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The BBFL is back for the 2012 season.

We have a full compliment of owners for 2012 and dispersal drafts are underway. The next thing is to look at the rules.

Rule Proposal Guidelines

1. One owner proposes a rule change or an addition/adjustment to a current rule.
2. Someone seconds the proposal.
3. The proposal is added to the list. If two or more proposals seem contradictory, I may combine them into a single multiple-choice question at the time of voting (as an example from 2004, we wouldn't have wanted separate proposals on how many teams to relegate). We'll just see how they develop.
4. Before you submit a proposal, please review the constitution to make sure youíre not covering old ground.

Remember, BBFL rules canít contradict Yahoo. For example, in 2005 the BBFL voted to require 100 or more at-bats to qualify for offensive wins (similar to the 25-inning minimum). I later discovered that Yahoo provided no way to implement that rule, so out it went. Rule changes on in-game play (for example, statistical categories) will take effect this year, but structural changes involving ownership will not take effect until 2013. Put another way, no new rule may take effect before Opening Day.

Also, if a proposed rule would create onerous administrative duties for the commissioner, the commissioner reserves the right to complain incessantly until the ruleís proponents give up.

Please us this thread to announce any rule change proposals or suggest any ideas.

Keeper Announcements
Keeper lists must be in to me by end of day on March 9th. I know this is barely only halfway through spring training so you can change your keepers up until March 16th to account for injuries etc. I ask them early as I have to enter them all into yahoo which takes some considerable time. The final deadline is the 16th, to allow everyone a few days prior to the draft to prepare knowing who is and isn't available.

Waiting List
Interested in playing? The Waiting List is currently empty although we don't currently have any teams availble this year, drop me a line at bbfl(at)gwynprice.com and you'll be on the list if in-season openings occur this year or for next season.
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BBFL 2012 | 23 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
budgell - Saturday, February 18 2012 @ 01:05 PM EST (#252012) #
I'd like to see a roster freeze in the playoffs.
I hate the pitcher churning that occurs, shatters the fantasy of running a big league club. So, assuming Yahoo can accommodate, I propose the only way you can make roster changes in the playoffs is if you have a player on the d.l.
92-93 - Saturday, February 18 2012 @ 08:03 PM EST (#252022) #
Promotions should have to be earned. I don't like a system that sends #18 in Barfield down a division and moves up the 4th and 5th placed teams from Carter just because teams from Alomar have withdrawn.
Geoff - Sunday, February 19 2012 @ 07:35 AM EST (#252026) #
Freezing rosters in the playoffs is perhaps too dramatic a lockdown on what inevitably occurs when one is compelled to win at all costs --- to sleep and sanity --- by churning rosters over in the middle of the night to maximize innings pitched or in the aim of whatever category is deemed necessary to win.

Doesn't occur to everybody to try this strategy, and not everyone will be exhausted by an opponent who does it. But it happens and it does frustrate players, those who do it and those who have had it done to them. I have experience with both. It's not fun in my experience to try to win an arms race like that. I've given up trying to battle for game pieces in what would quickly become a mad frenzy of adds/drops. The game is no longer interesting when it turns to that and I suspect that there are others who feel the same. Which is why I feel a rule needs to be implemented to help the game.

Last year it was proposed that there be a limit of 10 transactions per week and the vote was nearly split, 15-17.

Few teams average as many as ten transactions per week (250 for a full regular season). I'm of the sort who is always making at least 200 per season. From what I've observed, most teams won't make more than five transactions in a week on more than one rare occasion. I am hopeful this year to hear more input from others on what they dislike or anticipate about this rule proposal.

Having a limit of 10 or even just 7 transactions per week would cause those who use the free agent pool a lot to be (at least a little) more judicious. It would also better enable others to add free agents because there would be greater opportunity to add someone if the transaction list were not flooded. Having 10 or 7 transactions a week is still a significant number of adds for the player (like myself) who enjoys tinkering. Also, it may be helpful to note that Yahoo does not count drops in the transaction category; only trades, waiver claims, and free agent pick-ups.

I would like to propose that a limit be placed on the number of transactions per week (yes/no) and secondary to that, offer a limit of 10 or 7 transactions per week.
budgell - Sunday, February 19 2012 @ 08:13 AM EST (#252027) #
Seconded, 7 max
Subversive - Sunday, February 19 2012 @ 11:12 PM EST (#252045) #
New to the league this year, but I think a weekly transaction limit of 7 sounds pretty reasonable. I'll support that, for what it's worth.
mathesond - Monday, February 20 2012 @ 09:51 AM EST (#252047) #
I'm good with the weekly transaction limit as well, and am willing to listen to arguments as to what it should be set at.
Dylan B - Monday, February 20 2012 @ 10:02 AM EST (#252048) #

Here are my thoughts/questions on the max transactions.

1. Are we going with a max you can do in a week, or a max you can do in the year?

2. Any amnesty period during the year for either/or? For example the begining of the year when ML lineup spots are not set in stone, can these be waived/reset. Likely only need this for the first and second, or just first week of the season.

Noah - Tuesday, February 21 2012 @ 02:40 PM EST (#252099) #
I think I would prefer a yearly transaction limit, rather than one that is imposed weekly.  I would second that notion. 
Gwyn - Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 08:41 AM EST (#252127) #
Let's close this discussion period at the end of play on Friday. So far we have one proposal from Geoff and seconded by Budgell to limit weekly transactions to either 7 or 10.
Dylan B - Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 12:56 PM EST (#252136) #

Can we find out what the limits Yahoo has set for yearly transactions? I'd like to propose a rule change for that, but don't want to suggest something that is not available on the site.

Also, for either the yearly or weekly limit, I would like to propose an amnisty period of up til the end of the first week of the season where neither limit applies.

Gwyn - Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 02:33 PM EST (#252140) #
yahoo has settings to limit weekly and yearly acquisitions as they term transactions. They are both set to 'no limit' by default. The weekly can be set from anywhere none and 25 and the yearly between none and 100.
Geoff - Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 03:22 PM EST (#252143) #
I don't believe making an "amnesty " period into the first week is possible although I understand why it is desired. In short, if it can't be done in Yahoo then it's not up for discussion. It's a rule of rules, described above.
A yearly limit wouldn't help the problems that would happen in a marchioness series, except very indirectly. This way everyone will have an equal footing for every matchup.
If there is concern over limiting to too few transactions I would suggest electing for 10 transactions rather than 7.
Noah - Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 03:57 PM EST (#252145) #
I would like to propose that we cap yearly transactions at 100. 
nWooch - Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 04:10 PM EST (#252146) #
I propose that effective in 2013 initial waiver priority is set in reverse of the draft order. It doesn't feel fair to me that a manager gets both the first pick in the draft and top waiver priority. I realize the managers receiving this advantage generally have a weaker set of keepers, but it still seems excessive to me.
Geoff - Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 06:11 PM EST (#252152) #
If anyone is wondering what a "marchioness series" is, that typo is thanks to the predictive text on my android, which is familiar with the proper term for a wife or widow of a marquess, but not with "matchup".
Geoff - Wednesday, February 22 2012 @ 10:32 PM EST (#252156) #
I have another rule proposal that I have been mulling over for the past week, on a topic that seems to come up every year in BBFL: trade disputes.

Intro
I do not dispute the system currently in place where a group of four owners are deemed responsible to vote on trades. I believe that can work, although it does have some wrinkles. The major problem that I have observed is that there are no guidelines or tools that this trade committee will use to review or judge trades as 'fair' or 'not fair'. I also do not enjoy (and believe that angry owners of the past are frustated much the same) that no words of review are provided in the judgement, but let me take this one step at a time.

Objective
The major aim here is to quell the wars of displeasure about trades before they begin. If I can do something that gives us that, I expect a BBFL honour in my name to be awarded every year to the person who offers the soundest rule proposal. If someone else succeeds me in resolving this issue to a greater degree, then let it be in his name. This issue I find is just that important to make this game more enjoyable.

Method
Now that I've gotten ahead of myself, let's start at the beginning of the idea I have. To provide some method of evaluating trades, we need to abstract the value of the players. To do so, I suggest to look at the wRAA of hitters, and WAR values of pitchers. To balance the two, I find it useful to multiply the pitcher WAR by five (even though the formula is 10 wRAA = 1 WAR for hitters, that only accounts for the offensive half of a position players' WAR, plus pitchers get devalued some in the BBFL, and fantasy baseball in general, compared to their batting peers). My focus has been to take these values as published on FanGraphs.com

Which abstract value to use? Why wRAA and WAR?
This has been the part that has left me the most time considering to find the simplest and most elegant but fair and accurate approach. Player rankings really doesn't cut it, because (for one) it doesn't tell you how much difference is between player 36 and player 42, and how that may be different from the difference between player 80 and player 86. The great news is that wRAA takes into account AVG, OBP, SLG, SB -- however not R or RBI. And pitchers' WAR is based on FIP. However, while FIP accounts for WHIP, and to some degree K/BB and ERA, a premium is not put on IP, W, or SV. I am comfortable with this, as runs, rbi's, and wins generally don't indicate much about a player's performance. Some special consideration would need to be given to a player's grip on racking up saves and innings pitched, but there are of course other areas that can't be easily quantified. It would be too much to include age and the value of the player's position (esp. C, SS, 2B, 3B) in the evaluation here, so that must be left to human judgement. Same with injury risk. On these matters I would expect some words of description from trade committee members as to how much value they put in some of these 'human element' categories.

Restrictions on use
These values of players only need to be compiled for players in trades that are disputed; not in every trade. Another important detail for the guideline I am spelling out: I only want to suggest that this be used for trades after July 1. While three months of stats does not tell you the future of all players, it does tell you something concrete. For trades after August 1, you have four months of data. I am not aware of the entire history of BBFL games, but it has appeared to me that big disputes only happen in the time approaching or at the trade deadline.

Experiment
While I have worked my way up to Alomar, I had not seen much more than minor disputes. Last year, before the season, I was given some warning about how confusing and how heated the disputes could be about trades. People could not agree on what value players had and what the focus should be in determining fair trades. And then in the summer, there was another trade that sparked debate on when and where a trade committee should use the veto power to stop a trade. This trade was an exchange of Miguel Cabrera, Lance Berkman, Ichiro Suzuki, JP Arencibia, Michael Brantley, Ted Lilly, Justin Masterson and Matt Cain for Mark Teixeira, Felix Hernandez and Stephen Strasburg. It was unfortunately lopsided. How egregiously so was up for debate.

Now for some table data. Unsurprisingly, this data shows us that Miguel Cabrera was the best player in this deal, bar none. Justin Masterson was having a really great season through the first four months, better than Felix Hernandez. It would be up to the judgement of the trade reviewer to discount Masterson for a reason that his performance was unprecedented and unexpectedly great. The converse may be said about Ichiro, although his age and health may be good cause to leave him at face value.

There were four players who were at or below average (i.e. values at or below zero). Strasburg was awarded a value of 20, arbitrarily, despite that he did not play from April through July. I would suggest that any player with a value of 5 or lower be given a value of 5, for the reason that every player must have some value if he is to be traded (otherwise why not just drop him?). If a trade reviewer decides that a player is worthless however, he may choose to evaluate that player as a zero. Ichiro, Brantley, Arencibia and Lilly were given values of 5, in this reviewer's review.

I provide a scale in the table data, showing that a value difference under 10 is minor, under 20 is certainly worth doubting the fairness of the trade, under 30 you should really be asking questions how this trade could be fair, under 40 there had better be a good explanation, and so on...

As to the matter of who will collect the three or four months of stats in the event a trade dispute should occur, I would suggest that one member of the trade committee in each division take up the task. It's relatively easy, using Fangraphs, to create a table where you add the specific players involved in the trade. For example, see this page, which shows you the batting values for players in the above trade for the month of April. You must change the month and add up the wRAA totals for months, but it would only be three or four months. Further, if you click on the 'Pitching' tab, you would get pitching data for the selected players.

Conclusions
Honestly, this doesn't really require a rule for people to use a value system such as this to evaluate trades. Even formalizing it as a rule to put in the process of evaluating disputed trades, it would allow anyone to fully ignore its guidelines, should one choose to do so. All I hope to achieve is that fair attention be given to the performance of players in trades, while also allowing trade reviewers some basis around which to frame comments. And, I hope, successfully quiet those who may become irate. There are facets that this simple value put on players does not cover, such as health of the player, age, reputation for performance, and probably others that people can argue are important and should when evaluating trades. The point is that evaluation be performed, and to the person who does not agree with you it is better that you give him a reasoned opinion than a flat evaluation without justification.

Proposal
I propose that, where trades that were accepted after July 1 are disputed and therefore put before a trade committee, that one member of the trade committee shall collect and distribute a list of wRAA values of hitters and WAR values of pitchers (multiplied by 5), which will constitute the basis of judgement to evaluate players and the discrepancy of value that is in dispute in the trade, for all committe members to consider in their judgements. All judgements of the committee members shall be compiled and published by email by the commissioner to the rest of that league's teams. Judgements should consist of more than 'Approved' or 'Vetoed', but they remain that simple if the committee member is not competent of writing a better description of his decision.

So there you go, a basis for decision making and some design of transparency and accountability for decisions rendered. I feel it is much needed, many of you may not care, many more may not have read this in its entirety, and others may be completely lost. I hope I have made sense. I hope that my idea is accepted as a formal part of trade reviews. I hope that people may provide their thoughts here or contact me directly if they want to debate the finer points of this, or feel free to mock me or compliment me or argue for modifications on this proposal, in whatever forum you should choose to communicate. Perhaps a demonstration of other trades will help people; I shall do all I can to aid the view of how this method of valuation would guide perspective on the equality of trades. Thank you and good night.

Magic 9 - Thursday, February 23 2012 @ 08:59 AM EST (#252158) #
I second the change to stop giving first draft pick and first waiver priority to the same teams.  Who's brilliant idea was that in the first place?  Coach?

I propose that we allow the trading of draft picks during pre-season only.  It gives everyone a bit more flexibility to build their teams in the off season and reap the rewards of good drafting the previous year rather than tossing keepers back in to the draft pool for nothing.

No support here for a transaction limit.  Anything that would be agreed to by 75% of owners would be too watered down to rectify what some perceive as the problem of streaming pitchers.  Owners would just adjust the game theory they are playing with and find some other way to play.  I don't think the idea of this very competitive league is to penalize those that are playing to win at the expense of those just playing.

Evaluating trades on a dollar for dollar or WAR for WAR basis is all well and good but some owners are playing for this year, some for next.  Keeper leagues get you some strange trades.  Somebody might keep Bryce Harper this year?  Locking a league into something inflexible is never a good idea.  I think the Trade Committee evaluates each trade under current circumstances and gives a fair and honest verdict to the best of their abilities.  I protest Coach getting Doc Halladay for two Magic Beans but it isn't going to do me any good.  I wish I had thought of it first. LOL

Over and Out

Steve (Magic 9)





Noah - Thursday, February 23 2012 @ 09:37 AM EST (#252159) #
I will second the proposal to allow the trading of draft picks in the pre-season, but would also support the trading of draft picks year round if someone would be willing to second that. 
Brian - Thursday, February 23 2012 @ 10:39 AM EST (#252161) #
In regards to evaluating trades, I have always had an issue with deciding what is fair for another owner.  I think trades should go through unless it can be shown that an owner is doing something sneaky like trading his best players to a buddy.  I don't think it's anyones business to babysit anyone elses team....if someone makes a dumb deal then they have to deal with the consequence of either being relegated or having bad keepers.  We all have different needs on our teams and different ways of evaluating players so I don't like the ideal of vetoing deals because someone dealt a player for a lower ranked player.  It's just my opinion and probably not a popular one but I think veto's should only be used in clear cases of collusion or tanking.
Gwyn - Thursday, February 23 2012 @ 02:00 PM EST (#252173) #
Trading draft picks year round isn't feasible for this league with the way we handle promotion/relegation. I'm not wild about trading draft picks pre-season but that'e more on the grounds that it's going to be a pain to keep track of and enter into yahoo...
budgell - Thursday, February 23 2012 @ 02:34 PM EST (#252178) #

I don't think the idea of this very competitive league is to penalize those that are playing to win at the expense of those just playing.

I disagree that those who are opposed to/do not participate in pitcher streaming are not playing to win.  There is a reason that we, as one example,  set parameters as to roster construction.  By requiring a player at every position, as well as both starting and relieving pitchers we ensure, as much as possible, that the illusion of running a big league club is maintained.  

Allowing 100% daily turnover of players (pitchers especially) is so far removed from the "real" game that support for same is akin (to my eyes only) to support for doing away with roster construcion rules or any number of other BBFL rules designed to ensure that our owner experience replicates that of a MLB general manager as closely as possible, including a burning desire to win.

koanhead - Saturday, February 25 2012 @ 12:49 PM EST (#252235) #
We're not playing the real game, we're playing fantasy baseball. And in a fantasy baseball league, there is a free agent list that consists of all the players who are not currently on the rosters of any teams in the league. I don't see any reason to bar teams from trying out all the free agents they can in order to try and maximize their results.

Geoff - Monday, February 27 2012 @ 12:13 AM EST (#252289) #
For my part, I don't believe that high volume streaming is bad for the game because it makes it unlike the management of real baseball teams. Fantasy baseball is a different beast than real baseball; the only connection being that it's based on a representation of the real game. For me, the point is that for fantasy baseball players, "trying out all the free agents they can in order to try and maximize their results" means that desperate attempts are made to compete. Desperate to the point of being miserable. The game should be better than to allow or encourage that.

Let's say you are an eager beaver with a burning desire to win. You must acquire available assets as soon as they become available. You must make yourself available at the time when rosters get set (at 12am pacific time); available when players on waivers come off waivers (times vary in the wee hours of morning); and you churn over as much as necessary to win the categories; esp. counting stat cats. You count on being more diligent than your opponent at all this roster reshuffling, as I'm sure koanhead would. As I have done. Many times.

Putting a limit on transactions does not erase this strategy as many players would continue not to "chase" counting stats. It does put both players on a level playing field and eliminates the possibility of things getting so out of hand that your opponent is just running every warm body out there who might start. Or, as I have done, take players just so that your opponent can't use them. Yes it is strategic to do these things and it would be much tougher but not impossible to do the same strategy with a limit on transactions. But the ultimate aim is that yes, it would make the game more enjoyable for more people to set this limit.
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