Rules from Schwartz
OFFICIAL LEAGUE CONSTITUTION
March 3, 2006
March 3, 2006
We the people, in order to form a more enjoyable League; to prove that we all in fact need to get a life; to secure the blessings of Rotisserie baseball on ourselves and on future generations of Roto-Geeks; and to establish an endless set of rules to give devious and sneaky owners new and innovative loopholes to discover; hereby do ordain and establish this League Constitution.
Definitions Used in the Constitution
Unless otherwise specified, the words “Owners” and “Teams” both refer to League franchises. They are used interchangeably throughout this document. While it is true that a League team may have multiple owners, unless it is explicitly stated to the contrary, the word “owner” is intended to refer to a single League franchise.
“MLB” = Major League Baseball
“AL” = American League
“NL” = National League
“DL” = Major League Baseball Disabled list
“MLB.com” = The Official Web Site of Major League Baseball
To assemble a lineup of 25 National League baseball players whose cumulative statistics, compiled and measured by the methods described in this Constitution, are superior to those of all the other teams in the League.
A. There will be no more than 13 teams in the League in any given season.
1. Franchises are permitted to have multiple owners. How these owners decide to split the costs and winnings is entirely left up to the owners and is not the responsibility of the commissioner to arbitrate or determine.
2. Each team’s nicknames, colors, motto, hiring policies, dress codes and corporate philosophies are left up to the individual owners. Most owners select a team name by either making a pun out of their name (the dirtier the better) or by selecting a city and a nickname (the dirtier the better).
A. Each League Roster is composed of the following:
* 1 first baseman.
* 1 second baseman.
* 1 shortstop.
* 1 third baseman.
* 1 corner player (first baseman OR third baseman).
* 1 middle infielder (second base OR shortstop).
* 2 catchers.
* 2 “utility” players qualifying at any other position.
* 5 outfielders.
* 10 pitchers (owners decide the number of starters and relievers).
B. Position eligibility rules are outlined in Rule V ("Position Eligibility").
IV. The League Draft
A. Location and date are determined by consensus of the owners, but make sure it’s some place fun, and preferably near Mons Venus.A.
1. The League Draft, in the form of open auction, will occur shortly before the start of each baseball season.
B. Each team must acquire no more or no less than 25 players at the Draft at a total cost of no more than $280.
1. A team is not required to spend all of its $280, but once that team is through drafting, it immediately forfeits any remaining Draft money and may not save it or trade it to another team.
C. The Draft proceeds with incremental bidding on players from National League organizations eligible to be drafted.
1. One team announces a name of a player for bidding and submits an opening bid. The bidding proceeds around the room clockwise, and each team has the opportunity to raise the salary bid by one-dollar increments (or more, but the amount must always be in whole dollars) or drop out of the bidding. The bidding continues until there is only one bidder left and that team acquires the player at the salary at which the bidding stopped. The salary is deducted from that team’s Draft money total.
2. Once a team drops out of the bidding, it cannot re-enter the bidding for that player.
3. The last place team from the previous League season throws out the first player at the Draft.
4. The process is repeated, with each team taking turns introducing a player for bidding, until every team has filled a 25-man roster by requisite position.
D. No team can bid for a player that the team cannot afford.
1. Example: If a team has $9 left for three players, its maximum bid on any one player is $7.
E. No team can bid on a player who qualifies only at a position already filled on that team (see Rule V).
1. Example: A team that has filled all 10 pitcher slots on its roster may not bid on any other pitcher. If a team has filled all five outfield spots on its roster, it may not bid on any player qualifying only in the outfield unless one or both utility spots are still open.
F. During the Draft, each team may exercise a "topper right" on one player it has so designated (see Rule XI, Section A, Part 2).
1. If a player for whom there is a topper right is named for bidding, bidding will proceed as usual until only one team is remaining in the bidding. At that point, the team holding the topper right over that player may exercise it and obtain the player at a salary of .10 greater than the final bid. That amount is debited from the team’s draft money total as usual.
2. On draft day, a team is not required to bid on a player for whom it has the topper rights.
3. A team may not exercise a topper right if the cost of doing so is greater than that team’s maximum bid at that point in the draft; for example, a team with $20 to draft five players may not exercise its topper right once bidding on the player reaches $16.
G. No team may waive a player off its roster during the Draft. So think twice before throwing out some ***** player, ’cause you might hear “Blllllllllrrt- STICK ‘EM!” or the dreaded “Eeeeerrrroooow… VICTORY LAP!” from other owners. You might also get a "Thank You" card from Chris Bray.
H. Trades are legal during the Draft, under the following conditions:
1. A team may not trade Draft money from a future Draft.
2. The salaries of the player(s) that are traded do not affect the Draft money status of either team(s) involved in the trade(s) in any way.
i) Example: Even if a team trades Player A ($5 salary) for Player B ($23 salary), neither team gains or loses any Draft money as a result.
3. Position eligibility requirements must be maintained (see Rule V).
V. Position Eligibility
A. At the Draft, a player may be assigned only to a position at which he appeared in 20 or more games the previous season.
1. If the player appeared in fewer than 20 games the previous season, then he is eligible at the position at which he appeared in the most games, even if that is only 1 major league game.
i) If the position at which he appeared in the most games is an equal number at multiple positions, the player shall be eligible at all of those positions.
2. In the event of a shortened season the previous year, or if the number of regular season games increases or decreases, position eligibility will be pro-rated by the ratio of 20/162.
3. If a player goes to Japan, Mexico, or some other non-MLB league and then returns to MLB, he will be eligible at the position(s) for which he was eligible from his last MLB season.
4. If the player is a rookie or did not appear in a major league game the previous year, then position eligibility is determined by what position he played the most games at in the minors (or college, or some other league) the previous year. This information is available from MLB.com or USA Today’s Baseball Weekly. Those two sources will be deemed as the “official” determiners of position eligibility.
B. During the course of the season, a player becomes eligible at any position at which he has appeared in three or more games.
1. The official source for this information will be MLB.com or USA Today’s Baseball Weekly.
2. A player “projected” to move to a new position in the coming season is eligible only for positions played in the previous season, until appearing in three or more games at a new position in the new season.
C. Any hitter can be placed in either of the utility slots once the season starts.
D. The commissioner will disperse the position eligibility list for each season prior to Draft weekend.
1. The “League Week” runs from Monday at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time to Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time for any given week during the season. Transactions are effective only for the start of the following League week.
2. The deadline for transactions to be made effective for the following week is Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time for each week of the season.
i) Example: You trade for player A on Wednesday, July 1st. Your team does not begin to accumulate the stats for player A until games beginning Monday, July 6th.
ii) Example: You activate Player B off your reserve list and waive Player C on Wednesday, July 1st. You continue to accumulate the stats of Player C (but not player B) through Sunday, July 5th. Stats from Player B start accumulate for you as of Monday, July 6th.
B. Ways to make transactions
1. Telephone calls, voicemail/answering machine messages, e-mails, faxes, mail, and in person delivery are all acceptable methods to make transactions with the commissioner by the weekly deadline.
2. If you mail a transaction, the US postmark will serve as the transaction date. In addition, you will be subject to extreme ridicule and trash-talk from other owners in the League for being the only person in the civilized world who still uses snail mail to submit roto transactions.
3. It is not the responsibility of the commissioner to contact owners about problems with their transactions. If you make an error (e.g., putting a player on your reserve list when he is still active) with a transaction, it is not the commissioner’s duty to contact you and inform you.
i) If an owner does not resolve errors with his transactions prior to the transaction deadline, the commissioner may disregard the entire transaction.
ii) If you have a question or need clarification before leaving a message, go ahead and make the transaction and indicate your question at the time. This will make the commissioner’s job easier in sorting out any transaction problems that arise during the season.
4. It is not the responsibility of the commissioner to call or otherwise contact owners to find out if they have transactions.
i) If you choose to make transactions by phone, do not leave a message saying “I’ve got some roster moves to make; please call me.” Such messages will be ignored, so always leave your transaction(s) in your message.
5. It is strongly recommended that owners ALWAYS include a second, third and even fourth choice FA/waiver claim in case you don’t get your first choice player.
6. Despite popular belief to the contrary, the commissioner is only human. Please notify him if you discover an error with your transactions or your roster.
1. Trading is a good way for a League team to improve itself in certain categories, or alternatively, to build itself for the next season. Owners are allowed to make trades within the following parameters:
i) All roster position requirements must be maintained after the trade. Example: if Team A trades a pitcher to Team B for a catcher, then Team A must clear a roster spot for the catcher, and Team B must clear a spot for the pitcher. NOTE: There is no such requirement during the off-season; players can be swapped regardless of position eligibility in the off-season.
2. Trades do not affect the salary or the contract status of the players involved.
3. Consideration for League trades is restricted to the following:
i) Players on the respective owners’ rosters or reserve lists (see Rule VII).
ii) Draft money for the following season’s Draft (except if the trade is being made during a League Draft; see Rule IV, Section H, Part 1);
iii) Free agent acquisition money (see Section E of this Rule). Traded FAAB money is not credited to the acquiring team until the beginning of the next transaction period (see Section A of this Rule).
iv) Waiver rights.
4. All aspects of the trade must transpire immediately and proactively. In other words, there are no “future considerations” of any type, and trades cannot be made retroactive to a certain date, nor can players’ statistics be transferred retroactively.
5. Teams may not acquire active players beyond the 25-man roster limit; however, unlimited players may be acquired onto the reserve lists (see Rule VII).
D. Definition of free agents
1. “Free agents” include players eligible to be acquired but are not currently on a League roster. A League team may acquire such players if they create roster spots for them. The procedure for claiming free agents is described below in Section E of this Rule.
2. Players NOT found on an active major league National League roster at the League transaction deadline (see Rule VI, Section A, Part 2) are not eligible to be claimed as free agents.
E. Procedure for making free agent claims and waiver claims
1. All free agents, recent minor league call-ups or players on waivers shall be subject to acquisition by closed bidding by interested teams.
i) Each team shall have an “Acquisition Budget” (FAAB) of $100 or other amount as agreed upon by 2/3 vote of all owners prior to the start of a given League season.
ii) Teams will enter closed bids, in whole dollar increments, for available free agents or waived players.
iii) In the case of free agents or recent minor league call-ups, the highest bid shall obtain the player at that salary (1st contract year) and that amount will be deducted from the team’s FAAB.
iv) In the case of waived players, the highest bid shall obtain the salary and that amount will be deducted from the team’s FAAB, though contract status will remain as it was at the time the player was waived.
v) Teams will be assessed a $5 transaction fee for all free agent or waiver claims in which the player is acquired, regardless of salary bid.
vi) Teams which have expended their entire FAAB may still bid on players, but may only bid $1 on any given player, and only to replace players who are put on the DL, sent to the minors, waived or traded out of the league by their NL team.
2. All bidding shall be done on a weekly basis in concurrence with the weekly transaction deadline (Rule Vi, Section A).
i) By the start of the season, the commissioner will provide an e-mail address through which teams can submit bids.
ii) The commissioner shall not open this e-mail account until the end of the current transaction period, to insure that bids remain closed.
iii) Any teams without e-mail may still submit bids via phone, but are encouraged to request other teams to submit their bids for them.
iv) The commissioner shall make any bids via e-mail to the commissioner of the League.
3. Free agent and waiver claim bids are irrevocable and non-changeable. This prevents cheating; if an owner bids “x” on player “Y” and then hears that another owner bid “z” on player “Y,” the first owner is not allowed to revoke or change a bid on that player.
i) To claim a player off of waivers or to pick up a free agent, the owner must specify at the time of the claim how the owner will clear a roster spot for the player.
ii) The owner cannot alter this transaction after the claim is made.
iii) If the owner ends up obtaining the claimed player, the owner must make the transaction that the owner had specified at the time of making the claim.
4. No free agent pick ups or waiver claims shall be allowed in the postseason (the day after the end of the regular season through the first day of the following regular season).
F. Definition of “waivers,” “waiver rights,” and the “waiver list”
1. Under certain conditions, a player may be placed on waivers, which means you “cut” someone off your roster to make room for another player. In each newsletter, the “Waiver List” includes all the players that League owners elected to waive that week, most likely because they ****. During the waiver period, which runs from Monday at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time to Sunday at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time for any given week during the season, teams may choose to claim a player off waivers according to the procedure detailed in Section E of this Rule.
2. A team may not put in a waiver claim for a player that it put on waivers that same week.
3. If a player is not claimed off of waivers during the one week waiver period, then he becomes a free agent and can be acquired by any team (including the team that waived him) according to free agent procedures described in Section E of this Rule.
4. A waiver right shall give one team a “priority” claim over another team in the event of matching bids; for instance, if team A and team B both bid $4 for Player X, and team A has an existing waiver right over team B, team A shall acquire Player X but lose the waiver right.
i) Waiver rights are used for both free agent claims and waiver claims.
ii) All waiver rights shall become null and void at the conclusion of each regular season.
5. Prior to the MLB All-Star break, existing waiver rights shall be used to grant priority in the event of a tie in bidding; after the All-Star break, inverse order of standings shall be used.
i) In the absence of existing waiver rights, the good ol’ fashioned coin-toss will be used to determine acquisition of the player in question.
6. Any team with FAAB money remaining automatically gets priority over a team with a zero balance FAAB; the zero balance, in effect, acts as a waiver right for every other team in the League, regardless of other waiver rights or place in the standings. For example, if team A has a waiver right over team B but a zero FAAB, and team B has remaining FAAB, and both teams bid on player X, team B gets the player.
VII. Reserve Lists (The RL)
A. An owner may reserve any player on its 25-man roster who is:
1. On the MLB disabled list at the time of the transaction;
2. Released and not signed by a National League team;
3. Sent to the minors.
B. An owner puts a player on the reserve list by notifying the commissioner by one of the means described herein (see Rule VI, Section B, Part 1). The reserved player is removed from the team’s active roster and placed on the RL effective the Monday after the transaction was made.
C. There is no limit to the number of players allowed on the League team’s RL.
D. When a player on a League reserve list returns to the active roster of his MLB team, he must be reinstated to the active 25-man roster of his League team within two full League weeks (Monday to Sunday) after his activation, or else the owner must trade the player or release him.
1. Example: If Player A is activated on Wednesday, July 1st, his owner has until Sunday, July 19th at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time to activate him. That is the Sunday after two full League weeks.
E. Failure to activate a player described in Section D of this Rule will result in that player being placed on waivers for the coming week.
1. It is not the obligation of the commissioner to notify a League owner that a player needs to be activated. Forgetting, not hearing about, being out of town or otherwise blowing it are only examples of unacceptable excuses.
F. Statistics from players on your reserve list do not count for your team totals (see Rule XIII).
G. MLB.com or USA Today’s Baseball Weekly will serve as the official sources for dates of MLB personnel moves.
H. The reserve list cannot be used retroactively.
1. Example: If player A goes on the MLB disabled list Sunday night, but you don’t hear about it until the next morning, any roster move you make regarding this player will not go into effect until the following Monday.
I. The MLB “retroactive” use of the disabled list is not relevant for the purposes of the League; the official transaction date will be used to determine transactions.
1. Example: If Player A is placed on his MLB club’s 15 day disabled list on July 1st but it is listed as “retroactive to June 24th,” the official date of the transaction for League purposes is still July 1st.
J. No players are permitted on League reserve lists during the League Draft (see Rule IV).
1. Example: Even if you know that one of your players will start the season on the MLB DL, if you want to protect this player for the coming season, you must keep him on your active roster.
K. Even if a MLB player is hurt and not playing, a League team may not place him on its RL unless he is officially put on the disabled list by his MLB club. NOTE: This is very relevant in spring training and in September, when MLB clubs tend not to use their DL’s.
A. Each team pays $280 (or some other amount as agreed upon by unanimous vote of all teams in the League) per season into the League prize pot.
B. The actual amount of Draft money each team is permitted to spend is determined in the following manner: $280 minus the salaries of the players retained from the previous season plus or minus any Draft money acquired in trades since the previous year’s Draft.
C. Trades cost $10, no matter how many players or owners are involved. Which owner(s) pay the $10 is up to the owners, as long as it is paid by someone. Unless otherwise agreed by both teams, each team shall be charged $5. This money goes to the prize pot.
D. Transactions, regardless of the salary of the player that results from the procedure described in Rule VI, Section E, cost $5 each, to be paid to the prize pot.
E. The commissioner or his designee acts as the League Treasurer.
F. The statistician may charge a reasonable sum to each owner (agreed upon by the League) to cover time and computer support and other necessary reasonable expenses needed to generate the stats each week. The statistician reserves the right to withhold statistics from deadbeat owners for non-payment of stats fees.
G. A team is expected to pay its League fees by Draft day. It is advisable to give the commissioner “credit” money in advance to cover future transactions. The commissioner reserves the right to suspend all transactions by an owner who is delinquent in paying League fees.
IX. Contracts and Player Salaries
A. Player contracts in the League are structured in the following manner:
1. The player’s salary is determined by bidding at the Draft (see Rule IV, Section B) or by free agent bidding during the season (see Rule VI, Section E, Part 1).
2. This player can remain at this salary for up to two seasons. Players in the first season of this process are designated with a (1) on the rosters, and players in the second season are denoted with a (2).
B. The word “season,” as used above in Section A, Part 2 of this Rule, includes any portion of a baseball season, even if it is less than the full season.
C. If a player is waived by his League team and not claimed off of waivers, his contract ceases to exist. He receives a new first year contract if/when he is picked up as a free agent or drafted at a subsequent League Draft.
D. A player who has been under contract at the same salary for two uninterrupted seasons (i.e., he has not been waived and cleared waivers, though he may have been traded between League teams), must, prior to the next League Draft, have one of the following three things happen to his contract:
1. The player is released and becomes eligible for bidding at the League Draft.
2. The player is signed at the same salary for one more season, but he is then is automatically released at the end of that season; this contract status is denoted as (3) on the League rosters.
3. The player is signed to a long term contract (see Section E of this Rule); this contract status is denoted as (OL) on the League rosters.
E. How long term contracts work.
1. After a player has played two uninterrupted seasons on the same contract, if his owner signs