Monday, February 1, 2010

League Rules

League Fees
The league fees are expected to be paid in full at the draft. Every once in a while guys fall off the face of the Earth and the full amount of league dues cannot be collected.
Of course there are some circumstance where money is tight and in that event, half of the league dues will be owed prior to the draft.
In an effort to prevent all the owners saying "money is tight" all the owners that pay on time will be given a five dollar off discount on the league fee.
The fee has yet to be determined, but it will likely be 80-105 dollars for the 2010 season. My paypal is and I advise everyone to utilize paypal since it is free and happens instantaneously.

The Draft time has not been set yet, but it will be announced on the league page and on the web site. It will be a snake draft (meaning last pick in the first is the first pick in the second, and first pick in the first is last in the second and so on). The draft order will be selected at random by ESPN one hour prior to the draft date set. At that time the draft room will open and owners can chat and set up anything that would help them draft better. Please show up on time for the draft and draft in an efficient manner.

The divisions will be selected at random once all the teams have been assigned. There will be two divisions in this league with two wild cards for the remaining playoff spots.

Keeper Info
There is a good chance that this league will be of the keeper variety. Once the specifics have been figured out, all the owners will be notified and of course they will appear on the league page. I don't think it is fair to those that pick later in the draft to do a straight X amount of keepers. This holds true because picking first and 20th holds more value than 10th and 11th (for a 10-team league).
Here are some possible ideas:
Idea 1a
This is kind of a three part proposition, 1a and 1b involve the first two rounds being non-keeper rounds. This will ensure that the teams in the end rounds will not get shafted on not getting a mega-stud for the next X years (hopefully x is a big number). The draft will then continue as drawn up and each team will get "K" amount of keepers (K will be determined when we have all the teams sold).
Idea 1b
The same premise is involved with 1b, except after the two non-keeper rounds are done, the order will flip. Meaning the first pick in the first round will pick last in the second and third round, and last pick in the first round, first pick in the second round, and will get the first choice of keeper (round three).
Personally, I like this idea better because the first pick team has a huge advantage and could pick a player he doesn't want to keep in the 2nd, then get that guy in the third and have him as a keeper. This method will be mentioned again, so we'll call it the "third round flip" to save the explanation.
One potential problem with doing non-keeper round would be if someone traded a non-keeper for a keeper. I think that the players taken in the non-keeper rounds are ineligible when traded, and players taken in the keeper rounds are still eligible as keepers. Therefore, if a team is falling out of it, he can trade his non-keeper player for a keeper next year. No matter how many trades will be made "K" will be constant. Of course there will be a section on the web page called 2010 Ineligible Keepers.
Idea 1c
This is kind of the middle ground of the two. We could just make the first round the non-keeper round. That way we wouldn't have to switch the order.
The last pick has a advantage in this one because they could pick the player the want to keep second.
Furthermore, the problem with this one is that the drop off from pick 11 to pick 21 is much larger than the drop off from 21 to 31. Meaning as nice as it is to have first pick and take Pujols, it's a bigger disadvantage since you'll have to deal without Pujols next year. Plus, the last pick will have the first choice of keeper (pick 11) and Pujol's owner will be stuck with the 20th pick as his first keeper. Therefore, by making it two non-keeper rounds the drop off from the first keeper pick (21) isn't as valuable pick 11 in a one round keeper.

Idea 2
For this idea let "X" equal the round a player was selected. Every owner will get a certain amount of keeper slots ("K"). When X<10 in order to keep that player it will cost you an X-2 pick next year. So if you draft a player in round five and he explodes (so you'll obviously want to keep him), it'll cost you a third round pick in next year's draft.
When X>9 in order to keep a player it will cost you an X-3 round pick. So if you pick someone in round 10 it will cost you a seventh round pick next year.
Finally, when X>15 it will cost you an X-4 pick next year.
So let's say you draft a player in the 16th round this year, it would cost you a 12th next year. Now after the following season you'll want to keep him again it will be a ninth round pick.
The beauty of this is that you can't keep your first two rounds, so it fundamentally ties in with Idea 1. We can also do a third round flip in this draft, too.
The same problem comes about as in ideas 1a and 1b. If you trade for a player, then he will cost you what it would have cost the owner that just traded him away. So if you traded away your fifth round pick for his eighth round pick, the player you just received will cost you a sixth rounder next year (it would cost him a third rounder next year for the player you traded away).
The same would hold true if a player had been cut and you added him. If someone cut their third round pick, then it would cost you a first rounder.
Which poses another potential problem: What happens if you acquire a player and it results in you costing two picks in the same round? It obviously would be X for the first, then X+1 for the second. So if you have two firsts and second round, then it would cost you the first three picks in your draft to keep all three.
Idea 3
No fantasy bells and whistles with this one. We conduct a normal draft and every player is eligible as a keeper. This is by far the easiest way, but I think it's slightly unfair for the people in the later rounds. Each team would get K amount of keeper slots.
Idea 4
We could also do an auction draft. We then could derive some formula for what it would cost next year to keep that player. I'm just messing around but let's say "X" equals the dollar value spent in the draft. We could assign a multiplier based on the size of X. For example if X is greater than 35, then it would cost you 1.2X to keep him next year. If X is more than 25 and less than or equal to 35 , then it would cost you 1.35X to keep him next year. If 15 < x<25 it would be 1.6X. If 5< x<15 then 2X. X<5 would be 3X. These numbers were just thrown together, but I'm sure you get the idea.
The same rule would apply with the draft if there is a trade. So if you trade a for a player, the X value would be for what his former owner paid for him in the draft. Again, same would hold true should you want to keep a player you added via the waiver wire.
Idea 5
We do an auction draft and assign K amount of keepers.
Idea 6
We can do either an auction draft, or snake draft and predetermine which players are ineligible keepers. The list will be like 10-20 players and posted on the site. It would be players like Pujols and Hanley. The ineligible players can be based on the ESPN rankings, based on the 2009 performance, the commissioner could come up with his own list, or it can be a league consensus.
The problem with this one is that it will vary year-to-year. Let's say we decided to put 20 player on the Ineligible Keeper List, so next year we rule 2010's best 20 ineligible. There's a chance that someone has the players ranked 21st, 22nd, 23rd, and 24th. That team would have a ridiculous advantage based on luck.
It would certainly make it interesting having keepers being taken before non-keeper mega-studs.
Idea 7
It would be a basic snake draft and each owner would get K amount of keeper spots. This time each owner would have two players that are ineligible as keepers. The two players that are ineligible would be the two players that were highest on ESPN's Player Rater. This would definitely benefit the deeper teams in the draft, and teams that have two studs that carried them all year would be at a disadvantage next year. I actually think that having great depth should be rewarded, so I don't view this as a problem.
Secondly, this is kind of cool because if your first two player are struck by the injury bug they won't be in the top-20, so you can keep them again next year. It's kind of like a cool consolation prize.
The problem with this one would be if you have two unbelievably good later round picks. If your 10th and 11th round picks absolutely exploded, you wouldn't be rewarded for the phenomenal picks.
Idea 8
This is a hybrid draft. The first two rounds would be a non-keeper snake draft, then the remaining players would be up for auction and could be kept. I think that the later picks in the non-keeper first round should get some sort of bonus though. I like the idea that your pick number in the first round would give you that many more dollars in the auction. So first pick would get $1 more and 10th pick would get $10 more in the auction.

I think that one of those ideas should be good to go. We can also incorporate a couple ideas together. If you have any ideas please let me know.

I'm hoping we will do this regardless of if it is a keeper or not. At the end of the draft each team can select three players for to put in their Minor League system. They have to be in the minors when they are drafted and they won't take up your roster spot. Obviously, if you don't like one of your picks anymore you can cut him for another player.The Call-ups will be listed on this web page and all add-drops will be posted on the league page.
If you decide to call-up a player, then you must cut a player off your current roster (obviously). YOU CANNOT SEND A PLAYER BACK DOWN AFTER HE IS CALLED UP. You must either keep him up, or cut him.
Since it's not totally certain whether certain guys are MLB bound and which are headed to an MILB affiliate, our initial draft will becoming from prospects. You'll notice that some guys like Stephen Strasberg, Brian Matusz, Jason Heyward, and Neftali Feliz are going to be with the big club at season's start. Owners that took guys in the regular draft can't send them down because they are already on your roster.
As mentioned before, there can be add-drops. However, since we don't know which players are going where, no add-drops can take place until the first week is over. This is going to be tough to follow if we call go crazy on changing guys, so each owner can add-drop only once per week (Monday to Sunday).
Trading your Call-up for a big leaguer is allowed and will be treated like any other trade.
There are going to be a lot of transactions in this league, so if for some reason I miss an owner picking up another owner's call-up, then the mistaken owner will have to forfeit upon its discovery.
For example, if someone had Tommy Hanson as one of his call-ups, then another owner added him without knowing, and let's say Hanson's owner didn't notice until August, then Hanson would be switched to the correct owner with no consolation. I will remove the player (Hanson in this case) and the mistaken owner will have to pick up a player on his own time.
I'm thinking the best way to add-drop from your minor league system would be to just have a thread that documents all the add-drops. The only problem is people can edit their posts which could potentially mess up the one move per week cap. The best way to let everyone know would be to just email everyone in the league. This sort of kills two birds with one stone since it will notify me there was a move and I can adjust the call-up list.
If an MLB team calls up one of your players, you can keep him down as long as you like. When you want to call him up, you obviously just need to add him to your roster and just let the league know which player you want to replace him with in your minor league system.
Once a player is placed on any league roster, then no owner can add him to the MILB group. So if Heyward gets sent down and his owner (Matt) decides to cut him, then no owner can add him to the MILB group. He would have to be on the league roster.
Another idea would be to do this in a auction-style post draft. Meaning each team get X dollars immediately following the draft. However, Owners will be allowed to save their money and use it during the season. The only downside of this would be owners can't really grab some under-the-radar guy since there will be bidding on all players that weren't selected in the draft day auction.
If you draft a player in our fantasy draft, then he cannot be placed in your minor league system.
In the event you would like to keep one of the call-ups on your roster, the details will be ironed out once all the keeper arrangements have been set up.

General League Rules
This league is a head-to-head 10-cat league. Those 10 categories are runs, RBI, steals, home runs, batting average, wins, saves, strikeouts, ERA, and WHIP. Each week has 10 potential wins or losses (for each category). Unlike some leagues where a 6-4 win is the same as a 10-0 win, this league will depend heavily on the severity of an owner's win or loss. Ties count as ties in standings, so tiebreakers aren't an issue for the regular season (playoffs defined below).
There are no maximums in this league, so every owner is welcome to have as many starts as he pleases. If an owner wanted to add a player for the day, it would have to be done before the first day of the day began. If it wasn't done in time, then the move would be for the following day. ESPN will let you know when you add a player because when you click the players tab to add a player it will either say "today's games" or "tomorrow's games."
The only minimum is there has to be at least one AB for the hitting categories and more than one pitch thrown by the pitchers. That means if for some reason you don't play a pitcher for the whole week, your opponent could conceivably beat you in ERA with a 300 ERA for the week.

Everyone loves to trade and everyone likes to assess the winners and losers of each trade. There is really only one rule this league will live by with regards to trades: Collusion is the only reason for a veto.
It's really the only fair way to do it for many reasons.
First and foremost, it minimizes the gray area for bias and having everyone treated fairly.
Secondly, nobody has a crystal ball. There been several trades where it might seem lopsided, but it turned out the trade was advantageous for the perceived loser, or the trade was a wash. For example in one of my baseball leagues someone traded Derek Lee for Cliff Lee. This trade was early on in the 2008 year (Lee's Cy Young year) and a lot of people were up in arms because Derek Lee's former owner was just buying high on Lee and the majority of the league thought it was unfair. Obviously, Cliff clearly outperformed Derek, so it proved that there's no way anyone can predict they trade winners until the season is over.
Thirdly, if collusion is suspected the fate of the trade will go to a vote. The two teams involved in the trade and the commissioner will not be involved in the voting process. Obviously, the two teams can't vote and since the commissioner will be already moving it to a vote, he won't be able to participate either. There has to be at least a 2/3 vote in favor of the veto by eligible parties. Just to clarify, if it is a 10-team league, the commissioner and the two teams involved wouldn't be voting, so there would have to be at least five(5) votes in favor to stop the trade.
There has been other shady business in fantasy leagues, so if you trade away a player then you can't acquire him back for two scoring periods. This will prevent owners from trying to exploit matchups and just trade back after the matchup occurs.
Furthermore, the same can be said for accidentally hitting accept on a trade or putting in the wrong players for the deal. If an owner makes a mistake in a trade it will go to a vote in the same manner as a collusion-related trade.
Finally, if an owner repeatedly has suspected collusion-related trades vetoed he is subject to expulsion from the league. If an owner has three trades vetoed in a two-year span, he will be expelled from the league. This isn't to decrease the amount of trading or anything, and as long as your intentions are good, then there's no reason to worry.

Everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, most mistakes come with consequences and this league will be no different. I'm sure most of you have been in a league where someone meant to drop a player (we'll say Aaron Heilman), but they mistakenly selected a great player to drop (we'll say David Wright). The person with the number one waiver would obviously be all over that and the owner that meant to drop a horrible pitcher is now out likely their best player. If someone drops someone that isn't on the Can't Cut List by mistake there is nothing that can be done.
ESPN does have provide a Can't Cut List, so obviously those players can't be cut from rosters. The Commissioner will also provide a list of 50 players (including the ESPN can't cut players) that will allow the owner to have his player back provided he is currently on the list.
On the other hand, this only happens about once a season, so each owner will only get one (1) free pass. If an owner does drop two players on the Can't Cut List by mistake, the second player mistakenly dropped will remain on waivers. Meaning if the second player dropped is valued less than the first by the owner, it doesn't matter and he can't say he'd rather drop the first player.
The Can't Cut List will be turned off during the final week. This is to allow the maximum amount of moves for the finalists and third place game contestants. If anyone is mistakenly dropped during said period, then nothing will happen.
There really shouldn't be any other significant mistakes made and under no circumstance will the commissioner change any roster spot that is locked.

The league will be set for the waiver period to be one day. That means if you cut him on Tuesday (no matter what the time is), the player will remain on waivers for Wednesday and will come off waivers Thursday morning.
The original order will be inverse of the draft order (last pick is first waiver priority and first pick is last priority).
Once Minor League players that were not taken in our fantasy draft are promoted to the Majors, they will be played on waivers for one day.
If a player is owned for less than one day, then he will be a free agent and will not be placed on waivers.

Quite frankly, there really is no etiquette for this mother fucker! Trash talking is encouraged and don't talk trash unless you can back it up (or you'll likely be ripped by majority of the owners). We are all adults, so we should try to keep it related to fantasy and try not to take any trash talking to a personal level. I'm pleased to announce that the Finks are permanently expelled from fantasy leagues, so it should be a lot easier to keep it civil.
If you do have an issue with another owner, I'd suggest emailing each other and/or let the commissioner know so we can resolve the issue.
There is no etiquette with regards to adding and dropping players. You can make as many moves as you like and there is no penalty for being too active.

Every year it seems like a team falls out of it and stops caring about his fantasy team. If this sounds like you, then maybe this isn't the league for you. Although stuff can happen and people's lives get busy.
If an owner becomes inactive for a period longer than one week, the commissioner will attempt to contact the owner to advise him to set his lineup. If he still isn't active after the second week, then the commissioner will set his roster and won't be adding or dropping any players until the owner returns to activtiy.
Once the commissioner has taken charge of the team, said team is up for sale. Any current owner could seek out a potential owner that is befitting of our league. The league fees should have been collected, so the new owner wouldn't have to pay for that year. Obviously, they would need to pay for the following years.
In the unlikely circumstance where a playoff team is inactive at the time of the playoffs, that team would be forfeited and the next best team would slide into his spot.

Potential Playoff Issues
This league is a 10-cat league, so there's a decent chance that there is a tie in the playoffs. The tie goes to the higher seed. Even if the three seed has a better record than the two seed, the two seed would be declared the winner in the event of a tie.
As it stands right now, four teams will make the playoffs. In the event that two or more teams have the same winning percentage at the conclusion of the Regular Season, and have played the same number of Head-to-Head games between them, the following tie-breaking system determines the seed:
1 - Overall record
2 - Head-to-head record
3 - Division record
4 - Total Number of Runs, Steals, HR, RBI, K, Saves, and Wins.
5 - Coin Flip

The payouts will be as follows:
60 percent of the pot to the winner
30 percent of the pot to second place
10 percent of the pot to third place

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