Frequently Asked Questions            Back to Reference Index

Player Pool and Salaries

How did you decide which players to include in the Classic (career-rated) player pool?

To create our initial player pool, we determined the total number of players we wanted, how that number should be divided between the different positions, and then generally chose the players at each position with the most career plate appearances or innings pitched to fill those quotas.

Do you ever add new players?

Yes, we add new players to the Classic player pool annually.

Why are there no active players available?

Our game projects player performance based on players’ entire careers. The book is still open on active players.  We did experiment at one stage with adding some prominent active players whose careers had "peaked", but we no longer do so. Active players are available in the single-season (SSG) version of Diamond Mind Online®.

How are the salaries for players determined?

Salaries initially were based on a formula that assigned to players a single number that encompassed all aspects of player performance. Salaries for players who are added periodically are based on the salaries at the time of the players most similar to them in the player pool.

How often do salaries change?

Salaries for Classic players are adjusted three times annually, based on how frequently players have been used at their present salaries compared to similar players.  SSG player salaries are adjusted annually.

Player Ratings, Stats and Performance

What do you mean when you say that career-rated player performance takes into account both the career and peak performance from players’ real-life careers?

For position players with less than 6,000 plate appearances and pitchers with less than 500 “points” during their careers, their projected performance is based on their entire careers. (Pitchers are credited with one point for a relief appearance and two points for a start.) For players and pitchers who exceeded those totals, their projected performance is based on their best series of consecutive seasons comprising approximately 6,000 PA for hitters and 500 points for pitchers.

Why are some pitchers who started games during their careers not designated as starters?

In general, a pitcher only will be designated as a starter if he started at least 100 games during his career. For a pitcher with more than 500 “points” accumulated during his career (two points are awarded for a start and one point for a relief appearance), they must have started at least 100 games during their best consecutive sequence of seasons comprising approximately 500 points.

Why don’t you disclose the "normalized" quantitative ratings for players?

For the game simulator to work, player abilities must be rated. But actual players are not merely a collection of ratings.

Since Diamond Mind Online® was first introduced, we have disclosed many ratings that were initially hidden, such as fielding, running, throwing, endurance and injury ratings.  We have not, however, disclosed our normalized hitting and pitching ratings.

Diamond Mind Online® team owners have about the same information at their disposal as an actual GM has in assembling and running a team. When a team makes a judgment about whether to sign or trade for a player, they may grade the player, project what performance they think he can provide, etc, based on his perceived ability, potential and historic record of performance, but they can never know exactly what they are getting or what that player will produce. And when fans debate the relative merits of players from throughout baseball history, there’s no way they can ever actually know, for example, how Babe Ruth would fare in the present, or what Josh Gibson would have accomplished had he been allowed to play in the major leagues.

For those who prefer greater certainty about player performance, the single season version of Diamond Mind Online® may provide it.

How do I determine how many errors a player will make based on their "Err" rating?

The "Err" rating represents a percentage of the league-average number of errors made at the player's rated position during the era of play in which your league is set.  So, for example, a shortstop rated Vg/80 has "very good" range and is rated to commit 80% of the errors committed by a league average shortstop over 162 games for the era of play in which your league is set.

What do the different categories of "sim stats" represent?

When you click on the "Details" link, a player's stats are tabulated at the moment requested from current/unarchived leagues only, for the following searches: All Leagues and All Standard Leagues. All other Details stats filtered searches, including Standard Leagues by Park, Era of Play searches, etc, are the same as Player Search sim stats searches.

Player Search sim stats are drawn from a static database, that is updated periodically, and include current/unarchived leagues, plus the previous year's archived leagues. So they are broader and not quite as current as the main Details stats categories that are computed at the moment.

The Search Pitchers and Search Hitters links from the top of the IS Archives page include all stats for all players from the inception of the site to the last sim stats update.

There are different reasons why you might consult one or the other of these categories.  The Details stats, being the most recent and current, exclude earlier stats compiled before some player ratings or other game settings might have been changed to their current configuration.  But Player Search stats, being more extensive, may, by their size, reduce bias that still can effect player stats encompassing thousands of PA or IP.  And the Search Pitchers and Search Hitters stats from IS Archives provide a fascinating look back at the "history" of Diamond Mind Online.

What minimum number of at bats, innings pitched, or innings in the field should a player have before I can rely on their “sim stats”?

There is no definite answer to this question, but the number probably is much larger than you think. Different patterns of usage can distort statistical comparisons between batters, pitchers and fielders even over thousands of AB, IP or innings in the field. For example, some players and pitchers have been used relatively much more than others in Baker Bowl and Coors Field, the two most extreme hitters’ parks. We have seen pitchers under or overperform their projected ERA over stretches longer than 10,000 IP, and fielders exceed their projected RF over stretches longer than 25,000 innings in the field, by 0.25 or more.

How can you tell who are the best “clutch” players?

Some players appear to have been “clutch” performers for particular seasons, but baseball analysts have searched for evidence of “clutch” ability over players’ careers without success. They have been unable to quantify it, or even prove that it exists. For this reason, no players in Diamond Mind Online® have been given special “clutch” ability. All that can be said is that the better the player, the more likely it is that he will succeed in “clutch” situations.

Some players are, however, rated to do better in clutch situations in the single season version of Diamond Mind Online®.

Why aren’t my players performing as they did in real life?

In Diamond Mind Online® we are not trying to replicate players’ careers statistically, but rather simulate what might happen if players from throughout baseball history were pitted against each other in all sorts of different circumstances.

Normalization is the process of converting a player’s statistics to a common scale that measures his performance relative to his league contemporaries, which enables him to be compared to players from other leagues and eras on the same scale. So, for example, normalization is a means to adjust and compare the stats of pitchers and hitters who played in heavy-hitting eras, to those who played in pitching-dominant eras.

In addition, the era in which your Diamond Mind Online® league is set, the parks in which the teams in your league play, the composition of the rosters of those teams, and other factors, all may significantly affect your players’ statistical performance.

Finally, it is a fact of baseball life that sometimes players have extreme seasons, both good and bad. Given that players will play many times more seasons in Diamond Mind Online® than they did during their actual careers, it is not just possible, but likely, that in some of those seasons they will do things that they never did in real life.

Could the reason that one of my players is doing poorly be that I got a bad season from his actual career?

No. Every team that uses a particular player gets the “same” player.

If I have a player who is doing poorly, is it more likely that he will start doing well? If I have a player who is doing well, is it more likely that he will start doing poorly?

It is a baseball truism that players, no matter how well or poorly they start a season, more often than not end up with stats around what reasonably could be expected from their past performance. (Of course, that is not always the case, as players also sometimes have poor years and career years.) Over the course of a Diamond Mind Online® season, things may “even out” for a player, but there is nothing in the game simulator that adjusts a player’s chances of success based on his past performance during that season.

Fatigue

Is the performance of players adversely affected by fatigue?

There is no way to measure the effect of fatigue on player performance, nor is there any objective evidence that playing every day adversely affects the performance of players in general, or particular players, at all. For that reason, player performance (other than for pitchers and catchers) in Diamond Mind Online® is not affected by fatigue.

How does fatigue affect catchers? Why does the Computer Manager sometimes replace my starting catcher with my backup?

When catchers become fatigued, all aspects of their performance begin to suffer, and the more fatigued they become, the more their performance deteriorates. Catcher fatigue is based on total batters faced during a moving 10-day window (so an extra inning game or a slugfest in which the opposition sent an unusually high number of batters to the plate will have a greater impact on a catcher). The Computer Manager will not start a catcher if there is a healthy backup available and the scheduled starter could be pushed beyond his fatigue threshold in the upcoming game.

Are some catchers more susceptible to fatigue than others?

No. The number of games a catcher played from season to season during his actual career is at least as likely to be an indication of his ability as his durability. In other words, there is no reason in most cases to think that he would not have been capable of playing as much as the next guy had he been given the opportunity. The level at which catchers begin to become fatigued has been set so that they should (injuries aside) be able to catch approximately 85% of their team’s games during the season.

Does it count as “rest” in determining fatigue if my catcher plays another position, like first base, or is the DH?

Yes.

How does fatigue affect pitchers?

Pitchers become progressively more ineffective if they continue pitching beyond their fatigue threshold.

How do you determine pitcher endurance?

The endurance of starting pitchers is based on the rate at which they completed games relative to their league contemporaries, plus the number of seasons in which they were able to sustain that level of performance while taking a regular turn in the rotation. For relief pitchers, endurance is based on the number of batters they faced per relief appearance, relative to their league contemporaries.

Pitcher endurance ratings determine how many pitches can be thrown before they begin to lose effectiveness.  These limits apply over a moving five-day window.  Because there's a big difference between throwing 35 pitches yesterday and throwing 35 pitches three days ago, separate limits apply to each portion of that window:  just today, today plus yesterday, today plus the last two days, and so on.

Because pitcher usage patterns have changed over time, the limits differ for the same pitcher based upon the era of play in which a league is set.  The tables below show the one-game and five-game limits for different eras, but it's important to keep in mind that there are two-game, three-game, and four-game limits, too.

In addition, pitcher endurance can be affected by the weather.  If it's very hot, very cold, or raining, pitchers can begin to tire sooner than usual.  The tables give the limits for games played in ideal baseball weather. 

So how many pitches can pitchers throw before they begin to tire?

Standard Era

For starting pitchers (pitch counts):     For relief pitchers (pitch counts):

Rating   One game   Five days             Rating   One game   Five days

Ex       135-145    230-250               Ex       65-75       90-105

Vg       125-135    210-230               Vg       50-60       70- 85

Av       120-130    200-220               Av       40-50       55- 70

Fr       115-125    195-215               Fr       35-45       50- 65

Pr       105-115    180-200               Pr       30-40       40- 55

Dead Ball Era

For starting pitchers (pitch counts):     For relief pitchers (pitch counts):

Rating   One game   Five days             Rating   One game   Five days

Ex       150-160    255-275               Ex       80-90      110-125

Vg       140-150    235-255               Vg       65-75       90-105

Av       135-145    225-245               Av       55-65       75- 90

Fr       130-140    220-240               Fr       50-60       70- 85

Pr       120-130    205-225               Pr       40-50       60- 75

Golden Age Era

For starting pitchers (pitch counts):     For relief pitchers (pitch counts):

Rating   One game   Five days             Rating   One game   Five days

Ex       135-145    230-250               Ex       65-75       95-110

Vg       125-135    210-230               Vg       55-65       75- 90

Av       120-130    200-220               Av       45-55       60- 75

Fr       115-125    190-210               Fr       40-50       55- 70

Pr       105-115    180-200               Pr       30-40       45- 60

Baby Boomers Era

For starting pitchers (pitch counts):     For relief pitchers (pitch counts):

Rating   One game   Five days             Rating   One game   Five days

Ex       135-145    225-245               Ex       65-75       90-105

Vg       120-130    205-225               Vg       50-60       70- 85

Av       115-125    195-215               Av       40-50       55- 70

Fr       110-120    190-210               Fr       35-45       50- 65

Pr       105-115    175-195               Pr       30-40       40- 55

Pitcher Era

For starting pitchers (pitch counts):     For relief pitchers (pitch counts):

Rating   One game   Five days             Rating   One game   Five days

Ex       135-145    225-245               Ex       65-75       90-105

Vg       125-135    210-230               Vg       50-60       70- 85

Av       115-125    195-215               Av       40-50       55- 70

Fr       110-120    190-210               Fr       35-45       50- 65

Pr       105-115    175-195               Pr       30-40       40- 55

Turf Time Era

For starting pitchers (pitch counts):     For relief pitchers (pitch counts):

Rating   One game   Five days             Rating   One game   Five days

Ex       125-135    215-235               Ex       60-70       85-100

Vg       115-125    195-215               Vg       45-55       65- 80

Av       110-120    185-205               Av       35-45       50- 65

Fr       105-115    175-195               Fr       30-40       45- 60

Pr        95-105    165-185               Pr       25-35       35- 50

Home Run Derby Era

For starting pitchers (pitch counts):     For relief pitchers (pitch counts):

Rating   One game   Five days             Rating   One game   Five days

Ex       120-130    205-225               Ex       60-70       85-100

Vg       110-120    185-205               Vg       45-55       60- 75

Av       105-115    175-195               Av       35-45       45- 60

Fr       100-110    165-185               Fr       30-40       40- 55

Pr        90-100    155-175               Pr       25-35       30- 45

Moneyball Era

For starting pitchers (pitch counts):     For relief pitchers (pitch counts):

Rating   One game   Five days             Rating   One game   Five days

Ex       115-125    195-215               Ex       60-70       80- 95

Vg       105-115    175-195               Vg       45-55       65- 80

Av        95-105    160-180               Av       35-45       45- 60

Fr        90-100    155-175               Fr       30-40       40- 55

Pr        85- 95    140-160               Pr       20-30       30- 45

2021 AL Era

For starting pitchers (pitch counts):     For relief pitchers (pitch counts):

Rating   One game   Five days             Rating   One game   Five days

Ex       105-115    180-200               Ex       55-65       80- 95

Vg        95-105    160-180               Vg       40-50       60- 75

Av        90-100    145-165               Av       30-40       40- 55

Fr        85- 95    140-160               Fr       25-35       35- 50

Pr        75- 85    125-145               Pr       15-25       25- 40

2021 NL Era

For starting pitchers (pitch counts):     For relief pitchers (pitch counts):

Rating   One game   Five days             Rating   One game   Five days

Ex       110-120    185-205               Ex       60-70       80- 95

Vg        95-105    165-185               Vg       40-50       60- 75

Av        90-100    150-170               Av       30-40       40- 55

Fr        85- 95    145-165               Fr       25-35       35- 50

Pr        75- 85    130-150               Pr       20-30       25- 40

 

Who can handle the “Ace Option”?

Because pitcher endurance is measured over a moving five-day window, any starting pitcher can pitch with four days rest without any loss of endurance. With three days rest, however, the number of pitches a starter can throw before he begins to tire will be affected by the number of pitches he threw in his last start. Only starters with the greatest endurance can handle the Ace Option without their ability to pitch deep into games being affected, and even those pitchers will become fatigued earlier in the game if they threw a high number of pitches in their previous start.

Injuries

Under the “player profile” injury system, can I expect a player to miss about the number of games he missed on average per season due to injury during his actual career?

No. In Diamond Mind Online® players may be more or less injury-prone, but injuries are not a performance category as such. In real life they occur relatively much less frequently, and are much less predictable, than things like homeruns and strikeouts. We do not try to project players' injury propensity with the same precision that their performance stats are projected, because that would be unrealistic.

Are pitchers more likely to be injured if they pitch beyond their endurance?

The more pitchers pitch, the more occasions there are for them to be injured. However, pitching more does not increase the likelihood that they will be injured when such occasions arise.

Does being used as a DH reduce a player’s risk of injury?

It reduces but does not eliminate it.

One of my starters didn't make his scheduled start because he was injured.  His injury ended, but I can't list him as the scheduled starter for my next game.  Why?

A starting pitcher cannot be scheduled to start with less than three days rest.  If you leave an injured starter in your rotation, even if an injury replacment makes his scheduled start for him, he still will require three days "rest" after the start he missed before you can schedule him to start again.

Team and Player Instructions

What happens if I leave my team and player instructions unchanged?

We have studied play-by-play data carefully to ascertain the frequency with which different tactics have been used in the major leagues in different game situations. If you leave your team and player tendency settings unchanged, the decisions of the Computer Manager will follow the patterns that we have found in that data.

Of course, managers will not necessarily do the same thing every time. In a given situation, for example, they might have a particular player sacrifice bunt two-thirds of the time and swing away one-third of the time. If you adjust the bunt tendencies for your team or that player, it will alter this ratio accordingly.

Should I set the individual player instruction of my best base stealer to steal more frequently?

On the neutral setting, a top base stealer will steal at virtually every opportunity that’s appropriate. If you set his individual instruction to steal more frequently, he will be even more aggressive, taking risks you may not want him to take. In fact, if you lower your team stealing instruction, the effect will be to keep your weaker runners, but not your best base stealers, from going.

Does the individual “Pull for Closer” setting apply to the closer himself?

Yes. Say, in order to get your closer into games sooner, that you have set your Using Closer team instruction to 1. That will result automatically in the individual instruction Pull for Closer for each pitcher on your staff, including your closer, also being changed to 1. Even if you don’t have another pitcher listed in a closing role under bullpen assignments, if your closer’s Pull for Closer setting is 1, the Computer Manager will give him a quicker hook and look to another pitcher to step in to close out the game. If you want your Computer Manager to go more aggressively to your closer, and stick with him, set your team Using Closer instruction to 1 or 2, but your closer’s Pull for Closer setting to 4 or 5.

The Computer Manager

Why did the Computer Manager pinch hit for one of my hottest hitters?

The Computer Manager doesn’t play hunches, it plays the percentages. Particularly in the last inning when your team is behind, it will “pull out all the stops” to score the tying run. It doesn’t look at whether a player has been “hot,” or is having a good game or season, but rather who, between the scheduled batter and possible pinch hitters, provides the best match-up against the opposing pitcher. That also may mean that it will pinch-hit for a middle-of-the-order hitter in extreme circumstances to gain a platoon advantage. If you don’t ever want that to happen, set the individual Pull for PH setting for these hitters to Never.

Will the Computer Manager pinch hit for a player if there is no other player on my active roster rated at his position?

If there is no player on the active roster rated to play a position, the Computer Manager will not pinch hit for the player at that position in your batting order before the 9th inning, and only if you're behind.  The Computer Manager will never pinch hit for your catcher if there isn't another player rated to catch available to replace him.

Why did the Computer Manager bunt with one of my middle-of-the-order batters?

Managers must keep defenses honest. Unless you’ve set a batter’s instruction to “Never,” there’s always the possibility, however remote, that the Computer Manager will have him bunt (or hit-and-run, or steal, or employ some other “small ball” tactic). Because we simulate so many games, unusual plays and tactics occur daily. When team owners share their experiences with each other, it may create the appearance that these plays and tactics are occurring frequently, when in fact, relative to the total number of games being simulated, they actually are quite uncommon.

My closer also is listed as my no. 2 set-up man, so that if my no. 1 set-up man is tired, the Computer Manager will bring my closer in earlier for a 2 or even 3-inning save. Why is the Computer Manager bringing my closer into games in the middle innings?

When, for example, you list more than one set-up man or pinch hitter, the Computer Manager doesn’t just use them in the order in which they’re listed. It assumes you want the player listed first used in the most important situations. So it will use your second listed set-up man earlier in the game, saving the one listed first for later when the game is on the line. The Computer Manager may also look to the no. 2 set-up man when it needs a Long Reliever (for example, because none of the listed Long Relievers are rested and available).

By listing your closer as your no. 2 set-up man as well, you put the Computer Manager in a quandary when a game situation arises in the middle innings that calls for the no. 2 setup man. The Computer Manager, instructed in this way, might use the Closer in a non-save situation, perhaps even bringing him in for an inning or two of work in a blow-out.

I have listed a closer vs. L and a closer vs. R.  I've noticed that if one of my closers allows the first batter of an inning to reach base, the Computer Manager will sometimes bring in the other closer, even if that would be against the platoon advantage.  Why does it do that?

The Computer Manager looks at the situation at the time.  It sees that the current pitcher has allowed a runner to reach in a closer situation, and that there is another pitcher listed as a closer in the Bullpen Roles.   It is giving greater weight in this situation to the fact that it is a closer situation than to the platoon match-ups.  You may wish to increase the "Pull for Closer" setting for each closer to 4 or 5, or to use the typical approach of having a single pitcher specified to close, allowing the Computer Manager to select the most suitable reliever from other roles if the closer is fatigued or ineffective.

League and Team Creation and Management

Can I change the settings of a Custom League after it has been created?

No. If you made a mistake, or later decide you want different settings, you have to cancel the league and create a new one, or contact support to see if the setting can be changed. If you cancel your league, owners with teams in the league will have a team credit added back to their accounts when the league is cancelled. When you cancel a league, the system gives you the option to send a message to the league’s team owners, so you can, for example, explain to them that you’ll be recreating the league with different settings. 

Can I clear my team draft form without having to delete each player one by one?

Yes, by clicking the Clear Draft button at the bottom of your Draft Team page. So that you don’t accidentally wipe out your team’s draft, you have to confirm a second time that you want to clear your draft form after you click the Clear Draft button.  You also have the option of populating your team's draft form with the rosters of your past teams.

How many pitchers should I carry on my roster?

We don’t want to tell you how you must run your team, which is why we only require that you draft 8 pitchers, including 4 with a starter designation. And throughout much of baseball history, teams carried fewer pitchers than they do today. However, that was before the general adoption of 5-man starting rotations, dedicated closers, and specialist setup men. If you want the Computer Manager to manage your pitching staff in a contemporary fashion, you have to give it enough arms to do that, or you’ll find it making decisions that you may not like that are dictated by pitchers being fatigued.

What is the best proportion of spending between hitting and pitching?

There isn’t a single best approach. Balanced teams, hitting-oriented teams and pitching-oriented teams all can succeed, provided the players chosen complement each other and your home park.

Can I replace a player injured in the postseason with a player from my Inactive-Injury Reserve list?

As was the case in the major leagues until recently, you cannot make a change to your active roster during a playoff series, but you can make changes between the end of the regular season and the LCS, and between the LCS and World Series.

I’ve created a Custom League with a Random Manual Draft Player Pool. How can I check who is in the pool? Can I change the pool?

When you create a Custom League with a Random Manual Draft Player Pool, you can check who is in the pool by going to your Draft Team page and searching hitters and pitchers. If you are unhappy with the composition of the pool, for example, because there are not enough catchers in the pool to go around, if you click on Commissioner Options under the League Name on your My Teams page, you can click on Re-Shuffle the Pool to create a new pool for the league. You cannot add or remove specific players from a random player pool. Also, you cannot re-shuffle the pool once any other team has joined the league.

In the manual draft for a random or by seasons limited player pool, minimum salary players were added to the player pool during the course of the draft. Why did this happen? How can owners who drafted these players be forced to drop them?

During the course of a manual draft using a limited player pool, to ensure that drafts do not “crash” if an owner has insufficient funds to complete their draft from the players remaining in the pool, a minimum salary starting pitcher or position player will be added to the player pool automatically each time the last player of that type is drafted. These players will be labeled. After the draft concludes, those players who have not been drafted or who are released will be “hidden” and unavailable to other teams to draft as free agents.

There is no mechanism to force owners to drop players they have drafted. It may be advisable to specify this requirement as a league rule when setting up a limited player pool Custom League. One of the challenges of limited player pool leagues is the difficulty building a competitive roster under the salary cap due to the shortage of lower-salaried players. Replacing players with eligible players after a draft has concluded may require an owner to replace a player they drafted with a less expensive player and/or to take out a loan.

Drafting

What is the difference between an automated and manual draft?

In an automated draft, all team owners submit their entire team roster in the order in which they want the players selected, and the entire draft is run instantaneously when initiated by the league commissioner. In a manual draft, the owners select players in turn one by one, sometimes over the course of several days. Either type of draft may be set in your league rules as “straight” (1-12, 1-12, etc) or “snake” (1-12, 12-1, 1-12, 12-1, etc). (Standard Leagues use a “snake” draft.)

What are alternate picks?

You can list an alternate to each player on your draft list. The alternate must have a salary lower than the primary player. If the player in your draft list has already been selected when your pick comes up, you will be given your alternate if you have listed one and he is still available.

What happens if a player (and any alternate) I listed are not available when it’s my turn to pick?

In an automated draft, the computer will move that selection to the bottom of your draft list and go on to select the next player you have listed. When it gets to the skipped pick at the bottom of your list, it will assign you the most “similar” player to the one you listed who is still available. (The “most similar” player is the one with the same position, handedness and highest salary below that of the player you listed.)

Should I always list alternate picks for my draft choices?

If there are two players at a position you consider more or less equivalent, and you definitely want one or the other, it makes sense to set one as the alternate pick to the other. If, however, you would rather improve your chances of getting the next player in your draft list, rather than an alternate to the player above him, that would be a situation in which it makes sense not to list an alternate.

In a manual draft in which you have listed one or more “pre-picks” in advance of your turn to pick, you also can set a “stop” to any player. If you’ve set a “stop” to a player who is taken by another team before your turn to pick, instead of your next listed “pre-pick” player being drafted, the draft will be halted so that you can decide what to do next during the time available to you to make your pick.

Can I select players for positions they didn’t play?

Yes, subject to the requirement that you must draft at least eight pitchers, four of whom have a starter (“SP”) designation..

How should I order my draft picks?

In an automated draft, it makes sense to list players who you think are the most difficult to replace highest in your draft list. These generally would be your highest-salaried “star” players. If, however, there is a lower-priced player who you think is particularly outstanding value, you might list him high in your draft list as well. At any given time, certain players are perceived to be particularly good values and are very popular, and hence generally can only be secured with a high draft choice.

In a manual draft, the same considerations apply, although you have the opportunity to adjust your roster strategy as the draft progresses. By watching the Draft Matrix, you can see what positions other teams have and have not filled at any given point. If, for example, you have not yet drafted a catcher but most of the other teams have, it may be safe to wait longer to pick a catcher than you otherwise might have, and turn your attention to filling other positions sooner.

Is there a time limit to pick in manual drafts? What happens if I don’t pick within the time limit?

When a Custom League specifies a manual draft, the league creator must indicate whether there is a time limit (anything from 1-24 hours or unlimited) and whether during certain hours (typically overnight) the time limit will be suspended. If you fail to make a pick within your draft’s time limit, if any, you will be given a minimum salary player at random and the draft will move to the next pick.

Can I make changes to my roster after the draft?

Once a draft has been completed and your league has been set up, there is a 24-hour Hold Period during which no roster changes can be made, to give everyone a fair opportunity to review their teams and consider any changes they might want to make. At the end of the Hold Period, you may make changes to your roster (subject to any league rules that may have been specially agreed restricting preseason moves). In Standard Leagues, before Opening Day you can make unlimited moves and be credited with 100% of a released player’s salary to use in signing a replacement. In Custom Leagues, this percentage can be set lower, although the default setting is still 100%.

Is there a way to keep track of players on other teams and free agents I’m interested in?

You can “bookmark” any player you find in a player search through the Cash Worksheet or Free Agency functions, whom you might be interested in signing, by clicking on the name of that player. After you’ve bookmarked a player, you can go back to your search results by clicking on your browser’s back button.

Bookmarked players are listed on your Cash Worksheet page. You will receive email notifications if a bookmarked player on another team is released or a bookmarked free agent is signed by another team.

Trading

What does the league setting for “trade deficit” mean?

It is the maximum difference (10% in Standard Leagues) allowed in a trade, between 1) the total salaries of players and cash being traded by one team, and 2) the total being traded by the other team. So, if the Trade Deficit Limit is 90% and the value of the players plus cash being traded between two teams is not equal, the total of the package of lesser value must be at least 90% of the package of greater value. For example, Player A (salary $1,000,000) could not be traded for Player B (salary $1,500,000), because the value of Player A is less than 90% that of Player B. But Player A plus $400,000 could be traded for Player B, because the total value of the package (Player A’s salary of $1,000,000 plus $400,000 cash) exceeds 90% of Player B’s salary.

With so many free-agent players available in most leagues, why trade players with other league owners?

If you release a player, you only get back the percentage of his salary that your league rules specify (75% in Standard Leagues). If you identify another team in your league that might be interested in the player you plan to release, you can offer a trade to that team’s owner that splits the “haircut” on releasing the player (25% in Standard Leagues) between the two teams (subject to the league’s maximum Trade Deficit), so you get more for the player than if you just released him, and your trading partner gets the player for less than his full salary if signed as a free agent. You also can propose to a team owner who has expressed dissatisfaction with a player who interests you that you will “take him off their hands” (for more than the other owner would get if he released the player, but less to you than his full salary).

What is the best way to initiate trades?

The most effective way of initiating trades is to find a team in your league that is a good match for what you’d like to accomplish – the player(s) and/or cash you’re offering fills a need they have, while they can spare the player(s) and/or cash you want – and make them an offer. You must look at a trade from the point of view of the other team: no matter how fair the exchange might be in the abstract, if what you propose doesn’t at least appear like it might improve the other team as well, the other owner is unlikely to accept your offer. The next best way to spark trade talks is to “shop” a particular player by inviting offers for him by email or on your league message board. Simply declaring that you’re open to all trade offers is the least effective way of initiating trade discussions.

Loans, Income and Interest

How do loans work?

Loans are cash advances. Interest is calculated on the loan and the amount of the loan, plus interest, is deducted permanently from your schedule of future income payments. You cannot prepay these cash advances to recoup the interest.

How is interest on loans in accelerated (9 games per day) leagues calculated?

Each “real” day in the preseason, and each “real” Sunday during the regular season, counts as one “day” when computing interest payable on a loan over a “virtual week”.

Each “real” day during the regular season counts as three “days” when computing interest payable on a loan over a “virtual week”.  Each three-game series occurs on a single “day” in this computation.

The day “ends” at the time each sim run is scheduled: midnight, 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. PT.  So, if you take out a loan at 3:01 p.m. PT, you will be paying one less day’s interest than if you take out the loan at 2:59 p.m.

This means, in effect, that you can take out a loan to acquire a player in the interval between the start of a sim run and your team’s games being simmed, and not pay interest for that first day/series that the player is on your team.  The same is true for loans in three games per day leagues.

There is one peculiarity that causes a divergence between the computation of interest in three games per day and nine games per day leagues:

In three games per day leagues, the first day of every week (immediately following the previous week’s payout) is a Sunday. But in nine games per day leagues, only “weeks” 4 and 7 begin with a Sunday. The effect of this difference is that in accelerated leagues, the “weekly” interest rate applicable to weeks 2, 3, 5 and 6 actually is just 6/7 of the league’s weekly rate.

How is interest on positive bank account balances calculated?

Interest on positive bank balances is calculated and paid daily on the weekly interest rate (on the basis of a seven day week) at noon PT. Each successive day’s interest payment during the week will be slightly higher (since the balance on which interest is calculated has increased by the prior day’s interest payment). Your league’s interest rate payable on positive account balances is the effective weekly rate, so that interest paid on the first day of the week will be slightly less than 1/7th of the weekly rate on your opening balance, to allow for compounding. (The formula, for the mathematically minded, for calculating the daily rate of interest earned is $b x [1.r^(1/7)-1] = i, where b = your account balance, r = your league’s interest rate, and i = the daily interest payable.)

Is interest payable on loans and/or earned on positive account balances during the preseason?

You do not begin to earn interest on positive account balances until the season begins. However, you do pay interest on loans taken out during the preseason for each day prior to Opening Day. So if you take out a loan in the preseason to sign a player, you will pay less interest if you wait until right before the season starts than if you take out the loan right after the Hold Period (though you may risk someone else signing the player you want while you’re waiting).

Is it a good strategy to borrow all or most of your weekly income to field the strongest possible roster from Opening Day?

Taking out a loan before Opening Day to bolster some part of your team is not necessarily a bad strategy. For one thing, the interest on the loan is partly offset by the fact that (in most leagues) you do not lose part of the salary of a player dropped in the preseason, as you would after the season has begun. However, borrowing the maximum amount possible may not be such a good idea. Because of the effect of compound interest, in a Standard League the maximum amount you can borrow in the preseason is only about half the total amount of your scheduled weekly payments (not to mention the amount of interest foregone had you allowed some of those payments to accumulate for awhile). The long-term cost to the value of your roster probably would outweigh the short-term advantage you would gain. (There could, however, be Custom Leagues with unusual rules in which this might not be the case.) That doesn’t mean that you can’t win if you borrow to the max, and many have, but you are taking a risk.

When is weekly income paid?

Income is added to your team’s bank account after the last game of the week has run.

The Community

What are Message Boards?

Message Boards are places where you can get to know other Diamond Mind Online® owners. You can discuss the game and related topics on the General Discussion board, argue politics on the Off Topic board, seek help with your teams on the Advice Board, look for or organize Custom Leagues on the Custom Leagues board, join or follow tournaments and the Ladder Leagues on their dedicated boards, etc.

Are there any restrictions on access to the Message Boards?

Anyone logged into our site can read the Message Boards, but only people who have purchased a team can post to them. Our Message Boards do allow HTML posting. By posting to our Message Boards, you agree to our Terms and Conditions of Service, which provide that you will not:

You can choose to put the Message Boards on “Safe Mode,” which will censor profanity and mark posts with potentially offensive content “Not Safe.”

Can others access my league’s message board or is it private to league members only?

Only league members can access your league message board.

Is there a way to contact other owners in my league directly, other than by posting something on the Message Boards?

There is a link, Send Message to League’s Owners, at the top of your league’s message board and the bottom of the Scouting an Opponent page, which you can use to send an email to all team owners in your league. At the top of each team’s Roster page, by clicking on the name of the team owner, you can send an email to that team owner only. You also can email an owner who has posted something on a league or public message board by clicking on their user name on the message board post.

Does the Imagine Sports staff read the Message Boards?

Of course we do! But we do not read or respond to posts on the Message Boards in any systematic fashion. If you want to be sure we receive your suggestion, complaint, query or compliment, you should email us at support@imaginesports.com.

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