1) rip a blaster
2) put together your team
3) wait six months
4) see if you won
It's that simple.
Read these first. This is more or less basic rotisserie baseball plus opening and sorting cards. If this section totally bewilders you, this league may not be for you. Feel free to ask me any questions you wish after reading this post. This section will detail what you need to do to set up your team. After this section I'll get into detail on some of the weird stuff.
Step One: Acquire your players
Buy one blaster of 2010 Heritage. These are usually found at Wal-Mart or Target, but you knew that already.
Rip the blaster thoroughly. Document the ripping in some fashion. Video, scans, photos. At bare minimum you need to have a list of every card pulled from every pack.
Sort out the cards in the blaster into three piles:
Pile 1: all the base cards of individual players and chrome cards of players.
Pile 2: All the subset cards (MVPs and All-Stars) and insert cards.
Pile 3: the managers, combo cards, highlight cards, team cards and checklists.
Take the pile of base cards (and Chrome) and sort them by position.
Choose your team. The team consists of 20 players:
1 First Baseman
1 Second Baseman
1 Third Baseman
1 Corner Infielder (1B or 3B)
1 Middle Infielder (2B or SS)
1 Utility (Any position player or DH)
7 Pitchers (Starters or relievers)
That equals 13 position players and 7 pitchers. The pitchers part is open for discussion, more on that later.
Part Two: Scoring
Like I said, this is pure rotisserie baseball, no head to head combat here. This is a low key league for fantasy players who want to be lazy. If you want to tally up 14 scores a week, feel free to start your own league and warm up that calculator.
Here are the categories:
On Base Percentage
These are basically the original rotisserie categories except for two changes:
Batting average is replaced with OBP because batting average is a useless overrated stat.
WHIP is replaced with strikeouts because WHIP is a pain in the ass to calculate. Also: strikeouts are fascist.
Here is how the scoring will work:
Basically standard rotisserie league scoring.
Each team will have their totals added up for each category.
For each category, all teams will be ranked from highest to lowest.
The team with the highest ranking gets 14 points. The next highest, 13 points and so on.
This is repeated for each category, and the points added up.
The team with the most points at the end of the season wins.
Substitutions and roster changes:
None. I'm not dealing with that crap. I'm not making this any more complicated than I have to.
That's basically it. Now to the bizarre nuances that will turn this fun exercise into a nightmarish complicated horror.
You can't Tell ME What to Do Rule:
These rules are specifically designed for 2010 Topps Heritage. If you want to form a league for another product, you will want to tweak them to your needs. As mentioned before, 2010 Upper Deck would be another good product for this game. 2007 Upper Deck Black, not so much.If you want to deviate from the Heritage the perfect product will have three qualities:
A large player selection (Upper Deck base GOOD - UD Ultimate BAD)
A single series (Topps Heritage GOOD - Heritage High Numbers BAD)
Between 60-80 cards in the box (64 card blaster GOOD - 192 card hobby box BAD)
This league will use 2010 Topps Heritage blasters (or equivalent 8 packs)
NO CHEECH Rule:
Before this guy permanently appropriated the word, CHEECH was a term used by my mom's great aunt while playing cards. If she caught you in the act of shenanigans, she would point to you and scream "YOU CHEECH!!!" From then on it became the default term in our family to point out a dirty cheater at cards.
Most of us probably have at least half a set of this stuff already so we need some proof that your blaster actually has the cards you claimed are in it. Do this by:
Videoing the box rip.
Take pictures of the rip.
Scan all the cards from the rip.
Type out a pack by pack, card by card listing of the rip.
Post this to your blog. If you don't have one get the evidence to me so I can post it on mine.
While it would be extraordinarily easy to sneak a few good cards into the box break or to palm a Ryan Howard in a video rip or to buy 5 blasters, video 'em all and pick the best one, you would never do that because you are all wonderfully good people. Besides, doing so will give you bad karma and you don't want that on opening week, do you?
Team building rules:
When first building your team, remember to use only base cards and chrome cards. No subsets or combos or leaders cards or inserts. For simplicity's sake, a base card will be defined thusly:
A base card is any card that features one player and has a career line of stats on the back.
Subsets and insert rule:
Each team can include one SP subset or insert card in their lineup.
The card has to be of a single player (No Then & Nows).
If you want to put Carl Yastrzemski in your outfield, you may, but he may not hit many home runs this year.
I am limiting this to one card per team because it would get a bit ridiculous if everyone sported an All-Star team full of inserts.
Missing position rules:
Even though there are 64 cards in a blaster there is a decent chance that you may be missing a position player.
There are two ways to fill in that spot:
Combo Halvsies rule:
If you have a combo card with a player from a position you are missing on it, you can use that player in your lineup, BUT all stats from that player are divided by the number of players on the combo card.
Example because this is confusing:
You end up not having a starting third baseman on your team, but you pull the Royals Bashers combo card with Alex Gordon and Billy Butler, the NL Home Run Leaders card with Mark Reynolds and three other players and the Atlanta Braves team card. You can fill that empty third base spot with one of these cards.
1) You can use Alex Gordon for your starting third baseman, but all his stats are reduced by half.
2) You can use the League Leaders card, but Mark Reynolds' stats are divided by four.
3) You can make Chipper Jones your third baseman, but all his stats are divided by however many players are in the team photo. Yes you have to count.
Yes, you get reduced points, but reduced is better than a goose egg.
The 1981 Topps Rule:
If you are missing a position player you may take any base card in the box, scratch out the position with a writing utensil, and write in the position you need. There are limits to this immense power, however.
This can only be done for one player per team and ONLY if you are actually missing a position player. I know of a few players who would customize their entire team if given the chance. ONLY ONE DO YOU HEAR ME. I HAVE SPOKEN.
No SPs, Chrome or inserts, only base cards # 1-425.
You have to scratch out the position on the front and the back.
I need a scan or picture of the card sent to me so I can post it in all its scribbly glory.
While it is not necessary to further embellish the card, it is also not prohibited.
To repeat. ONLY ONE CARD. ONLY IF YOU ARE MISSING A POSITION PLAYER. I WILL BANNINATE TRANSGRESSORS.
No pitchers for obvious reasons. I'm not taking the time to calculate an American League pitcher's interleague at bats just so you can have a second baseman.
Ok, here's a rule designed to thwart Murphy, or at least make a contingency for his inevitable appearance.
If a player gets a mutant blaster with all relief pitchers and outfielders with no possible chance of building a team, The player may try again with a second blaster with the approval of half the league. This is to be used only if you have no possible player at several positions, NOT if all your players suck. These situations will be judged on a case by case basis.
If it happens a second time, you have incredibly bad luck and we'll figure something out.
Everyone is likely to get stuck with a handful of useless team and manager cards. You may choose one team and one manager if you wish. Everyone choosing a team or manager card will be ranked as normal on the following categories:
Team: Most Wins
Manager: Least losses
I chose the least losses for the manager card to add strategy. A lousy manager who gets fired in May will likely have less losses than the great one who wins his division by twenty games.
You don't have to choose a team or manager if you don't want to. Points are added to the total at the end of the year.
1st place - points equal to the number of entries
2nd place - points equal to half the number of entries rounded down
3rd place - 1 bonus point
everyone else - bupkis
Example because this is confusing:
7 out of 14 players enter the Team bonus points category. First place gets 7 bonus points, second place gets 3, third place gets 1.
Again, this is not mandatory. If you get mediocre teams and managers where you have no chance of winning, you can skip this and screw the eventual winner out of a point. That point may make the difference...
SUPAR MOJO BONUS:
If you are lucky enough to pull a nifty mojo hit, you get extra bonus points because life isn't fair for all the rest of us who bought a crummy box. Here are the points:
Relic : 2 points
Dice Game: 4 points
Stamp card: 6 points
Autograph: 8 points
Two caveats to this:
1) if you can't find blasters and end up getting 8 hobby packs instead (yes this is legal) all MOJOs are worth half as many points. Hobby hits are not as satisfying as retail hits.
2) if you pull something completely insane you'll get nothing and like it. By insane I mean:
Base '61 Chase variation (whatever the hell that is)
MLB Logo Patch
Dual or Triple Anything
Autograph + Relic Anything
If you pull a cut sig out of a goddamn blaster and then complain that you don't get 8 bonus points in a stupid fantasy game I will personally drive to your house and smack you repeatedly.
Ok, that's about it for the rules. If I forgot anything I'll let you know.
There are three things open for discussion:
1) Seven pitchers
I chose seven because 20 is a round number and I have seen blasters before with very few pitchers in them. If you're missing a shortstop, you can scribble on an Alex Rodriguez double and move him back there. If you're missing a pitcher or two, you're likely SOL. If you want more pitchers, complain in the comments and I'll take it into consideration.
2) Monthly winners
Right now this league is basically rip a blaster and wait 6 months. If you want I can declare a monthly or bi-monthly winner. This would be more work for me though and would really only be necessary if we had...
I haven't worked out the logistics yet, but if everyone antes up a few good cards we don't want we can build a pretty good prize pool for the winners of the league. Basically first place would get the lion's share of the prize pool, second place gets less and the 3rd place winner gets the scraps. Monthly winners could get a card or two if we have enough donations. If you truly have nothing like this to ante up, then I'll work something out. If you don't want to be in a contest for prizes, you can just skip the ante and do a team anyway.
If you're interested in doing this I require two things: You have to pledge your cards before the April 18th deadline, and you have to send your cards before the end of the season. If you don't, then no prize for you. If you pledge cards and then back out when you find out your team is crummy than you are a fink and shall be recognized as such.
Discuss this in the comments, You can e-mail me with any questions. If you already have your blaster and can't wait to rip it, then go ahead and send me the results.