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Benchwarmer Baseball Rules

18.0 Miscellaneous Rules and Special Situations


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18.1 League Office: Rule Changes and Special Rulings

The management of Benchwarmer Baseball reserves the right to make rule changes, clarifications, or rulings at any time. In practice, all changes will be in place by the start of the regular season. However, occasionally there will be loopholes or conflicts between different rules that require an immediate ruling. Also, it is possible that situations will come up or questions will be raised that were never considered.


It is possible that some rule changes for the playoffs will be instituted before the start of the playoffs and for off-season procedure changes to be announced at the beginning of the off-season.

18.2 Financial Penalties and Compensation

Benchwarmer Baseball reserves the right to fine teams in Benchwarmer Bucks for actions not in the interest or spirit of the game. In addition BWB may set up, in advance, team penalties for rules infractions, such as roster problems or missing deadlines. At this time, there is no intention to use either of these options, but simply to code the possibility into the rules.


More likely, however, the league may provide teams with financial compensation in certain situations. From time to time, the league office will make mistakes and, if caught soon enough, will reverse the mistake. However, it may occur that too many subsequent actions have taken place for reversals to be handled easily or without disrupting other teams (for example, a mistake in transaction order that is not caught until many later selections are affected). In that case, the league may provide Benchwarmer Bucks back to the team in an effort to provide a good-faith effort at compensation.

18.3 Collusion and Tanking

Added 4/8/18

18.3.1 Collusion

It doesn't happen often, but occasionally the BWB office is contacted about trades that appear to be questionable in regards to transactions that benefit both teams.  This could come up in reference to a team that is just dumping players for no return - or perhaps for one friend with a poor record helping out another in contention with a one-sided trade.  Benchwarmer Baseball reserves the right to disallow or even reverse trades that fail to meet a standard of fairness to both teams and to the entire league.


These are some principles behind trades:

  • BWB strongly prefers to stay out of this and take no action
  • Each owner is free to manage a team as she/he sees fit
  • BWB Office may or may not review each trade in great depth.  BWB assumes teams are acting in their own best interest.
  • Other owners protesting trades may have their own motives in mind that may be finding collusion where it doesn't exist.
  • For several reasons a league-wide trade review with approval/veto options is not viewed as a practical or desired option
  • Actions and transactions by teams are expected to be conducted in the best interest of the franchise and its future.  Trades that provide no value to one of the teams involved may flag suspicion of intent.
  • Benefits from trades may go beyond the straight-up comparison of players on each side of the trade, including:
    • Clearing salary space for other transactions and contracts (including after the season is complete)
    • Obtaining prospects for future seasons
    • Clearing roster room for later moves

If BWB flags a trade during review or if another team contacts BWB with concerns about a trade:

  • BWB will review the trade again and in more depth.  It may make a ruling based on that review
  • BWB may contact the two teams for more information and justification of how the trade benefited them.  Teams that do not answer this inquiry will raise the level of skepticism
  • Should BWB determine that the trade does not meet competitive standards it may, as it sees fit:
    • Reverse the trade
    • Work out an arrangement between the teams to transfer additional player(s) and/or cash to make the trade equitable
    • Fine the teams in Benchwarmer Bucks

18.3.2 Tanking

It is a legitimate game strategy to have rebuilding years or to start off a new franchise with a draft of young players.  This may include:

  • Trading established players for younger players and minor-league prospects
  • Trading established players for more players in return who may be not as strong contributors in the current season
  • Trading or cutting high-salary players to build up more cash for the future or to sign players who remain on the roster to long-term contracts
  • Jockeying for position for the Redistribution Draft in the winter based on a win-loss record

That said, there's a difference between setting up a team's roster to best play for the future and refusing to field a legitimate lineup with the players on the roster.  Teams are expected to put up an effort with the players on hand to be competitive and win games.  This is not just for that particular team, but is a fairness question for the other teams in the league. There are some actions that run counter to this principle, including:

  • Fielding a starting lineup of minor leaguers or injured players while players who are getting regular MLB playing time are slotted on the taxi squad or in the minors.
  • Moving established stars or even good players to IR when there is no legitimate replacement on the roster.

On one front, BWB hopes to discourage outright tanking by changes in the financial rewards:

  • Cash awards per win will increase in the latter parts of the season
  • Cash awards for 4th place teams will decrease in the latter parts of the season
  • See regular season finances for details

On the other hand, beginning in 2018, BWB will occasionally do spot checks on rosters/lineups - looking for minor leaguers in the starting lineup, everyday players on the taxi squad or minors etc.  It will also check teams based on complaints/feedback from other owners in the league.  With teams it determines are deliberately fielding lineups destined to lose, BWB reserves the right to modify that week's lineups for the team to replace inactive players in the starting lineup/bench/rotation/bullpen with players from the taxi squad or minor leagues.



  • This is not an attempt to fix batting orders or rotations or modify the starter/bench options.  It's trying to prevent de facto forfeits where a team fields a starting lineup and/or bench of players who have no hope of having major league stats while suitable players are not active.
  • This will not be looking for teams that miss an activation off the disabled list or a promotion from the minor leagues - it's checking for players that should in all rights be active who are purposefully put in an inactive status.
  • As the season moves on, this will not penalize teams of otherwise active owners who at some point decide to let a roster play out the season and not respond to all injuries, etc.  It's not going to mandate that teams continue to spend money to replace players when that cash might be better used in the offseason for trades, Redistribution Draft, and free agency before the next season.

In 2019, BWB may expand this to include, among other things:

  • Make more regular checks for problem lineups
  • Disallowing moves to IR
  • Fining teams that repeatedly rig their lineups for failure.



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