Coronavirus Update pt 3 / Short Season details

why can’t you take calculated risks on all of these things? The fact that you have listed a bunch of possibilities, in and of itself, shows that you CAN predict these things and start to put likelihood against them, just like you would an injury or a suspension or a complete collapse in talent, etc. Leaving aside the scenario where whole teams are getting shut down (in which case I expect MLB will react and ottoneu will have to react in turn), I fully expect this to be a year in which I lose more guys to injury and have more guys miss time or get days off than I otherwise would. So I am going to carry and deeper bench than normal. I’ll make some cuts of prospects or flyers who seem less likely to help, and add guys who I think might play. I’ll handcuff more players than I typically would to lessen the blow of one of my studs going down. And I’ll also accept that my opponents are dealing with the same noise, so we’ll all go out, and have fun, and enjoy the competition like we always do.


Along these lines, my thinking is that success in fantasy baseball is about adaptation to unknown challenges and that this is a unique opportunity to challenge yourself against new unknowns. The present situation isn’t ideal by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m just going to make the best of it and hope that we have a vaccine/treatment for 2021 so that we have a full, normal season (among other things).


The adaptation to the unknown that fantasy baseball requires this year is exponentially greater than any other year. Another year it’s “Did I overvalue X at the auction?”

I appreciate Niv’s drive to provide a product. I appreciate folks’ drive to play. But Niv: you need to allow leagues in which the majority do not want to not play for a prize pool this year that right. This MLB thing is all screwed up and no one knows what’s going to happen. I want to reiterate this: most years, we know there will be 162 games. Every year we know for sure how many games will be played. We know who will play who on pink bat weekend. There is not a person from Manfred to me who knows for sure how many games this season will last, if every team will play the same number of games, if players will opt out of games halfway through the season, if an infected player will have a ripple effect on 90 others, and so on. This is not fantasy baseball this is buying a Powerball ticket and I’m not interested, and I know I’m not alone.

I don’t want to play a season when someone’s wife’s brother going to church on a random Sunday means that a team gets shut down and I miss out on a dozen PA in a (at most, if we’re lucky) 60-game season. That’s not fantasy baseball.

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Per my last post, Ottoneu is legally not allowed to do this.


My expectation when I paid this year was that I would have fun doing something I enjoy. Now I get to do that.

I also expected to pay again next year, so, my thinking is that I did not lose any money.

I just want to manage my teams again. If I lose with the best team because of weird stuff, oh well. I will live and still have fun for the nominal fee of $100 x 8 since all my leagues will have regular payouts without refunds.

That’s my take.


I slept on it and realized that there is something that I have not explicitly stated in this thread that may be clarifying:

Prize money being paid out based on our terms and conditions is predicated on a completed MLB regular season. If the MLB completes a regular season, we are obligated to pay out prizes.

If MLB does not complete a regular season, we will be able to offer the option to roll over or refund prize money. That bridge can be crossed if and when we come to it.

Everything stated in the original post is not subject to a regular season happening or not happening.

I hope that this is helpful and clarifying.


Define then what a completed season is. If they delay the start due to COVID spikes in MLB cities/players refusing to play amidst a pandemic, and they start Aug 24 and play a 35 game season, is that considered completed? If they start on Aug 1, but stop on Aug 15, then come back on Sep 1 and play out a 40-game season is that completed? If they start on Aug 1 and stop the season on Sep 5 after 36 games, is the season completed? If they start play on July 30 and on Sep 10 there is an outbreak and the teams who are not in the playoff chase are removed from the schedule so that only those with a shot at winning finish the 60-game schedule, is the season completed? If the Rangers have an outbreak and they don’t play 15 games, and the five teams who had 3-game series vs them over that span play 3 fewer games than other teams, is the season completed?

I submit to you that none of those are a completed season, and that the odds of the sum of them vs a world in which every team plays 60 games and no team has a big wipeout outbreak is about 90:10. I submit to you also that we do not have a completed 2020 season because a season is 162 games. Three Rockies have COVID, and they don’t announce who. If it’s Story, in his age 27 season, Story owners are screwed. If among the 12 Phillies it’s Harper or Realmuto their owners are in trouble. And because of privacy laws, we don’t know if players on our teams are infected.

In that last example above, the difference between the Rangers and Ottoneu is that the Rangers roster is the Rangers, whereas all the teams in Ottoneu are composed to some degree of Rangers, and their opponents. So while the Rangers not playing for 15 days is 15 days in which they go a meaningless .000, it’s a time in which Ottoneu owners with Rangers field a meaningful 0.

Instead of making an educated guess if Player A will break out, bust, hold, decline, improve, get hurt, have regressed BABIP based on analytics and educated guesswork we have to be epidemiologists now to play Ottoneu, and also hope that we’re not heavy on a team that gets impacted by plague. That’s not what we’re signed up for.

One way in which MLB is not like Ottoneu is that if there is a season the owners and players share a couple billion dollars, whereas Ottoneu is just like “you’re out some money.” We as players should have the capacity, since we want this to be just like MLB, to opt out and roll our money if that’s the majority in the league.

If you play in an online poker tournament and at the one-hour mark the software goes down for 45 minutes, everyone gets their money back. If the software goes down before the tournament starts, everyone gets their money back. This is what we have. We’re not playing the full tournament.

A completed season is defined by MLB and we are legally obligated to pay prizes on the completion of a MLB regular season. If you’d like to take this conversation offline we can, but I think all I can do at this point is repeat the prior sentence.


I’ve messaged you via email Niv, but you should clarify what a “completed” season means, and if the examples I listed above define a completed season. If MLB plays through to a winner, and someone in my league who is a fan of and therefore overly heavy on Braves or Cardinals sees their team kneecapped for 1/4 of the season and is unable to compete in Ottoneu, how do you tell them the season is “completed” and that they had a fair shot at winning back their $100 entry fee?

The 60 game season agreed to by the owners and MLBPA and set by the MLB Commissioner’s Office constitutes the MLB regular season for 2020.

I will respond to your emails and we can continue this conversation there.


Thanks for your hard work Niv - looking forward to Opening Day!



I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you!

This is a crazy time with unimaginable challenges for everyone. I know all of us are thrilled that Ottoneu is going to be able to continue and really appreciate all the work you put in that makes Ottoneu the best fantasy platform, especially now!


Seconded, Niv you’re doing great and ottoneu is still by far the best fantasy baseball site available!


Can you point me in the right direction where in the commissioner tools you can get creative with inflation?

After inflation is applied you would have to make some transactions to undo it. Would take a little work.

Niv, thanks for all of the work behind the scenes with Ottoneu. My league voted earlier this month to “freeze” our league for 2020 since we had postponed our draft after MLB canceled spring training in March. We intend to (1) keep our rosters as they are currently composed going into the 2020-2021 off season, (2) avoid arbitration going into 2021, and (3) manually adjust salaries to remove inflation that occurs going into 2021, thus keeping salaries as they were going into the 2020 season. This seems to align with some of the suggestions made above about arbitration and inflation. I just want to check that there are no issues with our league appearing dormant for the rest of 2020 even though we fully intend to pick it up going into the 2021 off season? I realize that some of this flies in the face of the Ottoneu ethos of being more true-to-life to than other platforms but given that we’ve had the same collection of league owners for 7 consecutive years, I’m eager to keep the league content. Thanks again for all of your work.

If this is how you want to proceed you are more than welcome to. Your league will be ready to go in the 2020-21 off-season and will not be affected by having no transactions during the 2020 season. If your league is a prize league, Ottoneu will pay prizes out, so you will have to sort that out with your leaguemates. Other than that, this is a viable way to proceed with this year.

I’m not in any prize leagues, but for those concerned about such things: If a league decided to skip this year, couldn’t they park all players on the bench and the system would just split all the prizes 12 ways, because everyone tied for first with 0 points?


It should work this way, but I am warning leagues that want this to happen to actively plan for the contingency where it does not work correctly.

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3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Multiple matchups per week available for H2H leagues