In the coming decade, I promise to continue to inundate the blogosphere with my particular brand of baseball obsession. I am also, in 2010, hosting a new fantasy league, the SPH TwentyTeens AL/NL Extravaganza.
It is a concept I have been contemplating for several seasons and you can check out its up-and-coming homepage at ESPN. In the TwentyTeens AL/NL Extravaganza there will be twenty teams, but only ten owners. Each owner will manage one NL-only and one AL-only franchise in a 19-week Head-2-Head regular season, followed by an eight-team playoff which will eventually pit the top AL franchise against the top NL franchise (I know, I know, it's a concept which is ingenious in its familiarity).
There will be a small prize pool (buoyed by a $10 entry fee), just to promote interest. Most years the money will be split between champion ($40) and runner-up ($20), with each playoff team getting a share ($5) of their fee back. However, as an added twist, if the same owner manages to win both the AL and the NL pennant, they take home the whole bounty.
Rosters will look like actual baseball teams, with 25-man active rosters, including 12 pitchers (at least five starters and five relievers), two catchers, four outfielders, etc. Every position scores, but you will have a DL on which to stash injured players.
The scoring will be 8 X 8 with normal categories (AVG, R, HR, RBI, W, SV+HLD, ERA, WHIP, IP) balanced by "sabermetrics" (OBP, SLG, PPA, Net SB, K/9, K/BB, BAA). The mix of counting stats and rate stats should make for very interesting week-to-week strategizing. Each matchup will consist of sixteen potential "wins," so that final regular season records will look as though each team played a 304-game season. This way, if you run neck-and-neck with a team and barely lose, instead of going 0-1, you'll go 7-9 or 6-8-2, which makes recovering from bad luck much easier.
I am tentatively planning on making this an auction league, but with 500-player pool, that may prove to be unwieldy. The draft is scheduled for March 27th. There are currently five openings. Email me if you are interested.
There is also currently one opening in the SPH 640. The SPH 640, now entering its third season, is the deepest league around, featuring sixteen teams, each with a 40-man roster (25 active, 15 bench). We play a Head-2-Head schedule, using a points system. It is an extremely active, competitive league, despite the fact that it is completely free. Each team retains six keepers from year to year. The available franchise (Naptown Nightmare) has some solid options (Ryan Braun, Ryan Howard, Dan Haren, etc.). The draft (a 34-round snake draft) is currently scheduled for March 13th. Again, email me if interested.
Finally, The Sporting Hippeaux will be represented in the the inaugural season of an "experts" league hosted by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. More details coming shortly!