January 10, 1946: Project Diana bounces radar waves off the Moon, measuring the exact distance between the Earth and the Moon, and proving that communication is possible between Earth and outer space, effectively opening the space age.
ANNOUNCING: The opening of the Space Age Progressive League - 1946 to the present
Our first season of play will be 1946. We are essentially a single season progressive, and will move ahead in time one season at a time from 1946. If we play 5 seasons in a real world year, our league will go till the RL world year 2026 (when I should be ready to retire, so I will have the time to start something else !) and play 80 full seasons.
The league will have 24 teams in a standard 4/4/4 format with a wildcard. We will be able to do this because in addition to those players on the MLB teams in the AL and NL in the seasons we are playing up to 1962 (when baseball expanded by 4 teams from 16 to 20) and possibly all the way to 1969 when baseball went to 24 teams, we will use a secondary pool of players from other sources who will be drafted separately at the end of our normal preseason draft of AL and NL rookies and free agents. These secondary players will not advance in time, nor can they be used as keepers, but will be a permanent pool available each season to fill rosters, provide sufficient players, pitchers, PA and IP at each position. Therefore, we can begin with a 24- team, 6 division format that maximizes the opportunities for making the playoffs right from the start. This should also level off the playing field some between the best and worst teams as well, since no team will be scrounging for enough players just to take the field.
But only the players drafted from the AL and NL and who are playing in the current season we are in (1946 on) are available to be held as keepers. There are no limits on the number of keepers a team may have. There is no salary cap, no DH, no WW, no AAA, no clones. Trades are encouraged and even the secondary players may be traded but neither team may hold them as keepers after the current season. They always return to the secondary draft pool.
We will be using 35 player rosters – owners may draft up to 35 players each season including secondary players. This enables teams to draft future regular players who may not be able to play full time for a few seasons and still keep them while fielding a full team. It allows for a sort of “farm system” strategy, and for long-term planning.
Under no circumstances may any computer generated AAA players be used. Only the drafted or traded for players from AL and NL teams from the current season and the secondary players listed may be used. Any use of other players results in forfeit of any game in which they are used. Nor may computer generated AAA players be traded, only the current season MLB and secondary players.
Draft picks may be traded up to two seasons from the next draft. Example: we are playing in 1946 and so the next upcoming draft will be 1947. Owners may trade up to their 1949 draft picks, but not any beyond that.
Owners that trade future draft picks but leave the league without a convincing explanation before those draft picks have come up risk being listed on the progressive league hall of shame forum thread.
We will utilize a few innovations intended to reduce the obsession with draft order, to make tanking unlikely or ineffective, but at the same time to avoid some of the negative aspects of commonly used systems intended to prevent tanking such as random order (which makes rebuilding more difficult), or those systems based on wins vs. expected wins based on salary (which ignore the specifics of different kinds of players – you may have a big budget for position players and have pitchers with a lot of IP but who are lousy and so expected wins will not reflect baseball realities even WIS baseball).
Our draft system will work as follows:
Our initial, founding draft will consist of as many rounds as are needed for owners to draft any and all of the American or National League players from 1946 that they wish to AND stadiums (and therefore cities for their teams) may be drafted IN ANY ROUND but count as that owner’s pick for that round as though they were drafting a player. (see the list of available stadiums and cities and rules for team names below).
The NL players for 1946 will be drafted first, then when we finish that draft, the AL players for 1946 will be drafted. Stadiums may be drafted in any round as an owner’s pick for that round in either of the two league player drafts.
Draft order will be determined randomly but separately for each of the two league drafts. However, should any of the same owner or owners appear in the top 4 positions in the first round draft order, these will be moved to positions 20-24 beginning from the end, so as to spread out the better drafting positions to as many teams as possible, the rest of the order remaining as generated randomly.
After round 1 of each of the two league drafts, we will follow the classic serpentine order so that the team that had last pick in round 1 of either the AL or NL drafts will have first pick (A through X in round 1, X through A in round 2) and then these two orders will alternative for all successive rounds (A through X in round 3, X through A in round 4 etc.).
ADDENDUM: After we have completed the draft of AL and NL players for 1946, we will complete our initial rosters for our first season with our first ever draft of our Secondary players (see pool of available players below). These players, from very specific sources, allow us to go up to 35 players per team, without seriously altering the overall balance in the league, and without seriously compromising its essential character as a single season progressive league (see below for further explanation and details).
Drafts before 1950:
After our initial draft to start the league, but before we have completed four full seasons, draft order will be randomly assigned, using a table of random numbers, but separate draft orders, and random assigned position in the draft order will be produced for the AL and the NL MLB player drafts which will take place separately.
PLEASE NOTE: THE SEPARATE AL AND NL PLAYER DRAFTS REFERS TO THE TEAMS THAT THOSE PLAYERS PLAYED WITH IN THEIR ROOKIE OR FREE AGENT SEASONS WHICH WE ARE CURRENTLY DRAFTING FOR – NOT TO THE LEAGUE IN WHICH OWNERS AND TEAMS IN OUR WIS PROGRESSIVE LEAGUE ARE PLACED. OWNERS MAY AND INDEED USUALLY WILL NEED TO DRAFT PLAYERS FOR THEIR TEAMS FROM BOTH THE AL AND NL DRAFTS. THE PURPOSE OF SEPARATE DRAFTS IS TO “SPREAD THE WEALTH” OF GOOD DRAFT PICKS AROUND.
For the first four seasons and for our initial draft, we will select the NL players first and then draft the AL players, in recognition of the NL’s prior existence to the AL. Any player that played in both leagues in the current season we are drafting for will be considered eligible to be drafted only for the league in which he played more often as determined by PA numbers for a partial season or IP for the same. HOWEVER, if that player has not been drafted by any team in the draft that takes place first, he will remain available for the following league draft as well.
Teams may use any partial or full/combined season that a player drafted in AL or NL drafts playing in that current season (1946 on) has listed in the WIS database for that same season. But they must use only the specific seasons listed as available for Secondary players as identified by number of PA or IP (though they may use either team version of the same player from that same season with that identical PA or IP).
Drafts from 1950 on:
1) From 1950 on, our draft system will use cumulative won-lost records over the preceding four seasons, and then go on a worst to first basis. Some owners may be willing to tank four straight seasons, and $50 of their own money, but we are betting this is not very likely.
2) We will draft players from the AL and NL current upcoming season as rookies and free agents in two separate drafts – AL and NL players drafted separately.
3) The team with the worst overall W-L record will draft first. That owner will announce which league – NL or AL – they want us to begin the draft for the upcoming season with. All owners and teams will then draft rookies and free agents from that league only until no team wishes to draft any remaining players. The order will be worst overall 4-year record to best.
4) The other MLB league players available will then be drafted, but this time the order will begin with the team with the 5th worst overall record, followed by the team with the 6th worst overall 4-year record, and run through the 16th worst, then begin again with the worst 1-4 teams, followed by the 4th best overall W-L cumulative record (that is the 21st worst) to the best in order.
5) AFTER we have completed the AL and NL drafts, each team MUST have a minimum of 16 players on their roster before the upcoming Secondary draft. Should any team(s) not have 16, the Commissioner may examine their roster and place those players remaining unpicked from the AL and NL drafts that he or she thinks best meet those team’s needs, so that the team or teams in question may then participate in the drafting of the Secondary players to complete their roster up to 35 players.
6) Teams are not obligated to participate in the Secondary player draft if they have already reached 25 players by this point. Nor are teams required to have more than 25 players on their roster if they do not wish to have any more players. But all teams are allowed to draft up to 35 players between the NL and AL and the Secondary draft pool players each season. NO AAA may be used at any time.
7) The draft order for the Secondary player draft will be based strictly on the number of roster spots needed to fill to reach 35, from most picks still needed (even if the team has no intention of drafting up to 35) to least, regardless of won-lost record. Should there be a tie in the number of roster spots still open and picks still needed, the team to draft first of those tied teams will be the one with the BETTER cumulative won-lost record over the previous 4 seasons.
Tanking in order to gain draft order position is strongly discouraged. Should 3 or more owners come to believe that it is possible that a team is losing on purpose in order to gain a more favorable draft pick position, as expressed by sitemails to the commissioner, by message board expressions of concern or the same on the league forum, the commissioner will examine the situation and if s/he finds that there is good reason to think that the charges are true, any game lost by such a team will be counted as a win for purposes of draft position.
A LEAGUE IS A SMALL REPUBLIC, A COMMON GOOD BELONGING ULTIMATELY TO ALL ITS MEMBER OWNERS. OWNERS ARE EXPECTED TO DO THEIR BEST AT ALL TIMES IN THE INTEREST OF THEIR TEAMS, BUT ARE ALSO EXPECTED TO BE GOOD CITIZENS AND PART OF A COMMUNITY IN THIS LEAGUE.
Finally, any owner taking over a below .500 team (in the previous season) whose owner has left the league will be allowed an additional pick at the end of the first round of the first league draft (AL or NL) held to aid in the effort to rebuild a team that is on hard luck through no fault of that new owner’s.