Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fantasy Baseball Dispute About Manny Ramirez? SportsJudge Has Answers

Yesterday afternoon in the Wall Street Journal Online, Nando Di Fino predicted that Manny Ramirez's 50-game drug-related suspension would lead to a wide range of fantasy baseball disputes. He also suggested that fantasy commissioners should "mosey over to a fantasy arbitration site like Sports Judge and let a detached stranger make that call on the veto for you."

And "mosey over" they did.

For the past several hours, the SportsJudge Court of Fantasy Baseball has been resolving two types of disputes involving Manny Ramirez -- (1) trade disputes; and (2) active roster disputes.

Trade Disputes Involving Manny:

The SportsJudge team has resolved a few disputes about trades involving Manny Ramirez. As we told the Wall Street Journal in an evening follow-up story, generally, trades made after the Ramirez steroids news broke Thursday were nullified. Those made before would stand. This is consistent with our previous view in the case Commissioner P.K. v. Cartman & The Atlanta Secessions, Index 409-T (June 2, 2007), which held that "a trade shall be analyzed as of the time it is consummated ... any events that emerge subsequently have no relevance."

Of course, one caveat to the general rule would be if a team that traded away Manny before the story broke had access to insider information. Another caveat would be if Manny was traded after the story broke, but at a substantial discount that factored in the knowledge of both parties.

Active Roster Disputes Involving Manny:

The team has also received a large number of disputes regarding whether teams may remove Manny Ramirez from their active roster during his suspension. Here, the Court of Fantasy Baseball had to review each league's constitution on a case-by-case basis. In leagues that do not have reserve squads or suspended lists, Manny Ramirez's fantasy owners would have to treat him just like any healthy player.

Don't like that outcome? Well, these fantasy owners should have considered the risk of this sort of suspension when drafting their league constitution. It is not as if Manny Ramirez is the first baseball player ever suspended--albeit, he is almost certainly the best player yet to take a 50-game hit.

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Barry P. said...

I saw the references in the Wall Street Journal today and was wondering how you would rule. You guys keep impressing me!

I had not even considered the inside information issue. I wonder if that has become a problem in fantasy leagues?

Still no disputes in my fantasy league. However, I still keep you guys in my Favorites ... just in case one comes up.