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Rule Changes for 2018

Benchwarmer Baseball Rules Index

As the season and then off season progresses, check here for the latest changes to rules

Last update: April 9, 2018

The written version of the rule book is also available, but it is many years old.  If there is a conflict, the online version is now the guide.

Here are the last rule changes in 2017 ...

Listing of all rules changes

Player Definition Change - 2-way Players

Added 12/30/17

Allowance for players who pitch and hit

In a 2018 change, because of the signing of Shohei Ohtani and the potential of some minor leaguers to move up as 2-way players - playing regularly as both a pitcher and hitter - BWB will define a new category of player that can do both.

 

This requires some modifications on several of the rules pages, but for reference purposes, you can refer to

 

1.3 Entry Fees and Prizes

See the full rule

Modification of Cooperstown Club

Added 4/3/18

 

The Cooperstown Club is referred to in this section as a lifetime membership, although the full details of the program are instead outlined on the program page.

 

One of the benefits of the Cooperstown Club is that it can be extended to spouses/partners and children.  The ending age for kids had been defined as 21, but informally had been extended "as long as the son/daughter continued to live at home."  This change puts a hard end to that time period, limiting the benefit to children 25 or younger.  Upon signup in BWB, we ask for birth year, but not birth date, so for this purpose, the final season in which a kid can use the unlimited free teams benefit from a parent's membership is the calendar year in which he/she turns 25.  For the season coming in the calendar year when he/she turns 26, those teams are subject to regular fees and separate season/lifetime memberships.

4.3 Injured Reserve

See the full rule

4.3.2 Signing Players Directly to IR

Added 4/3/18

This will allow teams to sign players from the free agent list directly to IR.  In 2018, this will begin roughly around Week 11.

4.4 Prospects

See the full rule

Added 4/3/18

This rule adds 5 more minor league spots to the team's roster, but is open only to players with salary 100 and who have never played in the majors.  The prime benefit, beyond adding 5 more minor league slots, is that these players do not count against the 28-player limit when picking roster carryovers for the next season.

 

On the flip side, there is a non-refundable tranaction charge of 250 to move a player to prospect status, and players on the prospect level cannot be promoted to the active roster at any time for the remainder of the season.

 

Read the full rule for all the details. In 2018, this rule will be implemented for the Week 11 transactions

5.3 2-Way Players

See the full rule

Added 4/3/18

Codified the rules for dealing with 2-way players as batters and/or pitchers.

Renumbered sections 5.3 September Call Ups and 5.4 The "Cut" Lineup Designation as sections 5.4 and 5.5 respectively

 

8.3 Team Revenue Sources

See the full rule

Modified 4/3/18

8.3.1 Preseason

Added language to include providing 1000 in cash after the Redistribution Draft to cover fees for the Prospects roster.  In 2018 as we kick off the implementation of the rule, that cash will be added during Week 10.

8.3.2 Regular Season

8.3.2.1 Team Performance

Clarified that cash for wins and division placement will be disbursed 2 weeks after the game week occurs.

 

Modifying the cash payouts for wins and division placement.  The reason behind this is in part to discourage outright tanking.  The reward for wins will increase later in the season and the disbursement for 4th place will decrease.  Teams that actively attempt to field non-competitive teams in the later part of the season will miss out on cash they might get from winning more games and will not get as much cash handed out for being at the bottom of the standings.

 

Was:

Wins: Teams will receive $50,000 per win in a week.

Now:

Wins: Teams will receive cash per win each week. The amount varies throughout the season to reward better team performance at the end of the season. (More details in the full text of the rule)

Cash per win:

  • Weeks 1-15: $50,000

  • Weeks 16-20: $75,000

  • Weeks 21-25: $100,000

 

Position payout for 4th place

Was:

  • 4th place - $150,000

Now:

  • 4th place:
    • Weeks 1-15: $150,000
    • Weeks 16-20: $100,000
    • Weeks 21-25: $0

10.2 Minor League Competition

See the full rule

Modified 4/3/18

I'm determined to bring back the minor league competion back in 2018.  This is a rotisserie-format scoring using the teams' minor league rosters and using only stats from the minor leagues.  There are a few changes from when we last did this:

10.2.1 Scoring

In the previous seasons, the number of saves earned from the minor league rosters were minimal - nobody is rostering minor league closers (and there's generally no benefit to do that).  So we are replacing the saves category with innings pitched (and this may be changed again in the future).

10.2.2 Season Schedule

Was:

Statistics will be collected based upon your minor league roster and the current minor league stats in these fantasy weeks:

4     7     10     13     16     19     22

Now:

Statistics are collected at the end of the year with these conditions:

  • The player must appear on the minor league or prospect rosters at least once between Weeks 4 and 23
  • The total number of weeks the player is on the minor league or prospect rosters between Weeks 4 and 23 will be tallied.  Weeks where a player is on the major league roster or on the taxi squad will not count.
  • The number of weeks a player appears on a team's minor league or prospect rosters between Weeks 4 and 23 will determine a percentage mulitplier for each player in this fashion:
    • 16+ weeks - 100%
    • 11-15 weeks - 75%
    • 6-10 weeks - 50%
    • 5 or fewer weeks - 25%
    • Exception - if a player has fewer than 50 AB or 25 IP in the minor leagues for the season, but qualifies for stats, their stat multiplier is 100%
  • The stat multiplier is multiplied by the season's total stats in the listed categories
  • Each player's total Iafter the multiplier factor) is added to the team total

13.6 Inactive Owners - Regular Season

See the full rule

Added 4/4/18

 

Read the rule for details, but this rule helps to codify what has been some informal and occasional practices of modifying lineups for inactive teams and goes a bit further with the possibility of transactions.  Several owners have expressed a need to prevent teams from becoming a driftless roster with no hope of winning games and messing up with the competitive balance of the league.

 
 
 
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15.2 Salary Formulas

See the full rule

Added 4/4/18

 

Read the rule for details - this change for the 2019 season will describe how we'll deal with salaries for 2-way players, like Shohei Ohtani.

There's also a change for how salaries are calculated beginning with the 2018 season - to avoid outliers like Zachary Britton and other closers in the past, there's a limit on how much one player's salary calculation for a given season's stats can exceed the player with the next highest raw calculation.

17.3 Master Player List and Positions: Two-way players

See the full rule

Added 4/7/18

 

Read the rule for details - this change refers to 2-way players, including that minor league players will be considered as either a hitter or a pitcher, with 2-way status, if any, determined when they near or reach the major leagues.

18.3 Collusion and Tanking

See the full rule

Added 4/8/18

 

Read the rule for details.  This puts some emphasis and some boundaries on occasional complaints from owners who see teams:

  • Trade away valuable players for little tangible return with some potential that the team dumping players is favoring another owner
  • Teams deliberately fielding lineups with players who have no hope of earning major league stats while stashing everyday players and stars in inactive roster spots.

BWB understands that rebuilding and retooling for the future is often necessary - but even MLB teams that are in that mode field a batting order and a starting pitcher for each game.  Deliberately rigging the lineup to in a sense "forfeit" games with guaranteed Benchwarmer Batters and Pinesitter Pitchers kills the fun for the others in the league.

 

This is likely to have some reaction - Benchwarmer Baseball is open to feedback and response from this rule and all the rule changes and is open to modification or reversal in future seasons.


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