Updated: 11/11/2018

1. Introduction

The Peter Gammons Baseball League (PGBL) is a computer-simulated fantasy baseball league.  A 162-game schedule is played by each of the 20 league teams.  The PGBL is divided into four Divisions of five teams each, with two Divisions in each of the two Leagues.  The four division winners qualify for the playoffs, along with the next two best teams in each league as wildcards.  The two division champions are the #1 and #2 seeds (based on records) and the two wildcard teams are #3 and #4.  The #4 team plays the #1 team, and #2 plays #3 in a best of five, the first two games at the higher seed, the next two at the lower seed, and the final game at the higher seed’s stadium.  The winners of the wildcard round then face each other in a best-of-seven League Championship.  The format is 2-3-2, with the higher seed hosting the first and third series.  Finally, the PGBLChampionship matches the winner of each league in a best-of-seven series, again a 2-3-2 format with the league champion with the best record hosting the first and third series.

PLAYOFF TIEBREAKERS – used to determine seeding ONLY.  To determine a playoff spot, a one game playoff shall be used.  The following is to break a tie for SEEDING PURPOSES ONLY.

1.  Head-to-head record

2.  Divisional record (if tied teams are from the same division)

3.  League record (if tied teams are from opposite divisions)

4.  Fewest runs allowed

5.  Coin flip

Other tie-break scenarios are:

Three-way tie for the division or wildcard
If the three teams have identical records against each other in the regular season, the office of the commissioner conducts a draw with the teams designated as teams A, B, and C. First, team A plays team B with team A as the home team. The following day, the winner of the that game plays team C with team C as the away team. The winner of the game on the second day advances to the playoffs. The team designations are determined as follows:

  • If the teams do not have identical records against one another, and one team has a best record against both other teams, and another team has a winning record against the final team, the first team shall get the first pick of their team designation, the second team gets the second pick, and the last team is assigned the remaining designation.
  • If one team has a better record against both of the other teams, and the two other teams have the same record against each other, then the first team would get the first pick for team designation, and the other teams would draw lots. The winner of the draw would get the second pick, and the loser of the draw would be assigned the remaining designation.
  • If two teams have the same record against each other, and both have a better record than the last team, then the first two teams draw lots, with the winner choosing their designation first, the loser of the draw picking their designation second and the final team being assigned the remaining designation.
  • If each team has a winning record against one other team in the three team group, and a losing record against the other team in the three team group, the priority for choosing designations shall be chosen based on overall winning percentage within the three team group, any ties in winning percentage within the three team group will be broken by drawing lots.

“Mixed” three-way tie
The situation may arise that two teams from the same division are tied for the division championship, but they are also tied with another team from a different division, with that team not having the best record in their division, but having a better record than all of the other non-division winners.

In this case the two teams in the same division play a one game playoff, with the winner declared the division champion. The next day, the loser of the first game, and the other team from the other division play each other, with the winner declared the wildcard

2. Expansion

For any expansion to occur, a majority of the league board is required.  After approval, the board determines the number of teams and the method of expansion (i.e. drafts, protections).

3. Rosters

Roster limits are as follows, according to the date on the PGBL Calendar:

  1. End of the Waiver Draft to final cuts before the draft – 45
  2. After final cuts before the draft to the Waiver Draft – 55

During the regular season (Opening Day until August 31), the active roster is 25 players.  After August 31, the active roster limit is 40.  All teams must use a five man starting pitching rotation, must carry at least a five-person bullpen and at least two catchers on the active roster. Catcher is defined as a player with a catcher defensive rating in Diamond Mind Baseball.  The use of a DH is required in all games. Other than that, there are no restrictions on the make-up of the roster.

The Playoff Roster is comprised of no more than 25 fully qualified players on the roster as of midnight on August 31 (in the PGBL Season calendar).  With the trade deadline on July 31, only free agents added in August of the PGBL calendar (before the free agents are frozen) can be added to the playoff roster. If a playoff team loses a catcher to injury after August 31 and the injury extends to the playoffs, the team affected may claim a catcher if they only have one qualified catcher. The claimed catcher must fully qualify and the claiming team cannot exceed 45 players. The roster can be changed before each round of the playoffs and any player injured during a playoff round can be replaced on the roster during the round — but the replacement player will be required to stay on the roster through the next round.

If any player transaction puts a team over the limit of 45 players, the team has 24 hours to rectify the situation.  If the situation is not rectified, the team will forfeit a 5th round draft pick.  For each subsequent violation, the next highest draft pick will be forfeited.  If no draft picks remain, the league office will make the final decision, and the team will be placed on probation.

In the event of an injury to a starting pitcher, teams have the option to use a 4-man rotation for one turn through the order before being forced to add another pitcher to the order.

A player sent to the minor leagues must remain there for a minimum of 10 PGBL season days before he can be recalled.  The only exception to this rule would be if he is needed as an injury replacement before the 10 day period has expired, and can only be recalled to replace a player added to the DL.  This rule does not apply after the rosters are expanded to 40 for the month of September.

4. Drafts

There are two different drafts in the PGBL.

I. Winter Draft: All free agents are eligible to be drafted in this 10 round draft.  The draft order is set based on the reverse order of the records and postseason placement from the just completed season (in case of tie, the year prior to previous is used as tiebreaker). All draft picks are tradable. Players not appearing in a major league game from the previous season may ONLY be selected in the 10 rounds of the Winter Draft.

II. Free Agent/Waiver Draft: Occurs at a predetermined date after All teams cut to 45 man rosters. Eligible players are players with MLB experience in previous year and players cut after the Winter Draft. Draft order is same as previous Winter Draft.  Picks are NOT tradable.  If a player is claimed and the claiming team is over 45 men with the claim, the team must IMMEDIATELY waive someone to get back to 45 men.  Teams may pass if they wish, and may pick again later if they so choose.  The draft ends when one complete round is passed by all the teams.

5. Trades

Trades of any kind are permitted, but are subject to review for collusion from the league office.  After any trade, the roster must be at 45 (with the 24 hour rule in rule #3 above applicable).  Beginning with the 2024 draft, only picks in the next PGBL draft are tradable. Upon conclusion of the real MLB season, the next year’s PGBL picks become tradable. Example – Upon conclusion of the 2022 MLB season, 2024 PGBL draft picks will be eligible to be traded.

Trades for “future considerations” or “players to be named later” are also allowable, but the teams must agree to the considerations at the time of the trade (a specific player or players, or a list of players to choose from at a later date).

No player with any major league experience will be allowed to be traded as “PTBNLs;” only “prospects” or draft picks may be used as “future considerations.”  All PTBNL will be transferred to their new teams no later than one week following the conclusion of the PGBL World Series (teams can agree to complete the trade earlier if desired).

The league office must approve the list of players for the trade to be considered final.  If any disputes arise, the two teams will present their cases to an arbitrator who will make a binding decision.

Any trade involving a draft pick that is not currently owned by a team will be voided, as will all subsequent transactions.  The trade will not be approved until the draft pick is resolved.

There are two unique rules for teams that do not have a permanent owner.

I. No draft picks past the current draft year may be traded.

II. Any trade involving draft picks from round 1-5 must be unanimously approved by the league officers.

6. “Rent-A-Player” & Disabled Lists

During the course of a season, injuries will occur in the game.  If someone is injured, you may place him on the Disabled List.  Anyone placed on the disabled list must remain there for a minimum of 15 days.  While the player is on the disabled list, you may “rent” a free agent to fill his spot on your active roster if you wish.  In order to be eligible as a “Rent-A-Player” the player must qualify to play a FULL season at his position.  This “rented” player will NOT count against your 45 man roster.  Once the DL’d player is healthy, the “rented” player MUST be released or promoted to you roster by releasing a different player.  A player released from his “Rent-A-Player” service will be placed on waivers before he is returned to the regular free agent pool. No “rented” player can be promoted to the active roster once the free agent deadline (August 31 of season calendar) has passed.

7. Waivers/Free Agents

Any player released from a team is placed on waivers.  There are two different waiver periods for claiming released players:

I. During the season (up to and including the World Series), if a team wishes to place a player on waivers, he will submit a submission via the website.  Teams may places confidential claims for a player for 24 hours once the release is posted publicly to the website, at which time the player is awarded to the team with the highest priority claim.

Priority is based on reverse order of league winning percentage at the time of the player’s release, with the tiebreaker being last year’s record.  If a player who played in the majors clears waivers without being claimed, he becomes a free agent.  If it was a player without major league experience last season, he becomes ineligible until the following Winter Draft.

Players being rented on August 31 who are released on or after September 1 are not eligible to be claimed when they are released and are not eligible for promotion to the 45 man roster, unless it is declared before September 1.

II. After the season, all players waived are done so through submissions on the website.  After the transaction is posted to the website, the player goes on waivers for 24 hours, at which time he is awarded to the team with the highest priority claim.  Priority during this period is based on the upcoming Winter Draft’s order.  If a player goes unclaimed during this period, he returns to the draft pool.

During the PGBL season any player who appeared in a major league game the prior season who is not on a roster may be claimed by any team, with free agents being awarded in a “first-come, first-served” fashion.  All Free Agents are frozen at midnight on August 31st (on season calendar) each season.  After that, only “Rent-A-Players” are allowed, and free agents are not awarded again until after the Waiver Draft had occurred.

8. Playing Limits

To be eligible to play a full season (and to be eligible for post-season participation) the following playing limits have been established:

  1. Position Players – 200 plate appearances
  2. Starting Pitchers
    1. 12 starts AND 75 innings pitched
  3. Relief Pitchers – 40 innings pitched or 40 games pitched.

Hitters between 100 and 199 plate appearances will be eligible to play up to their plate appearances and then will be ineligible for further play on any team.  Any other players under the minimums will not be allowed to play in the game AT ALL.  If you are planning on using any hitters between 100 and 199 plate appearances, you must email the rest of the league of your intentions so we can “self-police” this rule. If a player with less than 200 plate appearances is put on the 25 man active roster, that player is required to stay on the 45 man roster until the end of the PGBL season. The player can be traded but the team acquiring that player must be notified he has to keep the player until the end of the PGBL season.

Regardless of the number of innings he pitched in MLB that season, any pitcher with eight (8) or more starts in MLB may be used as a replacement pitcher for an injury or during the final week of the season to rest pitchers for the playoffs. When used to replace an injured pitcher, a replacement starter MUST be removed from the rotation when the injured pitcher is healthy, and no replacement starter may exceed his number of actual starts. To be eligible to be used in a spot start, the pitcher must average at least 4 IP per appearance.

If a player is used incorrectly (an ineligible pitcher starting a game, or a partially qualified player going past his playing limits) that is not the fault of the simulation, the team in violation will be forced to forfeit a 5th round pick in the upcoming draft.

If the team does not have a 5th round pick in the upcoming draft, it will forfeit the next highest pick it has at the time, up to a second round pick.  If the resulting pick would be a 1st round pick, the penalty will be enforced the following season, starting with the 4th round pick and going forward, including a 1st round pick if necessary.

9. Stadiums/Cities

Each team will choose a stadium from the stadiums provided on the Diamond Mind baseball disk.  No duplicate stadiums are allowed. If the stadium you are playing in is replaced, you will get the replacement stadium in the same city as your previous one. We will conduct a Stadium Draft every five years.  The next Stadium Draft is scheduled for the beginning of the 2023 season.  There is no penalty for changing cities and/or nicknames although such changes should be limited to the offseason. Teams are encouraged but not required to remain in their division’s geographic area.

Any owner new to the league is allowed to change his team’s stadium in favor of an unoccupied stadium if he so desires.

10.    Disputes/Rules Not Covered

Any disputes with the rules and/or any rules not specifically covered here will be decided by the league board, and any rule changes or additions will be made to the rulebook.

11.    League Officers

The league officers will be responsible for voting on all new rules and resolving any disputes that arise, including, but not limited to: rules enforcement, new rules, dispute resolution and dealing with any rules not covered within this rulebook.  Any vote of new policy must be approved by a majority of the following:

Commissioners: Alex Czurylo, Joe Deacon, Brett Loy, Wes Ward
(Advisory Former Commissioners: Phil Geiersbach, Douglas Czurylo)