World Series Baseball 2K2
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World Series Baseball 2K2 by PooponyourDog firstname.lastname@example.org 10-9-01 Version 4.0 Warnings: As with all of the other FAQS on this site, you can't copy this FAQ, plagiarize it, or post it on a site without my permission. This FAQ is copyrighted by me, so don't rip it off. World Series Baseball 2K2 is the sequel to the amazingly terrible WSB2K1. Last years version was a port of the Japanese arcade game, but marketed as a straight baseball simulation, like High Heat Baseball. World Series Baseball 2K2 is a sim, with loads of bugs that might turn away some people. For the people who aren't, I have wrote this FAQ just for you. In this FAQ, I will list the top players in each position and their strengths, pitching strategies, and game bugs that can give you a serious advantage. FAQ Updates: ------------------ Version 2.0 August 23rd: Added American League Team strengths and weaknesses, strike out guide, and stadium hints. Version 3.0 August 29th : Added National League Team strengths and weaknesses, N.L 10 toughest hitters, master trades list. Version 4.0 October 9th: Added FAQ. Top players --------------- Starting Pitchers: Pedro Martinez: The WSB2K2 cover boy is probably the best player in the game. He has 4 excellent pitches, a dominating fastball, the best changeup in baseball, a killer curve and a devious slider. all four of these pitches can make a hitter look goofy. His fastball and changeup ratings are maxed out, and the slider and curve ratings are just about full also. Martinez plays for the Boston Red Sox, just in case you didn't know that. Martinez is very capable of pitching well into games, so don't worry about him fatiguing too much. Pedro has pinpoint control, even when his stamina is lacking. Basically, Martinez is the cream of the crop. Fastball-100 Changeup-100 Slider-99 Curve-99 Randy "Big Unit" Johnson: The Big Unit is a left handers nightmare. His 6"11 frame makes his awesome slider unhittable by lefties. It starts at the head, and can break down to the ankles. Randy Johnson also has a maxed out fastball that can dominate any hitter. Johnson other two pitches, a curveball and a sinker, can also be used to punch out hitters. Fastball-100 Slider-99 Curve-95 Sinker-98 Greg Maddux: A control master. You won't walk very many batters with Maddux. It would be SURPRISING if Maddux had 20 BB's after a season, he's that good. He doesn't have overpowering stuff, but he knows how to pitch. That doesn't help you in this game unless YOU know how to pitch though. Maddux doesn't have one great pitch, but a repertoire of four great pitches. Fastball-80 Changeup-90 Slider-90 Curveball-90 Kevin Brown: A workhorse starter. Kevin Brown is capable of pitching a complete game every time he steps out on the mound. He is a good strike out pitcher, with above average control. Beware though, don't try to pitch back to back CG's with Brown, because fatigue could light him up, as with every other pitcher. Brown has a nice sinker that is great low and in against right handed hitters. Fastball-95 Slider-90 Sinker-95 Splitter-80 Curt Schilling: Another live arm guy. Schilling can go the distance most of the time, and with the stuff he's got, not to many people can replace him on the mound. Curt has an awesome splitter, that should be his main strikeout pitch. Fastball-85 Slider-85 Sinker-75 Splitter-95 Closers: Mariano Rivera: Probably the biggest reason why the Yankees have won three straight fall classics. When Rivera takes the mound in the ninth, you can kiss your victory hopes good-bye. Rivera will dominate you with 3 pitches, a great fastball, the best slider in baseball, and a pretty good sinker. Only use Rivera for one inning, because he tires easily. Fastball-99 Slider-100 Sinker-85 Rob Nen: You're typical fireballer closer. Nen is the best closer in the N.L when on top of his game. He has a very average slider, so I would suggest using it sparingly. Instead, use blazing fastballs and a great changeup to baffle hitters. Fastball-100 Slider-65 Changeup-99 Kazuhiro Sasaki: The Japanese closer who has lead the dominate Mariners bullpen this year. He has two wonderful pitches, a fastball and a devastating forkball. His curveball should be used only after throwing a couple fastballs in a row. Fastball-95 Curve-75 Forkball-99 Armando Benitez: Wow, this guy can throw. His fastball has often been clocked in triple digits. But he isn't a one-trick pony. He also has a pretty good slider and a splitter. Fastball-100 Slider-90 Splitter-85 1st basemen: Todd Helton: He is one of the few guys who had a good chance to hit .400 in a season. He came up short last year, but he is good enough to make another try on that record in the game. He has great power, good speed, and is a gold glove caliber fielder. Jason Giambi: Last years A.L MVP puts fear into the hearts of most pitchers. He has 50 homer power, and is an RBI machine. His speed leaves something to be desired, so don't go trying to break the steals record with him. He is so good, he can carry a team through a playoff race. Carlos Delgado: Can you say "Triple Crown." Delgado was on great pace to do it last year, but couldn't be the first guy since Carl Yastremski to do it. Delgado has huge power, a huge batting cursor, and is a pretty decent fielder. 2nd basemen: Jeff Kent: Hitting behind Barry Bonds does have its advantages. Kent is one of the best in the league with runners in scoring position. He is above average in the power department, and is an above average fielder with good range. He isn't as fast as most second basemen, but can still motor around the bases. Robbie Alomar: Alomar is a future first ballot hall of famer. He is the best defensive second baseman in the history of the game, and is the best contact hitter of any second baseman in baseball. He is a great bunter, with excellent speed. His power number will probably max out at 25 homers, and possibly 120 RBI's. Edgardo Alfonzo: Very solid. Alfonzo is a good fielder, and a great clutch hitter. He won't blaze the basepaths, but he won't look like a complete fool trying to steal either. He can hit for power, and his batting cursor is big enough for Mr. Mcgoo to see. 3rd basemen: Chipper Jones: The best switch hitter in baseball. Larry "Chipper" Jones can hit in any of the first five spots in your lineup, and crank out 45 homers and 130 RBI's. Oh, and he is a gold glove calibur fielder too. Troy Glaus: You know a player is good when the only person who has more dingers than him is Sammy Sosa. Glaus won the A.L home run title, and has a great chance to do it again in his career. Glaus won't hit over .310 or so, but his 50 homer and 140 RBI power more than makes up for that. Jeff Cirillo: Cirillo gets helped out a lot by playing in the thin air at Coors Field in Denver. He won't put up Glaus-like numbers, but he will play a very good defensive 3rd base. Cirillo isn't a pushover at the plate, and is very capable of hitting over .300 with some good productivity. Catchers: Mike Piazza: Piazza is the best offensive catcher ever, but his D leaves a lot to be desired. His throws are often bouncers to the bag, and he isn't very skilled at picking balls out of the dirt. But who cares about defense when you can hit 40 homers and drive in 140 RBI's? Ivan Rodriguez: This guy can play D with the best of em'. Baserunners will rarely try to pick off a base against I-Rod, and when they do, they get toasted faster than a marshmallow. I-Rod is an excellent hitter also, with great power and a keen eye at the plate. Another first ballot hall of famer. Jason Kendall: When his career is over, Kendall will be playing a different position. The Pirates want to save his legs, so they have been using him more and more in the outfield. Kendall has great speed for a catcher, and is a good leadoff hitter. Kendall, as a catcher, is very good behind the plate. He can throw guys out, and block balls at the plate. Kendall won't smash the ball out of the park, but he will come up with a lot of hits. Shortstops: Alex Rodriguez: The 252 million dollar man is worth every penny. His bat is capable of winning him a triple crown, and his defense will be a featured on highlight films for years to come. A-Rod's batting cursor is as big as the state of Texas, where his Rangers get pummeled on a nightly basis. A-Rod would probably be the first person most people would choose in a fantasy draft, he's that darn good. Nomar Garciaparra: Nomar is the best shortstop in the A.L East, and that's saying something with Derek Jeter playing for the hated Yankees. Garciaparra will hit in the high .360's to possibly .400. Yeah, .400. Nomar's rating in this game makes him a HUGE offensive force. Derek Jeter: The poster boy for the Yankees dynasty of the 90's, Jeter will give you awesome defense, a strong bat, and a guy in the clubhouse who ladies swoon over. Jeter isn't the best slugger at the position, but he has been known to come up with some clutch dingers. Left Fielders: Barry Bonds: If you don't know about Barry Bonds recent home run escapade, then you aren't a baseball fan. Bonds is the biggest slugger in the game, and is a pretty good defensive player. He is one of few 40- 40 guys in baseball, and is a bat that will be pitched around more than pitches against. Gary Sheffield: His bat and his wallet are both very big. "Shef" can knock the ball around in any park, has decent speed, and can cover some ground out in left. Gary Sheffield's batting cursor is one of the biggest in the game. Luis Gonzalez: "Gonzo" can hit the ball a LONG way. He has 60 home run power, and can lead the league in RBI's any year he wants. He has been seen scaling walls to rob home run balls, and his arm is stronger than most fielders. Center Fielders: Ken Griffey Jr.: The most popular baseball player in the 90's is still putting up big numbers in the new millennium. His defense is top notch, and he is very quick on the basepaths. He can hit the long ball with the best of em'. Bernie Williams: Bernie is always getting on base. His bat will give you some good numbers, and his defense will save you plenty of runs. Bernie Williams is a run scoring machine, so you can count on being an offensive force with him on your team. Andruw Jones: When Andruw isn't hanging out at the Gold Club, he is patrolling center field for the Braves. His defense is awesome, with a cannon for an arm. Andruw is always getting on base for Chipper Jones, and can slam the ball for about 30-40 homers. Right Fielders: Vladimir Guerrero: The only thing keeping Vlad Guerrero from being a mega-star is playing in Montreal in front of 8,000 people. He has the best arm in baseball, and he is one of only 3 players to hit 30 home runs, drive in 100 plus RBI's and hit over .300 in his first 3 seasons. The only other players to do so are all in Cooperstown. Enough said. Manny Ramirez: Possibly the most intimidating hitter in baseball. Manny is not a good defensive player, and should be a DH every day. What he lacks in defense, he makes up for in mammoth offense. He can hit tape measure home runs, and is an RBI threat any time he is up with runners on base. Sammy Sosa: Slammin Sammy plays in homer friendly Wrigley Field, where he loves nothing more than to thrill the crowd with his amazing power. People don't park their cars on Waveland Avenue, because Sosa regularly hits homers out of Wrigley and onto the famed street. The only knock with Sosa is that he is so aggressive, he K's alot. But if you are a good player, that won't happen. Sammy is a phenom, and should win the N.L MVP this year if the Cubbies make it to the playoffs. Based on the rankings in this game, this would be the ideal team for you to have: SP: Pedro(of course) CL: Mariano Rivera 1B: Todd Helton 2B: Jeff Kent SS: A-Rod 3B: Chipper Jones LF: Barry Bonds CF: Ken Griffey Jr. RF: Vladimir Guerrero Pitching strategies ------------------------- Pitching in WSB2K2 can be very tough, especially on the All Star difficulty. Even the worst teams can smack around the best pitchers. That is why I have made this easy to use guide on how to get by without getting your ass handed to you. Remember, these strategies won't completely shut down a team, but they WILL give you an advantage over the computer, and the online player who keeps knocking you around. Placing your infielders: First thing, I highly suggest that you move your infielders to "Infield Back" for every batter. The balls come off the bat very fast in this game, and having your infielders back will help you field the ball a lot easier. Even with a runner on base and less than 2 outs, you don't need to move your infielders to double play depth. The infielders will cover the bases quickly, so you don't even need to worry about not having your infielders in place. When you're Hot, you're Hot! World Series Baseball 2K2 features hot and cold zones, which represent where certain hitters can and can't hit the ball. You want to stay away from the hot zones, especially against big hitters like McGwire and Bonds. But that doesn't mean that you should always pitch in the cold zones. If you do that, the computer will know where your pitches are going to be. Every third pitch to a hitter should be your pitchers best pitch, around a zone where you haven't thrown to yet. I have struck out many a batter with a pitch in a hot zone, because they weren't expecting it. The cold zones are very useful when you are trying to strike out a guy. If a batter has multiple cold zones in the same area, go right after them. For example, Daryle Ward of the Astros has the top 3 zones as cold zones. So, I usually throw my best pitches right up at those cold zones, then mix him up on a 2 count pitch with something in his hot zone. In World Series Baseball 2K2, pitching is more strategy than force and power. Using the right pitches at the right time For most hitters, you should try to throw a first pitch strike. If you have thrown a fastball to a hitter to lead him off three times in a row, then you should definitely mix it up. Don't throw a first pitch fastball to every hitter, or else someone will eventually slam one. I suggest mixing up the first pitch you throw. But it should always be in a cold zone. The fastball is very smart to use after throwing a lot of junk pitches (curves, knuckle balls, splitters). Fastballs are great when you want to challenge a hitter high and tight, or get him to chase him with a heater down and away. After the batter has seen plenty of fastballs, throwing a changeup can really confuse the batter. It looks the same as a fastball, but doesn't have as much speed on it. Throwing a first pitch changeup isn't very wise, unless you are Pedro. Curveballs can make any hitter look like a foolish minor leaguer. The hook is a great strike out pitch, especially if you got him to 2 strikes with plenty of smoke. When you line up your pitching cursor for a curveball, remember that the ball won't hit that mark, because of the break of the ball. So if you want to throw a curve up high, aim the cursor out of the pitching box. Use the curve to get hitters to chase the ball out of the zone. This pitch is a killer for online players, who tend to swing at everything. Sliders can be a smart pitch, if you know how to use them. Only throw sliders if you have decent stamina, and if they are around the corners. Most hitters have cold zones in the top and bottom corners. Aim the pitching cursor a little outside the box, and the slider will break into the strike zone. A pitcher with a good slider will be able to rack up strike outs against bat hitters. Then junk pitches (Screw, Knuckle, Splitter, Sinker) can be used to kill online players. The combination of a pitch with big movement and the bits of lag can help you rack up strike outs. The computer players hit all of the "secondary" pitches pretty well, unless you use them sparingly. Use a lot of fastballs and changeups, then mess with the batters by throwing a knuckle ball or something. Creating the next Cy Young The create a player mode in WSB2K2 isn't very good. You can't determine whether your pitcher is a reliever, a starter, or a "lights out" closer. But if that doesn't turn you off to this mode, then you just might like the create a player mode. The game gives a lot of points to distribute between your pitches, and you can also adjust how good your pitcher hits. I put my pitchers hitting points down to zero, and use the surplus to bolster my pitching arsenal. You can have four 99 point pitches, which is what I prefer. I would have a maxed out fastball and changeup, and probably a curveball. Then you can decide which of the remaining pitches you want to be great. The knuckle ball is pretty useless against the computer hitters, the location of the screwball is a mystery whenever you throw it, and the sinker is only good if you are a good ground ball fielder. I would use the points to have a great splitter. This pitch, when thrown by a lefty, can be mayhem against left handed batters. Creating a lefty is a good idea, because that would force a lot of teams to take out some powerful right handed bats. The big knock on WSB2K2 is that it seems that the created pitchers pitch one game, then there stamina never builds back up. I haven't had this problem, but a lot of people have. If this happens to you, then just find a real player you like, and just try to dominate with them. Game Bugs --------------- This game is full of bugs that a lot of hardcore baseball fans just hate. None of them are big enough to ruin a season for you, like crashed saves and huge gameplay bugs, but they are annoying none the less. There is a weird bug that allows you to steal around the bases and score. You just need to attempt to steal second while the pitcher still has the ball. The pitcher will throw it to second, but it will get past the 2nd baseman, and into center field. Nobody goes to get the ball though! All of the fielders just freeze, and you could crab walk around the bases if you wanted to. If you are a stickler for realism, you could just stay at first, but this bug shouldn't have gotten by the play testers. Another bug allows you to score any time you get a runner on base. All you need to do is get into a rundown, and get the fielder to chase you back to the bag you occupied. Then, when you go into the slide animation, advance to the next base. The fielder holds the ball, until you get to the next base. Repeat the steps to score. If you do this after you get a base hit, and don't stop at first, you get credit for a home run. If you are already on base and do this, you get stolen base credit. This problem is more of an A.I glitch than a bug. Another bug lets you increase the size of your batting cursor. Just hold the R trigger button, then as soon as the pitcher releases the ball, you will see your batting cursor, now REALLY BIG. The cursor appears late, but it is a great help for mediocre players. Have you ever wanted to change the result of computer played games? Well, now you can eliminate computer pitched shutouts! Go to your schedule screen, then press "X" to get to the list of games and start times. Simulate games played by the computer by pressing A, and if a team throws a shutout, press A again and the score will change! It will keep changing until BOTH teams score at least one run. Team Strengths and Weaknesses: American League Teams ------------------------------ Seattle Mariners Strengths: Bullpen, Starting pitchers, Hitting, Speed Weaknesses: Power Top 3: Ichiro Suzuki(RF) Bret Boone(2B) Aaron Sele(SP) The Mariners are probably the best team in this game. There are only 4 easy outs in the lineup(Guillen, Wilson, Martin, Bell), but the leadoff hitter Ichiro is almost always getting hits off me. It is very important to keep runners off the bases against the M's, because Boone, Olerud and Cameron are good enough to drive them in. Seattle has 3 good starters, with Sele, Garcia and Moyer. You really should get to these guys early, because you don't want to be trailing when the Mariners send in the bullpen. Sasaki, Rhodes, Nelson and Paniagua are all capable of shutting you down. Anaheim Angels Strengths: Power, Fielding Weaknesses: Starters, Bullpen Top 3: Troy Glaus(3B) Darin Erstad(CF) Garret Anderson(RF) Pitching to the Angels lineup can be very difficult. Glaus can go deep on ANY pitch, Garret Anderson is very fast and can shoot the gaps, and Darin Erstad is an excellent leadoff man. There starters are not very highly rated, and their bullpen is sluggable. Oakland Atheltics Strengths: Starters, Power Weaknesses: Bullpen Top 3: Tim Hudson(SP) Jason Giambi(1B) Mark Mulder(SP) If Roger Clemens wasn't playing in the A.L this year, Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder would be competing for the Cy Young. They are that good. The number 3 guy, Barry Zito, isn't a pushover either. The A's lineup has a couple guys that are very dangerous, A.L MVP Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada and Eric Chavez. If you want to beat the Athletics, keep Johhny Damon off the bases, and hope that you don't have to face Mulder or Hudson. The A's closer, Jason Isringhausen throws a lot of heat, which makes him easy to hit. Texas Ranger Strengths: Power Weaknesses: Starters, Bullpen, Speed Top 3:A-Rod(SS) I-Rod(C) Rafael Palmeiro(1B) The Texas Rangers have been the biggest bust of the 2001 baseball season. They have a power packed lineup, but there pitching staff is one of the worst in baseball. There top 2 guys, Rick Helling and Kenny Rogers, are B- pitchers, and their bullpen is full of slappys. Alex Rodriguez and Ivan Rodriguez love to deposit baseballs into spectators gloves, so you MUST be careful against this lineup. Cleveland Indians Strenghts: Power, Starters, Defense Weaknesses: Bullpen Top 3: Juan Gonzalez(RF) Bartolo Colon(SP) Robbie Alomar(2B) Cleveland lost Manny Ramirez this year to the Red Sox, but they replaced him with Juan Gone and Ellis Burks. Both of these guys can kill a pitching staff, and the first baseman Jim Thome is also as dangerous as an irritated housewife. The Tribe lineup doesn't feature and easy out, so you can't just pitch around certain hitters. The Indians starters have inflated ratings, which makes Dave Burba look like Wild Thing Vaughn. Bartolo Colon is an ace, but as soon as he leaves, look to beat John Rocker and the other bullpen cowards. Detroit Tigers Strengths: Speed Weaknesses: Power, Pitching Top 3: Bobby Higginson(LF) Roger Cedeno(CF) Todd Jones(SU) In the Motor City, Tigers fans haven't seen a winner since the early ninties, when guys like Cecil Fielder and Alan Trammel beat up on A.L West opponents. The Tigers don't have an intimidating lineup, but you should pitch with caution against Higginson, Clark, Cedeno, Palmer and Fick. These guys won't pund you into submission, but they can get the job done. Detroit's starters are weak, but knuckle baller Steve Sparks can mess you up with his junk pitches. The Tigers bullpen has two very good stoppers, Todd Jones, and fireballer Matt Anderson. Minnesota Twins Strenghts: Starters, Speed, Defense Weaknesses: Power, Bullpen Top 3: Joe Mays(SP) Eric Milton(SP) Brad Radke(SP) Minnesota has 3 excellent starters, but the bullpen will give up a lot of runs. Latroy Hawkins is the worst closer in baseball, aside from Esteban Yan in Tampa. The Twins lineup only has 3 dangerous hitters, Doug Mientkiewicz, Corey Koskie and David Ortiz. Don't worry about the other Twins hitters homering, but be careful when guys like Cristian Guzman and Luis Rivas slaps balls into the gap. Kansas City Royals Strenghts: Hitting Weaknesses: Starters, Bullpen Top 3: Mike Sweeney(1B) Carlos Beltran(CF) Jermaine Dye(RF) I was really stretching to find a strength for this team. If you have made all of the trade deadline moves, then you don't have to worry about Dye or Rey Sanchez. If you didn't, than you have to be careful when pitching to the meat of their lineup. Sweeney, Dye and Beltran are the only home run threats on this team. Everyone else is a walkover. Kansas City has a wealth of awful pitchers, including Jeff Suppan, Chad Durbin and Roberto Hernandez. Chicago White Sox Strengths: Power, Starters Weaknesses: Defense, Speed Top 3: David Wells(SP) Frank Thomas(DH) Magglio Ordonez(RF) The Chi Sox have a tough lineup, with power hitters like Thomas, Ordonez, Lee, Conseco and Konerko. They also have 3 good starters, and a decent bullpen. The Sox had the best record in the A.L last year, and their player ratings show it. This team is dangerous, even with the worst defensive player in baseball, Jose Valentin. Toronto Blue Jays Strenghts: Power, Bullpen Weaknesses: Contact hitting Top 3: Carlos Delgado(1B) Mike Sirotka(SP) Shannon Stewart(LF) Toronto had 5, 30 homer guys last year, in Delgado, Mondesi, Cruz, Fulmer and Baltimore Oriole Tony Bautista. There lineup is packed with punch, but Alex Gonzalez, Darrin Fletcher and there rotating 3rd baseman are all easy outs. The Jays have a couple solid relievers, and a great closer, Billy Koch. There are 4 guys on the Blue Jays that strike out alot, so that's a good sign. Boston Red Sox Strenghts: Starters, Power Weaknesses: Bullpen Top 3: Pedro Martinez(SP) Nomar Garciaparra(SS) Manny Ramirez(LF/DH) Boston is the home of baseballs second most dominate pitcher, Pedro. He only needs to go by one name, because everyone knows who he is. He can make the best hitters look like minor leaguers, and has 4 top notch pitches. Also in the starting rotartion is Hideo Nomo, one of the most underrated players in baseball. Some players will get waxed by the Sox awesome lineup, that includes Nomar Garciaparra, an EXCELLENT contact hitter, and Manny Ramirez, who could hit a homer with a marshmallow bat. New York Yankees Strenghts: Starters, Bullpen Weaknesses: None Top 3: Roger Clemens(SP) Mariano Rivera(CL) Mike Mussina(SP) The Yankees are going to win another World Series this year, believe me. There rotation has 4 number 1 starters, with Clemens, Mussina, Pettite and Hernandez. Their bullpen is home to Mariano Rivera, the most dominant closer in baseball. And their isn't an easy out in the lineup, which includes pretty boys Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams. In order to beat the Yanks, you must take an early lead, and make sure to keep runners off the bases. Baltimore Orioles Strenghts: Speed Weaknesses: Starters, Power Top 3: Tony Bautista(3B) Jason Johnson(SP) David Segui(1B) Starting pitching and power hitting are two things that the O's don't have. Pat Rapp, Jose Mercedes and Pat Hentgen are terrible, and the lineup only has 2 dangerous hitters, Bautista and Segui. The lineup does have a lot of speed, which could make it hard to keep doubles from being triples. The Orioles are pretty much a pushover, unless you are the...... Tampa Bay Devil Rays Strenghts: Power Weaknesses: Everything else Top 3: Fred McGriff(1B) Greg Vaughn(LF) Ben Grieve(RF) The D'Rays are the worst team in baseball, so beating them isn't a tough task. They do have 2 guys that can hit the long ball, Fred McGriff and Greg Vaughn. Even though these guys are way past there prime, they can still hit the ball around. Everyone else in their lineup is weak. I can't even begin to describe how bad the pitching staff is, with goons like Wilson Alvarez and now Arizona Diamondback Albie Lopez. Yikes. National League teams: New York Mets Strengths: Power, Bullpen Weaknesses: Starters Top 3: Mike Piazza(C) Armando Benitez(CL) Al Leiter(SP) Last year, the Mets went all the way to the World Series, where they were easily defeated by the powerhouse Yankees. So after the season, Mets management said "How can we make this team worse?" Well, getting rid of Bobby Jones, Mike Hampton, and Melvin Mora is a start. Then replace Jones and Hampton with Kevin Appier and Steve Trachsel, 2 below average starters. That's a sure fire recipe for failure. And the recipe was a success. The Mets are this years biggest bust, because they have a mediocre offense, and only 2 real stoppers in the starting rotation. Al Leiter is a tough lefty, and the only good pitcher in the staff. Rick Reed(A.K.A Greg Thomas), Appier, Trachsel and Glendon Rusch are all easy if you are playing with a competent team. There bullpen is full of talent though, but not talented at all if you make the trade deadline moves and give Wendell and Cook to the Phillies. The Mets lineup has 2 very tough outs, Mike "Mullet" Piazza, and Robin "Beat up old man Ryan" Ventura. Todd Zeile and Edgardo Alfonso are pushovers in my opinion, and there isn't anyone else on this team who can do much damage. Atlanta Braves Strengths: Starters, Power, Bullpen Weaknesses: None Top 3: Greg Maddux(SP) Tom Glavine(SP) Chipper Jones(3B) The Hillbillies of baseball, the Atlanta Braves have been a playoff lock for the last decade. There extremely talented starters, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Kevin Millwood, can shut down teams for entire series. The Braves also have a couple lethal offensive weapons, mainly Chipper Jones. He is the best switch hitter in baseball, so you can't just bring in a specific pitcher to go up against him. Andruw Jones, the Gold Club Kid, is also a potent offensive force. The Braves are strong in all aspects of this game, and to beat them, you will just have to bring your "A" game. Philadelphia Phillies Strengths: Hitting Weaknesses: Starters, Bullpen Top 3: Scott Rolen(3B) Bobby Abreu(RF) Jimmy Rollins(SS) Last year, the Philadelphia Phillies had the worst record in baseball. Omar Daal lost something like 19 games last year, and that was typical of most of there starters. This year, the Phillies have done a complete 180. Daal is a top tier starter, Robert Person and Randy Wolf are up and comers, and the Phillies young talent at the plate is starting to shine. Scott Rolen just might be the best defensive third baseman in baseball, and his bat is very dangerous as well. Bobby Abreu is full of talent, and is capable of hitting 40 homers one day. And Pat Burrel, although he strikes out a ton, has a lot of untapped power. The Phillies also have Mike Lierberthal, one of the most underrated players in baseball. You can beat the Phillies just by pounding on there weak starters. Florida Marlins Strengths: Hitting, Starters Weaknesses: Bullpen Top 3: Cliff Floyd(RF) Ryan Dempster(SP) Charles Johnson(C) Florida bought a World Series in 1997, then dismantled there team a year later. The Marlins have struggled ever since, but they have finally matured into a contender this year. They have 3 excellent young starters, with Ryan Dempster, Brad Penny, and A.J Burnett, who threw one of the sloppiest no hitters in history against San Diego. They also have the best defensive catcher in the N.L, in Charles Johnson. And Cliff Floyd is one of baseball best young hitters. There bullpen isn't as strong as the rest of there team though, with mediocre closer Antonio Alfonseca blowing games for them. Beating the Marlins is done by keeping speedy Luis Castillo off the bases, getting good starting pitching, and containing Floyd, Johnson, and Preston Wilson. Montreal Expos Strenghts: Power Weaknesse: Starters, Bullpen Top 3: Vlad Guerrero(RF) Jose Vidro(2B) Ugueth Urbina(CL) Montreal plays in front of about 8,000 french canadiens a night, which is condusive to how they play. Guerrero and Vidro are the only tough outs in the lineup, and their entire pitching staff is a laughing stock. Pittsburgh Pirates Strengths: Power Weaknesses: Starters, Bullpen Top 3: Brian Giles(LF) Jason Kendall(C) Aramis Ramirez(3B) If the Pirates can keep Giles, Ramirez and Kendall around, they might be a pennant contender in the years to come. But they stink this year. There lineup has a bunch of solid hitters, but there overall pitching, just like the Spo's, is below average. Cincinnati Reds Strenghts: Power, Starters Weaknesses: Speed Top 3: Ken Griffey Jr.(CF) Danny Graves(CL) Pete Harnisch(SP) The Reds have a good team. There outfield is above average, Reese, Larkin and Casey are all solid batters, and their pitching is good. They have a bunch of overrated players though, in Harnisch, Williamson and Dessens, all starters. There bullpen has a couple great relief pitchers, with Wholers, Sullivan, and Danny Graves. Chicago Cubs Strengths: Power, Starters Weaknesses: Bullpen Top 3: Sammy Sosa(RF) Kerry Wood(SP) John Lieber(SP) If you actually update the Cubs roster, you will have the best team in the National League. Wood and Lieber are aces, Sosa is a beast, and additions like McGriff and Tucker make them even more powerful. The bullpen is good in real life, but in this game, Gordon, Duncan and Farnsworth are easy pitchers to hit. Houston Astros Strenghts: POWER, Pitching Weaknesses: Speed Top 3: Jeff Bagwell(1B) Wade Miller(SP) Billy Wagner(CL) Houston plays in the most homer friendly park in baseball, Enron Field. Maybe that is why the Astros could have four 40 home run guys this year. There lineup is bursting with power. Bagwell, Alou, Hidalgo, Ward, Castilla and Berkman are all heavy hitters, and there pitching rotation is excellent as well. With the Astros, you get a team that WILL be in the World Series this year. St.Louis Cardinals Strengths: Power, Starters Weaknesses: Closer Top 3: Matt Morris(SP) Darryle Kile(SP) J.D Drew(RF) St.Louis is another power packed team, with 5 home run happy starters. McGwire and Pujols are very dangerous, as are Drew, Edmonds and surprisingly Ray Lankford. The Cards also have 2 top pitchers, Kile and Morris. Most of the time though, you can beat the Cardinals by keeping close, then hammering Dave Veres when he comes in. Milwaukee Brewers Strengths: Power Weaknesses: Pitching Top 3: Richie Sexson(1B) Geoff Jenkins(LF) Jeromy Burnitz(RF) In Milwaukee, fans have been treated to 2 nice things: a new ballpark, and a team that can hit the long ball. Unfortunately, the Brewers can GIVE UP the long ball too. Jeff D'Amico is the only pitcher on this team that is any good, with maybe Chad Fox being in that company too. Beating Milwaukke takes good pitching and power hitting. Colorado Rockies Strengths: Power Weaknesses: Bullpen Top 3: Todd Helton(1B) Larry Walker(RF) Jeff Cirillo(3B) The Rockies still haven't found the formula for winning in Coors Field. They did win 82 games last year, so things were going in the right direction. But this year, they have taken a big nose dive. They still have a lot of talent, with power hitters Todd Helton and Larry Walker, and talented southpaw Mike Hampton. But they got rid of Pedro Astacio, and there bullpen isn't very good at all. Surprisingly, the Rockies lineup is fairly tame, as I myself pitched a 9 hit shutout against them with Jose Lima, on All Star. LA Dodger Strengths: Power, Starters Weaknesses: Bullpen Top 3: Kevin Brown(SP) Gary Sheffield(LF) Shawn Green(RF) Los Angeles has the highest payroll in baseball, and this year there players are playing good enough to earn that money. Shawn Green is awesome, and so is Gary Sheffield. They also have a quartet of good starters: Brown, Park, Ashby and Dreifort. San Francisco Giants Strengths: Starters Weaknesses: Speed Top 3: Barry Bonds(LF) Rich Aurillia(SS) Rob Nen(CL) I don't think I have to even mention what kind of season Barry Bonds is having. Bonds, Kent, and Aurillia are great hitters, and they have an excellent starting staff to help the hitters out. The Giants, like the Cubs, are an excellent team if you update the roster. Arizona Diamondbacks Strenghts: Starters, Bullpen Weaknesses: None Top 3: Randy Johnson(SP) Curt Schilling(SP) Luis Gonzalez(LF) The Big Unit and Curt Schilling are the best 2 pitchers in the National League, and they happen to play on the same team. Both Johnson and Schilling can shut you down, but Schilling IS home run prone. The D'Backs also have a great bullpen, and a couple great hitters(Gonzo, Finley). San Diego Padres Strengths: Power Weaknesses: Pitching Top 3: Ryan Klesko(1B) Phil Nevin(3B) Trevor Hoffman(CL) San Diego is a team that has enough hitting to make game close, but then the pitches end up blowing the game. Nevin and Klesko are power bats, but nobody else on the team is very capable of hitting one deep. There starters are diseased, and except for Hoffman, the pen is weak. Strike Out guide ------------------- If you are like me, you love the challenge of playing WSB2K2 on All Star difficulty. The hitters and pitchers are a lot tougher, and the base running and fielding is smarter as well. Computer hitters have a great eye at the plate, and most hitters are capable of hitting the long ball, even some PITCHERS! Striking out batters actually takes some skill, and forces you to think about what pitches you have thrown to certain hitters, and the pitch locations. You also have to use the hot and cold zones effectively and keep the ball on the corners of the plate. Here is a guide on how I would pitch hitters, depending on their hot and cold zones: The "C" stands for Cold, the "H" stands for Hot, and the "N" means Neutral, where the is no color in the area. Example 1: C N C H H H C H C A lot of the big power hitters have this kind of Hot Box. Start the hitter off with a definite strike, something like a fastball or slider on the inside part of the plate. If you are a right hander, throwing a sinker to the top right of the upper right hand corner of the box would drop the pitch on the corner for a strike. A slider that starts out of the zone, then brakes back in is a good bet for a first or second pitch. NEVER throw a fastball into a hot zone, it will almost always lead to trouble. A curve ball with 2 strikes on the lower outside corner will strike out most batters, only if you haven't thrown that pitch in that spot before. Example 2: C C C C H H H H H Most left handed power hitters will feature this box. Work them high and in with the fastball and changeup, or a slider on the upper left hand side of the box. Don't bother going down in the zone, because that would result in a hard hit ball. If you haven't thrown a curveball in the at bat, throw one that starts high out of the zone, then breaksback in, with 2 strikes. Example 3: C N N N H N N N C Some of the weaker position players will have this box, where it can be difficult to continuosly get the hitter out. A fastball up and in for strike one, then a changeup or curve down and away for strike two is a good bet. Try to stay away from the outside part of the plate, in the neutral zones. A forkball from a righty, that breaks to the left can be wise if you throw it up and in, and you have been working the bottom left part of the plate. Example 4: H C C H H C H C C Right handed power hitters have this type of box. Keep the ball low and away, and use 2 strike curveballs or sinkers will give you K's more times than not. Stay away from the inside part of the plate, unless you have a great slider that can buckle their knees down and in. Example 5: N N N N H N N C N Weak power hitters and bad contact hitters are easy to pitch to with this box. Mix up your pitches, and keep them down, away from the middle of the plate. Once you have 2 strikes, you can go to your pitchers best pitch, and go anywhere but in the hot zone with it. Anyone who has this box should be struck out on 3 pitches. Example 6: C H C H H H C H H Only the best hitters in baseball have this type of box. These guys must be pitched on the corners, or else you could surrender runs in a hurry. Start the hitter off with a breaking ball that starts out of the zone, and breaks back in. A fastball, then a changeup in the same spot is also a great choice. On a 2 strike count, try a curveball or a forkball to the lower outside corner. Pitching against these types of very difficult, so I suggest mixing up your piches, and sticking to your pitchers best pitch. Example 7: N N N N N N N N N Most pitchers have this box, which is a bad thing, since they should really have all cold boxes. Keep pitches on the corners, and breaking balls will be effective. These are just 7 of the hundreds of Hot Boxes in the game. Any hitter can be struck out, you just need to keep an eye on these 5 important things: 1. Pitch location-The most important aspect of pitching. You should NEVER throw in a Hot zone, unless you have high stamina, or are throwing a breaking pitch. Some very good hitters will hit a homer if you always throw the same pitch in the same cold zone. So mix up the cold zones. 2. Pitcher stamina-Tired pitchers will miss their spots, leaving a slider outside, or throwing a fastball that should have been inside over the heart of the plate. The pitch speeds will also be reduced, and breaking balls will be very worthless. Even when pitching in Cold zones, the worst hitters can smack singles if your pitcher is tired. 3. Pitch types-Be careful with the breaking balls that are in your pitching arsenal. Remember which directions your pitches break, because if you forget, you might aim a curveball in a cold zone, but it breaks into a hot zone. 4. Pitchers best pitches-You don't want to throw an excessive amount of curveballs, if that is your pitchers worst pitch. Look at your pitchers pitch graph, and see what there best pitch is. Try to throw that pitch as much as possible, and mix it up with a fastball to keep hitters off balance. 5. Pitching deliveries- Some pitchers who have sidearm releases will throw breaking balls that move differently than other pitchers breaking balls. Keep in mind how your pitcher delivers the ball. A normal pitching delivery will make a curveball break from 12 to 6, or from bottom to top. A sidearm pitcher's curve ball will break from 2 to 7, like a slurve ball. Stadium hints Every MLB stadium is different. Some stadiums will have more foul ground, bigger walls, or larger power alleys. Here is a list of some of the hitter and pitcher parks. Hitter parks: Fenway Park-Right field in Fenway is very short, so left handed hitters will have lot of fun in Fenway. However, right handed pull hitters will have a fit trying to hit it over the green monster. The home run balls aren't very high, which means home runs in most parks will be singles or doubles in Fenway. center and right field is easy to conquer, but the Green Monster can be tough. Metrodome-An extremely easy park to hit homers. In real life, the right field wall keep out home runs, but not in this game. The gaps are not that big, and center field is shorter than in most parks. Enron Field-HomeRon field is the easiest gopher ball park in baseball. The right and left field power alleys are terribly short, but center field is very deep. Wrigley Field-Home to Slammin Sammy, Wrigely Field is a hitters park on any day. Left and right field are short, and so is center. Edison Internation Field-Hitting home runs into the rocks at Edison is routine for the hometeam Angels. Right field is shorter than usual as well. Pitchers parks: Safeco Field-A bigger than usual field, where most balls hit to center will either be doubles, or tracked down by Mike Cameron. Pac Bell Park-Right and left field are bigger than normal, and the gaps are huge. Comerica Park-Jose Lima's dream. Comerica's power alleys can give speedy hitters inside the park home runs, it's that big. Right center field is a long ways away, which is a turn off to left handed hitters. Jacobs field-The picnic area in left can take away line drive homers, and center field isn't as short as most parks. Olympic Stadium-Anything in the gaps in this park will be an easy triple. The right and left field power alleys are also pretty short. There aren't very many parks in this game that will steal away home runs, or give you an excessive amount of homers. That is why I didn't feel like going in depth with this part of the FAQ. Most players probably have a favorite park they like to play in, so they probably won't pay attention to this part of the FAQ anyway. Toughest Hitters Here are just some of the Nation League's toughest hitters. Not all of these guys are the best hitters in real life, but in this game, they are tough. I would consider myself an excellent pitcher in this game, but for some reason, I can't get these guys out on a consistent basis. Steve Finley Center Fielder Arizona Diamondbacks Bat:L Hot Box: C H C H H H C H H I have always had a tough time pitching to Steve Finley. He only has 3 cold zones, so it is very difficult to mix up your pitch locations. Try not to throw consecutive fastballs, or any pitch in the same location twice. Finley is VERY fast, and always hits the ball pretty sharply, so keep a look out for that. Geoff Jenkins Milwaukee Brewers Bat:L Hot Box: C N C N H H C H H Jenkins has always hit my pitching extremely well, and very hard. He has a lot of power, and he has gone yard on me a couple times. If you have enough skill, you can bean Genkins, and face Jeromy Burnitz, a guy who is pretty easy in my opinion. If you are brave, and want to pitch to him, use a mix of fastballs and breaking pitches low and away, to get Jenkins to possibly line out to the left side of the infield. Pitch him on the corners of the plate, and use changeups and sliders. Brian Giles Pittsburgh Pirates Bat:L Hot Box: C H C N H H C H H Giles is a tough power hitter, and I usually just bean him, and then pitch to Aramis Ramirez. Giles and Jenkins are basically the same, so pitch them on the corners and with your best pitches. John Vander Wal Pittsburgh Pirates Bat:L Hot Box: C H C N H N C N H Vander Wal is almost as difficult to get it than Giles. He is capable of hitting home runs, so be careful against him. Don't throw the same pitch in the same area twice, and try to mix up the pitch locations. Paul LoDuca Los Angeles Dodgers Bat:R Hot Box: C H N N H N N C N LoDuca only has two cold zones, which makes him a tough out. LoDuca has more neutral zones than most hitters, and that also makes him a hard to pitch two. Like with most hitters, get a 0-2 count by mixing up fastballs and changeups, in the different cold zones, then go with the curveball low and away. Robin Ventura New York Mets Bat:S Hot Box: C H C H H N C H H Ventura is a switch hitter(I think), so you can't just bring in a left handed pitcher to face him. Throw fastballs high and in, and then some changeups or sinkers, then put him down with a breaking pitch or hard fastball low and away. Jim Edmonds St.Louis Cardinals Bat:L Hot Box: N H C N H C C H H Jim Edmonds is known more for his glove than his bat, which is odd since he hit over 40 home runs last year. Edmonds can't hit anything up and in, so work that area, then go with an unexpected pitch low and away. Jose Vidro Montreal Expos Bat:S Hot Box: C H C N H H C N H Vidro had a breakout year last year, that earned him a trip to the All Star game. So it is only fitting that his rating in this game be very high. He is terribly good at the plate, and is a switch hitter to boot. Vidro has the same hot box as most good hitters, so use the same strategy as you use for Jenkins and Finley. Sean Casey Cincinnati Reds Bat:L Hot Box: C H C N H H C N H Sean Casey is a big guy who concentrates on contact more than power. That is a rarity in this age, when 170 pound shortstops are trying to hit homers? Why is Casey such a good contact hitter? Well, it's because he extends his arms, and can go get a pitch over the plate. Pitch Casey like you would Vander Wal and Jenkins. Mark McGwire St.Louis Cardinals Bat:R Hot Box: C H C N H H C H C Big Mac has hit more home runs off me than any other player. His swinging bat motion before the pitch really pisses me off too. I usually just go right after McGwire with hard cheese inside, then cross him up with "Uncle Charlie" low and away. World Series Baseball 2K2 was released on August 14th, 14 days AFTER the MLB trade deadline. Visual Concepts delayed the game until August because of network and gameplay bugs, not to update the rosters. This is evident by the fact that all of the trades executed on the last 3 weeks of July are NOT represented in this game. This could be good for some game players, and bad for some. I like it, because I don't want a team to have a player that they traded for in July on the team for the entire year. World Series Baseball 2K2's CPU GM A.I is very tough, rejecting ANY trade that doesn't seem fair. And since WSB2K2's players are not rated by number, rather than by a bar, it is very hard to distinguish player comparisons. Trying to update the rosters in franchise mode is impossible, because you only have control of one team. On Season mode though, you can control every team, therefore completing all of the trades. You won't be able to COMPLETELY update the rosters, because a lot of the minor leaguers are not in the game, and some players have "No Trade" clauses. Well, let's get on with the trades: Jermaine Dye to Rockies/Neifi Perez to Royals Jermaine Dye to Oakland/Jose Ortiz,Mario Encarnacion, and Todd Belitz to Rockies. Matt Lawton to Mets/Greg Thomas to Twins Mike Trombley to Dodgers/ Kris Foster, Adrian Burnside to Orioles Terry Mullholland to Dodgers/ Mike Fetters to Pirates Todd Jones to Twins/ Mark Redman to Tigers Brad Voyles, Alejandro Machado to Royals/ Rey Sanchez to Braves Tomo Ohka, Rich Rundles to Expos/ Ugueth Urbina to Red Sox Pedro Astacio to Astros/ Scott Elarton to Rockies Mike Williams to Astros/ Tony McKnight to Pirates Milton Bradley to Indians/ Zach Day to Expos. Nick Bierbrodt, Jason Conti to Devil Rays/Albie Lopez, Mike DiFelice to D'Backs Andres Galaragga to Giants for ? Jason Schmidt, John Vander Wal to Giants/Ryan Vogelsong, Armando Rios to Pirates Sterling Hitchcock to Yankees/Minor Leaguer to Padres Those are just some of the trade deadline moves. I am sure that I left a couple out. And don't forget to put Fred McGriff and Michael Tucker onto the Cubs. Here are some other waiver moves: Pirates get Gary Matthews Jr. off waivers from the Cubs Padres trade Woody Williams to the Cardinals for Ray Lankford These are just some of the moves that were made in late July, early August. FAQ I have received a ton of e-mail asking me the same question, "I have created a player, but I can't figure out how to put him on a team." Well, here is how you do it. Make sure you don't have a VMU in the VMU slot, or a current franchise or season going. Now, create your player. Then, start a new season or franchise. The created players are now in the free agent pool. This one question is the only reason I released version 4.0 with such a small addition. Version 5 will include A.L Tough hitters. IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT WSB2K2, OR HAVE SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE, E-MAIL ME AT DOGATTACKSFACE@AOL.COM