The EFL is unlike any other baseball fantasy league. We are not a rotisserie nor a head-to-head nor a points league. We fancy ourselves as being in competition with the MLB teams, so we have tried to make our league operate as analogously to the MLB as possible.
We have a salary cap set at 75% of the median MLB team’s salary — so we are small market teams, but not hopelessly small. We put together rosters of 25 to 30 players before Opening Day, from
* Players we carry over from the previous year, up to 25;
* Players drafted in the off season at:
— A Rule 5 draft early in January , drafting from other EFL teams, up to 2 players
— An expansion draft (for first-year owners only), from MLB and EFL teams, up to 15 players
— A Rookie Draft from players who debuted in MLB the previous year, and where we bid against each other but the computer frustrates us by taking a lot of the players.
— A Free Agent draft, from MLB free agents and a few EFL free agents, in which we have to outbid players’ actual MLB salaries (kind of).
We manage the teams month by month, setting roster allocations early in the month, with three changes possible during the month. Your batters’ MLB stats, pro-rated according to your allocations, are used to compute your team’s Runs Created Per Game. Your pitchers’ innings and earned runs allowed, again prorated per your allocations, are used to compute your team’s ERA. Your players’ prorated defensive ratings (our own stat, compiled from various defensive stats) combines with your team’s ERA to produce total runs allowed per game. We apply Bill James’ pythagorean formula to your runs scored and runs allowed to compute your winning percentage for the month, and that generates your monthly record.
We compile all your monthly records to get the season record.
We keep track of how we compete against each other. In addition, we are each in an MLB division to directly compete against MLB general managers. These are the owners, in the order of their 2017 finish:
Pittsburgh Alleghenys: Mark Weinert
Flint Hill Tornados: Jamie Johnson
Cottage Cheese: Dave Votaw
Portland Rosebuds: Mark Johnson
Kaline Drive: Tom Johnson
Peshastin Pears: Phil Smith
Old Detroit Wolverines: Ron Mock
Canberra Kangaroos: Ryan Mock.
DC Balk: Rob Bohall, our most recent expansion team.
League membership requires the following:
1. Submit a home city and team name, preferably with a logo or icon, and a color scheme.
2. Participate in your expansion draft, probably in January,
3. Participate in the Rookie Draft and the Free Agent Draft, which occur on two different Saturday mornings in late February to late March.
4. Submit a legal roster with legal allocations before Opening Day.
5. Submit a protected list before next year’s Rule 5 draft, and a legal roster before next year’s Rookie Draft.
6. Enjoy competing, but be gentlemanly about it. This doesn’t bar trash talk — God forbid! — but our league has an unblemished record of never having anyone abuse the rules, collude, or play dirty. In fact, owners have always been scrupulous to correct commissioner mistakes in their favor, etc. And every owner has been cheerful and gracious when the Commissioner goofs up, which he does like clockwork.
7. Participate in the Rule 5 draft early in January, before the expansion draft.
8. Submit a freshened-up roster allocation every month.
9. Participate in our monthly mangers meetings/midseason mini-drafts at the beginning of May, June, July, August and September. Attendance is not mandatory. You can attend by phone or video link if necessary. You can send in drafting instructions. One season an owner skipped all the monthly meetings, never drafted anyone mid-season, and never changed his Opening Day allocations until, at the end of August, his team took the lead! Then he showed up for the September meeting, drafted a couple of players, spruced up his allocations — and lost (came in second) by 0.9 games.
We do not recommend this approach.
Oh, and one other Highly Advised Point:
10. Be susceptible to falling in love — sort of, you know what I mean — with players you’ve drafted, and succumbing to the urge to track how they do almost every day, rejoicing when they rejoice, suffering when they suffer, and stewing when they won’t quit suffering doggone it.