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Wait Until Next Year?

Let's face it, things don't always turn out as planned.  Tell me about it...I've got 7 years into this game - in multiple leagues -  without a playoff team.  And some of my good teams this season are showing signs of fading.


Whether it's despite all your efforts to build a contender - or a result of your lack of effort - or something in between, why should you keep working at your team over the last couple months of the season?

  • This may or may not sway you, but there may be owners of 2nd-place teams in your league hoping that you have enough of a team that may knock off the front-runners now and then.  (Likewise, those top teams probably want your help too).  Play the spoiler.
  • Now's the time to start building your team for 2008 (and beyond).
  • There are financial benefits (in the BWB world, at least) to keep winning.

The first reason is pretty clear cut...but what about the other two?

Build For the Future

Dumping players from here on out does you no good.  You don't get any more salary rebates for cuts.  So what's the advantage to stay active in the transaction hunt?  There are a number of reasons:

  • Take advantage of your position on the waiver wire.  If you've got your league's worst record, you're guaranteed your first pick each week.  Even if you are a couple slots down, your chances are still good (because in reality, those teams below you might have already checked out for the season).
  • Browse through the free agent lists now and you may find some usual stars sitting out there.  Maybe they were cut for salary rebates a few weeks ago.  Maybe they're a huge disappointment this season.  Maybe they're hurt.  Playoff contenders will be looking for players that can put them over the top this season.  This may be a chance to pick up a player now.  The downside - you'll need to pay 40% of their 2007 salary to sign them now...and you could get them cheaper in the off-season.  The upside?  You lock them in now for your roster and if 2007 was a bad year for them, their 2008 salaries will be lower than this year.
  • Look through the minor leaguers.  Particularly if you've got a lot of roster room available, now could be the time to stock up on minor leaguers.  Many of the top prospects are probably already signed, but you can still find a few gems on the free agent list.  You can use sites like Baseball America to give you some ideas on the top future stars.
  • Pay attention to the "New Players" added each week.  Now's the time - and particularly in September - when you'll start seeing more call ups to the major leagues.  Our minor league lists currently consist of players who... A) have appeared in the majors..  B) were once a first round draft pick... or C) were on a 40-man roster at the time of the MLB Winter Meetings.  There are several top prospects in the minors who don't fit into either of those 3 categories - and have huge future potential.  As they get called up they'll start showing up in our lists.
  • Trade for tomorrow.  The trading deadline is the final transaction cycle in August.  Teams looking for a boost toward the playoffs will be looking for help.  And here's an opportunity to still get a salary rebate for your high-priced players.  But don't give away the store!  If you hang on to ARod this season, you've got him as a building block for next season.  But, if your suitor is willing to part with some high-quality players and/or prospects in return - and maybe cash - it may be worth a deal.  You should work things to your advantage as the seller and, in my opinion, unless it seals up players you want for the future you shouldn't be giving up cash.

Some past examples of players added to BWB late in the season:

Francisco Rodriguez Miguel Cabrera Carlos Zambrano David Wright Jonathan Papelbon
Chris Young Nate Robertson Chone Figgins Freddy Sanchez Felix Hernandez
Jose Lopez Coco Crisp Brandon Phillips Yuniesky Betancourt Ryan Theriot
Ryan Garko Dustin Pedroia Adam Jones  and sure, a bunch of guys we've never heard from again...


Could one of those guys have helped you this season?  Who's coming up this year?

Pay For the Future

OK, the "integrity of the game" may not be enough for you to put together a real lineup for the last third of the season.  But in the big leagues, even Tampa Bay, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh still play games in September (and I say that as a lifelong Pirate fan).  Now, you can't really "develop" players by throwing them in the lineups like real teams can, but there are some financial benefits to winning games in the last part of the season.

  • It pays to win.  You earn $30K in Benchwarmer Bucks for every game you win.  Yes, you get a better weekly "boost" in cash if you're lower in the standings...but here's maybe a chance to double dip...get last place money PLUS cash for winning.
  • Division standing does pay off in the end.  You get $500K if you finish the season in 3rd place.  You get zip if you're 4th.
  • Post season rewards?  In our version of "everyone gets a trophy" - where all teams play in some kind of post season tournament - you'll earn cash if you've got a lineup good enough to win or finish second in one of the consolation tournaments.

It never fails.  Whether it's in November when you're choosing which players to keep for 2008 - or in January when we run the Redistribution Draft - or next April when you're trying to fill your final roster spots - or next June when your star shortstop hits the DL - or next July when you're trying to sign just one more contract for 2009 - you're going to want some extra cash in your team account.  You get to carry over all of your cash into the off season, so why not start building up that cash now?

What if BWB just isn't for you, or at least not this year?

Much as I'd hate to admit - sometimes Benchwarmer Baseball isn't the right fit for everyone.  Maybe it's the amount of time you need to put into the game - maybe it's the scoring system - maybe it's the service that has you less than satisfied.  We'd ask that if you don't put a lot into winning games over the last couple months or building for the future that you also don't take the opposite approach in gutting your team.  Here are some possible suggestions:

  • Let someone else run your team - temporarily.  There are likely to be some orphan teams in your league next season.  You might enjoy getting a friend into the league next year and this might give them a chance to try it out.  It's not a great idea with your bank account, but give them your BWB login and password and let them take a test drive for a few weeks.
  • Let someone else run your team - with you.  Some teams in BWB are run by more than one person.  Bring another owner/manager onto your team for the rest of this season.
  • Let someone else run your team - permanently.  Maybe you didn't find BWB a great option for you, but think your buddy would like it.  We can do a permanent owner transfer now (and they'd make the call on whether or not to return next year).
  • Let BWB know that you've had it, and we can take over the team and potentially find a new owner to finish it out.


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