There have been a lot of ideas discussed; here they are in one long post (in no particular order) with – of course! – my views on them.
1. 16 or 24 teams. 16 was cool, but I think 24 would be even better. I’d recommend starting with a goal of 24 and cutting it to 16 like we did this time, if necessary.
2. Owner voting on categories. I know we don’t want a whole league of weak categories, or fifteen starting pitcher categories, but voting seems a little cumbersome. I’m all for giving the Commish the power to decide if a category is deep enough.
3. Owners changing categories. A small point, but subsequent owners may have selected their categories based on what was already proposed, so there could be a domino effect. I know from last time that a lot of owners stated their categories with the preface ‘since we need X …’
4. Draft order based on cumulative bids. Not a fan of this one: there is strategy involved when ‘big’ categories come toward the end of the draft. Since the assumption is the best categories will be first, this proposal would mean the last two days would basically be bench players and maybe middle relievers; not very exciting.
5. You can only bid a certain dollar amount once. Was this a problem? To me this takes away from bidding strategy: the more limits you put on how dollars can be allocated, the less flexibility and therefore less options. Also, with an improved mix of categories, the $1 bid strategy becomes much more risky - even more so if we have 24 teams.
6. Trades during/after the draft allowed, but only if categories are maintained. I’m fine with this, but I don’t see the need for putting limits on it. Why not be able to trade draft spots? Why not be able to trade my outfielder from category A for your 2B from category B?
7. Categories must have from 16 to 25 players (obviously more if we do 24 teams). I agree; too much depth makes a category as meaningless as no depth. I’d be willing to let the Commish have leeway on this, though, to allow categories with a couple more selections if it doesn’t upset the balance. For example, if you have a category with 30 choices but five are $200k scrubs, that effectively is the same as a 25 player category.
8. Early drafting. I think we’re all for this; I’d extend the period to 4-5 days. The only thing that saved me on Day One, where I had to draft in all five categories, is that I’m off on Mondays; I never could have made my picks on time otherwise. Also, I’d suggest not determining what days the individual drafts are until after the Early Drafting: not knowing what day a draft is should speed up early drafting, as you won’t have the issue of wanting to wait to see how earlier drafts go. After the drafting, randomize the remaining categories over four or five days.
9. Add the category links to the individual draft pages. Please! This is more valuable than having a list of available players, at least to me.
10. Pre-determining categories – X number of starting pitchers, Y number middle infielders, etc. While we had some positional unevenness this time, I don’t want that entirely to go away: sweating out 2B added a bit of drama for a lot of us! However, too many SPs was a problem. I’m all for giving the Commissioner the power to ‘guide’ owners as the league fills. Once we get a certain number of SP categories, the Commish can tell new sign-ups that their category can’t be an SP one (although something like the ’78 Yankee category would still be OK).
11. Drafting on a weekend day. It’s really a matter of everyone’s schedules; the actual days become less important the longer the Early Drafting period is.
12. High bidder determines draft day. As in #8 above, I’m a fan of randomizing draft days. You also avoid the ‘everyone wants their category on Friday’ issue.
13. Add a stadium draft. Definitely adds to the drama. Arguments can be made for selecting stadiums before or after the regular draft, I’m cool with either. Rather than have the Commish select, though, I’d like each owner to nominate a stadium – and again, if there’s an imbalance (all pitcher parks, for example) the Commish can tell later signups their park has to be hitter-friendly. I’d add a 17th (or 25th) park, WIS Field, just so you don’t get totally screwed and can at least have a neutral park, but that may be too much of a safety net.
14. Add the DH. Please no …
OK, I think that’s all the suggestions so far. Thanks for letting me be pedantic.