This week, we were fortunate enough to get a chance to talk with Brian Dewberry-Jones. If you’ve played Scoresheet for any significant amount of time, you’ve most likely run across Brian, either as a leaguemate, a commissioner, or as the guy who runs the preseason mock draft and end-of-season tournament. And he’s also the person who decides how the orphan teams draft their teams. Brian obviously has years of Scoresheet experience in a whole host of capacities, so we learned a ton. He was also kind enough to write up a few good rules of thumb for running a league, which we are happy to share:
Six Keys to Being a Good Commissioner
1) Start with good owners. This doesn't mean just baseball knowledge but also emotional maturity. Having someone who gets ticked off easily will likely lead to a "situation" later on. My best source for owners has always been referrals followed by recruiting from the scoresheet-talk (where I know many of the potential owners already)
2) Be organized. Make sure that the rules are documented and available. If a problem has a procedure to be handled it will lead to less friction than if it is being handled on the fly. For example, if there is to be a trade veto, set up how it done before the situation arises.
3) Communicate. Listen to your fellow owners. Don't be afraid to admit that you're wrong.
4) Be humble. If you are involved in a dispute, always rule against yourself. A couple of times, I've found it better for the league for me to NOT be commissioner after a sticky situation was resolved.
5) Be lazy. I try to stop rules that cause the commissioner extra work.
6) Have fun. If you don't enjoy running the league, it's probably not best to do so.
Thanks, Brian! If there is anything people like hearing about more than someone else’s fantasy team, it is hearing about squabbles in someone else’s fantasy league requiring a ruling from the commissioner, right? Consider this the first (and probably last) installment of ask Mr. Scoresheet Commish.
Dear Mr. Scoresheet Commish,
In the most recent supplemental draft, we selected Carlos Rodon with our first pick (the third overall in round 40). We were pretty happy about that, only to find someone commenting a few hours later that Rodon had actually been kept by someone in the preseason draft. In this league you are allowed to draft anyone, so Rodon had been drafted last year. He didn’t have a Scoresheet player number at the time, so he couldn’t be placed on a roster. He was announced as a keeper during the preseason draft back in March, but wasn’t added to the roster prior to the supplemental and a reminder never went out.
Our league’s commissioner did not catch the error before the supplemental rounds were completed. Obviously, we certainly recognize that Rodon’s original owner has rights to the player. However, we are not certain that the onus is on us to remember that a player listed as available is actually owned by someone because they announced it three years ago.
We suggested giving Rodon back to his original owner while receiving some sort of compensation, such as an additional pick and/or rookie protect for next year, but could not reach a compromise the commish deemed fair, so we ended up giving Rodon back and drafting a new player, essentially trading our third overall supplemental pick for the last pick.
How would you have resolved this dispute?
Three, Um, Fake Outcomes
As our good friend Brian Dewberry-Jones rules in the most recent edition of that delightful TTO Scoresheet podcast, the fairest resolution is to redo the supplemental draft, starting with you taking someone other than Rodon. The fastest way to get nowhere in these situations is to start assigning blame and by redoing the draft, Rodon goes to his rightful owner and you don’t get penalized for taking a player who appeared available.
However, keep in mind that redoing the draft does have some additional costs. It inconveniences everyone else in the league, potentially pushes back your ability to add your new players by a week, and (it could be argued) it means that everyone’s draft strategy has been exposed. Sometimes the fairest resolution isn’t going to be the best solution. A commissioner has to keep in mind a whole host of factors when ruling. What’s best for the greater good isn’t necessarily going to make every single owner happiest.
Mr. Scoresheet Commish
In this week’s podcast: The Outcomes welcome Scoresheet wizard Brian Dewberry-Jones, who delves more deeply into this dispute. And also talks about actually interesting topics, including how to be a good commissioner, the preseason Mock Draft, the end of season tournament of champions, and what to do when someone threatens your life over the phone.
Thank you for reading
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