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Benchwarmer News


  • No need to stay up late - the scoring program is running now, but results likely won't be posted until Friday morning


  • Week 8 underway - Games 43-45 posted - See results
    • Games in Weeks 7 & 8 will be the final set of games within your divisions
    • See standings for all leagues
    • Around BWB
    • Who are we waiting on?  These teams have played the fewest MLB games (through 9/21):
      • 51 games - St. Louis
      • 52 games - Detroit
      • Subtract 5 from the MLB game number to determine the corresponding BWB game
    • Next score posting is planned for Thursday.


  • Players selected in the 1st round of the 2020 draft are now included as part of the BWB player list.  Your first chance to sign them will be in the Redistribution Draft in January 2021.
  • Week Nine Transaction Results Posted
    • Week Ten Transactions/Lineups - for now setting the deadline to Saturday, October 3 at Noon Eastern - this may be extended depending on how long it takes for playoff setup (with a completely unique format for 2020, there's going to be a lot of manual work to do that).
    • This is the FINAL week for transactions until the winter:
      • Week 10 transactions are limited to cuts and IR moves in preparation for the playoffs.
      • Usually you'd be making IR moves at this time of year only to make room on your 26-man roster for other players in the playoffs.  We're using expanded rosters this season for the playoffs, so this might not be needed as much this season.
      • However - this is your LAST CHANCE to cut players who have a contract for 2021 and beyond before roster carryover selections in December.  You must keep all players under contract as part of your 28-man carryover squad.  If you have regrets about a contract, you either have to cut the player now or trade him away in November/December.  Of course, this also means you won't have him for any playoff games past the first week.
    • Your lineup changes this week are for the first week of the playoffs - the first round of the 16-team bracket.  You may reorder your pitching rotation now without concern for rest between starts between Week 9 games and the playoffs.
    • You will be able to change your lineup/rotation for future playoff weeks.  Dates TBD.
    • Note - Week 8 was the last week to sign free agents - all the existing web pages are set to close that off each year in Week 25, not Week 9.  I thought I got everything, but a few signing attempts got through - those were deleted.  Same goes this week - if a page still lets you try to sign players, those attempts will be discarded.
    • See the season list of deadlines

Did You Know? The maximum cash you can take into the season is 5 million BW Bucks


  • Week 7 Statistics and Players of the Week
  • We had 5 teams clinch division titles during the last round of games.  Congratulations!  Normally, every year I post division champs and information plus a rundown of close races around BWB.  This season, everything is moving fast and I'm not going to have time to put those up.


  • Reminder - Contract Extensions are due this week - deadline Sunday night at midnight Pacific.  Here are some updates/clarifications:
    • You're doing this to save cash in future seasons for players who will have higher salaries in 2022 and beyond
      • You do not have to do this in order to keep players - you will choose 28 players to keep on your roster in December.
      • You must have enough cash on hand to pay the full contracts right now, up front.
      • Any player under contract MUST be kept in December when you make your roster carryover selections.
      • You are not currently in a use-it-or-lose-it cash situation.  Any cash you have on hand at the end of the season will be yours through the fall/winter.  You don't have to worry about maximum cash balances until March/April 2021.
    • Team cash - Your cash balances were just updated to include Week 6 game results/placements.  Week 7 games will be completed before we process the Week 9 transactions - the results/placements for Week 7 WILL count toward your cash balances when signing contracts, but will not appear on the website before the deadline.
    • What happens if you try to sign more contracts than you actually have cash for? (Say that you misjudge how much cash you're going to get for Week 7).  I checked in the rules and on the blog and this isn't outlined, so let me tell you how this has always worked:
      • The first consideration is that I take care of next year before future years - this theoretically will have more immediate effect to your team, but might really be to your disadvantage. So, if you try to spend too much money, everyone you attempt to sign for 2021 will take precedence over future seasons (and 2022 will take precedence over 2023 and beyond - etc.)
        • So, for example, you try to extend Byron Buxton for 2021 for 577 and extend out to 2025 for Fernando Tatis (2025 will cost you 6000) - but you are short in cash by 100.  The Buxton signing will go through and the Tatis contract will only go out to 2024.
      • If everyone is at the same extension year, the second consideration is to give precedence to the player with the higher current salary.
        • Given a similar example, you try to extend Tatis through 2021 for 881 and Buxton for 577, but you're short in cash by 100.  In this case the extension for Tatis prevails.  That's generally what you'll want because the 2021 salary for Tatis will be much higher than Buxton's.  But beware if Tatis is the lower-priced player in that scenario.
        • This is the same if you're extending multiple people for multiple years and say, the trouble comes with players extended to 2023 - the player(s) with the higher 2020 salary will have precedence.
      • If it comes down to players with the same 2020 salary, I'll try to use some judgment - Which player will likely have the higher salary in 2021 (or the extension year in question)?  I'm not going to try to do an actual calculation but will use my best guess.
      • If multiple contracts have to be denied/cut back, I'll always go back and see if once a contract is stricken to get the team balance out of the red, can any others be restored?
      • There's generally too many people to work with - I don't go back to teams and ask which contracts they want to keep/drop to keep the balance in the black.  Think carefully if your cash balances are projected to go negative.
      • It should be a bit easier this season - there are no trades or free agent signings going on at the same time.  However, contract extensions are technically the last thing to be processed in any week - if you are submitting an IR move this week, the 250 charge for that move will take precedence over the contracts.  Maybe save your IR moves until next week.
      • You should always do a final check on transactions for all your teams and see the final balances.


  • All teams just received an extra 1000 in cash to help with contract extensions
  • This is the final week to submit contract extensions for 2021 and beyond
  • There are no free agent signings allowed this week - only cuts, IR moves and contract extensions


  • Remember - transaction/lineup deadlines are now on SUNDAYS.
  • However - because I'm messing up some teams' plans by adding Isan Diaz (see below) back to their rosters at the end of the week, this week's deadline time is extended from Noon to 7 PM Eastern.
  • Isan Diaz opted back in from sitting out all season.  He's been added back to his original rosters and available to put into lineups for Week 8.
    • His prorated salary for 2 weeks will be charged to the teams.
    • I think this only puts one team immediately over the 50-man limit (Mt. Airy in Geek Pride) - because he was added so late, that team has a week grace period to get the team back to 50 players.


  • With Game 27, we've reached the halfway point of our regular season
  • Playoffs in the Covid-19 world
    • Clarification - Playoffs will use the expanded rosters that we've been using for the entire season.
    • Don't forget that the team with the worst 2020 record will not automatically draft first in the 2021 Redistribution Draft.  Results of the playoffs will play a role in setting the offseason draft order
  • Deadline day change: Transactions/Lineups are now due at Noon Eastern on Sundays
  • There are no more salary rebates for cut players this season
  • Prospect Rosters are locked - you can't move anyone there for the remainder of the season
  • This upcoming transaction week is the final chance to sign free agents for the 2020 season
  • All orphan teams that are still unclaimed were awarded the 4000 in orphan cash (in normal seasons this happens in early July)


  • Upcoming deadlines - see the season schedule of deadlines
    • Monday, September 7 - this is the final week to get a prorated salary rebate for cut players and it's the last chance to move anyone to the Prospects Roster
    • Sunday, September 13 - at Week 8 we shift to Sunday deadlines and this is the final chance to sign free agents
    • Sunday, September 20 - unlike normal season when contract extensions end in July, this year you can wait until this final week of regular season transactions to sign players to extended contracts.


  • I incorrectly calculated the financial awards for the results and division placement in Week 1.  See league finances
    • Financial updates listed for 8/29: reversed the awards on 8/25 (Big Red Machine had no cash given out for Week1, so nothing changed for that league).
    • On 8/30 - credited the proper amounts for Week 1
    • On 8/31 - Results of Week 6 transactions and Week 2 games


  • Any remaining orphan teams are free for the remainder of the 2020 season and you'll also get the orphan rate for the team in 2021.
  • We're down to just a few teams with zeroes:
    • 2 teams still are 12-0: Underground from Beatleball (Michael Quinn) and Lampoon's from Chevy Chase League (Jason Kiernan)
    • One final team is without a win: New Riverside from Gone But Not Forgotten League (Dave Matter)


  • Deadline day change: Week Six Transactions/Lineups due Monday, August 31 at 7 PM EDT
  • This week is the trade deadline


  • Entering our next set of games, there are 9 teams across BWB with a perfect 9-0 record.  At the other end, 8 teams are still looking for their first win.
  • Sorry for any problems that this may have caused in planning your transactions - the salary rebate calculation for your players in transactions was incorrectly showing an 80% rebate for players you cut.  This has been fixed to the actual value of 44%.


  • A few updates on the Covid-19 rules covering team finances, first round picks, BWB entry fees
  • Quick note on the starting pitching stats for Week 2.  Because the deadline was pushed back for the Week 2 lineups from 8/5 to 8/8, the cutoff date for starts for players you moved from some other roster spot to P1-P5 would also have been 8/8 - anything before that would have been ignored.  This would have put a lot of teams in some tough positions for games.  So, I allowed starts from 8/5-8/7 that would have been included with the original deadline.  We should be on track the rest of this season for staying on schedule, so this should be the only time that's needed.
  • A reminder that with the short season, we're fast approaching some deadlines - see the season schedule of deadlines
    • Monday, August 31 - we shift to Mondays for transaction/lineups at Week 6 and this is the trade deadline
    • Monday, September 7 - this is the final week to get a prorated salary rebate for cut players and it's the last chance to move anyone to the Prospects Roster
    • Sunday, September 13 - at Week 8 we shift to Sunday deadlines and this is the final chance to sign free agents
    • Sunday, September 20 - unlike normal season when contract extensions end in July, this year you can wait until this final week of regular season transactions to sign players to extended contracts.


  • There's not a lot that can be told from 1 week - but here's our 1-page look at comparing teams across all the leagues in the BWB universe: Around BWB


  • Week 5 transaction order is now set - it's based on the standings after Week 1 games


  • And we have Game 1 in the books!  I usually just run one game to start off to work out the kinks of the process in starting up for the new season - check back on Wednesday night for more game scores.


  • We have a season schedule!  Check out this week's games and a view of your team's schedule for the entire season.
  • Some explanation of the schedule format:
    • Originally, the plan was to have the final two weeks of the season be games within your division.  However - seeing what's been going on with the game postponements due to Covid-19 testing results - the idea of whether all teams are going to get 59 or 60 games played seems up in the air.  Should too many teams fall short of a full 60-game season, BWB will have to cut off a few games from the end of the season.
    • So, I pulled out the original Week 6 from the planned schedule - the final week of inter-conference play - and moved that to Week 9 - moving up the original Weeks 7-9 a week earlier.
    • It's not ideal - if we play the full 54-game schedule, your last games of the season will not be in the division.  However, if we have to cut games - it allows us to make the decision as late as possible and still keep your divisional games at a full 6 games against each team.
  • St. Louis has enough games played now for us to score BWB games.  I am trying to get that done as soon as possible!  I would expect right now that Tuesday night will be the *soonest* I can get the first games up - it may take a little longer.


  • As mentioned below, the transaction order for Week 4 is now set to a random order.  Fingers crossed that this is the only week we need to do that.


  • Marcus Stroman was removed from all BWB rosters before running Week 3 transactions as he opted out for the season due to Covid-19.  His salary was rebated a prorated amount or his contract was extended by a year.  He'll be returned to his original rosters after the season.
  • Stroman's choice has brought up the need for a clarification to the rule of players opting out - the provision that a player who opted out would have his BWB contract extended another year was originally intended with the idea that the list would close on Opening Day.  Looking ahead - if any players opt out in September, you've already had him for about 2/3 of the 2020 season, so players opting out after August 31 will not get a contract extension.
  • In an email sent to all owners last week, I mentioned that by Week 3 we are typically using current season standings to set the weekly transaction order.  It's usually 2 weeks apart - so, for example, Week 1 standings sets the order for Week 3.  With the delay in St. Louis games, we haven't even started Week 1, let alone finished it.
    • In the email, I said that for Week 3 we'd still use the transaction order based on 2019 standings, but would likely change that moving forward.
    • Beginning with Week 4 (deadline 8/18), until we can set transaction order based on 2020 standings, BWB will set each week's transaction order via a random draw that will change from week to week.
    • In some cases the transaction order might be set a few days after the transactions for the previous week post - depending on further developments with the MLB schedule.  We are probably looking at a gap of more than 2 weeks between standings and setting the order when we first start out.
    • For Week 4, the order will be random and will be posted here on the website by Thursday night.


  • I am getting close to posting a 2020 BWB schedule.  I have it all laid out - I just need to set it up for all 65 leagues.  Just a peek behind the scenes: I use the same basic 150-game schedule structure since 2000.  And in a normal season thanks to some computer programming I did years ago, I can generate the full BWB season schedule in an hour or two.  To do a shortened 54-game schedule, I had to figure out all the matchups first by hand, so that took me some time.
  • Speaking of schedules...St. Louis still is hampering our season.  A couple of days ago I was ready to say we'll just skip St. Louis or artificially change their game numbers to allow us to start the BWB season. But on the off chance that they start playing on Friday and try to make up many/most/all of their games, then by the end of the season it would start to match up better.
  • Something to prepare for - if it turns out that a significant number of the Cardinals games are not made up, we may have to cut a week out of the BWB season.  We'll need 59 MLB games to play 54 BWB games - and if St. Louis doesn't play all of their games, that will mean that some of their opponents won't get to 59 games either, which would leave our final games missing several teams' players.  More to come on that.

See the News Archive for older headlines.