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Rule Changes for 2004

Benchwarmer Baseball Rules Index

One change that was suggested this season was a roster expansion in the final weeks of the season, much like the pros do.  There's some value in that, but in a large sense to not add further complication where I'd rather not have it and because a lot of behind-the-scenes infrastructure is based on an active-squad size of 26 players, there will be no change this year.  One potential compromise would be to allow taxi squad players to fill in if there are open spots in the lineups for any given game, but that will be considered for 2005.

Transaction Deadlines - 2004 Season

NO CHANGE FROM 2003

There's a double bind in setting the transaction dates.  By conducting the transactions at the beginning of each Major League week (starting with Opening Day), early-season off dates and rainouts cause the Benchwarmer season to be delayed at times.  The effect is that the gap between when lineups are issued and when they actually count grows pretty large.

On the reverse side, to start transactions a week later would mean that at the end of the season, by the time the Major League games catch up, Benchwarmer lineups would be due after the actual games that they use are already played.

To try to be more fair to owners at both ends of the season, the 2004 season will make permanent 2003's experiment in shifting transaction deadlines.  The first week's deadline will be on the Friday of the first full week of the Major League season.  Some pitching performances will already be known, but that shouldn't have too much of an effect.  The deadline will remain on Friday for the next four weeks.  Then, for weeks 6-10, the deadline will be on Thursday.  For each fifth of the season, the deadline will move one day earlier until, in the final five weeks of the season, Monday will be used for the deadline day.

See Transaction Deadlines for more details.

Trade Review - for 2003-04 Off-Season and beyond.

The League Office will make all rulings regarding whether or not trades are allowed.

While occasionally there may be some disagreements with rulings, please keep these considerations in mind if you wonder why a trade was allowed:

  • There are no huge prizes or cash rewards for winning this league.
  • Salary levels may be seen as a general basis of equity, but might not be the only measure.
  • Some trades may be seen as unbalanced, but allows a team to free up salary dollars this season or next.
  • Players on multi-year contracts need to be considered a little differently.
  • There are long-term implications in this league, so a team may appear in the short term to be giving up too much, but there may be future benefits.

This is a situation where almost anything goes, as in the major leagues.  Only in cases where the office feels there is collusion or a strong appearance that collusion may be occurring - or if there is a case where one player seems to take advantage of another, will trades be overturned.

All-Star Teams and Financial Rewards for Major League All-Star status - for 2004 Season

All-star teams and bonuses will be selected and awarded based on Week 13 rosters, not Week 15.

Tiebreakers for Waiver List Order - for 2004 Season

Current Process

Players will be awarded in a reverse-order manner each week.  A team gets one of its picks, and then goes to the bottom of the list, until all picks are chosen.  The order is determined in this manner:

  1. Team with the lowest winning percentage at the end of the previous week
  2. Team with the lowest place standing in its division at the end of the previous week
  3. Team the most games behind the leader of its division at the end of the previous week
  4. Team the fewest games ahead of the team directly behind it in the standings*
  5. Team with the worse head-to-head record (2-way ties only)
  6. Team with the most money remaining at the end of the previous week
  7. Coin flip (Commissioner's team always loses coin flip)

New Process in 2004

  1. Team with the lowest winning percentage at the end of the previous week
  2. Team with the lowest place standing in its division at the end of the previous week
  3. Team the most games behind the leader of its division at the end of the previous week
  4. Team the fewest games ahead of the team directly behind it in the division standings*
  5. NEW - Team the most games behind the team directly in front of it in the division standings*
  6. Team with the worse head-to-head record (2-way ties only)
  7. Team with the most money remaining at the end of the previous week
  8. Coin flip (Commissioner's team always loses coin flip)

* Note: If tied with another team, the value of this is "0"

 
 
 

Relief Pitcher - Missing Relievers - for 2004 season

After some tweaking around with minimum innings needed for relief pitchers, this next change represents a major switch in how bullpens are used.  The bullpen has, for some teams, become a parking lot of injured or minor league players - often, it appears, simply out of neglect.

Until now, if a team was short of a reliever or two, there was no penalty as long as they reached the minimum number of bullpen innings.

Starting in 2004, for each pitcher short in the bullpen (for example, the scoring formula says they four relievers, but only have three with eligible appearances), a Pinesitter Pitcher will be used in the bullpen.  The line for that pitcher will be 1 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 0 K, 3 ER.

Minimum innings pitched values will remain the same and will be factored in if the team is still short of the needed level.

See the Scoring Formula for more details on how relievers are used. This change will not mean three additional runs given up in the game, but the three runs will be used to determine how many runs per inning the entire bullpen allows for the game.  The moral of the story is to keep 5 healthy and active pitchers in the bullpen.

Multi-year Contracts

There is no change in the process of signing players to multi-year contracts, but the rate of salary increase and minimum salary levels will increase.  The yearly increase used to be 25% and is now moving up to 33%.  The minimum salary levels are listed below:

Player signed for: Cost: Old Minimum Salary New Minimum Salary Old Contract Total (minimum) New Contract Total (minimum)
2005 2004 Salary $250,000 $250,000 $250,000 $250,000
2006 2005 + 33% $1,000,000 $1,250,000 $1,250,000 $1,500,000
2007 2006 + 33% $1,750,000 $2,500,000 $3,000,000 $4,000,000
2008 2007 + 33% $3,000,000 $4,000,000 $6,000,000 $8,000,000
2009 2008 + 33% $4,000,000 $6,000,000 $10,000,000 $14,000,000

 

Note that there is no change for a 1-year contract extension, and only a minimal effect on the second year for players making small salaries in the current year.  The rationale for this is to make it more difficult in signing contracts in the 3-5 year range - making them either impossible or requiring some cuts in other areas of the team (thus benefiting other teams) to free up more salary dollars.

 
 
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