Sunday, September 27, 2009

OK, I Think We're Ready To Go...

I made the financial changes, moved the Walla Walla team to Ohio, and uploaded a new league file for David (or anyone else who wants to download it) and sent him the password for the team. As per a previous suggestion, I have added a link to the Links section of the blog with the league file.

The next sim will be Wednesday evening.

I have a proposal that I'm working on for a more permenant parity solution, but I still need a few days to work it out. Once it's done, I'll throw it up on the blog for discussion.


Sim last night?

It looks to me like Zev managed to get the budgets increased and fixed and uploaded a new league file last night. Do others see the same thing?

Update by Zev: I uploaded some files last night, but then my copy of the game crashed. I redid it this morning, including the team change from Walla Walla to Ohio.

I'm still working on getting a complete copy of the game to David. I hope to have that done at some point today. If not, then Monday night.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Hello to Everyone


I am proud and happy to finally be owning my first baseball franchise -- a life long dream come true. Nate told me of this opportunity and here's hoping for some fun and good times.

As such are things in this world, Mayflower Van Lines is lining up at midnight tonite (Bob Irsey gave me their number) to move this franchise to the Great State of Ohio as the Ohio Buckeyes. Sorry if this requires additional travel time for those get away day day games.

Well anyway, I look forward to the coming season and quite frankly have a lot to learn about this game. Thanks for allowing me to join this league.

David Locke

Moving On...

I'm sorry, but I didn't get a chance to run the sim last night as I intended to. We'll pick it up on Saturday night.

I also want to apologize for the way things went in the last post. I appreciate the fact that people responded both publicly and privately.

Barring any objections, I think we can proceed from here. I will add cash to each owner's balance corresponding to the increase in the media contract. I'm also inclined to let the Lutz signing stand -- other owners in the past have been the beneficiaries of game quirks/errors -- but if there are objections, I'm willing to listen to remedies (short of actually rolling back the date).


Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Walla Walla owner and middle relievers

If I understand right the new Walla Walla owner is on board. I'm sure he and Zev will introduce him shortly.

I was thinking about those enormously poor middle relief signings the computer manager made last week. $10MM, almost, per year for two middle relievers. I'm thinking it might be a nice gesture to maybe toss those two contracts back into the hopper. Without some communication issues David would have been on board prior to the signings and likely, though not certainly, withdrawn the offers.

Disclaimer: I am a personal friend of David's and feel like I should look out for him. It's a habit.

So, Here's The Story...

OK, everyone, here's the bottom line. I created a test league (with a 16 game season) and ran several seasons testing different financial scenarios.

What I discovered was this: changes in media contracts (as well as other financials) take effect the day after the playoffs end. Furthermore, the cash does not become available to teams to use for free agent signings until the *following* year.

To illustrate, here's the scenario I had with my test league.

The test league has a 16 game season that starts on July 1 and ends about July 22, followed by a five game playoff series. The league has a $10m cash cap.

On 7/1/2025, the Brooklyn team had the following financial info:
Cash: $10m
Media contract: $40m
$ avail for free agents: $55m

At that point, I simmed to August 2025 -- at which point the playoffs were over and the new fiscal year kicked in. That was when I removed the cash cap and changed the media contract for
Brooklyn to $800m (I chose a ridiculous amount so that I can see the change). However, since the fiscal year was over, no change actually occured. At this point, the totals don't even show up in the "Current Financial Overview" section.

I then proceeded to the end of the 2026 season. At that point, the huge amounts showed up in the "Current Financial Overview" section. However, the huge amount of money was not yet available for free agents. It did not show up there until I simmed to the end of the 2027 playoffs.

So, what does this mean for us? Well, since I did not change the media contracts until after the 2014 playoffs were over, that means that the changes will not show up in the available cash until after the 2016 season. Obviously, we don't want to wait that long.

The good news is that direct changes to cash totals take effect immediately. So, I think the obvious solution would be to take the amounts that I added to the media contracts and add them to the cash values of the teams.

At this point, I've spent a few hours going through this and learning how this works. It's now 2AM here in New York -- I'm going to sleep in a few minutes. Barring any objections, I will make those changes tomorrow and upload them.

We will discuss what (if anything) is to be done about the Lutz signing tomorrow.

If I may, I would like to conclude this with one parting thought:

Even though I am the commissioner of the league, I don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of the game and its mechanics. Therefore, there are times that I may make mistakes in implementing a policy which may result in some adverse change in the game.

In addition, I try to accomodate owners on special requests whenever possible. For example, if an owner is away from their computer, I have always made myself available to making changes, offers, etc. manually. When owners ask to make sure that certain players start on certain games, I try to accomodate them as well. In short, I try to accomodate any reasonable request that an owner might have. Matt's not wanting to have to wait a sim before making an offer to Lutz (during which he might sign with another team) was, in my humble opinion, a reasonable request; and so I made the offer manually - as I would have for anyone else who had asked for any other free agent. I was not aware that doing so would provide an "exception" to the rules (and, frankly, I'm still not sure how that happened). Indeed, when the offer went through, I took that as a sign that the financial changes too place. However, considering that no one else knew that, I can understand why some people might have thought there were some shady dealings going on - but I can tell you that all that happened was that I tried to accomodate a reasonable request from an owner -- as I have done for the last seven years. I will apologize for my ignorance in not knowing the effect that this would cause.

Nonetheless, I would like to make the following request: If you suspect that an individual owner or commissioner (whether myself or Michael) have done things that are questionable vis-a-vis the league -- please bring it to our attention *privately* before lobbing statements such as "calling BS" or stating that "something smells rotten." If, after commenting the person involved you still feel that something improper has happened, then, by all means, bring a complaint up on the blog.

If you feel that I have done something wrong, please bring it to me *privately* first. If you don't feel comfortable bringing it to me privately, then bring it to Michael and he will discuss with me without revealing your identity.

Overall, I've had a ton of fun running this league -- and I look forward to many more years of doing the same. Yes, I have made mistakes as commissioner over the years -- there's no question about that -- but I believe that I have always tried my utmost to maintain fairness in the league to the best of my ability. All I ask, is that if you have a problem with something I (or Michael) do, at least give us the courtesy of asking us privately what happened and allowing us to explain before writing comments that can be taken as being suggestive of impropriety (whether the comments were meant that way or not).

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask. But it's 2:20 now. I'm going to bed and I'll pick this up tomorrow.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Financial Help?????

So it was decided that there would be change to the Media contracts 2-3 sims ago (over a month of game time) and we have yet to see that money. I know that a number of us had changed our off season strategy because of this information (if we thought it was a good idea or not), and I know that some of us were planning on using that money to go after some high priced FAs in the market (some of which have started to sign - i.e. Lutz). Personally, I think this delay on the extra money has made the situation go from bad to worse, promising 'help' (and I use that phrase loosely), and then not coming through with that 'help', is not a good way to move forward in this league. I am wondering if there is a plan for when the media contracts are going to change, and if we possibly could HALT all sims until this is done. If we say we are going to do something let's do it so that we are all on the same level playing field and have our strategies aligned with reality. Sorry to be so blunt, but this needs to be taken care of ASAP if we want to have the illusion of parody in this league.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Walla Walla Ownership

I posted this as a comment in another thread but thought it deserved a higher profile.

Walla Walla needs an owner, badly. $10MM for two middle relievers is brutal. I know one of my pals has been in touch and is willing to take over. So what's the hold up?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sim Completed

I ran the sim last night (at about 2AM) and the league files have been updated. The reports are unzipping now.

Next sim will be Tuesday night.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Sim Schedule

There will be sims on the following nights next week:


Each sim will cover a two week period.



Tuesday, September 15, 2009


It's now the 15th of December in OOTP-land and Walla Walla has just received an early Christmas present, having signed 2B Winston Satterlee away from Saskatoon, to a three year deal worth $10.83 million.

Other signings:

Saturday, December 6th, 2014
Saskatoon Amigos: Signed free agent 1B F. Lozada to a 2-year contract worth a total of $1,340,000.

Sunday, December 14th, 2014
Hickory Huskers: Signed free agent MR N. Lirette to a 1-year contract worth a total of $790,000.

Saturday, December 13th, 2014
River Cities Sternwheelers: Signed free agent C S. Herbert to a 1-year contract worth a total of $700,000.

Thursday, December 11th, 2014
Saskatoon Amigos: Signed free agent SP H. Orozco to a 2-year contract worth a total of $7,000,000.

River Cities also re-signed stud Juan Villatoro to a seven year, $87.5 million deal. I hope his arm lasts that long, Nate! (Actually, no, I don't.)

I've processed the Seattle/Los Angeles and Seattle/New York trades.

The league file is posted. Zev will let everyone know what the schedule is for future sims, but I would imagine we'll finish 2014 in the next sim (Thursday night?). Again, it's Zev's call.

So what's the schedule?

When's the sim and changes and stuff going down?

Out of Leftfield from Houston

Sean Banton LF and 4th or 5th round pick is available for the best offer. Zotti Teams and offers with Thirdbasemen and 1st or 2nd round picks are given preference.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Next sim

With a vote count of 7-3 (after my yes vote is counted), it looks like the proposal regarding adjusting media contracts and raising the cash cap has passed. It's a good measure and will do for this year, but I think a better model can be proposed. I'll be posting on that in the next few days.

I will be adjusting the contract amounts, which will provide extra money to the teams immediately (I tested this in a test league I have). I will then sim one day and upload the changes to the league server.

The next sim (and all the sims for the rest of the offseason) will cover a two week period. The next one will be run on Tuesday night.

I will update this post when I am done and the league file is available.

UPDATE: League upload complete. I also changed the minor league season length and playoffs as discussed and voted on in this post. All minor legue seasons are now 140 games in length and all end in a single playoff round of seven games between the division winners.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Party Like It's 2010!

The fanatical followers of the Seattle Monarchs, still buzzing from the rumors of the return of favorite son Gregory Mudge, were thrilled to hear of the Monarchs' latest acquisition: ace pitcher Chad Nelligan. Nelligan, the all-time SDMB OOTP leader in wins, returns to the city where he won three titles in four years. "I'm excited to return to Seattle. It's the scene of my greatest triumphs and the best fans in imaginary baseball. I look forward to celebrating my 200th win in a Monarchs uniform." Nelligan suffered through the first losing season of his celebrated career last year, going 10-14 in Los Angeles.

The Monarchs had taken some PR hits in recent days, losing Dong Lutz to free agency and dealing beloved outfielder David Kerry. But, combined with the three-year contract extension given to popular setup man Dalton Davis, the returns of Mudge and Nelligan may make up a lot of the ground.

"Chad's always been one of my favorite guys," said Owner/GM Mack Shultz. "When I heard he was available, I said to the rest of the front office that we need to make this happen. Even if Chad elects to go into free agency next year and it's only one more year in Seattle, that's just too good to pass up." Seattle sent two starting pitching prospects, Roland Maloney and Tuan Olmstead, along with a second round pick in the upcoming amateur draft to Los Angeles for Nelligan and a sixth round pick.

Other members of Seattle's 2010 championship squad were excited to hear about the nostalgic turn taken by the Monarchs front office. Free agent Waylon Blassingame is reportedly waiting eagerly by the phone while closer Sam Contreras, who abruptly resigned after the 2010 season, is now contemplating a comeback.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Infielder Free to Good Home

And by free, as in for a tenth round pick or whatever is the last round we have in our draft. Anyway, the guy is Marvin Cardozo. Cardozo was once the top prospect in the league, which is extraordinarily hard to believe now.

Is he good? No. Is he a useful guy to have on a major league bench? Yeah. He plays all infield positions and has some power in his bat. He makes the league minimum. My scout has him as a 2*/2* guy. But, I'd like to cycle younger players through the reserve spots on my bench, so Marvin must go.

Plus, he reminds me too much of the horrible deal where I acquired him from Nate along with another prospect in exchange for John Okane. Ugh.

So, first person to say he wants him, gets him.

File Upload Complete

I seem to be having some problem with uploading to the site, but I finally got the update uploaded.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Attempt to Bring Discussions on Changing Rules to Conclusion

In an effort to bring the somewhat meandering discussions about improving league parity to a conclusion, I'd like to present a proposal, to be voted up or down as a block, for everyone's consideration. I think the parity issue is very important for the long-term health of the league, so I urge everyone to vote - yes, no, or asbtain. Again, to get resolution, please vote on the package as a whole. We need to collectively get off the pot on this issue and resolve it one way or the other.

So, here's the package I propose:

1. Increase media revenues so that they fall into a range of $50M to $70M. The lowest teams get a boost up to $50M. Other teams get proportionate increases up towards the $70M ceiling. I get nothing. (grin) I'll post a list below of the specific changes I propose.

2. Raise the cash cap to $25M.

I would also propose that we make the changes effective immediately. There are good arguments for why we should wait until next offseason, but I think we're still early enough in the offseason that people can make use of these changes now without throwing off league balance. Yes, I've made moves too that I may not have if I knew we were changing the rules, but I think resolving the issue now is important.

I've dropped two elements from prior discussions. Free agent compensation doesn't work in the game, so I wouldn't advise it now. The idea of spending cash on non-salary items is appealing, but it's a complicated issue and I don't think it fundamentally addresses the parity issue. If people want that, I think it should be a separate discussion, especially as to the appropriate values for various changes.

Here's my table of specific proposals:

Brooklyn: Now $64M media revenue; increase media and budget by $2,5M
Cleveland: Now $35M; increase media and budget by $15M
Danville: Now $41M; increase media and budget by $12M
Hickory: Now $39M; increase media and budget by $13M
Houston: Now $41M; increase media and budget by $12M
LA: Now $49M; increase media and budget by $9M*
Maui: Now $35M; increase media and budget by $15M
NY: Now $46M; increase media and budget by $10M
River Cities: Now $58M; increase media and budget by $5M
Saskatoon: Now $64M; increase media and budget by $2.5M
Seattle: Now $70M; no change
Walla Walla: Now $64M; increase media and budget by $2.5M

* LA's raise subject to whatever arrangement Zev and Michael are working out on the other LA budget issue.

So, please vote in the comments on this package. Thanks.

Database Error?

Good morning, everyone -

So this morning I attempted to download the league file as usual and received a message about four fifths of the way through the download that the database was corrupted. It appears that the corrupted file was autosaved on top of my old league file, so I can't access the league file at all anymore.

Did this happen to anyone else? Should I just go fetch the league file and direct save it to my hard drive? If so, can someone send me the (long since forgotten) address at which I can do that?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Scorpions in search of a new home

The following players have told me that they would like to be traded away from Los Angeles. Please oblige them:

Chad Nelligan -- a top-of-the-rotation Game-1-in-the-Cecil-Cup-starting stud.

Sean "Six Rings" Arant -- a great lead-off hitter with a Gold Glove arm in the outfield.

Alan Callahan -- he had a successful 2014 after a career-threatening injury derailed him in 2013. How will he do in his second season back?

Donald Dinwiddie -- An All-Star back-of-the-bullpen lefty. There aren't too many of those around.

Jeffrey Shuttleworth -- An above-average starter who pitched well as my closer down the stretch last season. He can do it all!

Robert Young -- He's a serviceable middle infielder. You can never have enough of them!

I'm looking for young pitching and good hitting prospects in return. Hit me up at to discuss.

Seattle Deals Superstar Outfielder; Return of Favorite Son Rumored

Seattle Owner/GM Mack Shultz announced a huge trade today to a startled audience. On the heels of losing superstar slugger Dong Lutz to free agency, the Monarchs traded their biggest remaining power threat, rightfielder David Kerry, to division rival Hickory Huskers. Instead of a known commodity coming back in return, Seattle got a hodge podge of prospects in reliever Nicolas Vargas, AAA infielder Miguel Salazar, A-ball reliever Fei-hsien Bao, and Hickory's first round pick in the 2015 amateur draft. In addition, Seattle sent Hickory $8 million in cold, hard cash.

"I know, I know," said Shultz to a bristling audience packed with booing fans. "But, this isn't the whole deal. When you see what happens by Opening Day, you'll be happy." The fans were not amused, pelting Shultz with garbage.

"What the hell?" fumed Monarchs diehard Joe Schmoe. "I mean, I know we've won a lot of titles, but to lose Lutz and Kerry in one offseason? That's just nuts." Schmoe's point was well-taken, as Kerry led the Monarchs with 15 RBI in 13 games this past postseason.

"We really like the guys we got as some contributors to future Monarchs titles," explained Shultz. "We think Vargas can be a stopper, Salazar a starter in a year or two, and like Bao's potential. Plus, first round picks are always nice, even in crappy drafts."

As reporters left the press conference, rumors began to circulate of a handshake agreement between Hickory and Seattle on a second deal. Reportedly, the deal will include Monarchs injured outfielder Lonnie Machen going to Hickory when healed and former Monarchs mainstay Gregory Mudge returning to Seattle. Mudge had been traded to Hickory midseason in 2013 for Lutz and now apparently will be returning to claim his old position at first base. Cash and possibily an additional prospect are also rumored to be exchanged. However, consistent with league policy, no deals involving injured players can be final until the player heals. Machen is expected to recover from his torn back muscle around the start of Spring Training.

"What? Mudge is coming back?!?" exclaimed Schmoe when he heard the rumor. "That's f*&$ing fantastic! He'll be able to become the all-time home run leader in a Seattle uniform. Outstanding!"

The Monarchs front office was taking no steps to squelch the rumor, lending credence to it. Reportedly, recent acquisition Stephen Jackson may be seeing some playing time in the outfield, after Mudge's return. Jackson had no comment on the rumors or the day's events.

Rule 5 Draft

Welcome to the Rule 5 Draft!

Please send me your picks (if any) by 7PM Eastern time on Wednesday.

The draft order is:

New York
Los Angeles
Walla Walla
River Cities


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

River Cities-Saskatoon Trade

River Cities today acquired reliever Joey Chikao from Saskatoon, sending OF Santiago Salazar north to the Amigos.

Maui/Saskatoon trade

Today, Maui dealt AAA reliever Carl Odegaard to Saskatoon for Saskatoon's 8th round pick in the amateur draft.

Looking for a Reliever or a 1B?

Joey Chikao, who saved 13 games last year and posted an ERA of 3.79 (he's never gone above 4.oo in his career) can be had.

1B Kenneth Dolezal is also available.

Shoot me an e-mail if you're interested in one or both of these fine ballplayers.

I'm looking for a SP, OF, or prospects in return.

Rule 5 Draft

I ran a sim last night and the current game date is Nov 29. The Rule 5 Draft is Dec 1.

Players eligible for the Rule 5 draft can be found on your transaction screens. The players eligible to be drafted have a # symbol next to their names. To protect them from the draft, you have to put them on the 40 man roster.

Tonight, I will bring the game up to Dec 1 for the draft. Please remember that in order to be eligible to draft players, you must have an open spots on your own 40-man roster and that any players you select must be kept on your major league roster all year (there is no offering them back to the old team as in real life).

For the draft, please send me a list of players (in order) that you would like to draft from other teams. Please be sure to include any specific instructions (i.e. "only draft one player," etc.) with the drafted players.

So, tonight is your chance to protect players.
Wednesday night will be the draft.

Any questions? Feel free to ask.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Matt's Last Comment in his post on changes

I noticed this comment of Matt's in his post and was not sure if everyone would see it or respond to it, so I am starting a thread with it so we can come to a conclusion to this talk.

Zev's suggestion is something I can support. With that framework in mind, and considering the comments above, I'm going to posit a few suggestions for voting or discussion. Would other owners support changes along the following lines?

1. Adjust media contracts to be roughly within $20 million of one another. Seattle's would stay at $70 million and other teams' media contracts would be adjusted upward with the lowest teams at $50 million. This is probably the best way to help league parity without taking money away from teams.

2. Increase the cash cap. There doesn't seem to be wide support for eliminating the cash cap entirely, so increasing the cap may provide a good compromise. Maybe $25 million?

3. Allow for free agent compensation.

4. Allow teams to spend extra cash on marketing or similar items as suggested in point 7 of my original post. This assumes that Zev and Michael are willing to shoulder the additional administrative burden of this change.

If the above framework is acceptable to other owners, my suggestion is that we implement them now while the issue is primed, rather than let another season go by.

Thanks to everyone for the good discussion so far.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Note On Rule Changes

An owner asked me via email when any rule changes that are being discussed will be implemented. He asked because (rightfully) the choices he makes depend on the answer.

Any changes that we decide before we flip the calendar to 2015 will be implemented when the calendar year flips.

As a result, I've decided to hold off on the sim until Monday night to give owners time to change their plans.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Free Agents: Wait, what?

Am I the only one bemused that when the game sent us the list of 'Top Free Agents' Lutz wasn't listed in the top 10?

Franklin Jackson? He's listed.
Hector Orozco? He's there.
Sergio Alonso? Oh, yeah, he's on the list.

But possibly the top talent player EVER to go into free agency in the league? Nah, best leave him off the list. No sense getting his hopes up only to have them dashed.

For the record, for me he wants a contract worth $24,990,000 per year.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Next sims: Saturday night -- Rule 5 Draft Coming up.

I just realized that I while I did run a sim last night, I forgot to actually notify people via the blog.

The free agents have filed -- so everyone can start making offers.

The current game date is 11/20/2014. The next major event is the Rule 5 draft, set for 12/1. The next sim on Saturday night will take the game to 11/29.

I will run the Rule 5 Draft on Monday night (Labor Day). I'll provide more detailed instructions for the new owners after the next sim.

Lastly, there is a discussion going on concerning the league issues brought up by Matt. Please continue the discussion as there are some important points that he brought up.


Crazy Nate's Ballplayer Swap! (formerly a used ballplayer swap)

Formerly 'used' because some of them have barely been off the lot!

Available for sale this offseason are these fine young won't find players like this on any normal lot. At Crazy Nate's you find the special deals for special people. People like you, you, and especially YOU there in the back! Don't be shy! These deals won't last forever. Once the logjam is broken, once the quantum cusp is popped, once we know for SURE that Schrodinger's cat is alive or dead it will be too, too, TOO late, my friends. Step right up and take a look at:

Starting Pitcher John Okane - Take Okane off the lot and give him a test! Over the last three years Okane has gone 46-27 with a strikeout to walk rate of 587/177. That's 3.31-1 in the control department! And his ERA? Lifetime, 3.24. Last season? 2.88! He's getting better, gentlemen.

Ed Scull - Here's another fine piece of pitcher flesh. Only the truly discerning GM will know the true value of a pitcher who went 16-9 last year and has won at least 16 games each of the last four years. With an ERA consistently under four each of the last FIVE years and a lifetime mark of 3.58 he's a staff ace waiting for you to just pick him up. In addition, his 'Well Known' status should help your attendance!

On the offensive side of the ball I present for your edification...

Marcus Alcazar - A ***** hitting prospect who plays first base Alcazar at age 22 is a ready-to-play genuine prospect of the sort you don't see every day. And he can be yours! In a cup of coffee last September Marcus hit .333/.368/.444 on top of a AAA campaign in which he hit .316/.395/.422 and a AAA VORP of 34.5! Lest you think it's a fluke his lifetime AAA numbers are .322/.400/.415! If you need a man for the home team side of the field he's your man. And with years of minimum wage or arbitration ahead of him he's easy on the pocketbook!

Ronald Amos - Also a 1B but with versatility, Ronald Amos is another ***** prospect that plays 1B, LF, and RF and can provide both offense and flexibility to your lineup. Play him where you need him and watch the wins pile up! For River Cities last year Amos hit .294/.326/.417 in less than half a season. In AAA in 2013 he hit .318/.369/.473 and he could do it for you next year at one of three positions! At 24 he's another fine piece of young player that you can count on for a good five or six years before he gets pricey!

Jesse DuBreiul - Yes, friends, the 2014 Rookie of the Year could be on your team for opening day. With a hitting line last year of .319/.365/.526 this 23 year old monster can bring smiles to your face for years to come. Already rated as 'popular' at a very young age you can see that any team that has young Jesse will reap greats things both in the wins column and at the box office just by having him on your team!

Also available are useful parts like Bill Allen, Santiago Salazar, and Timothy Palacio.

Crazy Nate is selling brand new, shiny-shiny players this year! Take advantage of these special offers today! The crazy one takes young players under 23 and very high round draft picks. No credits cards accept but all proposals will be given solid, timely consideration. Apply today! I'm waiting to hear from YOU!

Seattle's 2014-15 Shopping Mart

So, updating my quick post, here are the players and prospects available at Mack's House of Stars:

1. Star Outfielder for Rent. It turns out that David Kerry wants to be paid like the awesome player he is. His $20M+ price tag might be affordable for some teams, and isn't unreasonable given his track record, but I've got salary issues. He's under contract for an outrageously low $8,000,000 for 2015 and then can be a free agent.

Now, I'm not afraid of playing out the contract, trying to win the title, seeing if his price drops, and letting him go to free agency if necessary (witness Dong Lutz). But, it occurs to me that he may be the difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs for lots of teams out there. So, I just wanted to let all know that he was available.

2. Master Thief Can Be Stolen.. Second baseman Duane Gerhardt stole a record 102 bases last year and has stolen an amazing 338 bases in 405 chances in his four full-time years in the big leagues. He also owns a lifetime OPS of .823, averaging 48 doubles per year. He's a perfect top-of-the lineup player. Has a reasonable three year-deal averaging $8M per season.

3. Young, Successful Starting Pitcher. 26-year-old Jimmy Matthias has established himself as one of the best pitchers in the game. In two years as a starter for Seattle, he's posted a combined 30-10 record with ERAs well below 4.00 despite abnormally high BABIP's. He doesn't strike a lot of guys out, but he also doesn't walk people and keeps the ball in the yard. He's a rock steady #3 starting pitcher miscast as a fifth starter for the Monarchs. He's making just $3M this year and is under arbitration control for one more season.

There's also the usual supply of other young, talented players, but the above three guys are the ones I'm most willing to deal. In return, seeking good relievers under control for more than one year, prospects, and/or draft picks.

So, if you're interested, drop me a line.

Commissioners trade

Zev and I have a trade to announce:

Los Angeles receives 1B Michael Slye and 3B Britt Maroney in exchange for starter Dennis Durand.

Additionally, Brooklyn receives my 2nd round pick in the next season's draft, and I'll get Zev's 4th and 7th round picks.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

League Changes?

I have some concerns about competitive imbalance and the future of this league. I thought I'd make a post to see if anyone else shares these concerns, and if so, whether there is a way to address them. I started drafting this post a few weeks ago when we were still in the regular season, but I decided to wait until the new budgets and media contracts were announced to see if the problem is getting better or worse. I'm now convinced that it is not getting better and may be getting worse. A while back, I started a post about some possible changes to the financial settings. There was a good discussion but many of the suggestions either died on the vine or were voted down. Since then, we've all gotten a bit more familiar with version 9.0, so this seems like a good time to revisit the discussion.

My concern is that we basically have two teams that have accumulated such a high degree of talent and wealth that it will be extremely difficult (but not impossible) for other teams to remain competitive. Much of it is the result of excellent strategy and planning by the GMs of those teams and they deserve credit for doing so well. This post is not, in any way, an attack on those GMs who obviously play the game the way it should be played. :) But for me, at least, it's not a lot of fun playing in a David versus Goliath environment.

Here is a quick background to illustrate some of what I'm seeing. I took over my team just prior to the 2013 season. The team had a fan interest rating of 13. It was a terrible team overall, but I had a few really good young players that I could build around. I ended up with a 58-104 record in 2013. In 2014, my team's record improved to 72-90 and attendance/fan interest/revenues increased significantly over the prior year. As a result, I was hopeful that my 2015 budget and media contract would increase. But in the last sim I learned that my budget actually DECREASED by $3 million this year. This severely hampers my ability to compete in the free agent market and to acquire good players via trade, which makes it almost impossible to contend. It just doesn't seem right to me that an organization should be penalized for improving, which is essentially what has happened.

I'm competitive by nature, and honestly, it's just not fun for me right now playing in the current environment. It would be different if I felt that I had a decent chance to win in a few years, but I don't. Cleveland was a nice story this year, making it to the finals and coming ever so close to winning the championship, but (no offense intended to Jeremy whatsoever) given the difference in talent between the River Cities team and the Cleveland team, I view that as an extremely improbable and unlikely outcome. It happened, though, which cannot be denied. But even if I am wrong that Cleveland had no business getting to the finals in the first place, Cleveland's 2015 budget ($57 million) is barely higher than mine ($52 million) even after making it to the world series! That is just wrong.

So here is a list of possible changes for consideration and comment. This is not intended to be a complete list, just a starting point for discussion.

1. Impose revenue sharing and/or a luxury tax. According to the OOTP manual, revenue sharing only benefits teams that sustained a loss, so that is unlikely to benefit many teams. Personally, I don't like the idea of revenue sharing because it has a tendency to "reward" teams that lack financial restraint. A luxury tax is permitted by the game, but the manual doesn't explain how it works. If a luxury tax is implemented, I think we would probably need to do something about the cash cap. It wouldn't make sense to divide the proceeds of the luxury tax among the smaller market/less competitive teams, only to have that money be lost to the cash cap.

2. Impose a salary cap. This probably deserves its own topic because there are likely to be many opinions about it. But it's definitely something that should be considered.

3. Modify or eliminate the cash cap. I know we discussed this previously and the decision was made to keep it unchanged, but it can't hurt to revisit the issue now that we have another year of experience. My opinion is that the cash cap should probably stay even though it is artificial, because the most successful teams could just start hoarding cash and become even more dominant. But I do wonder whether it should be modified. At a minimum, it seems to me that the cash cap doesn't always work as intended. In at least one situation, the cash cap actually helped a team (Los Angeles) by capping its annual loss at $10 million when its actual loss was significantly higher. This isn't Michael's fault at all, but it has happened for 2 years now. Honestly, I don't know if the solution is to increase the cash cap, eliminate it entirely or do nothing - perhaps people with bigger brains can weigh in.

4. Adjust the media contract settings. The variance in media contracts in this league is extremely significant. Seattle's media contract exploded this year to $70 million, twice the amount of the two lowest teams (one of which is world series runner-up Cleveland, at $35 million). My team is one of the $35 million teams, even though I have a "Big" market. Every team in the league has a "Big" market or better, so it seems that "Big", in this case anyway, is actually small. It is my understanding from speaking to Mack that media contracts are renegotiated from time to time, but I don't know when that happens. The OOTP manual is somewhat confusing on this point. It says: "Media revenue is partially driven by team market size, fan loyalty, and fan interest. However, the biggest influence on media revenue are the Average Media Contract and Media Contract Fixed? settings." So possible changes include changing the average media contract amount (currently at $40 million), or fixing the media contract amount for all teams (each team gets the same amount in annual media revenue).

5. Change the "Team Owner Controls Budget" setting. I am not sure about this, but I think that changing this option to GM control will make more money available.

6. Free agent compensation. OOTP 9 permits this, but it doesn't always work very well. Still, it's another option for less competitive teams to get some compensation if they can't afford to resign their good players before they depart for free agency.

7. Greater flexibility in spending. Nate made some good suggestions in the last thread that are worth repeating. Some of the options he mentioned are allowing teams to spend their cash on things like (a) custom stadia (i.e., changing park dimensions, dome/open, adding seats); or (b) team "marketing" (to increase fan interest, fan loyalty, and/or market size). Adding these options will increase the administrative work for Zev, so that's something to consider as well.

I just re-read this post and I think I come across like a self-absorbed whiner, but I've spent far too much time on it already, and I'm not going to spend more on editing. :) So please accept my apologies for the tone. Thanks for considering the above. Any thoughts?

Postseason Awards!!

Slick Fielders:

Adams League
P Trey Albarado (BRK)
C Alberto Granado (SEA)
1B Dong Lutz (SEA)
2B Imatarou Natsu (MAU)
3B Robert Fout (HIK)
SS Reggie Perez (SAS)
LF Miguel Cuesta (BRK)
CF David Nightengale (HOU)
RF Hal Pires (HOU)

Zotti League
P Chad Nelligan (LA)
C Gary Williams (DAN)
1B Lincoln Rosetti (WAL)
2B Francis Amarendiz (WAL)
3B Edward Crim (DAN)
SS Ricky Peppers (LA)
LF Tyler Thomas (CLE)
CF Monte Gross (CLE)
RF Sean Arant (LA)

Outstanding Rookie
1B Preston Giorgi (HOU) -- .287, 18, 67.
LF Jesse Dubreuil (RIV) -- .319, 20, 90.

Outstanding Pitcher
Ronald Placencia (SEA) -- 18-4, 3.48, 228K
Juan Villatoro (RIV) -- 21-6, 3.09, 198K

Outstanding Batter
Dong Lutz (SEA) -- .351, 51, 137.
John Hukill (RIV) -- .309, 38, 99.

Last chance to get offers into your pending free agents tomorrow night.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Players Available...

Hey everyone,

I've got some players that are available. I'm willing to entertain offers.

The guys I have are:

SS Robert Camarena: underutilized by me because I have a good SS and a good 2B. Camarena plays both. In limited playing time last year, he hit .307 with 11 homers.

1B Michael Slye: Here's a guy who has the potential to be great, but I have Luis Jeon locked up at first ahead of him for years to come.