The season is a month old and a lot of first-time LM’s are asking me questions about what the role of the LM should be. So, I want to give a solid explanation to perhaps answer some of the FAQs in one place.
What should the LM do? What shouldn’t he do?
1. Organize and Maintain the League
LM’s have to set the league up, find managers, tweak rules that may not be working, and keep people semi up-to-date on important information.
They should give a little bit of push towards keeping the owners active and participating on the league pages, but some guys do manage different and good LM will respect that as well.
They should always be willing to consider changes to the league style but ultimately they need to have a clear stance on what the league looks like and why. They are not responsible for creating a league that everyone is 100% happy with. If you’ve ever tried to go out to dinner with a group of 10-12 people, you should know that that’s literally impossible. Everyone has different opinions on what categories to use, how many teams to have, and or trying the newest type of scoring system.
While LM’s should not be adverse to change, they certainly should not be changing things each and every season, so give them a break.
2. Keep reasonable order
Without a doubt there will be issues which arise in fantasy leagues from accidental player drops to cries or collusion. The LM needs to be ready to face these issues with firm action and clear explanation.
Realistically the term collusion is a little over the top for most fantasy baseball problems, however if this word is being thrown around then it needs to be addressed. The LM must take the following steps.
- Get the situation(s) that brought this about clear.
- Approach the accused and get their story (hopefully they are honest).
- Explain to the league the course of “discipline”.
When something along the lines of guys working shady deals hits the table, it is imperative that the LM gathers all the info available, makes a decision on how to handle it, and clearly communicates the scenario to everyone. Otherwise people might start challenging the LM and their role in keeping reasonable order.
Sometimes the simple issues get overlooked and can create the same challenges. If a guy gets accidentally dropped and the manager immediately messages the LM whether private or on the league page, then the LM should fix it. The LM also needs communicate (especially if the manager used private message) to the rest of the league.
It is as simple as stating as: “Hey gang, heads up, Joe Shmoe accidentally dropped Pablo Sandoval, I added him back to Joe’s team. Sorry about any confusion or hopes for a sweet waiver wire pick up dashed. – LM”
3. Intervene when necessary
What squelches a league faster than anything is the overactive LM.
The LM that vetoes trades that don’t “add up”, the LM that demands every manager to respond to every message or note at least indicating they read and understand, or sometimes even worse — the LM that doesn’t take action in an accidental drop and uses it as a “teachable moment” about paying closer attention to your actions.
Either way, the LM is almost like a referee in this way. When no one complains about you, you are doing a good job. If there is a clear, “I give up on this league and want to screw everyone else over trade,” which I had to veto once, then you just have to do it. However those are so blatant that it is laughable.
Often if you have to ask, it isn’t THAT bad of a trade, but I will always weigh the trade earnestly if I am emailed. I rarely ever come a across an LM situation I haven’t experienced so they are usually pretty easy to decide on.
Ultimately the role of LM’s is probably one of the toughest roles in fantasy sports because unlike real life commissioners, the LM’s compete against the field of members. More often than not the LM can face accusations depending on how they rule on certain incidents. If you accept a trade that get some minor complaints, then a trade goes through that is a little worse but gets more personal messages to you and you take action and veto, people might flip.
So you as the LM have to hold yourself to a little higher standard at times. Yeah it stinks, but someone has to do it, and you were the sucker that started the league.
If you have a question that you’d like to see me address in a future Ask Nash or just need a second opinion on something, please reach out in any of the following ways.