Saturday, September 04, 2010

How Much Should You Do for Your Second Division?

I hit the gold mine this week when I started talking about league cultures in keeper leagues. Observer999 added a number of excellent ideas to the discussion as well.
Problem with penalties like taking away keepers is that it creates a class system. The haves- and have-nots. You want teams to be engaged, not make them less competitive going forward. If you create significant handicaps for owners to compete next season, there's no guarantee they'll see the wisdom in coming back. 
I think the best method is not to penalize, but rather to incentivize improvement in the 2nd half. Award teams an extra keeper at a salary discount equal to the proportion of their improvement from mid-season to the end of the season. 
It is possible that owners might leave if they're penalized. I've never played in a league that takes away freezes, so you would have to ask someone in the American Dreams League if this impacts turnover.

We went through a phase in my A.L.-only home league in the late 1990s/early 2000s where some owners joined and then left after 3-5 years. We have a maximum of 15 freezes and no penalties for finishing at the bottom, yet they still left. These owners weren't engaged all year long, either refused to make dump deals or didn't understand the nature of dump deals and made them poorly, and typically had a below average freeze lists or worse.

These owners didn't leave because they were penalized but because they either didn't have the ability to compete in a tough money league or the time to do so.

The converse of this is that there are one or two owners in my league who are almost always in competition and rarely - if ever - throw in the towel. They are "handicapped" by their own success in that they have fewer freezes every year and the freezes that they do have typically aren't the cheap, young $10-15 studs you need to have in a competitive Rotisserie league. Yet these owners often finish in the money and even win now and again.

I agree with Observer's point that you don't want to force owners out of a league by making it too difficult to dump and build a team for next year. However, I do want to see owners - particularly new owners - learn from their mistakes and learn to field a competitive team.

In great leagues, there ultimately is a weeding out processes as you eventually knock out the owners who never respond to your e-mails, go to Amsterdam without submitting their freeze lists, and generally make the same obvious mistakes over and over. We have had the same core of 11 out of our 12 owners since 2005. From 2001-2005, we had four owners leave. They were good people, but they weren't going to be able to invest the time or effort into winning that it takes in a super tough league.

I liked almost all of the people who have left our league, but our league is stronger for their leaving. We never pushed any of these people out, but it became clear in almost every case that it was time for them to go and they seemed to know it too. There should be a balance between not penalizing owners (as Observer suggests) but also not rewarding futility either.


Gypsy Soul said...

We never penalize owners for not being successful. We have always felt that the bottom teams should have the advantage in picking up free agents and waiver claims. However, these owners have stayed for more than 10 to 15 years, at least, with little turn over. So, we find this league of course not nearly as competitive as it could be. I think we have been reluctant to go to an FAAB system partially to try and help the less successful ones, but I think some of the stronger owners are open to making changes to FAAB, especially as the present system doesnt seem to produce more parity in the league anyway. I think the weaker owners will remain as such regardless of what system is being used, at least in our league.

Toz said...

I was going to say, Gypsy, sometimes a rules change, particularly one as significant as FAAB, is a good opportunity for a weaker owner to duck out and save face.

There are no perfect answers for each league. I am always amazed by the variety of rules out there; hopefully, one of these days where I am not working (I am celebrating Labor Day by being in the office), we can all take a closer look at some of these rules together.

RL said...

At the risk of going off-topic, I attempted to make lemonade out of my lemons this season and build for 2011. I made some deadline deals in my 12-team, NL-only (6X6 with D=T and holds) to salvage what appeared to be a very weak keeper list for next year.

With that said, I'm trying to get a handle on potential keepers for next season. Usually, I'm pretty good with this, but my list is driving me crazy. Is this an OK list of keepers, or is it terrible? I've gotten mixed reaction from friends, so I figured I'd come here for the definitive answer.

I'm out of the running for a money spot in my 12-team, 6X6 (D+T, holds), NL-only league. I made some deals at the trading deadline, and I'm looking at these potential keepers for 2011.

I can keep 10 players (up to $100). The prices given are for 2011. The overall roster will have anywhere between 30 and 32 players.

Please, please help.
Tommy Hanson, $12
Edinson Volquez, $1
Jordan Zimmermann, $1
Jhoulys Chacin, $3
James McDonald, $3
Yunesky Maya, $3
Evan Meek, $3
Luke Gregerson, $5
Gabby Sanchez, $5
Neil Walker, $3
Ian Desmond, $3
Nyjer Morgan, $10
Roger Bernadina, $3
Brandon Allen $2
Nick Hundley, $7
Cameron Maybin, $12
Jordan Lyles, $1

RL said...

Sorry for the essentially duplicate fourth paragraph. I had trouble publishing to comment.

And it's doublet+triples, not D=T.


Mike Gianella said...

I was going to respond to your question tonight, RL, but am battling a wicked cold/fever. I'll try to get to it soon.