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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Official Cardboard Junkie 2010 Topps Heritage Blaster Fantasy League Rules Page

Here are the rules I came up with. I am the Creator and Commish of this league, my words are Law. Don't like it, start your own league with your own rules. Now for the rules. I'm going to try to make this as uncomplicated as possible, but for people who haven't played rotisserie league baseball, it might seem pretty foreign. I'm gonna start simple and work up from there.

tl;dr rules:

1) rip a blaster
2) put together your team
3) wait six months
4) see if you won

It's that simple.

Basic rules:

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:
2 Catchers
1 First Baseman
1 Second Baseman
1 Shortstop
1 Third Baseman
3 Outfielders
1 Corner Infielder (1B or 3B)
1 Middle Infielder (2B or SS)
1 Outfielder
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:

Home Runs
Stolen Bases
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.

Advanced rules:

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)


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.


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.

Mulligan rule: 

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. 

Bonus Points:

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...


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)
Black Refractor

MLB Logo Patch
Dual or Triple Anything
Autograph + Relic Anything
Cut signature

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...

3) Prizes
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.


TheBrooklynMet said...

This sounds fun! If I was not so blatantly unenthusiastic about Heritage this year or you needed extra people to join the league, I'd be in. Very cool rules!

Captain Canuck said...

if I may post a prize suggestion, what with me being an outsider locked out of your fascist contest based purely on your xenophobic requirements that a heritage blaster be bought at target or walmart, but I digress... how about all of the hits that people pull, or even all of the cards from all the blasters be pooled and awarded to the winner(s)??? Kinda like Pack Wars.

zman40 said...

This sounds like a fun and super-lazy way to play fantasy baseball. I'M IN!

I vote for a wait-until-the-end-of-the-season type format. That just sounds like it would be easier. I'll make sure to pick up a blaster this weekend.

Play at the Plate said...

I think I'll experiment with videoing my break and posting on youtube. I've never done that before, but I'll give it a shot tomorrow. I'm down with sending some cards for a prize.

madding said...

I'm psyched about all of it except the video part. I do have a digital camera that would probably suffice, but I'm not all that certain I'm patient or sane enough to talk to a tiny digital camera for 10 minutes or so about baseball cards.

madding said...

For prizes, I'm willing to offer up any non-Cardinals chrome/chrome refractors I get from 2010 Heritage, including the CC Sabathia refractor I already ended up with. I guarantee this will be the only 2010 Heritage blaster I purchase for at least the next several months (I have other collecting priorities at the moment). You can compare the cards I get from my blaster with the list of cards I already own as of this date if you're paranoid about me Cheechin'.


mmosley said...

This seems lazy enough for us new dads! Plus, I can pay less attention to my Mets.

dayf said...

We're up to about 19 if everyone who has expressed interest actually does this.

Addressing concerns:

Canuck: an equivalent 8 packs of Heritage is perfectly acceptable. A blaster is simply an easy unit of measurement.

Since most people will be sticking the cards from their blaster straight into their set, I didn't think base cards from the blasters would be a good option. Especially if we have to keep them separate for 6 months while the season plays out. Plus this is a way for us to get rid of some 'hits' that we would other wise not care about.

Madding: A video is not necessary if you are uncomfortable with it. Just use the digital camera to take picks of each pack and make a list of all the cards. However, if you're worried about looking foolish, just remember that I've already been called a big fat Santa Clause and that you could not possibly do anything as ridiculous as Mark's Ephemera and his Bustabad video.

Play at the Plate: good luck with the video! I suggest that if this is your first time, fool around with thte camera a bit first to make sure it looks ok before actually ripping the box. Especially the sound. A lot of times webcams have this weird hum to the sound. An external mic usually fixes that.

Play at the Plate said...

Thanks Dayf, I'll give the laptop a try tonight and see how it goes before I do the real rip. Thanks.

deal said...

love it - I am in!!

What positions can I put Abe Lincoln at?

AdamE said...

Bust a blaster and wait 6 months???

At the rate some people are picking your this will be over and done before our online one has even set teams.

Cardsplitter said...

I am ready to run off to Wally today and pick up a blaster.

Not to tell you anything, fascist bully boy, but you should have an awesome team name rule too. Teams should have a basebally name, with a real life city, etc, and good team name.

Oh. Maybe I am the fascist.

Don said...

Dave, this sounds like a great idea. I am with the Captain in that the prize pool should be the hits or the cards from the blaster that no one wants (non-Cards in Madding's case). If you need one more to make 20 I will be happy to do this, or if another blog wants to do this contact me.

dayf said...

Deal: If Topps sneaked a stealth Abe into Heritage I am going to punch Michael Eisner's dog square in the nose.

AdamE: I said this is a low key relaxed kind of fantasy league. As is ours, sadly.

Don, you are #20 in line if you wish to join in the silly. I'm honestly not expecting everyone who expressed interest to actually go out an do this.

Ante (if we do go down that road) will be up to the player so if everyone wants to get rid of their crummy Heritage cards, so be it.

Cardsplitter: My team name is now officially "Darling fascist bully-boy... Give me some more money... You bastard... May the seed of your loins be fruitful in the belly of your woman... Neil."

Or Cliff Richard for short.

PunkRockPaint said...

Got my blaster on the way home last night... Pitching heavy. I'll try to post it this evening.

Don said...

Count me in. Wal-Mart better not run out of blasters before I pick one up.

Collective Troll said...

I don't know if there is still space available, but... This might be hard for folks to believe but I have yet to rip a single pack of 2010 Heritage. I have been looking for a good excuse to drop the 20 bucks and this fits the bill. Should my wife call and inquire to you, just explain it is a blogger requirement, a work expense... I am in if there is space! I will buy the blaster on payday and post it up next week... I have MANY pack rips to post next week. Thanks for a great idea! Oh, I quit reading the rules partway through. Sorry, I was just amped to have a real reason to buy a blaster.

Anonymous said...

Box is in hand, gentleman - IN HAND. I'll either video my rip or do a picture-story.

Good luck you magnificent monkeys!

AdamE said...

I just went and bought my first blaster of 2010. So if one of the 20 doesn't follow through I would like to join. Either way I'm posting the break. I didn't pull a single catcher though.

Pop Startled said...

Hey Dayf, don't know if you got my other message, but, presuming that I'm in, here's a link to the break.


Play at the Plate said...

Alright, I busted my blaste on video. Now to figure out how to post it on Youtube.

TheRealDFG said...

Despite my best interest, this absolutely intrigues me and I want in. Can I? Please? No, seriously? I want in.

PunkRockPaint said...

I am up and running...


Play at the Plate said...

Here is the post with my very first youtube video...which contains my Heritage Blaster Break.


TheRealDFG said...

It's not the greatest but here is my first attempt at a video box break and my entry for the League.


And as for the prize thing, I wouldn't be heart broken giving up pretty much everything that I pulled from my box (except the Pirates).

IkesCards said...

OK... Here's our partial entry. Opened the box tonight but will wait until Isaac understands the rules and decides on a team over the weekend.


Todd Uncommon said...

Can I scratch out Nick Swisher's position and make him a pitcher?

I heard he did pretty OK last year.

dayf said...

Let's consult the rulebook:

"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."

Hmm... no pitchers can be position players, but can a position player be a pitcher? Nick did pitch an inning last year... But it would be a pain to track down hitter's pitching stats... Oh wait, Nick is a Yankee.

Draw all over that damn card. Nick can be a pitcher if you really want him to be.