Rules
What's New: Recent Rule Changes
  • Spare Parts Draft added
  • Sportsmanship section added
  • Universal DH implemented
  • Collusion definition replaces the “no trading of same player by same teams” rule
  • 10M salary grandfathering retired as of 2023 season
  • Teams may sign two free agents per week in September
League Calendar
Date Event
2021-12-25 New owner dispersal draft (approx)
2022-01-02 Teams are allowed to release players and make trades
2022-01-02 Spare Parts Draft begins
2022-01-09 Stadium relocation is no longer allowed
2022-01-14 All teams must be under salary cap
2022-01-15 / 1:00p EST Rookie Draft
2022-01-16 Commissioner to distribute list of initial 24 Free Agents for Auction.
2022-01-18 List of 12 additional players for Auction to be submitted to Commissioner
2022-01-20 Auction schedule is announced
2022-01-22 Auction begins
2022-01-22 Trade moratorium on players selected in Free Agency begins
2022-01-22 Teams are no longer allowed to release players
2022-02-12 Free Agent draft - 3M round
2022-02-19 Free Agent draft - 2M round
2022-02-26 Free Agent draft - 1M round
2022-03-05 Free Agent draft - 500k round
2022-03-12 Free Agent draft - 100k round
2022-03-13 Trade moratorium on players selected in Free Agency ends
2022-03-13 Teams are allowed to release players
2022-03-31 Last day to sign players in first signing period
2022-04-01 Opening Day (approx)
2022-06-30 Last day to sign players in second signing period
2022-07-31 Trading Deadline
2022-08-31 Last day to be on roster for playoffs
2022-09-01 Rosters expand beyond 26 players
2022-09-15 Last day to sign players in third signing period
2022-10-01 Playoffs begin
Weekly Events
Date Event
Monday New Manager Profiles used for weekly simulations
Tuesday / 11:59p PDT Deadline to release players
Tuesday / 11:59p PDT Deadline to submit trades
Thursday / 11:59p PDT Deadline to petition pending trades
Friday / 11:59p PDT Deadline to submit waiver wire claims
Saturday Results of outstanding trade challenges posted
Saturday Results of waiver wire claims posted
Saturday New league zip posted
Sunday / 11:00p EDT Deadline to submit new Manager Profile for upcoming week's games
League Structure and Format
  • Favorite Pastime Baseball League is comprised of two leagues, an American League and a National League.
  • As of the 2023 season, both leagues will use the DH indefinitely.
  • Each league shall be divided into two divisions, consisting of six teams each.
  • All owners are expected to obtain a copy of the season disk from Diamond Mind Baseball. If DMB can verify the purchase by each owner, the champion of the the James Huang Memorial Championship Series will be granted the season disk awarded to the league for the following season (per DMB's discretion).
  • All games will be simulated on the commissioner's home computer using Diamond Mind Baseball v12.
  • Game results will be posted on the league home page.
Season and Postseason Schedule
  • The league will play a full 162-game season.
  • Each team will play each other team in their own division a total of 18 times, resulting in 90 games. They will also play each team outside of their division, but within their league, 12 times, for a total of 72 games. There will be a day off after the last day of the regular season.
  • There will be at least one day off after the last day of the regular season, which may be used for tiebreaker games, as needed.
  • MLB divisional and wildcard tie-breaking rules will be used when necessary.
  • The postseason will include eight teams (four from each league). The division winners, based on record, will be given the first and second seed in the playoffs, while the wild card teams, based on record, will be given the third and fourth seeds in the playoffs. In the divisional round, the first seed will play the fourth seed, while the second seed will play the third seed.
  • The American League and National League champions will meet in the James Huang Memorial Championship Series.
  • In the playoffs, home-field advantage will be given to the team with a better record, except in the case of a division winner facing a wild card team, in which case the division winner always has priority. Beyond that, MLB tiebreaker rules will be used for home field advantage where necessary.
  • The Divisional Playoffs will be a best of five series, with the first, second and fifth games played at the stadium of the team with home field advantage.
  • The first round of the playoffs will be a best-of-five, in a 2-2-1 home field schedule. The two subsequent rounds will be a best-of-seven, played in a 2-3-2 home field schedule.
  • There will be days off for "travel days", and at least one day off between rounds of the playoffs. There may be additional off days between rounds; the League Championship Series will not begin earlier than October 8th and the Championship Series will not begin earlier than October 18th.
Stadiums
  • Owners must choose a present-day or historical stadium as the model for their team's home park. If a historical park is chosen, a specific season must be included in the request as park factors tend to change from year to year.
  • All teams must remain in that stadium for at least two full seasons before being allowed to move. A new owner will be allowed to change their stadium immediately, but not if the season is underway.
Tie Breakers

The following rules will be used to break any ties between two teams:

  1. Head to head record
  2. Divisional record
  3. Pythagorean record
  4. Coin flip
Player Eligibility
  • In order to be eligible for the current season, a player must have accumulated a minimum of 75 plate appearances or 25 innings pitched.
  • A player who has eligibility at the catcher position will be eligible for the upcoming season if he has accumulated a minimum of 50 plate appearances. A pitcher who has not started a single game will be eligible for the upcoming season if he has accumulated a minimum of 15 innings pitched.
  • In order to be eligible for the postseason, a player must be on the team’s 35-man roster as of August 31st.
Player Usage
  • Players will be allowed to go up to 110% of their allotted usage (defined by DMB as their historical Plate Appearances or Innings Pitched), and then will revert to replacement level for the remainder of the season. During the playoffs, usage will be limited to 20%.
  • Please note that the “PT%” noted in DMB for pitchers represents batters faced, not innings pitched.
  • If a hitter gets to 150% or more of their usage vs. either LHP or RHP, they will also revert to replacement level for the remainder of the season.
  • Players who are overused during the season are still available for postseason play.

All players must appear at positions for which the current DMB disk says they are eligible. However, there are a few exceptions:

  1. A corner outfielder is eligible to play in either right or left field.
  2. A centerfielder is eligible to play any of the outfield positions.
  3. Beginning with September roster expansion and extending through the playoffs, any pitcher can be used in any role (starting rotation and/or bullpen).
  • In order to curb blatant exploitation issues, owners will be penalized wins, which will have a direct impact on their standing for the rookie draft, free agent draft, and salary cap calculations. A team will receive a win penalty for every full 100% of aggregate overusage they accrue. Two players with 60% overuse each equals 120%, or 1 win penalty. Two players with 99% overuse each equals 198%, still just 1 win penalty.
  • Position players will only be charged penalties for the greater of their overall overuse and their platoon overuse, not both.
  • If a team receives a penalty of at least five wins, they will be barred from the rookie draft lottery, even if their record suggests inclusion.
  • If a team accumulates five or more win penalties for consecutive seasons, the commissioner will consider dismissing the team from the league.
Rosters
  • Team rosters will hold no fewer than 30 eligible players and no more than 35 eligible players.
  • From Opening Day until August 31st, a team must have a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 26 active players. On September 1st, a team can carry more than 26 active players on their roster. Teams must have exactly 26 active players on their roster for the postseason.
  • On the weekend of the 100k free agent signings, if a team does not have 30 eligible players on their roster, the commissioner will assign free agents to the team until they have a legal roster, prioritizing players with high usage at positions of need above player effectiveness or possible future value.
Salary Cap
  • A team's salary cap will be based on their three-year winning percentage, factoring in any win penalties they may have accrued during that time. Salaries will then be calculated based on a normalized distribution, with a minimum salary of 57M and a maximum salary of 63M.
  • By default, new owners will start with a salary cap of 60M. 81 wins will be applied for the years in which they were not in the league.
  • No team may sign or acquire a player via trade when it would result in: the team either exceeding their current salary cap in any of the player's contract years or exceeding the roster limit in a given year.
Contracts

Owners can elect to extend a players' contract up to four years for the following costs:

Current Salary January - March April - June July - September 15th
100k - 900k +400k +800k +1.2M
1M - 1.9M +500k +1M +1.5M
2M - 2.9M +600k +1.2M +1.8M
3M - 3.9M +800k +1.6M +2.4M
4M - 4.9M +1M +2M +3M
5M+ +1.2M +2.4M +3.6M
  • Players whose contracts have not been renewed or extended by the end of the third signing period, will be considered free agents for the upcoming season.
  • When a new owner assumes control over a franchise, the owner will be granted a one time exception, allowing them to extend any player on the previous year's roster as if it were the second signing period.
  • There is no upper limit on a player's salary. Beginning in 2023, the previous “grandfather” rule will be discontinued, meaning even players under contract continuously since before the 10M max contract rule was removed in 2017 are subject to current salary scaling rules.
Releasing Players
  • If an owner releases a player, they must continue to pay 50% of the player's salary (rounded up) for the remainder of the contract. If the owner who released him manages to resign him at the lower rate, then his prior salary is replaced by the new salary (assumed to be a 1-year deal), but they still must also pay the 50% penalty on future seasons. Those fees can be overridden by re-extending the player contract over those seasons.
  • When a new owner takes over a vacant team, they will be allowed to release players before Opening Day and pay 50% of only the upcoming season's salary. (Subsequent years will not be charged.) This includes players selected in the Dispersal Draft, but excludes any player obtained via trade or in Free Agency by the new owner.
  • If a player is ineligible for the upcoming FPBL season, the owner can release that player from the remainder of their contract. Likewise, if a previously released player becomes ineligible, any remaining payments owed to that player are also removed.
Dispersal Draft
  • A dispersal draft will occur in any year where multiple owners will be joining the league at the same time.
  • The Dispersal Draft may occur anytime between the release of the DMB season disk (mid-December) and the Rookie Draft, and ideally during the final week of December. The commissioner will make a reasonable attempt at finding a time that works for all parties involved. If for any reason, an owner is unable to make the selected time, an existing owner from a team in the opposing league will be named as a proxy.
  • All players under contract from the previous season, from the teams of which the new owners will be assuming control, will be eligible to be selected. The draft selections for the upcoming rookie draft, currently owned by these teams, will also be eligible to be selected.
  • All players under contract for the upcoming season, as well as the draft selections, must be selected during the dispersal draft. Players not under contract for the upcoming season may be selected, but will have their contracts immeditately and automatically renewed as if they were re-signed during the second signing period.
  • Owners may pass their selection ending their draft, once all mandatory players/draft selections have been selected.
  • The draft order will be randomly selected, and follow a double-sepertine order (1-2-3, 3-2-1, 3-2-1, 1-2-3).
Spare Parts Draft
  • As an experimental new element for the 2023 season, the league will hold an inaugural Spare Parts Draft (aka Trash Draft) to open the offseason.
  • Anytime between the date of the release of the DMB season disk (usually mid-December) and the opening of the offseason on Jan 2, teams have the option of submitting a list by email to the commissioner of players they would like to give away for free.
  • The full list of available players will be provided to the league in the email from the commissioner announcing the start of the offseason.
  • Teams will then have until 3am Eastern Time on January 4th to submit a list of players they would like to claim, using the same guidelines as when submitting a list for one of the free agency rounds. There is no limit to how many players you may select, so long as the roster size and total salary do not exceed maximums.
  • Selections will be made following that same free agency lottery process.
  • Selected players will retain their existing salary and contracts.
  • There is no requirement for teams to submit any players to be included in the Spare Parts Draft, nor is there a requirement to participate at all if they don’t want to claim anyone. However, once a player is submitted for the draft, that player may not be released or traded (for free or otherwise) until the end of the Spare Parts Draft, and only then if he was unclaimed.
  • Please note: The idea behind this draft is to facilitate teams moving their unneeded players without the need to cut them and pay a penalty or having to market them on a grapevine post. This element of the league may be updated or removed for future years, depending on league feedback following this experiment.
Rookie Draft
  • The rookie draft will consist of four rounds.
  • All players who have not appeared active in any prior season and have met either the 75/50 PA or 25/15 IP thresholds, will be available in the draft.
  • The draft order will reflect ascending order of adjusted wins from the prior season, with the exception that all the teams who finish in the bottom twentieth percentile will be placed in an equally weighted lottery to determine order of the draft’s first picks. This will typically be about five teams. For each round of the draft, a separate drawing will occur, likely resulting in a different draft order for each of the four rounds.
  • All teams with records below 70 wins, will have the difference in their win totals, added to the baseline of 70 wins. For example, 70 wins = 70 wins, 65 wins = 75 wins, 60 wins = 80 wins, 50 wins = 90 wins, and 40 wins = 100 wins. The adjusted win total will be used to determine the draft order.
  • If the league is missing an owner, or a team owner is absent from the draft and does not provide a list of players from which to select, the commissioner will act as the de facto owner during the draft.
  • All first round selections will earn 500k in their first season. With each subsequent round, the starting salary will decrease by 100k. Any players not selected in the draft will go into the free agent pool.
  • The rookie draft will occur on the third Saturday of January, starting at 1p EST.
Free Agency
  • Free Agency will be divided between an auction and a weekly draft.
  • Following the rookie draft, the commissioner will compile a list of 24 top free agents, including at least one player at every defensive position. After sharing this list, owners will be asked to submit a list of 12 additional free agents they believe should be in the auction. The commissioner will then create an auction schedule of 36 total free agents (including the 12 most requested by owners) and distribute it to the league. The auction will begin one week after the rookie draft and last for approximately three weeks.
  • The auction will take place Slack and each player will be given their own channel. An auction will end only after a full 24 hours have elapsed on the last legal bid. To ensure that each auction is easy to monitor, do not make any non-bid post in a player thread.
  • An owner is permitted to make a bid as long as it is divisible by 100k and is greater than the previous bid. For a bid to be legal, the owner's bid on the current player, plus any currently winning bids on other players in the auction, plus 100k per player needed to reach 30 active players, cannot exceed the team's salary cap. In addition, the addition of the player cannot result in the team exceeding the roster limit.
  • In order to prevent auctions from being dragged out indefinitely, any bid that occurs after the 96th hour (fourth day) of the auction will trigger a blind auction stage where all teams who have bid in the most recent 24 hours may make one last bid in secret, and the highest bid wins. The team with the highest public bid before the blind bid stage will have the tiebreaker advantage.
  • Four weeks after the rookie draft, the weekly Free Agent draft will begin.
  • Draft order will be set based on a team's winning percentage from the previous season. We will use a method similar to the NBA's ping-pong approach to create a new draft order for each round of the Free Agent draft. The best, non-playoff team from the prior season will get the most ping-pong balls, while the worst team, will get the least amount of ping-pong balls. The amount of ping-pong balls will be based on the Fibonacci series. The eight playoff teams will always go exactly in order of their final records (worst-to-first) to finish out a round.
  • For each week of the free agent draft, each owner will submit a list of players they want to the commissioner's email account. The owner may specify a series of rules in which they would like the players taken from their list, such as "select at least 1 SP by the 2nd pass."
  • For the first week of the draft, a team may select up to three players at 3M each. For each subsequent week of the draft, a team may select as follows: four players at 2M; five players at 1M; 15 players at 500k; 30 players at 100k. By the conclusion of the draft, all teams must have a legal roster.
  • An owner is allowed to list as many players as they would be willing to sign at that week's given price. It is also possible that due to the size of their list, a team may not sign any players in a given round. If a team wishes to skip a round entirely, they should send an email explicitly stating so.
  • At no point during free agency, may a team exceed either their salary cap or the roster limit to select a player. Any player selected in either the auction and/or the weekly free agent draft cannot be traded until the conclusion of free agency.
Waiver Wire
  • The free agency style lottery will be used for the waiver wire. Once the season is underway, teams may submit lists of ranked free agent requests. Priority will be based on a team's place in the standings following Saturday's results. The team with the worst record will be given 24 ping pong balls, while the team with the best record will be given one ping pong ball. If two teams have the same record, the playoff tie breaking rules will dictate who has higher priority.
  • Starting the week after the 0.1m Free Agency round and continuing through the majority of the season, teams may sign one free agent per week. Beginning with the Friday prior to September roster expansion, teams may sign two players per week through the end of the season.
  • If a player is cut during the season, their salary will be halved (rounded up to the nearest 100k) for each subsequent week they are free agents. For example, if a player has a salary for 5M and is cut on Tuesday, they are available to be selected on Friday at their current salary. The following week, the player's salary will be 2.5M, then 1.3M, then 700k... 400k... 200k... and finally 100k.
Trading Guidelines
  • Trades may involve a combination of players and rookie selections for the upcoming draft. In addition, as long as the trade is deemed to be fair, trading assets to clear salary (i.e. "for nothing") is allowed.
  • Free agent draft selection cannot be traded, either directly, by proxy, or by any other action that equates to the same results as if the selection itself was dealt.
  • No “player to be named later” trades are allowed. All trades must include all involved assets at the time they are submitted.
  • Trades made (including “handshake” deals) before the start of the offseason period or that involve draft picks beyond those for the soonest Rookie draft will be immediately vetoed, pending evidence of their occurrence.
  • A trade is considered pending, and cannot be amended, once both teams involved submit the trade to the commissioner.
  • Pending trades will be posted to the league website weekly (usually on Wednesdays), at which time they become fair game for review by the league. Trades made between the start of the offseason and the start of free agency may be posted more frequently.
  • If any owner finds fault with a trade, they should email the commissioner with their complaint. The commissioner reserves the right to veto and nullify any trade, but will give involved teams the opportunity to address the issue at hand in most cases. Vetoed traded will be removed from the website and the players will be returned to their original teams immediately.
  • Players and/or draft picks involved in a pending trade can themselves be traded. If for any reason the commissioner nullifies the initial trade, all subsequent trades will be nullified. No exceptions will be granted to work around deadlines.
  • Traded players will be available for use by the new team beginning the week after the trade deadline that has been met. For example, with a Tuesday trade deadline, players traded on Monday will be available for the following week; however, trades made on Wednesday will require an additional week of waiting time, during which players will still be available to their original team.
Summary of In-Game Penalties
  • As noted in the rules above, this league assesses penalties to teams for the overuse of players and for failure to meet the league's "win floor" of 70 games.
  • These penalties are assessed in the form of adjustments to win-loss record, where one penalty equals a one-game record adjustment.
  • Penalties will be factored into all applicable draft/priority calculations, such as Rookie Draft position or Free Agent Draft "ping-pong balls."
  • Whether the penalty equates to a +1 or -1 record adjustment depends on the calculation at hand. The penalties will always negatively affect your position.
  • See sections above for descriptions of specific penalty parameters.
Sportsmanship

In addition to an expectation of common courtesy and respectfulness, the following behaviors are expressly prohibited by participants in this league:

Tanking:

This league is the most enjoyable when all teams are doing their best to win games while following the rules. Having to play games against teams trying to lose is neither fun nor fair, as it could unduly impact division and wildcard races. While teams are expected and encouraged to choose a strategic direction, at times focusing on the future and not the present, it is expected and required that a team’s best players are used to their fullest capacity, within reason, over the course of the season. In other words, you cannot bench your best players in favor of worse ones for the purpose of losing games.

This rule also applies to other methods of self-sabotage, including but not limited to manipulating MP sliders for poorer performance or playing two players at defensive positions when they are both stronger at the other (with obvious exceptions, such as a platoon).

Collusion:

This league defines collusion as any mutual effort between teams to circumvent the rules of the league or create an unfair advantage. Some examples of collusion are:

  • Trading a player to another team with the condition that that team will trade the player back at a future date.
  • Bidding on or selecting a player in free agency based on a pre-existing agreement to trade that player to another team.
  • Negotiating and agreeing to a “handshake deal” between after the trade deadline and before the start of the official offseason (January).
  • One team influencing another team to play or not play certain players against a specific other team.

Collusion can be difficult to prove, but still makes the league less enjoyable for other players. Don’t do it. If someone else is asking you to do it, please report it to the commissioner.