SimLeague BaseBall Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
General Simleague Questions
* Don't have a credit card? * How do I change leagues?
* Can I change my roster after I join a league? * Do I have to draft my entire team at once?
* How to create a private league for me and my friends. * How to join a private league that a friend of mine has created.
* Knowing when a league is ready to start. * Can I play in more than 1 league at once?
* What happens if teams tie for the division title or wildcard? * How is home-field advantage decided for the SimLeague Championship?
* What does my rating mean? * What's a theme league? How do they work?
* What's a clone? * Where do I find the boxscores to see how my team did?
Team Managment
* If I have more than 1 pitcher set to the same role, how does the SimManager decide who to bring in? * My opponent's pitchers have pitched way over their actual IP!
* Can I choose my pinch-hitters? * How do I remove a team from my team management center after the season is over?
* What time are the games simmed? What's the deadline for making managerial moves? * Can I change my starting pitching order?
* Why have bench players? * How does the Waiver Wire work?
* How does fatigue work? * What do the defensive ratings mean?
* How does the mop up setting work for relief pitchers? * What do the managerial profile settings do?
* How do you notify WhatIfSports of a new record? * How does AAA work?
* Can I save a batting order for right-handed pitchers and a separate lineup for left-handed pitchers? * Why is my team slumping when none of my players are fatigued?
* What's the difference between the different pitching roles (mopup, long A/B, setup A/B and closer A/B)? * Why do I struggle in the playoffs? Is there a secret to winning in the playoffs?
* Why is one of the games on my schedule highlighted? * How does auto-rest work?
* How does the Auto Skip setting work? * Why did my pitcher go over his maximum pitchcount setting?
* Why is my pitchers's sim performance worse than his real life performance? * How do I change someone's fielding position?
* Why was a different lineup used than the one specified? * How do the 2A/2B and 3A/3B starting pitcher roles work?
* Why did one of my pitchers assigned to rest pitch? * Why was my pitcher left in so long?
* What happens if I play a player out of position? * How can I avoid having certain players enter a game for defensive purposes or to rest a starter?
* What's the difference between putting a player on the bench versus rest?
Trades
* What is the trading block? * Can I trade minor leaguers?
* Do trades have to be even (1-for-1 or 2-for-2)? * Are there any roster-related limitations for trades?
* Are there any financial limitations on trades? * How will I be notified of new trade proposal information?
* Can a trade be vetoed? How long do I have to wait before a trade is completed? * What happens to my lineup after a trade? How are newly acquired players' roles determined?
Theme League Drafts
* What do each of the Theme "Draft Settings" mean? * How does a Theme League Draft work?
* How can I view the draft results during and after the draft? * Can I chat with other owners before, during, and after the draft?
* How smart is the player selection process during a live draft? * Tell me more about the personal draft lists -- how do they work?
* What happens if I miss my turn in the draft? * Can I get out of a draft theme league after I join?
* How long do we have to wait for other owners to finish drafting their players? * Are my draft picks final or can I change my draft picks?
* If the draft limits 1 player per league, can we change the year of the player as we move through the draft?
Common SimLeague Terminology
* What is a Twist League? * What is a Progressive League?
* What is a Screw Your Neighbor League? * What is a Franchise League?
* What is a Replay League? * What does realignment mean?
General Baseball Questions
* When should a pitcher be credited with a save? * When is a pitcher charged with an earned run?
Don't have a credit card?
Yes, you can still play by adding funds to your account by either using PayPal or by mailing a money order. To add money to your account via PayPal, simply send the payment to website@whatifsports.com. Make sure to include your username. Also note that there is a $1 handling fee for PayPal payments. To pay via mail, send a check or money order to:

WhatIfSports.com
PO Box 43494
Cincinnati, OH 45243


Click here for a deposit form >>

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How do I change leagues?
We can move you to a different league ONLY if:
1. The team you want to move is a full-season team
2. The league you're in has not had it's games scheduled already
3. There are openings in the league you want to move to

You'll need to fill out a tech support form request to be moved (make sure to include the league you are in and the league you want to be moved to).

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Can I change my roster after I join a league?
No, once you click on 'Create Team', your roster can not be modified until your season starts. Once your season starts, you can use the waiver wire to adjust your lineup. For full-season team owners you can also use players from your AAA farm team and you can make trades with other owners. Allowing owners to adjust their lineups after they click 'Create Team' would give the owners earliest into the league an unfair advantage over the last owners to join the league.

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Do I have to draft my entire team at once?
No. We save your draft picks as you make them so you can come back as many times as you need to complete your team.

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How to create a private league for me and my friends.
When you finish drafting your team, you'll be asked if you want to either (a.) Join the first available league, (b.) Start a new private league or (c.) Join an existing league.
If you choose to create your own league, then we will start a new league for you and place your team in it. From the team management center page, you can invite your friends to join your newly created league.

Please note that you have 7 days to fill the open spots in your league with your friends. After 7 days, your league will be opened to the public.

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How to join a private league that a friend of mine has created.
You'll need to know the name of the league that your friend has created. After you've finished drafting your team, choose the option to 'Join an existing league' and type in the league name. If there are still openings in that league, you're team will be added to it.

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Knowing when a league is ready to start.
As soon as your league is full (6 teams for Spring Training leagues and 24 teams for Full Season leagues), all team owners will receive an email notifying them that league play has been scheduled to begin. Please make sure your email address is correct or you won't receive the notification.

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Can I play in more than 1 league at once?
Yes! Members may compete in as many Full Season leagues as they would like, even having two teams in the same league. Members are limited to 1 free Spring Training team at any one time. You may participate in both Spring Training and Full Season leagues at the same time.

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What happens if teams tie for the division title or wildcard?
In the case of a tie at the end of the regular season in which a playoff appearance is at stake, a 1 game playoff will be scheduled between the two teams. The game will take place in the pm2 slot the day after the regular season is completed. Both managers will be able to change their starting pitcher for that game. The pitcher in the #1 slot will be used.

In the case of a 3-way tie, a 3-game round-robin playoff will be scheduled. The first team to go 2-0 in the round-robin tie-breakers will advance.

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How is home-field advantage decided for the SimLeague Championship?
Teams are seeded for the playoffs, 1-4, for their respective league. The team with the highest winning percentage in its league earns the #1 seed. The wildcard always received the #4 seed. Home-field advantage for the League Championship is given to the team with the higher seed. In the event of even seeds, the team with the higher regular season winning percentage receives home-field advantage. If this is even, too, then the team with the fewest playoff losses earns it. Otherwize, a coin flip decides.

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What does my rating mean?
Each team owner is given a rating. This rating is based on who you've played, whether you've won or lost and by how much. It is similiar in concept to the RPI ratings used for college basketball or Jeff Sagarin's ratings.

Each team owner is given a initial rating of 1400. This rating is adjusted after each league game, based on the final score and the rating of the opposing team owner. For example, if the 'Fence Crushers' beat the 'Flame Throwers' 5-2 and the Fence Crushers came into the game with a rating of 1480 and the Flame Throwers came in with a rating of 1420, the new ratings would be:

Fence Crushers: 1488 (calculation: 1480 + (5-2) + 5 : +5 points for the victory plus the margin of victory)
Flame Throwers: 1412 (calculation: 1420 + (2-5) - 5 : -5 points for the loss plus the margin of victory)

The maximum points awarded for a regular season is 10, even if the margin of victory is 20.In addition to regular season wins/losses, you will receive additional bonuses to your owner rating by performing well in the playoffs:

Playoff Level Owner
Bonus
Advancing to the LCS +20
Advancing to the Finals +40
League Champion +60

NOTE: ratings are only adjusted for full-season wins/losses. Also, your rating is carried with you from team to team, league to league.

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What's a theme league? How do they work?
Theme leagues are full-season SimLeagues with a theme that all participants must adhere to. You can create a Theme League by choosing the 'New Theme League' option on the 'League Draft Options' page when starting your team. From there, you have full control over a wide variety of rules that all teams in the league must follow. Plus, you can always create your own additional rules and post them in the 'Theme Rules/Notes'.
Examples include 'The Seattle Mariners League' where every player in the league must have played for the Mariners that season and the '1970s Alphabet Soup League' where every player in the league must be from the 1970s and each team must have a player whose last name begins with a different letter of the alphabet. The possibilities are endless!
Theme leagues are private by default for 7 days, meaning the league number will not be posted on the available theme leagues page. After 7 days, the league number will be made public.

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What's a clone?
A clone is a term used to describe two players from different seasons, e.g. having the 1975 Pete Rose and the 1976 Pete Rose on the same team. This team would be said to contain clones.

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Where do I find the boxscores to see how my team did?
We have centralized everything you need to know about your league within the  Team Management Center. From the Team Management Center, you can manage all of your teams, view the standings for each league you are competing in, view the boxscores for all of your games (see illustration), view the league scoreboard (see illustration), see a preview of who you'll be facing next, adjust your lineup, view your teams hitting and pitching stats, view your opponent's hitting and pitching stats, and view the league leaders in Batting Average, Homeruns, RBIs, and ERA.

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If I have more than 1 pitcher set to the same role, how does the SimManager decide who to bring in?
The SimManager looks at the score, the runners on base and analyzes the the rightie/leftie makeup of the opposing lineup before picking one of your relievers. You currently can not indicate a preference.

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My opponent's pitchers have pitched way over their actual IP!
Fatigue is based on actual v. SimUsage. Usage is the key here. Take for example the 1994 Greg Maddux. He pitched 202 innings, but in only 117 games. That usage rate is equivalent to a pitcher who threw 280IP over a 162 game season. If you take it 1 step further and use the historical MLB average of 16 pitches/inning, you get 16 * 280 IP = 4480 pitches. That's what you could expect to get out of Maddux in the regular season. Using him more than that, will cause performance to decrease and you'll see a rise in his ERA.

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Can I choose my pinch-hitters?
No. Due to the nearly infinite number of pinch-hitting situations, the SimManager will do a much better job of selecting the appropriate pinch-hitter. The SimManager will look at the inning, the score, the runners on base, the need for power versus contact hitting, and the opposing pitcher before deciding who will pinch-hit. However, you can control how often individual players are pinch-hit for by adjusting their Advanced Hitting Settings.

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How do I remove a team from my team management center after the season is over?
Once your season is over, teams will automatically be removed from your team management center within 2 weeks.

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What time are the games simmed? What's the deadline for making managerial moves?
The games are simmed at various times based on the number of games scheduled for that time period. Any managerial decisions (lineup changes, reliever role changes, etc.) must be made by 11:59pm EST for overnight games, by 11:59am EST for afternoon games and by 4:59pm EST for evening games. Having your decisions made by that time ensures that your requested changes are used for the following game.

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Can I change my starting pitching order?
Yes, you can shuffle your entire pitching staff as often as you'd like. However, you can't make moves involving your next scheduled pitcher.

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Why have bench players?
Currently there are no multi-game injuries that you have to worry about, although players will get tired (see fatigue below). What that means is that you may have someone unable to finish a game due to being hit by a pitch for example, at which time the SimManager will bring someone in off the bench. Injuries not withstandng, subs also come into play primarily in pinch-hitting situations and if you plan on platooning 1 or more players at various positions, e.g. your strategy might be to take a decent right-handed 3rd baseman and a decent left-handed 3rd baseman instead of taking a great right-handed 3rd baseman.

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How does the Waiver Wire work?
The Waiver Wire can be found by clicking on GM's Office. The Waiver Wire shows players that are available to be claimed. Players salaries are incrementally reduced throughout the day, so you may find some bargains (these guys need to eat too)! You may claim a player if you don't already have that player on your roster (the same player from the same year can not be on your roster twice) and you have enough available cash to afford to claim the player. In order to claim a player off waivers, you must also release a player unless your team has an empty roster spot resulting from an uneven trade. The salary freed up by releasing a player combined with any available cash you had after your draft equals your buying power - the maximum you can spend to claim a player on waivers.
To claim a player , just click on the player's name that you want to claim. A window will then popup showing you players from your roster than you can release to make room for the player you are trying to claim.

Players are claimed and released constantly as the same Waiver Wire is used by all leagues. So if you release Sammy Sosa, he may be picked up by someone else in another league or by someone in your league and vice versa.

I just picked up a pitcher off the wire a few games ago and he's already getting tired, why?
Players picked up off the wire are brought in relative to your point in the season, so, for example, if you picked up a pitcher after 81 games, he would be brought in roughly half-way 'used up'. This is by design to keep owners from using the waiver wire to refresh their players.
Limitations: In Full Season leagues, you have unlimited transactions (release-claim) per season. Your roster can not be modified after the 'roster set date' which is displayed in your GM's Office. Also, you may not waive the pitcher scheduled to start for you that night. For Spring Training leagues, you are limited to 2 transactions per season. For both types of leagues, you must pay a 10% transaction charge for each player that you claim. For example, if you want to claim a 1 million player, you'll need to give up 1.1 million.

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How does fatigue work?
Fatigue can affect all players, starting pitchers, bullpen and even position players.
For your pitching staff, fatigue may affect an individual pitcher in one of 2 ways (NOTE: both are based on pitchcounts, not IP):
1. Within the current game - As the game wears on, the pitcher will become increasingly fatigued, requiring some pitchers to be replaced or pinch-hit for before others.
2. Overuse - The fatigue monitor also evaluates the rate at which you use your pitchers from game to game. For example, if you attempt to use a pitcher with 200 actual IP in a 3 man rotation, he most likely will not have enough time to recover fully from start to start. Or if your closer throws 45 pitches the previous game, he most likely will be fatigued and need a game or two to rest. In order to fully rest him, you'd have to send him down to AAA or move to the bullpen and rested (both options are available for full-season teams ONLY). So the moral of the story is: don't overuse your pitchers or their arms might fall off (okay, not really, but they will get tired).

For position players, fatigue is based on league plate appearances. If they are on pace to play significantly more than they did in real life, then they will show signs of tiring. As they tire, their ability to hit, field and run the bases suffers. For example, if the 1985 Max Venable accummulates 110 plate appearances by the All-Star Break, he will be showing serious signs of fatigue because he only saw 146 plate appearances during the entire season in 1985. As players tire, a day off will help them climb back to full stamina. Salaries for both pitchers and position players have been adjusted to compensate for their conditioning (or lack thereof). For example, you may see two pitchers with identical numbers, except one threw 250 innings and the other threw 150 innings. The pitcher with more innings thrown will be more expensive since he won't wear down as quickly.

NOTE : Also note that after your first couple of games many players may show fatigue even if they were everday players in real life. The reason is that often times at the beginning of the season, players will rack up many plate appearances if your team scores alot of runs or plays extra inning games. This will quickly balance out as the season progresses. 

I just picked up a pitcher off the wire a few games ago and he's already getting tired, why?

Players picked up off the wire are brought in relative to your point in the season, so, for example, if you picked up a pitcher after 81 games, he would be brought in roughly half-way 'used up'. This is by design to keep owners from using the waiver wire to refresh their players.

How do I tell the SimManager not to use a certain pitcher?
Set that reliever's role to 'Rest' and the SimManager will only use that pitcher in case of an emergency.

Do I have to rest somebody who is tired? What happens when a player gets tired?
No, you don't have to rest anyone. It's your decision, but as in real life, their performance starts to diminish. You, as the manager, will have to decide whether you should play a tired star, or a fresh sub.

How long do I need to rest a player before they are 100% again?
For all players, the number of games will vary based on how tired they are and how much they played in real life that season.

When drafting players, how do I know how quickly someone will get tired?
Look at how much they played that season. For example, Cal Ripken will never get tired or need to be rested, whereas someone who only had 100 at bats will get tired much more quickly. How does fatigue carry over into the post-season?
Fatigue is NOT reset when the playoffs start. Players go into the playoffs with the same fatigue level that they ended the regular season with. So, if you have a big lead going into the last couple of weeks, it would certainly help to rest your players. Also, players do rest on 'off days'. So if you sweep your first round opponent and the other series goes 5 games, your players would pick up 2 games of rest. 

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What do the defensive ratings mean?
If you go to your team's manager's office, you'll see two letters next to each batter's name. The first will be either an R, L, or S - indicating whether that player bats right-handed, left-handed or is a switch-hitter. The second letter will be an A, B, or C. This represents the player's defensive skill relative to other player's at the same position. A designation of 'A' represents the top third defensively at a position, 'B' the center third, and 'C' the bottom third.

This is just a quick reference guide - although two players may have the same defensive label (e.g. 'A'), one may be slightly better than the other. For example, if the cutoff for an A outfielder was a .97 fielding percentage, then you could have an outfielder with a .971 and another with a .999 and both would be labeled A.

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How does the mop up setting work for relief pitchers?
The mop up setting is used to designate a pitcher be used in blowouts (either winning or losing). Blowout is determined by the deficit (or lead) and the inning, e.g. an 8 run deficit in the 2nd inning would not considered to be a blowout, but the same deficit in the 8th inning would be.
Mop up designated pitchers could possibly be used in non-mop up situations. They will always be used before pitchers marked as 'rest'. For example, if you have 5 relievers and 1 is marked as rest, 1 is marked as mop up, 1 is marked as long relief, 1 is marked as setup and the last as your closer, and your game went to extra innings, if your closer, setup, and long relief had already been used, then your mop up pitcher would see action.

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What do the managerial profile settings do?
Hit and Run Tendency refers to your SimManager's use of the Hit and Run. 5 means you want to hit and run as often as possible. Use this setting if you have a lineup of good contact hitters. 1 means that your team will very rarely ever hit and run. Choose this setting if you have alot of high strikeout hitters in your lineup.
Only use closer(s) in save situations indicates whether you'll allow or not allow your closer to see action in a non-save situation, e.g. game is tied at 3-3 in the 9th, do you want your closer in or not?
Only use mopup pitcher(s) when losing indicates whether you'll permit or not permit your mopup pitcher(s) to pitch in a tied or winning game, e.g. your team is winning by 7 in the 6th, do you want your mopup pitcher in the game?
Use starting pitcher(s) in long relief role indicates whether you'll allow or not allow your starting pitchers in the bullpen (except the next game's starting pitcher) to act as long relievers in a game, e.g. do you want your #3 starter to relieve in a game started by your #5 starter with the score 7-2 in the 5th? The starter's Min Inning Available setting will depend on his fatigue entering the game. If he is at 100%, it will be set to the 4th inning. His Max Pitch Count will be half his normal amount.
Defensive subs if winning by X or more runs in Zth inning or later allows you to specify how big the winning margin must be and how late in the game before your position players will be replaced by superior fielders on the bench, e.g. your team is winning by 3 in the 9th, should your current SS be taken down in favor of a slick fielding SS on the bench?
Rest players if up/down by X or more runs in Zth inning or later allows you to specify how big the score differential must be and how late in the game before your starting position players will be rested in favor of players on the bench, e.g. your team is winning by 6 in the 8th, should your starters be rested?

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How do you notify WhatIfSports of a new record?
You don't have to do anything! Records are automatically detected and tracked by robots. NOTE: Only teams/games from full-season, non-theme leagues can qualify for the record books.

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How does AAA work?
In full-season leagues, you not only have the option of using the waiver wire to fine tune your team, but you also have the option of calling up (and sending down) players to and from your AAA affiliate. In the GM's office, you'll see listed your top prospects, 1 at each fielding position along with 1 starting pitching prospect and 1 relief pitching prospect. Here are answers to some of the most common questions regarding AAA prospects...

What do the player ratings mean?
Each minor leaguer is assigned a rating based on their position, relative to other minor leaguers. For position players, they are rated on:
Power (1 worst, 10 best): ability to hit the long-ball
Contact (1 worst, 10 best): ability to make contact and put the ball in play
Fielding (C worst, A best): defensive ability, includes arm for catchers
Speed (1 worst, 10 best): ability to steal bases and take extra bases on hits

For pitchers, they are rated on:
Control (1 worst, 10 best): pitching accuracy
Velocity (1 worst, 10 best): fastball speed
Stamina (F worst, A best): arm endurance

Making the call...
Simply click on the name of the player you wish to call up. Since your big league roster must always stay at 25 players, you'll next be presented a list of players on your active roster that you can choose to send down. NOTE: Players sent down to the minors must stay in the minors for at least 3 games before they can be called back up to your big league roster.

How will my prospects perform in the big leagues?
Just as in real life, some prospects will do poorly and some will do well, it's up to you as the General Manager to monitor their performance before deciding who stays on the final roster and who finishes the season in AAA.

How does calling someone up affect my payroll?
The payroll for your active roster can not exceed your salary cap.  Your cash does not change by sending someone down to AAA.  So for example, if you have $100,000 in cash and called up a AAA prospect and sent down someone making $550,000, your cash would remain at $100,000.

Does calling someone up (or sending someone down) count against my transaction limit?
No, you can call up and send down players as often as you wish, without affecting your waiver wire transaction limit. Although, minor leaguers on your roster after the final roster set date can not be sent back down after that date.

Can I waive a AAA player?
No. You can not waive a AAA prospect, or anyone that is not currently on your big league roster. Can I trade a AAA player?
Sure, prospects can be part of trade packages.

Do all the teams in my league have the same minor league prospects?
No, each team owner gets a different set of AAA prospects, each with different strengths and weaknesses. Will I get the same prospects each time I join a league?
No, each time you create a team you'll be assigned different players in your AAA affiliate.

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Can I save a batting order for right-handed pitchers and a separate lineup for left-handed pitchers?
YES! In your team management center, click on Manager's Office. On the right-side of the page is your lineup. It will indicate whether you are looking at the lineup for RHP or the lineup for LHP. It will default to the appropriate view based on the next pitcher you will be facing. You can switch views by clicking on the link 'Switch View'.
When you click on 'Save Batting Order', you will be saving the batting order for either RHP or LHP. The SimEngine will automatically choose the correct lineup based on the opposing pitcher for each league game.

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Why is my team slumping when none of my players are fatigued?
There are many reasons why a team slumps even if they aren't fatigued:

  • It could be a difficult part of the schedule (playing games on the road or playing experienced owners)
  • You may have a glaring weakness, e.g. weak bullpen or not enough LH batters and you're facing a string of RH pitchers, etc.
  • You may have selected a ballpark which doesn't compliment your team's style, e.g. good pitchers but playing at Coors
  • You're experimenting with AAA prospects
  • Key players may be slumping, e.g. your #3 hitter is batting .097 over the past 5 games, etc.

The key to recovery is analyzing each loss and looking for trends, e.g. I left 10 runners in scoring position, my baserunning cost me a scoring opportunity, my bullpen blew the game, my lack of speed is killing me, etc. Once you've identified a trend, recitify it as soon as possible to see if that was really the cause of the problem. Use the waiver wire only as a last resort - those 10% transaction charges can add up quickly.

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What's the difference between the different pitching roles (mopup, long A/B, setup A/B and closer A/B)?
The pitching designations represent how you, the manager, would like that pitcher to be used, which may or may not matchup to how the pitcher was used in real life that particular season. Here are the general guidelines:

  • Rest: only use this pitcher as a last resort
  • Mopup: this pitcher should only be used in blowouts (either winning or losing). Blowout is determined by the deficit (or lead) and the inning, e.g. an 8 run deficit in the 2nd inning would not considered to be a blowout, but the same deficit in the 8th inning would be.
  • Long Relief: this pitcher would be called on in a situation in which the starter is pulled early in the game (6th inning or earlier). A long may also be used later in the game depending on the situation and who is still available in the bullpen.
  • Setup: this pitcher will be primarily used in the later innings, 7th on depending on the situation.
  • Closer: this pitcher will be primarily used in the 8th and later innings, depending on the situation and your settings.

The A/B designation is an additional control for setting pitcher usage. An A designation will almost always be used before a B designation of the same role, e.g. if you have one pitcher set to Setup A and another set to Setup B, the Setup A would receive priority in a setup situation. If both pitchers are set to A, then the SimManager will decide who to use based on the situation (opposing righties/lefties, pitcher fatigue, etc.).

*** Please note that if you don't designate a pitcher for a specific role, you may be sending the wrong (or right) message to the SimManager. For example, if you put all of your bullpen pitchers on rest, that would be an indication to the SimManager to leave the starter in as long as possible, regardless of his call bullpen and pinch-hitting settings. Another example might be setting all of your pitchers to rest except for a closer. This would indicate to the SimManager to leave the starter in until a save situation arises. If the starter is getting shelled in the 5th inning, the SimManager would leave him out there rather than use a closer in the 5th inning. It's recommended to have at least 1 pitcher set for each role. Not having a pitcher available at a specific role may have undesired results.

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Why do I struggle in the playoffs? Is there a secret to winning in the playoffs?
There are a number of possible reasons why a team may cruise through the regular season and then struggle in the post-season.
  • Your opponent may have been in a very tough division or a division in which his team didn't match up well with his divisional opponents either due to style of play or ballpark, etc.
  • Each team has the same amount of cash, unlike real baseball. It's very difficult to have teams dominate over the course of the season and truly be superior (more like the current NFL).
  • There is no inherent home field advantage in the sim, e.g. we don't increase your stats simply because you're playing at home.
  • There is no differentiation in the sim from regular season to the playoffs. Each game is treated the same.
  • The sim does not employ any type of streaks (either for teams or players). Each game is treated the same.
  • The sim is not aware of the owners or their records. Each game is treated the same.
  • Even if you had a significant number of wins against a particular opponent in the regular season, that may not guarantee success in the playoffs. Your earlier success might have been due to the way the pitching matchups lined up for those series, changes to his team later in the season and/or more likely that he's simply relying on 2 pitchers throughout the playoffs which can level the playing field over a 5 game series.
  • Fatigue is catching up to your players.

Here are the actual stats as of 10/1/2003:

Theme Leagues ONLY
Seed % Playoffs Won
#136%
#226%
#3*17%
#4*21%
Open Leagues
Seed % Playoffs Won
#142%
#226%
#3*14%
#4*18%

These statistics reflect the general increase in competition level in theme leagues. Overall the top 2 seeds will win 64.2% in theme leagues, 68.3% in open leagues and 67.2% overall.

*Keep in mind that the #4 seed (wildcard winner) could have up to the 2nd best record overall in that league whereas the #3 seed (division winner with the worst record) can have no better than the 3rd best record overall.

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Why is one of the games on my schedule highlighted?
It's simply a reminder - you will see the first game where the rosters are locked highlighted in your schedule (assuming you haven't passed the transaction deadline already). So when you look on your schedule and see the next game highlighted, you know you have until midnight EST to make any moves.

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How does auto-rest work?
When a pitcher's stamina falls below the number you specified in the advanced bullpen settings, the pitcher is treated as though you had marked him as 'rest'. When his stamina goes back above that number, he's again treated according to the role you set for him. For example, I set Dibble as my closer with an auto-rest of 90%. If he falls to 78%, then in the next game, he'll be treated as though you rested him. After that game, if he comes back up to 92%, he'll be a closer again for the following game.

NOTE: Auto-rest only refers to stamina percentages AFTER the game is complete - NOT during the game. So in the example above, if Dibble starts the game at 100% and then falls below 90% while he is pitching, he will not be replaced during the game because he is below is auto-rest value.

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How does the Auto Skip setting work?
The Auto Skip setting specifies a stamina level a starting pitcher must be over in order to make his next start. If his stamina is lower than the Auto Skip setting, then his spot in the order will be skipped. If every member of the rotation happens to have a stamina level under the Auto Skip setting, then the regularly scheduled pitcher will be selected.

Note:This setting will not affect a pitcher who is already designated to start the next game. It is only used when deciding who the next scheduled starter should be following the most recently completed game.

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Why did my pitcher go over his maximum pitchcount setting?
There are 3 situations in which you may see a pitcher exceed his maximum pitchcount setting (available in the advanced pitching settings). From most common to least common, they are:

  1. The pitcher is in the middle of an at-bat - for example, if your maximum is 100 pitches and he has thrown 99 pitches before he strikes out the next hitter in 6 pitches, he would end with a total of 105 pitches.
  2. If the pitcher will receive a complete game (CG) with one or two more outs - for example, a pitcher has a maximum pitchcount of 110, enters the 9th with 107, gets the first batter to fly out on 3 pitches. So now he's at 110 but only needs 2 more outs for a complete game. If he has a comfortable lead, the sim will keep him in.
  3. Anytime the starting pitcher is throwing a no-hitter, the sim will not remove him.

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Why is my pitchers's sim performance worse than his real life performance?
In addition to normal random variation, there are some other issues which may play a major role in sim performance:

  1. Salary cap - the higher the cap of the league, the more variation you'll see between real life stats and sim stats.
  2. Ballpark - ballpark can have a huge impact on simstats - not just your home park, but your opponent's parks as well
  3. Opponent lineups - if you have a strong left handed starting rotation but you ended up in a division with great right-handed hitters, this would negatively impact simstats.
  4. In game fatigue - it's possible that your pitcher is tiring early in the game but not being pulled until it's too late. For example, if you have a pitcher that threw 300 IP but had 45 starts, that would roughly equate to 100 pitches per outing (300 x 15 pitches per inning = 4,500 total pitches/45 starts = 100 pitches per outing). If the pitcher has a max pc setting of 120, he's being allowed to pitch deeper into games and may be pitching while fatigued which could lead to big innings.

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How do I change someone's fielding position?
Go to your Manager's Office for that team. In your lineup card you'll see a 'Pos' link next 'Order'. Click on Pos. Now you'll see lists of positions next to each player's name. Positions marked with an asterisck (*) indicate the player's natural position. Positions marked with a caret (^) indicate the player played at least 1 game there that season.

Once you've made any position changes, click on 'Set Positions'. Keep in mind that you are still setting your lineup card for either a left-handed pitcher or a right-handed pitcher - if you wanted to change a player's position against both, you'd need to click on 'Lineup v. LHP' or 'Lineup v. RHP' and repeat the process.

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Why was a different lineup used than the one specified?
The sim will correct any lineup issues for the game if you submit a lineup card that is invalid, e.g. having two players in CF, etc. This can easily happen as the result of a trade.

To ensure that it uses a lineup that you want, you must make sure that the positions are correct. To change someone's position, click on 'Pos' (next to 'Order') on in your Manager's Office.

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How do the 2A/2B and 3A/3B starting pitcher roles work?
The new roles are intended to provide more flexibility with pitching rotations when using pitchers across baseball eras. For instance, if you had a pitcher who threw 600 IP you could place him in the "Starter 1" role and use two 200 IP pitchers in the "Starter 2A" and "Starter 2B" roles. "Starter 1" would pitch every other day, and the "Starter 2A" and "Starter 2B" pitchers would pitch every 4th day.

There are two other combinations available (1,2A/2B,3A/3B OR 1,2,3A/3B) that provide even greater flexibility for mixing and matching the varied assortment of starting pitcher types (i.e. 100 IP, 200 IP, 300 IP, 400 IP, etc.)

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Why did one of my pitchers assigned to rest pitch?
Occasionally, sparky is forced to use a pitcher assigned to rest. Anytime the pitcher on the mound exceeds his pitch count, sparky must bring in a relief pitcher. If there aren't any pitchers available, he is forced to go with a pitcher designated to rest (set explicitly or via the auto-rest feature). When this occurs, all rested pitchers are lumped together and the Minimum Inning Available setting is used to narrow the choices.

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Why was my pitcher left in so long?
This usually boils down to whether any pitchers are available (not explicitly resting or resting via the auto-rest feature) and the Minimum Inning Available setting. If sparky runs into a situation where he wants to pull the pitcher but there aren't any non-resting pitchers or any available pitchers able to enter the game (i.e., the current inning less than the Min. Inning Available setting), then he must keep the pitcher in until he exceeds his pitch count or the inning advances.
To avoid this situation, always try and make sure you have pitchers able to enter the game at any time or staggered throughout the game.

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What happens if I play a player out of position?
If a player without any fielding grades listed for a particular position is inserted into that position, his skills at his primary position are translated to the new position. A designated hitter that did not play in the field is treated as a D-/D- first baseman. He is then slapped with a mandatory out of position penalty. From there, he is penalized for each spot he moves to the left on the Bill James' Defensive Spectrum. For example, moving Ozzie Smith from SS to 2B would still yield an above average 2B. Moving Jim Thome to SS, on the other hand, would result in an atrocious SS. Moving Thome to LF would not be as drastic a penalty since SS is a more difficult position.

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How can I avoid having certain players enter a game for defensive purposes or to rest a starter?
If you want a player to be available for pinch-hit and pinch-run duty but you don't want him entering a game to rest a starter or enter as a defensive substitute, then you should put him at a position where he doesn't have any stats and where another backup is available. For instance, if you want to give Ken Griffey Jr. a day off but still have him available to pinch-hit, put him on the bench and change his position to 2B (with another bench player properly assigned to 2B).

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What's the difference between putting a player on the bench versus rest?
When a player is on the bench, he can still enter the game in a variety of roles (pinch-hitter, pinch-runner, defensive replacement, rest a starter or replace a player injured on a hit by pitch). When he is set to rest, he will absolutely not enter the game.

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What is the trading block?
The trading block is the league-wide collection of players that are currently being dangled by league owners. The list of players on the trading block may be viewd on the GM -- Trading Block page.

An owner may add or remove a player from the trading block at any time on the GM -- Team Roster page. Please note - you will not be able to see your own players on the trading block, but the other owners will be able to see them.

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Can I trade minor leaguers?
Most definitely. Anybody and everybody can be traded away. You can free some payroll by dumping veterans for prospects. Or you can burn that available cash by trading away a prospect for another superstar. Anything goes!

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Do trades have to be even (1-for-1 or 2-for-2)?
Heck no! Uneven trades are permitted. 2-for-1, 3-for-1, even 3-for-none is allowed. Cash is just as important as players in some situations.

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Are there any roster-related limitations for trades?
Yes, but it's pretty flexible:
  1. The active roster cannot fall below 22 players after a trade is completed.
  2. The number of position players on the active roster can't fall below 12 players after a trade is completed.
  3. The number of pitchers on the active roster can't fall below 6 pitchers after a trade is completed.

And don't worry, you'll be informed of these restrictions if your trade proposal violates any of the requirements.

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Are there any financial limitations on trades?
Sure, but it's simple. Add up all you're trading away, subtract all you're receiving and make sure it doesn't break your team's budget. But all this is calculated for you when you build your trade proposal, so you'll always know where you stand on budget issues.

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How will I be notified of new trade proposal information?
Any time new trade proposal information is available, your GM's Office tab will be flashing to grab your attention. In addition, you will receive an email any time one of your team's trades is completed or vetoed.

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Can a trade be vetoed? How long do I have to wait before a trade is completed?
It sure can. As soon as a trade proposal is agreed upon by both sides, a 24-hour owner approval process begins. During this time, each owner may choose to approve or reject the trade proposal. After the approval period expires, the votes are tallied and the trade is either completed or vetoed. A veto requires at least 6 owners to reject the trade.

Remember, your veto vote isn't a secret! The owners will see who approved and who rejected a trade. Who knows how this could affect your future wheeling and dealings?

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What happens to my lineup after a trade? How are newly acquired players' roles determined?
f any of the players traded away happened to be in your lineup or rotation, that spot is simply cleared. You'll need to go in and make the necessary changes or else the simulation engine will do it for you.

All newly acquired position players on the active roster will be placed on the bench. New pitchers will be set to rest.

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What do each of the Theme "Draft Settings" mean?
  • Use Leaguewide Draft:   Should the league use a live draft to build each team's roster?
  • Player Restrictions:   Should the league enforce any type of player restrictions during the live draft process?
    1. None
    2. Limit 1 Player-Season Per League  For example, only 1 1974 Joe Morgan could be drafted throughout the entire league.
    3. Limit 1 Player Per League  For example, only 1 Joe Morgan could be drafted throughout the entire league.
  • Player Replacement:   Should owners be allowed to replace a player after he has already been drafted during a live draft?
    1. Do not allow drafted players to be replaced during draft. (once you select a player, he can't be replaced until the season begins.)
    2. Allow drafted players to be replaced by same player but from different season during draft. (i.e. you drafted 1982 Davey Concepcion but later decide you'd rather have 1976 Davey Concepcion.)
    3. Allow drafted players to be replaced by any player during draft. (i.e. you drafted 1999 Scott Rolen and later decide you'd rather have 2004 Joe Randa.)
  • Draft Order:   How should the initial draft order be generated?
    1. Random  The owners will be randomly shuffled.
    2. Owner Rating  The owners will be ordered by their MLB Owner Rating. The use with the worst rating will earn the first pick. In the event of multiple owners with the same owner rating, the owner with the fewest SimLeague wins will go first.
  • >Draft Style:   What happens to the draft order change at the end of each round?
    1. Snake  The draft order flips at the end of each round. For instance, the end of the first round would be 22,23,24 and the beginning of the second round would be 24, 23, 22, etc.
    2. Traditional  The draft order restarts at the end of each round. For instance, the end of the first round would be 22, 23, 24 and the beginning of the second round would be 1, 2, 3, etc.
  • Daily Start Time:   What hour of the day should the draft begin each day? All times are in Eastern Standard Time.
  • Daily End Time:   What hour of the day should the draft end each day? All times are in Eastern Standard Time. Note:  The daily start time must be less than the daily end time.
  • Time Limit Between Owner Selections:   How many minutes should each owner have to make his selection(s).
  • X Pick(s) Per Owner Per Round Start at Round Z:   Should team owners be allowed to make multiple selections during the draft and, if so, in what round should this begin?
  • Force Time Limit Duration Between Owners:   If the time limit duration is forced, then the entire draft schedule can be generated so that each owner will know the specific time slots he/she will be drafting. If it is not forced, then as soon as an owner makes a selection the next owner may go. An unforced draft has the potential to be a much quicker draft.
  • Send Email Notification When It's Your Turn:   Should an email be sent to each owner when it is their turn to draft?
  • Send SiteMail Notification When It's Your Turn:   Should a sitemail be sent to each owner when it is their turn to draft?
  • Draft Start Date:   On what date should the draft begin? If the league is not completely filled by this specified start date, then the draft will start 2 days after the last owner joined.

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How does a Theme League Draft work?
Once an owner creates a theme league, he/she must wait until the league fills up similar to standard leagues. He/she may send out league invitations or owners may join if the league is listed in the Available Theme Leagues.
After the league is filled, league owners will receive a detailed email including the draft order, schedule, rules, etc. At this point, owners may begin preparing for the draft by adding players to their ranked player lists.
When it is your turn to draft, you can add a player through the standard player search or by using your own ranked draft lists.

After completing your roster, you enter your team name and select your ballpark.
Once every owner has completed the draft, named their team and selected their ballpark, the theme league draft will be converted into a standard theme league and everyone will have 2 days to prepare their lineups and pitching staff before the season begins. Each Owner will receive the standard email informing them that their league has been created and the schedule has been generated.

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How can I view the draft results during and after the draft?
You will be able to view draft results any time during the draft and immediately following the draft. In fact, we've created 4 ways to view results: by round, by team, by position, and by player name.

The draft results also contain the draft schedule, so you can check whose turn it is and how far away your next pick is.

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Can I chat with other owners before, during, and after the draft?
After the league has been filled up, you'll be able to chat with the other users. This is especially useful when you want to mock another owner for his latest draft pick. The draft chat will be carried over to the league chat after the draft is completed.

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How smart is the player selection process during a live draft?
Depending on draft settings, your league may or may not allow clones in your league. If clones are not allowed, then previously drafted players will not appear in the player search. For instance, if another team in the league has already selected 1981 Mike Schmidt and the league does not allow player clones, then your search for a 3B will not return any instances of Mike Schmidt.

Theme League Drafts also enforce the salary cap when you make your player selections. So, if you only have $500,000 available you can't draft a $600,000 player.

Taking it a step further, if you only have $500,000 left with two open roster spots remaining, you won't be able to draft a $400,000 player because the cheapest player in the pool is $200,000.

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Tell me more about the personal draft lists -- how do they work?
Each owner has two helper draft lists, one for position players and one for pitchers. You can add and rank up to 250 players to each list.

The lists are intended to help you prepare and execute the draft. When it's your turn, you can simply select a player from your list, press a button and the player will be drafted onto your team.

Your lists are also updated when other owners make their picks. Depending on league rules, if another owner chooses a player on your list, your list will be updated so that the player is no longer in your list.

NOTE: Players in your lists will NOT be automatically selected for you. It is still your responsibility to make your draft selections.

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What happens if I miss my turn in the draft?
If you miss a turn or turns in the draft, it's no big deal. You're able to go in and make up your missed picks at any time. Of course, depending on league rules, you may have missed out on some of the better players!

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Can I get out of a draft theme league after I join?
As long as the draft schedule has not been generated, you can remove your team from the league. Once the draft schedule has been generated, however, you cannot exit the league.

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How long do we have to wait for other owners to finish drafting their players?
There's a two-day grace period at the end of the draft to allow all owners a chance to catch up. Owners may miss picks for any number of reasons, and two days is usually enough to get all caught up. If the two day grace period comes and goes without all the teams ready for the next step, please contact customer support and we will work with you to get the league underway.

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Are my draft picks final or can I change my draft picks?
It depends on how the theme creator designed the league. The "Player Replacement" setting dictates whether players can be replaced during the draft process.

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If the draft limits 1 player per league, can we change the year of the player as we move through the draft?
This also depends on how the theme creator designed the league. The "Player Replacement" setting dictates whether players can be replaced during the draft process.

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What is a Twist League?
A twist league is when you take any of the players from your selected team's season and use any year of the player's career. For example, if you take the 2004 Yankees you can have Gary Sheffield from any season and any team of his career, so you can have his 1992 San Diego Padres season on your team.

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What is a Progressive League?
A progressive league is a league that will be continued for multiple years. For example, the first SimLeague begins with players from 1975, then the next SimLeague season will be players from 1976 and so on.

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What is a Screw Your Neighbor League?
A screw your neighbor league is a league in which you draft the worst team you possibly can. Then all teams are randomly reassigned to the owners in the league. Thus, you are “Screwing Your Neighbor” with a bad team.

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What is a Franchise League?
A franchise league is when you can only use players from your selected franchise. If you choose the LA Dodgers, for example, you can only use Dodger players on your team. Typically, this also includes previous teams throughout a franchise's history so you could also draft Brooklyn Dodgers, too.

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What is a Replay League?
A replay league involves replaying a season as accurately as possible to real life. So if it's a 2004 replay league, all teams will have only players from the 2004 season.

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What does realignment mean?
Realignment is how the teams will be arranged in the divisions within a SimLeague. Some leagues have random realignment which means that the teams will be placed into the divisions randomly. Some leagues have real life realignment which is when the teams are organized into the divisions as close to real life as possible. There are many other types of realignment as well.

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When should a pitcher be credited with a save?
A pitcher earns a save when he meets each of the following criteria:

  1. He is the last pitcher in a game won by his club.
  2. He didn't qualify for the win.
  3. He meets at least one of the following criteria:
    1. He enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches at least one inning.
    2. He enters the game with the potential tying run either on base, at the plate, or in the on-deck circle.
    3. He pitches effectively for at least three innings.

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When is a pitcher charged with an earned run?
Please see the "Earned Runs" section on the MLB website.

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