FAQs on Progressives Topic

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WIS: What is one feature you want to see implemented in a future update?

zlionsfan: The almost total lack of support for progressive leagues has made our commissioner pull his eyes out every season.

bagchucker: Progressives support. Keeper lists and draft lists and running the draft. In order to do this right, WIS has to play and run some progressives for a few cycles. Otherwise there are a thousand niggling details you are sure to get wrong.

smeric: The inability to run keeper leagues and annual drafts for said leagues automatically through the draft center. Progressive commissioners would have a much easier time sustaining their leagues if the draft center was more progressive friendly. From a business standpoint this should be a HIGH priority for WIS given the long-term nature of the PROGRESSIVE league concept. I've been in quite a number of progressive leagues that ceased operating due to commissioners being unable to maintain the incredible level of effort required over 20, 30 or 40+ seasons. Make it easier to run progressive league and you'll see more of them survive and therefore more recurring revenue for your company.

ernestleifB: I think that it would be rather easy to generate a players list automatically for an upcoming draft of an ongoing progressive league. The commissioner of the league, in this case ceez, could enter the league number of the previous season and a feature could be created to generate a list of players available in the next season's database that did not appear on any roster at any point during the previous season. I don't think it would be that hard to do.

rsp777: A-FREAKING-MEN TO THIS! That is one VERY simple idea that would make sim leagues SO much easier for commissioners to deal with, especially in our case where there is no IR and a guy returns to the draft pool if he misses a season. Sometimes the research needed in the Centennial League can be a bit much because of the no IR rule, and a feature such as this would make things WAY easier for the commish in doing an available players list and it would also make things WAY easier for owners because it would eliminate the need to dig deep to find guys who miss a season. That way another "Ian Kennedy"episode wouldn't happen and he wouldn't drop to me at the #6 pick.

Editor's note: Big plans are in the works to help progressive league play. Stay tuned!   ...   http://whatifsports.com/beyondtheboxscore/default.asp?article=interview_20111205

2/4/2013 10:04 PM
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Bump this for the late Spring.

Going to announce a new progressive league sometime in the next week or so, and this is the best introduction there is for those owners who have not tried out the best kind of league there is at WIS. 
5/12/2013 9:23 AM
9/11/2013 12:22 AM
bump as a reminder...especially for those new to progressives....that when you join one you should really commit to sticking with it for at least a calendar year.  (ie about 5 seasons).  Dropping out after a season or two just because you're bored or don't like the rules or you find out your team is lousy is just bad form.
4/4/2014 8:30 PM
Bump, because too many greats progs are taking longer than they should to fill...if you've never played a progressive before, it is the most fun you can have on WIS. Give it a try.
9/1/2014 8:55 PM
Some of this stuff is in the first post, but I thought it would be worth highlighting a few things, as helpful guidance for newbies.  I've got about 40 seasons as commissioner under my belt (some people have many many more), but my experience is that newbies have a very high turnover rate.  Some of this is probably due to not knowing what's expected of you when you join...some is probably the simple fact that the owner skill-level in most progressives is very tough, and newbies can be daunted by what it takes to put together a competitive team.

So I wanted to share two posts...one on what's expected when you join a prog, one on some basic thoughts on prog strategy.

As to what's expected of you, here are some guidelines.  These should certainly be classified as "my opinion", but I expect most prog commissioners will have at least directionally similar expectations:

  • If you join a progressive, plan to stay with it for at least a calendar year (probably 4-5 SIM seasons).  This is the absolute MINIMUM expectation that a commissioner will have of you when you join a league.  I've seen too many examples in the past year of new owners joining a lot of progs in a short time, and then (realizing that it's a lot of work) dropping out of almost as many after only a season or two.  Or joining a prog without having read the rules and then deciding "it's not for me."  If you're new to progs, please consider joining no more than 1 or 2 until you really know what you are getting into. It's exceptionally bad form to join a league and then leave it after 1-2 seasons.  And it's absolutely deplorable to leave a team that you have decimated through trades, or when you have traded away a future #1 pick.  Of course, we all understand that "life happens", but if you know you need to leave a progressive, give the commissioner lots of advance notice so he can find a replacement for you.  Just going MIA, or dropping out 48 hours before the annual draft starts is a good way to tick off a lot of people.
  • Bears repeating: If you are rebuilding your team...stick with it until the team is at least in decent shape...even if the commissioner does something to tick you off.  Saddling some other owner with your lousy roster, and bereft of draft picks because you traded a bunch away in your last pennant drive...poor form.
  • When you join a league, it is your responsibility to know the rules.  Not all progs are the same, by any means (drives me crazy when owners post an ad looking for new owners and say "standard progressive rules."  There is no such thing.)  Most leagues have a constitution or similar post that explains everything like how draft orders are determined, how many keepers you can have from season to season, any restrictions on trading of draft picks, etc.  You should read this stuff - and get your questions answered - before joining the league.  I've only kicked an owner out of a league once, and it was because he (a) either didn't read or didn't take the time to understand the rules and (b) used forum posts and sitemails as a way to (profanely) whine about things he didn't like.  Probably THE most important thing to know is how draft order is determined...and there are many ways of doing this:
    • Reverse order of standings (at end of season? Game 120? Other? I know at least one league that uses cumulative standings for the past FOUR seasons to determine draft order).
    • Lottery (how many teams?  Weighted or not?)
    • Wins floor (how many wins?  By when?  What is the punishment for falling below the floor?)
    • Formula based on something like wins, salary, etc...make sure you understand exactly how this is calculated.
  • If you join a NEW progressive (i.e. one starting from scratch), please know what you are getting into.  Drafting 16 or 24 rosters from scratch takes a long time.  Assuming 1 round per day, if you're going to draft full rosters of 25 players, it will take 3-4 weeks to do this.  That first draft is tedious, but essential.  Some leagues shorten the process in various creative ways, but the point is an inaugural draft is a lot of work and takes time.  Similarly, please be aware of the amount of research it will take you to prepare for that draft; you basically have to look up every player in the WIS database who played that season, which can easily by 600-700 players in modern seasons.
  • Get stuff in on time, and don't expect the other owners to accommodate your availability.  All progressives require you to submit keeper lists, make draft picks, vote on rules changes, and so on.  It's no fun for the commish to have to chase you down to get this stuff done, and it's terribly unfair to the other owners.  If you don't have regular internet access, or your employer blocks WIS, or you live overseas...being in a progressive is going to be at least a little bit harder for you.  Some leagues are better at making accommodations than others, but all leagues expect you to be timely and responsible.  Asking the league to postpone a draft because you have a long-planned vacation to a remote island with no internet access that week...well, good luck finding a league that will allow that.  
1/3/2016 12:57 PM
Strategy thoughts...your mileage may vary...these are, again, my opinion:
1.) Understand the concept of replacement value. Picture this scenario…it’s time to post your annual keepers, and you have 22 guys you know you want to keep, but you’re on the fence about your backup catcher. He’s mediocre, never hits all that much, has a decent arm but not A+…never gets above 200PA in a season. Do you keep him (meaning you have 23 keepers and will get 2 draft picks) or let him go (and get a 3rd round pick)? Answering that question requires having a really good handle on replacement value…what is the value of the player you will be replacing that guy with?
There are lots of variables that go into replacement value, but by far the most important is the ratio of teams in your league to the number of real MLB teams from which you can draft players. 24-team single-season progs in the 1970s won’t have a lot of depth in the draft. By the third round, you’re going to be sifting through a real pile of dog crap. 16-team double-season progs will typically have a ton of talent in every draft. Makes all the difference in the world when you are making those final cut decisions. I see new owners get this wrong all the time…either keeping guys they could have easily improved on, or cutting players who are going to be much better than what they will get with the subsequent pick.
2.) Related concept…thou shalt know thy draft classes. There are some seasons in which the 8th or 9th pick in the first round is worth more than a top-3 pick in other seasons. Some years a late first round pick is worth a lot, others it’s garbage. Experienced prog owners have probably drafted multiple times from every year since (at least) the 1960s. They know which classes are heavy with HOF stars at the top (hello 1982), which ones have less star power but good depth, which have both, and which have neither. And they trade, and draft, and adjust their concept of replacement value accordingly. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for crazystengel’s progressive draft forum, which is a gold mine.
3.) Use your whole roster. If most of your WIS experience is in open leagues or high-cap theme leagues, you are probably used to having set lineups, plenty of PA at every position (plus AAA to help you out) and more than enough IP to get through the season without fatigue. Now it’s your first progressive, and you’ve got a 1987 team with less than 1100 innings, no full time SP, and only 300 PAs at 3B. Believe it or not, you can get through a season like that without it being a total disaster, but it’s going to take some work. If you’ve never used tandem rotations, they are a lifesaver in progressives. Micromanaging your lineups and bullpens, resting key players during the interleague matchups…all can and should be part of your strategy.
4.) Mediocrity is your enemy. So that there is no confusion here, please be 100% clear that I am not advocating tanking. Ever. Period. Tanking is deliberately playing the team you have in such a way that you lose more games than you would otherwise, by doing disingenuous things like playing guys out of position unnecessarily, using tired players instead of rested ones, sabotaging your pitching staff, etc. Unfortunately, in leagues with reverse-order-of-finish drafting, this is a common occurrence (and it’s a reason I never join those leagues.)
However, it is an ENTIRELY different – and perfectly fair and valid – strategy to trade away players who are good now for draft picks or players who are good in the future. It makes no sense to keep players who are decent for a year or two if you know you will not be competing in those seasons. Likewise, it is pointless to plug holes in your lineup and pitching staff for the short term by giving away draft picks and future talent in seasons when you aren’t going to contend. The worst trades I see in progressives are made by owners who do this. In the NWP we had an owner trade away a future #1 pick for 1.5 seasons of Steve Blass, when he was never going to contend in those 1.5 seasons. He shored up his rotation, but for what? He won 67 games in 1971 (finishing 47 games out of first place) and 79 in 1972 (finishing 26 games out). Pointless. The NWP uses an entirely randomized draft order, so the owner in question had no idea what that #1 pick would end up being, but it’s rather poetic that it ended up being the #1 overall pick in 1973. He lost out on Mike Schmidt.
Good progressive owners always have their eye on a future season(s) when they know they will be competing for the pennant, and they tend not to care whether they win 80 or 70 or 60 or even 50 games in the meantime.
2/25/2016 5:06 PM (edited)
Several good progs with openings right now...I've you've never played this kind of league, it's a very different way to enjoy WIS...give one a try!
4/17/2016 10:49 AM
One thing to watch out for...some progressives have a strange rule regarding the trading of future draft picks. I think this rule is unfair and fundamentally flawed. Those of you who have access to crazystengel's progressive draft league forum can see a recent post where some of us discussed this rule here.

For those who don't have access, here's the gist:

The exact phrasing may differ, but the issue has to do with what happens when you trade away a future draft pick. I typically see it phrased something like this: "when posting keepers, a team must make sure that they have cut enough players to account for any draft picks traded away." So a team that has traded its first round pick can have no more than 24 keepers, for example, in order (I guess?) to "free up" the traded 1st round pick.

I have never understood this rule. The leagues I am commissioner of don't use it, and I won't join leagues that do. I've occasionally heard it explained as a rule to prevent teams getting "something for nothing" but I think that reflects a basic misunderstanding of opportunity cost, and the rule is directly punitive - effectively a tax - on teams that trade.

Let's take as an example my current Houston Mustangs in the NWP. We are late in the 1994 season, and preparing for the 1995 draft. During the 1994 draft, I negotiated a trade with another team in which I gave up my 1994 2nd round pick and 1995 1st round pick for another team's 1994 1st round pick. We agreed on this trade...it was considered a fair exchange by both owners. I gave up 2 draft picks, one of them a 1st in 1995, to acquire a 1st in 1994. I have not "gotten something for nothing." I have given up the right to draft a player in the first round in 1995. I have lost out on the right to add a good 1995 rookie to my roster.

Now I'm getting ready to post my 1995 keepers, and looking at my roster I prefer to keep 25 players. Thankfully, the NWP allows me to do this.

If the hypothetical rule that I am complaining about were in place, then I would have to drop a player I would prefer to keep. For the sake of argument, let's say the player I would cut if forced to do so would be Jason Bere. Now I need to replace him, but I don't have a first round pick, so I would have to use a second round pick...my team will pick late in the 2nd round, so this player will be around the 45th best player available in the 1995 draft. Looking at my draft spreadsheet, that might be someone like, say, Ron Coomer.

I would much rather have Bere than Coomer.

So this rule effectively penalizes me for making an equal trade with another owner. It says, effectively, that I can't make the trade...that I have to give up something ELSE - Jason Bere - for something of lesser value - Ron Coomer.

In other words, instead of the trade:
-- I give up a 1994 2nd and a 1995 1st, in exchange for a 1994 1st
It becomes:
-- I give up a 1994 2nd, a 1995 1st, and Jason Bere, in exchange for a 1994 1st and Ron Coomer.

Since I prefer Bere to Coomer, this rule effectively imposes a tax on me for making the trade by forcing me to drop a more valuable player for a less valuable one.

Again, I did not "get something for nothing." I lost out on getting a player like Tony Clark or David Bell, someone who would be a late first round pick in 1995. The opportunity cost of that lost pick has real value.

To further see the absurdity of this rule, imagine instead that during the 1994 season I traded a 3rd round pick to acquire a minor player. Say, perhaps, Alex Cole.

Now when I post my keepers, what does this rule require me to do? I have to cut not 1, but THREE, players, in order to free up a 3rd round pick. See how dumb this is? Now the trade is a 3rd round pick PLUS 3 players I prefer to have kept, for whomever I will get with my 1st, 2nd, and 4th round picks, who by definition are less valuable than the 3 players I am forced to cut.
5/1/2016 11:19 AM
because you're creating currency out of thin air

say i trade my 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 and 10 next year for your Babe Ruth

then i keep 25
5/1/2016 11:54 AM
because IF you keep all 25 roster players you don't get a 1st Rd. pick! Without a 1st Rd. pick you have nothing to trade for that 1st Rd. pick you USED in that last draft! Effectively getting to have your 1st rd. pick from your next draft, trading it for a better 1st rd. pick in the current draft, and then officially declaring (thru your Keeper List--with 25 active players) that you actually don't HAVE a 1st Rd. pick (which you already traded!).

This ain't the Fed. Reserve Bank. This is baseball. You get 25 roster spaces EACH year. No more, no less. You're wanting 26 in that second year, the way I see it.
5/1/2016 12:10 PM
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FAQs on Progressives Topic

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