Monday, January 18, 2010

Outlining a likely league format

Under the assumption that I'm going to be playing solo, here's the plan:

1) A 10-team league, split into two divisions.

2) 20-player rosters; each team to have two catchers and eight pitchers.

3) Four of the teams will be drawn from the Negro League set, six from the Hall of Fame set.

4) I don't know yet how I'll divvy up the NeL players.

5) The HoF set is divided into five relatively distinct historical periods, which will make the basis for five teams: The Garfields (19th Century); the Teddys (deadball era, 1900-1919); the Franklins (lively ball, 1920-1941); the Ikes (WWII/integration, 1942-1961); and the Kennedys (expansion era, 1961-on). The team names, of course, come from the presidents of the era.

6) Each era protects five players. The sixth team, the Obamas (because our current president once described himself as a mutt), will then select one player from each era in chronological order. The other five will then protect five more players each; the Obamas again pick one player from each era. Same thing for the third round. After the fourth round, the Obamas can select their final five from any era or from the NeL leftovers.

7) A few restrictions are needed.

a) The Teddys, Ikes and Kennedys have just two catchers apiece. The Garfields have just one primary position catcher (Buck Ewing), although King Kelly is a legitimate catcher and Jim O'Roarke isn't terrible. The Franklins, on the other hand, have five primary-position catchers (Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey, Rick Ferrell, Gabby Hartnett and Ernie Lombardi) plus Jimmy Foxx.
Solution: Each team is required to protect a catcher in the first round and second rounds. The Obamas must take somebody coded to catch in each of the first two rounds, and at least one must be a primary-position catcher. As a practical matter, they'll have to draft two catchers off the Franklins roster.

b) The Ikes have only eight pitchers — and to get that many, I had to shift Jim Bunning, a borderline case, from the expansion era to the postwar era.
Solution: The Obamas are prohibited from picking pitchers from the Ikes, and the Ikes are required to protect a pitcher in each round.

c) The Garfields' eligible list contains at least four cards of players who are in the Hall for reasons beyond their play (Candy Cummings, Al Spalding, Charles Comiskey and Tommy McCarthy), which thins them out of quality players pretty quickly. The Obamas are prohibited from taking any infielders other than first basemen from the Garfields, and are limited to selecting one pitcher.

d) Late addition: The Obamas may not take any relief-coded pitchers from the Kennedys.

8) I will devise rules for handling these thin pitching staffs later; they will be based on the guidelines in the SOM rules posed on the sidebar. Teams will have to use their backup catcher at least once in any six-game period.

9) One division will be made up of the four NeL teams plus the Garfields; the other will be the Teddys, Franklins, Ikes, Kennedys and Obamas.

Teams will play a pair of three-game home-and-away series within the division, and a pair of two-game home-and-away series outside the division. That's a 44-game season for each team, which doesn't sound like much but adds to to 220 games for me to play.

10) Assuming I maintain enthusiasm for the project all the way through, a best-of-seven series for the championship will follow.

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