Thursday, February 26, 2015

#PackADailyCircus: Updates; Automating; Recruiting new managers!

Hello, everyone! Thanks for stopping by. Let's take a look at the Pack-A-Daily Circus happenings as of February 26, 2015! This is lengthy, so watch me for the changes and try to keep up. ;-)

UPDATES:
I sent an email to the 2014 Managers, so if you were one last year, check your email!

I have heard back from just about every manager. Nearly everyone is coming back for this season's pack-breaking fun! That is awesome! I am very excited to see what this season holds!

Each manager from the 2014 season was allowed to keep nine (9) carryovers from last season. As the Commissioner of this endeavor, I thought it was a fun way to bring folks back in and add a little "team cohesiveness" to the breaks.

Some managers have come up with new names for their teams, so we may see familiar names, but they will have new faces! Most of us are keeping the team name we used last season. Will keeping tradition or shaking things up be one of the key factors in making it to the championships this season? We will find out as the season unfolds.

This season, we will not have write-in players. Each draft will have a set choice list (more on that in the next section). This will help cut down on duplication and typos.

AUTOMATION:
A *VERY* special thanks goes to JoshD for taking some time to work out an automated draft Excel Workbook! I've played with it a bit, and it should do quite nicely in terms of running the drafts this season! As with previous drafts, all drafts will be Serpentine style (also called "snake drafts"). His custom programming handles the snaking perfectly in my tests!

I asked Josh to share anything he wanted about the process, etc. Here is his summary:
1) Paste in the Draft Selections
1B) If requested, randomize the draft order.
2) Figure out for each pick #, whose turn it is.  This depends on how many entrants, and whether it is an odd round (going down in the snake) or an even round (going up).  This currently only works for snake drafts.
3) Figure out which is the first choice for that person that is still available.  Put this person into the "Picked" list.
4) Do this for all the Picks (using a Loop in Excel VBA).
5) Summarize the results into the format shown using VLOOKUPs in Excel.
I cannot tell you how excited I am to put this program into use! In previous seasons, I have had to run the drafts by hand, using a laborious, monotonous process of selecting the player, finding all of that same player in each manager's picks, removing the duplicate picks, shifting the draft, then moving to the next pick, lather, rinse, repeat. This adaptation does all that for me with the push of a single button!

Just to be sure, I will verify the drafts to make sure they ran accurately. As I said, though, my initial tests are proving this to be a smooth system.

In order to help the process, as I mentioned above, this season I am shifting to using a set draft pick list. I will be using Google Forms to collect draft picks. In the past, we've had issues of missing picks, but I have a script that will run each time you submit draft picks so that you get an emailed copy of your picks, I get an emailed copy of your picks and your picks will be in the results sheet. Before I run each draft, I will make sure that everything matches up. If something is amiss, I should have a record of it beforehand! I can use the results to feed into Josh's workbook, and cut my draft times from hours to less than a minute (or thereabouts)!

Before the breaks actually start, each team will be able to fill their 25-man roster. After I have all the managers in place (see below), I will start running OPEN DRAFTS. These will occur about once a week for the next few weeks. I will have about 50-75 players in each list. Managers will be able to pick up to thirty (30) each draft. Remember, just because you pick 30 doesn't mean you will get anywhere near 30 after everyone chimes in!  All drafted players will be assigned to their respective manager. If any team does not have 25 players by the time Opening Day rolls around, I will assign random players to those teams to fill things out.

For the record, I will be using OOTP as the simulation environment to run the games.

RECRUITING NEW MANAGERS:
Attention *ALL* readers: If you did not play in the 2014 game/breaks, this is your chance to get in on the action!

I will be contacting new managers within 48 hours after sign-up to verify email addresses and answer any questions you may have as a new manager. Most of those questions can be answered by visiting the 2015 PackADaily Info page at the top of this site.

The top two questions are:

  1. How much does this cost? Nothing. It is free to play along! Several folks donate money or packs during the season, but that is not required.
  2. How does this work? In a nutshell: I open packs of cards every day during the regular baseball season. If I draw a player you have on your roster, you get that player's cards. ALL of that player's cards drawn during the season. As the season goes on, any "undrafted" players drawn are put into a draft. If you win that player, you get ALL that player's cards for the whole season. In addition to the cards, I also host a fantasy baseball league in which you participate automatically, using your drafted players. Win the fantasy Tribecards Championship and you get bonus items in addition to the cards!


New Recruits Sign up here: http://goo.gl/forms/Nb1JQJKWbl

CUT-OFF for signing up is 9pm, Thursday March 5, 2015.

If you have questions before signing up, please respond to this post or drop me an email.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Eating the Elephant

Hey, everyone! I know it has been WAAAYYY too long since I last posted here. I am slowly eating the elephant, as they say. That is, I have been getting cards sorted little by little from the last TWO giveaway seasons.

Though my original goal was to have those done before talking about the upcoming pack-a-day season, I can see that this is one big freakin elephant. So, I will continue to chip away at all the cards that still need sorted and mailed, but I am also ready to look ahead!

I have two main things that need to be accomplished before the start of the new baseball season:

  1. We need a name for this year's giveaway! We've had "Tribecards from Outer Space" and we've had "Pack-A-Daily Circus." Feel free to chime in on a new name, or if you like one of the previously used ones, we may stick to using one of those from here on out. 
  2. Recruiting and setting up! I will be holding a "closed" invitation period for previous players to get in on this year's action. After that deadline, I will open up the rosters to anyone else that wants to join. As a bonus to those that have played last year, returning managers will be allowed to choose nine (9) players from their last year's roster to be guaranteed additions to this year's roster! So, if a previous manager had Babe Ruth on their roster, s/he could choose Babe Ruth as one of their nine carry-overs. All unclaimed players (and players left undrafted last season, plus any new players this season) will be open for anyone to try and draft.
I will be doing the OOTP game again this year. I had a LOT of fun running a fantasy baseball simulation along side the pack-a-day breaks. That added a whole other dimension to collecting these bit of cardboard we all love so much.

I was hoping to have developed an automatic draft program to help with the drafts, but that got put on the very far back burner and never amounted to anything more than a few rough sketches and a barren access database. Ah, well, maybe one day.

So, stay tuned because things are going to get fast and furious as Opening Day 2015 quickly approaches!

Thanks for reading along.
--David

Friday, January 2, 2015

State of Tribecards: Realistic Outlook


Welcome to the new year, fellow card collectors and Tribecards readers. Tonight, as I sit listening to my daughter's iPhone streaming Pandora through some mini speakers she got for Christmas, I decided to give an update on all things Tribecards.

First and foremost: Giveaway mailings are SEVERELY delayed. I have not put in the hours needed to get everything sorted and processed. That is ridiculous, I know. There are no excuses, no reasons. The simple truth is that I haven't done it. I can only promise that it WILL get done. I can no longer promise when. At this point, I have cards from TWO full seasons still to sort and mail plus last season's cards and winnings and prizes to get rolling. All I can promise is that when I get mailings sorted and ready, I will post here to let you know. I apologize for not having these done by now, which I know is small consolation.

Second: Pack-A-Daily. Given how far behind I am on two full seasons of Tribecards Pack-A-Day, there is a very good chance that this season's daily pack busting will either be delayed or may not come about at all. I just don't know right now. Frankly, things seem insurmountable, though I know they aren't. It is a matter of setting aside the time and rolling up my sleeves. The pack breaks and addition of OOTP have been a great source of fun, so I have set Opening Day as a goal for making sure everything is taken care of before launching the new giveaway. I sorely miss the "12 Days of Christmas" giveaways I used to do. I hope to start those up again next year!

Third: Possible name change. When I set out and created Tribecards.net, my goal was to share my love of collecting Indians cards with anyone that happened by. And though I still collect Indians cards whenever I can, the true focus of this card blog is no longer Cleveland Indians cards. In fact, aside from the giveaways, there really isn't a focus at all. So, as I regroup and get things sorted, I will also be looking into changing the name of the site to better reflect what I do with the hobby.

Fourth: Postings. I suppose this goes along with the focus, but I am putting together a "posting plan" in which I plan to have certain topics covered on certain days. For example, I might have a Throwback Thursday or a Wacky Card Wednesday (Oddballs, etc). I dunno. All I know is that this endeavor has hit something of a stagnation point and I need to something to kick start me before I start thinking of simply turning off the lights.

Fifth: Turning out the lights. I have seriously considered shutting down Tribecards altogether. When I first started, I had a fire and a desire to share my crazy obsession with Indians baseball cards. While there is a fire for the crazy OOTP-inspired giveaways, I have to admit the desire has been waning for some time, as I'm sure many of you have discerned on your own by now. I had actually started this post on New Year's Eve, planning to announce the closure of the site altogether (though the giveaway mailings would certainly be fulfilled). We've all seen card blogs come and go. I've been doing this since around 2007. More than seven years ago, I began this journey and I feel as though I have been wandering aimlessly in the woods at times. As I mentioned above, I hope my plan (once I had it lined out) will help find that fire and desire I want back. So, for now, anyway, we'll leave the lights on.

Thanks to everyone that comes by to see what weird shenanigans I'm up to next!
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Strange Things Are Happening To Me

Quick note: I don't know, exactly, what was causing my site to redirect to some weird ad site, but I've disabled all ads, counters, etc, and that seems to have fixed it.

So, now I will attempt to answer comments!

Thanks, --David

Monday, December 8, 2014

A tasty treat from Nachos Grande


Waaaay back in September, I got an envelope from Chris over at Nachos Grande. Somehow, I managed to forget to post what was inside! Well, we're taking care of that RIGHT NOW!

Inside the envelope was a cut-up pocket page, so I got a 3-pocket section. In each section, there were two cards, er items!

He sent me two "Crash the Game" cards (top), a 1991 Sandy Alomar Jr All-Star card from UD (lower left), a 1997 Score Hobby Reserve Kevin Mitchell, and two 1995 Fleer/Panini baseball Stickers (bottom right)!

These are very cool! THANK YOU so much, Chris! There are certainly a tasty Tribecards treat!