League Constitution

The Preamble
The Common Sense Accord
Article I — League Governance
Article II – League Play Schedule
Article III — Responsibilities of the Membership
Article IV — Financials
Article V — Rosters and Team Setup
Article VI — Drafts
Article VII — Trades
Article VIII — StatsLab
Article IX — Article Writing
Article X — Article Writing Stylebook
Article XI — Chat/Forum Etiquette
Article XII — Penalties
Article XIII — League Settings
Addendum I — File Installation
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The Preamble

MLB Pro is a realistic Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP) league. The league is formed solely for the enjoyment of its members (also referred to as General Managers or ‘GMs’). In order to participate in MLB Pro, all members must agree to adhere to this Constitution. By accepting an invitation to MLB Pro, you are acknowledging your agreement to accept and abide by the Constitution in its current and future forms. You also accept certain responsibilities involved with your participation and are agreeing to uphold them in an effort to make this playing experience as enjoyable as possible for everyone involved.

The MLB Pro Constitution is a living document. The Board (which is defined in Article I as the staff of the league consisting of the Co-Commissioners) reserves the right to amend any portion of this document as need arises. The league body are required to be notified of any amendments within 24 hours of the decision being made. Member opinion on constitutional changes is solicited whenever it is feasible to do so and the changes proposed are not required for the health of the league. Members are expected to provide opinions on proposed changes during each off-season.

Disrespect towards ANYONE WITHIN THE LEAGUE IS NOT TOLERATED! MLB Pro is established not only as a baseball league but as a social experience. While disagreements and debates will always be a part of any gathering of individuals, it is expected that members will treat one other with due dignity. There is a line between joking around and being disrespectful and offensive. Make sure it is a line that isn’t crossed.

While member input is welcome and encouraged, note that decisions by the MLB Pro Board are final; no further debate will be welcome once a decision is rendered. It is true that this league is not a dictatorship. It is also not a democracy. It in a benevolent autocracy where input in encouraged. At the end of the day though, decisions have to be made by the Board and those decisions need to be respected. Continued excessive discussion of a settled issue is disrespectful to the careful consideration the Board puts into every decision made and it breeds discontent. This gets to the point where even a rational explanation will not pacify the mob who have convinced themselves they are in the right, despite how they haven’t considered the same factors the Board must consider when making a decision.

To be clear, these factors include but are not limited to:

  • Realism
  • The time it would take to implement and/or maintain the decision
  • The positive vs. negative consequences
  • The capabilities of the OOTP software

If you don’t like or understand a decision, please direct your opinion to the Commissioners via e-mail or PM on Slack.  This is far more productive than continuing a public discussion, as well as not dangerous to the health of the league.

The Common Sense Accord (CSA)

MLB Pro members recognize that the league is intended to recreate a realistic modern baseball experience. Limitations of OOTP will occasionally result in opportunities for personal gain that would not occur in real life. Members agree to adhere to a common sense policy when approaching these situations and will refrain from taking advantage of unrealistic opportunities presented to them by the game. Members recognize that interpretation of what constitutes “unrealistic” is based on the discretion of the Board, who can and will enforce unilateral actions when needed to prevent and/or reverse moves that go against the spirit of the CSA.

In these situations where an action taken is deemed to be unconstitutional, it is acceptable to provide a written explanation privately to the Board on your accord. Once the Board has reached a verdict, however, further argument will not be tolerated. The general mantra here is: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” If you are uncertain whether a move you’re considering would violate the Constitution, contact the Rules Officer to receive guidance. Your case will always garner the best reception when you provide forewarning.

Lying is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. If an opponent asks you who you are starting – just for example – you have no obligation to tell them but if you answer them, that better be who you are start or you must tell them about the change. There is a difference between gamesmanship and lying and if you consistently break that, you will find yourself removed from the league.

Article I — League Governance

The Constitution of MLB Pro will be referred to for all questions regarding the rules and regulations of MLB Pro. The Constitution may be revised as necessary for the league to evolve. Changes will be made at the sole discretion of the Board (see below). Whenever appropriate, members will be consulted prior to a Constitutional change. This is greatly dependent on the importance of the change on the health of the league. Any changes to these settings that are vital to the health of the league must be made solely by the Board. Any changes that are optional and do not affect the health of the league will be voted on by the league, in which 2/3rds of the league must vote either in favor of the change or abstain (meaning they are fine with either decision and defer to the wishes of the majority.) The lack of a vote is to be considered a vote against the proposal, but all members are expected to participate in all voting proposals.

If a new version of OOTP is deemed substantial enough to the interests of the league, the league will upgrade that year in between the end of the postseason and the beginning of the offseason. For example, if a new version of OOTP is released in April, MLB Pro will upgrade in late October/early November (again, dependent on when the postseason ends.) The timeline for upgrades is set for the following reasons:

  • To give the management of OOTP time to work out any issues with the software.
  • To give MLB Pro staff time to test out the software and ensure there is a significant league interest in upgrading so time and money isn’t wasted.
  • To give MLB Pro members time to acquire the software in a way that is fiscally responsible to them personally.

Article II — League Play Schedule

During the regular season, simulations (hereafter alternately referred to as ‘sims’) are scheduled daily with GM exports due at 8:00 pm EST.*  The League Office will periodically release schedule updates to keep members up to date if changes from the norm are necessary. This alternate schedule will be readily available on the league homepage under Announcements.

An online export tracker is available to assist members (see Article VIII for details). The operator of the sim will inform the league in the chat when that evening’s league file has been posted to the server.

MLB Pro members recognize that timely exporting is the most basic and essential requisite of a smoothly running league. In turn, the League Office recognizes that life responsibilities/emergencies can and do occasionally conflict with the exporting process. That being said, GMs are only required to submit a minimum of one export every seven days which resolves most of the problems that life can present in terms of league activity. If you will not be able to submit a file for more than seven days, notification to the staff is required or you may be at risk for losing your team.

* There is one provision to all of this: The commissioner has a life. There will be occasions where he will not be able to run the sim promptly at 8:00 PM EST. If he does not believe he will be able to run the sim and have the file available by 6:00 AM EST, he will attempt to get his Assistant Commissioner or another board member to run the sim in his absence. If it becomes a trend over the span of weeks, the board can approach the commissioner about the possible need to hand over simming duties temporarily but occasional personal conflicts are understandable.

Article III — Responsibilities of the Membership

There are seven base responsibilities involved with participation in MLB Pro. The Board will contact GMs neglecting their responsibilities. Repeated violations can result in the forfeiture of your membership.

Exports: Members are required to export a team file once every seven days at a minimum, regardless of whether or not they have moves to make. This is true for Spring Training, the regular season, and the off-season. Members are expected to export a minimum of every other game in the postseason when their team is participating. If an export is not submitted over a successive 7-day period, a board member will contact you about your activity. You will then have 48 hours to respond or risk the loss of your team. If you respond but go another 7-day period without an export, the staff is not required to contact you and they are free to make a decision in the best interest of your team and the league. Throughout the year, there will be occasional league events such as arbitration filings where an export is required. You will be given ample notice ahead of these sims, as well as multiple days to get a file in for this event.

Rosters: The roster limit for all MLB active rosters is 25 players during the regular season and 40 during the September roster expansion, the offseason, and Spring Training. Minor league teams have a roster limit of 30 players with the exception of Rookie League teams that do not have a roster limit. GMs must ensure that these limits are not exceeded before their export. Failure to meet these requirements will result in auto-assignment by the Board (which may not be to your liking).

Designated for Assignment (DFA): Players may stay on your DFA list for up to 10 days. GMs must assign, trade or release a player before his allotted time on the list expires. Failure to do so will result in the release of the DFA regardless of contract status. Players can be placed on the DFA list for the following reasons:

  • If you attempt to demote from the majors a player who has no option years remaining and has not previously cleared waivers.
  • If you attempt to remove a player from the secondary roster who has not previously cleared waivers.
  • All newly acquired players with major league contracts are placed on the DFA list.

Lineups/Rotations/Depth Charts: It is your responsibility to ensure that these are properly filled for your major and minor league teams, and to have enough players to field a competitive team. All teams in your organization must have completely filled-out lineups and depth charts with at least 20 players on the roster. GMs are expected to adjust for injuries as needed. Leaving injured players on a roster increases the risk of injury to other players on the roster via overuse.

Disabled List (DL): Players must be removed from your DL within seven days of returning to full health and serving their minimum DL stint. Note that the number associated with each DL (10 or 60-day) represents the minimum time the player must remain there, not the maximum.

Personnel: GMs are expected to keep all teams in their organization fully staffed while in season. A lack of “quality” available personnel is not an excuse.

Voting: All members of MLB Pro are expected to vote on all ballots. All ballots must get 2/3rds of the entire league (28 votes when the league is full) in favor of a change or in abstinence (which means you do not prefer one option over the other and defer to the majority.) The lack of a vote is to be considered a vote against the proposal.

In addition to these seven core responsibilities everyone has as a member of MLB Pro, members who have agreed to additional roles in the league have additional responsibilities they must live up to if they wish to continue to hold those positions.

Have some common courtesy. If someone sends you a message, just respond to them. General managers who develop indisputable reputations for ignoring messages from other GMs, not being available for discussion when they say they will, leaving conversations suddenly, or generally not showing respect to general managers who reach out to them will be reprimanded, up to and including being removed to the league after a vote by the staff.

The Board’s responsibilities to members include timely sims, maintaining the website and forums, keeping StatsLab and the reports updated, showing fairness in addressing members’ desires/concerns, clear communication if/when unforeseen events arise, allowing a league vote on any possible rule changes that are not vital to the health of the league, and publishing articles in a timely fashion. Above all else, the Board has a responsibility never to abuse its status. Board members are strictly prohibited from altering/adjusting sim results to favor a particular team, altering or falsifying player ratings, or divulging “inside information” that would lead to a competitive advantage.

Article IV — Financials

Each GM may set his or her team’s ticket prices. These prices must be within the range of $15.00 and $40.00. While ticket prices will be acceptable anywhere within the $15-$40 range, it is imperative that teams use some discretion when adjusting prices. In 2013, only 1 team had an average ticket price for the season exceed $30. Please keep in mind the average price when determining if your team should exceed the league average and by how much. Use common sense, recent and current team success, fan interest, and market size to determine what is appropriate for your franchise. The Board will continue to monitor teams and what they ultimately decide to charge. If we determine a price to be unrealistic according to the above guideline, we will be in contact with said team in the hope of finding an appropriate ticket price.

National media contracts are the same for every team but local media contracts can vary based on team interest, team support, and market size and are determined automatically by OOTP.

Teams are allowed to hold an unlimited amount of cash at any point but the maximum amount of cash that any team can carry over to the next year is $10,000,000. After all outstanding balances have been resolved, any amount of cash over $10,000,000 will go to the owner of the team. This all happens automatically.

There will be no salary cap. GMs are free to deficit spend if they so choose; however, you are expected to steer your club towards profitability. There will be a one point (out of 10) penalty to fan loyalty for every $5,000,000 below and including a final balance of -$20,000,000. To be clear, the penalties start at -$20,000,000. Another point is docked at -$25,000,000, again at -$30,000,000, and so on. If a team ends their season with a balance of -$20,000,000 for two or more seasons in a row, they will be removed from the league. If a team ends two straight seasons at a deficit, with one or both seasons at a figure less than -$20,000,000, their situation will be reviewed by the staff and a decision will be made about their membership based on a variety of relevant details, including the general manager’s efforts on financial solvency.

A 25% luxury tax is instituted for anyone who goes over the soft cap of 120% of average payroll.

Contracts are governed by several house rules. Before offering a player a contract, familiarize yourself with these rules. Contracts in violation of these rules are subject to review by the Board which reserves the right to void the contract. If you wish to offer a contract that breaks one or more of these rules, contact the Board prior to making the offer to explain your intent. You will be provided with guidance on an agreeable contract offer.

One team options is allowed in the final-year of a contract WITH a 50% buyout included.

GMs may include vesting options. These vesting options have limits and some can only be offered to specific positions. These positions and limits are listed below. If a vesting option breaks these limitations, the option will be converted into a guaranteed year.

  • Plate Appearances (All Position Players): 500 PA Maximum
  • Games Played (All Position Players): 126 GP Maximum
  • Games Started (Starting Pitchers): 20 GS Maximum
  • Innings Pitched (All Pitchers): 150 IP Maximum for SP/50 IP Maximum for RP
  • Games Finished (Relief Pitchers): 20 GF Maximum

-MLB CONTRACT EXTENSIONS-

The allowable length of a contract extension will be directly tied to the player’s time spent on the secondary roster — rounding down to the nearest COMPLETED year of service time will dictate the number of years that can be offered to a player.

-A player who has completed 0 years of time on the secondary roster is NOT ELIGIBLE for an extension.

-A player who has completed between 1 and 4 years of time on the secondary roster may sign an extension UP TO 4 years in length.

-A player who has completed 5 years of time on the secondary roster may sign an extension UP TO 6 years in length.

-A player who has completed 6 years of time on the secondary roster has no restrictions on a contract extension.

Any violation of the above will result in the immediate voiding of the contract extension.

Article V — Rosters and Team Setup

The roster limit for all MLB active rosters is 25 players during the regular season and 40 during the September roster expansion, the offseason ,and Spring Training. Minor league teams have a roster limit of 30 players with the exception of Rookie League teams that do not have a roster limit. GMs must ensure that these limits are not exceeded before their export. Failure to meet these requirements will result in auto-assignment by the Board (which may not be to your liking).

GMs are expected to have all applicable lineups, rotations and depth charts fully set up for each team within their organization while that team’s league is in season. At minimum, all in-season teams in your organization must have completely filled-out lineups, must have at least 4 pitchers slotted in as SP and 5 pitchers slotted in as RP, and must have a depth chart that is reasonably set up to utilize all hitters on the roster. GMs are expected to adjust for injuries and roster movement as needed, per the requirements previously stated.

To be eligible for a team’s playoff roster, a player must be on that specific team’s 25-man active roster or their disabled list on August 31st, the day before the September roster expansion. Players signed through free agency or acquired on the waiver wire after August 31st are not eligible for postseason play, regardless if they were playoff eligible for their previous team. Players on the 25-man active roster earlier in the year but not on the active roster or disabled list on August 31st are not playoff eligible. Playoff-eligible players who suffer an injury requiring a disabled list stint after roster expansion can be replaced by any player who was in the organization on August 31st. Roster moves cannot be made while a playoff series is in progress.

Article VI — Drafts

MLB Pro First Year Player Draft (referred to as the “Amateur Draft”) will begin on Opening Day of every season and selections will be executed on June 7th of each season. It will be 30 rounds in length. Any rounds that have not been drafted by June 7th will be drafted automatically without draft lists. Amateur drafts will be managed and conducted through StatsLab (linked from the league website). Every team will have 12 hours to make a selection before they are auto-drafted, a selection first taken from the draft list and then selected from the entire player pool if adraft list is empty or exhausted.

Amateur Draft participation is mandatory. MLB Pro GMs unable to make a pick live are expected to create a pre-ranked list within StatsLab. All GMs are encouraged to create draft lists even if they plan to make their draft selections live.

Certain draft picks may demand a signing bonus. This signing bonus is not negotiable and will be charged to your team at the execution of the draft on June 7th.

MLB will hold a Rule 5 draft on December 1st of each season. Teams will have the option to submit a draft list from which OOTP will draw draft selections from. Submitting a draft list is not required. Teams cannot make more selections than they have open secondary roster spots. Players selected in the Rule 5 draft must stay on the selecting team’s active roster or DL for one full season. They may also be placed on waivers or traded. If the player changes teams, the roster restrictions move with the player. If they are reassigned to the minor leagues, they will be automatically returned to their previous team. All healthy players eligible to return from the 60-day DL must be placed on the roster or released during the sim cycle preceding the Rule 5 draft.

For all drafts, order will be determined by record in the previous regular season (from worst to best) with the tiebreaker going to the team with the worst record from the previous year. Drafts will be in “straight” order, with teams picking in the same slot each round.

Draft picks may not be traded but players in their first year since being drafted may be traded.

Article VII — Trades

Players, personnel, and cash are all viable items to trade. Draft picks cannot be traded but players in their first year since being drafted may be traded. The MLB Pro trade deadline is July 31. There are certain restrictions/qualifiers on trades:

Player Restrictions:
  • No more than ten players may be included by a team in a single trade.
  • No player may be traded within 90 days of signing a major league contract or an extension.
  • Players with at least ten years of major league service and at least five years spent with current team may exercise their 10/5 rule rights to veto a trade.
  • Free agents signed to off-season major league contracts may not be traded until June 1st of the upcoming season.

PTBNL: Players To Be Named Later ARE NOT ALLOWED!!

Cash: Only cash on hand may be traded during the preseason and season (i.e. no deficit trading) except for when the cash being traded is to make up a portion of a player’s salary. The player must be in the same trade and the cash may not go beyond the player’s full salary for the current year. Deficit trading is allowed in the off-season when the team sending cash is projected at a profit according to the Proj. Final Balance figure and the amount of cash sent may not exceed the sum of cash on hand and their Proj. Final Balance.

Contracts: It is the responsibility of GMs to police themselves regarding contracts acquired via trades. While you may exceed budget your owner sets for you, bear in mind that there are strict penalties for being too far in debt (see Article IV).

Playoffs: Trading during the playoffs is not allowed. If you wish to trade, you cannot post it until the league has moved into the offseason. This is because ratings and budgets for the new year come out at this time and we also do not want upcoming free agents to lose their rights to test the open market.

The August Waiver Period

Following the trade deadline, the following system is in place for any trade involving a player on a 40-man roster.

This process ONLY APPLIES TO PLAYERS ON THE 40-MAN ROSTER!!!!!  Players not on the 40-man roster MAY BE TRADED WITHOUT GOING THROUGH WAIVERS.

There will be two types of waivers: Revocable and Irrevocable

Irrevocable Waivers will be used for players who are waived & DFA’ed.  This is to be done in-game.  As has always been the case, players on irrevocable waivers CANNOT be pulled off of waivers if claimed.  Players who do make it through waivers in this process may be DFA’ed if they accept their assignment.  These players MAY NOT BE TRADED. These players MAY NOT BE TRADED/PUT ON REVOCABLE WAIVERS.

Revocable Waivers

For the remainder of the month, if you want to waive a player with the hope of potentially trading, you must e-mail Matt with a list of players you would like to waive.  Waiver list submissions will be accepted in a series of three (or four) waves on a selected series of dates.  This type of waivers does not lead to a removal from the 40-man roster.  Players who clear revocable waivers may later in the month be placed on irrevocable waivers to clear a spot.

At the conclusion of the sim on selected dates, Matt will send a list of all players put on waivers during that period to the league (additionally will be posted on the site). Teams will have until a date later in the week to e-mail Matt with a claim of a player.

At the conclusion of this sim following the list submission deadline, Matt will e-mail the league with the results of the waiver moves for that week.

IF A PLAYER IS CLAIMED DURING THE WEEK, THE ORIGINAL TEAM HAS THE FOLLOWING OPTIONS TO LET MATT KNOW (e-mail Matt) THE FOLLOWING OPTION WILL BE SELECTED:

  • Force the claiming team to take the player (MUST BE DONE BY A SET TIME)
  • Work on a trade with the team that won the claiming rights to the player, if for players on the 40-man roster, the PLAYERS MUST HAVE CLEARED WAIVERS AS WELL.  A trade may be made immediately for players NOT ON THE 40-MAN ROSTER!!!
  • Pull the player off of waivers and keep him — he may not be placed on waivers again in the month.
  • EXAMPLE: The Angels place Mike Trout on revocable waivers.  Trout is claimed by one team, the Seattle Mariners.  The Mariners, have not passed any players on the 40-man roster through waivers, as a result a trade may not be made involving any Mariner players from that roster.  The resulting options would be to trade Trout for players OFF of the 40-man roster -OR- to pull him back off of waivers.

IF A PLAYER IS NOT CLAIMED ON WAIVERS…:

  • They may be traded to ANYONE during the month.
  • Waive/DFA in-game, this will be the only time in-game waivers are used, teams will not be able to claim a player at this point, a player can still refuse assignment. Doing this step prior to listing a player on the out of game list of waivers is not allowed!!!!

If a trade is agreed upon by two teams, it will be inputted into the game.  The game still must recognize our 3-day waiver process.  There is nothing that can be done on our end to preserve player history.  In order to help differentiate between these players and those who have been waived/DFA’ed in game, these players will have a nickname given of, “DO NOT CLAIM” – which of course indicates they have already been through waivers and cannot be claimed by anyone.

I hope this system works. It was given thought and input from several people and if there are any questions, DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK. Again, let’s give this a try and see how it goes.

TRADES

Once a trade has been agreed to, notification of the agreement should be posted in the appropriate league forum. One of the involved parties should post a list of exactly what each team is sending, not receiving. Minor leaguers should have their position, current level, and team noted. You need to post both the league level and the team because there are often more than one A-level and R-level teams. The second party must then confirm the trade. Both GMs must provide a brief description of the purpose of this trade and why it makes sense for their team.

Please use the following as a template for all trade posts because there will be no exceptions. If a trade is not posted in this manner, you will be told the problem with the posting and the processing will be postponed until the problem is corrected:

Title: Miami/Texas

Miami sends:

SP Mark Buehrle
2B Gabriel Ortiz – AAA New Orleans
LF Donnie Webb – AA Jacksonville

Texas sends:

LF Alex Gordon
3B Christian Villanueva – AA Frisco
RF Nomar Mazara – A Myrtle Beach

Miami accepts this deal because Buehrle is a good pitcher but is far too inconsistent for our tastes, not to mention he becomes very expensive over the years. He get our new left fielder in the young star of Alex Gordon, as well as two solid prospects and cash that will be very handy this offseason.*

*In a reply in the same thread, Texas would post a similar acceptance and rational for the trade from their perspective.

Trades involving more than two GMs must be executed as a series of two-team trades. In these trades, each player should also have a marker saying which team they are going to.

The commissioner must approve and process all trades. Trades are reviewed for legitimacy and to make sure there is no possibility of cheating or collusion. If a trade is not deemed suspicious, it will be processed in the next sim. In the instance that the commissioner is involved with a trade, a board member must post their approval of the trade before it can be processed.

Individual GMs who feel a trade seems suspicious should contact the Board to express their opinion. Do not post in the thread. Only participators of the trade and staff are allowed to post in a trade thread.

Article VIII — StatsLab

MLB Pro employs an online utility suite called StatsLab. Created by community member “fhomess”, StatsLab is a fully-featured utility with a variety of extraordinarily useful functions. Each league has their own separate installation of StatsLab which can be found in a drop down menu under the league logo on any of the StatsLab pages. Members are highly encouraged to get comfortable with StatsLab, as it will be a heavily-used feature of the league. Below is a brief run-down of some of the utility’s features:

  • Export Tracker
  • All-Star Voting
  • Award Voting
  • Hall of Fame Voting
  • Auto-draft
  • Draft List Construction
  • Draft Timer
  • Draft History
  • Draft War Room
  • Draft Update Notification
  • Standings
  • Box Scores
  • Graphs
  • Statistics
  • Top Performances
  • Sim Preview
  • Milestones
  • Playoff Odds
  • Playoffs
  • Stat of the Day
  • Payroll
  • Injuries
  • Free Agents
  • Ratings
  • Development
  • League History
  • Manager Contact List

Article IX — Article Writing

Articles are a major part of MLB Pro experience. The league thrives in its feeling of immersion and the biggest contributor to that is our original content. Otherwise, this league would be nothing but numbers and statistics. The stories you tell are what breathe life into MLB Pro and they are one of the most valued ways that members can contribute to the betterment of the league.

League members can submit news stories in their team pages in the News Room section of the league forum. Once you have posted the final version of your story, it will be edited for public view and posted at the earliest convenience of the staff with a headline and an appropriate image.

When constructing stories, please keep the following in mind:

Consider the feelings of those whom you will be referencing, including both current and former league members. Disparaging comments towards past or present members will not be permitted.

Be aware of the league’s fictional timeline and established canon. Articles must adhere to previously established fiction, and real world events should be referenced as a part of MLB Pro whenever possible.

Article X — Article Writing Stylebook

Everyone is encouraged (although not required) to follow the stylebook in the pursuit of making sure we are creating the best writing possible. Learning this stylebook increased your chances of your article of being featured on the front of the website.

Writing Styles
  • Articles should be at least two paragraphs if they wish to be posted on the website.
  • All articles are expected to be written from a fictional perspective. The perspective should be that of someone who lives within the reality of the universe that we have created. Everything that happened in real life baseball before Opening Day of 2012 happened in ours. Anything after did not and only MLB Pro news, facts, and events should be discussed. Avoid referencing OOTP or OOTP-specific terminology at all costs.
  • Articles should be written from the perspective of a travelling beat writer should include the italicized current location of the team. If the team is on a road trip, use that location rather than the team’s home city.
  • Any publication name referred to in an article (fictional or real) should be italicized.
Player Names
  • The first appearance of a player’s name should always be copied and pasted from the OOTP or StatsLab reports pages to ensure accuracy.
  • While you may manually type out subsequent appearances of a player’s name, it is recommended to continue copying and pasting the name that you copied from the reports earlier.
  • A number of player names feature diacritics. Whenever you’re dealing with a name that features an accent mark, tilde or other diacritic, always copy and paste the name from the reports. Diacritics need to be included in your articles.
  • When copying names of players with nicknames from the reports, replace the apostrophes (‘) surrounding the nickname with quotations marks (“).
  • After the first appearance, nicknames do not need to be surrounded by quotation marks.
  • Copy/pasting text from the reports may result in odd font styles/sizes transferring over to your article. If this happens, please highlight all of your article’s text when you are finished typing and change the font style/size to a unified standard.
Abbreviations
  • Player position abbreviations should be fully capitalized (e.g. “1B”, “CF”, etc.).
  • Single-digit numbers should be typed out (e.g. one, five, nine) but you should generally use numerals for double-digit and greater numbers (e.g. “33” instead of “thirty-three”).
  • Most baseball statistics should be abbreviated. A few (e.g. “home runs”, “runs”) can be typed out at your option, but it is generally preferable to abbreviate.
  • Most abbreviated baseball statistics should be fully capitalized (e.g. “ERA”, “AVG”, etc.). There are a few exceptions to this rule (e.g. “EqA”, “wOBA”). For a list of baseball statistical abbreviations, reference the StatsLab Glossary.
  • Adding an “s” at the end of a statistical abbreviation to indicate plurality is punishable by death. (e.g. “50 HR”, not “50 HRs”).
  • Turning abbreviations into verbs is punishable by even more death. (e.g. “OPS’d”)
  • Always type the name/abbreviation of any numerical stat you include in your article.
  • When referencing a league level, you may either type out the full name of the level (e.g. “Triple-A”) or abbreviate the level (e.g. “AAA”). Do not use both styles (e.g. “Triple-AAA”).
  • Fully typed-out minor league level names should be treated as a proper noun (e.g. capitalize the “T” in “Triple-A”) and should have a hyphen connecting to the letter “A”.
  • Articles written from a Japanese perspective should refer to the NPB as “the majors”, “major leagues”, etc. Articles written from an American perspective may view the NPB differently (e.g. “Japanese league”).
Formatting
  • There should never, never, never be two spaces between the end of a sentence and the start of a new sentence.
  • There should always be a single blank line between paragraphs.
  • Do not place any spaces/tabs at the start or end of a paragraph (NOTE: Normal grammatical rules would call for a tab at the start of a paragraph. We ignore this rule for HTML formatting purposes).
General Grammatical Rules
  • The first letters of starts of sentences and proper nouns should always be capitalized, as should many abbreviations. Avoid capitalizing the first letter of random words in the middle of sentences that do not meet these criteria.
  • While there is a place for its sparing use, it is usually preferable to emphasize text by italicizing it rather than typing it in all caps.
  • Avoid run-on sentences. Rather than overusing commas, break long thoughts into two or more separate sentences via periods, question marks and/or exclamation points.
  • You may also use semicolons to link related clauses, but don’t overuse this punctuation. Typically you’ll be better off starting a new sentence.
  • When using ellipses, use only three dots (…), place a space between the end of the ellipsis and the word following the ellipsis, and do not capitalize the word following the ellipsis unless it is the start of a new sentence.
  • When breaking up quoted text, use a comma to continue a broken single sentence and a period, question mark or exclamation point to join to a new quoted sentence.
  • Example of single-sentence quoted text continuation: “We won this game,” said Coach Wilkins, “because we played hard.”
  • Example of multi-sentence quoted text continuation: “We will win this game,” said Coach Wilkins. “Our boys will come ready to play.”
  • Once you have referred to a full proper name, you can generally shorten that name for the rest of the article. For example, after initially typing out “General Manager Craig Stayman”, you do not need to type that full title and name out again. Instead, shorten future appearances (e.g. “GM Stayman” or “Mr. Stayman”). This rule can be bent for effect, but it is generally proper to avoid repeating full names and titles.
  • Avoid reusing phrases. If you described a player as a “speed demon on the base paths”, do not describe another player in the same way later in the article. Instead, find a different method of characterizing the second player’s speed.
Consistency of Form
  • If you begin using a certain writing style in your article, be sure to continue to use that style throughout the remainder of the article. For instance, once you start by writing “HR”, don’t later change up by typing out “home run”.
  • The same rule applies to punctuation. If you begin using the style “MR Tom Jones – Text”, don’t later change to “MR – Bob Smith: Text”.
  • This rule also applies to formatting. If you boldface and underline one section header, make sure to apply the same formatting style to all section headers.
  • Consistency of form should carry over to future articles written by the same fictional author/publication. For instance, if you pen an article entitled “Team Notes: June 1st, 2013”, future articles in this series should use the same naming convention (e.g. “Team Notes: July 14th, 2013”).
Linking
  • Writers are encouraged but not required to link to the reports pages of players, personnel, teams, and leagues mentioned in their articles. This would allow people to click directly to their pages and give them supplementary information to help in their enjoyment of your article. If you are going to do this, please keep the following in mind:
  • All league-related proper names must have their first appearance hyperlinked. This includes players, personnel (including your own name), teams and leagues
  • Browse to an HTML page featuring a hyperlinked version of the name you need (e.g. a player’s HTML page features his pre-hyperlinked name just below his team’s logo). Copy the linked name and paste it directly into your article. This is preferable for a few reasons. One, it’s quick and easy. Two, it guarantees correct spelling of the name. Three, it sets up easy handling of diacritics.
  • When linking a proper name, highlight the name’s pre-hyperlinked text in the HTML reports. Copy that text and paste it into your article. Do not link to it again!
  • If you are going to create a linked article, make sure you do it right and make every effort to hyperlink references to league events, statistics, facts and history. A common example would be a game score, which should be linked to the game’s box score. A reference to team finances can link to that team’s Financial Report, while a reference to a previous season can link to the team’s history page.
Final Notes
  • Always proofread your articles before sending them in! One good trick is to read what you’ve written aloud. If it doesn’t sound right to your ears, it can probably be tweaked and improved upon.
  • Learn to use your word processor’s “Replace All” feature. This is an incredibly powerful tool. It will allow you to adjust common errors you discover upon proofreading in one fell swoop. It will also allow you to save yourself time. For instance, instead of repeatedly stopping to copy/paste the name “Martínez” into your article, you can instead shorthand his name as “ma1”. When you’re finished with your article, open the “Replace All” dialogue, type “ma1” into the “Find What” field and type “Martínez” into the “Replace With” field (NOTE: Field names may be different in your word processor). Hit the “Replace All” button and voila! You’ve inserted the name everywhere it needs to go.
  • Pay attention to edits made to your articles and adjust future articles as warranted. If you’re typing out “secondbaseman” and see that it’s being edited to “second baseman”, make a note to type “second baseman” in the future.
  • While you’re certainly welcome to incorporate your personality into your articles, avoid using your articles as a platform to espouse your personal opinions/beliefs on non-MLB Pro-related matters. You should also approach your articles from a realistic angle. It is hard to set aside your bias but keep it to a minimum.
  • Never use your articles as an outlet to vent your frustrations with another owner.
  • Qualitative assessments of other teams can and should be a part of our article landscape. Sometimes these assessments will be critical in nature. If you’re the author of a piece that may be critical of another team, please consider the feelings of that team’s owner. Touch base with him before submitting your article to receive his blessing and make sure that your criticism is taken in context. If you’re the subject of a piece that’s critical of your team, don’t be quick to take insult. The author’s criticism may provide you with ideas on new strategies to try.

Most importantly, take pride in your writing! Your articles are the heart and soul of this league. You should want to put your best foot forward with each article that you write. Don’t be satisfied with just turning something in. Strive for your submission to meet the highest standards. You will have the Commissioner’s thanks for making his job a whole lot easier!

Article XI — Chat/Forum Etiquette

MLB Pro chat and forum are provided as a place for league members to share their thoughts on matters related to the league. Members should create new threads in the appropriate sub-forum. Hateful or bigoted speech is strictly forbidden and grounds for expulsion from the league.

Members are expected to maintain civility when communicating with their peers on the forums. Competitiveness is welcome as long as it is paired with equal amounts of respect. Disagreement and debate will naturally be part of the forum experience, yet at all times, members should consider the feelings of their peers before posting. Members making disrespectful or insulting posts will receive a warning. Hateful, intolerant or bigoted speech will result in a member’s immediate expulsion from the league. Carefully judge the nature of your relationship and act accordingly.

MLB Pro forum etiquette requires that members refrain from making multiple posts in a single thread in a short time span if no response from another member has yet been made. If a member wishes to make a number of quotes and responses, or if he has multiple thoughts to share, he should include them all in one post rather than separate them into multiple small posts made one right after the other. If a member thinks of an addendum to a post he just made, he should edit his last post or wait for another member to respond before posting his new thought.

Article XII — Penalties

From time to time, members of a league fair to follow the rules of the Constitution. While it is something that is avoided at all costs, occasionally penalties are needed to correct actions. In the worst and most chronic of issues may require the most severe of actions. Penalties that can be given to league members can include but are not limited to:

  • Sliding-scale export suspensions
  • Chat ban
  • Forum ban
  • Financial penalties
  • League expulsion

Article XIII — League Settings

The league settings detailed here are subject to change. The Board reserves the right to make changes to league settings during the off-season as he sees fit. As previously stated, any changes to these settings that are vital to the health of the league must be made solely by the Board. Any changes that are optional and do not affect the health of the league will be voted on by the league, in which 2/3rds of both MLB and the Nippon Japanese League (28 votes when the league is full) must vote either in favor of the change or abstain (meaning they are fine with either decision and defer to the wishes of the majority.) Some of these settings have already been mentioned in relevant sections and are posted for reinforcement.

All-Star Game Options
  • Hold All-Star Game: Enabled
  • Automatically Schedule All-Star Game: Enabled
  • All-Star Game decides home field for final playoff round: Enabled
Auto-Save & Log Options
  • Auto-Save: Daily
  • Save Box Scores from: Human Teams
  • Save Game Logs from: Human Teams
  • Save Replays from: Human Teams
  • Keep news logs: All
  • Keep injury logs: All
  • Keep transaction logs: All
Amateur Draft Rules
  • Amateur Draft: Enabled
  • Use pre-defined draft value for AI: Disabled
  • Amateur Draft Date: June 7th (See Section VI)
  • Amateur Draft Number of Rounds: 30
  • Generate Players for X Rounds: 35
  • Amateur Draft Pool Reveal Date: 100 days prior to draft
  • Advanced Draftee Signing (Signing Bonus Negotiations): Disabled
Award Names Setup
  • Pitcher Award Name: Cy Young Award
  • Hitter Award Name: Most Valuable Player Award
  • Rookie Award Name: Rookie of the Year Award
  • Defense Award Name: Gold Glove Award
  • Manager Award Name: General Manager of the Year
Collective Bargaining Agreement Rules
  • 2012 CBA Rule Changes: Enabled
  • Type A/B free agents are eliminated.
  • Only players who spent the entire season with one team are eligible for compensation.
  • A team that signs a compensation-eligible player forfeits its first round draft selection, unless it selects in the top 10, in which case it forfeits its second-highest selection.
  • The player’s former team receives a selection in the supplemental draft round.
  • Drafted players may only sign minor league contracts.
  • The top 22% of players with two years of service will be eligible for salary arbitration (super 2), up from 17%.
Financial & Free Agency Settings
  • Financial System: Enabled
  • Reserve-Clause Era Rules: Disabled
  • Minimum Service Years for Free Agency: 6 Years
  • Generate International Free Agents: More (12 per year)/NPB: Default (2 per year)
  • Draft Pick Compensation for lost FA’s: Enabled
  • Service Years Required for Arbitration: 3 Years
  • Minimum Service Years for Minor League FA: 6 Years/NPB: N/A
Game Options
  • Scouting: Enabled
  • Scouting Accuracy: Very High
  • Coaching: Enabled
League Rules
  • American League Designated Hitter: Enabled
  • National League Designated Hitter: Disabled
  • All minor leagues observe the Designated Hitter rule.
Minor League Structure
  • International League (AAA)
  • Pacific Coast League (AAA)
  • Eastern League (AA)
  • Southern League (AA)
  • Texas League (AA)
  • California League (A)
  • Carolina League (A)
  • Florida State League (A)
  • Midwest League (A)
  • South Atlantic League (A)
  • New York-Penn League (Short-Season A)
  • Northwest League (Short-Season A)
  • Appalachian League (Rookie)
  • Arizona League (Rookie)
  • Gulf Coast League (Rookie)
  • Pioneer League (Rookie)

Minor League Settings

  • Designated Hitter Rule: Various
  • Playoffs: Enabled
Awards
  • Pitcher Award Name: Pitcher of the Year Award
  • Hitter Award Name: Hitter of the Year Award
  • Rookie Award Name: Newcomer of the Year Award
  • Defense Award Name: Glove Wizard
Rosters
  • Active Roster Size: 30 Players (Rookie leagues are unlimited)
  • Disabled List Length: 10 Days

Schedule Options

Season State Date
  • AAA: April 5th (Force Start: Friday)
  • AA: April 4th (Force Start: Thursday)
  • A: April 3rd (Force Start: Wednesday)
  • Short-Season A: June 14th (Force Start: Friday)
  • Rookie: June 17th (Force Start: Monday)
Number of Games
  • AAA: 144
  • AA: 142
  • A: 140
  • Short-Season A: 76
  • Rookie: 68
  • Roster Size Limit: 30 (Rookie League is unlimited)
Misc. Options
  • Player Personality Ratings: Enabled
  • Morale System: Enabled
  • Storylines: Enabled
Playoffs
  • Teams: 10
  • Each divisional leader
  • Two wild card teams per league
Seeding
  • First round matchups determined by: Fixed by Winning %
  • Wild Cards seeding lowest
  • Later rounds matchups: Same as first round.
  • Rounds: Four
  • Home field determined by best record
  • First Round: Wild Card Series — Best of one (#5 vs. #4)
  • Second Round: Divisional Series — Best of five (2 home, 2 away, 1 home)
  • Third Round: League Championship Series — Best of seven (2 home, 3 away, 2 home)
  • Fourth Round: World Series — Best of seven (2 home, 3 away, 2 home)
Rating Scales
  • Player Actual Ratings Scale: 20 to 80
  • Player Potential Ratings Scale: 20 to 80
  • Other Player Ratings Scale: 20 to 80
  • Show Ratings > Max: No, cut off
  • Show Potential < Actual: No, adjust
  • Overall/Potential Rating: None displayed
  • Overall rating based on AI evaluation, not pure ratings: Disabled
  • Overall rating based on all players, not positions: Disabled
  • Coach/Scout Ratings Scale: 20 to 80
Report Options
  • Top Prospect List: Dynamic
  • Preseason Predictions: Automatic
Roster Rules
  • Age Minimum: None
  • Age Maximum: None
  • Active Roster Size: 25 Players/NPB: 30 Players
  • Foreign Players Limit: None
  • Expanded Roster Size: 40 Players
  • Roster Expansion Date: September 1st
  • Post-Season Roster Rules: Enabled
  • Secondary (40-Man) Roster Size: 40 Players
  • Minimum Days of Service for One Service Year: 144
  • Waiver Period Length: 3 Days
  • DFA Period Length: 10 Days
  • Minor League Option Years: Enabled
  • Right to Refuse Minor League Assignment: Enabled
  • Rule 5 Draft: Enabled
  • Disabled List Length: 10 Days
  • Minimum Salary: $535,000
Schedule Options
  • Number of Games per Team: 162
  • Schedule Balance: Enabled
  • Select Typical Series Length: 3 Games
  • Interleague Play: Enabled
Simulation Schedule
  • Days per Sim: One
  • Sim Days per Week: Every Day
  • Team Export Deadline/Sim Time: 8:00 PM EST
  • Real-Time Sim: Enabled
  • Spring Training: Enabled
Suspensions, Injury & Fatigue
  • Suspensions: Enabled
  • Drug Suspensions: Enabled
  • Injuries: Enabled
  • Delayed Injury Diagnosis: Occasionally
  • Hide Injury Rating: Disabled
Team Revenue Settings
  • Average National Media Contracts: $50,000,000
  • National Media Contract Fixed: Yes, same contract for every team
  • Average Local Media Contract: $26,500,000
  • Average Merchandising Revenue: $10,500,000
  • Team Owner controls Budget?: Yes, owner decides over budget
  • Revenue Sharing: Luxury Tax
  • Soft Cap (% of average payroll): 120
  • Tax above Soft Cap (%): 22
  • Cash Maximum: $10,000,000
Trade Rules
  • Player Trades: Enabled
  • Trading Deadline Date: July 31st
  • Trades with other Major Leagues: Disabled
  • Allow trading of recently drafted players: Enabled
  • 10/5 Rule (Veterans have right to veto trades): Enabled
  • Allow draft pick trading: Disabled

Addendum I — File Installation