Over the last week, a scandal has rocked the quiet rural community of Dynasty To Be Named Later (DTBNL). My attempts to chronicle the tale have undoubtedly made matters worse. For a full accounting of events, see Episode 1: Quantity Versus Quality and Episode 2: Dances With Rules.
If you’d rather read the short version of this heady action-thriller, here goes. Last time on Dynasty Drama…
Brad traded of Luis Urias, Cristian Pache, Ke’Bryan Hayes, and Taylor Trammell for Christian Yelich. He’s also the commissioner of DTBNL, a 25-team, keep-30 dynasty league. Outrage ensued, and the former Yelich-owner was peer-pressured into revoking the trade under the “24-hour revocability” rule in the league constitution. However, the revocation occurred during the 26th hour after the trade which led to extra-constitutional hijinx as the commissioner attempted to fairly resolve the dispute while simultaneously defending his interests…
A sort of consensus arose from Episode 2, namely that I was in the wrong in presuming my roles as league commissioner and league participant were separable. Additionally, two of the 25 teams in DTBNL were particularly incensed while at least a few reasoned owners believed I should cede my temporary claim to exclusive negotiating rights for Yelich.
While I could not disagree more with this opinion – I ultimately decided the peace of the league was of greater importance. Previously, on Monday afternoon, I worked out an accommodation to complete the Yelich trade using Royce Lewis as the new centerpiece. I requested a day or two to discuss the terms and implications with my co-manager before confirming the completed trade and to give my trading partner ample time to shop my new offer to the other main interested party.
Simultaneously on Monday afternoon, I convened my council, aka my two assistant commissioners to rule on the validity of my completing the trade. I also wondered if I should bow out of the bidding entirely. They had this to say.
I’m having trouble finding a compelling reason for you to drop out entirely. I’m comfortable letting him take the best offer, even if it’s you.
…Just no compelling arguments for you to have to bow out. And unless [redacted]’s offer was dramatically better than yours (thereby causing some league members to believe that your offer was accepted for non-baseball/shady reasons) then I don’t think the league peace would be upset too much.
They also suggested an alternative in which we vacate the trade entirely with all implications (i.e. the 14-day waiting period), temporarily close trading while the constitution is updated, and then resume as if nothing happened. I said the idea was attractive, but I would like to sleep on it.
Later on Monday night, the aforementioned pair of malcontents… well, they threw a fit – presumably in response to the defenses I posted in the comments of Episode 2. I’m sure they won’t appreciate me saying so, but we’ve all been here. You think a heated disagreement is more or less dealt with – everybody is calm and reasonable even if they aren’t seeing eye-to-eye – then somebody rides into town on a horse named Hurricane to whip up discontent.
In response to the fresh wave of uproar, I offered the suggestion of my assistant commissioners to vacate the trade. I was immediately told I did not have the authority to do this as commissioner. Rather than debate this point (I do), I opted to temporarily step down from my position as commissioner for a period of one week. “Opted” is probably stating it generously. I waved my hands in disgust and stormed off before I could say something I might regret. I left a duumvirant with the odious task of closing this chapter.
As part of stepping down, I offered the immediate return of Yelich for the four prospects. This was accepted on Tuesday morning shortly after we informed the owner that we agreed to terms but could not honor them until January 24. He’s free to continue shopping in the interim. In retrospect, this debacle could have been avoided if I had just done this in the first place.
However, that’s missing the point. To me, I feel like I’m being chastised for the traits which make me a good fantasy player and columnist – namely an ability to spot and exploit leverageable opportunities. A substantial portion of the advice I give pertains to the bending-but-not-breaking of rules. While it seems some people might think I intentionally created these opportunities, I simply spotted them as they occurred.
For instance, when I offered the extension outlined in Episode 2, it was a flight or fight response. I realized in the moment I needed to be creative and fast. My mind immediately seized upon offering him more time. This was not some calculated choice, I was pressing “enter” before the thought was even fully crystallized in my head. I’d rather lose a trade to a rational choice than reptile-brained panic so I let my own reptile brain buy me some time.
It was only later that I realized I could not, as commissioner, enforce the rule as written once the 24 hours expired. The same day as the trade, after a cooling off period, I went to bed highly confident the trade would stand. I had heard nothing to the contrary. I figured everything was under control. Once the trade was revoked, it was only then I discovered and decided to use my right to temporarily hold and continue negotiating for Yelich.
In closing, I believe I went above and beyond the call to operate in a fair and forthright manner as league commissioner while simultaneously defending my interests as a league participant. Although I could have immediately relinquished my rights as an owner in the interest of peace, it is also not reasonable to expect me to do so. Clearly, some people disagree with one or both statements. In an effort to anticipate future disputes of this nature, a new rule will be implemented (see Yelich Rule below) to eliminate my conflict of interest.
Behind the scenes, four constitutional changes have been proposed and will likely be added. I’ll post the rough draft of them below for y’all to tear apart!
1. “Commissioner Hats” In all conversations, the Commissioner and his assistants are assumed to be representing themselves as owners in the league unless they state otherwise. This is especially true of any matters that affect their team.
2. “Handshake and Extra-Constitutional Agreements” Any verbal or written agreement is defined as a “handshake agreement.” These are constitutionally non-binding unless the arrangement falls under the purview of this document or the native rules on FanTrax. Agreements executed via the FanTrax platform are considered binding except where exempted in this document (see “24 hour revocability”). A handshake agreement should be treated as a matter of trust between the owners who have entered into it. The existence of this rule should not be construed as encouragement to renege on your word.
3. ·“Updated 24 Hour Revocability” any party to a trade may back out for any reason within 24 hours. This is done by contacting the commissioner. During the season, the owner(s) who back out may not trade the players involved for a period of 14 days from the original trade. For example, if I trade Max Muncy for Kevin Kiermaier and change my mind, I cannot trade Max Muncy for two weeks. Any trade revoked during the offseason shall lock the returned players to their owner’s roster until the start of the next draft phase or for 14 days, whichever is greater. A draft phase begins once any manager is eligible to make a draft pick. These penalties are waived in the event of major injury during the 24-hour period. “Major injury” to be defined on a case-by-case basis at the commissioner’s discretion. These shall be listed in this document to ensure consistency.
Note: It is poor form to back out of a trade. Even though you are not required to have a reason, it is expected that you will have a good one. For instance, if you fail to adequately shop a trade and receive moderately better offers after executing it, this is not considered to be a particularly strong reason.
This does not apply in any way to handshake agreements – only those accepted through the FanTrax trade tool.
4. “The Yelich Rule” In the event of a dispute involving the commissioner’s team, league members may request the assistant commissioners to take temporary control of the league until the dispute is resolved. This process is triggered when 1) any league member so requests 2) any additional league member from another team seconds the request. While authority will rest with the assistant commissioners, the Commissioner may be solicited for advice and expertise throughout this process.
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