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Fantasy alert! If you aren't joining the free fantasy league for BB readers, this thread will be a waste of your time. Registration should begin shortly on Yahoo, and the league is a definite "go", so I’d like to start the rules discussion here. The first order of business is to declare in. Even if you have previously indicated interest by e-mail or in a comment on another thread, please send your name, e-mail address, location and proposed team name to me again. If you don't have a Yahoo ID yet, don't worry. That's also free, easy to set up, and will let you play in as many as three other leagues.

Next, let's discuss the scope of the project. It shouldn't be too complicated, as several relative fantasy beginners would like to play, and if I'm the Commish there are time constraints. We can vote on bells and whistles later, and the league could evolve in the future, but here are my proposals, with a few options for you to consider.


The playing rules will be easy to understand, but this is an important decision. The number of teams in our league, multiplied by the number of players on each roster, compared to the available MLB pool, determines how much of a baseball expert you need to be. For example, 16 teams with 25-man rosters is just 400 active players, so you'd need to be familiar with starting lineups, rotations and closers. By contrast, I’m in a league with Craig and Robert (over my head, in other words) where 24 teams can sign up to 50 players, so it's essential to know benches well and have a pretty good eye on AAA to be competitive. (The TRHL draft takes a month or more; the BB league's will be two hours, max.)

It looks like we have enough interest for 20 teams, and I suggest 25 active players, a 3-man bench and two DL spots, for a total of up to 30 on each roster. That’s 600 of the 750 big-leaguers “in play”, and leaves fringe players on on the waiver wire. Comments?

FORMAT: Rotisserie (or HtH)

If you've never played Head-to-Head, it's better than you might think, especially in a “fun” league. It's still based on Roto categories (to be determined later) but you face just one other team each week, not the entire league for the whole season. Because there’s a “playoffs” elimination bracket in September, HtH lets a team that finished anywhere in the top six during the "regular" season win the championship with a hot finish; Roto can be all over by the All-Star break if one team is clearly superior.

For beginners, a bit more explanation: Roto points are determined by your ranking in each category. In a 20-team league, the team with the most HR gets 20 points; the team with the fewest just 1. The league standings reflect the total Roto points, and you can gain in any category by making trades, picking up free agents or having a hot streak. In HtH, it's more like a W-L record; if your team beats mine in 6 of 10 categories, with one category tied, you're 6-3-1 that week. Either way is fine with me.

DRAFT: Live (but you don't have to be there)

Somewhere between a six week Internet-auction bidding war over Austin Kearns and a completely random draw for rosters, there's a happy medium. Yahoo has an almost ideal solution. We pick a date and time -- how's Saturday, March 22 at 1:00 pm EST? -- and let their server run the whole thing.

Once you have registered (first with me by e-mail, to get the league password, then on Yahoo) you can spend as much time as you like on "pre-ranking" players for the draft. Even if you plan to be online during the draft, this is advised. It will be invaluable if you have a PC crash, if your Internet connection hiccups, or if you get an important phone call.

Yahoo provides a list of all eligible players. You can easily move guys to your "no way" excluded list or your "priority" preferred list. You don't have to do it all at once; the changes can be saved, and lists can be modified right up until the draft. Then, if you aren't online or get interrupted, you'll automatically get the highest-rated available player on your preferred list. In the later rounds, if all your pre-selected guys are taken, it will give you the highest-rated available player according to the default Yahoo rankings, which aren't bad, skipping anyone you've excluded. Auto-pilot doesn't get distracted during the draft by a run on closers or catchers, and has made some inspired selections for me in the past.

KEEPERS: Yes (but limited)

When a league has features like a salary cap, or trading of draft picks, it becomes an administrative headache for someone and demands more time from each owner. We don't want that, but can implement a simple keeper rule, to encourage long-term participation, and still enjoy the simplicity of Yahoo drafting. As long as the number of keepers is fixed (say, 5) and not optional ("up to 5") they can be placed at the top of the pre-draft rankings in next year's draft. The first five rounds for everybody would simply "re-draft" your keepers, then free agents could be selected starting in the sixth round. Please submit your two-part vote on this one: Yes/No, and if Yes, how many? I've suggested five, but would be OK with four, six, or whatever we decide.


I hope we all agree that the BB league should have an equal number of pitching and hitting categories. It's kind of traditional, and it's simpler. For Roto beginners, the 4x4 "classic" style is AVG, SB, HR, RBI and W, SV, ERA, WHIP; the very popular 5x5 style adds hitter runs and pitcher strikeouts. (WHIP is walks+hits per inning pitched; it's not Kelvim Escobar's best stat.)

Yahoo allows so much customization, we could get paralyzed by choice. In previous discussions, we've mentioned OBP as a logical additional category. I've also suggested K/BB ratio for pitchers. SLG or TB (slugging average or total bases) would reward non-singles hitters, and H (holds) would make middle relievers important, instead of just closers. I prefer SB-CS ("net" steals) to SB; makes a smart baserunner like Hinske a bit more valuable. Likewise, we could replace W (wins) with W-L or add a category for fewest losses. Your suggestions are encouraged.

Eventually, we'll get these category decisions down to yes/no voting proposals; right now we're at the nomination stage. Do we want 6x6? 10x10? Other possibilities are G (games played for hitters) and IP (innings pitched), E (errors) or F% (fielding percentage) for position players -- it's something we'll have to narrow down later, but let the feedback begin, either with comments here or by e-mail.

LINEUP: More fine-tuning

If we agree on 25 active players, what will the hitter/pitcher split and position eligibility be? I'll suggest 13 position players and 12 pitchers. One each of the eight defensive positions, a second C, a second MI (middle infielder) and CI (corner infielder), a fourth OF and a guy we can call DH or Utility. Five SP, five RP, and two flexible P spots seems reasonable. What does everyone else think?


We're not trying to duplicate being the owner, GM and manager of a MLB team as closely as possible, just enjoy ourselves and talk a little trash from time to time. Bragging rights will have to suffice as the prize, unless we get a donation from somewhere; maybe the Jays will toss in some marked-down souvenirs with the "old" logo. Most of the other BB authors are not playing; they have commitments to other leagues, jobs, etc. -- the majority of interest has come from readers, including lurkers and regular posters. There are over a dozen people standing by, so recruiting a few owners to fill the league shouldn't be difficult. Unless another Commissioner volunteers soon, it's me. Please let me know if you are willing to serve on a rules committee, and/or a trade veto committee, and even if you comment in this thread, be sure to send a "confirmation" e-mail to reserve your BB franchise. Thanks in advance.
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_Jonny German - Saturday, February 08 2003 @ 02:21 PM EST (#13101) #
As a fantasy first-timer I need some clarification:

I'm assuming that all trades have to be balanced (1 for 1) in order to maintain roster size, and 3-way trades are possible only as a combo of two 2-way trades. Correct?

How deep into the minors will Yahoo let us draft on draft day? If one of my players doesn't make his major league team, can I drop him on opening day and pick up any major leaguer that's available? When somebody gets called up from the minors, is there a procedure for who gets first chance at him, or is it just a matter of who's quickest to notice that he's available?

Does the auto-pilot picking keep track of which positons you still need players for?

Here are my votes on which stats matter.

Hitters: OBP, SLG, HR, R, RBI
Pitchers: ERA, IP, BAA, K/BB, WHIP

I'm not stuck on any of them, but it would be nice if we go with ones that are available or can be easily ballparked from the ESPN player cards (or some other major site). I'm not keen on spending hours searching for the stats I care about. Maybe this is a moot point if Yahoo does a good job of summarizing the stats. I haven't included any reliever-specific stats, but for my money they've got an inherent edge in all of these except IP.
_Mike - Saturday, February 08 2003 @ 03:28 PM EST (#13102) #
I would definately be interested in a BB Yahoo! league. I've played Yahoo for 4 years now and I enjoy it very much, even if I've never even sniffed a championship. It would also be nice to play in a league where everyone is competitive and stays that way throughout the season.

The live draft part is great, and the autodrafting does try to match up your team with what it needs in terms of filling out the roster in respect to who's the best player available. Of course, that could mean you could get stuck with Neifi Perez, but that's just more incentive to clear out the schedule when draft time comes around. However, depending on how the rosters are set up, you can add/drop/trade players as soon as the draft ends.

I was in an NL-only league (to not take an obvious advantage/disadvangate from my knowledge of the Jays) in an 8 team league, which was a good fit for a league that size, so for a 16-team league, and MLB-wide pool would be a good fit, since it would require some knowledge of lineups and the minors without requiring too much of your time and money researching who the Cards AA hitting prospects will be, or something similarly crazy like that.

I've never been in a head-to-head league, but it looks like more fun compared to a straight rotisserie league. Also, the head-to-head league reduces the advantage that teams get by having a hot April or a cold July.

I've never done a keeper league (mainly because the number of players in each of my leagues keeps fluxuating from year to year), plus I've always done Yahoo. It can be done, but just requires some work done outside the scope of Yahoo, and some gentlemanly (or gentlewomanly, if there are any female BB/fantasy baseball fans out there) agreements on who to draft when 2004 comes around.

Here's my vote for categories:
Batting: OBP, SLG, SB%, HR are the four that definately should be in there, then any combo of R, RBI and/or some fielding stat can be optional
Pitching: ERA, win%, save%, K/9, WHIP.

One thing that Yahoo does is that it can cap the max IP for a season, so that if the league decides on using counting numbers instead of percentages (ie K, W, SV instead of K/9, W%, Sv%), then by capping innings takes away the inherent advantages that starter types have. Same can be done with batters and games played by position.

As for the roster, anything between 25-30 is fine with me. Another thing to keep in mind is the presence of a DL for injured players, another thing that Yahoo does. I like it and it works just like the real DL, with those players on it not counting toward roster space. The number of players on the DL can also be capped to prevent hording of hamstrung players like Ken Griffey Jr. Again, a DL limit of 3-5 works for me.

I agree with Coach's suggestions for exact roster specifications, and seem reasonable.

And to answer Johnny's questions: Yes, you can trade unequal numbers of players, but at the same time, you'd have to specify other roster moves that keep your team at the limit (ie waving a player or putting someone on the DL). Three-way trades would be just as you though, a sum of two two-team trades. I haven't seen anything done in any of my leagues, but I've heard of other leagues where it's happened.

Yahoo does a good job of keeping track of players and whether they're injured in the minors etc. Yahoo usually starts with players who are in spring training camp, but don't hold me to that. Yahoo also has sortible stats and a wide variety of them. I've never had to go to ESPN for stat research.

Well, count me in for the league and sorry for the lengthy post, but there's alot to making a great fantasy team.

Here's to a great season!
Coach - Saturday, February 08 2003 @ 03:48 PM EST (#13103) #
All good points, Jonny. Correct about three-way trades. You can negotiate with two other teams, and get a gentleman's agreement, but you would have to execute one deal, wait for it to go through, then submit the second trade. You can make imbalanced trades, though; if you send me Randy Johnson for three regulars, you must cut two players to do the deal, and I could pick up two, whenever I decide to fill my empty roster spots.

Which leads to the waiver procedure. Some "prospects" will be eligible for the draft, but Orlando Hudson (for example) wasn't included in the 2002 pre-draft list, or you could have picked him in a late round and stashed him on your bench. When he got called up, Yahoo added him to the game. In some leagues, whoever gets there first could have grabbed him. We'll have about a 48-hour waiting period for such "new" players, then if more than one team puts in a claim, a priority list based on current standings and/or the date of your last waiver pickup; the rules committee will sort it out. The same grace period and priority order would apply to players when they're released. If you draft someone who gets sent down, it's easy to replace them with a free agent.

Does the auto-pilot picking keep track of which positons you still need players for?

I don't think so; what I do is rank my top 40-50, then groups: a few SP, a few OF, a couple of 1B, a few CL, and so on, rotating through the positions in clumps of 3-4 guys I consider similar. That is an advantage to being live at the draft; you can select according to positional need. But if you ended up with three good C, or seven OF, for instance, you'd be in a strong trading position afterward, so it would still work out OK.

There have been several e-mails already, with other category suggestions worth considering. The consensus seems to be that if we count OBP, it makes AVG unneccessary, and some don't care about saves at all, while others want saves and holds. There's more support for net steals than just SB. No matter what we select, Yahoo provides sortable stats in all our categories, which help when you're evaluating players.
Coach - Saturday, February 08 2003 @ 03:56 PM EST (#13104) #
Mike's Yahoo experience makes him a prime candidate to be on the rules committee, and I want to thank everyone who's volunteered by e-mail. The response is really encouraging, and the owners are great -- this is going to be so much fun, I won't mind being Commish.
_Gwyn - Saturday, February 08 2003 @ 05:57 PM EST (#13105) #
I've never played a yahoo league before but it sounds like great fun.

As far as stat categories go, I am used to 4x4 but a buddy and I almost started a 'sabermetric' type roto league last year so I would be interested in seeing things like OBP, SLg, K/9IP. Im not to keen on adding fielding stats, just because I dont really rate them as being very accurate, and theyre pretty subjectiuve to measure.

I woudn't mind hear-to-head - Ive never played it sounds like it has good trash talking potential :-)
_jason - Saturday, February 08 2003 @ 06:17 PM EST (#13106) #
Thanks for being Commish, Coach. And for setting up the league.
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, February 08 2003 @ 06:42 PM EST (#13107) #
I'm definately interested in participating in the league.. thanks for setting it up!

I'd really like to participate in a league with people who know a lot about baseball.. normally I just play in "office" type leagues, where out of 10 teams, there's one other guy who has a really good team, and 8 guys who love players like Rey Ordonez.

Coach - Saturday, February 08 2003 @ 06:45 PM EST (#13108) #
Others are curious about HtH because of the playoffs, and I've been asked to explain it in more detail, so here goes:

Each week, you're matched against just one other team in the various categories. If we decide on 6x6, you will have a W-L-T record that totals 12 at the end of the week. Even if you out-homer your opponent 15-2, you'll get only one 'W' for winning the category. If you get 2 SB and the other team has 3, that's an 'L'. Your team might be 9-2-1 one week against an opponent with a few slumps or injuries, but you might go 4-8-0 the next week. As Gwyn says, it promotes trash talking, because in a traditional Roto league, movement is more gradual and you're playing against everyone all the time, not a different individual every week. The schedule is imbalanced; every team plays every other team once, then you meet a few teams a second time.

The standings reflect the overall W-L-T records. The first five months is really just seeding for the "postseason" tournament, which has nothing to do with MLB playoffs, as it takes place in September. First and second get a bye; third plays sixth and fourth plays fifth. Then there's a semi-final week and a two-week final. You can also run consolation playoffs for the 7th through 12th place teams, but be warned: if you're 13th or worse after the "regular" season, you're out of action in September. Straight Roto might be a tougher test, while HtH adds a little more luck to the game (small samples, you see) but we're not supposed to be taking this too seriously. I'm willing to give it a try our first year; if a majority wants to switch to Roto for 2004, that's fine too.
Pistol - Sunday, February 09 2003 @ 11:00 AM EST (#13109) #
I'd be in, but from other leagues I've found that it's very hard to compete if you're not at the draft. The proposed time for the draft is the same time as my money fantasy league.

The 'best' Yahoo draft times go quick so it may not be possible to secure Saturday the 22nd. If the draft is at a different time I'd be interested.
Coach - Sunday, February 09 2003 @ 11:20 AM EST (#13110) #
Pistol, we want you in -- there are 13 declared, so I'm thinking we will reach 20 -- and we want as many owners as possible to attend the draft. Someone else has expressed a preference for a weeknight, but we have some (as yet unconfirmed) interest from Europe, which is five hours "ahead", and our west coast players would still be at work until about 9:00 EST, so it wasn't my first choice. I'll set up the league quickly and grab the closest time to what we decide on -- let's hear from the time zone extremes on the weeknight idea; I'm OK with it. Or we could choose another Saturday or Sunday afternoon, even the weekend after the two games in Japan (stats would count retroactively). Since the 29th and 30th leave almost no preseason trade window, I'd prefer the 15th or 16th, early afternoon Eastern. Objections? Suggestions?
Pistol - Sunday, February 09 2003 @ 06:54 PM EST (#13111) #
Most weeknights after 8 pm EST are good for me. 6 pm EST would be the earliest I could make it due to work.
_Jordan - Sunday, February 09 2003 @ 06:59 PM EST (#13112) #
Kent, two things: thanks very much for pulling all this together, and count me in for the league. I'm fine with any combination of stats, but I do like the idea of R, HR, OBP, SLG, SB% for hitters and W, ERA, K, WHIP, and saves (though I can't stand that stat myself). But I'm flexible. Any draft date is fine with me.
_Jurgen Maas - Sunday, February 09 2003 @ 07:33 PM EST (#13113) #
I think in both the pitching and position player stats there should be a balance between % and ratios, and raw stats. Does that make sense? There should be an incentive for wanting to play your guys as much as possible but also wanting to avoid players that will bring your % down. Too many % stats and managers will be too tempted to start sitting guys in September--but you still don't want to deal with the headache of Neifi Perez at Pac Bell, regardless of how many runs he's getting.

I like the idea of SLG, OBP, R, RBI, SB-CS for hitters.

For pitchers, I'd suggest ERA, WHIP, W-L, K, SV-BS.

It's close enough to a traditional 5x5 that the same kind of players would do well, but it's got a nice Saber-spin. For example, Soriano would still be a great 2B to have, but he's maybe not a 1st round pick anymore. And you too, like Theo Epstein, would consider having Shea Hillenbrand a mixed blessing. (I wouldn't be opposed to AB and IP categories, either, again, to ensure managers aren't sitting players if we end up weighing more heavily towards %.)

And if we could make it a keeper league, that would be fantastic.
Coach - Sunday, February 09 2003 @ 08:03 PM EST (#13114) #
Jordan, you're in under the wire. We have 20 confirmed. I wanted to "time-stamp" this, as we will now be assigning people to a waiting list, according to the order their requests are received.

Within the next day or two, I'll contact those who have volunteered for the rules committee, and we'll come up with some category recommendations. I like Jurgen's if it's limited to 5x5, but there's support for 6x6 with a fielding stat and Holds.

I'm also getting plenty of feedback -- thanks -- on draft dates and times. We do not have a European owner, so it looks like 9:00 or 9:30 EST on a weeknight will be OK for the vast majority. If our West Coast owners are all right with a 6:00 or 6:30 start (their time) we can give that a whirl. March 12 and March 14-17 are out by request; let me know if there are other unworkable dates. Might as well try a new specific proposal; how about 9:30 Eastern on Thursday March 20?
_Spicol - Sunday, February 09 2003 @ 09:30 PM EST (#13115) #
That time is fine with me. Any weekday evening is fine with me.

I played last year with fielding stats and seem to recall that players who qualify at difficult positions but instead play relatively easy ones really skew the stats, eg. Chipper Jones qualifying at 3rd but cleaning up with the fielding percentage of a LF. It's a good thought but just doesn't fly.
_Jurgen Maas - Sunday, February 09 2003 @ 09:36 PM EST (#13116) #
I like really Coach's suggestion for the 5x5 categories (duh), and I wouldn't be opposed to a fielding stat... but what? Baseball Primer's exhaustive work on Derek Jeter has left me pretty confused as to which ones, if any, are a real merit of a player's defensive skills.

I do want to be on the record that I'm opposed to Holds. Good relievers would already contribute to the other stats, and in my humble opinion Holds would too priviledge them.

Good luck to the rules committee.
Coach - Sunday, February 09 2003 @ 10:45 PM EST (#13117) #
Pistol & Spicol: please get in touch off-board. I'm not sure who you guys are, and I hope you e-mailed me to reserve a team. It's confusing for an old fella to sort through "anonymous" mail accounts, BB aliases and real names. There's a waiting list already, so I'm very sorry if either (or both) of you wanted to play but didn't confirm by e-mail; if you did, great -- just let me know who's who. Thanks.
_Jonny German - Sunday, February 09 2003 @ 11:05 PM EST (#13118) #
After running some numbers based on the final 2002 statistics, I've decided I'm very much against Saves, Holds, and any other stat that is specific to relievers. I've been trying various combinations of counting stats;



to name just two. The stats I've kept constant in each case are ERA, WHIP, and SV. In all cases, I end up with about 20 relievers more valuable than Mssrs. Martinez, Schilling, Johnson, Zito, Halladay, et. al. Including the likes of Scott Stewart, Bob Wickman, Kelvim Escobar, and Juan Acevedo!!! Basically, anybody who saves 20 games ends up being more valuable than the very best starters...


Maybe I just forgot to carry a 2 somewhere, but until somebody can show me so I'm screaming

"No saves! No holds!"
_Justin B. - Sunday, February 09 2003 @ 11:16 PM EST (#13119) #
I would prefer roto mainly due to the sample size issue. I would assume that there would be a lot more time commitment involved in the head-to-head mode because in addition to trying to project your own team's future performance, you also have to study your opponent's team and try and match up with them. I've never done a head-to-head league, so I'm wondering if that's the case?
_Spicol - Sunday, February 09 2003 @ 11:31 PM EST (#13120) #
Jonny has touched on the exact reason a league shouldn't use W-L% as a category and instead use plain ol' Wins, as boring as that is. In a league with rosters this large, you have to provide incentive to make wise choices when it comes to relievers. Otherwise, I'll just pick a whole mess of lefty specialists since they will have pretty good % stats. Having some sort of counting stat helps in this respect.
_Jurgen Maas - Monday, February 10 2003 @ 03:09 AM EST (#13121) #

I was suggesting Wins minus Loses, not %. Would you still prefer plain ol' Wins?


I agree no Holds, but it seems like some kind of Saves category is enough of a tradition now to merit inclusion. I was thinking of Saves minus Blown Saves would be really interesting, and would give value to middle relievers like Dotel and Rhodes without having to include Holds.

Keeping some counting stats (say, Ks rather than K/9 or K/BB and W-L rather than W-L%) aside from ERA and WHIP should prevent closers from becoming too valuable.
_Spicol - Monday, February 10 2003 @ 08:48 AM EST (#13122) #
Jurgen, yes I'd still prefer Wins and not Wins-Losses. With W-L, the potential to get burned by a Nolan Ryanesque 8-16 season that doesn't reflect the true value of the pick or simply choosing any good pitchers on bad teams is great. The 23rd best contributor to W-L last season was Tony Fiore. 25th was Dennis Stark, ahead of Mark Buerhle, Tim Hudson, Bartolo Colon and Jason Schmidt, among others. Ew. Cheap.
Coach - Monday, February 10 2003 @ 09:11 AM EST (#13123) #
You guys are welcome to debate the category issue in this thread, but I doubt we're going to make any decisions until we see all the options Yahoo offers. There may be a reliever stat we don't even know about that is acceptable to everyone, and as people have pointed out, a guy like Dotel can help you a lot in ERA, WHIP, K and even earn a few W's. Without SV or H, Cliff Politte should be worth as much as Tanyon Sturtze, but with SV or especially H, he might be "too" valuable. Fortunately, we don't have to decide right away. When I start the league on Yahoo, I'll put 5x5, but they can be modified or expanded. The immediate issues remain 1) Draft date/time and 2) HtH/Roto. On the former, no objections yet (and a few confirmations) for Thurs. Mar. 20 at 9:30 EST, on the latter, HtH leads "dont care" and Roto in that order. We'll put them both to a yes/no e-mail vote soon, but these public discussions are helpful.

Justin, HtH does involve a bit more luck than Roto, but no more time. You don't need to look at your opponent's roster, though most do; there's a daily line score that tells you where you stand in each category. If you're three SB behind after the first two days of the week's match, you have a choice -- "punt" (concede) that point that week, or replace some sluggers in your lineup with some speed, and risk losing other categories. Unlike Roto, where a bad April can bury you and it's hard to catch opponents, HtH standings change more frequently, so you could go from 15th at the All-Star break to making the playoffs. Definitely less "scientific" or "realistic" -- if that's what you want in a league -- and a Roto championship (to me) is more of a test of skill, but HtH is probably more fun for more owners.
_R Billie - Monday, February 10 2003 @ 11:06 AM EST (#13124) #
While I don't mind SB-CS, I am HIGHLY against W-L. Since a single season W/L record is largely due to chance as it is...I mean if a guy posts a 2.34 ERA with 196 k but only a 12-13 record because he plays for a bad team or got poor run support, does that make any sense? It's hard enough to find enough quality starters and project their performance for a 20 team league; if we use W-L then evaluating starting pitchers becomes the equivalent of reading tea leaves or rolling dice.

The real role of wins is simply to provide a counting stat which is a foil to the ratio stats. In other words, wins and strikeouts (I don't suggest using K/9 ip) provide the quantity to compare to the quality of ERA and WHIP. They reward teams for having good depth and not just relying on a couple of dominant starters and leaving other spots blank (or giving them to relievers) in their lineup.

As far as relievers, including saves is pretty chincy too but there needs to be some artificial way to measure bullpen strength in the fantasy world...of course it doesn't reflect reality but neither does measuring stolen bases as a category equivalent to homeruns in value. It's included because it balances the game and gives people something else to think about. I agree it's not perfect and holds are even worse...but if we do away with saves then the relievers will hold no value for anybody. And maybe that is the way to go...who knows? Maybe the better ratio stats that dominant relievers tend to have is enough of an advantage in the relief pitching slots of the roster.
Pistol - Monday, February 10 2003 @ 04:18 PM EST (#13125) #
Coach - I hadn't previously contacted you directly about joining the league. My e-mail is above, and a waiting list is no problem. If I'm in, great, if not, no biggie.
_jason - Monday, February 10 2003 @ 05:18 PM EST (#13126) #

Joe Sheehan, in his latest newsletter, talks about the impact on teams when they have lost their closer to the DL. Despite what stat-heads see as an over-rated commodity, those teams were signifigantly worse over the period they were without their closer. I won't put up the detailed stats here, because you should get his newsletter for that, but in then end these teams had a .516 winning % with their closers and a .462 without.
_snellville jone - Monday, February 10 2003 @ 09:11 PM EST (#13127) #
I think one of the major things that contributes to this reliever dominance is the k/bb or k/9 percentage. Used along with WHIP it favors small sample sizes. I agree with R Billie that strikeouts should be a counting stat. Maybe we could do k-bb?
_Jonny German - Monday, February 10 2003 @ 10:14 PM EST (#13128) #
Okay, I tried ERA IP K-BB WHIP SV and still got the same problem.

Then I tried ERA IP K-BB WHIP W. This sent it too far the other way, with 39 starters outranking the best of the relievers.

And then I tried a bunch of other combos.

IP ERA G WHIP K-BB was a little better but still heavily favoured starters, and who really wants both G and IP?

And then I scratched my head a lot.

I have two suggestions:

i) All the other spreadsheet aficionados have a go at this to see if they get the same sort of results that I do.

ii) Anybody who has a lot of fantasy experience speak up about what they feel works best. I'm happy to run any suggestions through my little spreadsheet test, my MPI (minutes per iteration) is getting quite respectable.

Ideally we come up with something that reflects our concept of reality, but if we can't do that maybe you veterans can tell us what is most likely to keep things interesting. I'm not really in favour of increased complexity, but I have a feeling that going with 6 stats may sort things out nicely.
Coach - Monday, February 10 2003 @ 10:59 PM EST (#13129) #
something that reflects our concept of reality

Jonny, that path leads to complexity. The idea isn't necessarily to simulate real baseball, though that's a bonus when it happens. Not everyone has responded to my latest e-mail, but it does appear certain that we're playing Head-to-Head. So let's look for stat categories that will "work" in those small samples. Each team might get about 200 AB in a typical week. Some teams will have just 6 or 7 starts in a week; maybe a dozen or so relief appearances -- over a whole year, the counting stats even out, but W may be very volatile in these short series. If we use SB-CS, there will be matchups where somebody wins 3-2.

All I'm saying is, don't work too hard to achieve realism, as our format doesn't lend itself to that. You might like another league I joined -- it's using a complicated, weighted point system:

Hitting = ToB + TB + R + RBI + SB - OUTS
or = (H+BB) + TB + R + RBI + SB - (CS +(AB-H))

Pitching = 3*IP - 2*(H+R+ER) - BB + SO + BONUS
where BONUS = +5 for Win
+2 for Save
-3 for Loss
+2/full inning completed starting with 5th
(starters only)

Hell, I don't understand why, but it's supposed to be realistic. I'll do what I always do -- draft guys I expect to have good years in real ball, and hope for the best. In fact, the rules debates in that league became so intense, I stopped responding, and my team might be available if someone wants that kind of challenge and owner intensity.

Our BB league is intended for fun, a bit of trash-talking, but not too much strategy. I'm fine with 6x6 or even 7x7, and there are lots of Yahoo stats we haven't even begun to discuss. If SV tilts the "balance" too far to closers, add something odd like CG (complete games) -- there's a category that will end 0-0 in a lot of HtH matches, so if you get just one, it could be as big as a 4-HR day.

Something that just popped into my head -- from the 20 in the BB league and the 4-5 now on a waiting list, some people might want to start a smaller, more competitive, more realistic league and play in both. I can't; I'm at my 4-team Yahoo limit already. Unless someone takes that points-based team off my hands...
_snellville jone - Tuesday, February 11 2003 @ 02:01 AM EST (#13130) #
My 2 cents on categories-
OBP, HR, SB-CS, R, RBI, TB(or SLG, though I prefer TB)
_Spicol - Tuesday, February 11 2003 @ 10:22 AM EST (#13131) #
Jonny is a fantasy first timer so I can understand why he felt reality was most important. I second Coach's emotion though...let's try to have a fun game and not get too wrapped up in the search for perfect stats. I've played all kind of roto, some sabermetric, some with 20 categories and no game is perfect. They all have flaws but they all have good quirks as well. One can play any kind of game, just be sure to modify your strategy. In the end, if you can look at a ranking of the players in your league and say, "yeah, that looks about right", that's all you can ask.

I think the rules committee should just pick the rules after consulting some of the suggestions and say here, this is the game that we've chosen. If any of the 20 don't want to play that game, they can find another.
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