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Benchwarmer News


  • 2020 Playoffs - Championship Week is Complete!
  • Pages for the Benchwarmer Bash are up
    • The Association level has been expanded from 2 teams to 4 teams - that will be 2 league champions plus 2 wild cards.
    • For this season, teams in the Big Red Machine League, the only league so far in the Koufax Federation, will compete in the Cobb Federation - the Eddie Collins Association
    • As the league championships finish up, the field posted will be updated with the new league champs and the updated wild card status.
  • Teams that are playing in the Benchwarmer Bash have one last chance to change lineups - at that point the lineups will lock for the full scope of the Benchwarmer Bash.  The deadline to change lineups is Sunday night, November 1 at midnight Eastern.


  • 2020 Playoffs - Championship Week - Game 3 posted
  • Someone discovered an error in using the minors and the taxi squad to fill in lineup holes.  Something in converting the process from regular season to playoffs didn't work and it was possible to place the same guy to fill in more than once.  I apologize for this - it likely extended into the previous rounds, but at this point I can't go back and fix all of that.  Finding it now, I was able to re-score about 6 games from Game 1 & 2 in the current week.  The results were the same except Game 1 in the Bottom Feeder Finals of Batman League went the other way.  The owners of the affected teams have been notified by email, so if you haven't received a message, there was no change to your games.
  • I've found the program error and we can move on with the remainder of the series - Game 4 will be up Friday morning.


  • 2020 Playoffs - Championship Week
    • Game 2 posted
    • There's going to be a delay in Game 3.  We've discovered a lineup error and might need to redo a handful of games from Games 1 & 2.  Game 3 won't be up until Thursday.


  • 2020 Playoffs - Week 3 - League semifinals, Gore Cup, and Bottom Feeder Open
    • Games 5-7 posted
  • Reminder - tonight is the deadline to change your lineups for the finals week in the playoffs

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  • 2020 Playoffs - Week 3 - League semifinals, Gore Cup, and Bottom Feeder Open - Games 2-4 posted
  • For the Big Red Machine League - your playoff pages were showing the wrong league for this week's games - that's now fixed.
  • Some quick stats on the league semifinals:
    • Overall, only 60% of the division winners in the 65 leagues advanced from the first two rounds into the semifinals these were the teams seeded 1-4 in the tournament.
      • Only 47 of the 65 #1 seeds (72%) are still alive
      • 44 #2 seeds
      • 36 #3 seeds
      • 29 #4 seeds
    • The lowest seed advancing to the semis was a #14 seed: California from Fenway Fenatics (Craig Burke).  The team finished the regular season 22-32 and defeated Cincinnati (#3 seed, 31-23) and Centauri (#5 seed, 29-25) to get this far.  They are up against Skeleton (38-16), the league's top seed, in the semifinals.
    • Other low seeds getting this far include 3 #13s, 5 #12s, 8 #11s, 8 #10s, and 10 #9s.  These teams all pulled an upset in the first round and repeated the upset in the quarterfinals.
    • Only 7 leagues had all 4 division winners advance to the semifinals
    • No league had all of its division winners fail to make the semifinals, but 9 of the 65 leagues have only 1 division winner in the final four.


  • 2020 Playoffs - Week 3 - League semifinals, Gore Cup, and Bottom Feeder Open - Game 1 posted
    • The random game selection and the starting pitching games used was reset for the next 2 weeks.  It's possible that your league will use one of the same random games used in the first 2 rounds or that one of your starting pitchers will use the same game as before - but there are no repeats over this week and the week of the league finals.
    • All teams are "back in it" as the Gore Cup and the Bottom Feeder Open fields are set
    • We're utilizing the structure of the conference championships for the league semifinals.  In most cases this won't line up with the real conferences that teams play in.  I contemplated trying to play with the setup to get them as close as possible, but it was just more efficient to fill them without worrying about the conferences.
    • This season, without real conference play, the final team standing in a conference will be designated the conference winner.  Should all remaining teams be eliminated in the same week, initial playoff seeding will be the tiebreaker.
  • Teams that advance to the finals can change their lineups again for the next round.  Lineups are open again and the deadline to make changes is very short: Monday night at midnight Pacific (shown on the web as Tuesday, 10/27 at 3 AM Eastern)


  • 2020 Playoffs - Quarterfinals complete - Games 6 & 7 posted
  • Reminder that lineup changes for the next round of playoffs are due tonight at midnight Eastern
  • You'll start to see seeding/matchups on your league's playoff pages for the conference championships and the Gore Cup.  This preliminary listing may have some errors as I'm doing it quickly by hand.  I will be running some verification checks to look for mistakes and correct them before the schedule is set for the next steps.  The official schedule should be up on Thursday.
  • The teams that lost in the first round will now come back for the Bottom Feeder Open.  You have something on the line - the winner of that tournament will have the top spot in the draft/transaction order for the off-season.


  • 2020 Playoffs - Quarterfinals - Games 2-5 posted


  • Lineup changes are open again for anyone who wants to change their lineups for the next week of the playoffs (the league semifinals plus the start of the Gore Cup and the Bottom Feeder Open).  Deadline is Wednesday night, October 21 at midnight Eastern.
  • 2020 Playoffs
    • Schedules for the league quarterfinals will go up later today - I hope to have some results up Monday night
    • In the meantime, some notes from the first round:
      • In 520 7-game series across BWB, the low seed won 134 times (25.8%)
      • Of 260 division winners, 25 were upset and did not advance to the quarterfinals (9.6%).  Most of these were 3-4 seeds, but there was one top seed and and five #2 seeds that didn't move on.
      • 3 of the 4 division winners in Fenway Fenatics were defeated.  The Beer League lost 2 division champs.


  • 2020 Playoffs - Round One Complete: Games 5-7 posted
    • Remember, in Round One, the division winners started with 1-game lead before any games were played.
  • For teams advancing to the quarterfinal round, your deadline to change lineups is TONIGHT at midnight Eastern
  • My goal is to be able to start posting quarterfinal results by Monday night.
  • If you lost, you'll now go into the Bottom Feeder Open - those games won't start until we move to the league semifinals.


  • OK, we're going to try this again.  When I set up the playoff scoring program to use expanded rosters, I missed a change that I needed to make when copying the process from the regular season scoring (using random games throws in some twists).  As a result, a significant number of spots that had benchwarmers should have been filled by players from the taxi squad and minors.
    • So - we will re-score Game 1 to get it right
    • The new Game 1 results will be on the site on Saturday - probably late morning.
    • Thanks to Jason Kiernan for noticing the problem.  If you see something you think is wrong, I always want to know.  In most cases it allows me to recheck and confirm that everything works as intended, but it also helps me find issues that need to be fixed.


  • 2020 Playoffs - there will not be a game 2 tonight...
    • Someone noticed that one of his taxi squad players should have filled in the lineup instead of getting a benchwarmer in the first game - I did some spot checking and this happened at least a few times.  I need to go back in and fix that - and I may have to re-run Game 1 on Saturday
  • This doesn't happen often (or ever), but I'm actually moving the next lineup deadline earlier.  I'll have at least 2 playoff games posted by late Friday and we'll be done with the first series by Sunday.  Any lineup changes you have for the 2nd round are now due Sunday night, October 18, at midnight Eastern.
  • 2020 Playoffs - Brackets posted for the 1st round of all 16 teams playing for the league championship.
    • Sorry for the extra time - setting up two new rounds of playoffs takes a bit of time to set up pages to display those results and set it up for all the leagues.
    • You can see the link to the playoffs on your league's home page - however the fastest way to get there - particularly if you have multiple teams, is from one of these pages:
    • I am still working on some set up tasks to adapt the playoff scoring to allow for expanded rosters.  I am hoping to begin posting results by Saturday.  Look for the first 2 games to be posted late Friday night.
    • If you notice any problems or mistakes - like links that don't work or pages that load the wrong league - please let me know.


  • I haven't explained the pitching rotation correctly enough (and my opinion on that is backed up from the multiple questions I've received), so let me try again.
    • Note the changes to the playoff format for the Covid-19 season of 2020
    • All 16 teams are in the league championship tournament with the 4 division winners seeded 1-4
    • For the first round only, division winners will start with a 1-0 lead in the series.  The lower seeded team must win 4 games to advance, while the division winner only needs to win 3.  This is a change that a few people have suggested over the years for the "regular" playoffs and, while I don't think I agree with that overall, in this wide open season that seemed like a reasonable reward for the division winner.
    • So, will BWB just count game 1 as a win for the division winner without playing it?  Or will the division winners play game 1 just like everyone else but with a 1-0 lead in pocket?  To be honest, I don't yet know completely how this will work.
    • However, for your purposes, figure out your rotation P1-P5 just like you normally would.  We won't be skipping the P1 spot - put your best pitcher in P1 (if that's how you do it).  P1 will start in the first game your team actually plays.
    • This way, particularly since I'm still working on the seedings, you don't have to guess if you're playing a division winner in the first round - and you won't have as much time between the series to set your lineups after we start playing,so you probably don't have to redo your rotation for the next round.


  • Week Ten Transaction Results Posted
    • There are no more transactions this season.  There may be certain pages that allow you to try to sign/cut players/move players to IR, but we're currently setting for Week 11 and normally you can sign players on Week 11.  If you get through to any transaction submissions, they will be ignored this week.
    • You can change your lineups again for the 2nd week of the playoffs.  The deadline is Monday, October 19 Sunday night, October 18 at midnight Eastern
    • See the season list of deadlines



  • 2020 Playoff Tiebreakers - the first pass through this is to break ties in the divisions and this is now posted.  There may be slightly different results when checking the entire league if there are multiple teams with the same record - that's the next step to determine.


  • Still working on league tournament seeding and setup - so I'll keep passing that time back to you - deadline for playoff lineups extended to Tuesday night, October 13, midnight Eastern
  • To answer a question....with the new format for the Covid season where division winners start the first round with a 1-0 advantage in games, which pitchers will play in Game 1....P1?  Or P2?  - The answer - we'll start those series with P1 in Game 1 and move forward from there (but there will only be a maximum of 6 games played in those series).



  • And we have our final division winners - Games 58 & 59 posted in Hall of Fame League and Motor City League - See results
  • You will have a chance to change lineups in between playoff series - although once the brackets are set and ready to go the time between deadlines may be shorter - perhaps only 2-3 days - more to come as that becomes more clear.
  • Reminder - you can set your pitching rotation without any regard to when your pitchers last started in the regular season.  Each series in the playoffs is a fresh start for determining games of rest.


  • Tiebreaker Games - Week 9 continues - Games 55-57 posted - See results
    • See standings for all leagues
    • Around BWB
    • 25 Two-way ties were broken by a single winner-take-all game in Game #55
    • 2 divisions had three-way ties and the first step for resolving those is to play a 3-game round robin schedule in Games 55-57
      • Hall of Fame League - Cobb Division: California, San Diego, and Seventh tied
      • Motor City League - Greenberg Division: Bee Em, Mt. Pleasant, Oklahoma tied
      • In both leagues, the three teams all went 1-1 in the round robin phase - the ties are not yet resolved
      • The next step is single elimination - here's how that works and here's how the pitching matchups are different in this season
        • For Hall of Fame League the teams are ranked:
          • 1. California - 10-4 record against the other 2 teams
          • 2. Seventh (6-8)
          • 3. San Diego (5-9)
          • So it's San Diego at Seventh in Game 58.  The winner plays at California in Game 59 for the division title
        • In Motor City:
          • 1. Mt Pleasant - 9-5 in the combined head-to-head
          • 2. Bee Em (6-8, 5-2 vs Oklahoma)
          • 3. Oklahoma (6-8)
          • Game 58 is Oklahoma at Bee Em.  The winner plays at Mt Pleasant for the crown
  • It's been a bit of a challenge adapting the division tiebreaking games to this Covid season, but I'm almost there.  The single-game tiebreakers are done as well as 2 of the 3 round robin games in the 3-way ties.  Nothing is posted yet, and I still have some work to do in order for those games to show up correctly - but it should all be up by this afternoon.
  • Meanwhile, here are the rule adjustments for the tiebreaker processes


  • For the 1-game playoffs, because St. Louis and Detroit didn't get to Game 60, which would correspond to BWB Game 55, I've decided that we'll do random MLB games for the batters and bullpen stats for those games.  Starting will be handled by the next queued start for your P5 slot, which would be up next in the rotation.  The 3-team ties require a few extra games beyond #55 to settle.  This presents a challenge for setting up the lineup and scoring - as the programs that handle those for the regular season aren't designed to use MLB games out of sequence.  I'm still figuring out how to do that. 
  • Consequently, the deadline for setting playoff lineups is extended, for now, until Wednesday, Oct 7 at midnight Eastern.  That may get pushed back again depending on my progress.



  • As I write this, the doubleheader between St. Louis and Detroit that would be made up on Monday is still not certain to be played.  If they do not play - which would mean they don't play a game #59, used for BWB game #54, we'll still have the final game of the season - without any stats from players on either team.


  • Players selected in the 1st round of the 2020 draft are now included as part of the BWB player list.  Your first chance to sign them will be in the Redistribution Draft in January 2021.
  • Week Nine Transaction Results Posted
    • Week Ten Transactions/Lineups - for now setting the deadline to Saturday, October 3 at Noon Eastern - this may be extended depending on how long it takes for playoff setup (with a completely unique format for 2020, there's going to be a lot of manual work to do that).
    • This is the FINAL week for transactions until the winter:
      • Week 10 transactions are limited to cuts and IR moves in preparation for the playoffs.
      • Usually you'd be making IR moves at this time of year only to make room on your 26-man roster for other players in the playoffs.  We're using expanded rosters this season for the playoffs, so this might not be needed as much this season.
      • However - this is your LAST CHANCE to cut players who have a contract for 2021 and beyond before roster carryover selections in December.  You must keep all players under contract as part of your 28-man carryover squad.  If you have regrets about a contract, you either have to cut the player now or trade him away in November/December.  Of course, this also means you won't have him for any playoff games past the first week.
    • Your lineup changes this week are for the first week of the playoffs - the first round of the 16-team bracket.  You may reorder your pitching rotation now without concern for rest between starts between Week 9 games and the playoffs.
    • You will be able to change your lineup/rotation for future playoff weeks.  Dates TBD.
    • Note - Week 8 was the last week to sign free agents - all the existing web pages are set to close that off each year in Week 25, not Week 9.  I thought I got everything, but a few signing attempts got through - those were deleted.  Same goes this week - if a page still lets you try to sign players, those attempts will be discarded.
    • See the season list of deadlines


  • We had 5 teams clinch division titles during the last round of games.  Congratulations!  Normally, every year I post division champs and information plus a rundown of close races around BWB.  This season, everything is moving fast and I'm not going to have time to put those up.


  • Reminder - Contract Extensions are due this week - deadline Sunday night at midnight Pacific.  Here are some updates/clarifications:
    • You're doing this to save cash in future seasons for players who will have higher salaries in 2022 and beyond
      • You do not have to do this in order to keep players - you will choose 28 players to keep on your roster in December.
      • You must have enough cash on hand to pay the full contracts right now, up front.
      • Any player under contract MUST be kept in December when you make your roster carryover selections.
      • You are not currently in a use-it-or-lose-it cash situation.  Any cash you have on hand at the end of the season will be yours through the fall/winter.  You don't have to worry about maximum cash balances until March/April 2021.
    • Team cash - Your cash balances were just updated to include Week 6 game results/placements.  Week 7 games will be completed before we process the Week 9 transactions - the results/placements for Week 7 WILL count toward your cash balances when signing contracts, but will not appear on the website before the deadline.
    • What happens if you try to sign more contracts than you actually have cash for? (Say that you misjudge how much cash you're going to get for Week 7).  I checked in the rules and on the blog and this isn't outlined, so let me tell you how this has always worked:
      • The first consideration is that I take care of next year before future years - this theoretically will have more immediate effect to your team, but might really be to your disadvantage. So, if you try to spend too much money, everyone you attempt to sign for 2021 will take precedence over future seasons (and 2022 will take precedence over 2023 and beyond - etc.)
        • So, for example, you try to extend Byron Buxton for 2021 for 577 and extend out to 2025 for Fernando Tatis (2025 will cost you 6000) - but you are short in cash by 100.  The Buxton signing will go through and the Tatis contract will only go out to 2024.
      • If everyone is at the same extension year, the second consideration is to give precedence to the player with the higher current salary.
        • Given a similar example, you try to extend Tatis through 2021 for 881 and Buxton for 577, but you're short in cash by 100.  In this case the extension for Tatis prevails.  That's generally what you'll want because the 2021 salary for Tatis will be much higher than Buxton's.  But beware if Tatis is the lower-priced player in that scenario.
        • This is the same if you're extending multiple people for multiple years and say, the trouble comes with players extended to 2023 - the player(s) with the higher 2020 salary will have precedence.
      • If it comes down to players with the same 2020 salary, I'll try to use some judgment - Which player will likely have the higher salary in 2021 (or the extension year in question)?  I'm not going to try to do an actual calculation but will use my best guess.
      • If multiple contracts have to be denied/cut back, I'll always go back and see if once a contract is stricken to get the team balance out of the red, can any others be restored?
      • There's generally too many people to work with - I don't go back to teams and ask which contracts they want to keep/drop to keep the balance in the black.  Think carefully if your cash balances are projected to go negative.
      • It should be a bit easier this season - there are no trades or free agent signings going on at the same time.  However, contract extensions are technically the last thing to be processed in any week - if you are submitting an IR move this week, the 250 charge for that move will take precedence over the contracts.  Maybe save your IR moves until next week.
      • You should always do a final check on transactions for all your teams and see the final balances.


  • All teams just received an extra 1000 in cash to help with contract extensions
  • This is the final week to submit contract extensions for 2021 and beyond
  • There are no free agent signings allowed this week - only cuts, IR moves and contract extensions


  • Remember - transaction/lineup deadlines are now on SUNDAYS.
  • However - because I'm messing up some teams' plans by adding Isan Diaz (see below) back to their rosters at the end of the week, this week's deadline time is extended from Noon to 7 PM Eastern.
  • Isan Diaz opted back in from sitting out all season.  He's been added back to his original rosters and available to put into lineups for Week 8.
    • His prorated salary for 2 weeks will be charged to the teams.
    • I think this only puts one team immediately over the 50-man limit (Mt. Airy in Geek Pride) - because he was added so late, that team has a week grace period to get the team back to 50 players.


  • With Game 27, we've reached the halfway point of our regular season
  • Playoffs in the Covid-19 world
    • Clarification - Playoffs will use the expanded rosters that we've been using for the entire season.
    • Don't forget that the team with the worst 2020 record will not automatically draft first in the 2021 Redistribution Draft.  Results of the playoffs will play a role in setting the offseason draft order
  • Deadline day change: Transactions/Lineups are now due at Noon Eastern on Sundays
  • There are no more salary rebates for cut players this season
  • Prospect Rosters are locked - you can't move anyone there for the remainder of the season
  • This upcoming transaction week is the final chance to sign free agents for the 2020 season
  • All orphan teams that are still unclaimed were awarded the 4000 in orphan cash (in normal seasons this happens in early July)


  • Upcoming deadlines - see the season schedule of deadlines
    • Monday, September 7 - this is the final week to get a prorated salary rebate for cut players and it's the last chance to move anyone to the Prospects Roster
    • Sunday, September 13 - at Week 8 we shift to Sunday deadlines and this is the final chance to sign free agents
    • Sunday, September 20 - unlike normal season when contract extensions end in July, this year you can wait until this final week of regular season transactions to sign players to extended contracts.


  • I incorrectly calculated the financial awards for the results and division placement in Week 1.  See league finances
    • Financial updates listed for 8/29: reversed the awards on 8/25 (Big Red Machine had no cash given out for Week1, so nothing changed for that league).
    • On 8/30 - credited the proper amounts for Week 1
    • On 8/31 - Results of Week 6 transactions and Week 2 games


  • Any remaining orphan teams are free for the remainder of the 2020 season and you'll also get the orphan rate for the team in 2021.
  • We're down to just a few teams with zeroes:
    • 2 teams still are 12-0: Underground from Beatleball (Michael Quinn) and Lampoon's from Chevy Chase League (Jason Kiernan)
    • One final team is without a win: New Riverside from Gone But Not Forgotten League (Dave Matter)


  • Deadline day change: Week Six Transactions/Lineups due Monday, August 31 at 7 PM EDT
  • This week is the trade deadline


  • Entering our next set of games, there are 9 teams across BWB with a perfect 9-0 record.  At the other end, 8 teams are still looking for their first win.
  • Sorry for any problems that this may have caused in planning your transactions - the salary rebate calculation for your players in transactions was incorrectly showing an 80% rebate for players you cut.  This has been fixed to the actual value of 44%.


  • A few updates on the Covid-19 rules covering team finances, first round picks, BWB entry fees
  • Quick note on the starting pitching stats for Week 2.  Because the deadline was pushed back for the Week 2 lineups from 8/5 to 8/8, the cutoff date for starts for players you moved from some other roster spot to P1-P5 would also have been 8/8 - anything before that would have been ignored.  This would have put a lot of teams in some tough positions for games.  So, I allowed starts from 8/5-8/7 that would have been included with the original deadline.  We should be on track the rest of this season for staying on schedule, so this should be the only time that's needed.
  • A reminder that with the short season, we're fast approaching some deadlines - see the season schedule of deadlines
    • Monday, August 31 - we shift to Mondays for transaction/lineups at Week 6 and this is the trade deadline
    • Monday, September 7 - this is the final week to get a prorated salary rebate for cut players and it's the last chance to move anyone to the Prospects Roster
    • Sunday, September 13 - at Week 8 we shift to Sunday deadlines and this is the final chance to sign free agents
    • Sunday, September 20 - unlike normal season when contract extensions end in July, this year you can wait until this final week of regular season transactions to sign players to extended contracts.

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