This is the reason why the conference call should still happen, there is too much that goes into this. I'll try to be brief. We've eliminated the injury replacement rule because it created too many problems. The overwhelming majority of leagues either lock their lineups at the start of the week, or allow daily changes BUT have a limit of games in each position. If we allow daily changes without limits, we're inviting teams to change their teams every day and bench the players who aren't playing. So imagine the scenario where a team has a SP scheduled to pitch on Monday and Saturday, and another SP scheduled to pitch on Tuesday and Sunday. The team can use pitcher A on Monday, replace him with pitcher B on Tuesday, replace him with a third pitcher to make a start Wednesday or Thursday or Friday, replace him with pitcher A on Saturday again, and replace him with pitcher B on Sunday. Before you say this is crazy, realize that in a league with daily changes and no limits, it's perfectly acceptable. You're looking at a team being able to get over 15 starts in those 5 slots (more than 20 starts is actually doable), when a typical team can get anywhere between 5 and a maximum of 10, if you're lucky. On the hitters side, obviously you're looking at the owner that logs on every day getting 7 starts per position per week, instead of the 6 or in some cases 5 starts.
One solution *could* be saying that once you remove a player, he can't come back in. But, that will require constant supervision from the LMs, and if someone overlooks a mistake, there's no way to correct it. These are the types of headaches we're looking to avoid from now on. And, even if we implement a 'once-you're-replaced-you're-out-for-the-week' policy, a team can still exploit the system by getting multiple extra starts on the hitters and pitchers side. This will benefit the owners that are active every day, twice a day. If you're not one of those owners, you're going to be in a statistical disadvantage every week. The ESPN website and thefantasybaseballleague.com have data that show the discrepancy in trades made and moves made between the ten league owners. I'll let you figure out if there's a correlation between how active a team was in making waiver claims and trades, and their win-loss record.
Injuries suck, but they're a part of the game. We gave the injury replacement rule a chance, and it didn't work.
I'm all for daily lineup changes. I feel like weekly lineup changes are for casual leagues, leagues where some owners complain that they don't check fantasy every day. I feel like everyone in this league absolutely checks their lineup daily.
I'll admit, once my team fell out of the race, I set my lineup on the weekend and didn't check it til the following weekend. I had the "set it and forget it" mentality because I knew the roster was locked. Not making excuses for myself, but that partly contributed to leaving injured guys in and not paying attention as much as I should have.
In my other league, we have a max of 10 SP starts for each weekly matchup. Once a team hits 10 starts, SP stats don't count after that.
I am with Manfre here. I think that if our main goal is to have a competitive league in which people are paying attention to their rosters, why should we not let the managers who want to play matchups with their lineups do so?
If we want an active league, let's have on that is active every day.
The limits on starts from any position can work, but if you hit and exceed the allowed starts in the same day all of those stats are counted.
So if you have 9 SP starts accumulated on Thursday and you have 5 probables for Sunday, you would get the stats for all 5 if you left them in your starting lineup, granted they all pitch on the same day.
This is a league in which owners don't reply to e-mails with yes-or-no answers, don't have time to make a conference call once a year, and every year all owners agree to be active, and yet we still have a transaction counter showing some owners are ten times more active than others. We send out three e-mails stating that we're going to use this message board to express ideas and then vote, and we already have 3 people voting without hearing both sides and discussing the ramifications of the changes, and without knowing if ESPN will even allow what is being proposed. Limits set on ESPN are for the year, not the week, and there's no way to adjust and grant exceptions. If you're over, stats don't count. There are huge issues to be addressed. No one agreed to join the call, so let's try to be specific here in these messages and go over them in order. First, is the proposed rule change to allow teams to make daily changes without any end-of-season limits? My understanding is that ESPN allows 162 games per lineup position, 33/34/35 starts for SP, and not sure about relievers. Is this rule change proposal going to let teams make daily changes without these limits? Let's get the answer to this before moving on, thank you.
FYI: Just got off the phone with the people at ESPN. There is no way to set limits of games / innings in head-to-head leagues, you can only set limits on roto leagues. Let me re-phrase my first question, then. Since there's no way to set limits, does this new proposal give an owner the ability to switch players whenever they want, including the ability to put a player back in the active lineup that was taken out of the lineup earlier in the week?
Rafael, its right in "games played limits" in the espn settings. In my other league we set pitchers to "10 games started", and that means teams can only get 10 starts from their pitchers during that head to head week.
Thanks for the reply, Paul. If you look at the FAQ on the ESPN Fantasy Baseball page, it says that there are no game limits in head-to-head (I think I figured out how to add an attachment, so you can see what I was looking at). I called them again today, and the person said that the 'no limits' applied to head-to-head points league. It appears you're correct, I stand corrected (even though I was going by the information given to me by the ESPN 'expert' a few days ago). Today's expert said you can set the limits, but as Ramos pointed out, if you go into a day without reaching the limit, you can go over the limit that day and have your stats count. To avoid a long response, I won't get into specifics, but suffice it to say there are ways to easily manipulate your roster to go well over the limit for pitchers (one way, for example: you can set up your team to have 9 starts up to Saturday, then add 5 starting pitchers on waivers that night, all of them pitching on Sunday, and even add and extra RP-eligible starter or two, and next thing you know, you're up to 14 or 15 starts, well over the limit, but all of them counting). For hitters, since MLB teams play 162 games in 26 weeks, it averages out to 6.23 games per week, which means we'd have the 95 games played limit with 15 batters. However, you can play all 15 positions every day Monday through Saturday and only get to 90, and then go well over the limit on Sunday. Point is, you can manipulate your roster to exceed the limits. Not to mention, you can manipulate your roster further by having a RP-eligible pitcher start a game, and then remove him and put a closer, and get not just a start but also save opportunities from the same RP slot. These limits are soft and anyone that takes the time to map it out can find a way to go way over them. Unless you're committed to making changes every single day of the week, you'll be at a disadvantage. We can discuss what that means in future posts, but let's take the issues one by one. I ask again, under the rule proposal, will players that are in the active lineup and then replaced during the week be eligible to be put back into the active lineup later in the week?
Teams on this league have too many roster spots to allow daily changes. That means that EVERYDAY there is an opportunity to improve your team, not only based on injuries and rest, but also to play the matchups. It becomes a huge advantage to managers that are checking teams not DAILY....but HOURLY, adjusting lineups at game time. At the end you have a team that wins...not with the best team, but with the most lineup changes. It changes everything, even the strategy at the draft. Again, to many roster spots to allow daily changes.
Isn't an active league exactly what we want? Unlimited daily moves would reward the most active; so what's the problem? Since everyone has the same opportunity to be active (= "manipulate" their roster), the system would be fair. Even now more active teams tend to do better. (Also let's not forget how huge injuries and sheer luck can be; going to daily moves might be a way to mitigate these factors.)
I'm going to piggyback on what Carlos said, because that's exactly my point. It's true that our goal is to have active owners and an active league, but we have to be realistic about what we can reasonably ask from our owners. Allowing daily changes opens a Pandora's box of unrealistic expectations. The truth is, not everyone has the same opportunity to be active, if it requires this hourly monitoring of lineups. Not everyone's in the same time zone, for starters. Most games start at 7PM eastern, which is 4pm pacific. Some people will be at home from work and able to check lineups before every game, while others will still be at work and unable to do so. I'm not going to be able to check every lineup of every game at 3:50 my time, just to see if one of my guys is getting a routine day off. We've already gone over how important every single game is, how matchups many times are decided by just one run, one strikeout, one hit, etc. We're going to have matchups decided, playoff seeds decided, even titles decided by an owner's ability to dedicate more time checking lineups and making adjustments every day of the week. Monse is absolutely right, it won't be about who has the best team, it'll be about who makes the most changes in the minutes before each MLB game starts. The in-week changes for hitters may not seem drastic (although they'd be significant), but for pitchers, it really becomes a joke. You'll be better off rotating three mediocre pitchers than having one ace pitcher. Not only can we not penalize an owner that simply can't commit to having to take time during his work day (read: west coasters), but we can't just make such a drastic change without taking into account how the value of players suddenly changes. What's the point of having a superstar ace pitcher like Jake Arrieta now, when a daily-change owner can use three mediocre pitchers instead and have a better chance of getting more wins and more strikeouts, without necessarily hurting the other categories? And make no mistake, this is what'll happen.
Please explain to me how monitoring your lineups daily is different than the monitoring of lineups we asked owners to do based on the Injury Replacement rule. To claim that this is asking the managers to do some additional level of lineup monitoring is fictitious.
If a manager does not want to monitor their lineups daily, they can make changes to every day's lineup on Sunday for the next week in order to minimize the days off for their players and maximize their starts for their SP.
If we are concerned about accumulation of stats turning into winning the league, there are many changes to the categories we can make in order to do that such as k/9 (while instituting an IP minimum to avoid people using only high K RP) or K/BB instead of K for example. We can eliminate Wins and add QS which emphasizes quality instead of quantity.
For batters we can use ratio stats as well like OBP, SLG, Net Stolen bases, etc.
I'll explain it very easily: an injury replacement was allowed once a player missed a game. I'm not sure how other people follow their teams in-week, but I wait until all the games are over, and the first thing I do is go to the ESPN page and see if there are any alerts from my players. If it said "player x left the game due to..." or "player x will miss games beacuse of...", then I'd be on alert, but since the injury replacement rule said the player needed to miss a game before being replaced, I usually had to wait another day. The time investment to do this was opening up my browser, clicking on my ESPN team page (conveniently bookmarked), and quickly scanning for any alerts. That's 30 seconds, at night, once all the day's work was done, from the convenience and comfort of my Christopher Knight recliner chair. If we allow teams to make daily, non-injury related changes, now the time investment changes. Now you HAVE to monitor on an hourly basis, because if you don't, your opponent will. Now this means having to shift your daily routine and work responsibilities, during work hour for the west coasters, and perhaps east coasters (I know the Puerto Rico guys have extended work hours). Now you have to click to see lineup updates a few minutes before game time. The zealous owner would have to go on Twitter and get the minute-by-minute updates to see if the player was able to take swings in batting practice without pain. He'd have to check multiple sources, because ESPN may say the guy's in the lineup, but rotoworld says he won't be. The zealous owner wouldn't be watching for just injuries, he'd be logging on to see if other players aren't playing. He may be on the fence about starting a pitcher against Colorado, but if he sees that Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado are getting the day off because it's a day game after night game, then suddenly the pitcher looks a whole lot better. Any owner that isn't willing to do this will be at a competitive disadvantage, since his opponent may go that route. This time investment is significantly more than the 30 seconds at night, once work is done, from the convenience of my home.
You're absolutely right about teams being able to make changes on Sunday night for the next week to maximize the number of games their players take. That's a very reasonable expectation to have on our league owners : take some time over the weekend to adjust your lineup for the coming week. Doing this doesn't require being online and on the team page at a specific time or risk missing out; you do it when you have time on Sunday. You can even do it Saturday, or Friday, thanks to ESPN allowing you to view the next week's schedule. And if an owner is away on a trip to Culebra for the weekend, he should know he better make those changes before he leaves or right when he comes back, or else he'll miss out on stats...
As for changing the categories, we've voted on this before and it didn't pass, but we can put it up for a vote again. Virtually every fantasy baseball magazine/website/online resource gives rankings and advise based on the standard 5x5 scoring we use. We'd be asking people to have to find alternative ways of valuing and ranking players. The current resources we have that are readily available and practical would become useless under scoring categories.