Oct 7, 2011

Possible Rule Change

Our rules have been updated (but not changed) under the Private World Rules tab, but I am inclined to add a new one. We haven't voted anyone out yet for posting 200 losses, despite having a referendum every season since the rule went into effect. That actually doesn't bother me too much, because I think that reflects our relaxed, friendly attitude here.

But I am strongly inclined to automatically boot owners if they reach 200 losses over two consecutive two-season periods. (Does that make sense? What I mean is, you post 200 losses over, say, seasons 1 and 2, and then 200 losses over seasons 2 and 3. I guess it could more easily be expressed as losing 300 games over three seasons.)

I've heard from some of you during our referendums (referenda?) who say that it takes time to turn around a bad franchise, and I can understand that. But having rebuilt several teams across several leagues, I don't believe that it's necessary to lose 100 games or more over consecutive seasons to rebuild a franchise. I don't want to be a hardass here, but I feel like we need the no-questions rule for the third season so our relaxed, friendly attitude isn't abused. I'll wait to change anything until budget day is over (at least) to gauge reactions, but that seems like a reasonable rule to encourage competition. More than reasonable, actually.


gophilsgo said...

I think this comes down to punitive vs. constructive...

As Travisg said, every year we've faced at least one of these, and by my recollection, we often have a difficult time getting enough votes to really establish a quorum.

I've voted to keep everyone thus far, though I'm not sure that would continue. But before we change the rules, I'd like to suggest the following:

SUGGESTION #1, THE TRIBUNAL - When I hit 200 losses in 2 seasons, I knew exactly why I did it. I could tell you which trades went sour, which prospects didn't pan out, etc. And I could also tell you why I was reluctant to sign a bunch of free agents to get to a hollow 70 wins.

In fact, I kind of WISHED I had the opportunity to explain myself. I don't know about you guys, but I kind of think about this team a lot (in fact, I can tell you what jersey number every player has worn...). I didn't want to get booted out of a hobby for which I pay without at least defending myself.

Could we have some of the more active/long-term owners form a tribunal and actually have a discussion with the 200/2 offending party? Maybe in a conversation we'd be able to see if a guy was really struggling, or simply not caring much about the team. I think it would be pretty easy to tell (neglectful owners probably wouldn't be up for defending their losses very much). And the conversation might allow for...

SUGGESTION #2, THE HELP - I'm still baffled by aspects of this game, and I'm an inaugural owner. I know the Forums have threads to help, but there are SO many, they're organized by either too-general or too-specific threads. Finding useful information is very difficult. I don't think the forums really offer much. Honestly, does "Things We Learned in Aaron/Ruth" help anyone? It's longer than a Franzen novel at this point.

If we see a struggling team, should we offer help? I guess it leads me to a fundamental question: do we want to see the 200/2 teams get better? Or do we just want to see the owners punished?

If Griffey really is a friendly, fun world, I propose amending the above rule with the following: creating a formal forum in which an offending owner can explain his/her struggles, and doing more to encourage and advise our struggling colleagues.

TravisG said...

I appreciate that every situation is different, but I don't see how it's possible to lose 300 games in three seasons while making an honest effort to win games.

There are simply too many useful veterans available in free agency for little $$ and few years to necessitate the sort of losing rosters that I see so often (this goes for almost every world I've joined). I suppose, under some very extreme circumstances that it might be justifiable to trot out a dead dog of a roster one season, but not for multiple seasons in a row.

There have been four MLB franchises that have posted consecutive 100-loss seasons since 1973 (two teams posted two seasons in a row and two posted three such seasons in a row). That's about one per decade. We seem to have an offender every year, and I think we need to increase the pressure to win games.

It's not like we're asking owners to hit .500 in that second or third year; we're asking them to avoid 100 losses, which shouldn't be all that hard.

jabronidan said...

I'm fine with 300 losses in 3 season = Auto boot.

TravisG said...

Someone brought up an interesting concern in a trade chat: Let's say someone passes the vote after two 105-loss seasons, and follows up with 72-90 in Year 3. That's a 15-game improvement, but an auto-boot. Should the auto-boot require 300 losses over three seasons with 100+ losses in each season?

My initial thought was, yeah, that is a 15-game improvement, which is certainly good. But 105 is just an awful lot of losses -- and so is 90. It's technically possible to run afoul of the 300-loss rule with an 81-win season in the mix, assuming you lost 109 games on season and 110 in another.

I'm not comfortable removing someone who's reached .500, although they necessarily would have to lose 110 games or more in a prior season, which is just terrible. So I think it might be best to automatically boot an owner who posts three consecutive 100-loss season, and retain the option for voting them out after two of those seasons in a row.