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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Join My Sim League

By the end of the week, I want to complete the membership in my fantasy baseball simulation league.

The Whalehead League successfully completed twenty years before disbanding a few years ago. We currently have thirteen members and are looking to add three more. Quite a few people have expressed interest. We are a dependable, competitive, and funny bunch. If you are dependable, knowledgeable, and competitive, I encourage you to contact me. If you are funny as well, you will find yourself on the top of my list.

The league uses Dynasty League Baseball Online. League members get a significant discount to play the games. The Whalehead League is a keeper league which uses an economic system which allows teams to build long-term while still ensuring a substantial number of quality players are available in each year’s auction. Since the league is reforming all 2012 players will be available. Although most of the league’s members reside in the Massachusetts area, a few long-time members participate remotely.

One quality site member has already signed on. If you consider yourself an expert, participating in a simulation league is an excellent way to prove/test your knowledge. Of course, you’ll have to beat me and the other quality owners to prove you know what you are doing. :D

Contact me for more info. (Site members are encouraged to share this message.)

Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2012 at 10:24 AM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. base ball chick Posted: December 22, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4330934)
how hard is it to learn to do this sim stuff? do i need to be able to do all those complicated math thingys/know how to run excel/find a basement to do spreadsheets in (but forget the sitting in underwear and not bathing part)

i might as well have an imaginary baseball team seeing as how i don't have a real one no mo.

   2. Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4330947)
This isn't a Yahoo fantasy league. Although it doesn't take a lot of time week-to-week, preparing for the draft will take some time. I provide some scouting reports based on the game to make it easier. Some players in the league are very analytical and use advanced sabermetric tools (like me). Others simply look at the names and create draft lists. To really be competitive, you should at least consult the game scouting reports which I produce. (The scouting reports are based on the actual game.) Again, some people (like me) try to estimate value based on sabermetric principles. Most just consult the reports to directly compare particular players.

This is a simulation league. Each player is rated for every facet of the game (hitting vs. RH/LH, defense, speed, etc.) When you build your team, you have to worry about the same kind of things a real GM will have to consider. (There is even a rating for clubhouse chemistry in the game.)

So, you get your players, set your lineups and rotation, set up your computer manager, and each week your team plays its games. People with more time can even play their games head-to-head over the Internet (which takes about 20-40 minutes per game). But that is up to the individual. I only plan on playing between 10-25 percent of the games this year.

Being successful in the league basically comes down to knowledge of baseball. Since it's a keeper league (some players are kept from year-to-year), it's extremely helpful to be able to look at a player and project how he'll do in future seasons. Since it's a simulation based on the previous season, being knowledgeable about player statistics is helpful as well. We have people (like me) who are successful using a sabermetrics-oriented mindset and others who eschew sabermetrics yet are successful nevertheless.
   3. baudib Posted: December 22, 2012 at 03:54 PM (#4330957)
Hi Jim:
I'm definitely interested. I used to play Bill James Classic Baseball and the later variations of that (Stats, Imagine, etc.) that used the Diamond Mind engine.
   4. base ball chick Posted: December 22, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4330978)
are the players all ML players who are played in 2012 (40 man) or is it anyone from the history of MLB? do you include minor leaguers? do you have exactly 30 teams like real MLB?

are the games the real games that happen in the year 2013? is there a salary cap/floor? do we trade any day or just once a week?

how do you decide which teams win or lose? do we also have to pick/draft the real life GMs/managers?

is this a long difficult game to learn all the rules and is there a place they are posted? because i notice that i am asking an awful lot of questions, have a lot more, and you prolly don't wanna deal with all these questions
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 22, 2012 at 04:47 PM (#4330983)
I'm very interested Jim. I'll try and send you a message, but I'm having trouble with the message interface.
   6. Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4330984)
snapper, the easiest way to get started is friend me on Facebook. I have a Facebook Group setup for the league. I'll add you to the group as soon as I get a Facebook friend request.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 22, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4330988)
snapper, the easiest way to get started is friend me on Facebook. I have a Facebook Group setup for the league. I'll add you to the group as soon as I get a Facebook friend request.

I don't do Facebook. Is that a prerequisite?
   8. base ball chick Posted: December 22, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4330991)
snapper

patiently

you don't HAVE to use a real name or any real info to use facebook. just use the name "snapper bazeball" or something
   9. janosphere Posted: December 22, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4330992)
iya!

Would like to check out your League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Jim.
Grew up playing strat, (77 Expos and Phillies were my first teams) then PTP when it came out (had the collector's edition with the big cards) Then went to Dynasty League when it first came out and then the IBL (PTP clone, if you haven't heard of it). Haven't done much in awhile buy have recently discovered Inside Pitch - which is outstanding - and am redoing the 1978 season with my Beloved Bombers of Bambie (hmmm, that doesn't sound right) Have played the computer a few times in DL Online but that tends to get dull quick. Think it would be groovy to actually play humans - or reasonable facsimile's thereof (after all, we are baseball fans)
I don't know if I'm funny or not, but I once laughed so hard at Jamey Moyer's fastball that a monkey flew out of my butt. Or maybe it was Andre Dawson - details of my past are hard to grasp...like the mid-outfield fly rule.

Peace
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 22, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4330993)
snapper

patiently

you don't HAVE to use a real name or any real info to use facebook. just use the name "snapper bazeball" or something


Thanks, but I'd really prefer not to. If it's required, maybe I will take your advice.
   11. Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2012 at 05:17 PM (#4330995)
base ball chick, this is a simulated league. The games are played using Dynasty League Baseball Online. Essentially you acquire players who are rated in every facet of the game (vs LH/RH pitchers, power, speed, base stealing, durability, range, etc.) and play against the other members of the league using a set schedule. The games can either be played head-to-head over the Internet (when you and your opponent have the same timeframe available to play) or using the computer manager (which you set up preferences for).

The basic budget is set according at MLB average payrolls ($88 million this year). To simplify things, every $200,000 is worth Whalehead$1 (or W$1). Each team gets W$555 to spend on his (or her) team (which includes a little extra to pay for five minor leaguers and to fill out the 40-Man Roster).

The player pool is all the players carded by DLB. (In 2012, that's 477 pitchers and 549 position players.) Within the budget, each team in our league can sign up to forty carded players. They can also draft five uncarded players.

The league will have 16 teams in 2012. It currently has 13, many of whom played in my old league.

It's not really that complicated. I can usually explain the set up in a few minutes. Having said that, I do have a rather lengthy set of rules for reference and to cover things, like incentives for paying your league fees and other things that have come up over time.

If you are interested I can add you to the league's Facebook Group to learn more.

The draft will be held on January 27th in Southeastern Massachusetts. Members have drafted remotely in prior years. We use Skype for remote players.

The costs for playing are league fees of $30 (all of which goes toward prize money for the playoff teams), your subscription to Dynasty League Baseball Online (my league members get a considerable discount), and transaction fees (which run as little as $8 a year to $150 a year, and average about $30.). Transaction fees include $5 for each trade (which is negotiable as part of the trade), $2 for each move between your 25-man active roster and 15-man minor league roster, and any long-term contract buyouts (this is usually the reason someone's transaction fees get crazy). Since the league is just starting up again, long-term buyouts won't even be possible until after the third year. They can also be avoided by not signing players to bad long-term contracts. :)
   12. base ball chick Posted: December 22, 2012 at 05:55 PM (#4331013)
jim

i think this just might could be a leeeeetle complicated for a first time person like me - other problem is that i can't be sure exactly what is going to happen january 27 with kidz etc and there are a whole lot of times i can't show up when i thought i was gonna be able to.

i think i'll try out yahoo and see if i can actually stick to it all year. also, seeing as how i'm not finished sulking about the astros
   13. Walt Davis Posted: December 22, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4331124)
bbc ...

Basically ...

the game uses something like ZiPS to determine the "true quality" of a player. You've been seeing and using ZiPS for years, yeah? Or sometimes you're replaying a season and it uses his actual performance.

The game itself is like those simulated standings that get posted here except it will be the players you draft as your team, not the Yankees 40-man roster.

So the games are head-to-head like any "real" baseball game. You'll set a starting lineup and hope the computer manager knows how to run a bullpen and not to bunt too often. At the end of the day, you'll have won a baseball game 5-3. You can make trades, call up prospects, sign/draft free agents.

After 162 games, you get to brag about your team winning 100 games against all those so-called experts. :-)

It's not hard or complicated. In fact it's probably easier to understand a sim league than a standard fantasy league. A sim league is like regular baseball where Juan Pierre has never been very good. Fantasy leagues you're balancing off a set of skills across several players and somebody like Pierre is/was valuable because he could help you in steals. But sim baseball is time-consuming because you've got to keep on top of prospects, other teams' players, decide who you want to keep for how long and at what price.

In a lot of ways it's just what we do here every day. If you would call it a stupid trade here, it will be a stupid trade in the sim league. If you think only a moron would bring in Jose Valverde with the game on the line then don't bring in Jose Valverde with a game on the line. If you think Brad Ausmus is hot ... well, unfortunately, he's only a set of numbers in the sim league and his awesomeness is not going to boost attendance. So keep Ausmus in your fantasy league. :-)
   14. Jim Furtado Posted: December 22, 2012 at 10:07 PM (#4331179)
Walt has described it pretty well. I'd only correct this, "You get to brag about your team winning 100 games to all those so-called experts you played against. ":D

It's a way to test some of your ideas about how a team should be built. You can also learn something about probabilities and how someone's #### doesn't work in the playoffs. It's a fun diversion.

As for it not being hard...it's not hard to put together a team and be part of a league. If you don't know baseball, you'd better not take losing too hard.
   15. Brian Posted: December 22, 2012 at 11:45 PM (#4331229)
I play in a sim league (Actually a group of them all on one site:Pure Baseball )

Here is what I enjoy about it:
* You get to decide how you want to build a team. Go for it now, in the near future or down the road. If you decide to rebuild there are usually teams that are going for it who will trade you young talent and/or rookie draft picks for the guys who will help them now. And vice versa if you choose to go for it now.
* You have to pay attention to the rookies coming up. In our game, players become eligible the winter after their first MLB appearance. Some guys aren't good yet or don't have much playing time (Think Mike Trout this year based on his 2011 stats) and won't help you now. If you're right about the player you have a superstar for as long as you choose to keep him (Think Mike Trout going forward).
*You can spend the Winter trading and prepping for the Rookie (All the newcomers) and FA ((All the previously eligible players who weren't on a roster after the cut to 27 players after the rookie draft) drafts.
* Once the season starts you either play 5 home games where you set your lineup and pitcher and then manage the game or, if you're away that week, you submit lineups, a rotation and instructions to the robot manager about how to run your team. That takes 32 weeks (the games can be played at whatever speed you want or the robot can play your home games if you want) and the playoffs another month or so and then it all starts again.
* There are a variety of personalities involved: some are active and chatty, some never say a word but everyone is into baseball and overall it's a great community.
* PB has been around on the internet since 1996 (And was in a different format for a number of years before that) so you can draft a player and have him his whole career. On my first team (I'm in a few leagues, PB has 27) I traded Albert Belle, Steve Avery and Derek Jeter for Marty Cordova and a young SS named Alex Rodriguez and have had him his entire career.
* It's just fun. I play fantasy as well but it can't touch Sim baseball.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: December 23, 2012 at 01:21 AM (#4331295)
I'd only correct this, "You get to brag about your team winning 100 games to all those so-called experts you played against. ":D

I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that bbc might just could do a little bit of bragging around here as well.
   17. Brian Posted: December 25, 2012 at 06:24 PM (#4332302)
So how'd it go Jim? Did you get the spots filled from the fertile fields of BBTF?
   18. John Reynard Posted: December 25, 2012 at 06:57 PM (#4332310)
I'd encourage everyone who thinks they have the time and might enjoy it to give it a whirl. I'm in an intense keeper-league which still has the reserve clause (no FA budgets at all) but also drafts from the new entries to the 40-man roster each year. Its really strengthened my ability to pick real prospects from the chaff even above and beyond BA's rankings. Our league did have a period of competitive imbalance briefly because 14 of our 20 teams decided to rebuild at the same time. But, as expected the 6 teams which were the super-teams for a few years all fell apart around the same time and were among the worst teams in the league for 2-3 years. Its funny but when you have guys forever (or until you're sick of them doing worse than their RL stats over and over) you can develop an attachment to them.

   19. Darren Posted: December 25, 2012 at 09:13 PM (#4332330)
advanced sabermetric tools (like me)


heh heh heh.
   20. Jim Furtado Posted: December 26, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4332483)
Brian, I have one spot still open and a number of people looking things over. The league currently has ten returning members, one newcomer that The Original Gary and I have tried to get into the league for years, two hardcore Dynasty League Baseball players from the DLB Facebook Group, and two long-time BBTF members. I expect the league to be extremely competitive and a lot of fun.
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4332488)
Jim, are you counting me in, or as "looking things over"?
   22. Jim Furtado Posted: December 26, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4332504)
Sorry, Snapper, you are in the "looking things over" group. You never committed. As I mentioned, being on Facebook is essential and a number of people have jumped in and have been aggressive. Since I want to fill all the spots ASAP so people can get prepared for the auction, aggressiveness pays off. This is especially true when so many quality potential additions are available.
   23. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 26, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4332515)
Sorry, Snapper, you are in the "looking things over" group. You never committed. As I mentioned, being on Facebook is essential and a number of people have jumped in and have been aggressive. Since I want to fill all the spots ASAP so people can get prepared for the auction, aggressiveness pays off. This is especially true when so many quality potential additions are available.

That's perfectly fine. I probably won't have time to prepare for that early of a draft.
   24. Jim Furtado Posted: December 26, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4332720)
Due to a wonderful response, I'm considering going higher than sixteen teams. Since it would easier to expand at the start rather than after teams are established, I am still willing to accept potential owners.

Either way, I want the teams finalized by the end of the week. So, if you are interested, let me know right away. Consider this a last call.

Thanks.
   25. dabramow Posted: December 30, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4334568)
Jim, I'd certainly be interested. I hope i'm not too late. i can definitely dedicate time to this and would love to. This is the kind of stuff that I love.

-dave
   26. Jim Furtado Posted: December 31, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4335324)
Dave, we've filled our roster for this year. We might be expanding next season so next year so I will keep you in mind.
   27. PreservedFish Posted: December 31, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4335331)
I just joined a DMB league ...

Our league did have a period of competitive imbalance briefly because 14 of our 20 teams decided to rebuild at the same time.


This appears to be an issue in my new league. Lots of teams with 100+ wins, lots of teams with 100+ losses. Because you more or less know how everyone will perform in any given year, you can be certain about how good your team is. There is also no incentive for being good but not great - you're not going to get fired, you don't get ticket revenue, all it does is make your draft picks less valuable. This means that every year a large number of teams are conducting fire sales and basically tanking, even teams which project to win 85-90 games. That then frees up a ton of veterans for the "win now" teams. Basically the success cycle is amplified at both extremes - the distribution is the opposite of a bell curve - lots of teams with 100+ wins, lots with 100+ losses...

I'm curious how other leagues deal with this ... I find that it's a serious negative.
   28. Jim Furtado Posted: January 03, 2013 at 10:09 AM (#4337806)
Is this a draft or auction league?
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 03, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4337835)
This appears to be an issue in my new league. Lots of teams with 100+ wins, lots of teams with 100+ losses. Because you more or less know how everyone will perform in any given year, you can be certain about how good your team is. There is also no incentive for being good but not great - you're not going to get fired, you don't get ticket revenue, all it does is make your draft picks less valuable. This means that every year a large number of teams are conducting fire sales and basically tanking, even teams which project to win 85-90 games. That then frees up a ton of veterans for the "win now" teams. Basically the success cycle is amplified at both extremes - the distribution is the opposite of a bell curve - lots of teams with 100+ wins, lots with 100+ losses...

I'm curious how other leagues deal with this ... I find that it's a serious negative.


You change the draft order.

Best non-playoff team picks first. Worst team picks last.

That way, if you dump, there's a cost.
   30. booond Posted: January 03, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4338060)
You change the draft order.

Best non-playoff team picks first. Worst team picks last.

That way, if you dump, there's a cost.


That seems too severe. Plus, many teams are last because they suck not because they were mismanaged or there was an attempt to tank. Not sure how you attract new owners for bad franchises if their reward is Drew Smyly instead of Bryce Harper. All that system would seem to do is assure that the weak stay weak.

The three best ways to keep competitive balance are:

1.) Get better owners. Make sure the league is full of experienced Sim or, at worst, fantasy players who will know up from down. Also, there are people who enjoy building from the ground up, you need those people for weak teams.

2.) Make sure players aren't tied to their teams forever. Leagues with good player movement usually stay in balance because it may cost an owner a penalty to hang onto Pujols or Verlander for the lifetime of their career.

3.) Play in auction leagues. This way there is less incentive to tank.

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