Ask The Commish: Leave His Roster Alone!

By Reginald James
Reginald James

I forgot to set the trade deadline, which was going to be set for this Friday. I only noticed because I’m trying to pull off a trade before the deadline that was supposed to be. No one trades in our league, and my offer isn’t going over so well, but how would it look if I make a trade and then end trading for the season when it’s not set, even if I meant to do it? The deadline isn’t anything new in our league. Part of me feels it’ll be fine, but another part of me is like it might look fishy even though I’m not trying to get away with something.


You forgot. It happens sometimes. I think it’s cool that you are thinking about the optics of the situation, thinking how it might look to the rest of the league. At least you’re taking that into consideration.


You could leave things as is, and not say anything. The assumption around the league is probably that the deadline is coming up, and will pass. Done. You might be fine if you let it be. Maybe. The only problem, is you risk someone noticing down the road and then deciding to offer a trade to someone. You said no one trades in your league, but the way things go, this will be the year when suddenly you’ll have a flurry of trades - next week, right? At least that’s how I feel my luck would go if I chose to let it go. If you really don’t want to have any league trades past the intended deadline, then just make an announcement that you forgot, and that there will be no more trades allowed past Friday. If you’ve had a trade deadline around the same time in previous years you should be fine if you follow through with what you originally wanted. Your track record is on your side.


There’s a guy in my league who hasn’t been managing his team. He has repeatedly left players on a bye on his starting roster. Crazy thing is, he still wins. He’s in second place and will definitely be in our playoffs. I didn’t really notice, but some of the other guys are talking about it, and want me to do something. I did say something a couple of weeks ago. He does what he wants and pointed out that there’s nothing in the rules that says he has to have all players who are playing. Would it be right to penalize him point-wise, or force a roster move manually?


Number one, leave his roster alone. No, you should not do anything of the sort. That would definitely not be right. You especially should not even think about penalizing him. He’s been doing this all along, and you just said something to him recently. It’s too late. Leave him alone. Some leagues have rules that dictate you can’t have a player on your active starting roster who is on a bye week. You don’t have such a rule, so there’s only so much you can say from a rules standpoint. You can suggest all you want, but the bar has been set. The time to say something would’ve been the first time he did it. Maybe you will add the applicable rule next year, but this isn’t 2022. I don’t think you are in the position to impose anything on him at this point.


What the guy was doing didn’t hit your radar. By the way, you as commissioner, should be paying attention to what everyone in your league is doing. Not because you’re looking to needlessly impose your will on anyone - just because you’re commissioner, but exactly for situations like this. Your league mates may have noticed a while back, but maybe they didn’t care because they expected him to lose, eventually, except he didn’t. Who are these guys who came to you? They know what the rules are. Maybe they’re jealous that he’s doing so well in spite of himself a.k.a. beating them.


Let me be clear, I’m not endorsing someone slacking in that fashion. It’s cool if people actually act as if they are really trying to play the game. However, what he’s done, or not done in this sense, is within the confines of the rules. He’s right, he’s allowed to do it. It’s working out for them. In this (rare) case, he’s not losing. You’re also not accusing him of cheating. In other words, I’m not sure exactly what you’re supposed to do, except get a Post-it, start a to-do list for changes you will consider for next year, and put it on your refrigerator.


If you’re not in love with his playing style, and you don’t intend on modifying the rules, then don’t invite them back next year. If he wins, he’s going to think his “style” works. Instead, you should take a look at your rules, and decide what you want for your league and construct them accordingly. If he’s cool in every other way, meaning someone who you really wouldn’t want to kick out, then just make your rules more specific next year and he’ll have to abide by them.



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