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03 March, 2011

Alternative Fantasy Baseball Leagues

I've never been much of one for fantasy sports.
I get why people play them and enjoy them, I just don't
by the rational. But that's another topic for another time.
So I am here to present two different options for enjoying
a fantasy baseball type game without all the heavy lifting.

Some 30 years ago my dad and I drove to Winter Park, Fl., 
to visit my brother at Rollins College. We stayed in a hotel 
called The Langford. It was here that the three of us created
a home runs only league, which we dubbed The Langfords.
Fantasy was just going mainstream but we wanted to keep it simple. 
So we created a league of 10 players per person that would 
The home of The Langfords
reward a point for every home run hit by your team. 
Winner got 50 cents a homer off the differential from the other two teams. 
Over the years we have tweaked it.
Here are our current rules.
Each team has a roster of 6. 
4 players are active. 
1 is on the bench. homers hit while on the bench do not count toward your team's total.
1 is on the DL and must be on the DL for 15 days from the time he is placed there. 
Each HR is worth 1 point.
A grand slam is worth 4.
Roster moves can only be made on Mondays (easier for league commissioner to maintain).
All-Star game HR worth 2.
Home Run Derby winner worth 4.
Rosters freeze on 9/1
HRs hit in LDS are worth 2, in LCS 3 and World Series
homers are worth 4. This puts a strategy on the roster moves
before 9/1 and deciding who to cut loose and who to pick up or 
All 6 roster members are active during the playoffs.
You can keep 1 player from your final roster the next season.
Winner gets .50 per homer from the other league members. 
So if winner has 100 homers and 2nd place guy has 80, he owes $10.
It's low-maintenance but still lots of fun.

As crazy as it sounds, this one is really a lot of fun.
In my league we draft 5 umpires and one manager.
Any time your ump tosses someone or your manager get tossed, 
you get a point.
The beauty of this league is it makes watching random games
SO much more enjoyable. Any time there is an argument you
scramble to see if it's one of your guys. Any time there is a bean ball
war, the chance for a huge score is intoxicating. Important tip, it's
always good to have at least one crew chief on your team because 
in a brawl situation, all subsequent ejections from the instigators get
credited to the crew chief. There are places on-line where you can
Bob Davidson is Albert Pujols
look up last year's ejection leaders, so it's easy research. Getting your 
hands on Bob Davidson or Joe West is just like having Albert Pujols
or Hanley Ramirez on your fantasy team. Just trust me 
on this, the enjoyment factor of this league will sneak up on you. 
When the Baseball Tonight guys do an update to a game and say 
"tempers flaring in Texas tonight!" you instantly perk up. 

  So there you go. If you don't want to spend too much time 
worrying about WHIP and other stats, or having to research who 
every team's 2nd baseman or closer is going to be, these are two 
light-lifting alternatives that can be a lot of fun. I hope you give them
a try. 

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