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League Mission and Requirements Overview:

The goal of Pre-Smiley is to replay the seasons from 1967 backwards, attempting to maintain a certain amount of the integrity of the actual franchise rosters through those years, while at the same time allowing owners the flexibility to manipulate their team through trades and yearly free agent drafts. Owners play their own road games and submit instructions for home games.

This league is designed for owners who may be fans of a single club, and want to experience both the high and low points that their favorite team went through over the years. At the outset of the league, each owner selected a team, received all players on that team for the 1967 season, and will automatically receive all future retirees for that team. We began play with 8 A.L. and 8 N.L. franchises in 1967, leaving 4 teams (Phillies, Astros, Indians, Angels) permanently unowned.

You must have the latest version of the Strat-O-Matic CD-ROM Baseball game at all times and each season's authorization code as we come to them. You will also need a utility that can zip and unzip files.

We are looking for owners who intend to make a long-term commitment to this league and to their franchise.

Role of Commissioner:

The Commissioner has the authority and the responsibility for seeing that the Pre-Smiley league is run in a fair and equitable manner at all times. The Commissioner may take any action which is deemed to be in the best interests of the league, including, but not limited to:

Penalties up to and including expulsion from the league may be imposed for continued violation of league rules, or for any action which is detrimental to a fair replay. Actions taken by owners which constitute making a travesty of the league may result in immediate expulsion.


The Pre-Smiley league will follow the structure of Major League Baseball in any given season, with the exception that we will have four fewer teams. From 1968 through 1962 there were two 8-team leagues. The Mets and Senators were disbanded following the 1962 season, and Pre-Smiley now consists of two 7-team leagues.

Each Pre-Smiley season was 162 games through 1962, and 154 games beginning in 1961. Player cards will always be adjusted to reflect 10% extra usage (5% beginning in 1941).

Once you have taken over as the owner of a particular franchise, that franchise is yours for the duration of your membership in Pre-Smiley; there will be no franchise jumping under normal circumstances.

While ownership of multiple teams is permitted (an owner can have no more than one team in a league), trades of either a direct or indirect nature will not be allowed between teams owned by the same person, and games between those teams will be simmed at the league office. No owner will ever be required to own more than one team.

Yearly Free Agent Drafts:

The league initially used an unweighted, random draft order which applied to all rounds, for all but the lowest 2 slots, which go to the league champions. Effective with the 1957 draft, the lottery for the first 12 draft slots is weighted (12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1) to give the weaker teams a better chance at a top draft slot. Effective with the 1953 draft, the lottery results apply to round 1 only and from rounds 2 on the order is determined by the reverse order of the previous season's standings.

Team Rosters and Limits:

Rosters are limited to a maximum of 31 players during a season. We will draft up to 28 players per team, and free agents may be acquired during the season. The roster limit of 31 must not be exceeded at any time. If a trade is made where a team acquires more players than it gives up and exceeds the roster limit, it must release players in order to stay at or below the roster limit.

The draft and roster limits may vary from year to year based on the number of available players. The in-season roster limit will always be 3 more than the draft limit.

Effective with the 1950 draft, teams can retain no more than 1850 IP of pitching. The amount being retained is determined by the number of innings shown on each pitchers' card after the usage bonus given to all players. The total amount is shown on the Draft Report in Strat. This amount does not include the extra usage given to certain bad pitchers. For example, a pitcher with 40 IP on his card but an ERA over 4.75 still counts as only 40 IP against the limit.

A team with more than 1850 IP on its roster going into a draft must cut Unrestricted pitchers (or cuttable rookies) in order to comply with the limit. The limit of 1850 may be changed (most likely lowered) if necessary.

A team may acquire at most one free agent in a week. If multiple teams attempt to acquire the same player, the team which has the worst record as of the end of the previous week (the previous season, for Week 1 claims) gets precedence.

A season will consist of 17 'weeks'. A team's active roster is limited to 25 players from Week 1 through Week 13. From Week 14 to the end of a season, rosters may be expanded to 29 players. A team's roster for postseason play will be the players they own as of Week 13. No players acquired after Week 13 are eligible for postseason play.

There will be 44 games of autoplay in the middle of each season, split into five segments of 8 or 9 games each, with one day of rest assigned prior to each segment. Owners will therefore have five opportunites to update their CMs during autoplay.

Roster moves from the active to the inactive roster are unlimited and may be made weekly. Roster moves are not permitted during a series, although a team may have different home and road active rosters in the same week. Pre-Smiley does not use injuries, therefore there is no occasion for emergency roster moves. Owners may supply an updated active roster each week along with the Computer Manager.

Trades may be made during each season through the end of Week 11. Trading resumes after the subsequent draft has been completed. Trades may be consummated at any time (before the trade deadline), but trades will not become effective until the beginning of the next week.

Trading of future considerations is not permitted. All trades must be final as of the time they become effective; no conditionality is allowed. Draft picks may be traded, but only ones in the first three rounds and only for the next draft.

Your roster may include uncarded players -- players on your team who had a card during a prior season, but do not have a card during the current one. Uncarded players are never eligible to be drafted, but they may be retained from year to year or released at their owner's discretion. Players who missed an entire season (or close to it) due to military service may be retained without counting against any roster limits. Those players are designated as "MS" on each year's Player Status page.


Batters are limited to 110% of the plate appearances they actually had in a given season; pitchers are limited to 110% of their actual innings pitched; the inflation factor will be lowered to 105% as of 1941. Pitchers are further limited in the number of starts they may make in a season: pitchers who actually started between 20 and 41 games in a season may start up to 41 times in Pre-Smiley; all other pitchers are limited to the number of starts they actually made. Regardless of the number of starts a pitcher is limited to, all pitchers are limited by IP, as stated above. The player cards will be adjusted prior to each season to reflect the usage limitation (by figuring in the inflation factor), so that owners will always be aware of exactly how much usage each player has remaining. All pitchers can be used as relievers, regardless of whether or not they are assigned a relief rating.

CLARIFICATION: "Plate appearances", for the purpose of measuring usage, are defined as at bats + walks. PA does not include SH, SF or HBP. The reason for using the simplified formula is that Strat's Usage Report uses only AB + BB to track usage.

Effective with the 1958 season, certain batters are permitted to exceed their usage limits. A player with less than 400 PA (but at least 30 PA) of usage AND less than .600 OBP+SLG on his card is permitted extra usage as follows:

1.   2 times the usage shown on his card, or
2.   400 PA

whichever is LESS.

Pitchers who meet BOTH of these criteria:

1.   Card ERA of 4.75 or greater
2.   At least 30 IP on his card

....will be permitted extra GS and IP as follows:

If the pitcher has 0 GS on his card: his limits are 5 GS and 100 IP.

If the pitcher has at least 1 GS on his card: his limits are 25 GS and 175 IP.

If a pitcher's GS or IP already shown on his card exceeds the above limits, the carded limits will be used (a pitcher's usage is never reduced because of this rule).

The purpose of this rule is to give owners more flexibility and to make it easier to avoid overusage penalties. The ERA limit may be modified in future seasons, as the league ERA fluctuates.

The Commissioner reserves the right to force compliance with usage limitations by adjusting rosters which are in violation.

Other than outfielders, who may play any outfield position, a player may play only at a position for which he is rated. The only exception to this limitation is in extra-inning games where pinch-hitting or other moves have left a team with no players at a given position. Only in this case may unrated players appear at a position. This is meant to be an emergency situation and should not be abused.

Any player who has not been overused is eligible for postseason play, however postseason usage rules apply to certain players:

- a batter with less than 100 PA on his card is limited to 10% of his carded usage (rounding down) for the entire postseason,
- a pitcher with less than 50 IP on his card is limited to 10% of his carded usage (rounding down) for the entire postseason and may not start at all,
- a pitcher with 50 or more IP on his card and who has 1 to 6 GS may start at most once in the entire postseason (pitchers with 0 GS may not start at all).

Player Retention:

Definition of "Contract": A player's contract expires between seasons in which he moved from one team to another in MLB. For example, any player whose 1966 Strat card is with a different team than his 1967 card will be a free agent after 1967, and therefore eligible to be drafted prior to 1966.

The Commissioner will publish a list in advance of every season (the Player Status page) detailing which players' contracts will be expiring. However, it remains the responsibility of each owner to be aware of players' contract status.

Definition of "Restricted Player": All players on a team's initial roster in 1967 are considered to be Restricted Players. All future rookies ('retirees', actually), which you will automatically receive at the beginning of each season, are also Restricted Players.

Restricted Players may not be released, although they may be traded. Any team which receives a Restricted Player in a trade must retain that player for the duration of his contract. He cannot be released or re-traded. An uncarded Restricted player may be released prior to (or during) any season in which he is uncarded. A player ceases being Restricted upon entering the free agent pool for the first time and will then be Unrestricted for the remainder of his career.

Aside from players who switched teams, other players in the yearly free agent pool include:

* * * EXCEPTION to the free agency rule:

If a player is acquired by the team which he moved to NEXT (previously) in MLB, that player does NOT become a free agent at the end of his contract, for the reason that he is already on the team he "should" be on. For example: Dick Ellsworth was selected by the Cubs in the 1967 Draft. After 1967, Ellsworth -- in real life -- moved from Philadelphia to the Cubs. Since Chicago already owns Ellsworth (having picked him in 1967), and since Chicago is the team where he went after 1967, Ellsworth does NOT become a free agent (unless voluntarily released by the Cubs). Note that if a Restricted player is acquired (via a trade) by the team he really went to NEXT, that player's contract does not expire and he remains Restricted and cannot be released or re-traded.

Effective in 1956:

Certain low-usage rookies (at most 2 per team per season) may be cut in order to free up roster spots for draft picks. This rule permits teams to cut at most 2 useless short-term players per season. Each season's Player Status page will show which rookies are eligible to be cut.

Undraftable players:

Players with less than 30 PA or 20 IP in a season are considered for our purposes to be uncarded and owned players who fit that description are shown with the designation (UC) on the Player Status page.

However, batters with 10-29 PA and pitchers with 10-19 IP are added to the free agent pool following each draft. These undraftable players exist to give owners more options (albeit low-usage options) to choose from when acquiring a free agent. Undraftable players are Restricted, untradeable, and can be kept for the current season only - even if they are acquired by the team they play for next in MLB. In other words the Dick Ellsworth Rule does not apply to these players and their status (rookie, free agent, etc.) for any future season is unchanged.

Overusage and Penalties:

A player is considered to be overused once he has exceeded his adjusted usage figures for a season (in terms of PA, IP, or GS). A player who has met or exceeded PA or IP limits must be removed from the active roster immediately and remain inactive for the remainder of the season, and is ineligible for postseason play in that season. A starting pitcher who has met or exceeded his GS limit must be removed from the Starter screen and the Starter Schedule.

Any team with one or more overused players may be subject to penalty as outlined below. It is the responsibility of all owners to draft (or acquire free agents, when available) to fill immediate needs as well as future ones. Insufficient IP or PA at a position is not an excuse for overusage.

As long as an overused player is removed from a team's active roster immediately upon being overused, and remains inactive for the remainder of the season, the penalty for overusing that player may be waived.

Penalties will be applied based on the number of players overused in a season. The more players an owner overuses, the greater the penalty incurred will be.

1 player overusedloss of third round draft pick in the upcoming draft
2 players overusedloss of second round pick in the upcoming draft
3 players overusedloss of first round pick in the upcoming draft
4 players overusedloss of first and third round picks in the upcoming draft

...and so on.

A team which "loses" one or more picks will still draft up to a roster size of 32 players. However, the lost pick(s) will be transferred to the end of the draft.

If a team has traded away a pick that it must lose due to a penalty, the next higher pick will be taken instead. If no higher pick is available (because it was also traded away), the penalty will be shifted to the following season at the next higher degree of severity, and that team will not be permitted to trade away their own draft picks during the subsequent season.

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