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Thread: 2 High-$ leagues have vacancies

  1. #1
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    Default 2 High-$ leagues have vacancies

    Two high-$ leagues have 1 vacancy, both are experts leagues:

    The Couchpotato Rotisserie League is a Keeper League entering its 5th season. The Entry Fee is $2000; there are no other fees except for an optional $150 Sept roster expansion. Separate auctions of AL & NL teams, with standard Waggoner format ($260 in AL for 23 players)($280 in NL for 25). 100% return league, with only league expenses (auction room & materials & AllStarStats fees) taken from the pot. Standings are based on combined score of your AL + NL teams. There is a LIVE auction--you must attend IN PERSON in Las Vegas, NV on Fri, Apr 2. Payouts are standard Waggoner. This league has VERY strong anti-dump rules.

    The Masters League has operated for well over a decade. Also a keeper league. The entry fee is also $2000; however, there are substantial transaction fees that require the expenditure of an additional $2000-$3500, depending on how active you are. The format is similar to Couchpotato: separate AL/NL auctions, with Standings based on combined score of your AL + NL teams. The LIVE AUCTION (IN PERSON ATTENDANCE MANDATORY) is in Las Vegas on Sat, Apr 3. Payouts are close to standard Waggoner. This league has VERY WEAK anti-dump rules--there is a ton of trading activity & "rebuilding" is an acceptable strategy.

    These are both obviously for experienced Roto owners only. If interested in either league, please contact me, Josh Turin. I'm Commish of the Couchpotato League & an Owner in the Masters League. You may also email: josh_75247@yahoo.com; or call: 214-770-6297.

  2. #2
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    Can you elucidate further on "strong" versus "weak" anti-dumping rules?
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    The Couchpotato League constitution contains a rule which I call the "modified Benson Strong Anti-Dump rule." At present it provides that any player who is traded & who has a contract under $25 and who is traded after May 15 ( more specifically, the Sunday-transaction-deadline which includes May 15) may not be frozen by his new Owner the following season. You can see what this does: it provides a powerful anti-dump incentive: it would be foolish to dump after May 15 because any players YOU acquire you could NOT freeze next Spring. Similarly, the team trading away a "keeper" after May 15 would be forfeiting his future value. I got the idea for this rule from something John Benson wrote several yrs ago, when discussing the problem of dump trades.

    In the Masters league, the other one I posted a vacancy for, it is the EXTREME opposite. In that league virtually anything goes. Dump trades ARE permitted, at any time during the MLB season. The problem normally associated with dumping is that some Owners are treated preferentially, in that they develop relationships with other Owners, who given them priority in making a dump trade. Teams who are high in the standings, based on a sound draft, can then be passed in the standings by a team which didn't draft as well, but got "lucky" picking up Pujols in July, from a non-contending Owner. The good thing about the Masters league, though, is that I have found NO preferential treatment accorded to any Owner. In 2009, I made TWO big dump trades; however no one was treated unequitably, in that SEVERAL other Owners made dump trades with OTHER teams--so everyone was treated equally.

    Nonetheless, there is a great potential for abuse when late-season (or even mid-season) dumping is permitted. You shouldn't join a league that permits late season dump trades IF you are uncomfortable, or feel that you won't be able to get a fair opportunity to make similar trades. Both of the leagues I posted here are run fairly. However, they play VERY differently!

    Josh

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    oh, Davitt...one other thing: I JUST finished reading "A Well-Paid Slave" by Brad Snyder. A fantastic book & yes...Marvin Miller should be in the HOF 2 or 3 times, already! Josh

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshturin View Post
    The Couchpotato League constitution contains a rule which I call the "modified Benson Strong Anti-Dump rule" ... any player .... traded & who has a contract under $25 and who is traded after May 15 ... may not be frozen by his new Owner the following season.
    So you could conceivably hold a stud at $40 if you thought he represented value at that price. We went a step further and simply said all traded players revert to FA the following year. No dumping = no dumping problems, of which we had plenty.
    In the Masters league ... virtually anything goes.... The good thing about the Masters league ... is that I have found NO preferential treatment accorded to any Owner. In 2009, I made TWO big dump trades; however no one was treated unequitably, in that SEVERAL other Owners made dump trades with OTHER teams--so everyone was treated equally....Nonetheless, there is a great potential for abuse when late-season (or even mid-season) dumping is permitted.
    I don't think I would join a league with laissez-faire dumping rules. But it's good to know that you feel so positively about how your leaguemates conduct themselves.
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    Personally, I prefer NO dumping. I like the old Okrent/Waggoner idea that the guy who does the best at the auction table should win. However, people just love to 'gamble.' Your league, where you can't freeze ANYONE acquired via trade, is fair--but it is also dull! I like dull! But...you can't please everyone.

    I have competed in high-$ Roto lges with teams that have the discipline to dump every odd yr & go all-out every even yr. That is 'mathematically correct' behavior, where dumping is allowed--but it does require more self-discipline than most people have.

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    And there have been a few "dump" trades the last couple years in the CouchPotato with a few guys with salaries over 25 being traded after the may 15th deadline. I think its a fairly perfect system in a pretty perfect league and I have really enjoyed my time in the league the last 2 years.

    Mike Carlson

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    Still best not to trade where $$$$$$ are concerned. May not be any collusion, but still "buddy to buddy" trades! It is a fact and no way around it!

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    Rody, Tout Wars involves trading. So pass along your 'advice' to Ron Shandler!

    In the Masters lge, a simple-majority vote is automatically taken on every trade. There were > 90 trades in 2009--and only one of them was overturned by vote. And that trade was overturned not becase it was collusive, but because of a rules violation involving a free agent callup.

    These two leagues, particularly Masters, are for very experienced Roto owners who wish to compete for high stakes againt "the best." It requires skill (& of course, a lot fo luck) to win these leagues--but they are fairly run. Since you may want to trade with any of the other owners, in practice what happens is that everyone is civil & fair-minded, because one will want to maintain open lines of communication in order to pull of a trade with anyone. Again--I'm placing this ad to attract very experienced Roto owners--& agree that someone inexperienced or unsure of himself should not join one of these leagues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshturin View Post
    Your league, where you can't freeze ANYONE acquired via trade, is fair--but it is also dull!
    How do you know my league is dull?

    Since we implemented the no-keeper trading rule, the number of trades in our league has gone up, and the level of competition has increased -- positions are still in flux in late September, and the gaps between standings places have narrowed appreciably.
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    Davitt, it was just a (poor) joke.... If the # of trades has >, my Q would be whether this behavior makes sense. If you can't freeze a player you acquire, but also lose the player you trade for him, this is a double incentive not to trade. Of course, a lot depends on how many players you may freeze--as this # increases, you should be trading less.

    I know Ron Shandler has written somewhere that one of the good things about Roto is to encourage personal interaction & the development of friendship--this goal is enhanced by trading--in addition to adding an element of skill to the contest. I don't doubt your word--maybe trading has increased--but this may not be mathematically correct.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshturin View Post
    Davitt, it was just a (poor) joke.... If the # of trades has >, my Q would be whether this behavior makes sense. If you can't freeze a player you acquire, but also lose the player you trade for him, this is a double incentive not to trade. Of course, a lot depends on how many players you may freeze--as this # increases, you should be trading less.
    We freeze up to 15. But I should think the more keepers allowed, the more trading would ensue under our rules, since each keepable player traded (and, therefore, lost to you) represents a smaller proportion of all your keepers. I would be more comfortable trading away one keeper out of 15 than, say, one keeper out of only six.

    The large number of keepers is one reasons we saw trading increase. But I think we saw more trading because it does make sense, for a couple of reasons:
    1. As the league has matured, and owners have gotten smarter about valuation, players acquired at auction tend to be fully valued (even overpaid, given inflation), and therefore marginal as keepers. Trading a full-value base-stealer (Crawford at $42) for a full-value closer (Mariano at $36) to move both teams in the standings categories makes perfect sense when neither player is a must-keep at that price; you can always re-acquire what you traded away at next year's auction anyway.
    2. As noted before, the league's standings have gotten tighter over the years, so it's easier to identify and execute category-based trades.

    Because of the near-impossibility of acquiring players under value at auction (the exception this year was David Aardsma), we see almost no trades in which Team A sends two or three $30 studs to Team B for one $5 Evan Longoria or Ryan Braun, players typically under value because they were Farm Draft guys with fixed $5 salaries for the first few years -- the last source in our league of massive incorrect valuation.

    I believe this has helped trading, since environments where dump trades are allowed invariably shift tons of points to the Team Bs, and badly weaken the inherent closeness of the competition. Our experience was that dumping started earlier and earlier. And after the dumping, it was clear the race would involve only the two or three teams who had acquired stars. So the rest, not unexpectedly, just folded their tents.

    Now, because of the relatively even spread of talent through the auction, and because our rules don't allow the sudden transfer of massive standings-gain power, the race is tighter, and it stays tighter longer. That makes category-based trading more profitable and easier to execute.
    I know Ron Shandler has written somewhere that one of the good things about Roto is to encourage personal interaction & the development of friendship--this goal is enhanced by trading--in addition to adding an element of skill to the contest. I don't doubt your word--maybe trading has increased--but this may not be mathematically correct.
    I don't think math enters into it, but our method makes competitive sense as long as there is a sufficient (and sufficiently distributed) pool of fairly-valued players available to trade for in-year category advantage.

    Traditional dump-trading might work against that ideal by perpetuating the imbalance of low-priced guys; we found that the same handful of undervalued players (back when the auction wasn't setting values nearly as well as it does now) was moving back and forth between teams -- Team A trading them away in Year 1 to win and then getting them back in Year 2 to rebuild, in a cycle. This was never collusive in the narrow sense, but it was the same teams partnering with each other for reasons of friendship or comfort in dealing with guys they'd dealt with before. That said, it was pretty dispiriting for teams on the outside, to the extent that a lot of them just quit. It sounds like the Masters League has this aspect of the problem licked.

    I should say that I think the best way to promote balance and competition (and, as you say, to increase trading) is to greatly reduce the number of keepers. We have tried for years in our league to move down over five years from 15 keepers to, say, eight (15-13-12-10-8), so there are more players in the pool each year, which encourages better, more widespread fair values.
    Last edited by PD@HQ; 01-01-2010 at 12:26 PM.
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    Interesting, Davitt--lots to consider in your post! Apart from Aardsma, I suspect however that there were some other players acquired in yr lge undervalue. Every yr there are breakouts. Those who (as in the Masters Lge) got Ben Zobrist for $1 at the end of the auction, did quite well. In Masters, Farm players enter @ $10, except for P's & C's, who enter @ $7. Additionally, a $7 pitcher who is later frozen, converts from $7 to $10, so that he must be frozen at $15(+). The fact that in addition to the breakouts, you have Farm players @ only $5, some of whom also break out, this obv introduces future inflation.

    In my yrs of playing Roto in keeper lges, I don't think I've ever seen inflation < 25%. I would be quite surprised if, in your expert lge, inflation is ever this low. As Ron notes, the best he can do is, in the aggregate, project performances w/ 70% accuracy. Its good that this is a practical limit on projection, as otherwise Roto would be less "fun." We could just declare the winner right after the auction.

    I return to my statement: The more keepers, the less correct it is to trade (given a rule that proscribes freezing in-season trade acquisitions). Consider the special case where lge rules permit you to freeze one player. One would expect tons of trading, since any "keepers" you own outside of your best one, would have no future value. In Masters, we freeze 10. Admittedly, most "keepers," on most teams, fortuanately have only nominal future value. But some of them still have some value & I would expect that this particular anti-dump rule, if imported into Masters, would reduce in-season trading. Josh

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    Davitt, as an afterthought to my post, you may be right...about "< keepers = more trading." Not just your expert league, but most leagues, more & more approach the goal of correctly valuing (most) players at auction. After all, we're all armed with good evaluations, whether Shander's, Erickson's or others. Also, on avg., there are probably only so many big breakouts, like Zobrist's, in any given yr.

    I could be that there is some optimal # of keepers. Its almost inconceivable that anyone will end up with 15 "keepers." On avg., it may be that (excepting thru dump trades) you end up with X real keepers each yr. If you permit freezing < than this #, you encourage trading (given your rule). If you permit freezing > than this #, it should have no effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joshturin View Post
    Interesting, Davitt--lots to consider in your post! Apart from Aardsma, I suspect however that there were some other players acquired in yr lge undervalue. Every yr there are breakouts.
    Yes, but the number is very, very small compared to years past, when there were information assymewtries all over the place because some of us had Internet or wire-service access and others had Street & Smith's. Zobrist was a cheap get at auction last year in our league, and there were a few ~$11-12 guys who went for $8-$9. But as the league members get better at valuing (or get better sources of information), it is getting all but impossible to clip a guy at auction for a major discount.
    In Masters, Farm players enter @ $10, except for P's & C's, who enter @ $7... The fact that in addition to the breakouts, you have Farm players @ only $5, some of whom also break out, this obv introduces future inflation.
    Yes indeed. I have lobbied unsuccessfully to raise that entry price.
    In my yrs of playing Roto in keeper lges, I don't think I've ever seen inflation < 25%. I would be quite surprised if, in your expert lge, inflation is ever this low.
    My league is not an expert's league. If it were, we would expect inflation to be lower, not higher as there would be fewer misvalued bargains.
    I return to my statement: The more keepers, the less correct it is to trade (given a rule that proscribes freezing in-season trade acquisitions). Consider the special case where lge rules permit you to freeze one player. One would expect tons of trading, since any "keepers" you own outside of your best one, would have no future value.
    I guess it depends on what you mean by "keepers." If your leaguemates will keep a $12 at $13, then maybe. Or if you had 15 guys all at $10 under value, of course you would not trade them -- they represent too much competitive advantage. But in our world, where most players are relatively close to properly valued (and often overpaid because of inflation), then being allowed 15 keepers does not usually mean anyone actually does keep 15. And therefore the impact on trading is inconsequential, at least in our experience. Your experience might well end up different if you imposed our rules.
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