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

Friday, March 23, 2007

Transitioning from Draft to Auction

The transition debate is what I imagine will be the most problematic. All I can say at the outset is that baseball is generally unfair, and if we develop a system that is good enough for this one time transition of a maximum of 70 players (7 keepers x 10 teams), then we'll be all set.

The first problem, though, is to decide what to do about second-year keepers. I, personally, think the "highest available pick the second time around" rule is dumb, and I wouldn't mind rescinding it for something like "his round position jumps 7 rounds the second year." This is a conversation, though, that we need to have TONIGHT. That and to decide whether we will do a draft or auction or auction/draft next year.

Luckily, the second problem—translating draft position into auction prices—can be done outside of a decision on the above problem.

Last month, I proposed taking the league budget b and breaking it down into SUM(x = 1 ; x = 25) xn, thereby using n as a sort of basepoint by which the inverted round of a player is multiplied to figure out his contract price. So a first rounder would cost 27n, a tenth rounder 18n, and so on. However, using the numbers from my head, b = $265 and the league minimum is $1. As such, I propose making n = 1. Hence, someone picked in the last round this year but kept would be under contract for the league minimum. Someone drafted in the first round would cost $27. According to BP's Player Forecast Manager, using the parameters of our league, there are only 8 players worth more than $27—and two of them are between $27 and $28, so it's a pretty good deal for first rounders. Otherwise, it's not a good deal until you start getting into the late teens / twenties, which just means that the keeper market will be scarce in transition.

So next year, seven players from each team would automatically go under contract at prices determined using the a scheme like the one above. Second year keepers would obviously have their round values augmented before it got translated into a price.

Ruleset discussion

I'm going to walk through the ruleset and describe the thinking that's going on.


1.1 I've expanded the roster. This is done mostly to avoid in-season acquisitions. Even though many of us in this league live and die by the waiver wire, if we have to start considering salary implications, etc., of every waiver pick up, it becomes a TON of work for someone. I'm willing to play the role of accountant, but I shouldn't have to be doing piles of calculations every week. Hopefully a 40-man roster will help this.

1.2 I suggested in my head a budget of $265: $10 per UC, and $1 per draftee. The league minimum, therefore, is $1. I think it's worthwhile to have bonuses for performance--top five finishers get some kinds of scale of rewards, and we could have other rewards, like, say, for "most-improved" or something.

Also, I think the money should be delivered in two sums so that owners have money with which to play toward the end of the season--say blowing half their budget on late-season acquisitions, at the risk of not being able to keep those players under contract the following year.

1.3 I can imagine that auctioning 400 players would take a whole weekend. As a result, I came up with the idea of two types of players: auctioned contract players and drafted "free" players. The idea is that one drafts players who are young or who are serious reserves--third catchers and the like. Basically like whom you would expect to find on the 40-man of a real team.


2.1 This part is clearer. Obviously players' status shouldn't change over the course of the year.

2.2 Also clear. In my head, I think there should be a 10% raise for players, but that can be discussed--we could have escalators based on length of contract (10% a year, but a 50% hop in the fourth yeah, say), but I like a blanket 10%, since it makes accounting easier.

2.3 I think that the draft is where we can hide prospects who might not even be in the yahoo system or players who aren't full-time yet, etc. As such, they should be "free" to the owner. After three years, though, the owner has to decide what to do with the player--and if he wants to keep him, then he needs to promote him by putting him under contract (and retroactively paying him $1 for his third year).

I somehow worry, though, that owners will abuse this system and ride players raw for free :) As such, any drafted player can be put under contract by a different owner during the auction. In other words, no drafted player is safe at auction time. That encourages the draft's remaining a place for RESERVES, not starters. Starters should be under contract. That's why, on the flip side, a drafted player can be promoted to UC at ANY time by the owner... So say you draft Papelbon, and he kicks ass. You know he'll be nominated by someone the next year at the auction, so you might as well promote him and put him under contract yourself for $1, thereby avoiding having to auction for him.


This should be very clear.


Also clear. I know that the keeper system seems busted (forfeiting your lowest picks, instead of your highest), but considering that any drafted player can be auctioned off the next year, it's unlikely that there will be much value in the draft at any time. I could be wrong.


Hopefully with a 40-man roster, there won't be tons of mid-season acquisition, but if there is, I think this sort of three-day auction is a pretty good way to do things--it's like a waiver wire claim period, but with cash instead of waiver position. I imagine these will get much more exciting during the second half of the season, once the all-star break cash dump is made.


I've been thinking about this for a while, and here it goes... my candidate for a cash-based auction league. I'm going to not use numbers here, since when I do, everyone always freaks out and focuses more on the numbers than on the ideas ("Howie Kendrick isn't a 13th rounder!").

I'm going to follow this up with a discussion of the ideas that went into this, but I want it out there.


1.1 Our league is a 10-team league with a 40-person roster.

1.2 Every owner receives an equal annual budget in two lump sums: one at the All-Star Break, and one at the end of the season. The owner's budget is supplemented by awards for performance and leftover money.

1.3 Of those players on the roster, 25 are acquired via auction/contract, and 15 via our supplemental reserve draft.


2.1 Players are either under contract (UC), drafted, or free agents (FA). During the course of a season, the only way a player's status changes is from FA to UC. If a player is UC or drafted at the start of the season, he stays that way until the last day of the season.

2.2 A player becomes under contract from either the auction (FA to UC), promotion (drafted to UC), or in-season acquisition (FA to UC).

2.2.1 The full sum of the contract must be paid. If a player is traded, the trading owners can decide on how the contract is to be paid. If a player is cut, the cutting owner is responsible for the contract in full, unless the player is later picked up by a new owner, who pays a pro-rated sum for the time spent on the new team.

2.2.2 A player can remain UC during the off-season, but the owner must pay the player a raise. Otherwise, the player becomes an FA until the next year's auction/draft.

2.3 A player becomes drafted via the 15-man supplemental player draft.

2.3.1 A drafted player remains on the roster at no cost to the owner for three seasons, unless an owner nominates him during the auction. After three seasons, the player returns to the FA pool unless the owner promotes the player to UC by paying him the league minimum for his third year of service.

2.3.2 Drafted players can be cut and traded like UC players, though the only way for a player's clock to promotion to be reset is to have him be redrafted.

2.3.3 An owner may never have more than 15 drafted players on his team. If an owner acquires a drafted player via trade, and that would put the owner's total over 15, one of the owner's drafted players must be promoted to UC.

2.3.4 An owner may promote a drafted player at any time during the player's service. At that moment, the player becomes a UC with a league minimum contract, paid in full at that season's end.

2.4 Free Agents are everyone else: UC players who don't have their contracts renewed during the off-season, unkept draftees, etc. FAs can be acquired at the auction/draft before the season, or via mini-auction during the season.


3.1 The auction takes place before the season begins. Owners announce before the auction what contracts they are renewing for UCs, in order to establish the FA pool (everyone else, which includes drafted players and FAs from the previous year).

3.2 Players can be put on the block at any time by any owner. Bidding starts at the league minimum.

3.3 The auction ends when every owner has 25 UCs (renewed contracts + new acquisitions). (NOTE: though the auction ends with each roster having 25 UCs, over the course of the season that number can change, of course.)


4.1 The draft follows the auction, using the thereby reduced FA pool.

4.2 The draft order is determined by team position at the end of the previous season.

4.3 If an owner is keeping drafted players from the previous two years (who have remained unnominated at an auction), then the owner forfeits the lowest available draft picks for those players.

4.5 The draft ends once every owner has 15 drafted players (kept draftees + new acquisitions) or 40 total players.


5.1 The mini-auction is for acquiring FAs during the course of the season. An owner nominates a player for the league minimum on the yahoo! msg board. Over the next three days, other owners can outbid the nominator by posting higher bids on the board. At the end of three days (using the board's timestamp), the owner with the highest bid signs the player.

5.2 Signing a player, of course, means that there is an extra player on the mini-auction winner's roster. The owner must, then, cut a different player, who maintains his UC or drafted status for the rest of the season.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Another Example - Pete's League

I'll try to comment on the two systems I've described in the past few posts in a more meta post later today, but I just wanted this second example out there. The point here is to have a candidate system--or at least a framework for a candidate system (maybe better described as guiding principles more refined) before the draft. It has become increasingly important to me in terms of everything I do starting with the keeper list this year to know, generally, what will happen next year. I mean, this isn't even whom I should keep, but whom I should even bother drafting.

Pete gave me the rundown of his league on Friday—his NYC league that has the points equation. They have, from my understanding, a salary cap and auction players willy-nilly. I didn't ask about cost-of-living adjustments to contracts, but I imagine there may be some. I was more interested in how his league handled stuff during the season.

He said that, first, trades don't take into account dollar value; you just have to square up the money before the next auction (from what I gathered). Second, there is no free agent acquisition budget. If you pick up a player off waivers, you get him for free. The caveat, however, is that you can't keep him into the next year without submitting him to the draft. A player, in other words, can only be kept if he already has a contract, which means that if a team waives a player and another team picks him up, he can be kept into the new season. Someone who appeared out of the blue, on the other hand, cannot.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Red Sox

Excited Red Sox Fans Eagerly Await Debut Of Matsuzakas Ultimate Galactic Dragon Gyroball Pitch Power Explosion

The Onion

Excited Red Sox Fans Eagerly Await Debut Of Matsuzaka's 'Ultimate Galactic Dragon Gyroball Pitch Power Explosion'

BOSTON—Now that Manny Ramirez has reported to camp and the spring-training opener against Minnesota is in the books, Red Sox fans are turning their attention to the awesome power rumored to dwell within much-touted off-season pitching...

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

An Example

Almost 14 months ago, I wrote here about Ambrose's DiamondMind auction/contract league. Of course, this was a sort of meandering post that touched on a lot of things. It's DiamondMind, so it uses last year's stats--hence there isn't a lot of waiver wire scrounging. Also, rosters are 40 players and there are 28ish teams. It's a pretty deep league that, also, has its own website along with its own constitution.

For in-season purposes (for obvious reasons), Ambrose's league is totally useless. But the auction and salary structure is sort of interesting, and I'm providing it here ONLY AS AN EXAMPLE. (I'm dividing all the numbers by 100k):

  • Players have salaries in increments of $1. The minimum salary for any player is $1.
  • All players have initial salaries that are determined in an auction held in February/March, with the highest bidding team acquiring rights to that player. The player's salary remains the same for the duration of the season, unless they are released back to the Free Agent Pool, but all players have a minimum salary of $1.
  • On January 31, teams must decide which players they will retain for the coming season. Players who are retained automatically receive a 10% raise. However, there are minimum salaries for players who have been out of the free agent pool for 3 years ($10), 5 years ($50) or 7 years ($100).
EG: A player is drafted at $3
Year 1: $3
Year 2: $4 (10% increase, but $1 increments)
Year 3: $5 (10% increase, but $1 increments)
Year 4: $10 (10% increase, but $10 minimum)
Year 5: $11 (10% increase)
Year 6: $500 (10% increase, but $50 minimum)
Year 7: $55 (10% increase)
Year 8: $100 (10% increase, but $100 minimum)
Year 9: $110 (10% increase)
Year 10: $121 (10% increase)
Year 11: $133 (10% increase ... and so on)
  • On February 1, all teams receive their funds for the new season, based on their performance the previous season, which is added to any funds they have retained from past seasons. The monetary distribution can be seen HERE.
  • On February 1, all players retained on your roster are paid in full for the season. The remaining money in your bank account may be used to bid on Free Agents at auction, as added value in trades, or rolled over to the following season, EXCEPT ...
  • All teams are required to keep at least $10 in a lockbox for the beginning of the season. Each team will have $5 released to them once season play commences. The remaining $5 is released after the trade deadline.
  • On April 1, the total payroll of each team will be noted. Teams are then restricted to a salary cap no greater than 40% above the sum of their salaries as of that date. For example, if the sum of your team salaries at season's start is $500, that sum may not, through trade or auction acquisitions, exceed $700 during the course of the season.

Auction / Contract Life Cycle

This is a sort of dumb post, but I think that it should be clear that this proposal is built of three stages during the course of the year:

  1. Auction. The Auction begins with the release of all unkept players into the FA pool and ends [I know not how]. Kept players during the course of the auction have their costs increased. FAs are auctioned by teams following a forthcoming set of auction rules.
  2. Season. This is the period that begins after the auction and ends when stats stop accumulating.
  3. Off-season. I don't see how this period is different in any way from the regular season, considering players remain under contract. Still, because there are no stats, etc., some level of distinction from the regular season must be included.

Fantasy baseball first principles and mission statement

(I'm going to start assembling an auction / contract rule set here over the next few weeks. Please help with suggestions, etc., but first, I want to establish a mission statement, a sort of guiding light.)

Fantasy baseball is:

1. Fun. We should have fun. This should mean balanced, so that our interests get kept during the year as well as during the off-season. But this also means rewarding, so we're not content with just idling by.

2. Simple. The basic rules should be explicable to anyone in short sentences (save math equations).

3. Not arbitrary. There are some things that will always be arbitrary: positions, roster size, DL slots, stats. These are things we agree to because of general consensus--"two DL slots feels right." Where possible, we should avoid this outside of the above mentioned wrinkles, which are rules passed down to us by yahoo!, not god.

4. Rewarding to the finder of the diamond in the rough. This encourages us to be our own truffle sows. We are dorks who value that sort of thing, so that value is reflected in our having a keeper/contract league.

5. But not apotheosizing of him. Being smart/lucky once and riding it to senility is not something we want to reward. We want to encourage continued truffle snuffling. As such, keepers/contracts are limited in some way.

As such, the auction should be fun, simple, not arbitrary, rewarding to the finder of the diamond in the rough, but not making him king of men.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Is Einar Diaz in hibernation?

Are we moving to the Yahoo board completely or will we stay here?

Friday, February 16, 2007

that any good in a drink?

RIP Keith Foulke's career. Who retires on the second day after pitchers and catchers report? What a bitch. Here's to Joe Borowski, your 2007 Indians Rolaids Relief fireman of the year.

I'm already itching for a season preview. Here's what I'm thinking, keeper-wise. Please remember this is just rampant speculation before posting shitty comments.
Projected keepers (round):

Wright 1
Berkman 4
Dunn 6
Kazmir 16
Verlander 21
Capuano 24
J. Sowers FA

+: decent offensive and starting pitching core. Good value on four young starters.
-: total lack of speed, no closers, wright a bit of a reach in the first round. Kazmir is delicate.

A-Rod 1
Ichiro 2
Carpenter 4
Konerko 8
Dye 18
Harang FA

+: ichiro might be due for a comeback year, especially with the move to CF activating his samurai killer instinct. A-rod probably will justify the keep, even in an off year. Dye is a steal at 18th round, even if he goes back to normal. Lots of draft picks.
-: unlike real baseball, chris carpenter and some triple-A garbage-ballers can’t win you the pitching title in this league.

M. Cabrera 1
BJ ryan 7
Bonderman 13
Granderson 22
Kendrick FA

+: cabrera’s a beast at third and hasn’t even peaked yet. Granderson’s strikeouts don’t hurt you in league; kendrick should be a ROY candidate.
-: could be hard pressed to add big bats to support cabrera, even with the pile of early picks moacir has.

Santana 1
Zambrano 3
Nathan 7
Weeks 11
Andre Ethier FA
Markakis FA
Josh Johnson FA

+: pitching will be nasty, again. markakis should be a nice value as a FA keeper.
-: see last year’s 4th place finish in re what happens when you just have good pitching. Also, as we all know, czap is always one rickie weeks injury away from dead last in all hitting categories

Oswalt 4
F. Lopez 8
Howard 10
Holliday 13
Cain 14
McCann 17
HanRam 23
Swisher FA

+: offense is like baseball LSD. addition of 2nd-best catcher in 17th round will cause everyone else in league to beshit themselves all year long. Reigning HP diaspora ROY HanRam abides and is the future president of the dominican republic.
-: matt cain is not a pitching staff.

Utley 2
Mauer 4
Webb 6
Prince Fielder 14
Delmon Young 18
Cano 19
Zimmermann 20
C.M. Wang FA

+: bench has serious younglegs roX0rs in rounds 14-20. webb is a deal in the 6th if he can stays in cy young contention. Mauer is by far best offensive catcher. Delmon Young is so good no one cares if he puts an ump in a wheelchair.
-: no speed, needs to acquire pitching staff (liriano would have been nice here)

Teixeira 1
Beltran 3
Halladay 5
Thome 16
Atkins 22
Dave Bush? FA

+: not overcommitted. Halladay is nice to have around. Teixeria should rebound, although he kind of has to, to justify keeping him at 1.
-: beltran needs to repeat his season from last year to be worth it. thome’s spine might collapse.

D. Ortiz 1
Crawford 2
Bay 3
Hafner 4
Reyes 5
Papelbon 20
Teahen FA
Rich Hill FA

+: even if he drafted scrubs to fill in the rest of the spots, mcard’s offense will finish in top 3. teahen will have one last year of 3B eligibility.
-: will have to repeat last year’s pitching dumpster dive to complete stunning 3-peat. Has no picks before round 6.

Pujols 1
Soriano 3
Sizemore 4
Wells 10
Baldelli 19
Morneau 22
Otsuka FA

+: top four keepers are strong. Morneau in the 22nd round is retarded, unless he gets ulcerative colitis again.
-: rocco baldelli is like typhoid mary. Just bad luck.

Manny 1
Derrek Lee 2
Tejada 3
King Felix 4
Sheets 5
An. LaRoche FA
Barfield FA

+: at worst, will do OK in power hitting categories with thee guys. Andy laroche is my sleeper pick for 2007 NL MVP.
-: overpaying for keepers.

Having gone through this, some predictions:

:: There’s going to be a run on middle infielders early in the draft. The first few rounds will be weird, as some people draft to fill priority holes, and others draft for value.

:: Pitchers should go higher than in previous years, since everyone except for Czap will most likely keep offense over defense. I could be misreading that.

:: almost no closers will be kept. Only the bona fide ace closers (nathan, rivera, ryan) have good enough rate stats to be worth expending a lot of value.

:: next year’s keepers will be interesting, when guys who are hugely useful in rounds 2-5 have to be kept at the highest remaining pick. Mcard’s strategy is still good, but this year he could pay the price for missing out on top round draft picks.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

snot boognish

I think we're all too shaken up by how close we came to blowing it on the "guy wire" question in round 5, only to stuff our latest challengers in the overtime round. Guy wire was not a good trivia question, i have to say, but i still overruled a correct answer from team captain czap. i doubt many teams have posted the kind of run we have (four weeks, four wins, despite one 'disputed' victory three weeks ago). the thing is, i don't think we can lose when we're at full strength. when we tied team mute, it was only because at least two complete bullshit questions, the singapore thing and the "shipping containers" question, that would have made a 2 pt difference if they'd shaken out in our favor. we had a terrible game, blew one easy point and everyone else got gifted a free point except for us (on shipping), and we still tied for first. QED, we can't be stopped with conventional weapons. we'll be at half-strength again this upcoming week with mcard and bench on the shelf. if we post another outright win, i think they'll probably have to just induct us into the HOF even before the mandatory 7-yr wait.

Silent Spring

What is this spiritual DDT that has stilled the siren song of Snot Boogie? I'd like to hear some bragging after we extended our domination this quarter. With a two-person handicap. Surely this streak is the best of all-time? Those of you who know the organizing collective: what is the record? Because it's going to fall.

Indiana - joining the 19th century

Soon to be illegal in Indiana - Sex with Animals

My favorite part

"She cited one case in which the stepfather of an 8-year-old girl pledged to kill the girl's puppy in front of her if she told anyone about abuse in the home.

''This poor little girl was just crying,'' Weaver said. ''She knew she was going to lose her puppy.''

The abuse was eventually reported, and the dog was moved to another home, Weaver said."

The DOG needed to be protected. Once the dog was gone, the step-father was free to abuse his step-daughter in peace.

Ted Lilly brought to you by ...


i guess the money had to come from somewhere.

House of 41 flavors

All of our wings are offered grilled or traditionally made and tossed in lemon pepper, fajita, ghetto, orange burst, jerk, japanese spicy chili sauce or teri-que, among many, many more!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I'm just trying to remember the stats. I think they are:

hitters - H, R, SB, RBI, BB, TB
pitchers - ERA, WHIP, K, W, S, TB

Is that right? Also, my impression - and I agree - is that we have a rough consensus that these stats will not change, at least this year. Any dissent?

Finally, it looks like I will be fine for the March 24 draft date.

On the trading block

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


"He deserves it. He does. But that's the one thing I have from a long season. I hit .216. It was a tough year. I didn't earn much else, but I have that ball."

Yadier Molina, not as thugged out as I was hoping. YOU EARNED OUR HEARTS, YADIER.

I post now

I am trying to weasel my way into professional blogging, or at least blogging as an extension of my job, so I figure I better practice. And weigh in on fantasy league business, although as usual I am typically apathetic about the rules and regulations.

Unfortunately, I can't figure out anything to post about, other than that the Cubs just traded the dude who killed an osprey for someone named Gregor Reinhard who apparently doesn't exist in baseball form.

It is not as good a name as "T-Bob Hebert," but I'll take it.

T-Bob Hebert

20 years from now all white southern men will be named T-Bob. Including all of my offspring.

UPDATE: If you look for "Greg Reinhard" you find that he was a pitcher for the UW-Whitewater Warhawks. I think someone at the Sun-Times is just going crazy, which makes sense.

Monday, February 12, 2007

What about Joe?

Its been 24 hours and i haven't seen a Joe Mauer posting. How much longer was he arbitration eligible? This is a huge signing for the twins (in my opinion) because now they have him for atleast 4 years and if he stays healthy, not a day longer. When they lose Santana and Morneau in the next couple years, atleast they will have a hitting catcher to anchor their team. Santana's next contract - over under is set at 200 million over 7 years. With baseball inflation going at 10% and Barry Zito being 30-40% the pitcher Santana is, i dont think thats crazy.

The sox are going to lose Dye, Crede, Buehrle and Vasquez next year so i can't say much about the future.

Thank god I got rid of Ortiz

Since I now know who my first-rounder will be. I knew about the ad, of course, but the hulabaloo--we need a hero like that to stir shit in the clubhouse to make the reporters not pay attn to the place in the table.

PS: Pete, get hard.

PPS: I love how Simmons has apparently stopped writing columns (because of ESPN: the Conversation?), and is just writing his blog now, which is supposed to be all about basketball. Yet today's post is his running diary of the Grammys. This is fricken page 3 material by now.

Omar, how does this make you feel?

My weekly onion post

This was just too easy. I cant decide which one of the first two is better.

Am I the only one?

So, I think that the scene in Singles (1992) where Steve is lying on the floor of his trashed apartment listening to jazz and staring up at the ceiling is a direct quote from the scene in Mo Better Blues (1990) when Denzel loses his ability to play jazz ands is doing the same. Can someone confirm or deny this?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

No More Dirtbags

“It’s sort of lost that dirtbag appeal,” said Isabelle Tihanyi, who with her twin, Caroline, started Surf Diva...“Now you see more yuppies in the water with a brand-new board and a brand-new S.U.V. — all the latest technical gear.”

What portion of the population likes things MORE when there IS a dirtbag appeal? I want a NYTimes article that reports on things that yuppies WON'T do still so I know what to be more interested in. I'm gonna write a controversial, David Brooks-style-book called, "Cultural Gentrification: Where Have All The Dirtbags Gone?" Who wants to help? Skateboarding, surfing, punk rock, drinking cheap beer, wearing hooded sweatshirts, car racing, house shows, fireworks, painting, backpacking through Europe, Bukowski novels, hamburgers....all of these things used to be the domain of the dirtbag and all of them have now been co-opted. I'm sure that the NYTimes style section has done a "hey, I bet you didn't know about this...well, now we just ruined it" article on every one of these subjects.

Stupid American capitalism. At least we have fantasy baseball.

Spring is in the air...

This should help you all get in the mood.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Now with more Asia!

Yesterday's explosion in graph form.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


btw, that commie graphic used earlier today--the caption says something like "The captain of the nation of soviets will led us to victory and [something]"

Just so you could go to bed happy.

sweet mother of christ

i feel like i just read the congressional record for the day, capped by bench's summation of the day's business before the lights were turned out and everyone went home. as such, i don't think that it is really my business to stir up trouble (though maybe i will anyway). think of this as the week in review coverage, i guess.

on a purely personal note, i'm voting against monkeying with the stats, if only because i have sunk a fairly significant amount of time playing around with numbers based on the stats as written. if anyone writes up some genteleman's guidelines for this league, i would propose that potential rule change business should be brought before the league before the superbowl. that's when serious thought about draft strategy seemed to heat up this year, anyways.

i feel like someone opened a sliding door into carter's brain and i got to watch the gears turning. he found the one case where the structure of our league wasn't internally consistent, and tried to open that crease wide enough to drive a tractor through. woe be unto any piece of legislation that you happen to tangle horns with. btw, carter, if you haven't read the power broker already (esp the part where where robert moses uses an outdated timber statute to take long island estates at will - actually, here:

also interesting that everyone gave carter's end-run around the rules due consideration; i mean, it was running 6-0 against carter before anyone just flat out said no.

for the sake of czap's extended metaphor, here's my understanding of why carter can do what he's trying to do: it's just axiomatic.

if you want to keep a player, you MUST keep that player at the round at which he was drafted.
a) if the draft slot in question has already been used to keep another player drafted at the same round, the player will be kept in the next round.

the exception was created to address unavoidable conflicts created by the dropping/trading/exchanging of players during the season. carter's conflict is entirely avoidable - in fact, it's manufactured for the EXPRESSED PURPOSE of dropping the kept player down the charts - and is not covered by the exemption.

as for carter's trading wright AND his round one pick for santana the answer is that yes, czap would be absolutely free to complete such a trade, but he would do so knowing that would impossible to BOTH use the first round draft pick and keep david wright. there's no conflict - the trade can be executed - it would just be a stupid trade.

Who will help me bake this bread?

I just spent the last 20 minutes reading through the debate about the construction of the league (from last year) and the more I think about it the more I realize that no one was really happy with this keeper system in the first place. A bunch of us wanted the keepers not tied to the rounds that they were in. A bunch of people wanted an auction. And apparently Andy made some joke about how no one would want to keep Ryan Howard in the first three rounds this year (check the record).

My point is this: our current system was carefully drawn up so that all of the states would join. We essentially came to a conclusion and then moved on to other important points like should we let Saud join (seems like we made the right choice on that), what stats should we use (not clear how that one went) and what the draft date should be (always the most important issue, in my opinion). Nothing was fine tuned but we developed something that would work.

What makes me so jumpy about Carter's resolution is that it takes an improvised principle from an already shaky solution and runs with it. Maybe this is what the law is all about but I aim to have higher standards than the US justice system. I am fine with gaming the system when it's a system that we all feel strongly about but right now we're still in the infantile stages of the operation. If this nation (I mean league) is going to last (and I mean really last) then we must tread carefully lest we upset the very foundation upon which this castle was built.

The more that I think about it the more that I actually like some of the crazy trade talk that Carter and Carderelli have been batting around; I think the new rules could be used to a lot of really interesting and enjoyable ends. Still, I don't think now is the time.

I think we can continue the discussion for intellectual purposes (and lord knows that Andy is going to pour himself into this once he gets home. I wish I could be there to see his face when he checks the blog expecting three posts about the Bears) but for the time being I'm going to say that we keep things where they are at and work on them more once the season begins.

As was suggested earlier:

(1) Keeper slots are non-transferable. They cannot be traded from one owner to another. As a result, a maximum of 8 players can be kept.
(2) Before the draft, baseball players can only be traded for other baseball players and draft picks can only be traded for other draft picks.
(3) Once the keepers are announced and locked into place, GMs may begin trading for players or for draft positions.
(4) All remaining players not designated as keepers will be thrown back into the available pool (including Dice-K) and are subject to regular rules.
(5) Once the draft is completed, all players are eligible to be traded how ever the GM should see fit.

Now screw you guys, I'm going home.

-Your Comishioner

The Forms of Fantasy Baseball

For a while, i thought this was a league head and shoulders above the rest of the fantasy world. But the more i read, the more i realize that there are fantasy leagues that are like this one, but 8-10 years along. They have buy ins of thousands of dollars and change wedding plans and create best friends out of strangers. But i have a feeling, even amongst the most fervent fantasy leagues, there less than 1% have had tens of thousands of words written/spoken to discuss minute and theoretical rules changes. Czap's majority opinion and Carter's terse dissent might have been the apex. Bravo.

How fucked up is Anna Nicole Smith's baby daughter going to be? Above both Suri Cruise and Brittney Spears' kids?


Carter may object that value is not derived from the player; that draft picks are independent of them. If this is true, then it is easily seen that the market price for Wright, set at last year's draft (and not in the future based on who else one might acquire) is one first-round pick. Since Carter has no other player currently on his roster valued at that price, if he wishes to keep Wright, he must spend his first-round pick to keep Wright at his value. If he spends his pick to pay the price of Wright's market value, he has no first-round pick to trade. If he trades his first round pick, then he doesn't have the value to pay Wright's price.
That is pretty much what is swaying me away from Carter's theories. I'm a nihilist no more.

Articles of Confederation

How about this:

Why don't we let the chips fall where they many this time around (ie, no changes to stats, draft manipulation, the keeper system) and see how we like it. Then, next year, we can attempt an overhaul if people would want. At that time we will then draft a more permanent set of rules.

(Oh god, I sound like Joe Biden. Am I really trying to pass a non-binding declaration against the war? It could be that I don't actually agree with this post at all. I think I'm losing my mind.)

PS: For some reason I just got a text message saying that Ann Nicole Smith just died in a Florida hotel room.

we'll show them, david

David Wright versus Mark Teahan, 2007 projections:

Wright - 301/386/518/904 (26 HR, 19 SB)
Teahan - 277/347/441/788 (13/7)

Wright - 312/384/536/920
Teahan - 278/345/461/806

Plus, with Wright's good face, I know I have the traditional print media too.


That reminds me

I'm actually going to be very mad (and not fake mad like we get on this blog) if I'm the only one to bring elaborate, home made/thrift store purchased trophies to the draft. I'm trying to build some history here people.

Cardarelli: Gym at 7:30?

Paging Kenesaw Mountain Chandler

My idea to trade players for keeper slots was similar to Carter's idea. I see what he's thinking. I also understand that it would suck to have to keep the incredibly overrated (and notably not Mark Teahen) David Wright as a first round pick. If i was commissioner I would probably make a decree like the following in order to clear up these minor-detail trade rules vagaries:
-Keeper slots are non-transferable. They cannot be traded from one owner to another. As a result, a maximum of 8 players can be kept.
-Baseball players can only be traded for other baseball players.
-Draft picks can only be traded for other draft picks or drinks. (This isn't that crazy of an idea. In the NFL players are often traded for picks, but draft picks are not tradable at all in the MLB. I think in the NHL picks are often traded for Tim Horton's.)
-Rocco Baldelli can only be traded to me.

Draft order

As I lobbied the other night, I would like draft positions to be determined a few days before the draft. Knowing where I'm drafting is important to me in terms of thinking about who I want to keep and what trades I might like to make. There's a big difference in being second vs. something incredibly shitty like 7th.

Passing 3,500 words for the day

Carter, how about this?

David Wright was drafted in the first round. It happened to be by you. We all agreed that at the beginning of next (meaning this) season, if any person happened to still retain the rights to David Wright then they would have to slot him in as their #1 pick unless they already has a #1 pick that they were keeping. This was a compromise and perhaps not the best solution but it is the way we figured it out. Now, I suppose that you agree that if someone else ended up with David Wright and wanted to keep him then they would be forced to slot him in as their first pick, right? So why should you be any different just because you were the one who initially drafted him? All of your rights to David Wright for this coming season are predicated on him being your first pick. If you decide to trade away that first pick for something else, that's fine, but you lose your hold on Mr. Wright.

That's at least how I see this. You gain the right to keepers as virtue of two things: (a) that he was on your team when the season ended and (b) you are going to sacrifice your ability to pick in a certain round for him. He is not signed to you personally and able to negotiate the terms of his contract.

Once all of the keepers are declared, they are locked in. Then, the position and player are tied as one and you are free to make trades as you see fit.

I guess that doesn't make you happy but doesn't that make sense?

keeper list

i corrected a mistake on it (fuentes was not undrafted, i took him in the 16th round). everybody please check your team, just in case. not now, sometime before the draft.

i need data to look at. i need to determine the relative value of a first round pick. The question is whether or not my strategy of clearing out the early rounds and picking up a bunch of 3-4-5th round guys is going to work out. maybe i need to consider dealing oswalt...


There are 8 keepers. It was a compromise between
7keepers/20drafted players and
9keepers for a thid of your roster.
I am absolutely certain of this.

I will heal our nation's wounds

Bullet format:
-It just took me a half hour to read through this stuff. It's too bad i actually have work to do at work today.
-It appears that my extra keeper proposition and the matsuzaka bidding thing have both lost steam. I'm withdrawing both of them. If everyone wanted to do it, i thought it would be cool, but I understand it would be lame to pass something by a majority vote this late in the game.
-I think the one thing everyone is missing regarding the trading of draft picks is that previously draft picks have only ever been traded for other draft picks (or coffees). A possible solution to our conflict might be saying that players are tradable (for other players) up until keepers are announced, then the keepers will be written onto the draft grid (as if they'd been drafted there) and all other players are released into the draft pool. After this occurs then owners are free to trade open draft slots for other open draft slots (not players) until the draft begins (or during the draft). This is a fairly clean solution to a sloppy problem.


As for keepers, everyone submits them to me in writing and I'll go and type them into the spreadsheet (and to make sure that I don't cheat someone can hold on to my keeper list to verify).

Oyez, Oyez, Oyez

Thank you for leaving me in peace to enjoy my birthday yesterday. Given the rhetorical heat of today's debate, it must have been no easy task to stay quiet for so long. I'll say at the outset that I oppose the Carter proviso. I would second his motion, however, for reopening the stats discussion since a) I'm not happy with the lack of rate stats on offense and b) want to provide an opportunity for even more impassioned debate, which will hopefully lead to an actual caning when Pete is riled up by someone's commitment to that harlot, K/9IP.

I'm impressed by the unity of the historians, along with Omar, on this question, and the ability of the proviso to attract opposition of such varying ideological stripe suggests it is fundamentally noxious to democracy on some deep level of feeling, however irrational such feeling may seem to its supporters. We have Ben, the strict constructionist: "Your resolution attempts to leverage the facts of this rule away from the specifically designed intent and use it in a completely new way." Pete, the early New Dealer, arguing for sound money, antimonopoly, a Jeffersonian labor theory of value, and consumer protection: "you need to keep your first round pick to use on the keeper. you can't spend the same dollar twice" and "there has to be a protection for people who aren't going to manipulate the system efficiently...not only do those lesser teams need the protection of having FDIC-insured value for their picks." And Omar, the law and order conservative: "the different because we established ahead of time what would happen with two first round keepers and is a declared 'loophole'." Fittingly, Carter, the corporate liberal, and Mo, the socialist, are attracted by the possibilities of state planning through the largest and most favored corporations. But now I'm pushing the historical analogies too far.

I do think Carter brings up an interesting exercise in logic, but only as a thought experiment. I admire the creativity he is displaying in trying to maximize the resources at his disposal. In the end, I think it opens up too large a loophole by violating the spirit of the keeper rules and getting something for nothing. Not that I like the keeper rules. I wanted to live in a fantasy world where everyone declared their keepers to set the free agent pool, and we then drafted as normal. No "cost" for keepers. If you were smart/lucky enough to get someone great, your reward was owning him outright. I never liked the idea of keying keepers to draft spots. Alas, the league voted against that vision. I also wasn't that much of a fan of the rule we devised for people who came to possess multiple first-rounders, but people seemed to think it would be unfair to penalize the managerial ability it took to assemble such talent. In the case In re Cardarelli (2006), the principle at the heart of the Court's decision was that a player could drop a draft slot only if he was displaced by an existing player of equivalent or greater value; value in this case defined by the existing player's draft spot.

Now comes Carter, petitioning for the equivalency of pick and player. Recognizing this equivalency would upset the delicate balance of the league and is beyond the scope of the original rule. The value that Carter proposes to trade, is inseparable from the player from whom it is derived. Thus, trading a first round pick and bumping Wright down to second is the same as a unilateral revaluation of Wright to the second round, ie declaring "Actually, I am going to take Wright in the second round and trade his first-round value." Player values were set at last year's draft and they cannot be unilaterally revalued to suit the perverse whims of the owners. If Wright is to be revalued, then Carter should either a) trade lower picks for another first-round pick, since whoever he acquired with this pick would constitute an existing player of equivalent value defined by draft pick or b) trade lower round picks for someone else's first rounder. The Czaplicki example is a false issue. If Wright was traded for Santana (which would never happen), Czaplicki would be replacing one first-round value (Santana) with another (Wright) and would have no dilemma of what "use" to choose.

Finally, to indulge the argument that losing one's second-round pick is a great burden, the keeper system guarantees a shallower talent pool. Many "second rounders" in effect will be last year's third and fourth rounders. So the equation
"expected value (wright + second round pick) < expected value (wright + whatever i got in a trade for my first rounder pick)"
can be expected to generally hold true. The argument is moot, however, because Carter has no first-round pick to trade, unless he plans on not keeping Wright.

Carter may object that value is not derived from the player; that draft picks are independent of them. If this is true, then it is easily seen that the market price for Wright, set at last year's draft (and not in the future based on who else one might acquire) is one first-round pick. Since Carter has no other player currently on his roster valued at that price, if he wishes to keep Wright, he must spend his first-round pick to keep Wright at his value. If he spends his pick to pay the price of Wright's market value, he has no first-round pick to trade. If he trades his first round pick, then he doesn't have the value to pay Wright's price. There is no issue here. The rule is designed to reward the ant, not the grasshopper.

Shit blowing up

1. I'm thinking the lawr is starting to convince me, but I also think keepers should be uncapped. I guess I'm a free marketeer here since I'm so not one in the real world.

2. Keepers: we decided that everyone would submit their keepers at the same time (say written on a slip of paper) to the GM, so that, in effect, we all decide who we are keeping "at once." If we just go up and type on the spreadsheet, you better BELIEVE I will try to be the last person to announce his keepers—because then I can change my keepers on the fly based on whom everyone else is keeping. We could make the keeper announcement order different from the draft order (inverted?), but I think it's just easier to turn in a slip of paper—and more fair. Wait, that was non-free market... shit. I'm new at this.

roe v wade implications

david wright becomes inseparable from your first-round pick at the moment of conception. when you decide to keep (i.e. re-draft) him, you can't harvest his stem cells anymore.

part in parcel

wright IS your first round pick. its that simple. you keep wright, you lose your first round pick. you trade wright, you keep your first round pick (and the person you trade him to loses his first round pick, or the subsequent pick if he already has another first round keeper).how is this complicated?

liberty and union

At least I stirred up the pot.

"if you can trade your first round pick and still keep a first rounder, why wouldn't you just trade ALL your picks, or as many as you could?"

You don't trade all your picks, or even a single pick, unless it is worth it. Your comment seems to assume that I keep the first rounder for free after I trade. I do not. I keep him with my second round pick. So, I only trade my first round pick if:

expected value (wright + second round pick) < expected value (wright + whatever i got in a trade for my first rounder pick).

This limits the extent to which these trade will occur.

More fundamentally, I don't understand when David Wright and my first round pick become equivalent. Clearly, I can trade Wright without losing my first round pick. But, if I trade my first round pick, I lose the ability to keep Wright? Or how about this - can I trade my first round pick and Wright for Santana? Under your logic, the answer seems to be no - or at least, the pick and Wright are actually a single commodity, and Czap would have to choose which one to use. Why does that make sense?


OK "it would destroy the draft" was an inexcusable rhetorical overstep. but just the same, i don't understand what the hell you're talking about that the matter at hand makes trading draft picks "easier"? in your theoretical draft, everyone with a keeper would try to dump off the picks in their keeper rounds. if you can trade your first round pick and still keep a first rounder, why wouldn't you just trade ALL your picks, or as many as you could? this shit is too crazy, is my reasoned analysis. i don't want to do a simulated futures market in baseball stats. i want to do a fantasy baseball league with a normal draft. there has to be a protection for people who aren't going to manipulate the system efficiently (say, for instance, the late lamented Ben Adams or Tom Zimpleman). not only do those lesser teams need the protection of having FDIC-insured value for their picks (which will be DEVALUED by carter-style gerrymandering as proposed here) but we all, as a league, need the protection of a fairly even-handed dispensation of talent, or at least the right to talent in the draft. if one or all GMs works steadily to subvert the equalitarian arrangement afforded by the draft, a shroud of darkness will fall over our world. i recognize that cardarelli's plan to stockpile first rounders is in some way an affront to that right, but it was constructed legally and will be maintained legally. i know we're getting into some weird Missouri Compromise shit but the UNION FOREVER.


I don't understand some of the points made in response to my interpretation:

(1) " While it's true that when Cardarelli traded for Ortiz he got the option to keep both players next year, that was really only a side product of the trade. He made the trade in order to win. And sure, while it creates a small loophole it's a very specific one designed to inspire trading."

If I make a trade like the one I'm proposing, it's because I want to win too. Plus, I'm not trading my draft pick just to have Wright slide down to the second round - I'm trading the draft pick so that I can get something for it. Importantly, I will only make the trade if what I get is better than what I would otherwise get in the second round. The "something for nothing" that I'm getting is the marginal quality between what I get for the first round pick and the player available for my second round pick (lost to keep Wright). This is an inherent limitation on the shadiness of these deals.

(2) "don't use the Cardarelli/Ortiz/Crawford situation as evidence for your argument. They are different."

It would be helpful to me if you explained how.

(3) "what you're talking about would effectively destroy the draft."

Why? To me, it makes the draft more important. It makes it easier to trade draft picks.

(4) Finally, the fact that both Omar and Ben are opposed to this make it correct. Come on people.

Here's why I'm correct

But, again, it is not really different from trading for a second keeper. That is, when MCard traded for Ortiz, he didn't just get Ortiz but the bonus of being able to keep both Ortiz and Crawford. Here, I get the bonus of keeping Wright plus whatever I get for my draft pick. Most importantly, the bonus is the same in both transactions. (M. Carter, 2007)

This difference is this: While it's true that when Cardarelli traded for Ortiz he got the option to keep both players next year, that was really only a side product of the trade. He made the trade in order to win. And sure, while it creates a small loophole it's a very specific one designed to inspire trading. Your resolution attempts to leverage the facts of this rule away from the specifically designed intent and use it in a completely new way. If you want to argue that you should be able to trade away your first round slot but somehow keep the pick, then make your case, but don't use the Cardarelli/Ortiz/Crawford situation as evidence for your argument. They are different.

I want as much trading as possible to happen this year but I want people to trade for things they have and then gain things that they don't have. We shouldn't have people gaining without also losing.

PS: I love the Zoheri-Beatty-Chandler triple team. Perhaps a first.

revisionist history

this isn't the holocaust, im talking about something that actually happened.

(this reply was only to make a joke about the holocaust. i apologize, joe biden style, to all those offended)

no really, its true that we could decide on your situation now and it wouldn't have effected anything, but my point is that we acknowledged there would be one loophole (trading for two first rounders) and that was it.

my problem is, where does this end? can i trade all the 'draft' slots for my keepers and then keep them at a lower pick? and what about pete's/my point that a keeper IS your draft pick. You are allowed to keep a player in a specific draft slot and not enter him back into the draft pool, thats it. it seems like thats the simplest way to think about it.

does anyone care about gay athletes anymore? i mean, if jeter admitted he was gay that would be a big deal, but a journeyman center? who gives a shit. though if he had a chapter in this book about a triste with karl malone, that would be great.

competitive imbalance

carter, stop using lawyer tricks. the reason you can't A) keep someone in the 2nd round while simultaneously B) trading your second round pick for other picks/players is simple: you would wind up with more players/picks than you have. and i reject out of hand the expected response to that, which is, "when i get to X (maximum number of players) players on my roster, i will stop drafting." what you're talking about would effectively destroy the draft. we need protectionism in this case. you might be able to get away with buying on margin like that in the free market but this isn't entirely free -- everyone gets alloted X picks. that can be altered in limited ways (say, trading a pick for a cup of coffee), resulting in someone getting an extra pick at the end to fill out their roster. i'll reiterate my earlier rejection in different language: you can't trade your 1st round pick and keep a guy in the first round (by which i mean, have a first-round keeper slide to secnd). you need to keep your first round pick to use on the keeper. you can't spend the same dollar twice.


For ease of use I have added links to both the Final Rosters (with draft positions) as well as the actual draft results here at the right. I'll add a link to the rules wiki once I get that going.

Some other things to decide:

(1) When, exactly, should we tabulate the draft order? I say we do this with a lottery the night before the draft. I'm buying ping pong balls (no joke) and we'll make this happen. Objections?

(2) When, exactly, do we declare our keepers? I say we do this right before the draft. Everyone can just input their keepers into the spreadsheet, we'll take a few minutes to mull it all over, and then begin the draft. That will give us the night before to make final trades before keepers are announced because once keepers are announced you can't trade players anymore, only draft spots (and black coffee).

(3) Carter, what's the deal with your law firm? When is the draft gonna be? The suspense is killing me (I'm not joking).

(4) Same stats this year? I say that's a firm YES since we don't have neatly enough time to alter them and - as Czap made crystal clear - his delicate draft strategy last year was predicated on us keeping the same stats.

as usual, i am right

First, this was all my idea. No need to drag Andy's name through the mud, though I suspect he would like my idea. This is all hypothetical.

My responses to your points:

(1) "you are allowed to keep two first rounders (or any number from a single round) if you were shrewd"

I am being shrewd here. What is the distinction in "shrewdness?" This also encourages trading.

(2) "That just seems wrong and against the spirit of keepers. You would then essentially be getting something for nothing."

This is your stronger point. But, again, it is not really different from trading for a second keeper. That is, when MCard traded for Ortiz, he didn't just get Ortiz but the bonus of being able to keep both Ortiz and Crawford. Here, I get the bonus of keeping Wright plus whatever I get for my draft pick. Most importantly, the bonus is the same in both transactions.

To Omar, your point about the rule re: two keepers being settled seems like some revisionist history. Plus, we can settle the rule now prior to any trade anyway. My question was purely hypothetical; there is no deal in the works.

(3) "We ARE going to need to develop a system for what happens next season if you want to keep "old keepers" and "new keepers.""

This will make things way too complex. My way is simpler, and I contend, more fun. Think of the trading possibilities...

(4) To Pete, "instead of thinking of david wright and your first-round pick as separate entities, think of them as the same thing. for all intents, david wright *is* your first round pick."

This is wrong, and would create serious problems. For example, under your reasoning, if I trade Wright, it appears that I also trade my first round pick. That is clearly not what everyone understands the rule to be. But, if trading Wright doesn't lead to trading the pick, why does trading the pick lead to losing Wright?

my response in re leveraging draft picks

i think you should not be allowed to choose 2. by keeping david wright, you are in effect spending your first round pick. the situation, although similar to having two first round keepers, is different because we established ahead of time what would happen with two first round keepers and is a declared 'loophole'. Trading your first round 'pick' but keeping the keeper is having your cake and eating it too. Its an interesting idea though. anyone else think differently?

Trading Good; Funny Business Bad

Carter, I think you are correct to suspect that this situation is problematic (was this Andy's idea or yours?). Here's how I see it ( and someone tell me if I'm way off base):

*You are allowed to keep two first rounders (or any number from a single round) if you were shrewd enough during the season. It seems wrong to then make you give one of them up just because they both happened to be drafted in the same round. Our solution was that you'd lose the next available round automatically as sort of a compromise for having ended up with two of the same round. Otherwise, people would be even MORE hesitant to trade if they worried that they might have two of the same round that they wanted to keep.

*What you are proposing seems bogus. You can either (a) keep David Wright (b) trade David Wright and open up a first round pick for yourself or (c) trade your first round pick and give up your ability to keep David Wright all in one fell swoop.

*I don't see a legitimate reason why you should be able to trade your first round pick and then just let Wright magically fall to the second round where you can keep him. That just seems wrong and against the spirit of keepers. You would then essentially be getting something for nothing (ESPECIALLY since you don't have a second rounder on your team right now so you wouldn't be bumping anyone out of that spot).

*We ARE going to need to develop a system for what happens next season if you want to keep "old keepers" and "new keepers." Will the "old keepers" just supersede the "new ones" and just get added on in lower rounds? I'm not sure that this is important now, though.

Other thoughts? We need to develop a wiki of some sort to keep all the rules straight. I think I'll create a Google document that can then be edited as needed.

leveraging draft picks

Consider the following transaction:

I trade my first round pick to Andy for something other than his first round pick. Thus, I no longer have a first round pick. Can I nonetheless keep David Wright (my first rounder)?

I think the answer might be yes, and that Wright now costs me only a second round pick. That is my answer because if I had one first round pick but two first round keepers, I can keep both but the second only costs me a second round pick. If I have one first round keeper and no first round pick, the situation is analogous to the second keeper above.

On the other hand, this seems fishy. If I want to keep Wright, I have (at least) the following options:

(1) keep Wright w/o trading first round pick; lose first round pick for Wright
(2) trade first round pick for something valuable; keep wright; lose second right pick for wright

Why wouldn't I chose (2)? Should I be allowed to chose (2)?

If I am allowed to chose (2), my first round pick just became available. I'm looking for starting pitching and speed/runs.

Black is the new white

Lovie Smith Becomes First African-American Coach To Lose Super Bowl

The Onion

Lovie Smith Becomes First African-American Coach To Lose Super Bowl

MIAMI—As devastating as their 29-17 Super Bowl XLI loss to the Colts was for the proud Chicago Bears, it was worse for their coach: Lovie Smith will forever be remembered as the first African-American coach to lose a Super...

The Onion

Pirates GM Begins Making Frantic, Haphazard Moves After Realizing It's Almost Spring Training

PITTSBURGH—While watching the noon edition of SportsCenter in his pajamas Tuesday, an alarmed Pirates GM Doug Littlefield suddenly...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

My vote

I don't support a bid. Why? Disclosing my interest, I would like to have this player on my team and the possibility of acquiring him influences my strategy, especially since I did draft many pitchers. So an auction is not particularly fun or a lark from my standpoint. If we want to have fun, then slap an auction/bid process on a player who won't have much of an impact. Otherwise, change the draft to an auction system. To me, the random appearance of impact players is fun enough. It's the good randomness to offset the bad randomness of injuries. We played a season, some finished high, others finished low. Now we prepare to tweak our teams for another run, courtesy of free agents and rookies, and the teams that are fortunate enough to get a higher draft slot or suck so bad they don't have any keepers ought to have first crack at the impact players. I don't understand why we want to change that and give every team an equal shot at landing an impact rookie. He's going to go high, and he should go high. Bench, you're always pointing out the self-interest of MCard's proposals and I humbly suggest that Andy might have more of an interest in this auction than mere fun. Whatever. I vote no. Either have an auction system for everyone, or none at all.

On another note, while I enjoyed MCart's well-argued market model (and suspect this is why we are now drawing hits in China) I would not assert that there is no incentive for parity. I prefer leagues with heated competition; leagues that enslave managers to their computers, tweaking lineups and scouring the free agent pool. They are much more fun than leagues in which 3 or 4 managers are out of the running by June and essentially give up. But maybe I'm just a communist.

Also, if Carter can't come, should we take this show on the road and go to Philadelphia?

Were there more votes?

Snot Boogie has now accrued $350, if my caclulations are correct. Wait, how much money did we get from the 2-man team, Pete? I suspect the other teams will eventually give up.

You stay classy Decatur

The NEW Peyton Manning

Fly the Crowded skies

Check out the corporate jets leaving Miami after the Superbowl.

With the first pick...

I'm starting to think that my Twins fandom and love of facial hair are not mutually exclusive.

Analytics Report

We are blowing up in China

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Vote For Fun

I agree that we should allow wrinkles that make this whole thing more fun. And I also really do like making trades (maybe a little TOO much: see wikipedia entry entitled "The Jason Lane Incident"). What I don't like is Cardarelli dominating this league with no end in site (although I DO like complaining about it). So, I guess what I'm saying is don't listen to me.

Can we have a special Pat Neshek draft? You know, I bet if we ask him he'll COME to our draft.

Who's buying me one of those tshirts for my birthday?

PS: Am I the only one who has dirty thoughts when I hear/read the term, "proof shots"? I am? Okay, just checking.

best pat neshek proof shot EVER

even better:

that t-shirt gives me kyle orton-level wood.


1. it's not like i have a trade worked out with anyone or have even talked to another owner about possible interest in trading an extra keeper slot. i just thought it would be an interesting wrinkle. it would be fun is all.
2. like pedrag i also enjoy trading. in addition to the burrell-myers hate crime, i also spent circa 1000 paid hours at work last summer working out the ortiz blockbuster with mo and the trading deadline-jason bay deal with mcart. the negotiating is probably my favorite part of fantasy baseball, and i think it would fun to try to figure out what a keeper slot is "worth" (whether a deal actually happens or not). it would just be another thing to keep people interested and engaged and i think it would be fun.
3. similarly, the matsuzaka thing that andy came up with is just meant to be a fun, one-time deal. nobody is saying that he's going to be the next santana. it's a jokey way for us to mirror the bid process in the mlb for non-free agent japanese pitchers. it's not pushing us down a slippery slope regarding the drafting of players. rather, it's a one-time bid process thing that we can do the night before the draft when we do the ping pong ball lottery. the only by-product of the bidding, that i can see, is that it will be fun. and the winner will have to buy everyone a round of sapporo.


why are we having an auction now? how would that even work? why doesn't he just enter the league like any other rookie? if you want him that bad, take him with your first pick. i know im not drinking the boston kool-aid but hes not the best player in the league and probably not in the top 25 if not 50. i'm willing to listen to reason but i dont see why he needs anything special.

all i want is bitches

first off, don't lump me in comments that reference this league's general sacklessness in re trading. i made more trades than the entire rest of the league combined last year. including the huge pat burrell for brett myers challenge trade.

second: why, exactly, do we need to auction off Matsuzaka or raffle him for a keeper slot? he's an untested #2 (ok, maybe #1) starter, coming to a strange country, playing in a small park in a stacked division. even if he was just south of santana in terms of quality he wouldn't be a realistic choice at the top pick. it's not like the person who gets him is going to be guaranteed a certain very high level of performance. i think he should be in the draft pool like everyone else, but whatever.

third: march 10th is ok with me, but let's not get too stampy before carter figures out what his story is.

fourth: first dirty laundry airing of the season-- rumors are circulating that carter and pete have discussed a trade involving one of team whitey's all-star run producers plus spare parts for one of the young, fat, bearded catchers on pete's team plus a pitcher who owns kubota tractors. no one from either team would confirm or deny any part of the above.

My feelings (for what they are worth)

Seems that there are three issues to be discussed and voted on.

(1) Draft date: While I thought we had this all set Carter now drops a bomb that he might have "lawyer orientation" that weekend. I wish that he had waited to see if he could get out of it before bringing it up and making me all stampy, but oh well. Can everyone still fall back to March 10th if need be?

(2) Trading keepers: I like Andy's suggestion that we place a limit on the total number of keepers that you can potentially have. I also like the notion of lots of stupid trades and usually want to encourage as many as possible. I wouldn't really feel that strongly about this issue except that Cardarelli would not be proposing it if not for the fact that he wants to keep more players on his first place team. That seems a little fishy to me. He's trying to ram legislation through Congress under the auspices that it will "help underprivileged" teams but he's really just working for this own self interest here. We already let him place a limit on the trading deadline and up the number of keepers. How many more gifts do we need to give him? "The biggest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist." Why do I feel like the only person who constantly worries about this? He's got you all tricked with that gimp and fake speech impediment.

As always, I'll accept the will of the majority.

(3) Dice-K: Sure, let's have an auction. I don't care. How would this work? Everyone puts the highest spot that they are willing to give up into a silent auction and then the highest of the all wins? I'm sort of against this but I don't really care. But you know what's going to happen, right? Cardarelli's going to use his extra keeper spots to take Dice-K.

(Oh, who am I kidding. No one is going to man up and make a trade anyway so this will all be moot. I'm really not sure what side of any of this I'm on anymore.)

(4) Page Layout: Omar, I'm changing the colors of this page. The black background with white lines of text is killing my eyes.

A New Era

This discussion has been so calm that it's hard to believe it's occuring on the einardiaz blog. This is either a sign of a more mature, logical league or everyone is too cold to get worked up about anything.
Two questions:
-Do people want to debate more or can we vote on my question?
-Can we vote on the Matsuzaka thing while we're at it?

public goods

as i noted in my support of representative cardarelli's amendment, i agree with him in theory and probably less so in practice. i acknowledge the critiques and only disagree in that i don't think it is a requirement to have parity and don't feel the need to protect the chastity of this perfect enterprise by regulating the mutual decision making amongst its members.

instead of viewing it as a single variable problem (i.e. i have a worthless keeper slot and want papelbon) the person who has the worthless keeper has to judge the cost-benefit to himself and to his fellow member (in as much as the other owners are important for future drafts and possible/probable trades). If i think my trade of a keeper slot will help me a little but help mike alot, i'd probably not do it, but that should be my choice (because i have to fight against mike the same as everyone else).

i support the keeper cap proposal - with 8 currently, setting a cap at 10 seems reasonable. i realize this whole thing will likely not pass in the general assembly, i just wanted to get it on the ledger.


i think we should not trade keeper picks, personally, but i can see why it could be fun and/or a way to jump-start rebuilding. i can't imagine why anyone really wants to deal their keeper slot. there's not going to be anyone around in the first two rounds anyway thanks to MCard.

24 blows, by the way. Every time i watch that show i wind up berating myself for watching something so corny. for instance, why is the CTU office decorated like a nightclub? or do we just live in the future now and no one told me.

i did not get a chance to introduce myself to Buddy Bell at my sister's wedding. David Bell didn't show up. too bad. but i am now related by law to 3 MLB players. i think that merits an extra keeper slot.

chip ambres is the idol of millions in the KC metro area

market failure and public goods

In contemporary economic theory, intervention in the market is justified when a market has failed, or to provide a public good (really a subset of the first) that private firms would under-supply. I think that both rationales apply to the trading of keeper slots. As comrade Martin indicated, the incentive structure for certain teams is such that a keeper slot has no value. This is not a problem, in itself - but if the "market" at issue is a fairly competitive fantasy league, this incentive structure will fail to provide it. Indeed, "league competitiveness" is a public good in some sense - no one has an incentive to make the league competitive (re: parity) and so we have to intervene to make it happen (assuming that we want to do so; I do).

However, this does not seem to require an outright prohibition on trading keeper slots. As Andy pointed out, we can get around such a prohibition through trades - MLB teams do this all the time in the Rule 5 draft. While I also like the drama that this could create, I don't see why we couldn't also allow some keeper slot trades. For example, we could cap the total number of keepers at 10 (or 8 or 12). The question is really how much do we want to enforce parity on the league. Personally, I don't want this to be the NFL, but I also want some limits on dynasty building.

Finally, on a personal note, the law firm I am working for has recently told me that it is holding orientation for my summer job the weekend of the draft (here in Philly). So, I need to find out if I can get out of it.

Monday, February 05, 2007


my "rent-a-closers", though helpful in allowing me to win again, had nothing to do with my having the #1 offense last year. let's not let that fact be lost to the sands of time. my team: #1 offense.
also, i think trading draft slots will help Royals-esque teams in our league more than it will hurt them.
finally, in the interest of bridging the gap with almart on this issue, i'd like to remind the house that i did support his matsuzaka-bid process resolution in the last legislative session. i think it got tabled by bench or something and never came up for a vote.

comments: for suckers

not to stir up a blog controversy (actually, we could use one of those) but i think that the answer is no, you can't trade the 'idea' of a keeper slot. some answers to your likely counter arguments, and an alternative below.

1) we already expanded the number of keeper slots once - i would say that we give this whole thing a shot as written before we tinker with it again, because no one wants to realize that keepers turned 4 teams into YOUR kc royals and have to restart everything/talk bench off of a highway overpass.

2) true, we can trade draft picks. i think the difference is this: trading draft picks isn't just for kicks - it gives people who drew a draft slot they don't like (the sandwich pick, or whatever) a chance to take fate into their own hands and trade for a pick that is more their liking. no parallel justification for keeper trading.

3) also, for draft picks, the 'expected value' (work with me here) of a draft pick is ALWAYS going to be positive (a draft pick is always something you would want, pretty much no matter what). this checks abuses on the system - no one would do something so rash as trade their last pick for a coffee because you might draft the next mark teahen (billy butler, for those of you who were wondering. he's actually the next ellis burks, but like i said, work with me). not the case for keepers: let's say, for instance, you drafted a thousand pitchers lsat year and you are sizing up your roster and realize that you have no position players 'worth' keeping. ('worth keeping' meaning that their keeper value exceeds their expected draft number). so in our 'market' of keeper slots, depending on the owner, some keeper slots could have a negative/zero value to the owner. pretty easy for bad things to happen - you might have people dumping keeper slots to the huge advantage of another owner who is in better position in the draft because his rent-a-closers improbably finished at the top of the league once again.

4) what you COULD do is trade your dudes straight up, so that pete or whomever was sitting on the right to 'keep' the player in question, and then re-acquire those players for papelbon after the draft happened. the potential for backstabbing making this just all the more exciting.

no one trades anything in our league, so i guess this is all kind of academic, but i don't think it's a good idea.

i just want to say that i was a colts field goal on that last drive away from $93 4-way prop bet. fuck the colts.