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Big Daddy Baseball League

www.bigdaddybaseball.com

O F F I C I A L   S I T E   O F   T H E   B I G   D A D D Y   B A S E B A L L   L E A G U E

The Official BDBL rulebook

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Commissioner: Mike Glander
Transactions Secretary: Jeff Paulson
Usage Nazi: D.J. Shepard
Schedule Guy: Tony Chamra

Lord of Contracts: Tony Chamra
God of VORP: Greg Newgard
Czar of Ballparks & Graphics: Greg Newgard

Note: This  is the official rulebook of the BDBL. Any discrepancy between these rules and those published elsewhere shall be overridden by the rules posted on this web page.

Last updated: 10/30/18
Changes made: Modified Rules 7.18 and 7.18(b) for clarity.

Last updated: 10/8/18
Changes made: Modified Rules 14.10, 6.11, 14.3(a)-14.5, 9.8, and 5.4 as per league vote. Rule 14.8 removed as per league vote.

Last updated: 12/14/17
Changes made: Modified Rule 11.14, added 11.14(a) and 11.14(b) as per league vote.

Last updated: 10/17/17
Changes made: Added Rule 11.6 and 14.20 for clarification.

Last updated: 9/28/17
Changes made: Altered Rule 7.18 per league vote.

Last updated: 12/20/16
Changes made: Clarified Rules 18.13 and 7.18(a).

Last updated: 5/1/15
Changes made: Rule 6.10 altered for crystal clarity, Rule 6.11 added for even more clarity. Rule 11.4 removed, as it is no longer relevant.

Last updated: 12/11/14
Changes made: Rules 6.4, 20.1 clarified.  Rules 6.6(b) added for clarification.  Modified Rules 15.1 and 21.2 per league vote. Removed Rules 15.3, 15.7, 15.9 per league vote.  Added Rule 15.10 per league vote.

Last updated: 11/1/13
Changes made: Rule 14.9 clarified.

Last updated: 10/7/13
Changes made: Rules 6.6, 6.7 and 6.7(b) clarified. Rule 6.7(a) removed, as it no longer applies due to new rule passed on 11/30.

Last updated: 5/15/13
Changes made: Added Rule 18.13(b) per the Commissioner's authority granted by Rules 2.1 and 2.2.

Last updated: 12/4/12
Changes made: Removed Rule 7.19 for the sake of clarification.

Last updated: 11/30/12
Changes made: Rules 6.6, 6.7 and 9.8 modified as per league voting. Rule 18.9(b) added per league vote.

Last updated: 6/1/12
Changes made: Rule 7.17 renamed as Rule 9.8.

Last updated: 1/15/12
Changes made: Rule 5.7 reinstated.

Last updated: 9/12/11
Changes made: Rule 7.5 changed by league vote.

Last updated: 8/29/11
Changes made: 21.8(a) added to clarify Rule 21.8.

Last updated: 12/2/10
Changes made: Added Rule 11.15, and revised rules 14.9, 7.18, 7.18(a) and 13.1, as per league vote.  Added 11.8(c) to take advantage of new feature in v10.

Last updated: 8/19/10
Changes made: Added Rule 7.18(b) for clarification.  Modified Rule 1.1.

Last updated: 1/15/09
Changes made: Added Rule 7.18(a).

Last updated: 12/27/08
Changes made: Added Rule 2.9, 2.10; removed Rule 5.7, 7.3, 7.15, 9.6, 10.6, 11.13, 17.7; modified Rule 7.2, 7.2(b), 7.5, 7.6, 9.1(a), 9.1(b), 9.5.

Last updated: 9/28/07
Changes made: Added Rules 7.18, 7.19, 18.18 and 15.9; modified Rules 7.16, 7.5, 18.16, 15.6, 14.13 and 6.10; and removed Rule 14.11 as per league vote.

Last updated: 10/11/06
Changes made: Removed Rule 16.1(a), and modified Rules 7.17, 17.7 and 21.2 as per league vote.

Last updated: 7/14/06
Changes made: Updated Rule 14.6 to reinstate the clause concerning post-season roster eligibility.

Last updated: 7/11/06
Changes made: Modified Rule 14.9 and added Rule 14.9(a) to close Condrey-type loophole.


The Goals of this Rulebook

The Big Daddy Baseball League was originally created specifically for owners who have little free time on their hands. Our expanded schedule, as well as several of the rules listed below, were specifically designed with this concept in mind. This rulebook was constructed in such a way as to: a) allow enough time for a busy owner to fully manage his franchise, b) simulate the tasks of a major league owner, GM and manager as closely and realistically as possible, and c) to allow every team a realistic opportunity to compete within a reasonable amount of time. League owners are encouraged to submit their ideas for improving these rules. Rules that pertain to the operation of the league from an administrative standpoint will be amended by the Commissioner. All other rule amendments will be voted upon at the end of each season.

1.0 Membership Requirements

1.1 All members must have a LEGAL copy of the most recent version of Diamond Mind Baseball as well as a LEGAL copy of the most recent DMB player disk. Note: the Commissioner will check with Diamond Mind Baseball before the start of each season to ensure all owners have purchased the required products.  As of the 2011 season, the BDBL currently uses DMB Version 10.

1.2 All owners are responsible for playing their AWAY games (managed either by themselves or the computer manager) when scheduled and e-mailing the results of these games (along with all necessary series files) to the Commissioner by the deadline stated under "Important Dates" on the home page. All owners should read and/or download the "Series Instructions" file listed on the Downloads page.

1.3 All members must agree to play the game fairly and honestly following the rules described in this rulebook.

1.4 All members are encouraged (but not required) to contribute to the league's web page, contributing news items, game summaries, essays, a team logo or anything else remotely interesting. 

1.5 All members are responsible for creating and maintaining a manager profile as outlined in section 12.0.

1.6 All games will be managed by the VISITING team's manager (or by the computer if this is not possible.) Members may play games against each other either in person or head-to-head using the game's netplay feature.

1.7 Owners are required to meet all deadlines. Most importantly, the deadlines for pitching rotations and series results must be met or the owner will be penalized or replaced.  (See Rules 11.9 and 11.10 for specific penalties.)

1.8 The Commissioner may waive a penalty or penalties against a team/owner in special circumstances (such as illness or other personal issues.)

2.0 The League Office

2.1 The Commissioner oversees the operation of the league. He is responsible for ruling on any differences between league members and shall be the final authority on interpretations of league rules. He is responsible for maintaining the league's web site, conducting and scheduling the drafts, dispersing the league's data disks and updating and revising the rulebook as necessary.

2.2 The rulebook may not be altered once the season begins (regular season or playoffs), except in rare and unavoidable circumstances (as judged by the Commissioner.)

2.3 At the end of each season, owners are encouraged to suggest any changes and/or clarifications to the rulebook. The Commissioner will determine all rule changes based upon the fairness and betterment of the league.  Those suggested changes will then be voted upon by the league.  A majority decision (currently 13 votes) is needed to pass any amendment to the rules, although in certain cases more than 13 votes may be required for passage.

2.4 The Commissioner will rule on any situation not covered by this rulebook.

2.5 The Transactions Secretary is responsible for collecting transactions from all members of the league at the deadline and assigning free agents to teams based upon the rules stated below. All free agent issues and/or questions should be directed toward the Transactions Secretary.

2.6 The Contracts Secretary is responsible for collecting all contract decisions by BDBL GM's, ensuring these decisions meet the rules and guidelines stated herein, and reporting these decisions to the Commissioner by the appropriate deadline.  The Contracts Secretary is also responsible for maintaining the master list of contracted players, and ensuring that all trades made during the season comply with Rule 9.6.  All questions and/or issues regarding contracts should be directed toward the Contracts Secretary.

2.7 The Usage Secretary is responsible for reporting any violations of our usage rules. Any appeals to these violations should be directed toward the Usage Secretary.

2.8 The Rulebook Secretary is responsible for ensuring that the league rulebook remains relevant as new rules are passed and new advances are made in the game and/or software.  The Rulebook Secretary should also be available to answer any rules-related questions by the owners of the league.

2.9 The VORP Czar is responsible for tracking all mid-season trades and alerting the league to any trades that violate Rule 9.8.

2.10 The Czar of Ballparks and Graphics is responsible for tracking and updating all changes made to BDBL ballparks, and providing league-related graphics for the web site on occasion.

3.0 Dues and Fees

3.1 League dues are currently $10 per team and are completely voluntary.  League dues help defer some of the cost of running the league web site and are greatly appreciated.   Dues should be paid by the first of the year and can be paid via PayPal (using the link at the bottom-right of the home page) or by check.  Contact the Commissioner for his mailing address.

4.0 League Structure

4.1 The BDBL is comprised of 24 teams divided into two leagues (the Eck League and the Ozzie League) and three divisions (Higuera, Person and Hrbek Divisions in the EL and McGowan, Benes and Griffin Divisions in the OL) within each league of four teams per division. The assignment of teams within a division is subject to change from season-to-season.

5.0 Franchises

5.1 Each owners is responsible for selecting a name for his team. Keep it short (preferably ten characters or less), simple and preferably amusing. The owner's home town should be the first part of the name (ex: the "Salem Cowtippers.")

5.2 Each team consists of a 25-player active roster, a 10-player reserve roster and a 15-player farm team.

5.3 The active and reserve rosters must contain players who appear on the DMB player disk or players who are currently under BDBL contract.

5.4 The farm team may consist only of players who have fewer than 350 career major league at-bats, 125 career MLB innings pitched (for pitchers that have started at least half of their MLB appearances) or 50 career MLB innings pitched (for pitchers that have not started at least half of their MLB appearances) as of the BDBL's Opening Day. The farm team may consist of any player from any level of competition (amateur or professional) who meets the above criteria. Players who meet the above criteria, but own a salary of more than $100,000, are not eligible to be farmed on Cutdown Day. Once Cutdown Day has passed, such players may move freely to any roster spot for which they are qualified.

5.6 A player may play at any position during a game, regardless of whether or not he is rated at that position.  However, a player's defensive performance may suffer if he is played at a position at which he is not rated.

5.7 Any player who qualifies only at the DH position on the Diamond Mind disk will be automatically assigned to the position he most recently played in the MLB, and will be given a range rating of "Pr" and error rating of 300.

6.0 Maximum Player Usage

6.1 No pitcher may be used during the regular season for more than 110-percent of the number of innings he pitched during the prior MLB season.

6.2 No hitter may be used during the regular season for more than 110-percent of the number of plate appearances he had during the prior MLB season.

6.2(a) Any hitter with fewer than 450 total PA's during the prior major league regular season is limited to 125-percent of the number of PA's he had against left- and right-handed pitchers during the prior major league season.

6.3 The above rules (6.1, 6.2 and 6.2(a)) are strictly enforced. Playing time percentages will be displayed on the "Status Reports" page, and will be monitored at the end of each chapter by the Usage Secretary. If a player exceeds the limits outlined above, that player will be immediately suspended for the remainder of the regular season and his team may be fined.  (See Rule 6.6.)

6.4 Any player listed on the Transactions page as "suspended" must be removed from the active roster by his manager and placed on reserves. If a hitter or pitcher is close to the maximum limit during the team's home games, instructions should be left with the visiting team's manager to disable said player. No excuses!

6.4(a) Usage rules may be enforced by opposing managers as well.  If a team uses a suspended hitter, the opposing manager may force his opponent to use a pinch hitter.  If a team uses a suspended pitcher, the opposing manager may force his opponent to use a reliever.  (Or, if the pitcher is not allowed to leave the game, because he has not faced one batter, the opposing manager may force his opponent to issue an intentional walk.)

6.5 Player usage applies during the entire regular season. Therefore, if a player is released or traded, the statistics accumulated by his old team(s) carry over to his new team. If a player has exceeded the maximum number of plate appearances or innings pitched defined by the rules above, he may not be activated by any team (until the playoffs.)

6.6 If a player's total PA's or innings exceeds 110-percent of his major league PA's or innings, or if a limited-usage player (defined in Rule 6.2(a)) exceeds 125-percent of his lefty/righty splits, at any time during the regular season, the player's team will be fined a total of $500,000 against the cap. This amount will be deducted from the offending team's salary cap at the next draft.

6.6(b) Once a player exceeds his usage limit for the season, he is suspended from the Division Series.  If the player meets the requirements of Rule 6.7(b), and his team pays the penalty defined by that rule, he may be reinstated for the Division Series.

6.7 If a player exceeds the limits defined by Rules 6.1, 6.2 and 6.2(a) by more than seven innings pitched or eight PA's, that player will be ineligible for the first round of the playoffs (a.k.a. the "Division Series."). That player may be reinstated after the division series provided the owner pay $1 million fine per player. This penalty would be subtracted from the team's salary cap the following year and would only be accepted at the discretion of the Commissioner.

6.7(b) If a batter finishes the season eight PA's or less over the maximum limit defined by Rule 6.1, or if a pitcher finishes the season seven innings or less over the maximum limit defined by Rule 6.2, or if a hitter finishes the season with eight PA's or less over the maximum limit defined by Rule 6.2(a), that player may be retained on the Division Series roster if his owner pays a penalty of $1 million per player. This penalty would be deducted from the team's salary cap the following year and would only be accepted at the discretion of the Commissioner.

6.8 If an owner uses a suspended player at any point during the regular season after the player has been suspended, the owner's team will be fined $500,000. This fine will double with each additional offense.

6.9 Section 6.0 usage rules do not apply to PA's by pitchers or innings pitched by hitters.

6.10 Hitters with fewer than 75 PA's, and pitchers with fewer than 20 IP during the previous MLB season, are ineligible for the active roster.  Pitchers with 20-39.2 innings may only be used in relief.

6.11 Only pitchers with a rating as a starting pitcher, or who started at least five games in MLB, may be used as a starting pitcher.

7.0 Free Agent and Farm Team Drafts

7.1 The rosters of all MLB teams are available for the BDBL draft. Only players appearing on the Diamond Mind player disk are eligible to be drafted during the free agent draft.

7.2 The draft will be conducted via the league message board, immediately following the auction.  Time slots will be posted for each team for each round of the draft.  Teams are responsible for selecting a player (or passing) after the prior team has selected and before their time slot expires.  If a team fails to select a player before their time slot expires, their pick will be passed, and the following team will select.  Teams that miss their pick may pick at any time afterward.  Owners that know they will not be available during their time slot should leave a short list of players with another owner.

7.2(b) The farm draft will usually begin on January 2nd and will be held via the the league message board.  Only farm-eligible players that do not appear on the DMB disk are eligible to be selected in the farm draft.  Time slots will be provided for each team in each round (see Rule 7.2 for details.)

7.5 The order of the free agent draft will be descending winning percentage from the prior year for all non-playoff teams, followed by the playoff teams in ascending order of winning percentage. In the case of a tie, the winning percentage from the year prior to last will be used to determine the tie-breaker.

7.6 The order of the farm draft will be ascending winning percentage from the prior season.  In case of a tie, previous season's win totals will be used as the tie-breaker (with the lower number winning the tie-breaker.)

7.8 Both the free agent and farm drafts will proceed in the same order for each round until the draft is completed.

7.8(a) An owner may pass during any round of the draft, but must eventually fill all 35 roster spots (while keeping his total salary under the cap.) For example, if you don't believe any player is worth $10 million (or you can't afford a $10 million player), you'll probably want to pass on any bidding for players in Round One.

7.9 The free agent draft will continue for as many rounds until all teams have filled their rosters.

7.11 Each owner is responsible for keeping track of his team's total salary during the draft. Once the draft is completed, all salaries will be summed. If any owner exceeds the limits specified by Rules 16.1 and/or 5.2, that owner will lose the fewest number of players necessary to get under that maximum limit. For example, if an owner goes $200,000 over the cap, he will lose two $100,000 players. If he goes $1 million over the cap, he'll lose one $1 million player. The last player(s) chosen in the draft at the required salary range will be the first player(s) released.

7.12 Any player automatically released due to the infraction described in Rule 7.11 above may not be re-acquired by the same owner as a free agent during the remainder of the season. The salary of any such player will remain the same as it was when he was drafted.

7.13 If a new owner inherits a team from an owner who incurred salary cap penalties for any reason, those penalties will be eliminated.

7.16 A penalty or reward of $150,000 (rounded up) will be assigned for every win above or below 80 during the regular season (not counting any playoff games.)  Finishing with exactly 80 wins will result in zero penalty or reward.

7.18 Beginning with the 2010 BDBL season, all penalties or rewards assigned by Rule 7.16 over the prior three seasons will be summed and capped at the limit set in Rule 7.18(b).

7.18(a) When a new owner takes over an existing franchise, all penalties or bonuses unrelated to Rule 7.18 will be removed. If a new owner takes control of a franchise prior to Cutdown Day, the owner will be rewarded/penalized for the performance of his team that season. If a new owner takes control of a franchise after Cutdown Day, he will not be rewarded or penalized for his team's performance that season.

7.18(b) The bonus/penalty applied in Rule 7.18 cannot exceed $7.5 million. This cap will be reduced to $6 million in 2019 and $5 million in 2020 and thereafter.

8.0 Roster Moves

8.3 Farm players may be promoted to the 35-man roster only if they appear on the DMB disk. Players may be demoted to the farm only if they qualify for the farm team as specified in Rule 5.4.

8.4 Players may be moved between the active, reserve and farm rosters prior to each series (assuming they qualify to be moved) as long as roster limits are not exceeded.  Beginning with Chapter Two, only those hitters that are not in the top-10 on the team in BDBL plate appearances and pitchers that are not in the top-five on the team in BDBL innings pitched, are eligible to be transferred between rosters.  All others must remain on the active roster at all times regardless of injury status (until they fall outside of the top 10 or top 5.)   This rule should be policed and enforced by the opposing manager.

8.5 Rule 8.4 does not apply to any player that has reached 80% of his usage limit (either split or overall.)

9.0 Trades

9.1 The deadline for all trades each chapter will be posted on "Calendar" section of the home page.  Any trade made after this deadline will not become official until the following chapter.

9.1(a) The trading deadline for the season is the end of Chapter Four. This date will also be posted under the "Calendar" section of the home page.  No trade may be announced from this date until the end of the playoffs.

9.1(b) Any trade that is made during the draft will not become official until the conclusion of the draft.

9.3 Any trade may be voided by the Commissioner if, in his judgment, the trade violates the "best interests of the league."

9.4 Players may be traded for other players only.  The exchanging of draft picks, money (real or fantasy), "players to be named" or other such gimmicks or loopholes will not be allowed.

9.5 Both managers involved in a trade must establish confirmation of their trade by notifying the Commissioner (in-person, by phone, e-mail, message board post or PM) prior to the deadline.

9.7 Teams may discuss trades at any time after the established deadlines.  However, the league asks that no trades be announced publicly during the playoffs.

9.8 A team may not add more than 110 VORP points through trades during the course of a season, nor may a team trade more than 110 VORP points during the course of the season (defined as the time between Cutdown Day and the final trading deadline.) Note: Players with negative VORP will not be counted toward this total. Any trade in violation of this rule will be nullified immediately.

10.0 Free Agents

10.1 Any player that does not appear on any team's 50-man roster is considered to be a free agent.

10.2 All free agent selections must be entered into the Transaction Form posted by the Commissioner before the deadline.  A link to this form will appear on the home page.  These transactions must be received by the deadline listed under the "Calendar" section of the home page. 

10.2(a) Unlimited 35-man free agent pick-ups are allowed at the beginning of every chapter.

10.2(b) Free agents that are farm-eligible (and not on the DMB disk) may only be acquired at the conclusion of Chapter Three.

10.3 Free agents will be awarded to teams based upon reverse order of winning percentage according to the standings at the end of each chapter. In case of a tie, the team with the greatest disparity between runs allowed and runs scored will be awarded the higher draft position.  If a tie still exists, the Transactions Secretary will flip a coin.

10.4 Before each deadline, each owner should submit a list of players to release from his roster along with a list of several players to acquire as free agents (major and minor leaguers) in order of preference. If an owner's turn for free agent selection comes up and no players remain on his selection list, the owner will not receive any more players (and the player(s) the owner attempted to release will remain on the roster.) This free agent selection process will occur following the transactions deadline and will be reported on the forum or through the Transactions page as soon as possible. Any owner who fails to submit a list by the deadline forfeits his participation for free agent selection in that chapter.

10.4(b) Free agents that are not on the DMB disk and are not eligible for the farm are not eligible to be acquired.

10.5 There is a 24 hour period directly following the transaction deadline where owners may appeal to the Transactions Secretary regarding any free agents who were or were not received. After this deadline has passed, no free agent decisions may be appealed.

11.0 Game Play

11.1 The regular season will consist of 160 games.

11.2 The season will be divided into six "chapters," each consisting of approximately six weeks. The following is a time table for the beginning and end dates for each chapter:

    Chapter 1: February 1 - March 15
    Chapter 2: March 16 - April 30
    Chapter 3: May 1 - June 15
    Chapter 4: June 16 - July 31
    Chapter 5: August 1 - September 15
    Chapter 6: September 16 - October 31

11.5 Injuries apply only to games played during each series. Managers are instructed to select "Reset usage" before the start of each series. This fully rests any injured players and resets all stats.  NOTE: When teams play back-to-back two-game series, injuries and rest should NOT be reset after the first two games.

11.6 The DH rule is not in effect for either league.

11.7 Weather effects will be used for all games.

11.8 Bullpen warm-up rule WILL be in effect for all games.

11.8(a) Clutch ratings will be turned ON for all games.

11.8(b) Box scores should be saved and formatted in EXPANDED format.  Game summaries should also be saved as well.

11.8(c) The Playing Time Limits feature will be activated, and set according to league usage rules.

11.9 The deadline(s) for turning in game results for each chapter will be posted under the "Calendar" section of the home page. The schedule calls for approximately 13 games to be played in approximately 40 days. This should allow more than enough time for even the busiest owner. Any games not mailed to the Commissioner by the final deadline will be automatically simmed using the computer and both teams' manager profiles.  Visiting teams will be fined $1 million per unplayed series.  If this offense occurs more than once in a year (without a valid excuse), the offending owner may be replaced.

11.10 The deadline for pitching rotations will be posted under the "Calendar" section of the home page. These rotations are submitted through a "Rotation" link on each team's page. Owners will be fined $100,000 per day for every day after the deadline their rotation is not completed.

11.11 Pitchers must be given at least three days of rest between starts. This requirement only applies within each chapter and does not extend from chapter to chapter. (In other words, a pitcher is allowed to start the last game of one chapter and the first game of the next.)

11.12 Any team failing to complete the pitching rotation form after one week has passed since the deadline will be fined $1 million. The Commissioner will then assign that team's rotation for that chapter. If this happens more than once, the owner may be replaced.

11.14 Managers may not use a pitcher (defined as any player who is given a pitching durability rating by DMB on the current season disk) as a pinch hitter unless: a) there are no other hitters available on the bench, and/or b) the manager attempts to bunt. This rule is policed and enforced by the opposing manager.

11.14(a) If a pitcher accumulates 150 plate appearances or more in the prior MLB season, that pitcher is excluded from the Rule 11.14 mandate to bunt.

11.14(b) If (and only if) a pitcher accumulates 150 plate appearances or more in the prior MLB season, that pitcher must comply with the same usage rules for hitters under Section 6.0.11.15 Any pitcher who is allowed to bat while listed at a position other than pitcher -- while true position players remain on the bench -- will be treated as a position player and will be subject to the same rules that apply toward position players, including Rule 6.10. This rule must be enforced by the opposing manager.

11.16 The pitching rotation submitted at the start of each chapter must be followed throughout that chapter. The pitcher listed in the rotation must be the starting pitcher for the game he is assigned. If, for any reason, that pitcher has been excluded from the active roster, that pitcher must be added mid-series and another player must be demoted. The player farmed must be one that was not used during that series and is legally allowed to be demoted. If no such player is available, then it is up to the discretion of the non-offending manager to select the player to be demoted.

12.0 Manager Profile

12.1 Each manager is responsible for creating and updating his own manager profile for home games. This profile consists of batting lineups, substitution preferences, bullpen usage and managerial preferences. This profile should be created using the Diamond Mind software, and should be exported and sent to the opposing team via e-mail if necessary.

12.2 It is the home team's responsibility to get an updated MP to the visiting team's owner at the start of a chapter if the game is not to be played head-to-head. 

12.3 In addition to the profile, managers may wish to leave game- or series-specific instructions with an opposing manager. This should be transacted through e-mail directly with the opposing manager. If instructions were received late, the game still counts as an official game. However, if instructions were ignored or forgotten, the series must be replayed. (Note: all owners should make a habit of contacting all opposing owners before each chapter.)

12.4 Each owner on the Teams page is listed with a designation of either "MP" or "Head-to-head."  These are the default managing designations for these teams.  Teams may change their default designation at any time.  "MP" teams may play certain series head-to-head, and "Head-to-head" teams may play certain series against the MP.

12.5 "MP" owners should send an updated MP (if necessary) to all opponents in home series at the beginning of each chapter.

12.6 Once an MP has been received by an opposing owner in an away series, "MP" owners may begin playing those series immediately.   After five days have passed since the start of each chapter, MP owners should begin playing ALL of their away series.

12.7 "Head-to-head" owners should begin each chapter by checking the default managing designation of each of their opponents.

12.8 If a "head-to-head" owner has a home series against an "MP" owner, the "head-to-head" owner may send an updated MP to his opposing owner if necessary.  If not, nothing needs to be done.

12.9 If a "head-to-head" owner has a series (home or away) against another "head-to-head" owner, the two owners should contact each other via e-mail and set up a date and time for their series.

12.10 Five days into each chapter, "head-to-head" owners should begin playing all away series against "MP" owners (unless that owner has contacted you, requesting a head-to-head series instead.)

12.11 Five days into each chapter, if a "head-to-head" owner has not received a response from a head-to-head opponent, that owner should begin playing this series if it is an away series.  If it is a home series, that owner should send an updated MP (if necessary) to this opponent.

12.12 If the home team "head-to-head" owner attempts to contact a visiting team "head-to-head" owner, and two weeks has passed since the attempt was made, and a response has not been received by this time, then the home team "head-to-head" owner should begin playing this series against that owner's MP.  An e-mail should be sent to both the visiting owner and the Commissioner, alerting both parties that this series is being played in this manner.

12.13 If an injury occurs during a series in which a manager is opposed by an MP, and that injured player is lost for one or more games, the MP should decide the injured player's replacement and lineup position.

13.0 Schedule

13.1 Each team will play all other teams within its division sixteen times each, all teams outside of its division (but within its league) twelve times each and all teams in one division (alternating each year) in the opposite league four times each.

13.2 Chapters One, Two, Five and Six will consist of 28 games each.   Chapters Three and Four will each consist of 24 games.

14.0 Playoffs

14.1 The team with the highest winning percentage in each division shall proceed to the playoffs. The two teams with the highest winning percentage in each league among teams that did not win their division shall play in the Wild Card Game. Playoff teams will be seeded in the playoffs by winning percentage, with head-to-head record, followed by runs differential, as the tie-breakers.

14.2 Should two teams finish in a tie for the wild card or division, these teams will play a one-game playoff to determine the winner. The home team for this game will be determined by regular season head-to-head record.  If a tie exists in this category, the team with the greatest disparity between runs scored and runs allowed will be awarded home field advantage.  If a tie still exists, the Commissioner will flip a coin to determine home team.  This game does NOT count toward the official records.  Therefore, usage rules do not apply.  All other settings for this game (including injuries) will remain the same as the regular season.

14.2(a) If three or more teams tie for the division or wild card, the teams will be seeded according to disparity between runs scored and runs allowed.  If any teams tie in this category, a coin flip will determine the higher seed.  A single-elimination tournament will then be held to determine the wild card winner.   If an odd number of teams are tied, the highest-seeded team will receive a "first round bye" in this tournament.  The remaining teams will then be paired, with the highest seed paired with the lowest seed.  The winner will advance to the next round until only one team remains with no losses.  Usage rules are not in effect for this tournament.  However, this series will be treated in the same way as a Division Series.  Therefore, all rules for the Division Series (including fatigue, injuries, etc.) will be followed in the same manner.

14.2(b) If two or more teams finish the regular season tied for the division lead, and a playoff game or tournament (as defined by Rules 14.2 and 14.2(a)) involving these teams is necessary, the official "Division Champion" will be determined by the winner of this game or tournament. 

14.2(c) If two teams finish the regular season tied for the division lead, and no playoff game or tournament is necessary (since both teams make the playoffs uncontested), the official "Division Champion" will be the team with the greater head-to-head record.  If a tie exists, the division winner will be the team with the greatest disparity between runs scored and runs allowed.  If a tie still exists, the two teams will be declared co-champions.

14.2(d) If three teams finish the season with the same winning percentage and one team will be a division winner and another will be the wild card, the games will be played as follows: The two teams tied for the division lead will play the one-game tie-breaker (with the team with the better head-to-head record, or the team with the greater runs differential if tied, getting the home field advantage), with the winner being declared the division champion. The losing team will then play the club from the other division for the wild card (with the team with the better head-to-head record, or the team with the greater runs differential if tied, getting home field advantage.)

14.3(a) The Wild Card game will determine which team advances to the Division Series. It will be a one-game playoff. The team with the higher regular-season winning percentage will be home team (with runs differential as the tie-breaker and a coin flip as the second tie-breaker.) No usage limits apply to this one game. Usage will be reset prior to the game and will not be reset again in the postseason. A one-day delay will take place before the Division Series. Rules 14.6, 14.7, 14.10-14.13, 14.18-14.20 apply to the Wild Card Game just as any other playoff series.

14.3(b) The second round of the playoffs (a.k.a. the "Division Series") will be a best-of-seven playoff series. The team with the best winning percentage in each league will play the team with the worst (regardless of division), with the better team getting home field advantage in games one, two, six and seven. A division-winning team will always receive the home-field advantage over a wild card team. In case of any tie in regular season winning percentage, the team with the better head-to-head record would receive home field advantage. If a tie still exists, the team with the larger discrepancy between runs scored and runs allowed would receive home field advantage.  If a tie still exits, the Commissioner will flip a coin.

14.4 The third round (a.k.a. the "Championship Series") will be a best-of-seven series between the two winners of the Divisional Series. The team with the better regular season record (regardless of division title) will get the home field advantage in games one, two, six and seven. In case of tie, the team with the better regular-season head-to-head record would receive the home field advantage. If a tie still exists, the team with the greater disparity between runs scored and runs allowed will receive home field advantage.  And, if a tie still exists, the Commish would use a (you guessed it!) coin flip to determine home team.

14.5 The final round (a.k.a. the "World Series") will be a best-of seven series. The home team for games one, two, six and seven will be the team with more wins during the regular season.  In case of a tie, run differential will be used.  If a tie still exists, the previous season's win totals will decide home field.

14.6 25-man playoff rosters shall be set prior to any playoff games taking place. This roster may be changed once before each series (i.e. once before the Division Series, once before the Championship Series, once before the World Series.) Only players who were on a team's 35-man roster at the beginning of Chapter Five are eligible for the playoffs.

14.7 Injuries shall be set to "none" for all playoff series.

14.9 For hitters with fewer than 450 PA's, and starting pitchers (defined as any pitcher who started at least half his MLB games) with fewer than 125 IP, and relief pitchers (defined as any pitcher who did not start at least half his MLB games) with fewer than 30 IP, these players may not exceed 8% of their overall MLB PA's, 12% of their split PA's and 8% of their IP's per playoff series (whichever comes first.)  Once a player has reached his limit, he may remain on the bench, and may be used so long as he does not exceed his PA/IP limit.  An additional 1% (both split and overall) will be allowed for every six innings of extra-innings played per series.

14.9(a) Any pitcher who starts a game in the playoffs is subject to the same usage and eligibility restrictions as a "starting pitcher."

14.10 Any pitcher with a minimum of 40 MLB IP may pitch as a starter in the playoffs. Pitchers with fewer than 75 IP are limited to two innings per start and two starts per playoff series.

14.12 Any hitter that accumulated less than 75 PA's during the prior Major League season is not eligible for the playoffs.

14.13 Any pitcher that accumulated fewer than 20 innings during the prior Major League season is not eligible for the playoffs.

14.13(a) The usage rules outlined in rules above must be policed by the opposing manager in any playoff series. There is no penalty for breaking these rules; however if a manager reports to the opposing manager that a violation of these rules is taking place, the opposing manager must comply by removing the player from the game immediately.  Owners cannot force a "do-over" if one of these rules is broken.

14.14 Owners are encouraged to play all playoff games head-to-head. If this is not possible, the HOME team will manage each game against the opposing team's manager profile. 

14.15 Fatigue (for both pitchers and catchers) remains in effect across series. So, for example, if you start a pitcher in Game Seven of the Divisional Series, he will most likely still be tired for Game One of the Championship Series.

14.16 Off days for the final three playoff series will be as follows: one off day between Game Two and Game Three and one off day between Game Five and Game Six. In addition, there will be one off day between each round of the playoffs.

14.17 Maximum usage limits do not apply to any one-game playoff or tournament as defined in Rule 14.2. Suspensions, however, do apply.

14.18 All playoff teams must submit their 25-man playoff rosters via the message board prior to the start of each series.

14.19 Playoff rosters must include at least two players rated at catcher, three players rated in the middle infield and three players rated at corner infield positions.

14.20 The playoff rosters are policed by the opposing managers. If a player appears on an active roster that was not included in the official roster posted to the forum, the opposing manager has the option to force his opponent to make the changes necessary to adhere to the official roster.

15.0 Parks

15.1 Each team will construct a home park using an existing MLB park or the "Neutral" park as constructed on the Diamond Mind season disk.

15.2 A team must play in the same ballpark a minimum of three consecutive years unless it qualifies under Rule 15.4. (Note: one-time exception in 2015 to accommodate new rule.)

15.4 If an owner's model park no longer exists, Rule 15.2 will be waived for that owner.

15.5 Weather effects for each park will be the same as the region where the franchise is located, and will be assigned by the Ballparks Secretary.

15.6 Owners may change the cover (dome, open or retractable), turf type and foul ground of their ballpark at the beginning of any season.  No factors may be changed during the season.

15.10 At the end of each season (beginning in 2016), owners have the option of retaining the ballpark factors from the prior season, rather than adopting the factors from the new Diamond Mind Baseball player disk.

16.0 Salary Cap

16.1 A strict salary cap shall be set at $63.5 million for each team (plus or minus any bonuses or penalties assigned during the prior year(s)).  A team may go above this cap during the season, but must be at or below this cap following the completion of the draft.

16.2 Farm player salaries do not apply toward the cap.

17.0 Protections and Cutdown Day

17.1 A team must protect a minimum of fifteen players on the 35-man roster on Cutdown Day.

17.2 If a team is unable to protect the minimum number of players as defined by Rule 17.1, that team will be penalized $2 million from the salary cap for each player under the minimum.

17.3 Any player whose contract has not expired must be protected (except as allowed by Rule 18.11.)

17.4 Any player who no longer qualifies for the farm (see Rule 5.4), and who appears on the DMB disk, must either be released or protected.

17.4(a) If a player no longer qualifies for the farm, and does not appear on the DMB disk, he must either be signed to a contract, traded or released.

17.5 Any player that carries a salary greater than $100,000 must either be protected on the 35-man roster, traded or released.

17.6 The date for "Cutdown Day" will be posted under the "Calendar" section of the home page. Rosters must be trimmed to the number of players and total salary defined by Rule 17.1 on Cutdown Day. All contracts are to be announced by this date or these decisions will be made by the Commissioner and the owner may lose his rights to the team.  Cutdown decisions will be made using a form provided by the Commissioner.

18.0 Contracts and Salaries

18.1 A player's salary is initially set depending upon the manner in which the player was acquired.

18.2 Players acquired through the free agent draft are assigned an initial salary as follows:

    Round 1: $10 million
    Round 2: $7.5 million
    Rounds 3-5: $5 million
    Rounds 6-10: $3 million
    Rounds 11-15: $2 million
    Rounds 16-20: $1 million
    Rounds 21-25: $500,000
    After Round 25: $100,000

18.3 There are three types of players on every roster: a) contracted players, b) option-year players and c) farm players.  Contracted players are players who are currently under contract.  Option-year players are players whose option year(s) have not yet expired.  Farm players are players who qualify for the farm.

18.4 Players acquired as non-farm free agents during the season -- who have not already been assigned a salary -- are assigned an option year salary of $500,000.

18.5 Players acquired as farm players are assigned a salary of $100,000 once they are promoted to the 35-man roster on Cutdown Day.

18.6 A player's option year salary expires after he has played a full BDBL season during which time he was NOT eligible for the farm. At which time, his owner has three options: a) release the player and return him to the free agent pool, b) sign the player to a one-year contract at the same (initial) salary, or c) sign the player to a multi-year contract (defined below.)

18.7 Players signed to a contract will be automatically released once their contract expires.

18.8 Multi-year contracts may be issued for as many years as the owner desires.

18.9 The salary of a player with a multi-year contract of no more than four years will increase $1 million per year for every year after the first. For example, if a player's initial salary is $500,000, and he signs a four-year deal, his base salary for the next four years will be $500,000 in the first year, $1.5 million in the second, $2.5 million in the third and $3.5 million in the fourth.

18.9(a) If a player is signed to a multi-year contract of five years or more, his salary will increase by $1.5 million for each year after the first. For example, if a player making $500,000 is signed to a five-year deal, his salaries for the next five years will be: $500,000, $2 million, $3.5 million, $5 million and $6.5 million.

18.9(b) When a player's option year expires, and that player is signed to a contract of five years or more, his team has the option of declaring him to be a "franchise player." The salary of a franchise player increases $1 million per year for each year after the first, up to the limit defined by Rule 18.10. Franchise players may not be traded at any point during the term of their contracts.

18.10 Salaries at or above $10 million will not be increased in any following year under contract. Therefore, players with an initial salary of $10 million or above may be signed for as many years as desired at the same salary. (For example, signing a player with an initial salary of $5 million to a 7-year deal would result in salaries for that player of: $5, $6.5, $8, $9.5, $10, $10 and $10 million over the course of the contract.)

18.11 An owner may only release a player under contract if: a) the team pays a penalty equaling half of the player's total salary over the life of the contract, not including the current season (note: this penalty would be deducted from the cap at the next draft), or b) the player in question accumulated fewer than 75 plate appearances, 40 innings pitched (for starting pitchers defined as any pitcher who started at least half of his appearances) or 20 innings pitched (defined as an pitcher who did not start at least half his appearances) during the prior Major League season. For example, if an owner wishes to release a player who does not qualify under the minimum at-bats or innings clause, and who has two years remaining at salaries of $4 and $5 million, the owner may release him by paying a $4.5 million penalty.

18.12 Players retain their contract statuses upon trade.

18.13 Any new owner who inherits a team from another owner may release any player without penalty. These players will be immediately released into the free agent player pool. This applies only to players on the new owner's team at the time the new owner takes over.  New owners have seven days in which to make this decision. 

18.13(b) Any player released by a new owner under the provisions of Rule 18.13 while a season is in progress will become ineligible to be re-acquired as a free agent during the remainder of that season.  All such players will become free agents at the end of that season.

18.14 Any player that is playing under his initial salary (and is not under contract) will retain his initial salary through the end of the year (regardless of whether or not the player has been released to the free agent pool.)

18.15 The salary and contract status for any player not occupying a spot on a team's 50-man roster at the end of each season will be reset. No player acquired through the January auction or draft will have a prior contract or salary attached to him.

18.16 Any player with an initial salary of more than $5 million must be signed to a minimum of a two-year contract at the end of the current season.  (Note: these players are called "Type H" players.)  Once a "Type H" player plays three years under the same contract (his options year, plus the first two years of his contract), he is no longer considered to be a "Type H" player.

18.17 A "Type H" player may be released if he qualifies for the Rule 18.11(b) escape clause.  A team may also release a "Type H" player if a penalty is paid that equals the player's total salary.

18.18 A "Type H" player may not be traded from the time he is signed to the final (Chapter Four) trading deadline of the season in which he is signed.

19.0 Roster Expansion

19.1 At the beginning of the sixth chapter, teams may expand their active rosters up to 35 players.

20.0 Expulsions

20.1 Intentional disregard for the rulebook, blatantly abusing or violating the rules, and/or repeated incidents of missing deadlines will result in penalties or expulsion from the BDBL, as determined by the Commissioner.

20.2 Intentionally throwing games for any reason will result in a $1 million penalty against the cap, a loss of between five and ten positions in the draft and possible expulsion from the league. Acts which would be considered intentional disregard for the outcome of games include (but are not limited to) batting pitchers in the leadoff spot of the batting order, benching stronger players with no usage issues and starting players out of position when other options exist.

21.0 Auction Draft

21.1 The free agent auction will begin on January 1st and will be held on the league web site using the customized "d-day" auction draft system.

21.2 All eligible free agents will be ranked according to a three-year weighted VORP (current VORP times 10, plus previous year's VORP times 3, plus VORP from two years ago.)  The top-50 free agents will be placed into the "d-day" system.  The tie-breaker is previous year's VORP.

21.3 These 50 players will be broken up into ten lots of five players each using their VORP rankings.  For example, the players in Lot #1 will include the following rankings: #1, #11, #21, #31 and #41.

21.4 Each day, from January 3rd through January 12th, the auctions for five new players will expire.  All auctions expire at 10:00pm ET.

21.5 The team with the highest current bid when a player's auction expires wins the auction and receives the player at a salary equaling the current bid price.

21.6 Teams place bids by entering their maximum bid amounts into the "d-day" system.  The system then determines the current bid prices according to the maximum bids entered by all bidding teams.  These maximum bids are kept a secret.  Only the owner entering the bid knows the maximum amount he has entered.

21.7 The current bid price will be set at either the second-highest bidder's maximum bid or $500,000 more than the second-highest bidder's maximum bid, depending on the tie-breaking values of the two bidding teams (see below.)

21.8 Tie-breaking rules are as follows: 1) previous ownership of the player (note: this rule will not be in effect until the 2004 draft), 2) prior year's wins, and 3) prior year's run differential.  The team with the highest number of wins or highest total run differential wins the tie-breaker.

21.8(a) If a team releases a player, they lose the right of "previous ownership" mentioned in Rule 21.8.

21.9 As with all drafts, each owner is responsible for keeping track of his own spending limits.  Violations will be handled accordingly (see Rule 7.11).  The d-day system will not accept current bids that surpass the total remaining salary.  Any bid placed that exceeds a team's total allotted salary will be cancelled.

21.10 A team may not retract any bid at any time.

21.11 A team may increase a bid at any time prior to an auction's deadline.  Bids may never be decreased.

21.12 The opening bid for all players is $1 million and may increase in increments of $500,000.

21.13 All players in the d-day system that did not receive any bids, in addition to those free agents on the DMB disk that ranked outside of the top-50 in VORP, will be eligible for the free agent draft that will immediately follow the auction draft.

Copyright 2006-2009, Michael Glander