Changes for the COVID-Shortened 2020 Season

06-25-20 Covid Baseball

Per the commissioner’s announcement from last month, the voting members of the Salmon League Baseball executive committee voted on proposals to improve play in the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season.

There were three questions in play involving the schedule/playoffs and roster construction.

The first question regarding the schedule/playoffs offered a number of options including:

Option 1 – No changes to current format
Regular Season: 5 weeks
Playoffs: 6 teams/3 weeks (weeks 6-8)

Option 2 – Move playoffs back a week
Regular Season: 6 weeks
Playoffs: 6 teams/3 weeks (weeks 7-9)

Option 3 – Reduce playoffs, expand regular season
Regular Season: 7 weeks
Playoffs: 4 teams/2 weeks (weeks 8-9)

Option 4 – Expand playoffs
Regular Season: 6 weeks
Playoffs: 8 teams/3 weeks (weeks 7-9)

Option 5 – No playoffs – Best Record Wins
Regular Season: 9 weeks
Playoffs: None

Option 6 – Cancel the whole thing and give the Genies the pennant and championship right now!

Owners were asked to rank the ideas from their most to least preferred. Ultimately, after the first round of voting, there was a three-way tie between Options 2-4. A second wave of ranked voting was done and a clear winner was chosen.

We will be expanding the playoff field in both the championship and consolation brackets to eight teams. This will elongate the regular season by a week over the current setup and ensures each team gets to continue participating in the postseason for at least two weeks to settle the final standings.

This is the best overall option for giving managers the most bang for their buck in terms of games played in the 2020 season. The consolation round will, as always, be played for draft priority in the 2021 SLB Draft to ensure no one tanks.

Two additional questions were on the docket regarding roster expansion.

We will be adding a second NA roster slot that is only for players who have opted out due to COVID (primarily intended for potential keepers) and/or for players who are on leave (ie: parental, bereavement, etc.). Teams are not to use the second NA for stashing prospects. Any team found in violation of this rule, will lose both players occupying NA slots. The commissioner will drop them from that club’s roster and the players will be placed on waivers.

We will be adding an extra bench slot for similar purposes. This bench slot is intended to be a sixth IL slot, to account for Yahoo’s limitation of five IL slots in the system. Only players listed on the IL are allowed in this roster slot. Once a player is removed from the IL a team has 24 hours to make a corresponding roster move. Any team found in violation of this rule, will lose the player occupying the IL bench slot. The commissioner will drop them from that club’s roster and the player will be placed on waivers. Unfortunately, Yahoo is a punk-bitch and this has imploded rather quickly. Due to additional loopholes, we opted to dump the extra bench slot altogether and go back to four total bench slots, but Yahoo will not allow us to lower the bench slots once they’re set to five because…reasons?! As such, we are doing a mini-one round supplemental draft from the FA pool to fill the final roster spot. The purpose of the draft and mini-freeze on roster changes is to give every team an equitable chance to add players and not give a competitive advantage to the folks who are online at the moment.

These changes are official for the 2020 season. The league will revert back to traditional rules — and any changes brought about via the traditional amendment process — in 2021.

SLB 2019: Down to the Wire



We’ve got ourselves a lot of drama coming into the last day of the regular season.

Starting at the bottom of the standings, we’ve got some serious drama as three oft-beleaguered managers in John, G-Doggy, and Craiggers are in an epic battle to jump into the consolation bracket and alter their fortunes in 2020 and beyond.

Head into Sunday, John has the edge in his H2H w/ G-Doggy, even with G-Doggy leading 6-5. There are eight categories up for grabs, so things could swing…but the ball is in John’s court with a good Sunday. Craiggers who looked the most likely to jump into the consolation bracket is getting curb-stomped by Grant, but at least eight categories are up for grabs there as well and Craiggers gobbled up damn-near every legitimate streaming starting pitching going today.

A little further up, we’ve got Adam, Morgan, and Grant all jockeying position for what figures to be the last slot in the playoffs or the top two slots in the consolation bracket.

Coming into the week, Adam held the last playoff spot by 3.5 games over Morgan and 5 games over Grant. The aforementioned curb-stomping of Craiggers has Grant nipping at Adam’s heels, but still in 7th place while Morgan and Adam trade haymakers in a very back-and-forth week with at least seven categories in play on Sunday. Grant’s match-up with Craiggers factors heavily into this one, but for Adam and Morgan – today has to be all about the “win or go home” (to top-seeding in the consolation bracket) mindset.

At the top of the standings, we’ve also got what is arguably the tightest pennant race we’ve seen since the improbably close Jay/Justin “tie” of 2014 with Steven and Graves bouncing back and forth between first and second – seemingly at timed half-hour-intervals – all week long and now, after starting the week separated by a half-game, that’s exactly where they sit coming into Sunday.

Ironically enough, the deciding factor here may or may not even come down to the performances of Steven or Graves; but rather the play of two of the three other fellas who have ever won a pennant. Travis and Justin, respectively, have been laying it on heavy all week to both Steven and Graves and it looks entirely likely that the top two seeds will both stumble into the playoffs off of humbling losses.

Needless to say, it’s going to be a very exciting day with a lot on the line for teams up-and-down the standings. There will be plenty of opportunities for teams to play spoiler, lots of joy, lots of heartbreak, and – for two teams – an end to the 2019 season.

Enjoy the games, y’all!

ZIMA’s 2018 SLB Championship Celebration!!


ZIMA general manager, Collin Brand celebrates winning the 2018 SLB Championship with an address to the rest of the league.

Congrats to everyone on another great season. Obviously, the biggest props go out to Collin for not only returning to the playoffs for the first time in, like, a century; but marching to the first championship in club history.

Props to Justinger and his intrepid cracker jack squad on an incredible fourth (fifth if you’re not into tie-breakers) consecutive pennant as he continues to be the standard bearer for sustained success in this league.

There were a number of wonderful performances all around – but the glory goes to the man with the golden fish. Three cheers for the new champ, T.C.B.

Enjoy the off-season, nerds.

SLB Amendment Voting Results


The amendments have been proposed. The votes have been cast. The results have been tallied.

In a stunning example of efficiency, we managed to get the entire league to vote on this round of proposed amendments in under 24 hours. Needless to say, this is a brand-new record for SLB voting. Praise be to the almighty SurveyMonkey gods!

As always, the results are here for you to see, no hidden tallies or secret agendas.

Enough preamble, let’s jump right into the voting results:

Amendment #1 – Weekly Acquisitions Limit

Proposal: Institute a limit on player acquisitions of 5 per week (120/season – counting the playoffs)

Proposed: Steven

Endorsed: Travis and Mike


Result: There will be no change. We will continue without any limits on player acquisitions for 2018.


Amendment #2 – Increase DL Roster Spots

Proposal: Increase the DL roster spots from five to six.

Proposed: Adam

Endorsed: Mike and Justin


Result: Once the option to edit league settings is live, we will determine if Yahoo allows for more than five DL roster slots. If it does, we will add an additional DL roster slot bringing the total per team to six. If not, we will remain at five DL roster slots.


Amendment #3 – Increase Minimum Innings Pitched

Proposal: Increase the minimum innings pitched from 15/week to 25/week.

Proposed: Justin

Endorsed: Mike and Steven


Result: The weekly minimum innings pitched per team will be raised from 15 IP to 25 IP for the 2018 season.


Amendment #4 – Begin the Playoffs Earlier

Proposal: Move the start of the postseason up one week from week 23 to week 22 to avoid the last week of the regular season when many teams are resting regulars for the playoffs.

Proposed: Justin

Endorsed: Travis and Grant


Result: The playoffs will begin one week earlier in week 22 and conclude in week 24. Yahoo’s descriptions don’t make it 100% clear if week 24 will become a two week championship – thus still including the final week of the regular season – or if the championship will wrap with one week remaining. There was also no addendum to move the trade deadline to correlate with the earlier playoff, this may be worth consideration for next off-season.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

So there you have it. We’ve got a few changes coming to the league in 2018 including a new minimum innings pitched, an earlier start to the postseason, and (potentially) an additional DL-slot to account for the new, far more liberal use of the 10-day DL in MLB. Democracy in action, y’all.

For now, I want to say thank you to those of you who took the time to vote and for our usual boatload of lively debate throughout the year.

I’ll reset the Amendments Page right here on the SLBlog to open up the floor for new amendment proposals that would impact the 2019 (holy shit) season and beyond.

SLB Gearing Up for a Big Final Week

It doesn’t get much better than this, does it?!

The Salmon League—currently in the midst of the most competitive year in league history—is coming down to the wire.

With one week left to determine who heads to the Promised Land that is the SLB Playoffs and who is resigned to the Consolation Bracket and the battle for draft pick supremacy, we’ve got some amazing matchups with more than pride on the line in nearly all of them.

Matchups of the Week

Matchup #1

The Dominators (1) vs money grubbers (2)

These two have been jockeying for position atop the standings all season long and now with just days remaining, they get to go head-to-head with everything on the line.

Mike gets stud outfielder Nelson Cruz back just in time for the matchup and Steven is dealing with a roster full of players suffering from nagging injuries and recent ineffectiveness. As such, there is definitely a legitimate possibility that we see Mike take back the top spot before the final bell on the 2010 SLB regular season sounds.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I expected them both to come back down to earth after their torrid starts and although their respective numbers have dipped (no one really thought they’d finish with a winning percentage above .700, did they?!) both teams have remained at the front of the pack and must be considered favorites heading into the playoffs.

With a mere 5.5 games separating these two behemoths, the final head-to-head matchup between the two figures to determine the league’s regular season pennant winner as well as the recipient of the bonus $15 for taking home the regular season crown.

It should, however, be noted that since SLB switched to the H2H format in 2005, no team that took home the regular season pennant has gone on to win the championship. I’m just sayin’…

Expect a heated (and undoubtedly wordy) battle for SLB Supremacy this week.

Matchup #2

Genies in a Bottle (5) vs InSaNeAuDiO (8)

Although it may be a little too late for InSaNeAuDiO to crack the playoffs, G-Doggy’s club can still play spoiler and keep the Genies from qualifying with a big week.

It is a shame to see InSaNeAuDiO on the outside looking in after such a tremendous start to the season. The club was soundly in third place and was carried by the MVP caliber performance of Miguel Cabrera and some breakout seasons by Kelly Johnson and Jose Bautista.

Unfortunately, the usual suspects: “lack of time” and “lack of internet” came back to haunt G-Doggy’s club once again. An absolute drubbing (14-0-0) against SL Disappointment two weeks ago put InSaNeAuDiO back in the playoff mix, but a disappointing 6-7-1 week against Radioactive Rush pretty much sealed G-Doggy’s fate (barring another of those 14-0-0 kinda weeks).

For now, a big win would give G-Doggy the first-round bye in the consolation bracket and a chance at gaining the first draft pick priority in next year’s draft. It is also a week that the Genies need to win if they intend to have any shot headed into the playoffs.

Matchup #3

Radioactive Rush (6) vs Sea Bass v5.0(11)

On the surface this matchup doesn’t appear to have a whole lot on the line, but given the complexities of the league this year, there is still “technically” a wide-open race for the final two playoff spots.

Grant’s new-look Rush squad is sitting tenuously in sixth with seasoned SLB veteran cracker jack and the aforementioned InSaNeAuDiO nipping at his heels. Making this all the more interesting is that just last week in one of the bigger pre-deadline moves Grant traded BOTH of his preseason keepers (Chase Utley and Victor Martinez) to Craiggers for the hot hitting Joe Mauer.

Now, just a week later, that move could come back to cost Grant a trip to the postseason. Craiggers made some very shrewd trades before the deadline, ultimately positioning himself for a big run in the consolation bracket and setting himself up to have a fine selection of potential keepers.

If Craiggers—and Grant’s old keepers—can put together another big week, Grant’s short-sighted trade could be his own undoing.

Matchup #4

cracker jack (7) vs ZIMA (9)

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this matchup. Last year’s rookie sensation, The Collin Brand, has fallen on hard times—as will happen when you waste a first-round pick on Alexei Ramirez—and the club is circling the drain. Additionally, a questionable trade of franchise player Ryan Zimmerman for a second first baseman made little sense and did nothing to push the franchise back into the playoff race.

This is an interesting matchup because Justin brought Collin into this league and it could very well be Collin that keeps Justin out of the playoffs. It is already a foregone conclusion that cracker jack will need some help from both Sea Bass v5.0 and InSaNeAuDiO if the club has any chance of cracking the postseason fray. It is, however, also a must-win week for cracker jack. It’s not exactly a win and you’re in situation, but it’s definitely a don’t win and you’re not in situation.

To the other matchups Dome Dog (3) vs 38 MPH Heaters (10) and j’s team (4) vs S.L. Disappointment (12), I mean no disrespect, but there really isn’t a whole lot on the line here.

The matchup between Adam and Morgan is intriguing as it’s always fun to see two new teams clash late in the season, but with DD have already clinched, there ain’t a whole lot going down that means much here.

The Jay vs Johnny matchup is about as intriguing as any matchup with Johnny has been this season. If the few good players on Johnny’s team get hot he could surprise us, but with Ryan Howard still scuffling since a return to the DL and Johnny’s squad still running out the likes of James Loney and Ryan Theriot as everyday regulars, this one is likely a foregone conclusion.

With that, I say good luck to everyone (except G-Doggy) in this season’s final week.

It’s been one helluva regular season thus far and arguably the most competitive year in the history of the league. Let’s finish the regular season strong and see what the playoffs have in store…

Genies in a Bottle Press Conference

1pm EST – Captain Jack Sparrow Field – Estherville, IA

**Jeremiah Graves enters the room and walks to the podium amidst a hoard of media members and photographers.**

Graves: Good afternoon…I’ve called this press conference to answer a few lingering questions I’ve been getting from the media since the end of last night’s game. First and foremost, I want to congratulate Jay Christiansen and J’s Team. Those boys played one helluva game and deserved every bit of that win.

Jay Mariotti: You sound awfully upbeat for a guy who’s been upset from winning the league championship on numerous occasions. Could one say that you’re getting used to these late-season upsets and you’re okay with the loss?

Graves: No, Mariotti, I’m not okay with the loss, but what am I going to do? Jay had the tiebreaker thanks to Soriano’s lead-off bomb in the Cubbies game. You take away that home run and I’m in the championship, but clearly it wasn’t meant to be.

Tracy Ringolsby: So what do you think cost the Genies the win last week?

Graves: I don’t want to blame it on any one thing or any one player, but if I had to point at a few things that tripped us up…I’d say the screwy weather definitely played a big role…on both teams, for that matter. On Thursday I only had three players going because of off-days. I made the wrong choice when I didn’t start Cole Hamels on Saturday. Cole told me he was ready to go, but he’s been shaky down the stretch here and I was a little hesitant to run him out there against a dangerous Brewers team. The Mets bullpen continued its run of screwing over Johan and the Genies in one fell swoop.

Peter Gammons: I understand your hesitation to name any players individually, but looking at the numbers one would have to think that Robinson Cano’s 3 for 20 week was a definitely killer.

Graves: Well Robby has been sluggish down the stretch and we’ve talked about it. He knows what he needs to do, but he’s just not doing it. His contract with the Genies is up after this year and if this sluggish play continues through the 3rd place game, there is a very, very real chance he won’t be back in a Genies uniform next season.

Ken Rosenthal: What about JJ Hardy’s dreadful 0 for 8 performance yesterday. There’s no doubt that you were counting on Hardy for some sort of power production and you got zip from him. Have you talked to JJ or has he talked to you? I know Hardy is an emotional player…

Graves: Last night wasn’t the time to talk to anybody. Everyone was pretty beat up losing a shot at the championship on a tiebreaker. Plus we had to get out of Boston fast, get on a plane and fly into Minneapolis. This morning on the bus ride down to Estherville, I talked with a bunch of the guys and JJ was definitely one of them. JJ took it pretty hard, he’s a proud kid and really thought he could help us get over the hump, so yeah…he’s gonna be a little rough on himself—but the team seems to have rallied and we know what we need to do this week to snag third place against a very good squad.

Mark Kriegel: So do you think you guys have what it takes to overcome Captain Jack Sparrow after such a grueling loss to J’s Team?

Graves: That’s a good question Mark. I know the boys are tired and it really takes a lot out of a team to lose a game the way we just lost…and Travis is no slouch. He was in first place nearly wire-to-wire this season. He’s a dangerous team…but yeah, I think we’ve got a good shot. We went one-on-one in the 3rd place game last year as well and it worked out okay.

Dayn Perry: Speaking of last year. There is no doubt that you’d assembled the most talented overall team last year. You appear to have done it again this year via some very shrewd trades and free agent acquisitions, however, you can never seem to get over the hump and win the SLB Championship.

Graves: What the fuck is your deal?!

Dayn Perry: …what?!

Graves: That’s not a question, that’s not a question at all? You just want to fucking take shots at me? I know my team hasn’t won a championship, you think I don’t fucking know that?! What are you some kind of fucking idiot, Perry?

Dayn Perry: No, I just…

Graves: Fuck you, Fatty! You wanna mange a team or do you just want to keep writing pointless articles on FoxSports where you bash the Twins and then months later, when it’s been blatantly proven that you’re incompetent, you completely change your tune and start talking about how their the best franchise in baseball?! Then you want to come in here and tell me that I haven’t won a championship like you think I’m not aware. You’re 10 pounds of monkey shit in a 5 pound bag, Perry, get the fuck outta here!!

Dayn Perry: I have every right to be here…

Graves: Get him boys…

**Peter Gammons, Chuck Norris, Batman and John McClane all start pounding on Perry. Batman grabs a folding chair and cracks Perry in the face with it. John McClane and Peter Gammon hit a 3D through the media buffet table in the back of the room. Then they pick him up and hold him for a Chuck Norris roundhouse that sends Perry out a window and down 140 feet into the seats behind homeplate.**

Graves: (clears throat) Sorry about that, any other questions?

John Kruk: Yeah, I was just curious if there were any other announcements…

Graves: Potentially…

John Kruk: Yeah, because there has been a rumor circulating that the Genies might be disbanded and rebranded after this season if they were unable to finally climb the mountain. Is there any truth to that rumor?!

Graves: I don’t want to discuss rumors right now, especially now while we’ve still got two solid weeks of important baseball to go. I will, however, say that there will be some changes this offseason.

Buster Olney: Can you elaborate on any of the changes? Is it a change of personnel or a change of philosophy?

Graves: Well we’ve done a lot of both in the past 12 months and ended up with roughly the same results. In the past the team’s scope was to draft a strong team and make wise free-agent pick-ups throughout the year to put together the best overall team. This year the plan changed a little. We had another strong draft, but took some bigger gambles with the intent of getting more involved in the trade market and it worked well, especially when compiled with some of our free agent pick-ups.

Buster Olney: Yeah, that doesn’t sound all that different…

Graves: What’d you say to me?

**Olney looks around nervously as Chuck Norris and Batman each take the empty seats on either side of him.**

Buster Olney: I just meant that it sounds like roughly the same plan…

Graves: True, this year I mentally split the season in two. I drafted a team for the first-half to keep me competitive and then I traded for a team that should have been thriving in September for the playoffs. I made a move for Mark Teixeira, who is a second-half beast. I brought in Carlos Quentin who has MVP written all over him and only got hotter in the dog days of summer. When I acquired Matt Holliday and Robinson Cano, I clearly gave up more talent in Ian Kinsler and Carlos Lee—but the career splits showed that Cano and Holliday were better down the stretch. Kinsler’s career numbers in the second-half weren’t trending well, so it was the right time to move him. Adding David Wright finally grave me a solid, healthy option at third-base. Unfortunately, despite setting up a team that was more geared for late season success, the old adage proved itself true once again…

Ken Rosenthal: What’s that?

Graves: It’s not the best team that wins in the playoffs, it’s the hottest/luckiest teams that wins in the playoffs.

**Chuck Norris randomly kicks a camerman in the face.**

Graves: Okay, that’s the sign that this press-conference is over…

Tracy Ringolsby: So no news on the other announcements and possible changes?!

Graves: Not while the season is still going…we’ll talk at the Winter Meetings…

**Graves walks away from the podium and the rest of the reporters mill about amongst themselves.**