Credit where credit is due:
bulk of the following is from "Rotisserie League Baseball Ė The
Official Rulebook and Complete Guide to Player Values" by Glen
Waggoner and Robert Sklar, Bantam Books, New York,
1989. While there have been some changes in the text to incorporate the rules
of the Charred Retina League, most of the words are those of Messrs. Waggoner
and Sklar. The full text of that document can be
To assemble a lineup of 23 National League baseball players whose cumulative statistics during the regular season, compiled and measured by the methods described in these rules, exceed those of all other teams in the League.
There are 10-11 teams in a duly constituted Rotisserie League composed of National League players.
A teamís active roster consists of the following players:† Five outfielders, one catcher, one second baseman, one shortstop, one middle infielder (either second baseman or shortstop), one first baseman, one third baseman, one corner man (either first baseman or third baseman), one utility player (who may play any non-pitching position), and ten pitchers. (See Article V for rules governing position eligibility.)
A major league player draft in the form of an open auction is conducted on the first Friday in April. Each team must acquire 23 players at a total cost not to exceed $130. A team need not spend the maximum. Teams will nominate players in the reverse order of the previous seasonís final standings. The team bidding first opens with a minimum salary bid of $0.50 for any eligible player, and the bidding proceeds around the room at minimum increments of $0.50 until only one bidder is left. That team acquires the player for that amount and announces the roster position the player will fill. The process is repeated, with successive team owners introducing players to be bid on, until every team has a squad of 23 players, by requisite position.
Immediately following the major-league draft, a minor-league player draft shall be conducted, in which each CRL team may acquire players who are on the roster of a National League farm team but are not on the Major League teamís disabled list.
A player may be assigned to any position at which he appeared in 20 or more games in the preceding season. If a player did not appear in 20 games at a single position, he may be drafted only at the position at which he appeared most frequently. The 20-games/most games measure is used only to determine the position(s) at which a player may be drafted. A player who did not appear in the major leagues the previous season may only be assigned to the position he played most frequently in the minor leagues.† Once the season is under way (but after Auction Draft Day), a player becomes eligible for assignment to any position at which he appears at least once. Players selected for the utility slot may qualify at any position except pitcher.
The CRL has a schedule of fees covering all player personnel moves. No money passes directly from team to team. No bets are made on the outcome of any game. All fees are payable into the prize pool and are subsequently distributed to the top four teams in the final standings (see below, Articles VIII and IX).
BASIC: The cumulative total of salaries paid for acquisition of a 23-man roster on Auction Draft Day may not exceed $130.
TRADES: $5 per trade prior to the All-Star break, $10 thereafter (no matter how many players are involved). Each team involved in a trade shall pay the appropriate fee, depending on the time of the season during which the trade occurs. Off-season trades are $5 per team.
CALL-UP FROM FREE-AGENT POOL: $10 until the All-Star Game, $20 thereafter until seasonís end.
RESERVE: $5 for each player placed on a teamís reserve list (see Article XII).
FARM SYSTEM: $5 for each player kept in a teamís farm system (see Article XIII).
ACTIVATION: $5 for each player activated from the reserve list or farm system.
WAIVERS: $5 for each player claimed on waivers (see Article XIV).
SEPTEMBER ROSTER EXPANSION: $25 (see Article XV).
The salary of a player is determined by the time and means of his acquisition and does not change unless the player becomes a free agent or is signed to a guaranteed long-term contract (see below, Article XVI).
All fees shall be promptly collected and wisely invested by the League Treasurer in a timely fashion. Teams who do not pay their balances for any given month by the 20th of the following month shall have their rosters frozen and shall not be able to make any roster moves until their balance is paid in full. Payments for September transactions are due by October 20.
The interest income from this investment shall be given to the League Treasurer to help he or she satisfy tax ramifications of the interest income and defray the expenses of handling the account. The principle shall be divided among the first four teams in the final standings as follows:
Before the percentages for payouts are calculated, the League Secretary and League Treasurer shall be reimbursed for their expenses (mailings, Rental for hotel conference room, faxing transactions to the League Treasurer or Stat Service, etc.). Once the league expenses are deducted from the prize pool, the remaining balance will be distributed to the top four teams according to the schedule above.
The following criteria are used to determine team performance:
Teams are ranked from first to last in each of the 10 categories and given points for each place. The first-place team in a category receives 1 point for each team in the league (currently 10), the second-place team 2 points, and so on down to one point for last place. The team with the most total points wins the pennant.
NOTE: A team that fails to pitch a total of 1000 innings cannot be ranked ahead of any team that does pitch 1000 innings, in either ERA or Ratio. No team, except those failing to get their innings, shall have their season-ending point totals changed due to another teamís failure to get the required minimum. For example, if a team failing to get their minimum innings requirement actually has the fifth-best ERA, those teams with worse ERAs will not each gain a point as a result of the offending team being dropped to last place in the category.
NOTE: Pitchersí offensive stats are not counted.
The stats of record shall be supplied by a third-party stat service. Box scores in daily newspapers are riddled with errors, and official scorers occasionally change rulings.† Stats from the stat service are considered official.
NOTE: It is common for a player to appear on the roster of more than one CRL team during the season because of trades and waiver-list moves. Even a player who is not traded may spend time on a teamís reserve list, during which period any numbers he might compile for his major-league team do not count for his CRL team.
From the completion of the auction draft until the last out of the All-Star game, CRL teams are free to make trades, so long as the active rosters of both teams involved in a trade reflect the required position distribution upon completion of the transaction, and so long as the anti-dumping rules outlined below are adhered to. Trading may also occur after the All-Star game on a limited basis.† Between the All-Star game and Aug. 31, teams in money positions (1-4) may only trade with teams in money positions.† Likewise, the bottom four teams may only trade with the bottom four teams.† The exception to this is teams that are not in the top four or bottom four positions may trade with anyone.† Trades made from the day after the season ends until rosters are frozen prior to Auction Draft Day are not bound by the position or anti-dumping requirements.
Players in the last year of a guaranteed contract, playing out their option year, or players with a salary of $12.50 or more, are considered "asterisk" players. Such players may be traded only under the following conditions:
NOTE: "Dumping" is the inelegant but scientifically precise term used to describe what happens when a team out of contention gives up on the season and trades to a contending team its most expensive talent and its players who will be lost to free agency at the end of the year, typically for inexpensive players who can be kept the following season. A "dumping" trade is always unbalanced, sometimes egregiously so, with the contending team giving up far less than it gets, and the non-contending team giving up much more in order to acquire a nucleus for the following season. While this strategy makes sense for both clubs, extreme cases can undermine the results of the auction draft, which should always be the primary indicator of an ownerís ability to put together a successful team. What the anti-dumping rule outlined above is intended to accomplish is to restrict the most extreme forms of dumping, while at the same time permitting a non-contending team to rebuild for the future.
A team may replace any player on its 23-man roster who is:
To replace such a player, a CRL team must first release him outright, waive him (see below, Article XIV), or place him on its reserve list. A team reserves a player by notifying the League Secretary and paying the $5 transaction fee. A reserved player is removed from a teamís active roster at the end of the stat week following Mondayís games Ė when formal notification is given Ė and placed on the teamís reserve list. There is no limit to the number of players a team may have on its reserve list. Reserving a player protects a teamís rights to that player.
NOTE: Intended to prevent stockpiling of players, this rule is tricky to monitor. Daily newspaper transaction columns and telephone sports-information lines are unreliable about reporting major-league roster moves. The clock starts ticking when the League Secretary is made aware of a player being reactivated. By the way, "two weeks" means two full reporting periods and may actually be as much as two weeks plus six days (as in the case of a player being reactivated on a Tuesday).
Once the season concludes, a team may not keep both a player on its reserve list and the player he is tied to. At some point following the end of the season, usually sometime in November or December (depending on when the League Secretary gets around to it), teams with players remaining on their reserve lists must inform the League Secretary as to whether they are keeping the player on reserve, or his active replacement. It is not required to keep this (these) player(s) on the following seasonís roster, merely to ensure that multiple players are not tied together during the off-season. In the circumstances where more than two players are linked together, a team may only keep one of the linked players. If a team chooses to keep a player on the reserve list over his active counterpart, and the team subsequently keeps that player the following Roster Freeze Day, the team owes the $5 activation fee into the following seasonís prize pool.
If a farm-system player is promoted to the active roster of a major-league team at any time during the regular season prior to September 1 (when major-league rosters may expand to 40), his CRL team has two weeks after his promotion to activate him (at any position for which he qualifies) or waive him.
NOTE:† Once a player is brought up from his farm team, the clock starts ticking.† Even if he is sent back down before two weeks have elapsed, he must be activated or waived.† In this one scenario only, this may give a team a chance to replace their worst performing player with a free-agent.† If a farm player comes up and is sent back down, he may be activated, and any player waived (this part does not have to work positionally).† The farm player must then be immediately reserved and his hole filled with a free-agent or waiver player (this move does have to work positionally).† This type of move is limited to position players for positon players and pitcher for pitchers.† (In other words, if your farm outfielder comes up, you may not activate him and waive a pitcher only to pick up a free-agent outfielder.)
Under certain conditions, a CRL player may be released outright or placed on waivers.
NOTE: While a player may be given his outright release, we do not normally do it. All players released during the season are normally waived because they may end up back on the active roster of a National League team before the end of the waiver period. Besides, some owner may want to spend $5 to remove a player from their team. In the case of certain bad pitchers who always seem to be throwing gasoline on the fire, addition by subtraction can be a good thing.
NOTE: This is to prevent a team from picking up a player on waivers merely for the purpose of releasing him and replacing him with a player of higher quality from the free-agent pool.
b) placed on the "disqualified" list,
c) traded to the "other" major league, or
If it chooses, a team may expand its roster for the pennant drive by calling up one additional player after September 1 from the free-agent pool, its own reserve list, or its own farm system.
A player who has been under contract at the same salary during two consecutive seasons and whose service has been uninterrupted (that is, he has not been waived or released, although he may have been traded) must, prior to the freezing of rosters in his third, or option, season be
If released, the player returns to the free-agent pool and becomes available to the highest bidder at the next auction draft. If signed at the same salary for an option year, the player must be released back into the free-agent pool at the end of that season. If signed to guaranteed long-term contract, the playerís salary in each year covered by the new contract (which commences with the option year) shall be the sum of his current salary plus $2.50 for each additional year beyond the option year. (For example, if a player is signed to a three-year contract, his salary becomes his current salary plus $5 Ė $2.50+$2.50 Ė the option year is only included in the duration calculations, not the salary calculations).† In addition, a signing bonus, equal to one half the total value of the long-term contract, but not less than $2.50, shall also be paid.
In determining a playerís status, "season" is understood to be a full season or any fraction thereof.
A player with such a contract may not be released during the season.† But the player may be released during the off-season and prior to Auction Draft Day.† A team that chooses to do so must pay into the prize pool, above the $130 Auction Draft Day limit, a sum equal to twice the remaining value of the playerís contract. The player then re-enters the free-agent pool.
From one CRL season to the next, teams finishing in the money (1-4) may protect 7 players.† Teams finishing out of the money may protect 10 players.
NOTE: Roster Freeze Day will always be at least one week prior to Auction Draft Day, and as close to April 1 as possible, to allow all owners at least one weekend prior to the draft to fine-tune draft strategies. Until you know whom the other teams are going to keep, you wonít know for sure whoís going to be available. And until you know how much they will have to spend on Auction Draft Day, you wonít be able to complete your own pre-draft budget.
NOTE: For our purposes, a player is deemed to be on the opening day roster, and thus available to be drafted, if he is;
a) On the Opening Day roster of a National League
b) On the Disabled List of a National League Team on Auction Draft Day.
The CRL is governed by a Committee of the Whole consisting of all team owners. The Committee of the Whole may designate as many League officials as from time to time it deems appropriate, although only two Ė the League Secretary and the League Treasurer Ė ever do any work. The Committee of the Whole also designates annually a Rules Committee composed three team owners in good standing. The Rules Committee has the authority to interpret playing rules and to handle all necessary and routine League business. All decisions, rulings, and interpretations by the Rules Committee are subject to veto by the Committee of the Whole. Rule changes, pronouncements, and acts of whimsy are determined by majority vote of the Committee of the Whole.