Apr 11, 2010

Discussion: League Rules

We've always operated without stated rules, which has worked for us thus far, but after WiS revised its policy regarding private worlds and removing problem owners, it might not be a bad idea to determine our expectations for fair play. I don't really want to change anything, unless there's a real groundswell from you guys to do so, but I'd like to have something to put into writing in the event that a problem owner joins and refuses to leave. Hopefully we'll never need these rules!

Add your ideas to the comments below.

27 comments:

HopkinsHeel said...

1. Anti-tanking rule. Whether thats x number of wins over x number of seasons or something else I'm not sure.

2. Minor League systems need to be taken care of.

3. Cash in a trade will not exceed the salary in the trade. (ie, you can't "buy a prospect" by sending 5 million and a player making less than that).

Marc said...

I concur with all of hopkinsheel's suggestions, especially #3.

What we want are baseline standards expected in any quality world.

In terms of the anti-tanking rules, I think minimums wins are fine but I would rather have more specific anti-tanking rules.

disaacs said...

We definitely need some type of rule regarding the minor league systems. There's nothing worse than having to play a 35-2 game because the other guy was running out fatigued pitchers.

I've never liked the idea of buying prospects, so any way to address that would be great.

TravisG said...

I'm fine with establishing a baseline for tanking, but that hasn't been something we've addressed in the past. I definitely want to hear a lot of input on that.

HopkinsHeel said...

In NCAA, we operate on a 200 losses over 2 seasons baseline. If you hit that then your franchise is reviewed to see if you were making a legit effort to win and are seen as a positive member of the world. If you pass that review, then the next season you must get to 70 wins minimum or you're out. I think we actually borrowed that rule from Moneyball which you're in travis...how has it worked over there?

bajoraa said...

Re: hopkins' suggestions, 1 and 2 are imperative. I'm not necessarily averse to cash-for-prospects. I have greater concern about signing guys to crappy contracts or dumping guys.

bajoraa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
train said...

I agree with all three of hopkins' rules, though #3 could police itself with veto votes.

If we're somewhat ambiguous when we write rule #1, it could leave it open for WIS to make the decision, which is not what we want, so we need to be very careful how its worded.

#2 would be easy - no 0(0) pitchers, no C playing SS, etc.

jabronidan said...

I like rules 1 and 2, but I think there is nothing wrong with buying prospects or any other players for that matter. The game allows you to send up to $5mil in any given trade, and you should be able to do that if both owners agree--at least in my opinion.

bajoraa said...

To follow up on what jabronidan and train pointed out re: #3, that's an area where it takes two to tango and we can veto already. The bigger threat is the stuff that someone can pull off on their own (signing stiffs to max contracts, dumping stars, etc.)

TravisG said...

My preference is to let our vetoes decide cash in trades (sometimes it bothers me, sometimes it doesn't), but I'm interested in finding out what sort of baselines we should demand for minor league upkeep and general competitiveness.

The .400 rule in Moneyball, which essentially requires 130 wins over any two consecutive seasons, is fun but tough, and introduces tons of unintended consequences. I don't think it's appropriate for an established league.

I'd prefer something more along the lines of setting the limit at three consecutive losing seasons. I'll have to check to see how many teams historically would have been booted under that standard, because my preference is not to go booting anyone. What I'm hoping to do is ensure everyone is making their best effort to win without disturbing the overall feel of this league.

But, of course, I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise.

HopkinsHeel said...

I think three consecutive losing seasons is too tough. I mean, I think we can all agree that someone who has gone 80 - 82 three seasons in a row isn't tanking right? Just to re-iterate the rule we have in NCAA which seems to work and doesn't seem too crazy (200 losses over two seasons and then you must reach 70)

hurricane384 said...

I am in NCAA and the 200 losses over 2 seasons works well.

The minor league systems rule needs to be implemented as well. I'm not sure if it's a 3 strikes type thing, where you warn the guy, give him a chance to clean it up, so on and so forth, until he gets booted after the 3rd offense.

I personally veto any trade where the cash is greater than the salary, but that's just me. I know that MLB allows cash to flow, but I don't like that either...so the veto works well enough in this situation.

gophilsgo said...

I may be devil's advocate here, but an owner who inherits a team might want to...heck, might HAVE to really tear it down. I'm thinking 200 in 2 years might, in some cases, be understandable.

And, further...cash-for-prospects seems wrong at first glance to me, too, but...is it? If you've got the resources, in a game where we're all working from the same $185 mil overall budget, shouldn't it be allowed?

Believe me, I'm NOT in favor of it, or advocating for it...I guess while I make up my mind, I'm asking if some of you could explain why you've taken that stance.

train said...

Re: the 200 in 2 years idea - I like it. I agree a rebuilding team could run up 200 losses in a two year period, but the other part of that rule is a 70-win min.

It shouldn't be too tough for a team coming off two rebuilding seasons to scratch out 70 wins.

I prefer this rule over anything else so far.

Hutch said...

I am going to agree with hopkins, hurricane, train and others in supporting the 200 loss, then 70 win minimum rule. I think it is a pretty fair policy.

As for the minors, I would be in favor of a three strike policy left at the discretion of the commish. However, we still need to set basic criteria for when minors are in violation. Second we need to determine whether a you can only get one strike per season or multiple. If multiple, what is the length of time in having f'ed up minors that constitutes a strike.

disaacs said...

I agree with the 200-losses over 2 seasons rule. To me, even if you're rebuilding, I don't feel it's acceptable to be losing over 100 more than once.

As far as the buying prospects go, utilizing the veto method is acceptable enough to me. I personally don't like it, and I won't ever use it myself, but I understand why some people do find it acceptable in some circumstances.

TravisG said...

It seems as if some momentum is building toward the 200-win baseline over two seasons, which should not be a challenge under most circumstances. Obviously, that rule will not apply for this season, but I will warn anyone who appears to be aiming for the bottom of the standings for this season.

I'm going to call for a vote tomorrow unless anyone raises objections.

HopkinsHeel said...

I would just make sure to include the caveat of after 2 100 loss seasons, if its obvious to you travis that the owner is purposefully tanking, they have the chance to win 70 the next season to save their team.

kevin said...

I don't like the fact that we can't get delinquent owners out of the league if they are affecting the integrity of the wins and losses teams could have. On the whole thing about needing to win a certain number of games a year or not loose a certain number of games over a period of time is a bit harsh and hard to take control over. I'm trying my hardest to win as many games as I can each season and putting out the best team possible and from season to season my team ether wakes up and plays like it's capable or it tanks it on it's own. You need to look at the overall production that has been produced by the team and the owner to see if they are really trying or just not giving any thought to trying in league before passing judgment on owner.

skidmark said...

200 losses over 2 seasonns does not seem unreasonable, but if that rule was already in affect I would be kicked out of the league as I lost over 200 games the previous 2 seasons. I don't think anyone can ccuse me of tanking, just stupidity! :)

Hutch said...

No I think the 200 loss rule then basically puts you on probation. You must win at least 70 the next season.

Look I know some owners like to cry poverty and an inability to lose less than 100 games, but I don't buy it. Sure I have had season in which my team wasn't great and got unlucky. However, I would still be ok under this system. This rule is designed to address systemic losing. No team, no matter how bad it starts, should have 100 losses three seasons in a row unless that owner is trying NOT to win.

TravisG said...

Oh, I misunderstood it, too. So the rule is, you must win at least 70 in the third year if you've lost 100 or more in the previous two?

Then I am definitely on board with that.

HopkinsHeel said...

The rule we use in NCAA is this: If you lose 200 games over 2 seasons then the probation decision goes to the commish (me) and I ask myself: Is this person tanking on purpose? DId he have a run of bad luck? What was his expected win pct? Is he a positive addition to the world? If the answers are yes then the owner gets a probationary third season and they MUST get to 70 wins, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

In my opinion it is very fair and has worked well for us.

kevin said...

I've been in this league since season 3 and I've had only one 100 loss season and I've had some that have gotten into the 90's a few times but I can't say I wasn't trying to field a good team. I'm an owner that wants to build from inside and not go trade for every superstar every season to make an allstar team. Then let them walk in free agency to get draft picks each year to trade away to get the next big thing when other owners don't want to pay them. My record isn't great but when the pieces have all come together I have been able to compete most every season. You can tell when an owner is tanking it or just not taking care of their team. The win/loss thing should only be used if the loosing becomes habitual.

ralphfurley said...

As a guy who has lost 100 games in a season a number of times (there was a three-season span with over 300 losses), I am obviously opposed to the "anti-tanking" rule. I don't feel I was ever tanking during that time - I had maximum money allocated to prospects, scouting, development, etc. During that three year span, I was competitive at the Low A and High A level, followed the next couple seasons by being competitive at AA and AAA. Sometimes it might take up to five seasons to go in a new direction. And to be honest, I always thought I should have been much better at the major league level. I signed free agents, re-signed guys who had excellent years before, and I promoted guys who were tearing it up in AAA. Yet every season, I started out 3-7 and went downhill from there. Even this season, I've started out well, and am currently in a horrible 20 game slide that I can't figure out how to right. In other words, this game isn't easy, particularly with so many quality owners.

To me, any anti-tanking rule should have more to do with effort than result. If an owner is checking his team on a daily basis, is adjusting lineups and pitching staffs so that the team he's fielding is rested, and is responsive to trade requests, etc, we should be happy to have him. Mandating results is a slippery slope.

Besides, if our main worry is what to do with owners who have abandoned their team, the last thing we want to do is wait two full seasons to get rid of them.

TravisG said...

Any change in the rules would not replace our long-standing procedure for replacing abandoned teams.

As I've said before, the last thing I want to do is kick out an owner (unless someone tries to sabotage their team, as some other leagues have experienced). But it does seem as if people want a baseline for competitiveness.

I don't want to make things too hard or monkey with this league's laid-back quality, because we've been successful for so long. There's a place for elite leagues, and there's a place for fun worlds (like this one) where new owners can compete alongside veterans.

Ultimately, I'm allowed to make some judgment calls on our membership. If I believe someone is doing their best but fails to meet the minimum, I will lobby to keep them here.