The COVID Rules

Need I go into recapping or summarizing the state of the world in the year 2020? Have we not heard enough about the latest Coronavirus developments and how it’s affecting our society? The latest unemployment numbers, the latest rumormill of when our sports will come back, the latest Task Force Press Conference from the White House… Why don’t we focus on fantasy baseball instead?

The 2020 MLB Season appears to be inching closer. The latest reports suggest that the MLB Owners and Players’ Association still have some bridges to build before a deal is finalized, but let’s assume shall we? Let’s assume the Owners find a way to accept the fact that they won’t make as much money this season. Let’s assume the Players come to terms with a deal that takes away a bulk of their 2020 salaries. Let’s assume…

One thing we know for sure… the 2020 season will be like no other. Considering the potential changes – DH’s in both leagues, teams limiting travel and only playing local opponents, fourteen teams competing in the postseason – how does our fantasy baseball season change? On a personal note, I’ll have you know that I perfected a league schedule that both levels the playing field across the league and spotlights the rival match-ups throughout. Unfortunately, it’s back to the drawing board on that front. So I come to you with ideas, not only on the schedule format, but on other aspects of the Hum Babe Dynasty League as well; ideas that intend to start a conversation within our band of managers and ultimately, lead to what we will end up calling “The COVID Rules.”

League Entry Fee

We all voted on, and paid our League Entry Fee of $50 for the 2020 season. Adding up to a 1st Place prize of $450, 2nd Place prize of $150, 3rd Place of $50, along with six payments of $25 handed out each month to the manager who picks the most correct “Match-Up of the Week” winners.

Now that the MLB Season looks different, does our financial commitment need to look different for this fantasy season? We’ve all paid our dues already, but a full refund is possible if the league majority asks for it. But then what are we playing for? A fantasy trophy with an asterisk on it? I submit we keep the collected pot of money untouched and bring back the healthy competition it breeds.

However, I pose the thought to you Hum Babe managers… do we need to further a conversation about the money invested in this fantasy season?

League Schedule

Unfortunately, we don’t have enough information at this point to recreate a league schedule… but we can start to discuss how that new schedule will look. In that effort, we have a couple different components to weigh… What if the MLB plays double headers every day? What if a shortened MLB season means we can’t play every fantasy team at least once in the regular season? Do we consider the Northeast and Northwest Divisions one league, and only playing each other – meeting the South league only in the postseason?

I would personally vote that if the MLB played double headers everyday, that our fantasy lineups would unlock and be editable inbetween those games… but is that logistically possible? If we walked that out, it would require every morning MLB game ending at the same time, so we could edit our lineups before any afternoon/night game started. If I can make it happen within the Fantrax settings, I most certainly will, but we may be forced into setting our lineups for a full day no matter how many innings are played that day.

The format of our divisions and leagues may lead to a more heated conversation among the group of us. Some divisions are unavoidably going to be more competitive than others; can’t blame those owners for being upset with the fact that they don’t get to play weaker competition. But, may I remind myself and the rest of us, the divisions were formed through a random selection process. As Jim Carrey would say, “That’s how the cookie crumbles.” So the question here for you to weigh in on… Would you rather our schedule split the league in half or be a random assortment of match-ups across divisions/leagues following our same playoff format?

Free Agency

Our standard league rules enact the following when it comes to Free Agency:

  • Two day Waiver Wire (players, when dropped, spend two days on the wire before becoming free agents)
  • Waiver Wire priority is given in the reverse order of the current league standings (worst team first, best team last)
  • Free Agents are added to roster immediately

Thoughts on these rules playing out in the COVID season? Maybe this is an opportunity to give Free Agent Bidding a go, where each manager has a bank account of, say $100, and uses that money to bid on a sign free agents as needed. Players would be added to the team that bids the highest amount to them, irrelevant of standings and everything else. The downside to this format, you are never able to add a player to your roster immediately as there has to be enough time for everyone to place their bids.

On another note, assuming we stay with our current waiver wire format, just this past offseason we voted to limit our transactions to a maximum of five per week. Thoughts on revisiting that number?

What say you?

All in all, hopefully this post reignites the fire in our group chat and builds yet more anticipation towards the start of the 2020 MLB season. Here’s to the COVID Rules and the COVID fantasy season… and here’s to the endless jokes that the winner of this unique season will have to endure in the years to come.

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