The Unwritten Rules

Many years ago I met the woman who would become my future wife while we were standing in line to get into a bar. While I had been to that bar on a few occasions before, I was only there because a friend of mine had been invited to a toga party on the following night by a coworker of his and asked them if I could come along since I was new to the area and he wanted to meet me first. As I was waiting to enter the establishment, I heard the woman in front of me talking about this party. I looked up to see the most beautiful woman standing in front of me, so I used the party as an opening.

“You’re going to a toga party?” I asked. “I’m going to a toga party too! I hear it is like a frat house. I can’t wait! It should be crazy.”

That is when I got the answer I was not expecting.

“IT’S NOT A FRAT HOUSE! THAT’S MY HOUSE!” She informed me at the top of her lungs. She would spend the next few hours verbally assaulting her brothers that had been promoting this party. It was not how I envisioned our introduction going, but obviously it worked out.

This is very similar to how the first installment of this series went for me. With the best of intentions, I thought I was introducing something fun and different to Rotographs. Some people loved it. Some really hated it. That is ok because I am going to keep pushing on and hope it all works out for the best.

If there is a player in your league that has stopped updating their lineup because either they are out of contention or have been distracted (work, vacation, etc), is it unethical to send them an email reminding them to update their lineup during the week they are facing one of your top competitors in a H2H league? – @Thealsonwheels

I think it is. If everyone else has had the benefit of getting to beat up on the inactive team then your competition should be afforded that same opportunity. Does it suck when that costs you a playoff spot or seeding? Sure, but asking someone to do something for you that you weren’t willing to do for everyone is borderline collusion. How would you feel if the shoe was on the other foot?

 

H2h playoffs, is it ethical to change how you’ve been playing all season and start streaming SPs? -Darren F

I don’t know why it wouldn’t be. As long as there are not any rules against it I think it is fine. I used to play in a H2H league that had a maximum limit on transactions for the season, so I would hoard all my moves until the playoffs and then use them all there. Just because you played one way throughout the season doesn’t mean you can’t adjust or completely change your strategy later on.

I play in a league with a limit of four free agent acquisitions per week. Going into the last day of the first round of our head-to-head playoffs, the team that I wanted to face in the second round was winning. The only way that he could lose was if his opponent went for broke and added every streamer he could to try and steal the QS category. I had a free roster spot and four moves remaining, so I tried to make his life difficult and attempted to put the four best streamers on waivers by adding and dropping them. Yahoo! has a mechanism to prevent just that, it turns out, but am I a d%#$ (as my friends say) or was this good strategy? -Gavin I.

I think it is a little bit of both. I have no issue with you adding the player to keep them away from your competition, but the attempt at picking them up momentarily just to drop them would be a bit too far and that is why sites like Yahoo and ESPN don’t allow you to get away with it. The thought process was great, but the execution was flawed and failed.

The background:
 
A league I have been in for ~ 25 years has just instituted a new rule which is designed to make me alter my strategy. The rule, starting next year, says that all teams must accumulate a minimum of 1000 IP or they score the minimum points in ERA and WHIP.
 
For the past 4 years I have been using an all-RP strategy. I draft some closers and some great middle relievers and I can finish 1st in ERA, WHIP and saves, and last in Wins and Ks. Still, this nets me 38 points (standard 12 team 5 x 5 league) with a minimum of investment on the pitching side.
 
I use all of my top picks and keeper spots on hitters and try to dominate all of those categories.
 
The first year I tried this I finished 6th. The next year I won. Then in 2015, the third year, I won again, and that’s when people voted to change the rules. However, they said the rule would go into effect a year down the road so that we all had a chance to prepare for this and build an appropriate keeper list.
 
I am currently in 1st again this year, but it is extremely tight. I am 1.5 points ahead of second place and 3 points ahead of third place.
 
So . . . my question is whether you think the IP minimum is a fair rule that makes sense for the league as a whole, or is it just a B.S. rule that is designed to pick on the guy who has been winning with a non-conventional strategy? -Matt A.
Let me start out by saying that I am not a fan of inning minimums or maximums in general. I think they are often enforced to control the way owners manage their teams. Minimums specifically are designed to stop what you have been doing or to attempt to keep people active so they qualify for the limit.
So, in your case, is it fair? No. I think it is a case of sour grapes. In reality, there is no way you should be able to pull off the dominance year after year that you have with that strategy. It punts too many points in a 5 by 5. The league should be more concerned in being better at the game than changing the rules to reign you in. That being said, you obviously are better at this than them and shouldn’t have too much issue adjusting your strategy.

Live draft, alcohol being consumed. Is being “drunk” a good excuse to renege on a verbally agreed upon trade, sealed with a good ol’ fashioned hand shake? -Frank S
This is a hard one for me. Personally, I don’t drink and have never run into this specific situation. However, I believe that my word is my bond. If I tell you I am going to do something, then I will do it. I believe this should apply to fantasy as well. However, while I would never back out on a verbal or handshake agreement, trades should not be considered official until accepted through what ever site you are using. I recently had a guy try and back out of a verbal agreement and renegotiate the trade because I said yes too quickly. I was willing to allow him to back out, but was very clear that I would never deal with him again if he did so. I wouldn’t hold someone to it, but I would express that their mistake has consequences if they don’t.

This week I received multiple questions via email and twitter. I am still catching up on all the previous questions so if you don’t see your question yet, check back next week. You can always send me more at JustinMasonFantasy@gmail.com or @JustinMasonFWFB.

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Justin is the co-host on The Sleeper and The Bust Podcast and writes for Rotographs covering the Roto Riteup as well as random topics that float into his juvenile brain. In addition to his work at Rotographs, Justin is the lead fantasy writer/analyst and co-owner for FriendswithFantasyBenefits.com, owner of The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and a fantasy football and baseball writer for Fantasy Alarm. He is also a certified addiction treatment counselor. Follow Justin on Twitter @JustinMasonFWFB.

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Bounty
Member
Bounty

“IP minimum is a fair rule” Are you playing fantasy Craig Kimbrel or fantasy baseball? Of course it’s a fair rule, you’re lucky they don’t implement a more restrictive rule. I have no problem with punting categories, but I do have a problem with punting an entire position.

zurzles
Member
Member
zurzles

Why? That’s a weird way to put it. Would you admonish an owner for punting saves, which is also an entire position?

Atreyu Jones
Member
Atreyu Jones

I think Bounty is just saying he wants to play in leagues where the structure rewards rostering both SPs and RPs (whether or not they are closers). In my opinion, it’s a matter of taste – not of unwritten rules.

zurzles
Member
Member
zurzles

the way he put it though, it really only applies to SPs, and it only applies to this one strategy. I get not being a fan of the strategy, but I agree with Justin that it should never break a league in its own right. People have been using it forever and it’s never really proven to work that well. Maybe Matt A, has just been the better owner? And he mentions it’s a keeper league, not crazy for one team to dominate 3 years in a row when they have good keepers.

CC AFC
Member
Member
CC AFC

Agreed. That was my take, at least. I like that rule because I like to think I’m playing fantasy baseball to (in some small way) imagine I’m a GM and put into practice all those time I said “I could do a better job than [the current moron running my favorite team]!” So I tend to prefer league rules that require some semblance of team building that is somewhat similar to real life.

I wouldn’t fault someone for preferring a different type. I guess you could play in a league where every team consists of only hitters, has no positions, and only gives points for HR (to give an extreme example).

I wouldn’t like that, personally, and it sounds like the other league owners in this league think like I do. And I don’t think there’s anything unfair about changing league rules based on a consensus of the owners. Especially when, realizing the rule change will disproportionately impact one owner who was not breaking the previous rules, they delay the implementation a year to mitigate (though, I’m sure not “eliminate”) the level of impact on that one owner. I would only find that unfair if the commissioner implemented the rule change surreptitiously without discussion or it was made effective immediately.

zurzles
Member
Member
zurzles

I’m not sure how having a pitching staff made entirely of relievers is any less “true” of real life baseball than having 2-3 starters throwing every day. I would actually think it’s more realistic, as several jamokes throughout history have floated the “why not just have an all-relief staff?” idea, while probably no one ever has suggested “why not have 3 starters pitching simultaneously off the same mound every day”