Thread: Stage Four

It doesn’t exist. But we keep hoping.

Welcome! You are invited to wander around and read all of the comments that have been posted here at Patton & Co., but as soon as you register you can see the bid limits that Alex, Peter and Mike propose for each player, and you can post your own comments. Registering is free, so please join us!

Along these lines, that's why daily baseball leagues are dumb.  Baseball's not about daily, and that's why we love it, and why we're happy to have our season go for 6 months and eschew "head to head", which is moronic.  As are daily leagues.  And get off my lawn and go back to Andy's yard.

Mike Landau ML-
Mar 25 '16

As we report on how our leagues operate maybe someone can compile some statistics on them.  Nothing that elaborate but just some generalizations. 

I play in three leagues—two National and one American.  One National and One American have the same rules.  These are:

5 x 5    OB% instead of BA     $260 auction    Up to 10 keepers    5 Reserves                  Up to 8 on farm (minor leaguers)     23 roster (14 hitters) & (9 pitchers)

Our wrinkle is contract extensions.  Each year you keep a player (5 years maximum)

his contract increases by $2.  No waiver pickups but $100 of FAAB for the season.

My other National League is more a traditional Ultra with no limit on keepers, contract extensions at the 3rd year at $5 a year, 5 x 5 with BA,  $260, 3 man reserve, unlimited farm team but each farm player costs $10 a year to keep.

I agree with Tex and Andy that fantasy is not Rotisserie.  Because fantasy football is based to much on luck I never had any interest to play.

By its very nature baseball is a cerebral game and our game should be the same—cerebral, not simple.

Tom Barnes Turtles
Mar 25 '16

Back when I used to play FF (I quit years ago, because it incented me to watch way more professional football on Sundays than I really care about watching) we changed our draft to make the first 7 rounds an auction - and then go into draft phase after that. That seemed to work pretty well.

The two home leagues BobinTx and I play in (one as opponents, one as co-owners ... but are both old school as well.  NL only, 4x4, 12 team.  In the more competitive one we play Ultra rules, with the 17 man reserve list but the clock starts as soon as a player is drafted.  In the other one we have a 7 man reserve but the clock doesn't start until he reaches the majors.

When the NL was 16 teams, we had expanded to 13, and then for a year or two after the Astros went to the AL we still had 13, so we turned the UT position into a swing position to account for the lack of hitters.  When a team left the league we went back to it being a hitter only position.  

But after listening to Patrick on Baseball HQ radio discuss the stats of how MLB roster construction has changed since the founding days of roto (rosters used to often have 15 hitters and 10 pitchers back then ... now it's common to see 13 hitters and 12 pitchers on an NL roster) ... I'm thinking of making the pitch for making it a swing position again.  Seems that on FAAB there are always a handful of pitchers with potential value, and almost never any hitters who have potential to really help your club.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope
Mar 25 '16

One of the things that sticks in my bum is the fantasy football auction. Fantasy football players have adopted it and they think it's the same as a Rotisserie baseball auction. Uh, no, it's not.

In fantasy football, you can buy the two best running backs and it doesn't matter who the rest of your running backs are because they don't have to play. In baseball, if you buy the two best pitchers, you don't have the money to fill out the rest of your staff adequately, and those stats count (and they can kill you). The nuvo-roto don't get that.

True story: Last summer a guy (let's call him Bob) came up to me at softball and we had this conversation:

BOB: Hey, Andy, you're into fantasy baseball, right?
ME: Yes, I dabble
BOB: Listen, I have the first waiver pick and this kid Kris Bryant just came up. Have you heard of him?
ME: The names sounds familiar
BOB: Well, I have the first waiver pick...
ME: Pick him up. Now
BOB: Let me finish. I can pick him up, but I have to drop Todd Frazier
ME: Quite a pickle
BOB: Well, if you were me, what would you do?
ME: Find a better league.

Fantasy football isn't much better. Guys will come up to you and say, "I won my league last year because I picked up Todd Gurley". I don't want to be in a fantasy football league where you can just 'pick up' Todd Gurley.

But that's just us. And while we are in the minority, there's still plenty of good stuff out there, even if the more mainstream stuff may have left us behind. And that's the great thing about 'Merica (cue the Star Spangled Banner), there's plenty of choices for everyone.

Or, as Yakov Smirnoff would say, "In communist Russia, fantasy baseball auctions You!"

Keith Prosseda andypro
Mar 25 '16

Our league is 12 teams, AL only, 4x4.  We are old school in a big way.  Age (and lack of prep times) has forced us to reduce our reserve/injured lists to 6, but if you're not arguing about which marginal guy is more likely to win 8 games, and which back-up middle infielder might steal 10 bases, you're not doing it right.

Mike Dean TMU2009
Mar 25 '16

Thanks to Andypro and Peter for responding.  That's pretty much what I figured about any possible info from polls or studies - proprietary type of stuff.  It's what I see as the creeping idiocy of fantasy football (in name as well as style - didn't the original Rotisserie League try to trademark that name?).  Every season, I feel like the industry as a whole slides more and more to a game resembling fantasy football to appeal to a broader audience.  Not a bad thing in itself - I want to see more people following real baseball for any reason.  However, that simplification tends to bring down the level of conversation on a lot of sources (especially the ones in bed with King Football), and I'm just curious about how many leagues actually are a "standard" 10-team mixed, 5X5 redraft, 1-catcher format.  Not saying those games couldn't be fun, but I see them as missing out on so much: like the pleasure of discussing the merits of Cameron Rupp vs. Tyler Flowers, or agonizing over signing Anthony Rendon to a LTC.  That simple format misses out on much of the nuance that makes the original game more like running a real club.  I just wonder how many people who start playing in a simple league go on to try their hand at something like the original - or is it a forgone conclusion that the short attention span/simple is better crowd will dominate just like in so many other segments of American culture?  Maybe that issue has already been decided.  I'm very glad this site exists for us Rotisserie grognards.  Thanks to Alex and Peter and everyone else who contributes here.

Rob Christensen BigBalboni
Mar 25 '16

Good points.

The conversation here is also self-deporting. Your average guy in an 8 team mixed league who stumbles upon this site to find out whether he should take Miguel Cabrera or Anthony Rizzo in the 3rd round of his draft isn't going to find much useful here.

And I'd be willing to bet that a lot of us here read those old Waggoner Rotisserie League Baseball books cover to cover every year.

And while I'm in 'Get off my lawn' mode, I think we should bring back the term Rotisserie. I'm not a big fan of saying fantasy, unless it applies to football. And I apologize Rotoman, but I don't really care for 'Roto' either. Roto-Hockey? Give me a freakin' break! And I thought I told you kids to get off my lawn.

Keith Prosseda andypro
Mar 25 '16

Big Balboni came to the right place for this sort of talk, although he could also have posted on the Fantasy Sports Trade Association page. Oh, we don't have one of those.

The FSTA does polling to find out who is playing what, and I don't have access to those polls because I don't belong and I don't really care.

Most of us at this site are here because we love the original game, as handed down by Okrent and Co. 

I have absolutely no problem with other games. There are virtues and problems with them all, and so be it. 

I think the original game, allowing for some modifications, sparks the best conversations and the deepest knowledge not only about the fake game, but about the real one as well. And I do think both matter, a lot.

But the original game is harder to play, than say head to head football. Which weeds out the unwanted, a reason I think we have a remarkably consistent quality of conversation here. We all care about this same, rough thing, and share language and experience of it.

Peter Kreutzer Rotoman
Mar 25 '16

I run several football and baseball leagues and have done so for decades. In almost all of the discussions over rules, etc, most of the teams want it to be easy. Nominal fantasy players don't want to have to study a lot, and they particularly don't want to have to make tough roster decisions.

This isn't exactly just a fantasy sports phenomenon, it's pretty much cultural, but I'll let Trump speak to that (while insulting Chinese lesbians).

For my money, I want their to be "tension" in fantasy sports. I don't want it to be easy to get a replacement guy who's almost as good, I don't want guys to be able to just pick a guy at the draft and keep him forever, etc.

I think most of the posters here feel the same way, and the original intent of rotisserie baseball was that it was to be difficult and it required some study and planning.

Unfortunately, I think we are losing this battle. The popular options will skew towards shallower leagues and easier rules. I call this whole thing "The War On Two Catcher Leagues".

Keith Prosseda andypro
Mar 25 '16

Not sure exactly where the best place on the site to post this question would be, but here goes.  Is there a source where someone could find results from polls or studies about what the breakdown is for preferences in fantasy baseball leagues?  For instance, what percentage uses auctions vs. drafts?; what percentage uses AL-only, NL-only, or mixed?; what percentage uses 4X4, 5X5, or other?; what is the average league size?; what percentage is restart vs. keeper or dynasty?; what percentage uses OBA or any other non-standard category (QS, Holds, etc)?  I'm just curious as it feels like more and more content seems to be skewing towards shallow mixed redraft leagues using a snake draft.  This is one site where that bias doesn't creep in  - and why I like it!  I'm pretty sure that there must be some kind of info gathered for industry people to decide on what to publish, post, and emphasize to gain a wider audience.  It's probably proprietary info.  I sometimes wonder though if the published content drives the preferences of the fantasy public or if their preferences drive the content?  Chicken/egg?  Has the Swingman or OBA gotten much traction with the general public since Tout introduced them?

Rob Christensen BigBalboni
Mar 24 '16