Ottoneu on Slack: Debating rule 1a

Whether you’re new to Ottoneu or a crusty veteran you should join the Ottoneu community on Slack. Wisdom from the crowds can be valuable, and from time to time we’ll repost some of our more popular Slack community discussions here on Ottoneu Trade Rumors to carry on the conversation and reference them in the future.

The Slack community recently debated Ottoneu rule 1a, and more specifically how to enforce it.

For reference, here’s rule 1a:

  “Each team should maintain at all times a roster of 22 major-league players that can fill out a starting lineup. The remaining 18 roster spots can be used for reserves, consisting of both major and minor leaguers.”

While the rule seems crystal clear, the proper enforcement of it is not, which was up for much debate on Slack. 

  • How (and when) should Ottoneu commissioners enforce this rule? 
  • What is the impact of that enforcement upon teams preparing to retool or rebuild? 
  • Do teams need more than 18 roster spots to rebuild effectively?
  • Would a games played and innings pitched minimum be a more effective method of accomplishing the same activity level? 

Plenty of questions, plenty of discussion. To jump in on this important debate you can join Slack, or read the discussion history here.

Where do you and your league stand on this issue? Let us know in the comments.


6 thoughts on “Ottoneu on Slack: Debating rule 1a

  1. Chris B. says:

    Can’t believe I missed this discussion. Crushed. It’s my No. 1 pet Ottoneu peeve.

    • Lucky Strikes says:

      Thanks for reading Chris. How did you guys decide to enforce this rule in your league?

      • Chris B. says:

        We haven’t decided anything. I have employed shame to good effect in some cases, but that didn’t work on everyone.

        In the league I serve as commissioner, the Rule 1a issue has manifest itself most on the relief pitcher front. Teams that aren’t playing to win have sacrificed RP slots first, sometimes running completely without relievers. I’ve played out a few options in my head, and come very close a couple times to implementing what I consider the second-most draconian response. That is, I decided if it got worse, I would begin starting auctions for relievers near the top of the free agent pool, and then assign ones that made it through for $1 to the teams that had refused to follow the rules.

        Does that sound nuts?

    • Lucky Strikes says:

      Appreciate the comments, Chris. I’ve thought a lot about this but I don’t have an easy solution. It’s likely this is not an issue at all in some active leagues, or isn’t even on the radar in others until a team or two sells off completely in August. The rule seems pretty straight forward, but the enforcement is not clear to me. Step one is that leagues need to have this discussion up front and agree upon a process to verify and enforce, but I’ll admit we don’t even have this spelled out in my oldest league yet. Your “forced RP” proposal is one method (I’d rather see it be auctions started for Manny Ramirez, Rafael Palmeiro, and Roger Clemens), but I think I still prefer trying to set up an incentive for following the rule rather than a penalty for breaking it. Not sure what that would be (maybe $3 discount off arbitration for each team, or one penalty-free player cut the following season…?), but would love to hear some other ideas from owners who have dealt with this.

  2. Chris B. says:

    A note: the adding RPs thing I described above isn’t meant to be punitive. I just chose RPs as an example because they’ve often been neglected by hard cases in the league I commission. My thought on a solution was to force the addition of active MLB players at any position a stubborn owner refused to fill until they were within compliance with the rule.

  3. […] or just become a burden for those teams trying to rebuild? This discussion is related to the more recent debate on Rule 1a.  You can check out the full transcript of the Slack discussion on GP and IP minimums […]

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