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HACKING MASS 2009

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Win $399* in the 2009 HACKING MASS competition!

HACKING MASS is a contest to try and predict the worst/most offensive players in the upcoming season. HACKING MASS stands for Huckabay's Annual Call to Keep Immobility Next to Godliness: Maximus Aggregatus Stiffisimus Sensire.

A few important changes are being made to the traditional HACKING MASS setup for the coming season.

  1. Rosters will freeze Friday, April 11, 2009, at midnight Pacific. Please be sure you've made your final positional adjustments by that time.
  2. positional eligibility is determined by the player's projected position according to the Baseball Prospectus Fantasy Depth Charts as of Mar 27, 2009. Positional eligibility will not be updated as the year progresses.
  3. No projected Colorado Rockies pitchers are selectable for the 2009 contest. Sorry. If you happen to luck into selecting a pitcher who ends up by trade or other transaction pitching for the Rockies in 2009, his results will count towards your team totals as normal.
  4. once rosters have frozen, all incomplete teams will be dumped from the system. In other words, you must have a player selected in each position to compete in 2009.
  5. to assist us in the bookkeeping, all entrants must have accounts at BP. (If you have a Premium or Fantasy account, use that one; if you don't, you can buy a Premium account, buy a Fantasy account, or create a BP Basic account. It's free, it's easy, and we won't send you a bunch of garbage via email or sell your address to anyone.)
  6. the non-Niagara Spray Starch variety prize parade continues in 2009. The overall winner of HACKING MASS 2009 will be awarded $399 and a mint-condition, signed, framed photo reproduction of Commissioner of Major League Baseball Bud Selig**.

    In addition, the top 10 teams will receive a year's subscription to BP Premium.

Your ten players will be:

  • one each at catcher and each infield position (5 players)
  • one at each outfield position (3 players)
  • two pitchers (2 players)

Simply pick the players who you think will be the stiffest at each position. A team's aggregate stiffness is measured by summing the ESPN (Exuded Stiff Points, Net) of all of the players on your team. For hitters, ESPN is 0.800, minus his OBP, minus his SLG, and multiplied by plate appearances - i.e., (.8-OPS)*PA. For pitchers, the formula is the pitcher's ERA, minus 4.5, times his innings pitched, divided by three, or (ERA-4.5)*IP/3. This results in similar Stiffness scores for the firmest hitters and pitchers.

In each case, it isn't enough for a player to simply suck; somehow the Stiffest of the Stiff must find a way to remain in the lineup or rotation. Possession of incriminating photos of managers and GMs, telekinesis of ink onto lineup cards, large contracts that need justification, and ties to the underworld can all be important attributes of your players besides their lack of hitting and pitching talent.

Additional Resources

* In previous years, we awarded the winner $500. We're ratcheting that down in order to avoid needing to report the victorious team to the IRS. We don't like asking you for your Social Security number any more than you like providing it. To those who suspect penury instead of laziness, we plan on introducing another game in-season with a similar prize... more on that later.

** One entry per person. In case of a tie, first prize will be divided equally among winners. Photo and signature may be a "preprinted" reproduction, whatever that means, and in case we have trouble running down the photo we'll sub in an item of similar value. You'll get the $399 either way, of course.


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