Monday, April 6, 2009

Need To Know For Rookies

. Monday, April 6, 2009

So now you've joined your first league. But your not sure what to do. Here are a few steps to help you along the way.

Once the world completely fills and the commish pushes the button to approve owners.

1.Take a look at your team and give it a preliminary once over.

2.You should take a look at your league's schedule(this is normally posted within 12 hours of the world filling.

3.Take a look at your budget. Examine it closely but do not set it quite yet. Pay very close attention to current payroll, arbitration, returning coaches demands, free agent demands and the eventual payroll total.(using these as tools will help you properly set your budget.)
Example Budget

Franchise Budget Info for Season 5
Department Amount Notes
Current Player Payroll : $ M
Max Arbitration Payroll : $ M
Departing Free Agent Demands : $ M
Promotion Allowances : $ M
Prospect Salaries : $ M
Other Aquisitions : $ M
Player Payroll Total : $ M

Franchise Budget for Season 5
Department Amount Notes
Player Payroll : $ M
Prospect Payroll : $ M
Coaches Payroll : $ M
Domestic College Scouting Dept. : $ M
Domestic High School Scouting Dept. : $ M
International Scouting Dept. : $ M
Advance Scouting Dept. : $ M
Training : $ M
Medical : $ M
Total Allocated (of $185,000,000): $ M

4.Check out the free agents for your team(GM's Office>Contracts>Free Agent Report>"Your team name">"Current season"). Determine if this is a player you would like to keep or one you would like to let walk away. Do the same with your arbitration cases. This will help avoid having a 105 million payroll when you might only spend 55 million on player salary.

5.View your current draft slot. Determine if you will be active in the draft process or will choose to chase free agents(causing you to like lose your top draft choice under #16 pick). A higher draft selection will cost more prospect payroll money than a lower one. #1 draft pick on average if signing for slot will demand atleast 4 million.

6.Check out how many of your coaches want to return and for how much. A good rule of thumb for budgeting properly is by how many ML coaches choose to return and what position. On average a budget of 12 million is a solid selection. If you have to hire a bench, pitching or fielding coach you should likely boost your budget a bit higher to ensure getting a quality coach in case of a bidding war.

7.Once you have cultivated a plan for the upcoming season. You are now ready to set your budget. Remember the 105 million dollar player payroll is not set in stone. it adjusts as you tweak your budget(prospect,medical and etc.)

After setting Your Budget
8.When projections come out. Check out your entire organization's projections. GM's office>Player development>Development report>"Level:All">"Pos:All". Sort the players by the "Projection" column.

9.Learn how to determine useful ratings. There are just as many "phantom rated" 85 overall projected/current ratings players as there are true stud players.
Learn to decipher the core value ratings. Hitters: Contact, Power, Versus right/left(splits), Batting eye, Baserunning, Push/pull, Health, Durability, Speed and Makeup.
Pitchers: Stamina, Control, Versus right/left(splits), Velocity, Groundball/Flyball, Pitch quality, Durability, Speed and Makeup.

10.Before trading make sure you are getting a good deal. Do not trade for the sake of making a trade. Use it as a tool to improve your team either in the long-term or short-term. By knowing what you have, what you are sending away and what you are bringing back in return can help avoid making severe mistakes that can cripple a franchise.

12.Use everything you have learned to improve your team in free agency(or through trading).
Sign the coaches you will need to be successful in the upcoming season. Go through the arbitration process(if you do not wish to keep the player trade him away or release him before the PM2 cycle of "Arbitration Hearings, End / Rehire Coaches, End". This is the only time you can release a player without facing the penalty of "eating" the rest of his contract. Free agency is sometimes a beast of a process. Do not sign a bloated 5 year 100 million dollar contract just to sign a free agent. It is just as important to have payroll flexibility in the future as it is to sign a splashy free agent now who you might regret later.

13.Pay very close attention to the players with the red diamond(rule 5 symbol) next to their name. You have 7 days from the point budgets are being set to determine if those are players you wish to protect from the draft. If the player is a key to your future then you must protect him by adding him to the 40 man roster. This will start his options clock(affecting how many times you can demote him without being forced to waive him first.) Once the rule 5 roster freeze is in effect you cannot make any roster moves and any trades that would go through on the day of the rule 5 draft are pushed back a day.

14.Set your spring training squads. Managers office>Player settings>Spring training squads.
Invite all your team prospects, invite some fodder type players to use to protect against overuse and injury.

15.Prepare for the regular season. Promote players to appropriate levels to fill needs and ensure there are no fatigue issues and no repeated years at the same level(some prospects will retire if they stay at the same level for 2 or more seasons)
If you have changed any player settings such as pitch counts then be sure to change them to required levels for the season. Also reset your lineups if you have cycled through your ST squads to give prospects and fodder AB's to avoid injuries.(20-25 AB's and 12-15 innings(SP/LR) for your ML players are generally enough to help season them.) Figure out the final managers settings you want to use.

16.Check the schedule periodically for Amateur draft prep, Amateur draft & trade deadline. To ensure your franchise is taken care of.

16.Sit back, relax and enjoy your first season. There will be ups, downs, injuries & celebrations.
Such is HBD. The love to hate it game.