Article I. Object
To assemble a team of Major League Baseball players whose statistics from the previous year are used to simulate a baseball season using the Diamond Mind Baseball game.
Article II. Fees
This is a free league. Fees are nada, gratis, zip, bupkis.
Article III. Prize Money
As this is a free league, there is no prize money, save the satisfaction of being smarter than the other owners.
Article IV. League
This is a centralized league, meaning all games are managed by the computer and simulated by the Commissioner, and the results posted on the league Web site.
- The league is using the most current version of Diamond Mind Baseball (version 9.0a).
- The league plays a 162-game schedule with eight game-days played in a typical week - one game-day per day, plus two game-days on Sunday.
- Diamond Mind Baseball league settings are as follows:
- League schedule: 162 games
- Designated Hitter rule: DH Ok
- Injury rule: Injury rating
- Note: Injuries are turned off for the All-Star Game and the post-season
- Sacrifice fly rule: 3rd only, as SF
- Bullpen warmup rule: No warmup
- Transactions and lineups: Do not use transactions or lineups
- Use weather system: Yes
- Limit bench playing time: No
- Use clutch system: Yes
Article V. Teams
There are currently 14 teams in the Diamond Mind Baseball League, evenly divided into two divisions: The Morris Division and the Hanover Division.
The league's founders were Paul Barbosa (Maine Lobsters); Brian "Dizzy" Dissler (Columbia Crusaders); Mike "Stump" Matiash (Arkansas Golden Falcons); Eugene Mullin (Maine Lobsters); Steven Zajac (Austin Outlaws); and Commissioner Yaro Z. Zajac (Vancouver Iron Fist). The league used Microleague Baseball from 1991 through 1996, then switched in 1997 to Diamond Mind Baseball.
- Team Name: Each team must have a home city and a unique nickname, selected by the owner. Team names deemed offensive or boring may be overruled by the commissioner or at least mocked by the other owners. Team names may be freely changed during the off-season and spring training, but not during the season.
- Team Stadium: Each team must have a home park. The park's name, dimensions, park factors and other information can be specified by the owner. The owner can select a current Major League Baseball stadium, a former Major League Baseball stadium (if available), or the hypothetical "Neutral Park." The same stadium may be used by more than one team.
- Stadium lease: Each team must remain in a stadium for at least two years. After the two years, the team may change to a new stadium, but again, will have to remain in that stadium for the next two seasons.
- By default, stadiums using current MLB stadiums will use the latest year for that stadium, but the owner can declare prior to the start of that DMBL season that they will instead use the year they first occupied the park.
- If an MLB team moves to a new stadium, a DMBL team using that stadium can declare prior to the start of that DMBL season that they will either remain in the old stadium or move to the new stadium while still maintaining their lease. By default, the team will be left in the old stadium.
- Park factors: Diamond Mind Baseball uses "park factors" to determine if a stadium favors pitchers or hitters, lefties or righties. Each stadium has a park factor for left-handed and right-handed batters for singles, doubles, triples and home runs. A factor of 100 is considered neutral; the "Neutral Park" has 100 in every category. More than 100 favors hitters; less than 100 favors pitchers. Yankee Stadium in 1927, for example, had a park factor of Home Runs 160 for left-handed batters. The Astrodome in 1986, considered one of the best pitcher's parks of all time, had Home Runs 58 for left-handed and right-handed batters. Most modern parks have park factors ranging between 90 and 110 in most categories. Current or historic ballparks retain the park factors set by DMB.
- Team Manager and Coaching Staff: This is up to the individual owner; you can name whomever you like, provided he's not already working for another DMBL team. All teams must have a manager, batting coach and pitching coach; additional positions are up to you.
Article VI. Roster
Each team has a 25-player active roster, plus a five-player reserve roster or "farm team." A team also may have an unlimited number of players on its Disabled List (see Article IX, "Injuries"). Only eligible players are permitted on the active roster or on the Disabled List; a team can only have up to five ineligible players (see Article VIII, "Eligibility").
Roster requirement: Each team's active roster must be able to field a team with an eligible player for each position and spot in the lineup. Each team must also have at least two players eligible at catcher and five players eligible as starting pitchers in the five-man rotation, and four pitchers eligible at reliever.
- Spring Training: The active roster is expanded to 40 players during Spring Training. All eligible players may be used during Spring Training. However, the five-player limit on ineligible players remains in effect and ineligible players cannot be used in games.
- The Regular Season: During the regular season, each team is limited to a 25-man active roster and a 5-man inactive roster.
- Lineups and depth charts: Team owners can set up their own lineups and depth charts, or can have the computer manager do it for them. Up to six lineups/depth charts can be used. Only players on the 25-man active roster may be used.
- Pitching depth chart: Each team must use a "five-man strict" starting rotation. Other spots on the pitching chart can be set by the owner or left up to the computer manager. Only players on the 25-man active roster may be used.
- Manager/Player tendencies: Each owner can set his manager/player tendencies or leave it up to the computer.
- Inactive Roster: Up to five players may be on the Inactive Roster (aka Farm Team, Reserve Roster). All ineligible players must be on the Inactive Roster. In the interest of simplicity, there are no "options" limiting the number of times a player may be promoted or demoted; however, a player may only be promoted or demoted once a week (seven calendar days).
- Trade Deadline: The trade deadline is the end of Sunday following the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. No trades may be made after the trade deadline, and any players acquired through free agency after the trade deadline are ineligible for the following year's protected list.
- Expanded Rosters: Teams may use all eligible players on their roster from game-date Sept. 1 until the end of the regular season.
Players who are not on the expanded roster by game-date Sept. 1 - that is, they were left on the farm team or were free agents signed after game-date Sept. 1 - are ineligible for the post-season. This does not include players who were on the Disabled List.
- Post-Season Roster: In the playoffs, the roster is limited to 25 players.
- Owners may opt to use a three- or four-man rotation, and therefore need carry at least three starting pitchers on their active roster. In addition, starting pitchers who would not otherwise be eligible as relievers can be used in the bullpen during the post-season, but pitchers who are only eligible as relievers may not be used as starters.
- Players can be swapped between the active roster and the farm team before the start of each new round of the playoffs, but not while a series is in progress.
- As noted above, players who weren't on the active roster or the Disabled List on game-date Sept. 1 are ineligible for the post-season.
- Protected List: During the off-season, each team's roster is limited to a 15-man Protected List (see Article XIV, "Roster Protection").
Article VII. The Draft
On Draft Day, each team will assemble a team of no less than 25 but no more than 40 players by drafting players in a 15-round Regular Draft, followed by an optional Supplemental Draft. Teams must be able to field a team at the end of the draft and no team may draft more than five ineligible players (see Article VI, "Roster").
The Draft Order is determined as follows:
- Non-playoff teams: An NBA-style "draft lottery" for the first round, giving the team with the worst record the best chance of getting the first overall pick. Subsequent rounds are determined using reverse order of the previous year's standings, with the tiebreakers: head-to-head; division record; run margin; and finally, coin flip.
Example: At the end of the 2002 season, the Philadelphia Endzone Animals and the Stanhope Mighty Men had identical 70-92 records, tying for 12th place. The Mighty Men won on the first tiebreaker, head-to-head performance: they won 7 of the 12 games between the two teams. Philly is considered the 12th place team for the draft lottery and subsequent rounds, and Stanhope 11th. If they had split those 12 games, the tiebreaker would have gone to division record, then run margin, and, finally, coin flip.
- The lottery: The non-playoff team with the best record - the seventh-best record in the league the previous year - receives one "ball" in the lottery. The number of balls are then doubled for each team further down in the standings. Therefore, the eighth-place team has two balls; ninth has four; tenth has eight; eleventh has 16; twelve has 32; thirteenth has 64; and the last-place team has 128. There are therefore 255 balls in the hopper. The chance to achieve the No. 1 pick is: 14th place, 50.2%; 13th, 25.1%; 12th, 12.5%; 11th, 6.3%; 10th, 3.1%; 9th, 1.6%; 8th, 0.8%; and 7th, 0.4%.
The draft lottery was used for the first time in 2004, and the results were the wildest to date. The Tijuana Banditos, which had finished last, received the first overall pick. But then the 11th place Phoenix Dragons beat the odds by winning the second overall pick, jumping up two spots. The 12th place Columbia Rattlesnakes then picked third as expected, but the next pick went to the 9th place Philadelphia Endzone Animals - also jumping them two spots. The 10th place Hoboken Cutters then drew their own draft position, fifth. Finally, the second-worst team the previous season - the Harrison Rats - had their number called, falling all the way to the sixth pick in the first round. The non-playoff team with the best record, the Vancouver Ironfist, moved up one spot to the seventh pick in the round, leaving the eighth pick to the 8th-place Brooklyn Beancounters.
- Playoff teams: Reverse order of playoff performance in every round, with regular season performance the first tiebreaker, followed by head-to-head, division record; run margin and finally coin flip. The teams that were eliminated in the first round pick first, with the team with the worse regular season record having the better pick; the World Series winner has the last draft position in each round.
- Example: In the first round of the 2006 playoffs, the sixth-ranked Arkansas Golden Falcons (86-78) upset the third-ranked Carolina Mudcats (92-70), while the fourth-ranked Marietta Mighty Men (91-71) beat the fifth-ranked Las Vegas Rat Pack (87-75). In the second round, the Mighty Men were defeated by the second-ranked Vancouver Ironfist (96-66), while the Golden Falcons fell to the Newark Sugar Bears (111-51), who then defeated the Ironfist in the World Series. Therefore, the Rat Pack, as the team with the worst regular season eliminated in the first round, has the 9th pick in each round and Carolina picks 10th; Arkansas, as the team with the worst regular season record in the second round, picks 11th and Marietta picks 12th; and Vancouver picks 13th; and Newark picks 14th.
- The Regular Draft lasts 15 rounds. Note that some teams may have more or less than 15 picks due to trades; however, no team can have more than 40 players on their roster, so a team must stop drafting after acquiring its 40th player. Extra picks may be traded.
- The Supplemental Draft is an optional draft immediately following the Regular Draft. The draft order continues based on last year's regular season standings (worst to first). Any team may choose to participate in the Supplemental Draft until it has 40 players on its roster; however, a team that drops out of the Supplemental Draft cannot re-enter it. Once a team has 40 players on its roster it must drop out of the Supplemental Draft.
The Columbia Crusaders (later known as the Columbia Rattlesnakes) had first pick of the inaugural Diamond Mind Baseball draft in 1991. They selected Cecil Fielder, a 26-year-old first baseman who had a monster season (.277, .969 OPS, 51 HR, 132 RBI) after spending the previous year in Japan. Unfortunately for the Crusaders, Fielder also turned out to be one of the league's biggest draft busts, hitting just .216 with a .793 OPS that year. Over his seven-year DMBL career, "Big Daddy" hit .253 (.814 OPS) with 102 home runs, 322 runs batted in and 564 strikeouts in 1,762 at-bats.
Article VIII. Eligibility
Eligibility is based the player's previous year's Major League Baseball statistics.
- Batter Eligibility: All batters (except players eligible as catchers) must have at least 250 plate appearances. Players eligible as catchers must have at least 200 plate appearances.
- To qualify for a fielding position, a player must have played at least 10 games at that position in the previous MLB season. A player may qualify at multiple positions, however, any DMB ratings given for positions at which the player is not eligible are erased.
- Corner Outfield: Left Field and Right Field, aka "Corner Outfield," are considered the same position; a player with four games in left and six games in right is eligible to start at either corner. A player with 10 games in left but no games in right also can start in left or right field. If he does not have a fielding rating for both corners, it will be assigned to him identical to the real-life fielding rating for the other corner.
- Center Field: A player with at least 10 games started in center field can start at any outfield position, even if he hasn't played any games in left or right field. His fielding rating for the corners will be the same as his fielding rating for center field.
- Any player with at least 250 plate appearances can be used as a designated hitter, but a player who doesn't have at least 10 games played at any position in the field can only be used as a DH.
- Catchers (a player who has played 10 games at catcher in the previous MLB season) need only 200 or more plate appearances to be eligible; however, a catcher with 200-249 plate appearances can not be used at any other position (including designated hitter), even if he has 10 games played at that position.
- Pitcher Eligibility: Starting pitchers must have at least 10 starts. Relief pitchers must have at least 10 relief appearances and 30 appearances and/or 50 innings pitched.
- A "swing man" - a pitcher with 10+ starts, 10+ relief appearances and 30+ appearances and/or 50+ innings pitched - can freely switched between starter or as a reliever throughout the DMBL season. However, he only can only be counted once (either as a starter or as a reliever) when meeting the roster requirement rule that a team carries five starting pitchers and four relievers. (See Article VI, "Roster")
- Players who are eligible as both a batter and as a pitcher can be used in either capacity, but can only be counted once (either as a batter or as a pitcher) when meeting the roster requirement rule. (See Article VI, "Roster")
In DMBL history, there has never been a player with 250+ plate appearances who also qualified as a pitcher. If the league had been founded in 1918, Babe Ruth would have done it twice -- he had 380 plate appearances as a hitter and 19 starts as a pitcher in 1918, and 542 plate appearances as a hitter and 15 starts as a pitcher in 1919. Ruth's lucky owner could have put him in the rotation and then started him in outfield on the days he didn't pitch. However, for roster requirement purposes, he would have counted as one of five starters or one of three outfielders -- but not both.
- Ineligible Players: Players who do not have enough plate appearances or games pitched can be drafted, but they are listed as ineligible and cannot be added to the active roster or be used in games.
- Ineligible players may not be signed as free agents or claimed off waivers during the regular season, but they can be acquired through trades. During the spring training, ineligible players may be signed, but they must have appeared in at least one Major League game in the previous season, provided that the team does not have five ineligible players already on its roster.
Note: See the "Tom Prince Rule" (under Article X, "Transactions") for the unusual circumstance that could lead to an ineligible player getting into a game!
Article IX. Injuries
This league uses the "injury rating" setting, meaning a player's chance for an injury is determined by both random chance and a player's real-life injury history - the game rates each player as being either "prone," "normal" or "iron" when it comes to injuries. (Note, however, that "iron" players can still get injured and "prone" players can stay healthy for the entire year.) Injury duration, which also is determined by the game and is based on a player's injury rating, ranges from "this game only," which means the player misses only the rest of that game, to several days, weeks or even months. Player injuries are noted in game boxscores and updated on the transactions page of the Web site.
- Lost time due to injury is measured in game-days, not in real-life days or games simulated. For example, if a player is injured for two days and his team is off the next day, he will only miss one game, since he continues to heal on off days.
- When a player is injured for at least one game, his owner can either leave him on the bench and make due with his other players; send him to the farm team and call up an eligible player; or place him on the Disabled List and replace him with a free agent. (See Disabled List under Article X, "Transactions").
Post-season: During the post-season, injuries are turned off, meaning player injuries can only affect "this game only." In addition, all player injuries are reset, meaning all regular season injuries are gone as soon as the post-season starts, and all eligible players are therefore available for the 25-man post-season active roster.
Spring Training: Injuries also are turned off during Spring Training.
Article X. Transactions
There is no limit on shuttling eligible players between the active roster and the farm roster, no restrictions on releasing players and no limit on the number of players who can be placed on the Disabled List, but remember the team must always be able to field a team, plus have a back-up catcher and a five-man starting rotation (See Article VI, "Roster"). To make a move, an owner must notify the Commissioner, who will take the appropriate action. See also Article XI, "Trades".
- Reserving Players: Owners are free to swap eligible players back and forth between the active roster and the five-man farm roster as often as they wish, as long as they abide by the roster requirements (See Article VI, "Roster"). In other words, you don't have to worry about a player having a "minor league option."
- Releasing Players: Owners can release any player on their active or farm roster. You don't have to designate him for assignment or worry about taking a salary cap hit or even give the guy bus fare. You want him off the team, he's gone. Released players go on the Waiver Wire.
- The Waiver Wire: When an eligible player is released, he must pass through waivers. After a player clears waivers, he becomes a free agent.
- The 48-hour waiver period begins when the Commissioner updates the league Web site with the player's waiver status. During this period, all teams in the league will have the opportunity to enter a claim for him.
- The player will be awarded to the team entering a claim that is lowest in the standings, using tiebreakers if necessary (head-to-head, division record, coin flip). In the case of a pre-season waiver claim, the previous season's records will be used.
- If a team makes a transaction, or wishes to claim multiple players on waivers, the first player claimed will be awarded to that team and then the team's waiver position falls to the end of the line. For example, if Team A, who is first in the waiver order, wants to claim Tom Pagnozzi and Benny Distefano off waivers and another team also claims the two players, Team A gets claim to Pagnozzi, but Team B will get Distefano because Team A's waiver position was reset to 14.
- If during the 48-hour period the team's initial owner wishes to "cancel waivers," he must put in a claim for that player as would any other team. His waiver claim position is based on the league standings as noted above.
- Free Agents: Any eligible player who is not on a team's roster or the waiver wire is a free agent and available on a first-come, first-served basis. If the Commissioner can't determine which team put in a claim for a player first, the player goes to the team lower in the standings, using tiebreakers if necessary (head-to-head, division record, run margin, coin flip).
- After the trading deadline (see Article XI, "Trades"), any free agent signed by a team cannot be protected for the following season.
The Tom Prince Rule: If a team requires a player to fulfill the roster requirements as set forth in Article VI (i.e. five starting pitchers, one player at each fielding position plus one-back-up catcher), but there are no available players at this position on the Free Agent list, then an exception shall be made to the above qualifications. The owner will have a choice of one of the three non-roster ineligible players at that position with the next highest amount of plate appearances or games pitched.
For example, in a freak bus accident, both of Team A's catchers are injured for 20 games. There are no catchers left in the free agent pool. The Commissioner identifies the three ineligible catchers with the most plate appearances.
When an eligible player at that position becomes available, the ineligible player must immediately be dropped and replaced with that player. He cannot be added to the reserve squad.
This rule has never been invoked, but we've come close. Prince has never had enough plate appearances in a season to qualify for the DMBL, but he had 179 plate appearances in 1993 and 196 plate appearances in 2001, putting him near the top of the "Prince List" in those two seasons.
- The Disabled List: An injured player can only be placed on the Disabled List if there are one or more "injury days" to serve (see Article IX, "Injuries"). For example, a player injured for "this game only" may not be placed on the Disabled List. The Disabled List is a minimum of 15 game days, beginning retroactive to the game-day the injury happened, to a maximum of the duration of the injury. If a player is injured for just one day, for example, he would still have to miss 15 game-days if placed on the Disabled List.
- After a player is placed on the Disabled List, the team's owner can claim any free agent to replace him on the roster. It's not necessary that the replacement player be eligible at the same position; for example, an owner could put a starting pitcher on the Disabled List and sign a batter if he has an extra starting pitcher available on his active roster or farm team.
- After the 15-day minimum, once a player has served all of his injury days and is eligible to return to action, his owner has 48 hours to activate him or the player that was signed to replace the player is released by the Commissoner's office. If that player is no longer with the team, or releasing that player will cause an illegal roster situation, the next most recently signed player will be released.
- When a player is activated off the Disabled List, the owner must simultaneously release a player to make room on the roster. (Note that owners are not required to release the same player that they picked up when the injured player went on the Disabled List.) A player can be activated and then immediately sent to the farm team, provided the team abides by league roster requirements.
Article XI. Trades
Teams are permitted to trade players (from the active roster or the farm team, including ineligible players) and/or draft picks. However, all teams involved in trades must always abide by the roster requirements (See Article VI, "Roster"). For example, a team cannot trade one of its five active starting pitchers without getting a starting pitcher back, promoting a starter from the farm team or signing a free agent starter.
A trade is not considered "official" until all teams involved have notified the Commissioner's Office of the transaction.
There are no restrictions on the number of trades a team may make.
- Trading is allowed between Draft Day and Trade Deadline Day, and during the off-season.
- During the regular season, a player must be on a team's roster - active or farm - for at least one week before he can be traded. (aka "The Damian Miller Rule")
- Teams cannot "rent" spots on their protected lists. A player who starts the off-season on Team A but is traded to Team B prior to protected lists being turned in cannot be traded back to Team A prior to Opening Day.
- No trades are permitted between the end of the Trade Deadline Day and the end of the DMBL World Series.
- The Trade Deadline is the end of the Sunday following Major League Baseball's All-Star Game.
- In addition, free agents signed after the trading deadline (including players signed to replace someone on the Disabled List) cannot be protected for the following season.
- As soon as the results of the final game of the DMBL World Series are posted on the Web site, teams may resume trading.
- Teams may only trade players on protected lists and/or draft picks from the day the protected lists are due until Draft Day. (In other words, once the protected lists are submitted, any players not protected are no longer your property.) See Article XIV, "Roster Protection".
- As this is a keeper league, "dumping" trades (i.e. non-contenders trading overpriced veterans to contenders for overhyped prospects) is a perfectly legitimate rebuilding strategy. However, the Commissioner - acting in the best interest of the Diamond Mind Baseball League - has the authority to veto any trade that is deemed collusionary, egregiously unbalanced or otherwise deemed harmful to the integrity of the game.
- Trades for draft picks are allowed, but may only involve the current draft and the next draft. For example, during the 2010 draft, a team may trade picks from the 2010 draft or the 2011 draft. When the 2010 draft is completed, a team may trade picks from the 2011 draft or the 2012 draft.
The Chris Nabholz Rule: Trades for cash, "future considerations," "past considerations," players-to-be-named-later and other B.S. are not allowed.
Nabholz was the subject of one of the league's most controversial trades on Dec. 12, 1991, when the Austin Outlaws dealt the southpaw to the Scranton Sparrows for unspecified "future considerations." The cantankerous owners couldn't agree on adequate compensation and ultimately the trade was resolved through arbitration, with Scranton getting Austin's 5th and 15th round picks in 1993. This rule was adopted to avoid a repeat of this unfortunate situation.
Article XII. The All-Star Game
Approximately midway through the season is the All-Star Game, Morris vs. Hanover! The ballot will be posted on the Web site and owners are encouraged to vote for their favorite players. The host stadium is chosen by the Commissioner's Office from among the teams in the division that won the previous year's World Series.
Injuries: During the All-Star Game, injuries are turned off, meaning players can only be injured "for this game only." However, players who were injured during the regular season and are still out for the All-Star Game can't play in the game; however, they can still be voted to the team and replaced with another worthy player.
Article XIII. The Playoffs
The two division winners make the playoffs and the next four teams between the two divisions with the best records. This means up to five teams can possibly make it from one division.
- Tiebreakers: In the event where all the teams tied would reach the post-season anyway, or the division title is not up for grabs, the tiebreakers are as follows: head-to-head record; division record; run margin (runs scored minus runs allowed); coin flip.
- The Play-In Game: In the event of a tie for the final wildcard berth or for a division title, one or more regular season games will be added to the schedule between the tied teams.
- Two teams tied: The teams play one game with home-field decided following the tiebreaker rules above.
This has happened three times in league history, once for a division title and twice for the final playoff spot. In 2000, the Arkansas Golden Falcons and the Vancouver Ironfist tied for the Morris Division title after each went 102-60. Arkansas, with the better head-to-head record, got home-field advantage and won the game in a blowout, 14-0. In 2003, Vancouver and the Hillsborough Destroyers tied for the sixth and final playoff spot at 80-82; this time, the Ironfist had the better head-to-head record and thus home-field advantage, but lost, 6-3. The following year, the Tijuana Banditos and Columbia Rattlesnakes tied for the final playoff spot at 80-82; Columbia, with the better head-to-head record, got the home game but lost, 7-3.
- Three teams tied: The teams are seeded according to tiebreakers. The team with the tiebreaker advantage has a choice of playing as the A, B or C team, and the team with the next-best tiebreaker chooses from the remaining two positions. Team A then plays a home game against Team B; the winner then plays a home game against Team C.
This scenario has happened just once, in 2006. The Arkansas Golden Falcons, Philadelphia Endzone Animals and Hillsborough Hired Hitmen all tied for the final playoff spot at 84-78. Hillsborough, with winning records against both teams, had the tiebreaker advantage and chose to play as the C team. Philadelphia, with the winning record against Arkansas, elected to be the A team. Arkansas then won in Philadelphia, 11-1, and then beat the Hitmen in Arkansas, 5-4, to advance to the post-season.
- Four teams tied: The teams are seeded according to tiebreakers, with A hosting D and B hosting C. The winners then play each other with the highest surviving seed having homefield advantage.
This has never happened, but we came close in 2006: The Hoboken Cutters finished the season at 82-80, just two games shy of joining three teams tied at 84-78 for the final playoff berth.
- Five or more teams tied: To be determined by the commissioner.
This has never happened. Apparently, not even Major League Baseball has a rule to deal with such a situation.
- The Playoffs: Once the six playoff teams are determined, the post-season can get underway.
- All players come off the Disabled List and are rested from fatigue prior to the start of the post-season, and injuries are turned off for the playoffs (meaning a player can only be injured "for this game only").
- Unlike the regular season, only a three-man pitching rotation is necessary for the playoffs, but four or five starters may be used. In addition, starters can be used as relievers in the playoffs even if they are not eligible as relievers.
- In the first round, the two division winners have a first-round bye. The next four teams are seeded by their regular season record, using tiebreakers if necessary (head-to-head, division record, run margin, coin flip).
- The first round is a best-of-five with the higher-seeded team playing at home in Games 1, 2 and 5.
- In the second round, the division winner with the better record plays the lowest seed still alive; the division winner with the inferior record plays the other wildcard team. Use tiebreakers if necessary.
- The second round is a best-of-seven with the higher-seeded team playing at home in Games 1, 2, 5 and 7.
- In the World Series, home field advantage goes to the surviving division winner. If both, or neither, division winner reaches the World Series, home field advantage goes to the team with the better regular season record, using tiebreakers if necessary (head-to-head, division record, run margin, coin flip).
- The World Series is a best-of-seven with the higher-seeded team playing at home in Games 1, 2, 5 and 7.
Article XIV. Roster Protection
Each team is allowed to protect up to 15 players at the end of the season. The Commissioner's Office will announce when the protected lists are due each year.
- Teams can trade players from one protected list to another. If that trade causes the roster to be less or more than 15, there is no adjustment allowed. A team with less than 15 players cannot choose to protect any more players once the protected list deadline has been passed.
- Any free agent signed after the trading deadline (including players signed to replace someone on the Disabled List) cannot be protected for the following season.
- Ineligible players may be protected.
- Once the 15-man protected list is submitted, any players not protected become free agents and are available in the upcoming draft.
Article XV. Ownership Changes, League Expansion and Contraction
If an owner of the league drops out or is removed, his team and the rights to his players revert to the Commissioner's Office, which will then award his franchise to a new owner.
League expansion and contraction is at the discretion of the Commissioner.
If two or more teams fold in the same season, the Commissioner can either have the new owners inherit teams "as is," or hold a New Owner Draft.
- In the New Owner Draft, the players from the "dead teams" are pooled and the new owners draft the players in a round-robin flip-flop draft (1-2-3…3-2-1).
- The draft order is determined by chance, such as a coin flip or picking names out of a hat. The new owner who wins can then choose either to pick first in the New Owner Draft, or claim a position in the Regular and Supplemental Drafts. The next owner can then decide if he wants to pick second in the New Owner Draft, or claim a position in the Regular and Supplemental Drafts. The process continues until all new owners are accounted for.
For example, in 2001, the Hawaii Volcanoes and Arizona Rattlers were disbanded and two new teams - the Brooklyn Beancounters and the Hoboken Cutters - were created. The Beancounters won the toss and elected to draft first in the New Owner Draft. The Cutters then claimed the draft position of Arizona (which finished behind Hawaii that year, and thus had the better draft position). If there was a third new owner that year, he could then decide whether he wanted to pick second in the New Owner Draft, or claim a position in the Regular and Supplemental Drafts. However, since there were only two owners, Brooklyn inherited Hawaii's draft position while the Cutters picked second in the New Owner Draft.
Article XVI. The Commissioner
The Commissioner is the supreme authority on any issues not covered in these rules or rules that need to be re-interpreted.
The Commissioner may take any action he deems necessary to protect the best interests of baseball, including the removal of an owner from the league.
The Commissioner can designate up to two owners to serve as deputy commissioners to assist him in his duties.
In the event the Commissioner can not fulfill his duties, a new commissioner shall be elected by a majority of the owners or designated by the former Commissioner.
The Acting Interim Commissioner for Life is league founder and president Yaro Z. Zajac. The deputy commissioners are Mike "Stump" Matiash and Craig "Butch" Garretson.
Article XVII. Awards
Through the years, the Diamond Mind Baseball League has established a number of annual awards, trophies and other accolades. As with everything else in this league, this is merely for bragging rights, and no physical awards are given, save the Championship Cup.
- The Diamond Mind Baseball League Championship Cup: Generously donated by Newark Sugar Bears owner Craig "Butch" Garretson, this magnificent 18-inch cup will be presented to the previous season's league champion on Draft Day. It must be prominently displayed in a place of honor in the league champion's home until the following Draft Day, when it is to be brought to the draft and presented to the new champion.
- The Yaro Z. Zajac Commissioner's Cup: Team with best regular season record, using tiebreakers if necessary.
- The Mike "Stump" Matiash Morris Division Pennant: Morris Division champion.
- The Craig "Butch" Garretson Hanover Division Pennant: Hanover Division champion.
- The Ian Rintel Front Office Executive of the Year Award: Recognizes the owner whose team had the best turn-around, in terms of net wins, from last season to this season.
- The Kevin Mitchell Most Valuable Batter Award: "The Mitch" recognizes the league's best performance by a batter, as determined by a vote of the owners.
- The Ben McDonald Most Valuable Pitcher Award: "The Big Ben" recognizes the best performance by a pitcher (starter or reliever), as determined by a vote of the owners.
- The Dennis Eckersley Rolaids Reliever of the Year Award: "The Eck" goes to the reliever with the most relief points (2 points for every win or save; -1 point for every loss or blown save).
- The Pat Listach Rookie of the Year Award: "The Listach" recognizes the league's best performance by a rookie (batter or pitcher), as determined by a vote of the owners.
- A player is considered a rookie if he is playing in his first season of DMBL eligibility, even if he's been on a roster in a previous season as an ineligible player. A player who has been eligible in a previous season, even if he was never on a roster, is not considered a rookie. For example, John Thomson went 18-6 with a 3.91 ERA as a starting pitcher with the Newark Sugar Bears in 2002, his first and, to date, only DMBL season. However, he wasn't a rookie because he was eligible for the league four years earlier, after making 27 starts for the Texas Rangers.
- The Bret Saberhagen Comeback Player of the Year Award: "The Sabe" recognizes the league's best performance by a player (batter or pitcher) whose career appeared to be over.
- The Bud Black World Series Most Valuable Player Award: Recognizes the best player as determined by the owner of the league champion.
- The Ryne Sandberg All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award: Recognizes the best player in the All-Star Game as determined by the Commissioner.
The Diamond Mind Baseball Hall of Fame: The Hall of Fame was established in 2002 to recognize the greatest players in league history. A player cannot be elected to the Hall of Fame until five years after his final DMBL season.
Article XVIII. Owner Responsibilities
At a minimum, the owners are expected to
- Attend the draft, either online or in person, or to find someone to draft for them.
- Assemble a legal, game-ready roster of at least 25 active players and no more than the 30 players required by opening day.
- Maintain a legal roster. In the case of an injury where no backup is available at that position on the current roster, the owner is expected to make a transaction to secure a player to play at that position.
These are the bare minimum expectations for owners. The league has the right to replace any owners who continually fail to meet these expectations.
The Team Notes section of the team pages can be updated at any time by the corresponding team owner. Owners who want to update their team notes section can email the commissioner the text of the notes.
Article XIX. Amendments
These rules can be amended by a majority vote of the owners, with the Commissioner breaking all ties.