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Thread: Finishing 1st incentive

  1. #1
    FOBL Owner/GM frozenrope's Avatar
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    Default Finishing 1st incentive

    It looks like the vote for lessening the playoff teams is going to be split down the middle until the end of time. I don't know that enough people are going to support it enough to actually make the change, so I would like to propose a new incentive to finishing 1st.

    To reiterate the background, the current playoff structure does not give a whole lot of incentive to finishing 1st, other than one additional home game each playoff round, and a little extra cash. With the amount of teams finishing 3rd and 4th winning the SS title, as long as you're good enough to win 85-90 games, you have the same lotto ticket as everyone else. In my humble opinion, this can be a very effective strategy to play. Don't overspend to try and win more than 85-90 games as there is no real reason to do so. I would like to change this in some aspect...give the teams who have the best records over the long haul regular season some real bonus for doing so.

    If the consensus is against reducing the amount of teams advancing in the playoffs, even with increased bonus money as a carrot, what would be the consensus on changing the playoff cash structure? Maybe something like this:

    1st place - 3M
    2nd place - 2M
    3rd place - 1M
    4th through 8th place - 0


    Teams that win in the playoffs receive NO additional monies. So if you do finish 4th, you get to the playoffs and have a chance to win the whole thing. The banner, the history, the bragging rights. But no money. If the playoffs is the crapshoot that I believe it is based on the evidence of the last 12 years, a team shouldn't be rewarded with extra cash for advancing.

    This structure gives an extra incentive for finishing higher in the standings without reducing the teams that make the playoffs. 24m would be allocated to divisional bonus money. Heck, you could even give an additional bonus for winning 100 games (maybe 250k per team) and draw that money from the bottom up. So if a team finishes in 3rd place but there are 4 teams that finish with 100 or more victories, then they would lose 250k from the bonus money. If there are 2 teams that finish with 100 or more victories, then they would lose 125k from the bonus money. All this can be decided at the end of the regular season, so EOY finances could theoretically be done before the playoffs even begin, since they would now carry no weight.

    This doesn't take a lot of administrative headache to implement, I wouldn't think. If you're an owner that is dead-set against 4th place teams being pushed out of the playoffs AND dead-set against the prospect of 4th place teams losing playoff bonus money, I would ask what the real argument here is. Is it that much more palatable to put a good team on autopilot 50 games into the season, knowing that the playoffs are more lottery ticket than anything else?

    Thoughts? Yay/nay? If you agree in concept but are against the proposed structure, should money allocation be more? less?
    Last edited by frozenrope; 06-11-2013 at 06:15 PM.


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  2. #2
    FOBL Owner/GM frozenrope's Avatar
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    To further support my argument of the unpredictability of the playoffs when there are 16 teams that qualify, I present this:


    2 Utah
    4 Capital City
    1 Greenbelt
    4 Montana
    3 Trenton
    4 Norwich
    1 Indianapolis
    1 Davenport
    1 Montego Bay
    2 Ayr
    4 Las Vegas

    These are the last 11 winners of the SS, the 11 seasons we've had since we switched to the new playoff format, and their respective place in the standings. The 1st place team in the division won the SS 4 times. 2nd place team won it twice. 3 place team won it once. 4th place team won it 4 times. Only twice did a team win the SS when they won more than 100 games. (Montego Bay and Davenport). Ayr wins their division 5 times and doesn't win the SS. Then finishes 2nd and wins it. This is not an uncommon occurrence, even in the old days. Look at Wisconsin's title in 2024, or Montana's in 2017 or Philadelphia's in 2032. Wild card teams I feel do a lot better than their records should indicate. The more playoff teams, the more wild cards have a chance to 'buck the odds' until they become the odds.

    This is probably just me and my lousy sensibility for playoff aesthetics. But it does diminish the season when a team dominates another for 162 games and then loses a best of 7 game series because of biorhythms or whatever numbers are fed into the FOFL FAC. I do understand owners that don't want to lose those playoffs slots and be forced to 'mail it in' 20 games into a season because there's a team running away with the division. While our viewpoints are different on it, I understand it and don't want to make the game less fun for the most people involved. But can there be SOME incentive to 'running away with the division' for whomever wins it? That takes a lot of planning and good GM and managerial skills, and should have some reward.


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  3. #3
    FOBL Board of Governors Hollywood's Avatar
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    How about as an incentive, the 4th place finisher gets no cash, but gets to annul a contract penalty-free?

    That could cause some bloody battles for that last spot... and to keep 3rd place teams from tanking a bit to drop down, we could incentivize not finishing 4th a bit more, perhaps with playing no home playoff games, etc.

    We have more things to use as incentives than just cash or playoff spots. Perhaps some adjustment of the BC?

  4. #4
    FOBL Owner/GM Doc P's Avatar
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    While there aren't enough votes yet to enact a constitutional amendment, there will be ONE FINAL POLL launched soon, asking owners to pick between the 8 team status quo and the 6 team with a bye.

    After talking to DC, it looks like the 8 team with a bye isn't doable in OOTP13 anyway.

    If there is a large enough majority, there may be enough push to convince the powers-that-be to fiat.


    Otherwise, I definitely would support something like what you guys are discussing. I don't know that winninng $3 million as opposed to $2 million would be enough incentive to go all-out for 1st place. And with some of our teams, we're already at or close to the cash cap when finishing up the season. So we'd lose that money anyway.

    Maybe add a cash bonus that can be applied to the following season's finances instead of current EOY.

    Maybe adjust draft order so first place finishers get the #17-#20 picks, and 4th place finishers get #29 -#32 picks, regardless of playoff result?
    I actually really like that one.


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    FOFL Commissioner cuervo72's Avatar
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    Hrm, interesing idea on that draft order thing. Of course, I'm drafting 1.32 this season and wouldn't have it any other way.

    I've though about sandwich picks for the first-place finishers, if OOTP can do that (can it do compensitory?). Something like a free pick at the end of the 2nd round.

    Changing the cash payouts is definitely a thought, though you have teams like UTI and MBJ already at the cap. Maybe 1st place teams get a cash cap voucher and get to go over the cap? Or as Doc says, maybe a delayed bonus. Win a division in 2047, $1M comes due at the end of 2048.


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    FOBL Board of Governors Hollywood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuervo72 View Post
    I've though about sandwich picks for the first-place finishers, if OOTP can do that (can it do compensitory?). Something like a free pick at the end of the 2nd round.
    Even if OOTP can't, it's easy... just sign them as minor league FAs after the draft.

  7. #7
    FOBL Owner/GM Doc P's Avatar
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    If you re-set draft order for the #17-32 picks, that would give pretty good incentive for each finishing spot in the division. (Except 4th, but they should just be happy to be there, right Cuervo? )And it can be a big difference. You could potentially have a 3rd place team in line to get the #28 pick, they go out and acquire a big bat or arm, finish in 2nd place, and get as high as the #21 pick.

    Maybe that in combination with delayed cash bonuses would be enough to keep everybody happy.


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    FOBL Board of Governors Hollywood's Avatar
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    Good ideas here....

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    Beloved Former Owner DukeRulesMAB's Avatar
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    I remain of the opinion that our bigger problem is at the bottom of the standings rather than the top. While I'm sure there is a great deal of indifference on whether you finish 2nd or 3rd, at least people aren't actively trying to finish 3rd.

    I do like Shaw's idea of being able to void contracts, and think maybe we could do something with that. Maybe allow 5th place finishers to void a contract? Or maybe allow 5th place finishers to offload one bad contract onto 8th place finishers (thereby creating an incentive to get to 5th and avoid last)? It also would create less risk of going for it and missing the playoffs.


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  10. #10
    FOBL Board of Governors Hollywood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DukeRulesMAB View Post
    Or maybe allow 5th place finishers to offload one bad contract onto 8th place finishers (thereby creating an incentive to get to 5th and avoid last)?
    HAHAHAHAHAHA I LOVE THIS

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    Beloved Former Owner DukeRulesMAB's Avatar
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    Dola...

    Radical undoable and unobtainable thought.

    I've long thought that soccer (or real football for critch and Ryan) has the right idea in this, and most methods of league structure. Most soccer leagues have both a "regular season" and "tournament" but they are kept separate, and in fact run over the same time frame. For the most part, winning the tournament is considered a major accomplishment, but a secondary one to winning the league, which tends to be a round robin with equal home and away games against everyone. That way you have the excitement of a tournament, while considering the true "champion" to be the one that earns it over the long haul rather than a few lucky games.

    Like I said, probably not implementable, and way too radical, but imagine something like a 2 16 team leagues, one division, everyone plays everyone else in the league 10 times for a 150 game season. Champions face off at the end of the year. Meanwhile, there is also a tournament that is interspersed throughout the year (could go short series single elimination or single game double/triple elimination) that all 32 teams are in.

    - Would create league champions which would be a major accomplishment, plus a unifying FOBL champion
    - Would create excitement for all teams throughout the year; imagine putting draft pick rewards or major financial bonuses in the tournament. All teams would have a "shot" at glory, but limited glory. A 75 win-esque team isn't going to make a move for the league title, but they could certainly get hot in the tournament and make a move.
    - Additional strategy; do you schedule your best SP to go in the tournament as it gets later? If you're a mediocre team, maybe you schedule your best SP to be in the tournament from the start.


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    FOFL Commissioner cuervo72's Avatar
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    Ok, starting to get a little radical with these ideas.

    I don't know, but I really didn't think tanking was that much of an issue anymore, personally. I don't have a problem with it. Especially without a wildcard - if each division is going to have X number of playoff participants, it doesn't really matter where the tankers are. And if as a league we DID have that much of a problem with it, why couldn't we just re-institute the tank fines?


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    FOBL Board of Governors wolvie109's Avatar
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    Doubt you could do a FOBL version of the Champions League (top 3 or 4 depending on the league but would probably be #1 and 3 in FOBL) and Europa League (#5 and 6 or so depending on the league, #3 and 4 in FOBL). Two separate playoffs would be fun. Not sure what you would fight for, maybe positions in the draft and/or monies.

  14. #14
    Beloved Former Owner DukeRulesMAB's Avatar
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    For fun, I totaled up the 1 vs. 4 matchups and 2 vs. 3 matchups since the change in format. This only applies to the first round, as the matchups obviously get messy after that.

    1 (31 wins) vs. 4 (13 wins)
    2 (23 wins) vs. 3 (21 wins)

    Don't know if it tells us anything, but it's a little fun. Only once (2044) did all 4 top seeds beat the 4 seeds. And if you presume that #2 teams are at least slightly better than #3 teams, is there even a home field advantage at all in this game?


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    Beloved Former Owner tauter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    HAHAHAHAHAHA I LOVE THIS
    I too think this is great.

    We could go one step further and say 6th place can unload a contract up to a certain value on a 7th place team. Not as big an incentive as 5th, but something to keep reaching up the standings.


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    FOBL Owner/GM Bing's Avatar
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    If the goal is to win the championship, finishing first just doesn't mean as much as it used to (should?). 4th can work just fine. There are some really interesting ideas here, but it boils down to how much effort is required to make the playoffs.

    With 4 teams in each division making it, building a slightly better than .500 team is sufficient. Reducing the number of playoff teams and offering a bye to division champs serves the dual purpose of giving the division winners an advantage and forcing everyone else to try a little harder to get in the tournament.

    With a 16 team playoffs, 4 seeds will continue to win. Adjusting playoff cash just sends the division winner home with hush money for losing a short series to a team they beat by 25 games in the regular season (and IMO doesn't provide real incentive to spend more/try harder in the regular season).

    Reduce playoffs, re-institute tank fines on the bottom. Better teams will have a better chance to win titles, mediocre teams will have a smaller chance of making the tournament, thus forcing them to try harder, and extreme teams on the bottom will be disincented from full-on tanking.

    I'm sure there are tweaks that would make things moar interesting, but merely changing playoff format (to me) fixes many concerns voiced here.
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  17. #17
    FOBL Owner/GM frozenrope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bing View Post
    If the goal is to win the championship, finishing first just doesn't mean as much as it used to (should?). 4th can work just fine. There are some really interesting ideas here, but it boils down to how much effort is required to make the playoffs.

    With 4 teams in each division making it, building a slightly better than .500 team is sufficient. Reducing the number of playoff teams and offering a bye to division champs serves the dual purpose of giving the division winners an advantage and forcing everyone else to try a little harder to get in the tournament.

    With a 16 team playoffs, 4 seeds will continue to win. Adjusting playoff cash just sends the division winner home with hush money for losing a short series to a team they beat by 25 games in the regular season (and IMO doesn't provide real incentive to spend more/try harder in the regular season).

    Reduce playoffs, re-institute tank fines on the bottom. Better teams will have a better chance to win titles, mediocre teams will have a smaller chance of making the tournament, thus forcing them to try harder, and extreme teams on the bottom will be disincented from full-on tanking.

    I'm sure there are tweaks that would make things moar interesting, but merely changing playoff format (to me) fixes many concerns voiced here.
    I'm on your side with this one, Bing. But there are enough owners that don't want to reduce the playoff teams; not overwhelming, but enough. This was meant to be a brainstorm Plan B.


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  18. #18
    FOBL Board of Governors Hollywood's Avatar
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    I'd love to revisit some of these ideas as we progress to the postseason.

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    FOBL Owner/GM Doc P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
    I'd love to revisit some of these ideas as we progress to the postseason.

    I had a proposal that I drew up and PM'd to another owner regarding this matter.

    I was planning to post it when my team falls out of 1st place, to prevent accusations of being self-serving or disingenuous.

    Well, since that still isn't happening, I'll go ahead and dig it up and post on here in a bit.


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  20. #20
    FOBL Owner/GM Doc P's Avatar
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    The incentive thread died just like everything else does around here.
    BUT....

    15/26 owners were in favor of a bye system, which gives incentive to finishing higher in the standings.
    Since the minority voted down a bye, what would you guys think of something like this:

    3 Part Proposal-


    Part A:

    1st place finishers get draft picks 17-20
    2nd place gets 21-24
    3rd place gets 25-28
    4th place gets 29-32

    This would give pretty solid incentive to finishing higher in the standings. Except for the 4th place teams. These teams would be kept interested by parts B and C:

    Part B:
    All teams qualifying for the playoffs get $1 million
    Winners of each subsequent round get a cash reward. Maybe somewhere between $250K - $1 million

    Part C:
    All playoff teams also get a bonus added to SC or BC for the following season.
    In real life, playoffs will definitely add to Sports Center and Bandwagon components for teams. In the current FOBL, playoffs have no bearing on this.
    Have a graduated bonus system determined by the math geniuses (eg 1.2 x SC for SS winners, 1.1 x SC for LCS winners, 1.05 for qualifiers etc, or whatever).
    This would add a nice bonus for teams that are in the playoffs and already near the cash cap. (Those teams care very little about cash, since they'll be giving it back to the league anyway).

    This should help keep a 4th place team (especially one near the cash cap) a little more interested in staying in 4th place, as opposed to dropping to 5th and qualifying for a higher draft pick.


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  21. #21
    FOBL Board of Governors Hollywood's Avatar
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    I like that, although I might go with:

    2nd place finishers get draft picks 17-20
    3rd place gets 21-24
    4th place gets 25-28
    1st place gets 29-32

    1st place is its own reward.

  22. #22
    FOBL Owner/GM Scarecrow's Avatar
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    How about this as an incentive (since some people think there actually needs to be)...

    32 Team Draft Lottery

    1. At the end of the season, each team gets 1 number for each win they had (so there will be 2592 numbers).
    2. During the offseason, the powers that be uses a random number program to select the draft order based on the random numbers picked.

    for instance (projecting out to 162 games):
    Arizona would have numbers 1-113
    Cap City would have 114-224
    Orono would have 225-314
    and so on...

    That way everyone will want to win and get more numbers for a better chance at a higher draft pick!!!! And we'll punish all those lazy owners that don't care by making them suffer for all eternity!!!!

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  24. #24
    FOBL Board of Governors CubsFan915's Avatar
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    I like Doc's idea - especially regarding the bandwagon component. (I think the BC is more appropriate, especially as the BC stretches out over 3 seasons.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow View Post
    That way everyone will want to win and get more numbers for a better chance at a higher draft pick!!!! And we'll punish all those lazy owners that don't care by making them suffer for all eternity!!!!
    I'm all in favor of incentivizing the winning teams - especially first place. But not all of the owners at the bottom are lazy, and I'd like to think I've suffered plenty already in 47 seasons...
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  25. #25
    FOBL Board of Governors Hollywood's Avatar
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    I am definitely not for a lottery that rewards already-good teams.

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