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Rule Changes for 2007

Benchwarmer Baseball Rules Index

As the season and then off season progresses, check here for the latest changes to rules - Last update:  April 16, 2007

Italicized items have been added or modified since the last update.

Items marked with an asterisk(*) have not yet been incorporated to the main rules pages.  This page always is the final reference in any conflict.

Here are the 2006 changes also...

Modification of Pinesitter Pitchers' Bullpen Lines*

When your team does not have enough relief pitchers with active appearances to add to your bullpen score (for example, if your starter pitches 6 innings, you must have 3 relievers with appearances in the previous 6 MLB games), a Pinesitter Pitcher is added to your bullpen score, until you reach the correct number of pitchers.

That player's "contribution" is 5 IP, 10 H, 10 BB, 10 ER (an 18.00 ERA).  Remember, that doesn't mean an additional 10 runs that your bullpen gives up, but instead it increases the Earned Runs per Inning Pitched part of the scoring equation.  Still, it's a pretty drastic penalty and often is a clear factor in changing the outcome of a game.

Beginning in 2007, the Pinesitters in the bullpen will start off as mediocre and get progressively worse.  This way, we don't penalize a team missing one reliever due to injuries or MLB roster moves too harshly, but can still mete out some punishment for teams that fail to keep up a legitimate bullpen.

The new values, to be added into the total bullpen score for a game:

Pinesitter # IP H BB ER ERA
1 3 4 2 2 6.00
2, 3 5 5 5 5 9.00
4 3 4 4 4 12.00
5 5 10 10 10 18.00

4/16 note - This is a slight modification of the numbers first that the first pinesitter starts out as a below-average reliever.  The original Robot rule, by the way - at least in their final season - was 1/3 IP and .267 ER (an ERA of 8.00)

Traded IR Players Eligible for Active Roster*

Just a clarification of last year's rule.  When you place a player on Injured Reserve (one available slot), you cannot put him back on the active roster for the rest of the season.  If that player is traded to another team, the receiving team gets him as a normal player with no restrictions, and is able to put him on their active list.

"Cut" lineup designation*

This was added last season, but this is a chance to expand the explanation.  There has always been a not-so-secret loophole in the roster process that you could actually put more than two players on the taxi squad in a given week, provided that you were actually cutting them in your transactions that week to get back down to two.  Remember, players cut don't actually leave your roster until the following week.

Once the roster expansion process was added for Weeks 23-25, the taxi squad became part of an expanded bench, and that loophole actually became a problem.  To rectify that, a new designation was made in the lineup-setting process.  Use the Slot designation to mark a player as "Cut" and you can use someone else in the active roster spot he was going to have to fill.

Note: This DOES NOT serve as the means to cut the player - you still must use the transaction process to release him (or trade).  If the cut does not go through - for example, had you listed the player as a "contingent release" but that was not needed, the BWB Office will put the player back onto your active roster and make the necessary adjustments - attempting to make the change transparent to your lineup (but that's not usually possible...since that's most likely why you were using the cut designation).

Example:  You submit a release of Scott Baker in Week 2 since he was sent down to the real-life minors and you can't put him into the BWB minors because of his salary.  He will still occupy that second spot starter slot where you've got him in the Week 2 lineups...and will be gone by Week 3.  However, you can designate him in the lineup as "cut" and put someone else in as S2.

MLB Games used for BWB Playoffs*

This has been modified a few times over the years, but has always been some permutation of random games selected from the entire MLB season.  Beginning in 2007, these random games will only be selected from the 2nd half of the season.  The actual cut-off point is still to be finalized, but for now, consider that playoff performances will be selected from MLB games 81-162.

This allows for a couple of things: First, a team in BWB that makes a late-season run to get into the playoffs (or extend their lead) comes into the playoffs with momentum and may be - at that point, despite the overall record - the best team in the league.  Picking some major league games from the early part of the season may effectively kill that momentum and may mean - for all playoff teams - that some key players in the late part of the season may not have even been in the majors early and can cause some big roster holes.  Second, it may make the decision to hang on to an injured player or not an easier choice.  Before, you might want to keep a player with a hot April-May-June because they could help you in the playoffs.  Now, unless you just want to keep him for the next season anyway, there's no reason game-wise to do so.

There will no longer be any structure to force the random games to be spread out over the possible period. No game will be used more than once throughout the 2-week playoff season.  During the Benchwarmer Bash, the game selection process will be reset every 2 weeks (and all pitching performances become open again).

The random game is different for each league.  During the Bash, all brackets will use the same random game.

Removal of Players from the Player List - Deceased, Retired, etc.*

During the season, if a player: a) dies b) retires c) goes to an independent minor league or d) goes to a foreign league he is removed from the player list - but can remain on any BWB roster if already a member of the team.  For example, if a player retires late in the season, he still could help a team in the BWB playoffs.  (Note, this means retire immediately, not an announcement of an off-season retirement).  Otherwise, there's probably no real reason to retain the player.

However, beginning in 2007, a slight change.  If a player dies during the season, he will also be removed from any BWB rosters (provided that it doesn't make the roster illegal, and then the player will be removed at the first opportunity later in the season).  It's kind of arbitrary, but it just seems a little macabre to keep a player in that situation.


Ranking Players in the Startup Draft*

  • The final tiebreaker if the same player is picked by multiple teams is "Random Draw"
  • Now, before a random draw occurs, BWB will check the "Rank" you've given a player
  • "1" = the highest rank; "40" is the lowest rank; An unranked player is shown as "0"
  • Ranking players is optional
  • If you give 2 players the same rank, both will automatically be changed to the lowest of your ranked players, with the higher salary getting the higher rank.
  • In this tiebreaker, the team that gives the player the highest rank gets him.  If multiple teams give the same rank, they advance to the random draw.
  • Typically, about the first 8-14 players are placed via random draw.  Because we start with the players picked most often, you'll want to make sure you give ranks to the players you think other teams will pick.  It's probably a waste of your effort to rank your entire draft list -- but it doesn't hurt anything.
  • Note: if you are participating in a LIVE draft and don't show up for the draft, the league will use your ranks to determine the order of drafting players for you.

Playoff Pitching Selection - for 2006 Playoffs*

Rather than forcing pitching performances to appear in the same base 10-game span as the randomly selected MLB game for playoffs, and then a rather cumbersome process to pick which game from that span, the criteria for selection of starting pitching performance has changed.  Instead, we will use the starting pitching stats from the MLB game NEAREST to the randomly selected MLB game used for hitters.  This is not unlimited, however.  The game must be within 20 games of the hitters game or the pitcher will have no starts available for the game.

A start can only be used once during the entire playoffs (for the Benchwarmer Bash, this will be reset after every two series).  For standardization, if the pitcher has 2 starts equidistant from the hitters' game, the start that occurred first will be used. 

New Fall Trading Period - for 2006/2007 Offseason*

After years of requests, here it is.  Prior to the final selection of the 28 players to be carried over into the new season, teams will have the opportunity to trade players.  The trading period will begin after the new salaries and positions are final for the coming season and after the salary cap distribution has been made.

There will be two weeks of trading, with deadline dates to be named each year, as appropriate.  There is no cash assumption/rebate of salaries at this time, since no salaries have yet been paid for the new season.  Teams may include cash payments, as they do during the regular season, in the trade conditions.

Special Roster Exemption: Since teams may already be at the 40-man roster limit (41 including injured reserve), and there is no mechanism for cuts at this time, teams will be allowed to exceed the 40-man limit during these 2 weeks if they participate in trades such as 2-for1 and 3-for-2.  They're going to have to cut down to 28 players within a week or two anyway.

Live Draft Option*

As new leagues join the BWB Universe, owners will have a choice of entering either the standard, list draft process, or participate in a new, experimental live draft.  Why "experimental" when all sorts of leagues on the Internet do this now?  Starting a league in BWB with a draft brings a few interesting problems, including: Salary cap, 16 teams per league, and 40-man rosters.

If we draft an entire team, it will take a full day, maybe two!  So, the draft will most likely allow teams to draft in a live manner the first ten players for their rosters.  At a minute a pick, that's still over 2.5 hours.  The final number will be determined in December, along with the process for signing up and getting teams ready for the draft.  Once the live draft is over, teams will then enter the normal Phase 2 process of the draft.

BWB does not expect to build it's own draft interface for the 2007 season (and probably not in 2008, either).  Instead, we'll use some kind of pre-existing Internet chat interface.  There will be limited draft sessions available, but in the heart of the drafting season (late Feb. and early March), we'll try to present a wide array of days/times.  Starting in January, 1 or 2 draft sessions should be available each weekend.

New BWB leagues that join as a full 16-team league are welcome to conduct their own drafts upon joining and devise their own methods for how many players to select and other draft rules.  They'll just need to fit into certain guidelines and then report the results to the BWB office.

If this turns out OK, we'll continue the process for the 2008.  At some point in the distant future, the live draft may also be extended to the Redistribution Draft process.
  Huge Discounts on deals right NOW!

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