The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

La Russa video game funding strikes out

Tony La Russa is hitting home runs seemingly each day this off-season as he makes the pre-Holiday rounds of bookstore signings and radio show interviews. By accounts, his remembrances of the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2011 World Championship season, “One Last Strike,” is very popular with baseball book-buying fans.

In the near-term at least, another of La Russa’s retirement projects is not going to be competing for time on his busy public appearance calendar, however.

Recently, the former manager rekindled a partnership with veteran video game designer Don Daglow to develop a mobile-based baseball game. Targeted for smartphones, the proposed new offering, Tony La Russa’s Baseball with Fans, has failed in its initial attempt to reach financial first base.

Daglow and his Stormfront Studios of Sausalito, CA, and La Russa previously joined forces during the 1990s. They brought to market the original – and very successful – series of Tony La Russa Baseball computer games which ran on a number of then-popular platforms including PC and Sega Genesis.

It is relatively easy for a public figure to allow his name to be used on a product. It is another level of commitment entirely to provide the financial backing needed to turn a concept into reality. As former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling has learned very publicly and painfully, an entire career’s earnings can be lost in this industry rapidly.

For their new project, Daglow and La Russa hoped to use OPM – other peoples’ money. Specifically, the next step was to attempt to secure initial financial backing totaling a quarter of a million dollars. On November 19, Daglow initiated a campaign using an online tool called Kickstarter to take the concept directly to potential investors.

They quickly fanned – looking.

After more than a week, the proposal managed to surface just one percent of the cash needed – $2,490 – from 24 potential backers. A virtual pass-the-hat exercise generating roughly $100 each from two dozen people clearly was not going to cut it. The Kickstarter site indicates the funding campaign has now been suspended.

While their new project has definitely taken a setback, it may not yet be down to its last strike. They may be considering making another run with an offering that would target more serious gamers by utilizing specialized systems as its platform rather than the smartphone.

Whether La Russa and Daglow can recapture their past magic in a video game industry that has evolved dramatically over the last two decades remains to be seen.

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32 Responses to “La Russa video game funding strikes out”

  1. blingboy says:

    Jon jay is in the right buisiness.

    OPS (2012)…….Jay .773, Upton .752
    OPS (career)…. Jay .759, Upton .758
    OBP (2012)…….Jay .373, Upton .298

    UZR/150………Jay +5.2, Upton -3.2

    Based upon Uptons downward trajectory both offensively and defensively, the Braves are crazy.

    2013 is Jays last pre-arb year. Maybe it would be smart to lock him up sometime next season.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Why do they need to lock Jay up if he hasn’t even yet reached arbitration? I suspect you see a different career trajectory for Jay than Upton. I am not yet convinced, being careful not to make two wrongs equal a right.

      Case in point. For his career through 2008, Skip’s line was .299/.350/.404/.754.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      What do you think the other 29 teams think of Jay’s plate technique? ………… How do you think Jay feels about it? …………………….. He gives the Cardinals “enough” with his current technique. ……. When it comes time to pay……….guess their approach …………. his he going to take that “power move” to the plate this year???????? if he would act a little more like Upton of Bourne….he might get paid……STL isn’t going to be the one that does it in the end……….

  2. blingboy says:

    “What do you think the other 29 teams think of Jay’s plate technique? ”

    I can think of .373 reasons why they hate it.

    Jay seems like a smart man. He knows he’s not going to make his money hitting homers.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      “He knows he’s not going to make his money hitting homers.”

      Bingo……………. so why do they keep pressing the issue? Lets see where this goes without MMcG. Its unknown to me just what they plan to do with their approach. Me thinks that most don’t know how invasive Org influences were.

      • blingboy says:

        “. . .so why do they keep pressing the issue? ”

        They already have. I know that because if they hadn’t, Matheny wouldn’t have been allowed to make Jay the everyday leadoff hitter.

        We’re moving out of the shadow this year, Westy. BigMac was a Tony guy whereas Mabry is a soldier. The approach this year will be whatever Mo says it is, in the dugout, the cage, the pen, and apparently the clubhouse. Everybody left standing will be on the same page. That should make it easier to think like winners and play like winners, which will make it easier to win.

        • friendmouse says:

          You’re probably right, double-b, but I hope not! If Mo truly is adopting the “whatever I say it is” approach, then he’s basically saying, imo, “As General Manager, I’m going to be more like a Manager and less like a General.” And I think Mo is far more suited as a General than he is as a Manager.

          A General puts the appropriate officers in charge and sees to it that they get an adequate supply of soldiers with the appropriate training and skill sets. They decide upon the over-riding strategy to accomplish ultimate victory (in baseball terms, are we going to emphasize offense, or defense; if offense, should it be the power game or the speed game; if defense, what’s top priority…pitching or fielding) etc.)

          The Manager is, imo, more like the Lieutenant…down on the field with the troops, positioning and barking orders.

          And forgive my simple-mindedness in making such elementary observations, but if Mo wants to “micro-manage” this team, then count me as a supporter for his ouster! (That’s why I hope you’re wrong…I like Mo as GENERAL manager; not general MANAGER).

          • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

            This is for the Saber Geeks ………………… there is a very distinct statistical line utilizing those Cardinal directives that disturbed so many last year …………….. you figure out what it is..I know what it is……..
            Before game 7 in SF Matheny said,” We are going to a different brand of baseball out there”…….. some foolishly thought it was going to game four’s hitting mandates………… it turned out to be Tony’s quick hook on the pitcher philosophy ………. That was the planning ……… the ordering of relievers was also set…………….how could that be? …………… give that some thought because you fans are going to own it…

        • Brian Walton says:

          What evidence does anyone have to suggest the GM dictates decisions “in the dugout, the cage, the pen, and apparently the clubhouse?” Simply because he hired the manager?

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      http://usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2012/11/28/scott-boras-mlb-trade-rumors-free-agents-nationals-tigers/1733723/

      Boras has a fantastical “War Room”…..it goes to all his arbitration hearings……..and events like the winter meetings………. Numbers can always be slanted……. what isn’t said in this articles is that some have paid to have there possession appraised by its mechanisms ……. for dollars above representational percentages……. they have done well……….. Bottom line……..if they wanted Jay long term……they would start developing a player to produce in the long term…….. Jays slumps were very much a result the “intelligence” of the competition……… maybe its cheaper to have practitioners of a philosophy, always disposable in the end for the younger eccentric blooming at the minimum ……… 2012 was the first year of the new “path”…………. Mark bailed ………. fans will be wearing it….BD will be spending it…….. you will be seeing this soon enough…..2013 can’t possible be a good year for STL….that’s a WCBW exclusive prediction ………………….. I’m thinking about jumping to the Dodgers or the Nats … Seems like fun to me………..

  3. blingboy says:

    Jeesh. This started off just comparing Jay and Upton.

    I’d say that if Freese is still a Cardinal on opening day then it was a deer.

  4. crdswmn says:

    I saw something tonight that I found interesting. Someone was pointing out that BJ Upton got the same deal with the Braves that Molina got with the Cardinals. Considering Molina had a much better year than Upton had, does anyone not think that if Molina had gone to free agency he would have gotten a much bigger contract from some other team? Several teams, including the Yankees, are looking for catchers. Molina in free agency would have been those teams’ wet dream. The Cardinals made a smart move locking him up I think.

    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

      Demographics ………………… Denard Span to Washington…… that was a good move……… Braves have their own Sports Network……………. they just aren’t smart……… both Upton brothers have challenging personal issues…………… Braves gambled…………. maybe they win that gamble …….. they may be the last ind pendent.

      Fox was in a serious negotiation with Boston for their whole network…….. That’s where the perk came in…….Yankees were bargaining for cash too……. Selling 49% of YES……….. ended any chance of Boston doing much this year…………… Dodgers or Nats…………. ????

      • blingboy says:

        John Henry insists the disintegration of his company has no effect on the Red Sox. I don’t know. I do know that as of now the Red Sox have $68M committed for 2013. The Cards have $92M committed. Just sayin’.

    • blingboy says:

      Upton will be 33 when his contract expires, Yadi will be 35. So maybe the better year is offset by the grater risk. Just a thought.

  5. Nutlaw says:

    To the topic of the post, why would anyone have funded this Kickstarter project? It didn’t offer up any details of what they’d do with the game whatsoever, and blatantly wanted to overcharge for a mobile game.

    The whole thing doesn’t make any sense. It would amaze me that people expect to randomly be handed a whole bunch of money in exchange for nothing other than a vague promise except for the fact that every once in a while, it works!

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