All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > Progressive Theme League Classifieds > Progressive Leagues and Tanking Why?
8/6/2014 10:40 AM
I have never played in a progressive league.  I am trying to start one beginning with 1959 season.  I am curious why people play in a league where owners simply tank games?  I researched some leagues recently.  How is it fun to lose on purpose for draft choices?  It makes zero sense to me.  Progressive owners, please explain the pluses of this kind of league.  It seems progressive leagues are always looking for owners.  If tanking is eliminated from progressive leagues, wouldn't more owners stay in leagues longer?  Thanks.
8/6/2014 2:47 PM

Avoid leagues where there aren't strong rules and harsh punishments for tanking.  If you are starting one, you will likely end up with a couple of owners who you will later regret having, but after a few seasons, your will have a core that jells together. 

There is genuine tanking, and there is subtle tanking.  Most progressive leagues have rules to curb tanking, such as minimum IPs and ABs, and win floors (ie. 36 wins required by game 120 to be eligible for the first pick in the draft), and ejecting owners who clearly are tanking (such as putting your ace pitcher, who is at 100% strength, in AAA; trading away all your starting pitching to get draft picks, leaving your starting rotation full of relievers; or trading away great long-term players for someone who has a superb year coming up - suggesting the owner won't stay around after he wins that season).  But everyone who is approaching game 120 usually figures out where they expect to be in the draft.  If two teams have 36 wins with one game remaining, each one may decide to rest stars to increase the likelihood of a loss to get that #1.  Small moves like that usually aren't considered tanking, but clearly are designed to lose to get a better draft pick.  If your choice in the draft is, say, Bert Blyleven (career WAR of 96.5) as the #1 pick and a pitcher with half that career WAR as the next  best player, it makes sense for you to do all you can to get that #1 pick.  Those moves are allowed unless they are particularly egregious.

It all comes down to trust.  Progressive leagues work well when they have been around for a long time and they only need a new owner on occasion, because each new owner is a risk.  When someone asks to get into a progressive league, there usually is some research done to figure out whether he/she has tanked in other leagues.

I would strongly urge you to play in a progressive league before trying to commission a new league.  It's pretty miserable being a commissioner in a league that has multiple problem children, and you will certainly have problems if you don't have a firm set of rules.  You will also have a hard time recruiting for that first season if the other potential owners know you have no experience in commissioning.  Good luck!

8/6/2014 2:49 PM

Agreed.  Get into a few progressives before you try starting your own.

8/6/2014 3:29 PM
I appreciate the information.  I have looked at progressives leagues.  It amazes me that owners play an entire season tanking games to help with future seasons.
I understand why owners leave leagues after destroying teams.  More and more will be needed in those leagues in future.

The progressive league that I am proposing takes the best of progressive and eliminates the tons of meaningless games because of tanking games.

1.  every year draft positions are random  (tankers do not benefit)
2.  keeper list is shorter so dynasties are harder and balanced league is possible every year
3. no trades (now you win or lose with team you built, no buddy bails you out -  veto power is not factor because total votes to deny trades is too high
4. philosophy simply is Herm Edwards rule:  You play to win the game!

Being a novice in progressives is a positive because I have zero secrets to winning.  It is a naive way of thinking for some but it is fair.

My potential theme is a 1959 progressive with live draft.  I need 9 to start.

Any new insights would be appreciated.
8/7/2014 2:12 PM
You've pretty much nailed it.

I absolutely won't join a prog league unless there are drastic measures in place to prevent (or render irrelevant) tanking.  Having been in many leagues where tanking occured, I believe that it completely destroys any semblance of integrity in the league.  Moreover, one of the things I like most about progressives is trying to win more games than my team's talent level should allow.  Some of my favorite prog seasons have been the ones where I've won 80-90 games with teams that had 70-75 win talent.  It drives me crazy that in most progressives that kind of managerial accomplishment is punished rather than rewarded.  In my humble opinion, wins floors and lotteries of the bottom X teams are woefully insufficient to prevent this stuff.

There are some leagues that have done an excellent job at this.  None of them are perfect, but in each case I believe any downsides are vastly preferable to a league where it is any owner's interest to lose deliberately.

1.) Formula-based draft orders.  There are several versions of this, from the relatively simple to the very complex.  Basically, these formulas reward you for winning more games than expected based on your salary.  gonoles777 runs a number of leagues like this, and just4me came up with an excellent "expected wins" formula several years ago that a number of progs now use.  These leagues have an ancillary benefit in that the formulas provide an incentive for teams not to keep unnecessary talent...thus expanding the draft pool in any given season and giving teams that are rebuilding more to choose from.  Check out any of the WESPL or ATP drafts in the Progressive Draft Database thread and you will see what I mean.

2.) Draft order based on some version of keeper salary.  The Roll the Dice league uses this (as do some other leagues).

3.) Full draft order randomization.  The NWP uses this.  All non-playoff teams have an equal shot at the #1 pick.  No reward for losing deliberately.

There are other variants not mentioned here.
8/7/2014 2:19 PM
Thanks for the information contrarian23.  I just certain progressives a lot.  I just do not get why owners want to tank seasons or play in leagues that award tanking.  It just
does not seem right. Of course Sixers did it this year.
8/8/2014 11:50 AM
Posted by contrarian23 on 8/7/2014 2:12:00 PM (view original):
You've pretty much nailed it.

I absolutely won't join a prog league unless there are drastic measures in place to prevent (or render irrelevant) tanking.  Having been in many leagues where tanking occured, I believe that it completely destroys any semblance of integrity in the league.  Moreover, one of the things I like most about progressives is trying to win more games than my team's talent level should allow.  Some of my favorite prog seasons have been the ones where I've won 80-90 games with teams that had 70-75 win talent.  It drives me crazy that in most progressives that kind of managerial accomplishment is punished rather than rewarded.  In my humble opinion, wins floors and lotteries of the bottom X teams are woefully insufficient to prevent this stuff.

There are some leagues that have done an excellent job at this.  None of them are perfect, but in each case I believe any downsides are vastly preferable to a league where it is any owner's interest to lose deliberately.

1.) Formula-based draft orders.  There are several versions of this, from the relatively simple to the very complex.  Basically, these formulas reward you for winning more games than expected based on your salary.  gonoles777 runs a number of leagues like this, and just4me came up with an excellent "expected wins" formula several years ago that a number of progs now use.  These leagues have an ancillary benefit in that the formulas provide an incentive for teams not to keep unnecessary talent...thus expanding the draft pool in any given season and giving teams that are rebuilding more to choose from.  Check out any of the WESPL or ATP drafts in the Progressive Draft Database thread and you will see what I mean.

2.) Draft order based on some version of keeper salary.  The Roll the Dice league uses this (as do some other leagues).

3.) Full draft order randomization.  The NWP uses this.  All non-playoff teams have an equal shot at the #1 pick.  No reward for losing deliberately.

There are other variants not mentioned here.
I wish there were more leagues that used #3.
8/9/2014 9:16 AM
i run a progressive where the winner drafts first

world series loser drafts second

so on down the line
8/9/2014 9:24 AM
That is interesting.  Does it eliminate tanking?  Do you need owners every season?
8/10/2014 9:43 AM
Posted by dlcunc31 on 8/9/2014 9:24:00 AM (view original):
That is interesting.  Does it eliminate tanking?  Do you need owners every season?
yeah because poor teams dont have a chance to rebuild
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8/10/2014 11:08 AM
I always wanted to be in a league where if you win 81 games you get the first pick.  
8/14/2014 4:09 PM
Posted by jeff4noles on 8/10/2014 9:43:00 AM (view original):
Posted by dlcunc31 on 8/9/2014 9:24:00 AM (view original):
That is interesting.  Does it eliminate tanking?  Do you need owners every season?
yeah because poor teams dont have a chance to rebuild
true if a single year progressive, but this is an all years progressive

when you have 10,000 players to choose from, draft order hardly matters
All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > Progressive Theme League Classifieds > Progressive Leagues and Tanking Why?

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