February 16, 2020
“I’m in favor of it.”
--John MaKay, then coach of his winless NFL expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, when asked about his team’s execution.
Well gang, camps are open and spring games start Friday. So I drug myself to the keyboard to get you all the news, notes and important dates for the upcoming season.
Congratulations to Marcus and Matt for going back-to-back. Glenn (who was solidly in first place at the time) actually predicted it with several weeks to go in the season. But I discounted it thinking Glenn was trying to jinx the Catheys. Unfortunately for Glenn, his prognostication came true.
First the news:
Jim Fraser will not be joining us in Vegas this year - something about his daughter getting married in Austin the day after the draft. Apparently, he and his checkbook, are required to be there.
Speaking of Fraser, I assume by now, everyone knows he retired from the cable company. But he is not just sitting around the house. Oh no, he got the dream job for most retired guys – he works at a golf course. Not only does he get paid to go to the course, but he gets to play all the golf he wants for free. I’ll bet he is waiting with baited breath for the return of warm weather to the frozen tundra of Wisconsin.
One other piece of news – Trevor Cordova will be joining his father Scott as co-owner of Long Road Trip. Trevor’s contact info is (310) 613-8385, firstname.lastname@example.org
I have updated the rosters on the stat service to reflect the “keepers” between linked players. Remember, you are not required to keep the player you protected on roster freeze day, you merely retain the right to do so. If the player you kept the rights to is currently on your reserve list, and you ultimately keep him on roster freeze day, you will owe a $5 activation fee into the prize pool.
I have also updated all contracts to reflect their status for the 2020 season.
As we are having a scratch draft next year, there is no reason for our annual refresher on long-term contracts. We’ll pick it back up in three years when players drafted next year are going into their third season.
Draft Order: 4/9/5/1/6/7/8/2/3/10
Minor-League Draft Order: 7/6/1/5/9/4/8/2/3/10
The following teams have money left in their account from last season, or they left in some of their winnings:
Team 1 - $12.50
Team 2 - $270
Team 3 - $655
Team 5 - $5
Team 6 - $15
Team 9 - $20
Team 10 - $440
Remember, each team needs to have $250 in their account to begin the season. If you have a balance in your account, you need only to send the difference between that and $250.
Monday, March 16 – Each team must have their initial $250 buy in to Glenn. His address is 614 Mangrove Thicket Blvd, Ponte Vedra, FL 32081.
Friday, March 27 – Roster Freeze Day. Teams 2, 3, 8 and 10 can protect seven players. Everyone else can protect 10. If you are keeping any minor-leaguers, they do not count against your keeper limit, but keeping them on your farm team will cost you $5.
Wednesday, April 1 – The Spencers, the Catheys, Glenn, myself and several others are planning on dinner at Ruth Chris’ in Harrahs. Let Marcus know if you are interested, since he is setting this up.
Thursday, April 2 – This is our traditional golfing day. I have not heard of anyone taking point on this yet, but it is still early. If you want to set it up, let everyone know. Whoever takes this on, count me in. Also on this day the past few years, Steve Farabee has graciously invited everyone over to his suite at the Cosmo for pizza, drinks, stories about the ancient days of the CRL and general shoveling of bullshit. It is always a blast. I am not volunteering Steve for this, it is completely his call. Should he elect to host again, everyone always throws $20-$25 bucks apiece into the hat for pizza, beer and snacks.
Friday, April 3 – Draft Day. We will start around 9 am and be in the same room we had last year.
Friday, April 4 (later in the day) – Glenn officially proclaims the Catheys as the team to beat.
Be prepared for some votes at this year’s draft. Here are some that, if passed, will take effect this season:
I want to put the entire “irregular link fee” issue up for a vote. Here is the scenario:
Player A goes on the DL. He is reserved and replaced by player B and they are tied together. Weeks later, player B gets hurt. The owner requests that player A now be tied to player C (who is already on the active roster), reserves player B and picks up a new player and ties him to player B. In an admitted moment of weakness years ago, I allowed a move like this to go through. Ever since, thinking precedent, I have allowed similar moves to go through, but charged the team a $5 “irregular link” fee. In rereading the constitution, I think this practice must end. The constitution specifically states that a player who is tied to someone may not replace “any other player on the 23-man active roster other than his original or any subsequent replacements.” The rule does give one out – if either the original player or his replacement can be moved to another natural opening, then unlinking the players is allowed.
Here is the issue which, I think, led me to do what I did what I did years ago. The original (reserved) player is not replacing anyone – yet. That will only happen if/when the original player, who is now tied to someone else, comes back. This is kind of like the various arguments (and justices) before/on the US Supreme court who argue for organic vs. original intent. It is extremely possible I was more liberal in my interpretations in the past. I now think the original intent is the more important factor. But I will now make this call alone. I need a vote.
Note, there may still be a need for an irregular link fee, but I don’t remember the other scenarios surrounding it. I’ll remember it when I see it.
Another proposal I am bringing up is related to replacing players in September, when MLB teams do not use the DL. We have been fast and loose on the whole idea of replacing players in September who may not play again. The original constitution says they may be replaced if they are declared “out for the season in some national publication. Problem is, there are very few national publications anymore, so I have been allowing teams to replace players if they think (and based on the notes in the stat service) they will not come back. A few years ago, I even put out a rule that stated if a team decided to replace such a player, they must reserve (not waive) him (because, if he came back, I did not want to screw up another team’s plans for next year.) So, for the last few years, various teams have replaced players in September, reserving them and picking up someone else. The constitution is very clear that if the original player appears in a game, even as a pinch runner or defensive replacement, the original move is reversed retroactively, and the entire original transaction is rendered null and void. It’s a roll of the dice. This stipulation has bitten a few owners over the seasons.
When the original player does return, I have always reversed the original transaction fees, as if the original transaction never happened. I figured that losing the replacement player’s stats was enough of a penalty. But I’m starting to think differently now. Picking up another player means he is not available for another team to grab in successive weeks. I now think the fairest way to do it is to penalize the owner not only the stats, but the transaction fees for taking the replacement player out of the available player pool for however long he should not have been on the roster – in other words, you’d lose both the stats and the money. I propose that, if you replace a player “out for the season” and the original player subsequently appears in a game, you not only lose the stats, but you also have to pay the original transaction fees.
Now to some proposals that, if enacted, would take effect next year, commensurate with the scratch draft.
Someone, I don’t remember who, thinks it’s time again for the proposal that pops up every four to five years – increasing the salary cap to the more standard $260 by $1 increments. Included in this proposal is doubling all transaction fees to get back to the amounts specified in the original constitution. Of course, this would also increase the pre-season buy in to $500 per team.
As you may recall, a couple of years ago, Otis proposed changes to several scoring categories – replacing some counting stats with others. After some reflection, Otis has decided to withdraw some of his proposals, but still would like discussion and a vote on two of them. I will paste Otis’ comments from the email he sent to me:
“I have reconsidered my original four propositions and am scaling back to only two. While I still believe Quality Starts are a much, much better indicator of a pitcher's skills than Wins, I don't think I could convince a majority to abandon the sacred word "win". So I give up on that one. I also am junking the idea of Steals Minus Caught Stealing as clumsy, untenable and fairly silly.
That leaves OBP, the white whale of stats I will ever seek. I think I have some support on this one.
And Holds Plus Saves which puts pretty much all relief pitchers in the stat mix instead of having one person out of 23 be responsible for 10% of total production.”
So we will have a discussion and vote on these two scoring category proposals. If anyone has any other things they would like to see implemented next season, let me know and I will put it out there.
Finally, some interesting tidbits from last season:
Rob Nightengale of USA Today reported that Aaron Judge was set to earn $684,300 last season, “or about $300,000 less than Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will earn for each start.”
Watching Sportscenter on July 20, 2019 – they had a story about the Apollo 11 moon landing fifty years ago. One of the tidbits, courtesy of Tim Kurkjian, was that, in 1964, five years before Apollo 11, then Giants manager Alvin Dark said “Mark my words, men will set foot on the moon before Gaylord Perry hits a home run. “
At 1:47 pm, Pacific Time, on July 20, 1969, exactly thirty minutes after the Eagle (the Apollo 11 lander) touched down on the moon, Perry went deep in San Francisco for his first major league homer. Since the actual moonwalk wasn’t until hours later, Dark missed his prediction by only a few hours. (And he was right if you equate landing on with setting foot on.).
Hope everyone has a great season and see you all in Vegas.
P.S. If I could, I’d hire that Astros intern to read your signs. This year is do or die. No playing for next year. No trades to set you up. No 20-year-old future studs in AA.