Thread: Stage Four

It doesn’t exist. But we keep hoping.

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We had similar problems in our 33 year old League. We changed from 26 teams with 23 active roster slots to 10 teams with 46 active rosters. Went from Freeze Rosters with 15 MLB and 10 Farm to 15 MLB and 6 Farm. A fantastic Freeze Roster alone no longer automatically beats any other tactics. We're an Auction league with a Salary Cap on Auction Day. We've remained a General Manager league rather than a daily manager of lineups. We have no bench. With 460 active players instead of 598 there are more players available during the season which has promoted more activity and fewer Ghost teams. We also split into 2 divisions, which we should have done when we had so many teams. We now have 3 winners out of a possible 10 each season- 2 division winners and a play-off winner. Lastly, we changed our scoring categories to have more counting ones and less rate ones which has encouraged teams to keep playing- adding starters, filling reserved players to have more slots pumping out stats each day.  Quality of owners beats quantity of owners. It's easier to find 10 active ones than 26.

James Morgan jem1776
Aug 10

Our league, also old/4x4/AL-only has gotten a little dry.  We had a major dumping crisis in the late 90s (long story), and BANNED dumping.  If you trade a guy during the season, he's not keepable.  Trades are few and far between.

We have recently expanded DLs to 6 (from 3), starting next year; we have 3-man reserve lists.  I was not particularly in favor -- the FA pool is already thin.

I have suggested a jubilee draft, to ZERO enthusiasm.  

Mike Dean TMU2009
Aug 10

We haven't had similar trouble.  Our league always has learning curve, but of our two newest franchises, one made the money in their fourth year, followed by a championship, and a third place finish.  They have a shot tow in again this year for four straight money finishes.  The other newer team, in their fourth year is also contending for the championship.

One solution is to not allow so many protections and to make turnover happen faster.  We only allow 5 major league keepers plus two minor leaguers (or more minor leaguers at the expense of major leaguers).  That helps b/c the draft matters more than keeping 10-12 or even more per team.  

Plus, we force option/extension decision in the first offseason a player is signed/activated.  This may be even more critical.  It creates much faster turn over of players.  The trend is to shorter contracts to compete with all of the teams with cheaper option players.  Only guys like Alvarez, Vlad, and Eloy will be signed longer this year. Biggio and others will only get option years.

I think the pyramid protection system helps too.  Give an extra keeper or two to 5th and 6th to encourage people to play for those spots.

Finally, the roster construction issues can be resolved.  We added a 10th pitcher 4 years ago.  We have considered removing a hitter.  The balance is tough though.  From where do you take the spot?  Four OF seems wrong and would lead to extra OF free agents without helping free up hitters elsewhere.  

The only other option is a redraft league, but for a home league, that eliminates any feeling of continuity and definitely removes the incentive to pick up players and make trades for teams in the bottom half.  We did no trading for protections for a couple years and it lead to 1/3 of the teams just giving up in July and not paying attention at all.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Aug 9

The main points:

... over the last two or three years, my home league feels more out of sync with fantasy baseball than it used to feel. Part of this is probably because it’s a dinosaur of a league: a 33-year-old Rotisserie-style, AL-only league that stubbornly clings to 4×4 despite multiple attempts to join the early twenty-first century. But it’s not merely that. What used to be an intuitive and comprehensible format to new members has felt confusing and difficult to the last two or three people who joined our ranks. After a brief period where I kept getting frustrated that the newbies didn’t understand the rules, I realized that it’s not them. It’s us.

 ... deep leagues have become even more onerous thanks to major-league teams carrying 12-13 pitchers. There isn’t really much for us to do during the regular season on the hitting side unless a minor leaguer who isn’t already in our farm system (we can keep up to four minor leaguers at the beginning of the year) is promoted or if someone is traded from the “other” league. While the mono leagues in Tout Wars are similarly limiting, the freedom to speculate on minor leaguers and injured players via FAAB offers an additional wrinkle that keeps us more involved.

 The same can be said for the unlimited reserve list my league uses for non-active major leaguers... Scott Pianowski of Yahoo! argued against the concept of an unlimited injured list for years, and I passionately argued against him. Now, I must belatedly concede he was right. A deeper free-agent list keeps things interesting during the season; seeing a team in my league with a combination of 28 minor league and IL players on reserve is somewhat demoralizing.

 These drawbacks would be irrelevant if everyone in the league was as passionate and involved as they were a few years ago. Unfortunately, we’ve been locked into a familiar pattern of behavior the last few seasons:

  • Three or four teams clearly have the best rosters coming into the auction. Little changes during the auction; if anything, the strongest teams get even better.
  • Because of this somewhat obvious hierarchy (to most), teams at the bottom of the standings don’t try to improve and compete. The teams at the top don’t do much either, as they know eventually the teams at the bottom will give up and play for next year.
  • The teams in the middle are caught in a crunch. They’re not bad enough to immediately give up, but they’re not good enough to trade their way into serious contention …. which doesn’t matter, because no one is trading (see No. 2).
  • Finally, in late June or early July, the worst teams in the league give up on the season. They trade their expensive chips or players with expiring contracts to the top three or four teams in contention.

This pattern makes the league predictable, but it also saps interest during the season. Attempts to make a fair, this-year-for-this-year swap are thwarted frequently because it pays to wait for teams to start giving up. Why trade Justin Verlander for Mookie Betts when you can wait until June and trade a cheap Lucas Giolito for Betts and an option-year Charlie Morton? The larger problem with this pattern is that it creates a mushy middle where teams can’t do enough to win in July via trade unless they’re in the top two or three. Trading your future assets on July 15 to finish third instead of fifth might appeal to some, but it doesn’t appeal to most...

Alex Patton Alex
Aug 9

The paywall strikes again!

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX
Aug 9

An annual request:  who has/knows of a good source for reasonably compact Opening Day rosters?  Yes, Roster Resource is great -- but hard to get into a reasonably small format.  Rotoworld, as we discovered two years ago, didn't have the most up-to-date rosters.  This is important for our league's rules -- I just need Teams/Names, that's it.  If anyone knows of a good source, I'd appreciate it.  In a perfect world, I'd like to get all the AL teams on one legal-sized page.

Mike Dean TMU2009
Mar 19

Hampson, Steckenrider and Peralta

joel schreier jschri
Mar 19

Here's how Tout answered this weekend.

Justin Turner 24

Zobrist 7

Hampson 18

Peralta 19

Grandal 16

Steckenrider 4

Nelson 7

Stripling 10

So they're all keeps!

And all except Hampson are close.

At the price I'd definitely keep Hanson but be aware that McMahon poses a major threat to playing time.

My second keep would be Turner. Just a feeling he's going to have a big year. (My bid, like Tout's, reflects injury risk.)

My third would be Grandal because of catcher scarcity.

Alex Patton Alex
Mar 19

Help! which 3 more do i keep (4x4 NL only - already keeping Trea, Dahl & Vazquez)

Justin Turner $20

Zobrist $6

Hampson $7

Peralta $19

Grandal $11

Steckenrider $1

Jimmy Nelson $3

Stripling $7


mark maurer Tuffy
Mar 19