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ESPN starting pitching problem

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ESPN starting pitching problem

Postby Fantasy GM » Mon May 25, 2009 11:42 am

I am the Commish of a points H2H on ESPN. Overall the league has been playing smoothly and there haven't been any issues. Unfortunately, a MAJOR problem with the ESPN system was exposed this week, affecting who won and lost a matchup.

Before the season, I instituted a max for pitching starts per week. All the teams knew about it and agreed to it. However, ESPN allows starts over the max to COUNT if they happen on the same day as the final "valid" start! For example, if the limit is 12 starts per week, a team can make starts 11, 12, 13 AND 14 on the same day and they all count! 8-o :-?

This, as you could imagine, could get messy. Luckily, it's only happened once, as most teams have stuck to the limit. Unfortunately, the one occurrence of the issue was that was this week and affects who wins/loses a week. I spoke with a fellow owner about how to fix the problem. Our three options were:

1.) Go back and adjust the scoring of this week - the team going over the limit loses the points from his last pitching start, thus turning his win into a loss.
2.) Enforce the rule...starting at the midway point of the season. That way, the rule is in effect for atleast half the year (each team faces one another twice) and into the playoffs.
3.) Let things stand as they are now.

It will be either option 1 or 2, I'm having the league vote on the issue. Option 1 makes the rule cut and dry, Rule 2 does as well, but a team can always refer to what happened earlier in the year and point to it. I don't think any team was aware that ESPN allowed such a loophole - thus making limits non-existent - and I will speak with them this week hopefully.

What do you guys think I should do?
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Re: ESPN starting pitching problem

Postby RDD15 » Mon May 25, 2009 12:47 pm

I think that since none involved knew, the best thing that could happen is that you ask the guy that went over to be honest and tell you who he WOULD have chosen, and he is honest about it, and you simply cut out the other pitcher's stats, and everyone in the league is cool with that method and trusts that the dude told the truth. Ideally, a league would work like that, but most dont.

I think that by FAR the best option is #1. The guy is gonna be pissed, but he went over the limit, and it is no one else's fault but his own.

What I would do is let everyone know that from now on if they go over the limit with multiple guys pitching on one day, then the HIGHEST scoring SP from that day will have their stats wiped until the limit is satisfied.
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Re: ESPN starting pitching problem

Postby Fantasy GM » Tue May 26, 2009 2:07 am

I'm still thinking over what I could do here. Since no one would actually try and exploit this (they are loyal when it comes to rules and decisions), I can enforce the limit ASAP so this doesn't happen again. However, this would be the "exception case," which cost one team a win when they did make the correct number of starts while the other team went over the limit.

My league-mates in discussing this make the valid point that no one (even myself) knew this could happen, so why should someone get punished for something in the past? Obviously now I could take away points from any future offenders, but the team that went over the limit here didn't know this could actually happen (he's also not good with numbers apparently).

Once again, the choices seem to be: 1.) Enforce the rule retroactively so it affects this one instance, or 2.) Begin to enforce it from this point forward or in a couple weeks when we're officially halfway through with the season.
I appreciate that my league-mates seem to back me on any tough decisions I've had to make in this inaugural year, so it won't tear the league apart or anything like that.
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Re: ESPN starting pitching problem

Postby Bobbleheadrusty » Tue May 26, 2009 2:16 am

Three points.

1. It is a known issue, on every site I can think of, that all starts on the day at which the max is reached are counted. If you failed to anticipate this, either from oversight or lack of experience, then the fault is yours, and should not be held against a team for working within the system.

2. I would leave it be, as no one caught it in advance and this is a common exploit

3. If you decide to punish said owner for the extra start I would subtract from the violator EITHER the average points total of all starts for the week or the average point total of all starts on the final day, whichever is less. (He can make the argument that if he knew it would be a problem he could have benched Pitcher Q earlier in the week rather then choose one starter on Sunday.
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Re: ESPN starting pitching problem

Postby Fantasy GM » Sun May 31, 2009 3:11 am

I'm bringing this post back up because...similar to the two replies here AND the voices I've heard from my league...we have a split jury! 8-o :~(

I looked into this situation a bit more this week, and I see more evidence for both sides:
-Every other team in the league only sees the max start limit per week on the pitching limits page. For almost all weeks, it says that the limit is 12 starts.
-On my League Manager page (I think I am the only one who can see this), it explains in the fine print section that all starts that exceed the 12 on the particular day do count. As it's my first year using ESPN, I didn't notice this. I figured a limit is a limit. Only I can see this part apparently - none of the other teams, including the infringing team, can.
-I looked back into previous weeks, and the team started one SP over the limit in two weeks earlier in the season. I did not catch this because: 1.) The scores were very lopsided and would not affect who won/lost the week, and 2.) The "illegal" pitcher didn't score many points in either case. I wish I had caught the issue then, but there was never a need for me to investigate scores back then. I do now.

As you can see from this post and my original post, there is evidence supporting both sides. If I take Path A, I explain that the infringing owner knows the limit is 12 starts (as does everyone) and because he didn't intend to make 13 starts this particular week, I should only count the 12. He made the same error twice before, so it's not a "oops, I did this one time" thing (he's not a math whiz). If I take Path B, I explain that because no one knew how the new system worked, no one should be punished the first time this is noticed. All future incidents would be disciplined. Any last thoughts?

I sent out a notice to the league that, regardless of my decision on this one game, the SP limits will be manually enforced the rest of the season. I received unanimous approval for this.
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Re: ESPN starting pitching problem

Postby yearbend » Sun May 31, 2009 8:22 am

o would let it be unless you all actually agreed first hand to the max being 12 starts. if thats the case i would go back and fix the scoring and make sure you post on your league message board what happened and what is going to happen the rest of the season.
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Re: ESPN starting pitching problem

Postby Fantasy GM » Sun May 31, 2009 10:48 am

yearbend wrote:o would let it be unless you all actually agreed first hand to the max being 12 starts. if thats the case i would go back and fix the scoring and make sure you post on your league message board what happened and what is going to happen the rest of the season.


I noted there would be SP limits each week and that people should look at that section in the rules before the draft. On that page, it lists the max number of starts each week (most of the time it's 12). Therefore, everyone should know what the limit is, however no one knew the system would allow you to go over the limit if start #12 takes place that day.
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Re: ESPN starting pitching problem

Postby walkoffblast » Sun May 31, 2009 11:22 pm

Fantasy GM wrote:I noted there would be SP limits each week and that people should look at that section in the rules before the draft. On that page, it lists the max number of starts each week (most of the time it's 12). Therefore, everyone should know what the limit is, however no one knew the system would allow you to go over the limit if start #12 takes place that day.


So everyone was supposed to read the section in the rules but obviously no one did, including the commish, yet it was clear what the rule was? IMO one of the lamest things a commish can do is retroactively enforce what they wanted the rules to be as opposed to what they actually were. Even if the owner had been doing it on purpose it seems odd to punish him for actually knowing what the rule was. You can enforce it going forward with league approval but you better catch it every time even in blowouts.
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Re: ESPN starting pitching problem

Postby Fantasy GM » Sun May 31, 2009 11:44 pm

-Everyone knows the limits each week, it's been that way all year.
-No one knew that ESPN allows you to go over the limit if your last eligible starter goes that day as well.
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Re: ESPN starting pitching problem

Postby walkoffblast » Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:09 am

Fantasy GM wrote:-Everyone knows the limits each week, it's been that way all year.
-No one knew that ESPN allows you to go over the limit if your last eligible starter goes that day as well.


Yep, no one would know the second bullet unless they read the rules. The whole point is that by definition on espn a limit of X starts per week allows your second condition.

Fantasy GM wrote:I didn't notice this. I figured a limit is a limit.


My point is what you figured was not the case. You failed to notice something and clarify it. To retroactively say this is what I meant is always an iffy situation. My point is you told them to read the rules to understand them. Say the guy did read everything, he would have thought he was doing something legal. Can you really punish someone for unintentionally doing something that IMO someone would have had a strong case for doing intentionally? I also might wonder if he really is so dumb he cannot count to 12 or he was just being savvy. Three times in 7 weeks is a pretty big coincidence. Whatever the case do you really think it is fair to punish someone for something you as the commish clearly did not understand at the time he made the move. If you did not know how it worked how was this dumb guy supposed to?

Maybe even more important: how do you punish a guy for something he already did 2 times and you never even said anything about it? If he had any questions about whether it was legal before doing it twice he would be pretty sure it was alright the third time.
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