1/25/2013 3:00 PM
I recently took over as commissioner in American Baseball Union (ABU). Last season was our first with a minimum wins requirement, but I was hoping to get some feedback from the community on ideas for additional rules that help to promote competitive balance and spirit in a league. Any advice I get here would be greatly appreciated as I plan on bringing proposed rule changes up for a vote by the league body in the near future.
1/25/2013 3:36 PM
IMO if you enforce the MWR without regard for circumstance and just make it a simple "miss and your out" type deal,  that goes a long way.

I'd also start recruiting for known openings right after the regular season ends. This allows you to screen potential owners a bit better and if/when you get a few no shows by surprise it won't be devastating.

Others opinions will differ I'm sure, but I think if you do those two things consistently, that's all you need.

1/25/2013 3:48 PM
Forgot some basic stuff like:

Cash in trades cannot exceed the salary difference of the guy being traded for. So if you are trying to trade away a guy making 7M for a guy making 4 mil you could include 3 Mil max in cash to help cover this season's salary difference.

Keep minor leagues stocked and in shape (no 0(0) pitchers).

And a decent core of owners who care enough to veto lopsided trades. Like any Major Leaguer being traded should be for someone who at least has a realistic shot to play in the bigs one day. (ie. no pure salary dumps).

I'd also suggest that if you do add additional rules; enforce them consistently and make the penalty for violating the rules removal.
Anything short of removal and you may get clowns who think the penalty is something they can live with.

Good luck!
1/25/2013 4:15 PM

Max total prospect budget cap of $30m after budget transfers is popular.

1/25/2013 4:31 PM
Posted by romo7 on 1/25/2013 4:15:00 PM (view original):

Max total prospect budget cap of $30m after budget transfers is popular.

Out of curisoity... doesn't that give an advantage to teams lower in the draft?  If you have a top 10 pick most likely you will have to spend some 5 million + to sign that guy. Whereas teams at the bottom will spend less money on their picks or spend $0 on their picks (due to type A FA signings, etc).

I'm not in a league that has a cap so I'm just wondering how it actually plays out.

1/25/2013 5:31 PM
I don't agree that the prospect cap is a help, but it is pretty popular.

What ends up happening is you get 6-10 guys who max out to 30M in prospect money. A great IFA comes along and 5 different guys bid the max, so then the tiebreaker stuff comes into play. Or you get a wise guy who thinks "ahh if THAT is the only penalty I will just bid 31M and win the guy". (Which is why I say make the penalty removal and then you probably don't have to worry about ppl violating it).

Then another great IFA comes along and the same thing happens all over again, minus the one guy who already spent all 30M. Then when the Am Draft comes along they can't afford to sign their draft picks and the world is deprived of 3 or 4 BL prospects from each team who decided to go "all in" on the IFA studs.

I suppose the idea is to foster a "reasonable" limit on transferring money so that an owner will have at least 50M (or whatever) in payroll and can field a somewhat competitive team. But in my experience an owner intent on tanking for a year or three will just simply let that left over payroll money rot all season, so I don't believe it really does much of what it is intended to do.

Then there is always the possibility that a different purpose exists in the idea that I just don't understand, as I have never been the sharpest bulb in the closet...
1/25/2013 11:13 PM
Posted by mchalesarmy on 1/25/2013 3:36:00 PM (view original):
IMO if you enforce the MWR without regard for circumstance and just make it a simple "miss and your out" type deal,  that goes a long way.

I'd also start recruiting for known openings right after the regular season ends. This allows you to screen potential owners a bit better and if/when you get a few no shows by surprise it won't be devastating.

Others opinions will differ I'm sure, but I think if you do those two things consistently, that's all you need.

I agree strongly with the "miss the MWR and you're out" approach.  Once you start making exceptions, then you might as well just throw the rule out the window because it's worthless.

I also agree with the comment about recruiting.  The earlier the better.  Publish your world rules in your recruiting thread in the forums.

Also, thoroughly screen potential new owners.  Check their records, get references from other owners who've played with them in other worlds, or from the commishes in those other worlds.  Ideally from people you've dealt with before and whose opinions you can trust.
1/26/2013 1:28 PM
Thank you everone
1/26/2013 3:09 PM
I like the prospect cap, a lot.  I have been involved in a league where IFA's go for 30 - 50 mil.  So after the 20m budgeted, another 30 - 60 mil has to be transfered to come up with that kind of money.  That doesn't leave much for the rest of the franchise to operate.  And, inevitably, the franchise ends up being run in the ground and you can't keep an owner around for very long.


1/26/2013 4:33 PM
If I was going to be a commissioner, I'd want as few rules as possible, so I'd have to do as little enforcement as possible.

Minimum number of wins over a certain number of seasons would be a must. You can say there will be no exceptions, but the reality is world are very hard to fill and if someone seems to be putting in a reasonable effort, isn't doing anything way out of the norm ($15M ML payroll, $30M IntFAs, etc.), and falls just short, you're probably going to take him back rather than try to find someone to take the team. If you put it to world vote, they'll probably be voted another season.

I wouldn't have any rules on trades, max amount of money or otherwise. Let the veto process decide what's a fair trade or not.

If someone can win 55/120 (or whatever the minimum is) games with a $10M payroll & transfers $100M to prospects for a season or two, good for them. I can see why some worlds would want rules to limit budgets or transfers, but I wouldn't bother. IMO, that's all micro managing how people run their teams.

I would have a rule that required teams to field reasonable MinL teams at every level.  No 0(0) Ps coming into games. All position players playing a reasonable position (no C at SS). Cutting back on 1 or 2 MinL levels can free up an extra $1-2M in salary. I've had many seasons where that money would have made a difference on my ML team. I'd consider that cheating the system. Rule would be something like you can't come back if any MinL team puts a 0(0) P in a game for 4 consecutive real days (not HBD days) or ever starts player out of position except for a few listed exceptions, like weak arms in RF any maybe even MikeT's C in RF. Easy enough to get 27-30 players at every MinL level, set it to auto-manage, and check once every few days to make sure you've got enough players.  I've seen a lot of experience players game the system by not bothering to field 1-2 MinL teams.


1/27/2013 12:35 AM
In my humble opinion:

Competitive balance and spirit are not a function of rules, but of quality owners.  With the partial exception of an MWR (partial because what you really want is 32 guys who would never fail to meet an MWR with or without a rule), no rule meaningfully helps a world solidify.  Essentially all other rules are about aesthetics (transfer caps, maintain your minors, etc) or unenforceable (any trade rules; you just need attentive owners who veto bad trades).

What tec said about screening owners matters way more than any rule you can think of.  It's worth 5 rollovers that take a week longer each to get the right group together.

Good luck, and keep waiting for truly good owners.  You can make a world much, much better over a period of 5-10 seasons.

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