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

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hyde Park Diaspora Rules

Here are the results of our meeting at the Casa del Beatty. It's a good time to lay down some laws while we're still tight and have a few years of experimenting under our belt. This will set up a framework to prepare us for any future infusion of new people into the league. While we could continue to split hairs over particular issues, we all agreed that the league would be better served by simplicity and stability. To that end:

1. The 2008 stats are good stats, which we will keep for the next five years. If something truly aberrant/outrageous is happening, we can open up discussion of that particular stat.
2. Any change in stats or roster positions will not go into effect until a full season after the change has been proposed and accepted. (Ie, a rule change during or after the 2009 season will not go into effect until the 2011 season).

1. Rosters will consist of 27 players, divided between 9 hitters, 9 pitchers, and 9 bench spots. Hitters are the regular spots in the lineup, with a Util slot instead of a pitcher/DH. Pitchers are divided between 3SP, 3RP, and 3P slots. Teams will have 2 DL slots as well.

1. Each owner will have a budget of $270 million dollars. For simplicity, this will be represented as $270. Upon winning the bid for a particular player, the owner will subtract the amount of the bid from $270.
i. Bid order is determined by the order of finish from the previous season.
ii. Passing is not allowed. Owners must put up a player for auction when it is their turn to pick.
iii. Owners will bid in whole dollar increments.
iv. Owners must fill all 27 positions through auction, thus they cannot bid an amount that, if it won, would leave them with less cash than needed to fill their remaining roster slots.

2. Any money left over at the end of the auction is vaporized. It is not saved. It cannot be rolled over to any future draft.

3. Auction money can be traded up to one year prior to, at the start of, and during the auction. Examples:
i. Halfway through the 2008 season, Owner A trades Eric Byrnes and a promise of $10 at the 2009 auction to Owner B for Chipper Jones. At the start of the 2009 auction, Owner A will have $260 and Owner B will have $280;
ii: In the 8th round of the 2008 draft, after winning A-Rod in the 1st round at $48, Owner A trades him to Owner B for $7 and Jimmy Rollins, who B won in the 2nd round for $42. $7 is added to Owner A's remaining cash and $7 is subtracted from B's remaining cash. Their cash is not re-adjusted to reflect the purchase price of the players they acquired, since this has already been subtracted from their cash and they now own the player.
iii. In 2008, Owners could not trade Eric Byrnes and $10 for the 2010 season.

4. There is a cap on trading of auction money. Owners may neither acquire or sell more than $30 in additional auction cash. The maximum with which an owner may go into a draft or spend during the draft is $300. The minimum with which an owner may enter the draft is $240. The minimum he must spend is $27.

1. At the end of each season, each owner shall have a maximum of FIVE (5) two-year options, whether new or partially-vested, on the players they acquired at auction.
i. Options are exercised at the value paid for the player at auction.
ii. Options may not be subdivided between players; a two-year option may not become two one-year options used on different players.
iii. Owners may not trade options.
iv. Owners do not have to exercise options.

2. The exercise of an option shall be determined on a year-to-year basis; two-years refers to the maximum length of the option, not to a mandate that it be exercised for a full two years. Eg. Owner A acquires Hanram for $40 in 2008. Before the 2009 draft, he decides to keep him at $40 for 2009 and exercises Year One of the option. Before the 2010 season, he may either keep Hanram for Year Two of the option at $40 or he may release him. Owners are under no obligation to keep players for two years.

3. The two year clock on an option is attached to the player, not to the owner. Trades do not reset the clock. In the previous example, if Owner A keeps Hanram with Year One of the option in 2009 and trades him in July to Owner B, B may keep Hanram for one more year in 2010. In 2011, regardless of how many trades he has moved through, Hanram, must return to the free agent pool for the draft auction.

4. Of the five options, a maximum of one may be used to keep a player who is acquired as a free agent after the auction has been completed for one additional year. Two days after the 2008 draft auction, Owner B picks up Joey Gathright from the free agent pool. At the end of the season, B may use one of his options to keep Gathright in 2009 for $1. In 2010, however, Gathright must return to the free agent pool for auction. Only one post-auction, free agent pickup may be kept.

1. Owners wishing to acquire a player not yet in the Yahoo system shall notify the league of their intent to add the player and create a cookie jar on their roster by dropping a player (exclusive of the DL).

2. The Commissioner will order the player to fill the cookie jar with a listed free agent from the team of the unlisted player. The Commissioner will select the player who, in his opinion, is the most ridiculous or worthless player from the team. This player will stay in the jar and not be started or dropped until the intended free agent is added to the Yahoo list of players.

3. We will never have waivers.

In order to preserve the tranquility of the league, protests of trades will be carried out in the following manner.
1. Upon a formal complaint through the Yahoo system to the Commissioner (ie, not crying over a beer at Rose's) the Commissioner shall call for a vote on the trade.

2. The parties involved (either trading partners and the plaintiff) and the Commissioner do not get a vote. Of the remaining votes, a simple majority to veto will veto the trade. The Commissioner may vote to break a tie, basing his vote on his assessment of the validity of the argument and the motives of those voting to veto. Refusal to vote/abstention shall be counted as a vote of approval.

While we cannot legislate basic courtesy, this is a good time to state that we're all friends, we're all professionals, and we're all committed to a good and healthy league. To that end, take care to respond to trade offers, even if it is to push the reject button. If you're going to have an extended absence, make arrangements for a proxy/surrogate to manage your team in your absence.

(The original letter was sent March 15, 2008, immediately after our meeting on March 14)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

taking the next step

ok, so we nailed down that we're not doing keepers. let's now turn our considerable attentions to the issues of A) how the auction system will inform the new keepers. B) stats. once we've finally decided this shit, we can just sit down and actually, you know, like, do fantasy baseball.

in re the new keeper regime, i'm going to throw on the table what i feel like are the obvious, sort of in the air plans. please comment and let me know if you see an omission.

1) contracts system of some kind.
2) a straight keep, i.e., just tag X dudes and get to keep them no questions asked.
3) a discount system. you guys know my opinion of this.

i'm partial to a contracts system; it's pretty easy to keep track of, facilitates the trading of auction dollars plus future stars with a contract in exchange for right-now help (one of my favorite kinds of trades).

i think a straight keep would work, although it would kind of undermine the whole point of an auction; unless it somehow expired, everbody could just salt away X dudes permanently. i like the contracts system we have in my NYC league.

Four one-year deals (meaning someone you bid on in 2008 is locked in for 2009)
Two two-year deals. (same as above 'cept through 2010)

Contract value = purchase price of player + 10%. In the case of 2 yr dudes, it's last year's salary + 10%.

Obviously, every year you get the same # of contracts, which means that the two-years from last year will be held over, and you'll truly have 8 contracts each year.

Now, the fine print: You have to name two contracts RIGHT AWAY after the auction. this is a fun wrinkle -- it results in hedged bets like my John Danks contract from last year, fully intending to not use him all year but hoping he'd be league average by 2008. The rest are announced before the next year's auction.

Minimum contract is $5 -- anybody priced below that escalates to $5. Otherwise a $1 pickup of someone like russell martin is just an insaaaaane advantage.

Contracts are tradeable, there's no limit on how many you can acquire, other than roster size (25 or so, presumably). also it helps to cap the amount of auction cash someone can deal in one season -- $25 is our cap, just so no one totally fucks themselves for the next season.

No contracting of players not auctioned. E.g., no fausto carmona -- if you were lucky enough to snag them off the waiver wire, you got your reward already.

The total sal cap btw is $260, standard issue. I welcome response.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


This surely must have been posted to one of our league boards, but I don't remember seeing it.
Scroll down toward the bottom, "Berman Loses His Shit"

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

keepers issue

two questions:

1) do we keep keepers (there's certainly a better way to say that) or blow everything up?

2) if we DO maintain keepers, do they stay outside the auction, or do we take last year's ESPN valuation as the 'price' for keeping them?

3) how many keepers.

that was three questions, i guess.

Monday, February 04, 2008

crickets chirping

come on, everyone. i've got new spreadsheets brewing. i even fixed the ones that indicated spending $18 on adam dunn might be a good idea.

what's the auction budget going to be, btw?

Sunday, February 03, 2008


1) do we have a firm date for the draft? i'd like to buy tickets earlier rather than later.

2) are stats finalized? with an auction, i feel like sort of
winging it (like i have in years past (might be a disastrous strategy this year. hence the need to start preparations early. let's get this started...

3) what podcasts does everyone on the board listen to? with 40 minutes of commute time per way, i'm in the market for new suggestions.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

breaking: twins trade johan santana to sam gill

"no, guys, you don't get it - if you ADD UP their strikeoutss all together, it makes up for Santana's production. it's a fair trade!"

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rebranding Lithuania

I don't think my ideas or commentary are brilliant, but I wrote some blog posts about an attempt to rebrand Lithuania to make it more relevant in the contemporary world. You guys might find it interesting. It's all over at

Thursday, January 24, 2008

i just want to point out that i drive by heath ledger's (former) apt every day on my way to work. it's all well and good that he got nominated for an oscar and had a kid with michelle williams, but you still have to rent an apartment on the noisiest street south of houston - a 4 lane approach to the holland tunnel.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

This Ain't Aruba Bitch

There are a few things we need to get settled as soon as possible:


Date of Draft - some people have to fly in and others have to ... make plans and stuff

Auction or Draft - it seems as if we have a majority of people who either support an auction or atleast are ambivalent so it looks like we'll go with an auction.  By auction are people fine with the basic $260 budget?

Blow it up?? - I have a feeling this is going to be a breaking point issue. While I could go either way it seems from the 6/10 person poll that some people don't agree. 

# of Keepers from last year - hasn't been discussed much


There are obviously things that we need to work out after this but we really need to get the initial stuff worked out - if only the first two before February. 

Any who is or isn't reading this blog?  There haven't been more than 8 votes on any of the polls so atleast 2 people are not reading or don't care. Please comment so I/we know you are reading this atleast once a week.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Keepers poll

Should we start from scratch regarding keepers, voiding all rights from last year?
strong yes
weak yes
weak no
strong no
i will kill you if you take tim lincecum from me free polls

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Through advanced statistical straw polling at Pub Trivia, I have determined none of my platforms will go very far in the auction-contract primary election. My advisors have decided to withdraw to the battleground state of stat categories. So talk amongst yourselves about contracts and cost-of-living adjustments to value until we move to stats. I reserve the right to run 527-style ads on behalf of particular policy issues.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


All those bad things I said about Maroney this season? I take it all back.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Thugs on the Wire

Pretty interesting stuff


Is anyone else reading this? We still have 2 people left to vote on auction/draft. It seems as if most people are atleast not against an auction. Following MCart's idea to move one step at a time to avoid bickering and a clusterfuck of ideas, we should probably talk about how to deal with keepers/contracts etc.


I assume everyone knows how an auction works and if they dont its easy enough to look up ($260 at the start of the season blah blah).


My proposal is that we dont weight the keepers from this year and you get to keep 4, 3 1-year contracts and 1 2-year contract.  These holdover keepers have no value whatsoever in the first year and your single 2 year keeper is priced (in the 2nd year) at the average of the 20 highest priced players. You keep Arod for 2 years, year 1 is free, year 2 is say $30. 


Contracts are all dealt with at the end of the season so they dont effect intraseason trading and at the end of the year you keep 6 guys, 2 4-year contracts and 4 1-year contracts.  (These #s could be changed, they just seemed fairly easy to start).


Thats my modest proposal. Please beat me up as you see fit.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Lewis Fortner

Holy shit, it's Lewis Fortner's long lost brother. Someone tell him that he has a twin!

2 people left to vote

Auction or Snakedraft
Either free polls

Sunday, January 06, 2008


BTW, new Wire episodes go on free OnDemand the Monday before air (so six days early). I dunno if that's totally common knowledge.

wire odyssey

it is very very difficult for my head to process mcnulty with a british accent. someone else please attest to this.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Wire

Finished the first two episodes last night. I wont ruin it but lets just say McNulty is back.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


i guess time will tell, but i make a solemn promise to a) manage my teams and b) read the message board. hopefully work is going to be less of a black whole into which all of my time is deposited, or failing that i will learn how to post from buenos s aires. i am comfortable submitting to whatever sanctions exist for leaving a football team adrift and never reading the message board - perhaps buying lots of beer at the draft? i'm withholding public comment on any sort of rule change and focusing on dnot finishing last.

Sub Prime Mortgaged Future

Kenny Williams is looking to be the next Countrywide with the way hes betting that the future doesn't matter. I have no problem with Swisher, i actually kind of like him and his contract isn't that bad (4 yrs left for about 26 million) but he traded the entire farm system for it. Hes already traded for Gio Gonzalez twice and Ryan Sweeney is ok but not that great. The issue here is Fautino De Los Santos. BP has him as the Sox ONLY 5-star prospect. Gio Gonzalez was one of the few (if not only) 4-star prospect so hes traded two of our best pitching prospects when the team has no pitching future.

Also, with Swisher likely to play LF and Dye at RF and nobody to play center (CQ probably) that means theres a log jam at 3B. There needs to be a Crede trade ASAP. Ideally a trade that gets rid of Crede and Uribe.

God, the I hate Kenny Williams. - Fan Graphs of Swisher

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Call me a Federalist

Some responses to Czap:

(1) "Like Carter, I would like to keep the season simple."
  • That was not my point. I am not worried about how much time I spend on the league. What I want is a set of rules that does not lock in rosters in March because the in-season transaction rules are too complex.

(2) "The point is to reward good management/drafting. The key, I think, to keeping things fluid, both in terms of dealing and in terms of the standings from year to year, is to seriously restrict the number of keepers."

  • That these two sentences are diametrically opposed to one another seems so obvious as to not require extended comment.

(3) "I would expect free agency to work as it usually does. No contracts. No cap. No money moving around. Just an auction to build our teams instead of a draft."

  • This would seem to prevent a team from retaining a player signed as a free agent for the next season (no contract to resign?). Czap, I take it that such an outcome would not bother you, but it bothers me greatly. As you put it, the point is to reward good management: It is equally important to recognize value during the season as during the draft/auction.

(4) "I think people should throw whatever they want on the agenda."

  • Whatever. This will degenerate into nothingness, at which point a decision will be railroaded through by the plurality that shouts the loudest. Can we at least try to frame the debate? It seems to me that we should table any discussion of keepers (or analogously, long term contracts) and focus first on the decision whether to have a draft or auction. Once we make that choice, we can structure the system to reflect the subsidiary decision on keepers.

My Auction & Keeper Plan

I don't support democratic elitism, although I am tempted to these days, so I think people should throw whatever they want on the agenda. Once commonalities/factions develop, then we can develop working groups to develop more coherent and consensual proposals. I also want to put my "plan" out here because I'm pretty sure it is different from and unpopular with the others who want an auction.

Like Carter, I would like to keep the season simple. I devote too much time to our league as it is, so I'm not all that geeked out about replicating the real world of baseball with salary caps, trading of money, contracts, etc. Well, a secret part of me does kind of like such a notion but practicality steers me away. We could always create a second league along the lines of Mo's "Three True Outcomes" for those who want to go that route.

I want to do an auction simply because I think it would be more fun, less random, and reward preparation. I'm fairly convinced doing an auction will ensure that I finish last in the league, but it's worth the risk. I like the element of competition it injects to the drafting process and the additional strategizing (for one day) it enables. Can I get someone to overpay for Weeks (no)? Will I overpay for Willy Taveras (yes)? Once the teams are put together, I would expect free agency to work as it usually does. No contracts. No cap. No money moving around. Just an auction to build our teams instead of a draft.

I'll throw it out there again. I don't understand why people want to key keepers to draft position, value, etc. I think we should let everyone keep a small amount of players. Say 3. If you keep someone, they are no longer in the talent pool and it doesn't cost anything. If we do a draft, you don't need to save any slots to keep them. if we do an auction, no deduction of whatever the "value" of the player is from your auction cash (and no need to perform COLA adjustments each season). If people don't like the idea that whoever gets ARod gets to keep him forever, then we could set a time limit. The point is to reward good management/drafting. The key, I think, to keeping things fluid, both in terms of dealing and in terms of the standings from year to year, is to seriously restrict the number of keepers.

Blowing things up.
Why blow up ownership this year? Because changing the draft, keeper, or stat system (and I want changes in all three) is serious business which ought to be bargained over in good faith. I think people are less likely to do that if they already have strategies in mind based on last season or who they currently own and might like to keep. If people are really up in arms over this, perhaps we could give everyone one legacy keeper. If we change to auction, I think we really do need to have every player available for the sake of a perfect market.

Call me a flat taxer. I want a simple league. I don't want to simulate MLB in all dimensions (although I lean this way when it comes to stats).

I do not support an auction

For reasons I can barely fathom, I am dead set against an auction system. I just seems needlessly complex.

FIRST, I worry that it will stulify the league, especially during the season. Last year, we basically had several teams go through the motions for several months. If in-season transactions become even more complex, won't the ACTUAL SEASON become even more boring. An auction may be more fun than a draft in March, but at what cost? Moacir's post from March 23, 2007 states: "Hopefully with a 40-man roster, there won't be tons of mid-season acquisition..." Why is that something for which we should express hope? I think it would be a travesty if we turned this league into the NFL of fantasy baseball. In order to win me over to an auction system, someone needs to develop a workable plan for in-season transactions.

SECOND, I am rather satisfied with the current system. The draft is fun. The pre-draft Winter Meeting, at which a number of trades were made last year, was even better. Trades are relatively easy to complete during the season. Rookies and suprise performers are equally available to all. The only real outstanding issue would seem to be the mechanics of the keeper system--How many and at what cost? Those are relatively minor questions that could be easily dealt with after we decide whether to retain the current system or not. Unless others find the current system problematic for reasons not apparent to me, a transition to an auction system simply to make the initial distribution of players "more enjoyable" does not seem worth it.

THIRD, as I noted at the outset, I am strongly opposed to an auction. I am going to need to see a complete, well-reasoned plan before I support one. I hope that those who favor an auction will work together to create a single auction plan that the league as a whole can discuss, rather than several proposals that will simply lead to confusion. Finally, I hope that, unlike last season, whatever the league decides can be made relatively permanent. Player decisions often hinge on future rules; continuing uncertainty will only worsen the league.