never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut

Monday, January 09, 2006

Do your science on this

Andy (and all),

Will someone please explain to me why the following, simple system (that I have been talking about for months) is a) not workable and b) why were are better served by a system that is much more complicated?

I see things going like this:

1. We draft as normal this year.
2. At some date to be determined (either right at the end of the season or right before the next draft) each GM effectively "holds" three players that will automatically begin on his team the following year. Just like an expansion draft.
3. We take those 30 players out of the draft (last I checked, 3 players x 10 teams = 30) and draft as usual.
4. The following year, we repeat. You can choose any player on your roster at the end of the year.

This would allow a number of different strategies to take place. Think that Francisco Liriano is the next Santana? Draft him higher than you should hoping for potential gains down the line. Think that hot new stud that the Cardinals brought up (hypothetically) at the end of the season is gonna be big? Pick him up down the stretch and hold him for next year, sacrificing one of your more established veterans. Thrilled that you have Vlad this year? You get him next year too! Pissed that Andy has had Manny for two years? Over pay for him in the form of a trade filled with prospects and hope that it works out for you. Really like Jason Bay, beyond any reasonable amount? Choose to keep him rather than risk losing him in a draft. Angry at Omar for only drafting evil players? Well, I guess this doesn't get around that, but you get my drift.

Also, with this system, people would be able to make OFF SEASON trades, adding drama to the time between October and April. Winter meetings, anyone?

I don't buy this argument put forth by Congressman Beatty that allowing GMs to hold on to a player indefinitely is a bad idea. Why not hold on to Pujols until he begins to suck? That's part of the fun, right? Knowing when to hold em and when to fold em, so to speak. Plus, this will only make blockbuster trades that much more enjoyable and important.

Listen, I think the main goal of this draft/league should be to keep all parties interested and competitive throughout the course of the season as well as year to year. Adding preseason rankings would only add fuel to the augments that we're sure to have anyway. And contracts would seriously deminish the likelihood that people make trades since they wouldn't want to take on a good player if he was in the last year of a contract and they knew he was going to reenter the draft in the following year. We already have a league filled with people unwilling to make trades during the year. Why limit this aspect of the game? It would also seriously complicate how the next draft works. If I trade Pete a guy I just got for a guy he drafted two years ago, does that mean that I lose him (and consequentially one of my keepers) at the end of the year? And does he then gain a keeper for a whole year? And if the contract becomes new year time it is traded, then what's the point of having trades. Am I wrong here?

Let's not complicate this more than it has to. Keepers is a fun idea because it rewards long term thinking but it shouldn't totally change the way the league is managed.


Morcy said...

your idea is fine. I agree that I don't like the idea of fixed contracts anymore, since it greatly, as you predict, devalues trade value on players in walk seasons. Although the real world works that way...

My whole post was just about working this all out in the schema of an auction, which I'm not (yet) totally sold on. (Arbitrarily limiting the number of kept players would not be a problem with an auction.)

Furthermore, I don't see why one can't keep n players, thereby sacrificing n rounds in the draft. Why should I be limited to 3 players? If I'm convinced that I have 5 players who are in the top 50 of players, why shouldn't I keep all 5? I don't think keeping track of that at draft time is too complex.

So generally, I like your plan, should we keep doing a draft. I just don't like the fixed number of kept players.

Omar said...

i made a comment on andy's post saying basically the same thing ben. i don't really understand this flavor of the month love with auction system and contracts. i think we could do a seperate league with all these wacky rules but i think the main league would be better served using a more tried and true approach.

the 40 man roster deal with auctions on the fly is not really what this league is about. even though i usually make the least moves i still like the idea of having unlimited moves without penalty or payment.

speaking of payment, are we keeping it at $50 this year? And i think we should give it up at the start of the year. If you are really worried about losing your marginal benefit of $50 we can put it in a 3 or 6 month CD and get some sweet 3.5% on that shit.

Omar said...

maybe 3 is too few but i dont think it should be n players because then the draft isn't as much fun because then i would have kept 10 of my players from last year and the draft would have been devoid of all the best players in the league (go 2005 draft!). maybe 5 or 6 keepers in a 25 player, 10 person league.

and do we have a 10th yet? we need to get him in this blog so he can see how insane this gets months before pitchers and catchers report.

Morcy said...


Fine, keep 10 players, if you like. But I doubt anyone else will, so that's a lot of talent you're missing out on while everyone else is drafting. I think that's your prerogative, though. You deserve a little credit for having a mediocre draft, even if it's just a pity play for your finishing as much the champion last year as I.

carter said...

i also have to come down against an auction. i think it would be fantastic on the day of the draft, but would subsequently bog down the league.

I was also in a previous year diamondmind league once upon a time, and i do not think that it would be at all easy to transfer the auction rules of that format to live fantasy baseball, unless we were willing to limit roster add/drops to once a week. i am not.

finally, i like the keeper format which allows unlimited keeps but with a loss of draft pick based on the value of the player the previous season, as defined by yahoo or weird science stats.

Morcy said...

Carter: For mid-season pickups (the part of the auction format you fear), we could just have pricetags on players already, pre-affixed by BP (or whoever).

For keeping, I don't see why we need to sacrifice the round-specific pick that kept player takes up. That seems to add complication unnecessarily. If you want to hold on to your lucky 20th round pick, then you sacrifice a top-round pick for him the next year. That's the price of keepin.

Morcy said...

er, I wasn't clear. Obviously if the guy you picked in round 20 that you want to keep is good, BP (or whoever) will up his draft location. I don't see why we don't just forfeit that added wrinkle. the draft position schema only makes sense if our rosters are big enough to have players riding pine until they learn to hit. And they, thankfully, aren't.

Omar said...

my team couldn't keep it up during the stretch run so i ended up losing but i wouldn't mind keeping alot of those players for this year so i might have kept upwards of 10 players who i wouldn't be able to replace so screw you and you're hating on my awesome team. im going to be living in 2005 for a while.

my problem with using some 3rd party group to value players for the next years draft is that its yet another point of contention. if we use yahoo, someone will say why not use espn. if we use espn someone will say why not use baseball america. and so on. also what if you have 4 3rd round players? you can't lose the third round 4 times. the reason i say we should set some fixed amount of keepers is so that we don't get into a detente situation where i want to keep 4 players but then i find out andy is keeping 10 players and mike is keeping 8 players so i know i won't be able to get decent players from anyone else till its too late so i keep 11 players and then ben keeps 12 players and the teams never get re-drafted.

i'm not sure if i made the point clearly but listening to bullshit from this alito conformation hearing is frying my brain. this senator is explaining abortion to me and its really opening my eyes. i never realized the christian right was pro downs syndrome before but now i guess they are. really gripping shit.

pedrag said...

Omar, if we do a third-party draft-value list, there wouldn't be the hypothetical problem you're describing because we would have agreed on the list BEFOREHAND. but that's what this league seems to be all about, arguing #($&*#$ing constantly about the rules and then never making any trades. but that's a side complaint. an auction does seem increasingly unfeasible at this point, although i realize some people (myself, moacir, et al) are intrigued by the strategic possibilities that an auction unfolds. i don't necessarily agree that an auction will lead to a logjam on trades or overcomplication -- i'm more interested in an auction as a fun way to draft, less interested as an autodemocratic way of determining player salaries (i am ANTI salaries). The necessary end of the auction v draft debate is that we should quickly poll every one. I doubt it's split 5-5 (since we only have 9 voters) but i'd like to get it settled, just so we can proceed to different things to debate over. (stats, etc).

also for the record, i am 100% OK with what bench proposes in the above post. we can have perpetual keepers. i just want people to realize this year's draft is FUCKING CRUCIAL and prepare accordingly. also, since i am being centrist in all things administrative here, i'd like everyone to try to follow my example and be openminded. and this is the point where the dialogue about fantasy baseball sounds like a prepared to speech to try to talk someone into deviant sex. i am 100% down with the perpetual keeper league, as long as we don't get to keep 10 guys. somewhere in between 3 and 10 seems fine with me, as long, as moacir said previously, as there's a simple way to appropriate take away draft picks. and believe me, we have to take away draft picks if we have a you-call-it number of keepers. (why should someone who kept more people have the same amount and priority as someone who kept fewer or no players? shit does not make sense.)

Morcy said...


what I propose is this: you can keep as many players as you like, but if you're the great greedy guts, then that means you don't draft for a lonnnng time. Let's say the league is me, you, and omar. You wanna keep 3 dudes, I wanna rebuild, so I keep 1, and omar keeps every yankee. So it goes like this:

* draw randomly for positions (o, p, m)

1. X, X, X
2. X, X, my first awesome dude
3. X, X, my second awesome dude. You all fear.
4. X, Pete's ok dude, My championship sealing dude
23. Omar's out of yankees, Pete's scrub, Moacir's still ok scrub.

I don't see what's unfair about this. I don't see why we need to know "ahead of time" how many people people are keeping. Sure, maybe you're expecting Omar to keep all 22 yankees, and at the last minute he flips and they all become available, but well, that's how the world works. I don't feel it's fair to limit perps I can keep, in exchange.