All Forums > Hardball Dynasty Baseball > Hardball Dynasty > What constitutes tanking?
11/13/2013 10:22 AM
Payroll is a red herring.  As are prospect dollars, and they are somewhat related.

You can win with a low payroll and lose with $100M+ (I'm more familiar with the latter..but I digress).

If you're losing with a low payroll, then you're not really trying to win, are you?

Just by not actively trying to lose by playing a C at SS doesn't mean you're doing your best, either.  There are always pieces around for minimal cash.

Wins are wins.  The proof is in the pudding.
11/13/2013 11:12 AM
Posted by dyoungquist on 11/13/2013 9:15:00 AM (view original):
I am currently being accused of not trying to win and/or tanking simply because I have the lowest payroll in the world.  However, there are a dozen teams who are going to finish with fewer wins than I have.  I think there are owners who are jealous/upset when other teams win more games they do with a significantly lower payroll.  The suggestion has been made to start a minimum payroll rule just because of my team.  I am seriously considering leaving the world if they do vote that in.   
why?
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11/15/2013 11:49 AM
Tanking is taking a 90 win team, burying the top 4 players from that season in AAA, using a long reliever with an ERA over 10 as a closer, and playing shortstops at 2b, tin glovers at ss, and running a 21 man roster so pitchers pinch-hit just about every game, as one example.  I will just about make you cry when someone takes a 90 win team, tanks it to build to win 110, and bails before the job is done.

If you have a legitimate 25 man roster, your best 25 in the majors, and are trying to improve, then no matter how bad the record is, you can't feel that they are legitimately tanking.
11/16/2013 6:04 PM
Doing anything that is clearly intended to maximize the number of losses of your ML team.  Here's a partial list:

Playing a player at a position not checked by the Show Recs (Projected) option. Worlds should be able to list specific exceptions, such as min requirements for C (game will set reasonable Cs as DH-only), weak armed RFs, and Mike's "C in RF" system. Playing a C or 1B at SS or CF is, IMO, tanking. It's an active effort to lose.

Every player should be allowed 4 MinL seasons to develop, plus the 20 days to delay the arb clock. After that, the best players belong on the ML team. "Best" is arbitrary. Up to the world to determine how to decide that.  Popular vote is probably best.

Having any player on the ML team that clearly does not belong there.  Stuff like SPs with 15/15 LHB/RHB ratings. If there is a more reasonable P in the MinL, or on the FA market, "I don't have the money" or "I don't want to spend the money" is just defending tanking.  Poor planing your way to tanking is still tanking. Players can be waived or traded to free money, or money can be moved from Prospect to Salary if that's what it takes to field a team of reasonable ML players.

More than one 0(0) P on the ML roster. Again, poor planning can't be used as a reason to justify tanking.

While I'm on a roll, here are a few things that I don't think are tanking:

Low payroll.  If you can win 70+ games with a $20M payroll, and you're not doing any of the above, more power to you.

Benching your best players and promoting & playing borderline (at best) prospects. My first few seasons, I played several players I now know never should have left AAA. It took getting them some ML AB and IP to learn that. New GMs should be given a few seasons to learn how predictable development is.  I didn't know a 26 year old with a lot of potential is a waste of time back then.

Losing. A Min W requirement is probably the single best rule a world can have. But no matter what, somebody is going to pick #1 in the draft. Not being a great HBD GM is not taking.
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11/17/2013 2:06 PM
Or if there wasn't a draft.
11/17/2013 3:25 PM
Posted by mfahie on 11/17/2013 12:30:00 PM (view original):
By the way, if there was just way more fuzziness in the draft (like in real life) tanking would no longer matter so much.
Not true. If one is inclined to tank, the incentive to get the player most likely to be best (i.e. fuzzily the best) is the same as the incentive to get the player definitively the best. Exhibit A: The bottom fourth of the 2013-14 NBA.
11/17/2013 10:42 PM
But I think the lower chance of payoff would combine with the social pressure of the league to make it no longer effective to tank.

And we would care less about tankers, too. Go ahead, get that 1st overall draft pick, and bust with it.

11/17/2013 11:15 PM
A tanker does not care about the social pressure of the league. Certainly such a change would reduce the effectiveness of tanking. But it would do nothing to change the incentive to tank. Once an owner who uses tanking as a strategy determines he is not trying to compete in a given season or stretch of seasons, as long as the No. 1 pick has a better chance of panning out than the No. 2 pick, it's worthwhile to chase the No. 1 pick, however slight the difference is. Short of completely randmomizing the draft results, it's not going to discourage tanking.
11/18/2013 9:09 AM
If anything, it would just encourage longer term tanking, imo.

I got a the #1!  But he sucked.  Better luck with the #1 next season!
11/18/2013 7:07 PM
So what I'm hearing is a suggestion to make the draft  possibly worse than it already is a lot of the time? And worlds that haven't tolerated tanking should suffer the same consequences as worlds that have?

It seems to me the best remedy against tankers is that each world makes it so they are unable to do so. Tanking is not an HBD problem. It's a problem for worlds that allow it.

11/18/2013 7:24 PM
If you make the draft worse, the guy who drafts first still gets the best player. So he tanks. Maybe harder.

THE problem is that great players are TOO consistently great. A guy who can OPS 1.100 or WHIP 1.00 doesn't just do it once or twice, he does it ten seasons - or more - in a row.

I would agree with MikeT23's contention that you can win WS titles without tanking - that there is more than one way to build a winner - but I would estimate it takes many seasons of refinement of actual game knowledge to figure out how to do so.

The shortest, straightest, most obvious line to winning is just to accumulate the most raw ratings that you can. Thus, tanking.

IMO the best suggestion I've seen to moderate this would be deathinahole's contention that injuries should simply be jacked up to real life levels. So your "Matt Harvey" blows his elbow at 24 yrs old and takes two seasons to come back, or your "Ken Griffey" gets banged up early and ends up being a shell of himself by 32. But as has been pointed out elsewhere, owners would just ***** about too many injuries.

So yes, all I can figure is that the only thing is for each world to police itself, however it sees necessary.

11/24/2013 11:23 AM
People will disagree on this topic, just like any topic where there is nuance involved.

Most of my teams in this game have been pretty good.  But I've also had some really bad teams.  I can say with 100% confidence that with those bad teams I never played players out of position, I never set the manager settings different then I do on my good teams, and I never kept obviously better players in the minors over major leaguers who were worse.  I managed my team with the players that I had the best that I could to get them to win.

One thing that I did though, is I avoided paying big $$$ on the free agent market for players who weren't worth it.  In most leagues, the free agent market is crazy.  You have to spent $15M+/year on average starting pitchers.  If I have a team I know is not going to compete, I don't believe in doing that.

Many would call that tanking, but I don't see how doing that would be good for my team.  People say the real life Cubs and Astros are taking, so maybe this is tanking too.  I don't believe the real life Cubs ever set their lineups to lose, or tell all their players to try to steal bases constantly...but they aren't going out and overpaying for Cano this season either.  They are waiting for their prospects to develop, before going all in and signing free agents to fill the holes when they are ready to compete.
11/24/2013 11:30 AM
Another thing - if you are unhappy if the worst teams getting the best players in the draft, the solution isn't to randomize the prospects -- the solution is to randomize the draft order.  Move to a lottery for the draft order with all of the non-playoff teams.

Not everything in HBD matches up to real life baseball.  (Salary cap)  So you could move to the NBA-style draft lottery and take care of the perceived issue.  Suddenly, a team who missed the playoffs by one game could get the top pick in the draft and the worst team could draft in the teens.  Make it weighted or non-weighted.  Maybe even let each league be different - pick how you handle the draft order yourself: Standard, weighted lottery, non-weighted lottery.  Be a reason for people to have more then one team.
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