First off, thanks to everyone who has already signed on as a Razzball Commenter League commissioner. With 40 days to go until opening day, 531 teams have been created so we are well on the way to breaking last year’s record of 576 teams. Currently, there are just 10 openings for new teams; 1 of those has a $50 buy in, 1 has a 7 AM ET draft, while 7 more are in a new keeper league which will not be eligible to be in the RCL next season, so we need more commissioners!! Please head over to the RCL Registration post to see how you can become a commissioner, or just add a team to one of the leagues.
Secondly, the ECFBL once again sits atop the League Competitive In… oh wait, that’s not supposed to be included until the season starts. All leagues will be ranked based on statistics accumulated. This number is then used to help rank individual teams. The ECFBL perenially is crowned the top league, as all teams manage their lineups judiciously and continue to compete to the end of the season. Last year they led all leagues in Runs, Home Runs, RBI, Steals, Saves, and ERA. You can see the Top 10 in each category in the Fantasy Baseball Forums.
For those of you new to the RCL, and perhaps the ESPN fantasy game, here are some points of interest to help you compete:
180 Games Started Maximum: This is a key ingredient in the makeup of the RCL, creating a much different game than the innings limit format. With the lower number of starts allowed (200 is the ESPN default), if you don’t like a matchup, you can leave your pitcher on the bench. 180 games is approximately 1 per day, but being ahead of the pace is not necessarily a bad thing. You may miss out on some September starts from your best pitcher if you finish early, but if you are putting up good numbers, it really doesn’t matter when you recorded them. Plus, you could possibly deal your ace at the deadline to shore up other categories. Another fact to realize: on the day 180 starts is reached, all pitching statistics are counted. So, you can actually reach 188 starts if you use 9 starters when you have 179. It is also important to realize relief pitcher stats will continue to count after you have reached this limit. This means middle relievers are more valuable in the RCL than some other leagues.
1000 IP Minimum: This rarely is a factor, but a few teams did fail to reach 1000 innings last year. As a result, they scored just 1 point in both the ERA and WHIP categories.
Acquisitions: Free agents can be picked up any time before the first game of the day and inserted into your lineup. As soon as the first game has started, any pickups will be added to your team for the next day. So, for instance, let’s say the first game of a short-schedule Thursday is at noon. You find Matt Carpenter is available in a favorable matchup, and add him at 11:55am. Then, at 12:05pm, you drop him for a pitcher who will be starting the next day. Carpenter will remain on your team for Thursday. For those who have only played in leagues where the free agent is added the next day, it is something to get used to.
Lineup: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 5 OF, CI, MI, 1 Util, 9 Pitchers (no SP/RP designation), 3 bench, 1 DL. Small benches and only 1 DL spot definitely leads to some tough decisions when multiple injuries hit.
Trades: The deadline is noon ET on Friday, August 2nd. Last season there were 270 trades in the 48 leagues. The ECFBL (of course) led the way with 36, while there were 20 leagues with 3 or fewer, including 5 with 0 trades. You can find the complete list for 2012 in the forums.
Whoa, we’re down to 8 openings. Did I mention we need more commissioners? Join now! It’s fun and easy! Maybe include the draft time in the “notes” column when you register to attract people who want to draft at the same time. It can be changed, but 7 votes from league members are needed to switch to a new time. And current commissioners, please check in on your league occasionally in case a spot has opened up with a dropout. OK, now go check out the signup page. Because Grey loves RCL commissioners best.