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Danskeren

League changes ok/not ok? WHIR

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Hi all,

 

Am in a keeper league, where we shall keep 6 players each year, no restrictions regarding how long or anything like that. You use your first 6 picks on the keepers.

After the league has run for 6 years, the LM believe the league is too unbalanced, and are now enforcing a vote on changes to increase the competitive balance. Some of the team-owners have built a great team over the years due to activity level, research, etc. and others have a bad team for various reasons. 

The changes are a reduction to 4 keepers and you may only keep them 2 times, so that you have them for maximum 3 years, before they go back in the pool.

Bad teams obviously have more incentive to vote for these changes than good teams with 5+ strong keepers. 

 

Is it OK propose such radical changes and potentially piss all over the work some have done?
- believe my own opinion on this is quite clear. 

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Every situation is different, but the goal of any fantasy baseball league is fun and competition. 

If the competitive balance of the league is truly broken, then YES measures to fix this are important. If half of the teams in the league feel like they have no chance, then they are more prone to quit the league midseason or just leave the league. What fun is it for a few teams who are superior to them to continue playing? 

With that being said, their needs to be a good case that the balance is broken, that some managers are so much better than the others that it requires this. It really doesn't matter that some managers 'did the work and research,' because at the end of the day if it's alienating other managers in the league then the league is bound to failure. Let the hard work and research win you championships every year, not destroy your fantasy league because a few managers hold the best assets from the year. 

Personally, I find the changes proposed fair if the competitive balance is broken. Going down to 4 keepers from 6 evens the playing field a tad while allowing teams to keep their very favorite players. Of course, a case has to be made that indeed competitive balance is broken. 

 

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It would be very interesting to see the 6 keepers from each team in the league. I think that would illuminate whether or not the balance is broken. 

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34 minutes ago, Danskeren said:

Hi all,

 

Am in a keeper league, where we shall keep 6 players each year, no restrictions regarding how long or anything like that. You use your first 6 picks on the keepers.

After the league has run for 6 years, the LM believe the league is too unbalanced, and are now enforcing a vote on changes to increase the competitive balance. Some of the team-owners have built a great team over the years due to activity level, research, etc. and others have a bad team for various reasons. 

The changes are a reduction to 4 keepers and you may only keep them 2 times, so that you have them for maximum 3 years, before they go back in the pool.

Bad teams obviously have more incentive to vote for these changes than good teams with 5+ strong keepers. 

 

Is it OK propose such radical changes and potentially piss all over the work some have done?
- believe my own opinion on this is quite clear. 

As a Commish for a long time one of the key principles when it comes to rule changes is that if it changes competitive balance and affects teams differently that change needs to happen like one year out.  I dont mind his changes (some are probably going the wrong direction) but they need to be for 2020, not 2019 unless you get unanimous or maybe a high threshold number like 10/12 to make a change like that immediately - is he declaring a league emergency?

Some thoughts:

* 6 Keepers really enough to change competitive balance?  To me keepers really take hold more like 8 or 10+  I would propose more keepers but more of his rules of less time. 

* I like contract expiration so thats a good direction by him, a lot of times you fall into these things a** backward and get lucky, shouldnt get that guy forever

* You would be better off if keepers were tied to some value - looks like you do a draft, so the round taken - maybe some inflation through the keeper years 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This usually happens when you have a league with full keepers and guys end up running teams into the ground with bad picks and crappy prospects. Then no one wants to take over the team because it sucks, and the league has competitive balance issues.  I had this happen in a league where the top 2-3 of us stacked our teams through drafting, trades, being active in our research, and ended up with teams stacked from the starters to prospects to the point where it killed the league.  That sucked in the end.

I'm not sure how 6 keepers would cause this issue.  How many teams are there in the league?

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This is the problem with keeper leagues vs. Dynasty style leagues.

When you have juggernauts in keeper based leagues the rich tend to get richer. At least in Dynasty settings a bad team can consider itself 'rebuilding' and focus solely on prospects year over year. Can't do that in a 6-keeper setting.

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We are 12 teams in the league. 

There are issues, I'll admit that, but with two active years and decent drafts, any team would be back in the game. 

My keepers this year would be: Trout, Arenado, Machado, G. Sanchez, T. Pham and Blake Snell. And throwing back e.g. Clevinger and A. Chapman, besides obvious guys like Moncada, Ohtani and the likes of them. 

Arenado I had when I took over the team 4 years ago, Trout was by trade which included Trea Turner and Yelich (before MVP), Machado was trade, Sanchez draft, Pham FA (last season his owner got sick of him and dropped him) and Blake Snell, whom I drafted in round 15 last year.

 

Another team is keeping Judge, J. Upton, Gerrit Cole, and then probably D. Gordon, E5 and Jon Lester, but he even admit it himself, that he is late every time for free agents, doesn't do the research, etc. 

 

With this type of contract expiration, we got a huge draft every 3rd year, even though there are some declining and new guys popping up. Agree with attaching them to a draft value, but it's too late for that when we already got guys on our roster. 

 

To me, a decent effort and you quickly turn a team around, especially when we are talking this few keepers, which is why I think it is a plain out bad idea that is punishing the ones who has made an effort.

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57 minutes ago, Danskeren said:

To me, a decent effort and you quickly turn a team around, especially when we are talking this few keepers, which is why I think it is a plain out bad idea that is punishing the ones who has made an effort.

I'd love a look at more of the teams 6 keepers, but just from the two examples you have:

Trout, Arenado, Machado, G. Sanchez, T. Pham and Blake Snell.

Judge, J. Upton, Gerrit Cole, and then probably D. Gordon, E5 and Jon Lester

That's a very big drop off in comparision. DGordon/E5/Lester are pretty much junk here. Upton is fine but not a great keeper while the other side has Trout, Arenado, and Machado who are essentially first rounders and Snell a 2nd/3rd rounder then two nice pieces in Sanchez and Pham. 

Your worst keeper (Pham) would arguably be this guys second best keeper behind Judge. 

That's a pretty big hole to dig out of and if I were to take over that team, I wouldn't be very happy in that league.

At the end of the day, it comes down to making sure the other league managers are having fun as well. I'd be interested in seeing the list of other 6 keepers, but at this point even going down to 4 keepers prevents a massive disparity in those two examples so I'm not sure what it would further solve. 

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That is a huge potential change.  As a commish myself, I would be looking closer at replacing owners who are not able to compete under the original keeper rules.   I've been in many leagues over my 20+ years of playing fantasy sports.  We've voted on minor tweaks over the years and there is nothing wrong with doing that.  It's always to improve the league experience as a whole.  A change this drastic would almost require a total redraft to be far to all. 

There are a ton of folks out there that like rebuilds, that is why I would try replace the most incompetent and least competitive owners, before I ever tried to make a change this big.

I agree with another poster as well, that this tends to be more of a problem in keepers than a true dynasty.  Good owners can turn teams around and still be competitive while doing so.  I've seen it done 100s of times over the years.  

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As others noted, sometimes in keeper leagues, a top heavy imbalance occurs and you have to make adjustments.  72 overall deep is not all that deep that a really bad team could not rebuild over a couple of years, but if you have 3 or 4 teams like that, then almost assuredly people will lose interest or drop out and that helps no one.  One can always argue about where to draw the line and how much to help bad teams.  Additionally, it may indeed be bad owners and tweaking keepers is not going to solve that problem. 

 

That said, personally, I find the commish here is going to far.  4 keepers with a limited hold time is not really a keeper imo and he is basically changing it too much imo towards a redraft league.  There is no simple solution as every league is different, but I would probably cut it down to 5.  If a number of teams are really bad, then have a one time supplemental round picking in reverse order of the standings before starting the draft.  This will allow the worst team to get the first pick in the supplemental and the 1st pick of the draft (numbers 1 and 13 not kept as opposed to 1 and 24 overall).

 

As to folks who like doing rebuilds...yeah you can find them, but it is not easy and filling three or 4 of them in the same league is difficult.

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The biggest problem in keepers or dynasties is finding owners who will not check out when their season is going bad or team is struggling to grow.  I also try to have a waitlist for my leagues which helps when it comes to replacing owners.  It takes a lot of work on the part of a commish to keep and find great owners who don't bail at the first sign of struggle or a challenge.  I actually talk all new owners over the phone prior to sending an invite.  I have a great core group and we don't take just anyone.  The group is only has strong as it's weakest owner and we all expect that every owner know what's best for their team and will compete day in and day out.  I've been lucky to build a great core of managers over the years.  Yes, we do replace some now and then, but we don't miss a beat.  We've had some great turnaround stories as well.  

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23 hours ago, Danskeren said:

Is it OK propose such radical changes and potentially piss all over the work some have done?
- believe my own opinion on this is quite clear. 

 

On the most basic level of answering your question - absolutely yes is ok to propose such a radical change.   Put it should be put up to a league vote and a change this big should need more than a simple majority.   The people proposing and voting yes for it should also understand that this radical of a change could cause some active managers who have done well with their teams to leave the league.

I founded and commish a 12 team, keep 7 forever league.  We have 2 vote options depending on whats being put up for a vote - a simple majority and a 2/3 vote. If something this radical came up I'd classify it in the 2/3 category and if it didn't get at least 2/3 support it would fail.

 

With that said, maybe the imbalance should be addressed another way.  Here are 2 options:

1. Managers who's teams are so bad they feel hopeless and are always in that position can be told, "Tough s---, this is how the league is. Improve or move on" and they get replaced by managers who can do a better job

 

2. Managers who are in last place admit their strategies have not been working and change up draft strategies.  They need to understand what a rebuild is and dedicate to it.

 

I'm going to use myself in my league as an example.

My team was always middle of the pack early in this league.  Injuries, a desire to stay with 'established' stable veteran players etc eventually led me to bottoming out. For about 3 years I was fighting to stay out of the basement every single season. Finally I said to myself, "You know, if I'm going to be in the basement anyway, I might as well work towards the future."  In 2013 I drafted a young SS named Billy Hamilton and held onto him even though he had not hit the majors yet.  He was one of my keepers in 2014.  I also made a trade for Christian Yelich and kept him.  In 2013 I also drafted pick 1, round 1 Billy Butler, who at the time most were surprised was not kept and was expected to be a .290  hitter with 20-25 HR.  

My 2014 team, after keepers and draft included names like Kole Calhoun (good back then), Chris Davis, Dee Gordon, Billy Hamilton, Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez, and Christian Yelich.  If only I knew then what we know now. 

Obviously not all those guys panned out - and some panned out quicker than others (at the time for example Lindor didn't even play that season, JoRam batted .262 with 2HR and 10 SB and Yelich batted .284 with 9 HR and 21 SB)  I finished 10th.   The next year my team included names like Javier Baez, Chris Davis, Dee Gordon, Billy Hamilton, Manny Machado (round 1 pick), Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber, Christian Yelich, Travis D'Arnaud, Cody Allen, Aaron Nola and Jacob Degrom (round 3 pick).  I had 8 more points than the year before and finished 9th.

Through the 2015 season pick ups, draft and trades I entered 2016 with the following keeper list:

Albert Pujols, Dee Gordon, Addison Russell, Manny Machado, Chris Davis, Jacob DeGrom and Stephen Strasburg.  I finished that season 4th.

And in 2016 I made a few major trades  to enter 2017 with:

Manny Machado (drafted), Trea Turner (traded for), George Springer (traded for), Andrew Benintendi (drafted), Addison Russell (drafted), Max Scherzer (traded for), Stephen Strasburg  (traded for).   I was in first from about the last week of March until the last day of the season. In Sept my entire team took a break. On the last day I finished with 94 points and 2 teams had eeked out 95 points.

2018 keeper list was even better:

Trea Turner (traded for), Manny Machado (drafted),  Aaron Judge (drafted), Andrew Benintendi (drafted), Max Scherzer (traded for),  Corey Kluber (traded for), Stephen Strasburg (traded for).

Going into 2019 drop strasburg from the 2018 list and add Javier  Baez (drafted).

In the meantime from 2016 I continued to draft rookies, prospects and hot names and I was VERY active trading during the season.  Going into 2018 I traded away guys like Marcell Ozuna and Craig Kimbrel for draft picks.  I had made trades during various seasons including trading away names like Jacob Degrom, George Springer, Aaron Nola and Dee Gordon, Yoan Moncada,.  Nobody was off limits.  And now going into 2019 I just traded away Ozzie Albies and still have names like Stephen Strasburg, Steven Piscotty and Lorenzo Cain on my list.  I've thrown back Jose Berrios, JoRam, javier Baez, Christian Yelich, Aroldis Chapman, Mikal Franco (watch what he does this year), Carlos Martinez and Kyle Schwarber.

Sorry this got pretty long for a fantasy baseball post. But its a great illustration of what those managers are doing wrong.  I had a lot of misses during my rebuild.  I had a lot of hits and a few home runs.  But they have to recognize the process they are in.  They should push for a change in themselves to do better, not push for a change in the league to bring everybody else down to their level.

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Danskeren said:

We are 12 teams in the league. 

There are issues, I'll admit that, but with two active years and decent drafts, any team would be back in the game. 

My keepers this year would be: Trout, Arenado, Machado, G. Sanchez, T. Pham and Blake Snell. And throwing back e.g. Clevinger and A. Chapman, besides obvious guys like Moncada, Ohtani and the likes of them. 

Arenado I had when I took over the team 4 years ago, Trout was by trade which included Trea Turner and Yelich (before MVP), Machado was trade, Sanchez draft, Pham FA (last season his owner got sick of him and dropped him) and Blake Snell, whom I drafted in round 15 last year.

 

Another team is keeping Judge, J. Upton, Gerrit Cole, and then probably D. Gordon, E5 and Jon Lester, but he even admit it himself, that he is late every time for free agents, doesn't do the research, etc. 

 

With this type of contract expiration, we got a huge draft every 3rd year, even though there are some declining and new guys popping up. Agree with attaching them to a draft value, but it's too late for that when we already got guys on our roster. 

 

To me, a decent effort and you quickly turn a team around, especially when we are talking this few keepers, which is why I think it is a plain out bad idea that is punishing the ones who has made an effort.

In some ways the point of keeper leagues is that there is some imbalance going in.  Especially in leagues where a team goes for it one year by trading off great keepers for expiring or too expensive non keeper studs.  This is one of the problems when you have no "value" attached to keepers is that the mindset of "Im rebuilding" or "Im going for it" is lacking somewhat, to where its not necessarily the players, its the value of the players. 

Here is what I would propose:

* Keep 6 just have you always had - you get to rank your 6 by round 1-6.  So put Trout 6th round,  

* Each year there is a 2-round inflation - so anyone in your 1st or 2nd round this year cannot be kept.  Keepers max of 3 years.  This will help to stagger when guys hit the market, having value will do that anyway. 

* all players rounds 7 and on are eligible as keepers next year in the round taken.  With same rules of 2 round inflation each year and 3 year max.  Cant keep guys in 1st and 2nd rounds.  

 

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Wanted to share from experience, as a LM, what was worked well for our format.

 "Rule Change Proposal Process"   

(Hope this provides some positive takeaways for your league) 

 Owners are given the ability to propose changes or introduce innovative concepts for league improvement. They must not only propose a change, but also describe in detail how the change positively impacts THE LEAGUE (not solely themselves individually), context of proposed operation, supporting data, and what pain point the proposal solves.  

A committee of league appointed owners (3) in addition to the commissioner flesh out proposed ideas, before deciding which are feasible.  If outlandish or attempting to drastically alter the league fundamentals, then it never makes it on the ledger.  Never good to reinvent the wheel for an established format (which as you mentioned owners took time to build).  Once posted for vote, there is a 60% or better approval needed from the league community in order to be implemented

 

The problem your leagues faces, is that your LM is not really identifying or fixing the route cause, which his the quality of ownership.  Simplifying rules does not improve the level of competition, nor solve the problem..."Good" owners will still ultimately be better.   As previously mentioned, turning over the "bad ownership" with stronger players, or at least communicating to the weaker folks that they need to put forth greater effort, would seemingly be the first step in repairing the competition levels.  

If the vast majority feel that they need rules to be simplified to allow them to compete, than perhaps that platform isn't necessarily a good fit for yourself, or the other strong owners.   Altering the rules to appease the weaker folks will only end with the stronger owners eventually walking away.

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25 minutes ago, F@ndemonium said:

The problem your leagues faces, is that your LM is not really identifying or fixing the route cause, which his the quality of ownership.  Simplifying rules does not improve the level of competition, nor solve the problem..."Good" owners will still ultimately be better.   As previously mentioned, turning over the "bad ownership" with stronger players, or at least communicating to the weaker folks that they need to put forth greater effort, would seemingly be the first step in repairing the competition levels.  

If the vast majority feel that they need rules to be simplified to allow them to compete, than perhaps that platform isn't necessarily a good fit for yourself, or the other strong owners.   Altering the rules to appease the weaker folks will only end with the stronger owners eventually walking away.

What you say is true, but hypothetically, this could be a group of good friends who just want a 'fighting chance' at competing every year. If we assume the league to want to maximize competition then what you say is 100% true, however not all leagues are there for competition, some want to maximize friendship and 'fun'. 

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8 minutes ago, F@ndemonium said:

The problem your leagues faces, is that your LM is not really identifying or fixing the route cause, which his the quality of ownership.  Simplifying rules does not improve the level of competition, nor solve the problem..."Good" owners will still ultimately be better.   As previously mentioned, turning over the "bad ownership" with stronger players, or at least communicating to the weaker folks that they need to put forth greater effort, would seemingly be the first step in repairing the competition levels.  

3

This is the problem, IMO. It sounds like you are either 1) very lucky or 2) a stronger manager. This proposal fixes neither. 

I think, yes, the commish should do what he can to make it a more competitive league. I also think that you should explore options for finding a more competitive league. 
 

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1 hour ago, CrypTviLL said:

What you say is true, but hypothetically, this could be a group of good friends who just want a 'fighting chance' at competing every year. If we assume the league to want to maximize competition then what you say is 100% true, however not all leagues are there for competition, some want to maximize friendship and 'fun'. 

If thats the case just get rid of the keepers, I think having some sort of value to the keepers instead of just everyones best 6 with no auction value or round value makes some think - "I cant win".  Which honestly in a 6-keeper league is a pretty defeatist attitude.  

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If I were a owner with a great team that I built over the years I would rather quit the league if these rules were all of a sudden put in there. Everyone knew the rules so go by them. No way I stay after they try and take my keepers I worked for. Why In the two keeper league I run I have a big constitution of rules. One of them is don't join the league unless you know and will never complain about the settings.

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Personally I'm not at all in favor of this. Owners should know about the keeper situation and league format from the get go. If it's a matter of keeping the league together and there's no other options you might just have to deal with it but in no way would I vote for a change when the rules were established from the get go.

 

 

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Thank you all for the great input. 

No one, at least publicly, had complained about the league settings, there were according to the LM simply too many bad teams and he believe it scares away new owners. I am considering what I will do going forward, as I completely agree that this is a very drastic change that only helps teams that won't put in the required effort. 

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7 hours ago, Danskeren said:

Thank you all for the great input. 

No one, at least publicly, had complained about the league settings, there were according to the LM simply too many bad teams and he believe it scares away new owners. I am considering what I will do going forward, as I completely agree that this is a very drastic change that only helps teams that won't put in the required effort. 

If no other teams complained, then this seems like a power trip from the commish... sounds like HE is one of the bad teams/managers here. 

My earlier posts in this thread was under the impression that other league managers were not enjoying/having a hard time. 

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12 hours ago, CrypTviLL said:

If no other teams complained, then this seems like a power trip from the commish... sounds like HE is one of the bad teams/managers here. 

My earlier posts in this thread was under the impression that other league managers were not enjoying/having a hard time. 

There has been some turnover of managers, but no one have complained about it. He got a decent team and have won a few times, but had apparently come to the conclusion that things weren't working as he wanted them to. Now he might just lose active managers instead, as it was mentioned above.

One of my arguments was that an active manager can turn a 6-keeper team around in what, two seasons, and that a rebuild needs to be just that - a rebuild.

He sent it to a vote and it was voted in with a significant majority, unfortunately. Now I need to figure out what I will do. 

 

Again, thank you for your thoughts. 

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