Constitution

I: Overview

A: Structure
Barring leaps in technology or innovations in baseball fantasizing, the only hard and fast truth about the Spaceman League is that we play Head to Head. This encourages competition, rewards arbitrary outcomes, and devalues good decision making in the classic Spaceman way. Perhaps at some point in the future we’ll consider splitting the league into some kind of AL vs NL structure, or a Top Tier/Bottom Tier structure, but that’s certainly not an immediate priority.

B: Schedule
There is a four week playoff featuring the top eight teams competing for the championship, and the bottom eight teams competing for the first pick in the draft.  Final match-ups last two weeks.

C: Fees
The League Fund for 2011 is $10/person. Since the game site is free, this will go towards a trophy for the 2010 winner. Any leftover dough goes towards drinks for future events or a charity.

D: Site
We play on Yahoo.

E: Trophy

Year-end Celebratory Blowout will henceforth occur during the first weekend game of the World Series. The winning player will be awarded his trophy.

The previous year’s champion is required to make/acquire/steal the trophy for the new champion. In the event of a repeat championship, the rest of the league is responsible. No regifting. Nothing for Jesse’s 2009 championship, sadly.

It is agreed that a signed baseball/plaque signed by Bill Spaceman Lee (and somehow containing a message deriding fantasy baseball and/or us) should be acquired, and passed down from champion to champion, with the hand-over occurring at the Championship Celebration. We agree that we may need to grease the wheels in order to get the Spaceman to do such a thing, and that a $10 donation from each of us to a favored charity would be an agreeable thing.

II: Teams

A: # of teams
We think 16 teams is perfect for the foreseeable future.

B: Expansion
If expansion were to occur, perhaps it would go hand in hand with a change in league structure (two divisions, two tiers, etc). We do not anticipate an expansion in the near future.

C: Contraction
In the event of voluntary contraction, a new team will be granted to take the place of the old, with an eye towards maintaining a 16 team league. The Keepers belonging to the contracted team will return to the FA pool.

D: New teams
New teams are granted a “starting draft” prior to the full league draft, during which they are given the opportunity to select priority players that went to the FA during an earlier team contraction (see above). I forget the specifics of how this is meant to work, perhaps someone else can flesh this out.

E: Inaction
You miss minnings (45), you lose pitching stats. Each missed minning results in a $25 penalty paid to the charity of the commissioner’s choice (or two hours of [documented] community service).  Other forms of inaction, such as refusal to trade or communicate, are handled by the league in the self-policing manner to which we’re all accustomed.

III: Draft

A: Draft date
The draft will occur on the Sunday prior to Opening Day, unless that Sunday should fall on Easter, in which case it will occur on the Sunday prior to Easter.

B: Draft process
As a curious and exploratory lot, we want to leave ourselves open to possibilities of an such alternate draft processes as auctions (and specifically blind auctions), but this poses difficulties. An auction draft as traditionally held would require all of us to be in one place for draft day, and thus seems infeasible (at least until a more flexible technology is developed).

C: Draft order
With an aim to reward competitive play in the final weeks of the league, a change has been made. The draft is still a snaking order based on the results of the previous year’s playoffs, but whereas the last eight picks are determined by the inverse results of the top division playoff (so that the winner picks last, the runner-up picks second to last, etc), the first eight picks will reflect the final standings for the bottom division playoff (so that the winner of the bottom division playoff will have the first pick in the draft, the runner-up will have the second pick, etc). In 2011, we did not do the consolation Bracket (either through Commish mistake or lack of availability on Yahoo. Thus the reverse order 9-16 of regular season standings will constitute the first half of the draft and then the reverse order of finish in the playoff bracket will determine the second half.)

IV: Rosters

A: Number of players
The regular roster (including active and bench players) is made up of 25 players.

B: Position requirements
We’ll stick with 25 active players, with 9 slots dedicated to batters and 9 slots dedicated to pitchers. Of those 9 pitching slots, 4 will be dedicated to SP, 4 will be dedicated to RP, and 1 will be open for any available P.   There are three (3) DL slots, and six (6) minor league slots.

C: Position eligibility
In a slight change, players will be eligible for a position if they had 10 appearances at the post the prior year, or when they accumulate 5 starts or 10 appearances in the current year. Pitchers must have 3 starts in the current year or previous year to be classified as SP. Relievers must have 5 relief appearances this year or last year to be classified as RP. These rules are yahoo’s more than spaceman league’s.

D: Disabled list
See “B” above.

E: Roster violations
Yahoo will disqualify the stats earned by your team.

F: Setting the lineups
Each position in a lineups must be set prior to the start of that player’s game

V: Scoring

A: Stat Line
It is understood that the Spaceman League has a history of monster stat lines. It is yet another way that we discourage a balanced game play which would reward only the best teams, and instead foster an “anything goes” environment. And while the commissioner has the authority to direct the stat line for the coming year, this first winter meeting allowed us the opportunity to have a go at teamwork. After a long back-and-forth, this was what the Spacemen decided on for 2011:
Hitters: OBP, TB, R, RBI, HR, KO, GiDP, SB-CS, Fld%
Pitchers: Win%, IP, ERA, K/9, OBPA, QS, HRA, S-BS

B: Tie-breakers
While ties are expected over the course of the regular season, ties in the playoffs will be broken by the following:
1: Difference between runs created ((R+RBI)-HR) and earned runs allowed (ER) by each team’s active players, so that the win goes to the player with the greater number according to this formula: ((R+RBI)-HR)-ER
2: (If the above results in a tie) Errors

C: Minimum Innings
Though intrigued by the possibility of requiring a set number of pitching starts (no more, no less), it was decided to remain with our earlier rule that at least 45 innings must be pitched by a team’s staff each week.

VI: Free Agency

A: Add/Drops
In the interest of honoring the natural beauty of symmetry, and discouraging the vultures, a maximum of 45 Add/Drops is allowed by each team per year.

B: Waivers
At the start of the season, the waiver list will be set inverse to the draft order.  The waiver list will automatically reset to inverse rankings on a weekly basis.  A use of a waiver sends a team to the bottom of the waiver list.

VII: Trades

A: Trade start/end dates
Trades may begin once the playoffs have concluded, and end on the 31st of July.

B: Vetoing a trade
We think this is fine as is, with the league properly policing itself. Five “complaints” will send the trade to the floor for discussion, with the commissioner’s decision considered final.

VIII: Playoffs

A: Schedule
Two playoffs will occur, with the top division consisting of the top eight teams, and the bottom division consisting of the bottom eight teams. The Spaceman Galactic Series is the final game played in the final week(s?) between the two remaining teams in the top division playoff. The Consolation Cup is the final game played in the final week(s?) between the two remaining teams in the bottom division playoff.

IX: Keepers/Contracts

A: Basic keeper/contract system
Each team is given 12 CY to divvy up for player contracts. Although contracts can be granted in any length to any player, a player may only be given two contracts (not counting a Home Grown contract) before he must return to the FA pool to be drafted by any team (including his earlier team, at which point the process begins anew).

Upon the completion of a season, a CY will return to the team. An example: A team could grant a single CY contract to 12 separate players; the following year, that team will once again have 12CY to grant (although those players can now be signed to one last contract each before going back to the FA). If a team were to grant three contracts of 4CY each, that team would have only three CYs to assign the following year.

There is no “backloading” of CYs. Thus, if I give a player a 12CY contract, those CYs will come off the books with each passing year (rather than not being able to assign another contract for 12 years).

A contracted player cannot be dropped.

Keeper Contract Years cannot be traded as commodities separate from players. Thus one cannot simply “toss in” future CYs.

Trades featuring players with an uneven number of CYs can still be traded; the CY burden will remain with the GM who originally assigned the contract. We’ll have to keep track of all this, my god. And since Maloney proved inept, we MUST keep up-to-date records on Spacemanleague.com

B: Trading keepers/contracts
If a contracted player is traded from Team A to another Team B, then Team B has the player for the full length of the contract. The “two contract” limitation stays with the traded player, so that a player only be offered two contracts period between return trips to the FA pool.

C: Minor league & Homegrown keepers/contracts
Each team has minor league slots. If a minor league keeper achieves major league status over the course of a year (see X: Minor Leaguers, below), the controlling team can grant that player a Homegrown Contract when declaring his keepers. Each team has a total of 8 Homegrown Contract Years (HCY) to give out to Homegrown players. Upon the expiration of the Homegrown contract the player is either given a standard contract or goes to the FA. Trades are handled as above. Just as with standard CY, if all of a team’s HCY are tied up in contracts, that team is not able to assign any new Homegrown contracts.

D: When Keeper Contracts are declared
Keeper contracts must be declared two weeks after the Winter Meeting, and trading may begin immediately thereafter. Players must submit their list of new keeper contracts to the Commissioner, who holds them privately until they are published publicly for the league to see (& judge). A penalty of 1CY per week will be charged to any team which does not meet the deadline.

E: When must Homegrown Contracts be declared
Homegrown contracts must be declared two weeks after the Winter Meeting. Any player not granted a Homegrown or Keeper contract is considered a free agent for the following season.

X: Minor Leaguers

A: When do Minor League (ML) players become major leaguers
We use the standard set by MLB, namely 100 plate appearances or 50 innings pitched.

B: How do ML slots work
A team has minor league keeper slots, and a player may remain in a minor leaguer slot so long as he qualifies (see above). For the purposes of the league, no player in a minor league slot may accumulate fantasy stats for his team; he must be added to the active roster to do so. So long as this player technically remains a minor leaguer, he can be removed from the active roster but kept as a minor leaguer (so long as there is an available minor league keeper slot). As soon as the player becomes a major leaguer, he must be given a spot on the active roster or returned to the FA pool. If he is given a spot on the active roster, he must be given a Contract (presumably Homegrown, but not necessarily) in the offseason or he is returned to the FA pool.

C: Changes for 2010

Six additional (non-active) slots will be made available for any combination of Minor League and Disabled List players. This means one could, in theory, have six minor leaguers — but then one would have no non-active space for disabled players. One would then be required to drop a Minor League player in order to place an active player on the DL. When that DL player returns to health, the slot remains empty — it can now only be filled by a DL player or through next year’s minor leaguer draft (see next point).
A minor league draft will be instituted. Two rounds will occur prior to the main draft at the beginning of the year, with a third round occurring following the MLB draft in August. The only other way to add minor league players is to fill a ML slot vacated by an ML player being called up to the Bigs. There is no add/drop for Minor League players. In the event that a GM cannot attend either ML draft, he will be given the next-highest available player from Baseball America’s minor league rankings (or similar). The initial minor league draft will follow the same order as the main draft, but with no “snaking”. The August minor league draft will run in the reverse order of the current standings.
Minor leaguers may be dropped in the off-season to clear up slots for the ML draft.
When a minor leaguer reaches the minimum number of PAs or IPs, you must call him up or drop him. If you then hold on to this player through the end of the season, he is eligible for Homegrown Keeper Years.
Henceforth only players who have signed “a professional contract in the United States” can be claimed as minor leaguers. Current otherwise-ineligible minor leaguers who were picked up prior to this rule (Strasberg, Ynoa, Bryce Harper, etc) are grandfathered in. GM DeSorgher wants to proclaim his vote against this grandfathering! Against it! This is masturbatory bullshit but oh well it passes, hooray!

XI: General Governance

A: Commissionership
The Commissioner is responsible for logistics of events including draft, Championship Celebration, Winter Meetings, etc; the collection of fees, both basic and punative; the resolution of disputes, trade disagreements, and general rows; and is expected to set the tone (if not the specifics) of each year’s stat line.

B: Selecting the Commissioner
The Commissioner is a rotating position, serving a single year at a time. At the end of the regular season, the Commissioner names two or three nominees for the following year’s Commissionership; it is expected that some or all of these nominees will have expressed interest in the position, although this is not necessary. Each nominee is expected to make his case. During the final week of the playoffs, a public vote is held, with the current Commissioner acting as the tie-breaker. No Commissioner may hold the position twice in a row; at least one year must pass before he may again run.

C: Secretary
The Secretary must maintain the game site, and is responsible for tracking all data and information related to the league (such as Contracts, Minor Leaguers, etc). “Secretary for Life” is a permanent position, held by Secretary GM Pressman of the Hammering Maccabees.

D: Amending the Constitution
Winter Meetings will be held each year to review the year prior, discuss the upcoming season, and propose amendments to the Constitution. Any amendment will require a 2/3 vote from GMs attending, so long as that attendence makes up at least 2/3 of the league’s active GMs.

XII: Ratification

This Constitution has been ratified on Sunday, January 16 2010, by the following GMs of the Spaceman League.
GM Lentini
GM McGovern
GM Karaman
GM Bradley
GM Dieter
GM DeSorgher
Commissioner GM Murphy
GM Ramek
Secretary GM Pressman