession prices within your first franchise 
    season. From there, the only way to increase concession revenue is 
    to increase attendance or vendors, since price increases will no 
    longer be a factor in increasing revenue.
    
    When it comes to tickets, your goal is to maximize attendance, not 
    revenue, so you can alter the equation a little bit. Instead of 
    saying “price elasticity of demand”, we can rename this type of 
    elasticity as the “price elasticity of attendance”. The principal is 
    exactly the same. If the price of tickets goes up, by how much will 
    attendance fall? That is, in part, why I recommended that the STL 
    method should be used in two stages. For the very first home game of 
    your very first season, it is appropriate to choose the revenue 
    maximizing price. After that, you should be increasing the ticket 
    price to the point where there is no significant drop off in 
    attendance.
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Appendix 2: Accounting for the Shared Revenue Tax
    -----------------------------------------------------
    As I mentioned before, you will be shocked by seeing your balance 
    sheet so deep in the red due to having to pay the expense of the 
    shared revenue tax. I also mentioned that this really is not as big 
    a deal as it seems. It is more an issue of WHEN the tax is paid that 
    makes the tax so shocking. In this appendix section, I would like to 
    do a little accounting experiment to illustrate exactly what I am 
    talking about.
    
    The first thing that I did was pick up my old copy of MLB 2006, and 
    I simulated an entire season with the Boston Red Sox. I took out a 
    loan, bought some missing vendors and raised prices a bit. I did 
    three general price increases to roughly simulate what I might have 
    done had I been a little more diligent. Anyways, my simulation ended 
    with the Red Sox being eliminated in game 7 of the ALCS (by the 
    Royals, if you can believe it). Here is was my financial status at 
    the very end of the season:
    
    Beginning funds:    22,600,000
    
    BALANCE SHEET
    INCOME             308,669,156
    Facilities         263,589,156
    Licensing/Ad Sales   9,180,000
    Shared revenue               0
    Loans               36,000,000
    
    EXPENSES           269,799,423
    Staff Salaries       7,426,581
    Training/Rehab      24,056,095
    Facilities         102,962,257
    Marketing            7,836,742
    Banking             37,063,410
    Shared Revenue               0
    Player Salaries     90,454,338
    
    NET INCOME          38,869,733
    Ending Funds        61,469,732
    
    From there, I just simulated the entire off-season and let the CPU 
    handle everything. When I officially started season two of my 
    franchise, my balance sheet looked like this:
    
    Funds:              13,442,273      
    
    INCOME              28,420,288
    Facilities                   0
    Licensing/Ad Sales   2,586,250
    Shared Revenue      25,834,038
    Loans                        0
    
    EXPENSES            75,847,748
    Staff Salaries               0
    Training/Rehab               0
    Facilities          10,000,000
    Marketing                    0
    Banking                      0
    Shared Revenue      65,847,748
    Player Salaries              0
    
    NET INCOME         -47,427,460
    
    This is a rather typical situation. Net income is a large negative 
    number, and in addition to the shared revenue tax, the cost of the 
    transportation lease was paid in full (the CPU upgraded, not me). 
    Also, some income was earned in the form of TV revenue and 
    advertisement revenue, as well as the shared revenue rebate. Also, 
    notice that the CPU paid off the balance of my loan, so I did not 
    have to make any loan payments over the off season. (*As a side 
    note, note that I said a few times before that what net income 
    represents is the amount of money that has been added to your funds 
    to date. Ending the previous season with $61,469,732 in funds 
    combined with $-47,427,460 should have yielded a starting balance of 
    $14,042,272 for the 2006 season, which leaves almost exactly 
    $600,000 in expenses unaccounted for.) Anyways, as you can see, 
    since the game is using cash based accounting, the expense of the 
    shared revenue tax will be recognized on January 1 of the new year. 
    Since you have incurred a very large expense and have gained very 
    little income, then of course your balance sheet (Geez, I hate 
    referring to the above table as a balance sheet) will show a 
    negative net income. 
    
    Now, let’s try that little experiment. Here, we will see what 
    happens if the shared revenue tax is recognized and paid when the 
    World Series is officially over and all teams have ceased their 
    business activity in 2005 as opposed to 2006:
    
    Beginning funds:    22,600,000
    
    BALANCE SHEET
    INCOME             334,503,194
    Facilities         263,589,156
    Licensing/Ad Sales   9,180,000
    Shared revenue      25,843,038
    Loans               36,000,000
    
    EXPENSES           335,647,171
    Staff Salaries       7,426,581
    Training/Rehab      24,056,095
    Facilities         102,962,257
    Marketing            7,836,742
    Banking             37,063,410
    Shared Revenue      65,847,748
    Player Salaries     90,454,338
    
    NET INCOME          -1,143,977
    Ending Funds        21,456,023
    
    As you can see here, I added the expense of the shared revenue tax 
    to the EXPENSES part of the balance sheet, and I added the rebate 
    from the shared revenue tax to the INCOME portion. Everything else 
    has remained constant. What this ultimately did was cause a small, 
    negative net income of $-1,143,977. Since net income tells you how 
    much money was added to your beginning funds, this negative net 
    income lowers funds to $21,456,023.
    
    Now, let’s skip ahead to the start of the 2006 season based on these 
    revised numbers.
    
    Funds:              13,442,273    
    
    INCOME               2,586,250
    Facilities                   0
    Licensing/Ad Sales   2,586,250
    Shared Revenue               0
    Loans                        0
    
    EXPENSES            10,600,000
    Staff Salaries               0
    Training/Rehab               0
    Facilities          10,000,000
    Marketing                    0
    Banking                      0
    Shared Revenue               0
    Player Salaries              0
    *unaccounted expenses  600,000
    
    NET INCOME          -8,013,750
    
    WOW! Isn’t that just amazing! I would have just as much funds in the 
    bank no matter when the shared revenue tax is paid. (*Note that in 
    the normal situation, $600,000 of expenses were unaccounted for, so 
    I just added that expense in order to reconcile the two balance 
    sheets.) As you can see, we ended the 2005 season with $21,456,023 
    worth of funds in the bank. Since net income tells you how much 
    money has been added to your funds to-date, last season’s balance 
    less the negative net income is:
    13,442,273 = 21,456,023 – 8,013,750
    
    In this game, would you rather climb out of a $47,000,000 hole or an 
    $8,000,000 hole? Based on this example, I don’t see why anyone 
    should care.
    
    That, ladies and gentlemen, is why you should not worry about seeing 
    a large negative net income on your balance sheet when you begin 
    your next franchise season. 
    
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Wish List for Future MLB games
    -----------------------------------------------------
    If anyone from 989 Studios or SCEA happens to check out my FAQ, I 
    would like to congratulate you all on a fine game, and I would like 
    to add some suggestions for how to expand franchise mode a bit to 
    make it more dynamic and complex.
    
    1.) It would be cool if you could buy negotiating rights to free 
    agents from other countries, much in the same way that the Seattle 
    Mariners paid several million dollars to buy negotiating rights with 
    Ichiro Suzuki. 
    
    2.) I would like it if you could also sign radio deals much in the 
    same way that you sign TV deals. 
    
    3.) You should be able to sell team gear (or at least the licensing 
    rights) to vendors across the country which would make the game more 
    realistic in being able to generate income. The better you team, the 
    more people around the country will want to buy your team gear.
    
    4.) Change up the types of vendors, stadium advertisers a bit to 
    make new games feel a bit fresher.
    
    5.) Owners also have to deal with other things when it comes to 
    maintaining a stadium such as adding bathrooms, security, clean up 
    crews, etc. This would make you have to consider the comfort of fans 
    more when making decisions.
    
    6.) Make the shared revenue tax recognized and paid for in the year 
    that the revenue is earned as opposed to the start of the next year. 
    
    7.) If your team has more than a certain number of players from a 
    specific country like Japan, South Korea or the Dominican Republic, 
    then you should be able to sell television rights to that country so 
    that fans in those countries can see their countrymen play in the 
    majors. 
    
    8.) It would be cool if some real life musical artists were able to 
    sing The Star Spangled Banner for the game. It would be unique for a 
    sports game to do this, and the player would have a chance to watch 
    and listen to the national anthem sung by a real talent like Alicia 
    Keyes. The better your team plays, the bigger the star you can hire. 
    
    9.) Having former players come back to their old team to throw out 
    the ceremonial first pitch would be a nice touch for each stadium.
    For Mariners fans, how cool would it be to see Edgar Martinez in a 
    baseball game once again?
    
    10.) You should be able to make deals with different companies to 
    supply your concessions. For example, you could have several soda 
    companies (real or fictional) make bids to be the sole supplier of 
    soda to your stadium. You could also have different breweries and 
    food markets doing the same, giving you the chance to choose between 
    local and national distributors. Each company could have different 
    contract lengths, overhead rates, prices, etc, and that can be 
    treated like minor stadium advertisers. Hey! Maybe they could be the 
    ones advertising in your stadium. 
    
    11.) You should be able to put your funds in short or long term 
    investments to gain some extra money. It would be cool if you could 
    invest $10,000,000 of extra funds into a short term bond that you 
    could earn interest on instead of waiting for the right time to add 
    a vendor. 
    
    12.) Each stadium should have some really unique types of 
    concessions that are synonymous with that city. For example, you 
    should be able to sell Philly cheese steaks in Citizens Bank Park in 
    Philadelphia and sell grilled salmon burgers at Safeco Field in 
    Seattle. Each stadium should also have a few more common concessions 
    such as pizza, bottled water, coffee mugs, key chains, etc.
    
    13.) Some good music.
    
    14.) It would be nice to build your own stadium from scratch. Give
    the player $800 million to construct every thing, add vendors,
    add seats, billboard space, etc. Hey, the PS3 ought to be powerful
    enough to handle that.
    
    -----------------------------------------------------
    READER QUESTIONS
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Whenever I receive an e-mail about MLB 200x games, some questions 
    get asked more than others. Here, I want to save both of us some 
    time and preemptively answer some of the most commonly asked 
    questions. Also, if I get a good question from one of you here that 
    I have not addressed in this FAQ, I’ll post is here.
    
    
    Q: Why isn’t (insert player name here) in the game?
    A: That player is probably in the game. Because of union and 
    licensing issues, baseball games are not allowed to use the names of 
    some players. Instead of deleting the players outright, MLB 2006: 
    The Show gives fake names to players in order to get around the ban. 
    For example, Barry Bonds falls under this rule. His name, photograph 
    and stats are not allowed to be used in a video game. However, Bonds 
    is in the game, but he just has a different name(Reggie Stocker). 
    His attributes should still be there however, which means that if a 
    player for the San Francisco Giants has massive hitting skills, but 
    you don’t recognize the name, then that is Barry Bonds. Some players
    have been totally removed because of (probably) licensing issues and
    were not put into the game. Also, for those of you  wondering where 
    Roger Clemens is, he was removed because he was not on any MLB roster
    at the time the game was released, and his retirement was highly
    probable.
    
    
    Q: My game keeps freezing up on me and I can’t continue my 
    franchise. How do I fix this?
    A: Honestly, I don’t know what to do about freezing. This was a big 
    problem in MLB 2005 and MLB 2006, and I have never heard of a good 
    solution to this problem. Sorry.
    
    
    Q: Could you please write a FAQ for MLB 2005? I’ve tried your profit 
    building methods and they worked for me in MLB 2006, but they don‘t 
    work now.
    A: Actually, they do work. Most of my guide is based on what I 
    learned from MLB 2005. Like I said in the intro, a lot of sections 
    to this FAQ are simply copy/pasted to this guide from my MLB 2006 
    FAQ. The reason for this is because, for most aspects of the game, 
    there is no difference between MLB 2006:TS and the 2006, 2005 
    versions. I assure you that I would not have done this if I was not 
    sure that the same rules applied. They do apply because what I 
    described is a METHOD. The method(STL) is based on the concept of 
    trial and error. If you apply this to previous games, then it will 
    work.
    
    Q: I have been able to earn a lot of money in The Show, but I am 
    also a big fan of the Madden football games. Could you write a FAQ 
    about maximizing profits for Madden football games?
    A: Madden football games do have a great franchise mode which is 
    similar to that of the MLB games. However, the financial data from 
    the Madden games is not detailed enough for me to make any 
    significant conclusions about profit maximizing. Therefore, just try 
    and use the STL method as best you can for those games.(As a side 
    note, I wish that EA Sports would add some kind of financial aspect 
    to the NCAA football games that it produces.)
    
    Q: Are you going to write a FAQ about career mode?
    A: As of early May, I decided to start taking notes and putting
    together the skeleton of a Career FAQ. This could take a long
    time since there is a lot of little details that I am trying to
    figure out, and I am not sure if I will get it done in a reasonable
    amount of time this year. I certainly want to write one for next
    year.
    
    Q: (from Keith G.)My question is, if I put the management on CPU 
    control and just focus on the on the field stuff, will the CPU run 
    my franchise into the ground or can it be trusted to make good 
    decision regarding facilities, management, advertising, etc.?
    A: The CPU is OK at running a franchise, but not great. When it comes
    to adding vendors, raising prices and such, the CPU will act very
    conservatively, which means that you will probably end up with a sold
    profit by the end of the season, but not nearly as much as you could
    earn by doing everything manually.
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------
    CONTACT INFORMATION
    -----------------------------------------------------
    If you have a new strategy for profit building, or if you find 
    glitches, errors, suggestions, or anything else, just e-mail me at:
    
    kim@rodieck.com
    
    Let me just add a few notes here. 
    
    1.) First, the MLB series is notorious for freezing. Sometimes the 
    game will simply freeze up at certain points which will not allow 
    you to continue your franchise. Every indication says that the 
    company fixed this problem, and I pray that it is true. If not, then 
    there is really nothing that I can do since I never figured out how 
    to deal with this problem before.
    
    
    2.) I really do enjoy getting e-mail from people who read my FAQ. I 
    do check my mail regularly, so if you do not receive a reply, it’s 
    probably because there was an error in sending my reply, or your 
    mail was never received, or it was accidentally identified as junk 
    mail, or my server is down, or some weird reason. I do reply to all 
    e-mails as long as you are not rude. If you are, then I just send 
    your e-mail to circular file. So, if you don’t get a reply in two or 
    three days, just try again.
    
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------
    MUSIC LIST
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Originally, I did not want to do this, but the sound track to this
    game is so horrible, in my opinion, that I cannot burden the thought
    of so many players doing the STL method while being subjected to the 
    music from this game. If I am spending time doing the STL method,
    then I put on some good music and I do not subject myslef to the
    cacophony of, so called, music that comes from this game. Therefore,
    I just hit the mute button and I put any one of these albums on:
    
    John Mayall: The Turning Point
    Dick Dale: The Best of Dick Dale and His Del-Tones
    Paul Simon: Graceland
    Ottmar Liebert: Nouveau Flamenco
    Ginger Baker: Unseen Rain 
    The Ventures: Walk-Don't Run-The Best of the Ventures
    Mason Williams: The Phonograph Record
    The Lively Ones: Hang Five!!!
    Any comedy album by Bill Cosby :D
    
    For all you kids and parents out there, none of these albums have any
    dirty lyrics or cuss words, or anything like that. It's just great 
    music that anyone can get into.
    
    I'm sure some of you will be tempted to write to me saying, "That
    album sucks" or "You should listen to such-and-such". These are just
    the albums that I like, so I put them out there. Please don't write
    to me with you music suggestions because I am not very adventurous
    when it comes to music. If you liked these albums, then that is great!
    
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------
    CREDITS AND THANKS
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Thanks to SCEA and 989 studios for yet another great game as well as 
    fixing so many of the bugs that plagued previous games.
    
    Thanks to gamefaqs.com for originally hosting this FAQ as well as 
    all other sites who post this FAQ such as 1up.com , cheatplanet.com
    and gamesradar.com
    
    Thanks to Lee Sharp for sending me info about pitching mechanics.
    
    Thanks to ashawn1234 for telling me about being able to switch teams
    during franchise mode.
    
    Thanks to Billy Zobel for his observations about promotions.
    
    Thanks to Bryan Taylor for correcting me on the fact that the Phillies
    do not play in The Vet anymore but rather in Citizens Bank Park.
    
    Thanks to Clint Peinhardt for alerting me to a possible problem
    in the amatuer draft.
    
    
    -----------------------------------------------------
    LEGAL STUFF
    -----------------------------------------------------
    This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for 
    personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or 
    otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. 
    Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public 
    display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright. 
    Copyright 2006 MR. Kim Dalton Rodieck.