Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A "weighty" issue

I have been informed by the outstanding (HA!) Sporting News help desk that they do not support category weighting. To that end, I have created a new poll on the website. It will be up until Saturday, so please try to vote before then. In light of the fact that weighting is not supported, I have posted 5 options:

1. I do the weighting manually.
2. We remove batting average and make it 5X5
3. We add one of three pitching categories to bring it in to balance. I tried to find ones that impacted starters and relievers equally: HR allowed, total bases allowed or K/BB ratio.

Please vote. Simple majority rules.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

My concern with getting rid of average

is that it hurts players who hit for a high average but don't walk. Players like Ichiro, Crawford and Garret Anderson tend to hit for a high average but they will hurt you in a league that only counts OBA. For that reason I tend to favour James ideas.

Steal:Brad Wilkerson
Our best:Heilman?
Our worst:Perez (or he will end up beiong our best)
Another team:Scott

P.S. It was clearly James' job to clean the washroom

the two possible solutions if we can't multiply

There are clearly only two solutions if we can't build in a multiplier on the website. 1) multiply pitching totals by 1.2 ourselves, 2) add another random pitching category t hat nobody planned for i.e. opponents batting average. that way pitching and hitting count for the same amount and no team is unfairly punished by adding opponents batting average.


Another Draft Come and Gone....

I want to thank James, Jason and Austin for opening up TMR to the league. I think everyone (except Scott) was comfortable and had adequate room to set up. Well done with the Skype connection to Mike, as he came through loud and clear. Thanks to everyone, for keeping things moving yesterday. 5 hours to complete the draft, especially given the lengthy dinner break, was excellent. Thanks, too, to Scott and Matt for providing their own distinct brand of dinner (and post-dinner) entertainment.

FYI, the rosters are up, but there may be some inconsistencies due to the fact some of you have not provided me with access to your rosters. I do need folks to do this, so here's how:

From the main page, click on "Manager Prefs" under the "Front Office" tab.
Halfway down the page, you'll see "Commish Settings". Please select "Yes" for both questions in that section.

Please verify that your rosters are set up OK.

I was quite surprised by yesterday's draft. I commented to Doug afterwards that I thought it was the weirdest draft in recent memory in terms of how far off I was in undervaluing some players and overvaluing others. However, I think that all teams drafted quite well. I'm curious to know a few things, opinions from all of you.

What was the steal of the draft?
What was your best pick and your worst pick?
If you could pick another team to own this year, whose would it be?

Just some fun questions to start some discussion.

I was reminded of something yesterday that I forgot to set up on the website: the weighting of the pitching categories. I could not find a way to do this and have e-mailed Sporting News for help. If they cannot do this, in fairness to those who spent a great deal on pitching, I think that we should drop an offensive category to bring things into balance. I would recommend batting average, since it's already folded into on-Base percentage. Please provide your thoughts/comments.

Lastly, free agent bidding now ends at midnight Saturday (2 hrs later). The first free agency period is now underway and all free agency bids are to be sent to

Friday, March 24, 2006

Reminders for tomorrow

Before I start, if you haven't done so yet, go here and download a copy of Sporting News' draft planner. It's included with our league registration. It's a 3.5MB Adobe PDF, so make sure you have a copy of Acrobat Reader installed. You can download it for free here.

OK, for tomorrow.....

We are at The Men's Room (next door to the Vine). Please plan for 3 PM. If you were top 7 last year (Pandas, Todd/Joel, John Benoit, Doug, Peter, me), please bring 12 cans/1 or 2 bottles of your favourite non-alcoholic beverage. Everyone else is on for providing snacks. We will start with a short discussion on rostering, followed by a few other housekeeping items. The draft should begin at 3:30. There is an annual Winter BBQ event going on at Philpott as well, and there has been some discussion around breaking at about 6:00 or so to go feed our faces. We can discuss this when everyone arrives. If we don't do this, please bring money to order food. Also, please bring $10 to offset the cost of the website.

A few draft rule reminders:

You can only nominate players for which you have an open roster spot.
Draft order is order of finish from last year. See the website for the order.
The bench draft will follow the main draft. As always, it will be 6 rounds, snake-style (Rounds 1, 3 and 5 draft order is first-to-last. Rounds 2,4 and 6 are last-to-first).

That's all for now. If you require anything else, e-mail me or call me at home (905-387-1084) tonight.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hi Brian,

Based on the 7 players listed for Al I have his total at $126.


Monday, March 20, 2006

Brian, you forgot to include Figgins on our list. we only need a catcher, a ut and 3 pitchers.


The Protected Lists

Here they are. Spreadsheets/Word docs were sent by e-mail.

Al: Shea Hillenbrand, Brian Roberts, Aramis Ramirez, Brandon Inge, Francisco Cordero, Freddy Garcia and Roy Oswalt.
Total: $150, Balance Remaining: $110, Spots to Fill: C, SS, MI, 2 UT, 3 OF, 4 P

Brian: Tadahito Iguchi, J.J. Hardy, Pedro Feliz, Melvin Mora, Robinson Cano, Chad Tracy, Johnny Damon, Matt Holliday, Willy Taveras, Francisco Rodriguez, Barry Zito, Chris Carpenter, Adam Eaton.
Total: $148, Balance Remaining: $112, Spots to Fill: C, 1B, MI, 1 UT, 1 OF, 3 P

Mike: Joe Mauer, Travis Hafner, Nick Swisher, Jeremy Hermida, Jason Bay, Jeff Francouer, Noah Lowry, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Scott Kazmir, Carlos Zambrano.
Total: $122, Balance Remaining: $138, Spots to Fill: 2B, SS, 3B, CI, MI, 2 UT, 2 P

John: Ramon Hernandez, Sean Casey, Placido Polanco, Rafael Furcal, Darin Erstad, Eric Hinske, Carlos Lee, Mariano Rivera, Daniel Cabrera, John Smoltz, Mark Buehrle, Brad Radke.
Total: $186, Balance Remaining: $74, Spots to Fill: 3B, MI, 1 UT, 3 OF, 2 P

Peter: Chris Shelton, Chase Utley, Felipe Lopez, Alex Rodriguez, Nick Johnson, Ryan Howard, Randy Winn, Jose Contreras, Ryan Dempster, Brandon Webb, Joe Nathan, Ben Sheets, Chris Capuano.
Total: $153, Balance Remaining: $107, Spots to Fill: C, MI, 1 UT, 3 OF, 1 P

Joel/Todd: Victor Martinez, Jeff Kent, Miguel Tejada, Garrett Atkins, Morgan Ensberg, Jimmy Rollins, Bob Abreu, Jermaine Dye, Brad Lidge, Dontrelle Willis, Chad Cordero, Joe Blanton, John Patterson, Zach Duke.
Total: $205, Balance Remaining: $55, Spots to Fill: 1B, 2 UT, 2 OF, 1 P

Matt: Justin Morneau. Bobby Crosby, Adrian Beltre, Jason Giambi, Adam LaRoche, Vernon Wells, Carl Pavano, Andy Pettitte.
Total: $104, Balance Remaining: $156, Spots to Fill: C, 2B, MI, 1 UT, 3 OF, 5 P

Doug: Derrek Lee, Julio Lugo, Jonny Gomes, Jake Peavy, Pedro Martinez.
Total: $101, Balance Remaining: $159, Spots to Fill: C, 2B, 3B, CI, MI, 2 UT, 3 OF, 5 P

Scott: Prince Fielder, Clint Barmes, Scott Podsednik, Dan Haren, C.C. Sabathia.
Total: $51, Balance Remaining: $209, Spots to Fill: C, 2B, 3B, CI, MI, 2 UT, 3 OF, 5 P

Austin: Richie Sexson, Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, Rocco Baldelli, Brett Myers, A.J. Burnett, Javier Vazquez, Bartolo Colon, Derick Turnbow.
Total: $132, Balance Remaining: $128, Spots to Fill: C, SS, 3B, CI, 1 UT, 4 OF, 2 P

Pandas: Paul Konerko, Jose Reyes, Chone Figgins, David Wright, Carlos Delgado, Rickie Weeks, Delmon Young, Miguel Cabrera, Lance Berkman, Manny Ramirez, Grady Sizemore, Felix Hernandez, Johan Santana, Jose Valverde, Huston Street.
Total: $249, Balance Remaining: $11, Spots to Fill: C, 1 UT, 3 P

Jon: Mark Teixeira, Jorge Cantu, Adam Dunn, Rich Harden, Erik Bedard, Jon Garland
Total: $95, Balance Remaining: $165, Spots to Fill: C, SS, 3B, CI, MI, 2 UT, 3 OF, 4 P

Please make sure everything is OK.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Protected List Update

Sorry, guys. Can't reveal them yet. John Benoit and Matt have yet to submit their lists. Call and bombard 'em with e-mails and phone calls, if you so desire.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Trade tracker

Update to last post: Matt is in for this year.

Boys, two things. Please make sure you remove Duane ( and Glen ( from the group e-mails. Second, just so you all know, here are the trades made up to this point:

Pandas trade A.J. Burnett, Rocco Baldelli, Richie Sexson and Brett Myers to Riflemen (Austin) for Grady Sizemore.

Pandas trade Chris Shelton and Joe Nathan to Peter for Paul Konerko

Peter trades Brad Radke to First John (John Benoit) for Alex Rodriguez

Boo Radleys (Scott) trades Freddy Garcia and Brandon Inge to Al for Scott Podsednik

Daily updates will be posted here during the season, so check regularly. I would also encourage you to use the blog to announce trades and post other things (i.e. prayer requests).

Friday, March 17, 2006

Quick Update

This may affect your keeper lists:

Duane and Glen have opted to withdraw from the league this season. I have not yet heard from Matt, either. If Matt is not registered by Sunday (I'll likely resolve this at church Sunday morning), his team will also be disbanded.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Poll on the Website

I have created a poll for the roster question on our league website. I have added a third option, which would be placing a limit on the number of non-DL moves a team can make during the week. Using an example of 5, each team would be allowed 5 moves from the bench to the active roster each week. DL moves do not count. If you use 'em up, you don't get any more before Monday. This way, if you want to roster for the week, do it on Sunday. Otherwise, do it during the week.

Unlike TQStats, I have no control over roster setting, so I will leave it up to the teams. But I will track activity and have the ability to rescind moves whatever option is chosen.

Please respond to the poll before the 25th. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

OK, OK, I surrender

I have been the recipient of a great number of e-mails regarding my list of proposed changes, to the point that I already have a clear majority on some of this stuff.

First, we will leave in On-Base and not add OPS. I hear the argument about re-rewarding home run hitters. As anyone who has been in this league for a long time knows, I have annually searched for a way to give greater value to doubles and triples hitters. I thought this would do it. Oh, well. Back to the drawing board.

Second, there will be NO sliding scale. Ideas like that clearly show how there may need to be a drug-testing program introduced to the CRBL.

Third, we will remain a keeper league.

That just leaves weekly rostering (which I think will pass) and trades/retained value. I actually think we can debate these issues prior to the draft. I propose a small change in plans: Start the draft at 3 PM and have a discussion on rostering/retained salaries prior to starting. All in favour?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

This Smells Of Something...

I received via email the following missive from one James Smithson (who also requests, Brian, that you resend him an invitation to post to the blog himself). As a prelude, allow me to offer an observation: after reading James' exposition on the proposed Sliding Scale idea, I'm tempted to level charges of collusion between the Commissioner and The Orphan Pandas, as the Scale, as suggested, would allow them to rule the league indefinitely.
First what firesales took place last year? I know we didn't make any, and I can't think of any others either. you are correct that under the current system trades do not necessarily have a impact on either teams cap, but that is only true of the season in which the trade is made. the following season the owner has to assume the full salary of any acquired players.

Now as for the sliding scale....where to begin? It is very hard for me to argue against this because it is so advantageous to the Pandas. however, is anyone familiar with the concept of inflation? if you decrease the amount of increase of the cheaper players you are also increasing the amount owners are able to spend on elite players. e.g. if all of our $2 players increase by five dollars we cannot keep roy oswalt. if they increase by $2 we would be stupid not to keep roy oswalt for $35. under the current system we would be keeping 14 players at a cost of $199. under Brian's proposed sliding scale we will be keeping 16 players for a total of $240. now those 16 players include a $30 barry bonds, $35 roy oswalt, $32 johan santana, and a $33 lance berkman. plus under the new system, barring injury, miguel cabrera would most likely play his entire career with the Orphan Pandas organization. whereas the old system would force us to cut him by the time he's 25.

just a few thoughts.....let me know what you think.

As an expansion on James' first point, I think that while reporting the amount "eaten" by each team is a necessary thing, I think further meddling into the issue does nothing but harm. Essentially, what Brian refers to as a "fire sale" is actually a number of owners mortgaging their futures to win in the short term. To that I say: good on 'em. Let them do it, if they're throwing me young guns at affordable/keepable prices in order to lift my unkeepable Studs (who will enter the draft next year no matter who owns them), who are doing me no good if I'm at the bottom or middle of the pile.

As for the second point: the more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that a sliding scale doesn't accomplish what it is set out for - the addition of more high-end players to the draft pool. By simultaneously decreasing the amount spent on cheaper (not necessarily worse - see Miguel Cabrera) players, it becomes economically feasible to keep these Studs as their prices escalate.

To address a point not expounded upon by James: the changing of OBS for OPS is, in my estimation, a Bad Thing. We already reward homerun hitters for hitting the ball out of the park (that's what the homerun category is for), so why redouble that reward? Why count homeruns twice (which is essentially what OPS does)? Not only are you increasing the value of power hitters, you are decreasing the value of...well, everyone else.

Okay, that's enough for now. More to come later - but you'll probably have to attend the meeting to hear it.


Reminder to all

A couple of reminders:

The league meeting this Saturday, March 11 at 6PM at my home (60 Bridgette Drive). Contact me for directions. I need a volunteer to make a run to Taco Bell, since the Champs have decided that that is where we'll dine. Once everyone is here, we'll take orders and everyone will kick in to feed James and Jason. Final list of discussion items:
Change in pitching categories this year. Due to a limitation in the Sporting News configuration, I cannot set up net wins and net saves. Therefore, we are reverting to just wins and saves.
Addition of new hitting category. I want to drop On-Base percentage and replace it with OPS (On-base plus slugging). Also, forget my net steals idea. We'll stick with just stolen bases.
Change in pricing for 2006. I would like to explore a new pricing scheme for keepers for the 2007 season. My plan is a sliding scale more reflective of the player's value. My argument is that I don't think A-Rod would get the same increase as a $1 player. I also want to keep the higher value players in the draft mix each year. I would propose something like this:
2006 price < $10 = $2 increase for 2007
2006 price < $20 = $5 increase for 2007
2006 price < $40 = $8 increase for 2007
2006 price > $41 = $10 increase for 2007

I also want discuss another alternative - eliminating the keeper aspect and starting each year fresh, placing greater impact on the draft.
Retained salary limits for trades. Unfortunately, there are some pretty big loopholes in the retained salary logic we currently use (specifically, if both sides continue to pay their own players, trades have no cap impact). This led to some -pretty impressive (read: ridiculous) fire sale trades prior to the deadline. I think this needs to be eliminated. I propose the following:
For multi player deals, it must be specified how much of each player's salary is being passed to his new owners. Example: I trade $26 Hideki Matsui and $5 Brad Halsey to Doug for $4 Chad Tracy and $1 Adam Eaton. If I am eating $20 of salary difference, Doug and I must agree on how to price Matsui and Halsey, so that, should Doug opt to deal those players in future, it is known how much he's trading them for. This is mostly for my benefit as commissioner, for cap-tracking purposes.
For trades, the most salary that can be retained is 50% of the difference, up to a limit of $25. Example: Again using the trade in the prior bullet, the salary differential is $26 (26+5 = 31 - (4+1) = 26). Of that $26, I can retain $13 and Doug must take on $13. If the differential exceeds $50 (i.e. I throw $52 Alex Rodriguez into the original deal, making the differential $78), the most salary I can retain is $25, meaning Doug has to eat $53.
Last point - Weekly roster management. In an effort to make my life easier and cut a little slack to those of us who have, you know, a life and cannot do all the monitoring to set rosters daily, I would like to change to weekly roster updates. Here's how it would work:
Free agent bidding period would end midnight Friday (rather than Saturday, which is how it is today). I would post free agent results Saturday morning.
All teams would be required to submit roster changes to by midnight Saturday. Rosters would be updated by me Sunday and then locked until next Saturday.
Taxi squad moves would only be allowed if a player is placed on the DL during the week.

There will be a strict 10-minute time limit placed on discussion of each of these items, at which point they will be submitted to a vote. Majority rules. If you cannot attend the meeting, e-mail me and let me know. I will send you a ballot to vote on these items, if you so desire.

Other things to note:

Please register your team (if you haven't already done so) at The Sporting News. Here's the link:
Protected lists are due Sunday, March 19 by 6PM. That give me time to put them together and get them out that night.
Draft Day is Saturday, March 25 starting at 4PM at The Men's Room (James, Jason and Austin's place - contact them for directions). Please make every effort to be on time.