There are two things that can destroy fantasy baseball leagues: negligent owners and bad commissioners.
With owners who don’t pay attention, there’s nothing you can do until the end of the season, when you can kick them out, but the problem of having a Roger Goodell as the commissioner of your fantasy league can be easily addressed.
Keeping that in mind, here are six rules that all commissioners should follow, and if yours doesn’t, well, it might be time to find a new one.
1. It’s everyone’s league: You may run it, but your league belongs to everyone in it. Making decisions by yourself and ignoring the input of others is the fastest way you can get everyone in your league to despise you.
2. Remember that your league is a democracy: This is a corollary of the last rule. You volunteered to run your league, but only because everyone else agreed to let you do it. If you ever feel like you’re getting too haughty, remind yourself that just as they gave you power, they can take it away.
3. Use your veto sparingly: There is only one reason that you should ever exercise your right to veto a trade: if one owner is purposely making his team worse. There’s no other acceptable reason. If some idiot decides to trade Max Scherzer for Jose Quintana and thinks he’s making his team better, then that’s fine. You can try to talk him out of it, you can tell him he’s an idiot, and you can kick him out after the season, but unless he’s purposely trying to make his team worse to make the other team better then there’s nothing you can do.
4. Make sure everyone knows the rules of the league: This is simple. The best thing for you to do to address this problem is to write down all the rules onto a so-called “League Constitution”, print it out to give copies to everyone, and have each owner sign it. This was a problem for me last year when I joined a league midway through the season. The league actually had a written constitution, which I read and signed, but what the commissioner didn’t tell me was that co-managing wasn’t allowed. During the summer, one of the regular owners was away, and when I inquired about a potential trade, he directed me to someone who was running his team for him at the time. I ended up completing a trade with that co-owner, but when the commissioner realized that I had negotiated with him, the trade was retroactively vetoed and somehow, I was blamed for the whole mess. Always make sure that everyone knows the rules because if you don’t, then you lose the right to punish people for transgressing them.
5. Be transparent: If you make a rule then always have a reason. More importantly, have a good reason. Yeah, if you want to eliminate saves as a category, not having any closers is a reason, but obviously it’s not one that anyone else will accept. Before you do anything, make sure you’re able to explain it to your league.
6. Put the league before yourself: This is the big rule of thumb that every rule in this post falls under. Everything you do should be to improve the league, not to help your own team. It’s not complicated or hard to do, but it’s the most important rule of all.
Also, one quick NBA note: last Wednesday, the Nets held a Mason Plumlee meet-and-greet at the Barclays Center. On Thursday, the Nets traded hm. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2015 Brooklyn Nets!