The Dugout Wizards league is designed to mimic real life baseball as closely as possible within the constraints of a baseball simulation league that is meant to be fun. The league uses Out of the Park Baseball as the simulation engine and to participate in the league all GMs must own the current version of OOTP. The league does upgrade from version to version typically at the conclusion of the season being played when a new version is released as opposed to switching in mid-season.
- GM PARTICIPATION: The commissioner would prefer not to be the “participation police” but reasonable expectations will need to be met. These are simply to submit exports on a fairly regular basis, paying attention to Slack and the forum, and replying to other GMs in trade discussions. The commissioner may replace any GM who becomes absentee or fails to treat others fairly.
- SIM SCHEDULE: Games are simmed Monday thru Friday, with exports due by 7am Eastern time.
- SIM PERIOD: Each sim period covers one week during spring training and the regular season. Postseason sims will be split to cover games 1 & 2, 3 & 4, 5 & 6 and then game 7 (of 7-game series and 1&2, 3&4 and 5 in a 5-game series). Offseason sims will vary in length and the commissioner will provide a schedule on the league’s Slack channel for reference during the October to February offseason.
- COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: There will be no work stoppages in DW. The model we will follow is essentially based on the CBAs as they were negotiated historically, but without the numerous work stoppages along the way. This means that some of the mechanics of free agent (as an example) will be outside the norms of most OOTP historical leagues as the game does not model early free agency accurately.
- RESERVE ERA: The league began with the 1964 season and will therefore spend the first decade-plus of its existence using the reserve clause-era rules used by MLB during those years. As of 1976 the league will institute free agency under the constraints explained in the next section of these rules.
- FINANCES: The commissioner will edit the in-game finances to reflect as accurately as possible the national and local media contracts. Team success will determine things like fan interest and market size.
- TRADING: Trades are typically run at the end of a sim period. The only exception to this is the trade deadline sim.
- Free Agency will begin with the 1976-77 offseason. Prior to that the only free agents will be players who were released by their MLB club or went undrafted and/or unsigned as amateurs.
- Specifics on how the first years of free agency will work will be posted as the league nears the 1976 season.
Players born in the U.S., Canada or Puerto Rico will be eligible for the MLB Amateur Draft in the season in which they began their pro careers (which is not necessarily the year in which they actually were exposed to the draft for the first time – again this is a balance between realism and manageability). Players born outside the U.S., Canada or Puerto Rico will be amateur free agents (explained in the next section). The specifics on the draft:
- Draft order is based on the previous season’s results with the picks alternating by league and the league’s alternating the first overall pick.
- The AL team with the worst record will pick first in odd-numbered years and the NL team with the worst record picks first in even-numbered years.
- The in-game draft will occur on the date it actually did in real life (sometime early in June).
- The draft itself will be done outside the game, initially via StatsLab but that is likely to change; the draft will begin one day after the commissioner releases the draft pool (it usually works out to be toward midweek and runs through the weekend). Pick times are slotted with shorter intervals in the later rounds. Any portion not finished “live” will be run by the game on the in-game draft day.
- Drafted players must be signed. If you do not sign your player he goes back into the draft pool the next season. As was the case in baseball until the 21st century, teams do NOT receive a compensatory pick for not signing their draftees. So try to make sure you sign them.
AMATEUR FREE AGENTS
As is still the case in MLB, players born outside North America (USA, Canada & Puerto Rico) are not eligible for the draft. In addition, not every U.S. born player entered MLB through the draft but were also signed as amateur free agents. Therefore DWB will not have those players in the draft pool either. However, since some of these guys obviously turned out to be very good players, having them simply be free agents would result in significant bidding wars and overspending that would be unrealistic and favor big market teams. Coupled with the fact that scouts are not used in DWB, there will instead be a lottery to assign the rights to these amateur free agents.
- The year players will appear as amateur FAs is based on the same criteria as that used for draft-eligible players: the start of their professional careers. Some players signed and played in leagues in their home countries for a season or two before appearing in an MLB-affiliated minor league. The year they first appeared in an MLB organization (or US-based independent league where applicable) will be the year they appear in DWB.
- There will be a simplified draft for these players, operating as follows:
- Teams will be divided into two tiers. The top tier will be the first, second and third-place finishers in each division. The second tier will be all other teams.
- Each tier will then be assigned a draft spot randomly using state lottery games (Pick-3 games, evening drawings) for complete transparency and randomness (particular states will be assigned to teams based on finish and division – see list at the bottom of this section).
- The teams will share a common player pool, but Tier A teams will all pick before Tier B teams.
- Each tier will then draft their top amateur free agent selections using the randomized order. They will be signed to minor league contracts by the commissioner.
- All remaining amateur free agents will become free agents and can be signed normally.
- This is designed to reward teams for playing well, spread some of the young talent around and to incentivize winning as opposed to the normal draft routine which over-incentivizes losing and letting good players go in free agency in order to stockpile picks.
- The draft will typically occur in the offseason, in January.
- The list of state lottery/division finish assignments:
- ALE 1st & 4th: Maine/Vermont/New Hampshire (these states share a lottery)
- ALW 1st & 4th: Connecticut
- NLE 1st & 4th: New York
- NLW 1st & 4th: New Jersey
- ALE 2nd & 5th: Pennsylvania
- ALW 2nd & 5th: Ohio
- NLE 2nd & 5th: Delaware
- NLW 2nd & 5th: Maryland
- ALE 3rd & 6th: Virginia
- ALW 3rd & 6th: West Virginia
- NLE 3rd & 6th: Kentucky
- NLW 3rd & 6th: Michigan
- ALE 7th: Indiana
- ALW 7th: Illinois
- GMs who do not submit a list for the draft will not receive a player.