MAIL 3- RULES AND REGULATIONS (2018-19 Version)
We the people of North America with way too much time on our hands, in order to form a more perfect league, do hereby produce this Constitution for the use of all members of the Mail 3 APBA baseball league. Further information concerning the league can be found at http://mail3.org
Mail 3 is a modified basic game APBA league which consists of twenty teams divided into four divisions (Joe DiMaggio, Bobby Hull, David Mudd and Ken Rehme). The league's daily operations are supervised by a Commissioner. The Office of the Commissioner prepares the statistics from the monthly updated files supplied by each manager, posts them on the league website, reports trades and keeps the rosters up to date in the off-season. Any significant changes in the league rules will be submitted to all managers and require a two-thirds vote to become official.
Schedule. A Mail 3 season is made of 160 games played in 20 home and road series played over nine months. Each team plays 19 series, one against each other team and has one series off in the last two months of play. The first fifteen series consist of 4 games home and away with each opponent outside a team's division, and the final four series are five home and road games against division rivals. The season is comprised of 209 days. After each series, there is one day for travel (an off day), so that for purposes of a pitching rotation, a manager plays series 1 (4 games) road, an off day, series 1 (4 games) home, an off day, series 2 (4 games road) etc. The season begins on June 1 and three series are played in June and July after which two series are played per month through February.
free agent and rookie Draft
The free agent and rookie draft is conducted by the Commissioner and each Mail 3 member can participate through the chat room set up for the occasion, telephone or by sending in a list of players in the order he wishes them to be selected. The draft will normally be conducted no later than April 10 and preferably the first weekend after the major league baseball season begins. The draft is a reverse order draft determined by a team's finish in the previous season. However, no team that made the playoffs in the season that was just completed may have a draft position higher that a team that failed to qualify for the past season. When two or more teams finish with identical records a coin toss will determine who selects first in round 1. In subsequent rounds their positions will alternate. All managers must submit a MANDATORY written draft list that must reach the Commissioner before the date of the draft even if they intend to participate on-line. Players eligible for the draft are those not on any team's roster who have received an APBA card for the up and coming season. XC's cannot be drafted but can be used during the season if they are already on a team.
Rosters can expand to 40 in the off-season. However, once a team reaches 40 players in trades or the draft, he must cut a player for each additional one he acquires. Managers will be notified of the date when each roster must be cut to 30 players at least two weeks before the date the cuts are due. Normally this will be due between May 10 and May 12. All trading ends at midnight EDT on the day specified for rosters to be cut to 30.
A Waiver Wire Draft will be held by May 15. All the players who are cut from the teams to get to 30 players are eligible to be drafted in the Waiver Wire Draft which will follow the same order as the regular draft. The Waiver Wire list will be circulated as soon as possible after the cuts are finalized. Each manager will then have a few days to submit a list of players of interest for the Waiver Wire Draft and name a specific player to be cut for each one he hopes to acquire. The final rosters for the season will then be posted as soon as possible after the Commissioner completes the Waiver Wire Draft.
Mail 3 rosters are cut to 30 players in early May and remain fixed for the entire playing season except for any selections and cuts in the Waiver Wire Draft that takes place a few days after the early May cuts. Trading however is permitted from the day after the MLB season ends until early May. Players and draft picks can be traded in any combination. All parts of a trade must take place simultaneously without any limitations, options, loans, or agreement to trade in the future. Draft picks for the next draft can be traded between the end of the draft and mid-May when each team must cut their roster to 30 players maximum and picks for the next two drafts can be exchanged between the end of the MLB baseball season and the end of the spring draft. Trades must be reported to the Commissioner to become official and will be reported to all managers.
The roster limit during the season is 30 players. Following the annual draft in April, teams will cut their rosters to 30 players by May 8 at midnight. The Commissioner will make sure that a list of cut players is circulated as soon as possible and hopefully within 48 hours to all managers who can then select players from the list of cuts in reverse order of their records for the previous season. Once a player is cut they will no longer be eligible for selection that year. Upon receiving the list of cut players, teams must respond within 72 hours by providing the Commissioner (or another manager he designates to act in his place) with a rank-ordered list of players they wish to select from the cut players and who from their 30 man roster they would cut if each player is available when it their turn to select from the cut players list. Managers who fail to send in a list are assumed to be uninterested in making any selection.
Rosters are fixed for the following season on May 15 and play begins on June 1. A player on a roster who does not receive a current APBA card can be retained on the roster for the following season, but he counts toward the 30 player limit. Each team's roster must include players who can start all the games of the season at each position, and enough pitchers to start every game while meeting the leagues usage rules described below. In the off-season (including the annual free agent draft), rosters can expand to 40 players. Once a team has 40 players, managers must drop who acquire additional players in the draft or a trade must immediately cut another to keep their roster at 40.
Instructions. Managers are expected to play the best position players and pitchers over the course of the season and make every effort to win as many games as possible. The visiting manager must send instructions to the home manager by the first day of the month during which the series is scheduled to be played. This includes line-ups for all games, starting pitcher rotation, instructions for the use of relief pitchers, pinch hitters, defensive replacements, hit-and-run, intentional walks, and infield positioning. Managers should make every effort to identify what the home manager should do in most situations, and the home manager is responsible for following the instructions as closely as possible, but should use his or her best judgment to cover any situation which arises which is not covered in the instructions. Instructions that provide no more than a lineup and starting pitchers and ask the home manager to make all other decisions are not acceptable.
Scoring. Score sheets need to be filled out so that the visiting manager can understand how play proceeded. Putouts and assists need not be recorded. Credit a pitcher with a save when: he finishes a game won by his team but he is not the winning pitcher, and he either (a) enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches at least an inning, (b) the potential tying run is either on base, at bat or on deck, (c) or he pitches the last three innings. Any unearned runs are recorded in the right-hand corner of the innings block on the score sheets. The visiting manager should send the game score sheets to any visiting manager interested in receiving them.
Series statistics. Each manager is responsible for reporting the stats on each home series to the League Office by sending his updated Stat Season file and the files for each series he plays to email address that the Commissioner designates. In the file each manager needs to record the names, games played, at bats, runs, hits, rbis, doubles, triples, home runs, walks, strikeouts, hit by pitches, and stolen bases for all batters (pitchers' batting stats should be lumped together), and games, games started, complete games, shutouts, wins, losses, saves, innings pitched, hits, runs, earned runs, home runs, walks and strikeouts for each pitcher who appears in the series. Please cross-check your totals as a way of checking for obvious errors.
Protests. Any manager can protest a game if he believes that his instructions were not followed correctly or if he believes that the home manager made an error in player usage or used the wrong play results. If an examination of the score sheets for the game is necessary, the home manager should send them to the visiting manager to to verify the results and insure that the instructions which were sent were followed as best as possible. Any protests of games should be forwarded to the Commissioner with the appropriate information. The Commissioner will rule on all protests, except for those involving his own team. In this case a league member acceptable to both managers will be asked to make a ruling.
Playing rules. All games are played using all the playing boards (including the hit-and-run boards) under advanced rules from the 2006 version of the APBA 66 game. The hit-and run modification that Mail 3 formerly used is no long necessary. Rainouts are possible; if the home team is leading after 4 1/2 innings or more or the visitor ahead after 5 full innings or more when the rain ends the game it is official; if the game is tied, play resumes from the point of the rain delay. If not yet official, restart the game as if you hadn't played at all. Ignore all injuries and ejections.
Visiting Team slow runner rule. If a slow runner for the visiting team would be thrown out running the bases because of the S, he does not try to advance to that base. In all other cases, he advances according to the playing boards. Note: This rule applies only when the game is played by mail and it applies only to the play result numbers 1 through 11. If managers wish to add additional restrictions on base running, they much include these with their instructions.
Player Usage. Players who receive an APBA card as XB's or XC's as well as regulars are eligible to play in Mail 3. Maximum usage for players and pitchers is based on games played and/or innings pitched in the major league season. Players who appear during the major league season as both a hitter and as a pitcher have their maximum eligibility as a hitter and pitcher determined separately.
Eligibility for position players/hitters are based on games played as a fielder (non-pitching positions), pinch hitter, pinch runner, or designated hitter. Players may play up to all their eligible appearances at the position listed first on their APBA card or at any other position at which they appeared in at least 40 games. They may play at secondary fielding positions in which they appeared at fewer than 40 games up to 40 times during the season.
Pitching eligibility will be determined by pitching appearances/innings only, excluding any appearance as a field, pinch hitter or designated hitter. The maximum usage number for starting pitchers is his number of appearances provided 2/3 of those appearances were starts, and that he averaged at least 3 innings pitched per appearance. For relievers and those starters not meeting the standards above, the maximum usage number is the total of innings pitched if they have an A, B or C grade. D pitchers (including those who are also eligible as hitters) are not limited as to starts / appearances or innings but are subject to rest requirements. For starters with starts limitations, each relief appearance counts as a start while for starters with innings limitations, relief innings are subtracted from his innings totals.
Pitchers must have a starting grade to start a game. A pitcher who starts a game must have 3 days of rest between starts. After a relief appearance, a pitcher must rest for three days before a start. Starting pitchers must remain in the game for at least five innings or until they give up four runs before they can be relieved or pinch hit for. Designated hitters are not used, and starting pitchers must bat 8th or 9th in the lineup. Pitchers who do not have another fielding position on their card may not pinch hit, and they make not hit and run unless they have two 31s on their card.
If a two-way player appears only as a designated hitter/pinch hitter/pinch runner, has 20 or more designated hitter appearances, and has only a pitcher grade with no defensive position on his card, he will be assigned a position by the commissioner at the lowest fielding grade based on his most likely fielding position. He can be used as a hitter/ fielder/runner in the number of games in which he appeared as a DH, pinch hitter or pinch runner in the regular season (without restriction as to batting placement, hit and run, etc.)
Be sure not to overuse any player, as a possible forfeiture may result. Starting pitchers must bat 8th or 9th. NO pitcher may pinch-hit and a pitcher may not hit-and-run unless he has at least two 31's on his card. No DH's can be used (nor can any games be played on artificial turf).
Eight teams will qualify for the playoffs: the four division winners and the four second place finishers in each division. Ties for playoff berths will be broken by a 1 game playoff. A coin toss will determine which team will be the home team. Any three-way ties will be settled as follows: Coin tosses will be used to determine which team gets a bye. The other two teams will play and the winner will play the team that got the bye. The other provisions (home team and who plays the games) are the same as for two-way ties. Division playoff games will count in determining positions in the next draft.
The playoffs will consist of three rounds. The eight playoff teams will be seeded in the following manner: The four division winners will be seeded 1 through 4 based on their won-loss records and head-to-head play (and coin tosses) if the records are the same. The four next qualifiers will be ranked between 5 and 8 based on the same criteria. Ties for seeds will be determined by head to head records during the season, road records and coin tosses in that order. In the playoffs all pairings will match the highest seeded team against the lowest remaining seed. The first round begins March 10, round 2 opens April 1, and the championship series starts April 20.
All playoff series are seven games and start at the home of the team with the highest seed. Each series will follow a 2-3-2 format with an off day after games 2 and 5. The winning manager of each playoff series is responsible for sending a write up of the results to the Commissioner for the yearbook.
Player Usage In Post-Season Play
Division tie-breaker. A starting pitcher must pitch at least five innings or give up four runs before he is removed from a game. No pitcher other than the starting pitcher may pitch more than two innings. Only position players with 80 or more total games during the major league season may start or appear defensively before the 7th inning of the game. If no player meeting this requirement is available for a given position, then the player with the most regular season games at that position must start. In addition, a player must have played 40 or more games at a secondary position during the major league season in order to start at that position or appear defensively before the 7th inning. Players may pinch-hit or pinch-run at any time, and there are no restrictions on using a player at any position listed on his card after the 6th inning.
Playoffs. Pitchers. A 3-man rotation is allowed in post-season play. Starters must rest three days between starts, and a starting pitcher in a playoff game must go at least five innings or give up four runs before they are relieved. Pitchers who are eligible to start 30 or more regular season games may start up to three games in each playoff series; pitchers who were eligible to start 17-29 regular season games or who are eligible to pitch more than 135 innings as a starter may start up to two games in each playoff series; and pitchers who are eligible to start under 17 regular season games or who are eligible to pitch under 135 innings as a starter may start one playoff game in each series. Use of relief pitchers in each series is limited to 7.5% of the innings (rounded to the nearest third of an inning) they pitched in the major league season with a maximum of 7 innings for any reliever in any series. Starters may relieve in the playoffs and are subject to innings restrictions based on the innings that they pitched as well and can be used for a maximum of 7 innings in any series. A starter must rest three days before appearing in relief, and if a starter relieves he must rest for three days before starting again. Once a pitcher makes a start, he is limited to the maximum of appearances for which he is eligible to pitch in the series, and once he appears in relief he is on an innings restriction for the series. He may pitch those innings as a starter (after proper rest), but to start he must be eligible to pitch at least 5 innings in that game. Each playoff series as well as the division playoff (if needed) is viewed independently. Thus, managers can use a starter the last day of the regular season, in a division tie-breaker and then in the 1st, 4th, and 7th games of each of the three playoff rounds.
Position players. Position players who play 80 or more games can appear in all games; players who play 40-79 games can appear in 4 games; and players who play in less than 40 games can appear in 2 games as a starter, pinch hitter or fielder. Players may play at the primary position listed on their card or any other position at which they played 40 or more games for all games they are eligible to play; players may play 2 games at any secondary position listed on their card if they played fewer than 40 games at that position provided they are eligible to play in the game based on their overall eligibility as spelled out above.
Each month during the season the Commissioner is responsible for sending out a newsletter and making sure the updated statistics including the team standings, league leaders and statistics for the players on each team are posted on the league website. League members are encouraged to send the Commissioner any special newsworthy events such as great performances of individual players, team records or just advice to be shared. In addition there will be special bulletins sent out from time to time during the off-season and in connection with the draft. The Commissioner is responsible for producing a Yearbook following each season.