Fun With Jerry Mumphrey

This sounds like a lot of fun:

Beginning November 5th, the Sporting News Web site is going to use its Strat-O-Matic Baseball Online game engine to replay the entire 1986 Major League season. The site will then report on the game results and players' statistics throughout this coming off-season. has selected 26 "members of the baseball community"--writers, bloggers, former Cub and ex-big leaguer Doug Glanville and current big leaguer Curt Schilling among them--to each manage a team through the simulated season. The Cubs are to be managed by Dan Shanoff, who writes for and blogs here.

In case you're too old to remember or too young to know about the real 1986 Cubs, the team finished 70-90, 37 games behind the NL East-winning Mets, who would go on to defeat the Red Sox in the World Series that will haunt Bill Buckner forever.

The Cubs lost their season opener to the Cards in '86 and never got back to .500 at any point in the season. Manager Jim Frey was fired 55 games into the season, the late John Vukovich filled in for a couple games, and then Gene Michael steered the ship the rest of the way.

In many ways, the 1986 Cubs team represented the last vapors of the thrill ride of 1984. The '86 season was the final one in a Cub uniform for Ron Cey and Dennis Eckersley; the next to last Cub season for Keith Moreland, Bobby Dernier, Gary Matthews, and Leon Durham. Reserve outfielder Jerry Mumphrey, by the way, wasn't half-bad in 1986. Or '87.

In any case, I'm looking forward to following 1986 all over again. You'll find the Cubs team page here. The Cubs will "play" their season opener against the Cardinals--Jamie Moyer matching up with Danny Cox--on Tuesday, November 6th.

One detail I noticed while browsing the site:

The '86 Red Sox, under the stewardship of Schilling, will begin their simulated season on Monday, November 5th, which might be just a few days removed from the end of this year's World Series. I don't imagine Schilling would have had a chance to put much thought into his lineup.

Maybe The Sporting News should enlist a co-manager to help Schilling out, at least in the early going.

I hear Joe Torre isn't doing anything.


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