March 29, 1999

"Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."

 -- Joe Theismann


That goes double for guys that play rotoball.

Thatís right folks, itís that time of year again. Veterans with sore knees or elbows, rookies hitting .400 and everybody is in first place. Too bad we canít have the draft right now, since Glenn is a bit distracted Ė heís collecting money from all those folks who said UConn didnít have a chance.

Anyway, itís late, and Iím tired, so this is going to be short. Youíll notice that there is now a link to the rosters of each CRL team. As per usual, I have not updated this list to reflect those players who have changed teams, been traded out of the league or retired. What I have done is take last yearís season-ending rosters, deleted the players who played out their contract or option, and adjusted the contracts of all players to reflect what they will be going into this season. The list also reflects the players each of us kept last fall when deciding which of our linked players to hold on to.

Remember, you have to e-mail me or call me on Thursday, April 1 to tell me who you are keeping. If you donít, you will be drafting 23 players. Our defending champs can keep a maximum of 11 players, Hutch can protect 12, Doug 13, Fraser 14 and the rest of us 15.

Thursday is also the day that you will need to let me know about any long-term contracts you want to sign. Players Iíll need decisions on have an "O" in the fourth column on the linked roster page. Those of you who are familiar with the long-term contract rule can skip the next two paragraphs.

When a players is signed to a long-term contract, his new salary becomes the sum of his current contract and $2.50 for each additional year he is signed to. Looking at the attached rosters, letís use Mark McGwire as an example. Should Fraser, or any other owner acquiring McGwire through a trade (fat chance), elect to sign McGwire to a two-year contract his new salary is $7.50 ($5.00+$2.50). A three-year contract would mean McGwireís new salary would be $10 ($5.00+$2.50+$2.50). Additionally, the owner signing a player to a guaranteed long-term contract would pay a signing bonus into the prize pool (which would not count against the $130 Draft Day limit) of 1/2 the total value of the contract. Again using McGwire as an example, a two-year contract would cost the owner a $7.50 signing bonus (1/2 of 2 X $7.50), while a three-year contract would cost the owner $15 (1/2 of 3 X $10).

One final note on long-term contracts; a player with a long-term contract cannot be dumped during the regular season. If a player with a long-term contract is not kept on Roster Freeze Day, unless he is in the American League or out of baseball, his owner must pay into the prize pool an amount equal to twice the remaining value of the contract. This penalty would not count against the ownerís $130 draft-day limit.

Now that I have everyoneís attention again, I should tell you that if you havenít been keeping up with current events, you might notice a couple of players in strange places. Since our last meeting, there have been three trades and nine players changing teams. I started the ball rolling by sending Bill Mueller and Walt Weiss to Terry and Bill for Brant Brown. Fraser, not to be outdone, has made two trades. First he shipped Edgardo Alfonzo to Ken and Mike Look for Mickey Morandini and Tom Glavine. Then, just last week, he traded Greg Maddux to Hutcheson for Vinny Castilla and Steve Trachsel.

One final note on roster freezes. You can keep your farm players (without them counting against your protected player limit) by paying $5 into the prize pool. If you protect a farm guy and he subsequently makes the Opening Day roster, you can A) waive him, B) keep him on your roster at a $5 salary (if you are below your protected player limit), or C) waive a player on your active roster (if you are at the max as far as protected players are concerned) and put your farm player on your active roster.

Now for the social calendar:

Kerr, Spencer, Scott and myself are playing golf in LA on Wednesday. Later, me, Kerr and Glenn are going to the Dodger game.

Spencer, Hutcheson, Farabee, Look, Ken, Scott, Fraser and myself will be playing golf at Boulder City on Thursday about 1. Spence is getting the tee this Thursday.

The same group plus Glenn, Dennis, Terry, Bill and Torrens will be playing at Calvada on Friday about 11. Again, Spence is getting the tee times this Friday.

Iím buying the tickets for the Thursday night Stars game by the end of this week. Right now, the list of folks going looks like this: Glenn, Torrens, Terry, Bill, Ken, Look and myself. If anybody else wants to go, or if any of you want to back out, let me know by Roster Freeze Day.

Pizza at Bautistaís Friday about 8. Ken has supposedly made arrangements for us to get our table in the back again.

The draft is at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 10, in Steve Hutchesonís suite at the Imperial Palace.

Prior to the draft, we will discuss and vote on proposed rule changes. Hereís a list of the ones I know about:

1. Spencer wants to limit discussions on rule changes to one minute per team. Once each teamís time is up, breaking into the discussion to rehash an argument will cost a team its vote.

2. Appointing a Sergeant at Arms to keep us in line. The S at Aís duties will be limited, (but, hey, itíll look good on a resume) and mainly be enforcing #1 above (if passed) and giving shit to any owner who doesnít pay their money on time, which is a sin many of us are guilty of. Only four of us had our money to Glenn by March 1. And I wasnít one of them.

3. Speaking of money, beginning at the end of this season (good thing we didnít make it retroactive), any owner missing the pre- or post-season payment deadlines will be penalized by picking last in the minor league draft. (The in-season penalty will continue to be inability to make moves until the money is paid.)

4. We move the in-season payment deadline to the 20th of each month and make it a firm deadline. I have been accepting "the checkís in the mail," and Glennís been checking postmarks for the past two years. The new proposed rule is simple Ė if Glenn doesnít have your money by the 20th, you donít make moves. I picked the 20th because some of us get paid on the 15th, and it gives us five days to mail Glenn a check.

5. Changing the waiver period from the current two weeks to the one week specified in the original Constitution.

6. Eliminate the "linked player" rule we passed a few years ago. (OK, we make mistakes sometimes) The rule Iím talking about is the one where, after the season is over, we have to choose who to keep between the players on our active rosters and reserve lists who are linked together. A team would have to have a natural hole on their roster due to expired contracts or options, retirements or players traded to the American League to be able to break the link and activate the reserved player into the opening. Should the reserved player be kept the following Roster Freeze Day, the owner would be required to pay the normal $5 activation fee into the prize pool.

Finally, a couple of housekeeping items:

The stat fee is $60 per team this year (which means we each have a minimum of $190 towards team salaries, signing bonuses and off-season and draft-day player moves). Of the $60, $45 is gong to All Star Stats, $10 is going to Hutch for the suite and the remaining $5 is for general league expenses.

Spencer is planning of sending out bills by e-mail. Make sure the address I have on the CRL Addresses page is accurate.

On the subject of e-mail, I have three different accounts. Depending on what Iím doing at the time, you might get messages from any of them, but if you are sending any messages to me, please use as it is the only one I check every day.

Talk to you all this Thursday, and see you next week.