GAPL — The Great American Pastime League (GAPL) is a computer baseball
league founded and organized for the entertainment and enjoyment of the
franchise owners. Owner-managers in the GAPL are expected to conduct themselves in a friendly and responsible manner. Good sportsmanship, ethical behavior and honesty are required of all owners.
Each owner in the GAPL must buy the latest version of Diamond Mind (DMB) computer baseball game and must purchase the season disk annually from the game company. Any manager failing to do this will cause the league to be in violation of copyright laws. The commissioner will, from time to time, send the roster of GAPL managers to Diamond Mind to insure that we are not infringing upon their copyrights. In addition, the GAPL roster may be posted on the internet on the GAPL web site.
Although the GAPL uses the DMB computer baseball game, a change to a game put out by another company is possible should a better product become available at some point in the future. Each owner is required to own or have access to an IBM compatible computer that will handle current technology and that includes a hard disk, A CD-ROM drive and a printer. Each owner must be on-line, have a valid internet address and be able to send and receive e-mail and data disks on line. In addition, each manager should have Yahoo instant messenger to participate in our GAPL chat room where we hold the annual draft.
Each owner will be billed annually for dues. The amount of the dues will be set by the Commissioner and will be payable prior to the start of each season at a date to be established by the Commissioner. No owner will be permitted to trade or draft for the coming season unless dues are paid. Dues not paid on time will cause expulsion from the league. Annual dues have been fixed at $25 per year since the founding of the GAPL in June of 1988.
The GAPL regular season begins in May and ends in late September or October. The post season ends in October or November. The annual draft for the following season is in late March just prior to opening day of the Major League season.
2. LEAGUE STRUCTURE —
The GAPL currently has 26 teams. The number of teams is maintained at between
80% and 90% of the number of Major League teams. The 26 teams are divided into 6 Divisions with 4 or 5 teams in each Division. There are 3 Divisions and 13 teams in each Conference: Pilgrim, Liberty and Rebel Divisions in the Atlantic Conference and Gunter, Tumbleweed and Great Lakes Divisions in the Pacific Conference. Teams are arranged in conferences and divisions annually based loosely along geographic lines.
The schedule for the season consists of 162 games for each team and will be constructed with consideration given to the following guideline. There will be 4 Play Cycles: Cycle #1 — home games vs other teams in an opposing division; Cycle #2 — home games vs teams in the same division; Cycle
#3 — home games vs other teams in an opposing division; Cycle #4 — home
games vs teams in the same division. Actual schedules will be on the database each year. Schedules will include some doubleheaders and will be constructed so that all teams have played approximately the same number of games following cycle #3 when draft order is determined.
The Designated Hitter Rule is NOT in effect— the GAPL is a “no DH” league.
Each team in the GAPL will have a home ballpark. Teams wishing to change ballparks must notify the Commissioner prior to the annual draft.
3. PLAYER OWNERSHIP — Each player drafted by a team becomes the property of that franchise until he is traded, released, or attains “free agent” status. Only players who are available on the current season Diamond Mind database are eligible to be drafted. Players owned by a franchise and not on the database for a subsequent season may be traded or retained by that franchise at the expense of a signed roster spot.
4. ROSTERS — Each franchise carries a roster of a MAXIMUM of 40 players. This limit may never be exceeded, even momentarily, as a result of trading or drafting. Immediately after the draft, at a date chosen by the commissioner to coincide with the start of the Major League baseball season, each owner must submit a roster for the coming season. This roster must indicate which players (up to 25 players) are to be signed and which players are to stay on the roster as unsigned players. Any players not released prior to the draft may be released at this time. Those players not signed will automatically become free agents at the end of the season.
In constructing a roster of players, owners should arrange to have backups for each position in case of injury, a sufficient number of starts by the pitchers, plenty of relief innings, and a sufficient amount of usage available at every position so as not to be penalized for overuse of players.
5. SIGNED PLAYERS — At the time immediately after the draft when rosters must be submitted for the coming season, each owner must designate which players are to be signed players. Up to 25 players per team may be signed. This is the only time that players may be signed. Signed players remain on the team roster after the season ends. All players not signed will automatically become free agents at the end of the upcoming season and will go into the draft pool for the annual draft.
Each of the 25 signed players will remain signed for the season unless released. If they are traded to another team, they will remain signed. Note that this could cause a team to have more than 25 signed players in the event of a trade of an unequal number of signed players. Signed players will carry a dollar sign before their name on the master copy of the league database.
Note that players have no status, either signed or unsigned, during the period between the end of the season and the submission date for the initial rosters. Although retained by their club, players are not yet signed for the upcoming year during this period.
6. FREE AGENTS —
All players on a team roster who are not signed will become free agents
at the end of the season. Free agents play for their current franchise
for the season and, at the end of the season, are automatically released
and placed in the draft pool.
MINOR LEAGUES (FREE
AGENT DRAFT POOL) — All players on the database that are not on a team
roster are considered to be in the minor leagues. They are not owned by
any team, but are rather a collective group of talent that can be tapped
after the submission date for the initial rosters and before the cut-off date just before the start of the season when pre-season rosters must be finalized. In case of more than one owner requesting the same minor leaguer, players will be awarded to owners in the same order as the annual draft.
In the case of in-season minor league pick-ups, free agent drafts will be held during the time between play cycles. If the minor leaguer awarded will cause a team’s roster to go over 40 players, the names of the player or players to be cut must also be submitted to the commissioner.
Minor leaguers picked up by teams are free agents and will be returned to the draft pool at the end of the season. Minor leaguers will be on the database in the free agent section.
8. TRADING — Trading may take place before the season until the cut-off date when pre-season rosters must be finalized. Trading during the season will be allowed provided all trades are completed at dates to be determined. To be effective for the next cycle, trades must be reported by both managers on or before a date to be specified by the Commissioner for each cycle. (At a date to be determined annually, trades for the following season may be made by those owners who have paid their dues for the following season.) Trades may take place at any time except that trading will be suspended each year at a time shortly before the annual draft so that final pre-draft rosters
can be prepared and so that the final drafting order can be fixed and distributed to all owners. Trading may take place during the draft as long as all applicable rules are followed. Once the draft is completed, trading will be suspended until after the date to designate signed players. Trading will then resume after the drafts have been completed and after rosters of signed players have been submitted.
Trades may include draft choices, but only those picks available for the next upcoming draft. Only annual draft picks in rounds 1 – 8 may be traded. Trades need not have an equal number of players changing teams. All necessary roster moves to meet roster limits must be
reported at the same time as the trade is reported. Note that each trade is a separate event. Owners may not make more than one trade and then make the roster move(s) necessary. If necessary roster moves are not included at the time that the trade is reported, the commissioner will arbitrarily make the necessary moves to meet roster limits. There will be no “player-to-be-named-later” transactions. All trades must be effective immediately.
There will be no “future” trades or trades involving more than two teams. Trades are to be reported to the commissioner by telephone or by e-mail (or fax, if possible). For a trade to take place, it must be reported by BOTH owners.
9. TRADING ETHICS
— Trading between owners promotes friendship and camaraderie and should be encouraged and promoted by all GAPL members. All owners are expected to observe proper trading ethics at all times. Owners should initiate trade proposals from time to time as they see fit and should not always expect the other owners to come to them with trade ideas. Conversely, trading ethics demand that an owner receiving a trade proposal should, under all circumstances, make every effort to come up with some answer to the trade proposal, whether “yes,” “no,” or a counter-offer. Promoting active trading
among owners is the best way for each individual owner to help to strengthen
the GAPL for the benefit of all.
10. ANNUAL DRAFT
The annual draft will take place at a time and in a manner to be determined
by the commissioner. The draft will normally be held just before the major league season starts. Recently, the draft has been held in the GAPL chat room on weekday nights, on Saturday and Sunday, or on some combination of those times. Each manager has 8 draft picks which may be used in trades. After the first 8 rounds are over, the draft will continue
until every team has had the opportunity to bring their roster up to 40 players. When a team reaches the 40 player limit, it may not draft any more players.
If, at the discretion of the commissioner, it is not feasible to complete the draft during the available time, the later rounds of the draft may be conducted shortly after the early rounds and could be by telephone, by e-mail, by fax, or by written list. After the annual draft is completed, the remaining players will be sent to the minors and may be picked out of the free agent pool by owners at times as described in Rule 6.
All players on the season database that are not carried over from the previous season on a team roster are eligible to be drafted. “Pure DH” batters on the DM season database who are not assigned a position will be assigned a position on the GAPL database. They will be given a Pr rating and a “300” error rate at the position they most recently or most normally would play. If in doubt, they will be rated for 1B. The draft order will be in inverse order of winning percentage from the end of Cycle 3 of the previous season, except that the 6 teams with
the worst winning percentages will be placed in a (NBA) lottery-style draw* which will determine the draft order for all rounds of the draft for those 6 teams.
*Worst=6 pieces; second-worst=5 pieces; next worst=4 pieces; and so on.
11. INSTRUCTIONS AND MANAGER’S PROFILES —
Prior to the start of the season AND BEFORE EACH SUBSEQUENT PLAY CYCLE, each owner must submit a Manager’s Profile (MP) to be imported onto the master copy of the league database. The MP must include, at the minimum, a lineup vs. right (saved lineup #1), a lineup vs. left (saved lineup #2) and a pitching rotation EQUAL TO THE NUMBER OF GAMES to be played against opponents.
In addition to being responsible for their MP on the original database, owners MAY (probably SHOULD) submit MPs directly to each of their opponents individually for each separate series of away games. MPs must include the team’s active roster of 25 players for the series and the team’s pitching rotation for the series. In addition, instructions may indicate which of the team’s saved lineups are to be used during the series, keeping in mind that all players in these saved lineups must be on the 25-man active roster for the series. Note that both the home and the visiting teams may use a different 25-man active roster FOR EACH SERIES played. Home team managers are not limited to using the same 25-man roster for the entire play cycle. 25-man rosters may not be altered during a series, regardless of injuries or any other circumstances. Each manager must arrange their 25-man roster to have adequate backups at each position to allow for injuries and for tired players.
For the FINAL PLAY CYCLE of the season, each manager may use a 30-man roster for each series.
MPs are the responsibility of each owner. If the profile on the database is incorrect, each manager must notify all current road opponents and send them a correct current MP.
Owners will be notified when their MPs are due before the games for each play cycle. Notification will allow sufficient time for all owners to get current MPs to their opponents in plenty of time to meet the due date. Notification will be sent with each database.
After each database has been sent out, managers will have appropriate time to check for possible overuse or under-use problems and send out new MPs on time. After the date when MPs are due, the home manager MAY go ahead and play the games without the visiting manager’s MP. Under this circumstance, the home manager should use the computer manager (“Casey”), discretion and sound baseball judgment to set up the visiting team’s 25-man roster, pitching rotation, and lineups. (Although, in promoting league camaraderie and communication, managers should ATTEMPT to contact opponents before resorting to using “Casey.”) Complaints from visiting managers who have not sent out MPs on time will NOT be accepted.
[In November, 2012 managers passed a Constitutional Amendment establishing a penalty for not following MPs sent to the home manager]:
A HOME manager is required to use his OPPONENT’S MP. This includes the lineups AND the pitching rotation. The ROAD manager is required to
1: Submit the MP within the time frame established by the Commissioner; 2: Designate the LINEUPs as against LHP and RHP; and, 3: Set PITCHING rotation to STRICT.
To file a “Misuse Complaint,” the ROAD manager is REQUIRED to CONTACT the Commissioner within 5 days of the date that results of the round were forwarded to the league by the Commissioner and also FORWARD to the Commissioner the email containing a copy of the MP.
If it is determined a HOME manager has failed to follow his opponent’s MP, the opponent will not be penalized IF the misuse of players leads to overuse of pitchers or batters. (Exception [example]: if a batter is utilized 150% and the misuse of the MP only contributed to 8%, this would not excuse all of the overuse penalty; if the batter is used 128%, it would eliminate the penalty).
The penalty for this occurring TWICE within a season is the loss of ONE signed player for the next season. Four misuses= loss of 2 signed players, and so on…
During the season there will be a database going back and forth via e-mail between GAPL managers and the Commissioner. The procedure for each owner will be the same for each of the four regular season cycles, as follows: 1) Install the database; 2) Play your home games for the cycle; 3) Export the results and send them to the Commissioner; 4) If the Manager’s Profile has
been updated, attach a note to the Commissioner that the manager’s profile
has been changed. See the Appendix for step-by-step instructions.
Do not trade players. Do not play any extra games in the directory where league games are played. Do not make any trades for experimental purposes or do anything else to the database, other than follow the steps above. Do not rest players. Do not release players.
13. DUE DATES
Managers will be notified in sufficient time with the dates that results
are due back to the commissioner. There are severe penalties for late results,
including fines which increase for each succeeding infraction. If there is a problem, and an owner expects not to have the results back on time, that owner must notify the commissioner before the due date. Late road instructions from an opponent is no excuse for late results.
There is an incentive program for getting results back on time. If a manager’s results are received by the Commissioner on or before the due date, that manager will receive a payment of $37,500 in GAPL Dollars. This is the only way a team can acquire GAPL Dollars.
There will be fines for late disks: $15,000 plus $1,000 per day for the first incident; $20,000, plus $2,000 per day for the second incident; $30,000 plus $5,000 per day for the third incident. Failure to send results: $25,000 for the first offense, $50,000 for the second.
If results are so late that, in the judgment of the Commissioner, it will cause a significant delay in the e-mailing of the next database to the whole league, the Commissioner may elect to play the games for the offending manager, or ask another owner or owners to play the games.
Extreme cases of late results may be cause for expulsion from the league. Owners with a problem must contact the Commissioner before the problem becomes serious so that special arrangements can be made, if necessary.
Due dates for results are expressed as the date by which the results are due back in the hands of the Commissioner. To avoid late penalties, results must be sent in time such that they might be reasonably expected to arrive on time.
Pitchers that carry a rating as a starter may only start as many games as they did in the actual major league season plus 20%. (For example, a pitcher with 20 real life starts may start 24 games in the GAPL, 23 starts=28 starts in the GAPL, and 30 starts=36 starts in the GAPL.) Pitchers rated only as starters are NOT limited to number of batters faced and can face any number of batters as long as they do not exceed the allowable number of STARTS. They may NOT be used in relief as they are not rated for relief. If a starter starts more games than allowed, the fine will be $10,000 per start. [It is a good practice for all GAPL managers to figure out their entire rotation for the 162-game season before the season begins.]
Pitchers rated for both starting and relieving are limited to their number of starts in the same way that starting pitchers are limited (120%) AND are also limited to 120% of Batters Faced.
Pitchers rated for relief only MAY NOT start. They are not restricted by number of relief appearances, but are restricted to 120% of Batters Faced.
Pitchers may not be used as pinch hitters unless forced to by injuries to all available position players. Pitchers may, however, be used as pinch runners.
Batters are limited to 120% of MLB Plate Appearances for usage
Position players may not play a position for which they are not rated. This includes outfielders, who may only play the outfield position(s) for which they are rated. Exception: If injuries use up all players rated for a position, the next logical player may be used to fill the position as a last resort. (In order to avoid penalties, managers should keep track of these instances and inform the Commissioner when submitting results at the end of a particular PC.) The fine for a player playing out of position is $10,000.
The penalty for overuse will be $3,000 for each player overused plus $1,000
for each percentage point over 120%. Players showing usage of 130% or greater
will cost their team $12,000 plus $2,000 for each percentage over 130%.
Flagrant overuse will be dealt with accordingly, including possible loss of the signed player or of a comparable signed player. The Commissioner may use discretion in applying these overuse fines in the case of obviously unintentional overuse of players with low actual usage.
Overuse on the road is no excuse. Players in danger of being overused should be farmed on the road. Especially for the last play cycle, players in danger of being overused should be kept off the road roster. Overuse occurs over the course of a season, not in the final cycle. Each manager must learn how to rest players and set up their team in the beginning of the season so overuse problems will be minimized. The best time to solve usage problems is in setting up a roster and in drafting free agents and picking up minor leaguers before the season starts.
Injuries are not an excuse for overuse. A manager with injury-prone regular players needs to have extra backup players with extra usage available to take over the position in case of a long injury. All players, whether injury- prone or not, need sufficient backups in case of injury. Planning to use players 100% when 120% is allowed should provide a sufficient margin of safety for most typical regular players.
The monster stat rule restricts the amount of usage a left-handed
batter may have against left-handed pitching and the amount of usage a right-
handed batter may have against right-handed pitching (batting vs same side
pitcher). The rule does not apply to pitchers or to switch hitters. The
rule is: Batters are limited to 200% of actual usage vs. same side pitchers.
Penalty for overuse: $1,000 for each percentage point over 200%.
18. HOME SERIES
Home series for each play cycle are played consecutively by the home
team manager. The fatigue system in DM will be used for the entire home-
stand for each cycle. Starting pitchers will require 3-4 days rest, relievers
will tire if used too long or too often, and catchers will tire if not rested.
When each database is received, all players will be fully rested. Home teams
will be subject to fatigue factors and to injuries carrying over from one
SERIES to the next for the duration of the ENTIRE PLAY CYCLE. Visiting teams are also subject to fatigue, but only for the one series (this will more
likely affect relievers than starters).
In the GAPL, the computer manager will be known as “Casey.” Except for face-to-face, telephone, or online games, all visiting teams must be managed by “Casey.” Home team managers may, at their discretion, allow “Casey”to manage their team also. Home team managers may not change a visiting team’s Manager’s Profile unless instructed to do so in the road instructions.
Decisions made by “Casey” are final. All owners are equally subject to whatever flaws “Casey” may have. Experience and close examination of away game scoresheets will help to indicate to each manager how “Casey” is managing in road games and what MP changes may be required. [Most complaints are in the area of pitching – using starters in relief or leaving relievers in too long. It may help to set pitching rotation at “Strict” and use of relievers at “More Frequent” or “Most Frequent.”]
Owners are responsible for substitutions made by “Casey.” If “Casey” is inserting substitutes with limited usage, and causing them to be overused, the MP and /or active road rosters need to be adjusted. Overusage on the road due to “Casey” is no excuse for over-usage of a player.
The procedure that each manager must use for home games is as follows:
1) Choose “Human Manager” for both teams; 2) Enter starting pitchers and lineups for both teams; 3) Change the visiting team manager to “Computer” for the duration of the game.
Any signed player on a team roster that does not attain 50% usage in a season is considered to be “disgruntled”. All disgruntled players will be automatically released from their team roster at the end of the season and will be available in the annual free agent draft.
Injuries will be used in the GAPL. An injury on the road can not be too serious as it can not last longer than 5 games and most likely would be less than that. An injury at home could be serious if it is a long injury at the
beginning of a long home stand. Managers can minimize the chances of serious damage by using “injury prone” players early in the season and heavily on the road.
Weather effects will be used in the GAPL. Umpire ejections will be used. The Bullpen warm-up rule will not be used. The “Era” will be current year National League. Injuries will be “actual”. Managers may use the “pitch-by-pitch” mode for all or part of any game if they wish.
A ballot measure passed in November, 2013: If a team ends the season with a sub-.400 winning percentage AND, due to a dispersal draft made necessary by owner resignations, that owner (sub-.400) MAY elect to join the dispersal draft.
For each play cycle, results returned on time each owner will receive $37,500 GAPL dollars (Rule 13). Any owner whose results are received on time every time will thus earn $150,000 GAPL dollars for the season.
GAPL dollars may be used for only one purpose– to sign players. Each owner may sign 20 players for free. Each additional player, up to a maximum of 25, may be signed at a cost of $25,000 apiece. A manager who earns $150,000 and who has no fines, or whose fines total $25,000 or less, will be able to sign 25 players for $125,000. A manager whose results are late, or who is heavily fined, could drop to the point of having less than $25,000 and would therefore only be able to sign 20 players. Managers who have a negative balance of GAPL dollars will be able to sign fewer than 20 signed players. For example, a manager with a balance of -$35,000 would only be able to sign 18 players.
GAPL dollars may not be carried over from season to season. Each team reverts to zero GAPL dollars each season. GAPL dollars may not be traded.
Late Results — $15,000 plus $1,000 per day for the first incident
$20,000 plus $2,000 per day for the second incident
$30,000 plus $5,000 per day for the third incident
Unreadable Results — $3,000
Results either not received, unreadable, or so late that it would hold up mailing of the next database causing games to be played by the Commissioner: $25,000 for the first offense, $50,000 for the second offense.
Failure to send post season results to the opposing manager and to the commissioner — $15,000.
Unauthorized pitching starts: $10,000 per incident.
Player playing out of position: $10,000 per incident.
Overuse: For use over 120% — $3,000 per player plus $1,000 per % over 120%.
For use of 130% or higher — $12,000 per player plus $2,000 per % over 130%.
The Commissioner may use discretion in applying these overuse fines in the case of obviously unintentional overuse of players with low actual usage.
Failure to submit a pre-season manager’s profile– $15,000 and the Commissioner will have the computer generate a Manager’s Profile.
Failure to submit a copy of road instructions to the Commissioner incurs NO GAPL Dollar fine, but in the event that the Commissioner has to play home games for your opponent, the Commissioner will arbitrarily set your active roster and let the computer decide your lineups and your pitching rotation.
Additional fines or penalties may be assessed at the discretion of the Commissioner, including heavy penalties for overusing star players in order to qualify for post season play.
8 teams will qualify for post season play– the 6 division winners and 2 “wild card” teams — one each from the Atlantic Conference and the Pacific Conference — with the best won-lost percentages not counting the division winners in each of the 6 divisions. (In case of
a tie, a 1 game playoff will be played by the commissioner at a neutral site.)
Division winners and wild card teams will be seeded according to won-lost percentages. (In case of a tie, seeding will be determined by winner of the season series. If still tied, runs for and against will determine seedings.)
In round one, in each conference, division winner #1 will play the wild card team in that conference and division winner #2 will play division winner #3. The winners play each other and those winners go on the the GAPL World Series.
Each post season series will be 7 games. In round 1, the higher seed has the home field for games 1 and 2 and for games 6 and 7, if necessary. The higher seed for round 1 will be determined by won-loss percentages first and then, if tied, by the tie-breaking system
outlined above. Prior to the start of the postseason, the postseason “tournament will be set up on the master copy of the league database as set forth above.
The DM fatigue system will be employed throughout the playoffs and World Series. All teams will be fully rested after the last day of the regular season. Then there will be 1 day off between each series of games and 1 game off in each series after game 2 and after game 5, (except that there will be no day off after a 1-game playoff, if there is one.) Should one team win its playoff series more quickly than the other, its players will have more days of rest than its opponent’s players. The playoffs will begin on October 10 on the schedule on the database.
All players on each team’s roster are eligible for the playoffs. Active rosters may not exceed 25 players, but active rosters may be changed before each series and after games 2 and 5.
Player usage is limited for each 7-game series. Pitchers rated and used as starters only are limited to 10% of the actual number of games started during the season, but are not limited by batters faced. (examples: 26 starts = 3 starts, 25 starts = 3 starts, 24 starts= 2 starts.) All other players are limited to 10% of actual season usage. In addition, in the postseason only, pitchers rated as starters only MAY be used in relief.
Results will be exchanged between managers. The Commissioner will send playoff databases to both managers. After receiving road instructions, including an MP, the home manager will play games 1 and 2 and send results to the other manager for games 3-5, and so on. Road instructions and MPs will be sent to the opposing manager. At the conclusion of each series, a copy of the results will be sent to the opposing manager and to the Commissioner.
It will be the responsibility of the Commissioner or a designated representative to report
the results of postseason play to the other owners.
Every year, the Commissioner will prepare a ballot for changes to this Constitution. The ballot should be presented to the full membership of the GAPL, including Alternate Managers, not later than one week before the first Tuesday in November. All votes must be cast by the first Tuesday in November. (If extenuating circumstances cause the election to be held at a time other than specified above, the Commissioner should allow for a one-month timeframe for ballots to be cast.)
All ballot items must be in the form of yes/no questions. A ballot item receiving “Yes” votes on 60% or more of the TOTAL NUMBER OF BALLOTS CAST by GAPL members (including Alternate Managers) will be considered to PASS, and this Constitution will be amended according to the ballot item. A ballot item receiving “Yes” votes on less than 60% of the total number of ballots cast, will be considered to FAIL, and will have no effect on this Constitution. A ballot not cast will NOT be counted as a “Yes” or “No” vote.