On Monday, The Sporting News Web site
began a day-by-day replay of the 1986 MLB season using the Strat-O-Matic baseball simulation software. The site will be tracking the season with a daily scoreboard, box scores, game recaps, and player stats. Each of the 26 teams in existence back in '86 is being managed by a different baseball insider, writer, super-fan, etc. The faux Cubs’ manager is espn.com writer Dan Shanoff
Shanoff’s managerial debut was Tuesday, when the Cubs opened against the Cardinals. After the Cubs scored twice in the top of the eighth to erase a 4-2 deficit, the Cards scored in the last of the ninth on a single by John Morris to win 5-4
. Cub starter Scott Sanderson took an ND; the loser was reliever Dave Gumpert
. Shawon Dunston led the Cub offense with three hits.
The box score even lists attendance, in this case, just 19,154. (For a Cubs/Cardinals opener? They must have played in a simulated blizzard.)
Oh, yeah—I’m already calling for Shanoff’s head. Letting Gumpert go 2 2/3 innings when he had a rested Lee Smith in his virtual bullpen?! I can’t imagine what in the name of Jim Frey he was thinking.