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The Never-Ending Saga of Jorge Campillo

The following is a series of posts to the WBRL Yahoo Group, identifying the issue with why Jorge Campillo is no longer an Atomic Roadrunner. Oh, to make matters worse, the day after the switch, he pitched seven shutout innings, and was then featured in Ron Shandler’s Baseball HQ newsletter.

WBRL CBS Sports System:

FAAB Run 5/27 – Atomic Roadrunners won Jorge Campillo for $4

Tom Ross wrote on 5/27:

Andy- Can you check the FAAB from last might I thought I bid $5 (or $4) for Campillo as 1st option than Grabow….or am I confused?

Welcome Jay Bruce- Kong needs something, anything….

Thx- tr

Andrew Flynn wrote on 5/27:

Tom, I don’t have the capability to review bids – there isn’t any one place where unsuccessful bids are listed. It likely has to do with the order in which they are displayed on your Add/Drop page – thus the “move up” and “move down” links. It seems as though the system will take the first player listed for Bako, which must have been Grabow. You won the bidding for Grabow, so any other options for picking up Campillo for Bako were moot – irrespective of the amount of the FAAB bid.

– AF

Tom Ross replied 5/27:

No problem…Kong needs a lot more than Campillo to fix this disaster…worst Kong! squad in a decade at least….

Anybody want Rich Hill….he went to the U!

tr

Issue resolved then, yes? One would think so. However, two nights later, on May 29th, Jorge Campillo pitched six innings of one-run ball, with a win, zero walks, and six strikeouts against the Brewers. This prompted Tom to reconsider his stance, and send the following:

Tom Ross wrote on May 31st:

AF- As you see in the link below I did bid $4 for Campilo according to our site but says I lost due to tie-break order? Given you are in first and myself in lowly 9th (p.u!!!) shouldn’t I have gotten him? If so, can we do a retro transaction?

Thx! tr

05/27/08  01:03 am ET
Get Off Kong!
Campillo, Jorge RP ATL
Bako, Paul C CIN
Lost
$4
Atomic Roadrunners won at $4 (Lost due to tie break order)

Well, that was not entirely unexpected. However, my request for a screenshot was never honored, and the above pasted text really means nothing – I can do that too! In fact, I just did in creating this post! However, the tie-break order issue was vexing, as Tim and Barry had had an issue with an improperly set tie-break order when we first started using CBS last season, after the 2007 TQ Stats disaster.

Andrew Flynn response on 5/31:

I will submit a ticket to CBS technical support, as this is now outside my area of expertise. The system has worked very well all season, and the league setting for FAAB Order Resets is “Every period based on reverse order of standings.” I’ll keep everyone posted.

Of course I was on vacation in Michigan at the time, so I wasn’t in a big hurry to lose Campillo. I wrote the following to CBS Sports Tech Support on 6/1:

Our league setting for FAAB Order Resets is “Every period based on reverse order of standings.” In the May 27th FAAB run, two teams selected Braves P Jorge Campillo. Both bid $4. Team B (Get Off Kong!) should have won Campillo, as they are in 9th place. He was awarded to Team A (Atomic Roadrunners) who was in 1st place.

The rules have been correctly processed for two years straight, and I cannot figure out why this happened – can you shed some light?

If Team B is supposed to receive Campillo, then we’ll have to do some retroactive stats. If Team B didn’t get his bid submitted in time, or had them improperly ordered, please let me know so I can educate the league. Since I own Team A, as commissioner, I’m hoping to go through all proper channels.

Lastly, is there a way to see all submitted bids after each FAAB run?

Thanks,

Andrew Flynn
Wesley Branch Rickey League

Here’s the response I got from “Will K” of CBS Sports regarding this ticket No. 080601-000213:

Unfortunately there is no way to see all submitted bids, I am not sure why this happened, it is possible they did not bid the same amount, however, if you feel the other team should have won Campillo, place him on the correct team retroactively. Once you do that update this incident and I will re-run the stats for your league.

Well, that stinks. Finally a feature of TQ Stats that CBS doesn’t have (along with a “flat” discussion board). It’s always useful to see who else bid on FAAB pickups, so I recommend CBS spent a few bucks and add this feature. I neglected to inform the rest of the league, mostly because A.) I was still on vacation, and B.) I figured that the system couldn’t be wrong, and Tom Ross, who in fantasy baseball will lie, cheat and steal his way for any advantage, even if he’s in ninth place.

This is the guy, who after playing in our league and winning six titles in 15 years conveniently “forgot” that if you protect a free agent in the offseason and he signs with an American League team, you lose the money. This happened in February and March 2007 regarding his $13 protection of Jeff Weaver. At the WBRL summit in Las Vegas, thankfully everyone agreed that he was screwed. Famous quotes include, “I am confused”, “When did we vote on that?”, and “That’s not how we used to do it.” Thus the “Weaver Gambit” that I refer to below.

Sidebar: When I took over as commissioner, I knew that the hardest part would be managing Tom and his kvetching. This is why my first order of business was to write an updated constitution, and have everyone ratify it. It’s satisfying having Tom claim something, refer him to a particular Article/Section/Paragraph/Item of a document he signed, and watch his argument crumble.

So when Tom’s initial email of “maybe I’m confused” came up, obviously I was skeptical.

Two weeks passed, including 3 less-than-stellar starts by Campillo, who was having blister issues. Then, on Friday, June 20th, after a decent Campillo outing against the Mariners (6-1/3 IP, 4 ER, 2 K’s), I receive the following:

Tom Ross wrote on 6/20:

Great article- what’s going on with Campillo?

(The article was The Onion’s “Fantasy Baseball Team Owner Rips Players in the Media“) which I had forwarded).

Andrew Flynn Replied on 6/20:

I contacted CBS and they have no capability to review bids or even view all bids for a player or FAAB week the way TQ Stats did. (This I think is their biggest non-feature). Here’s the response from CBS:

Response (Will K) 06/02/2008 12:58 PM
Unfortunately there is no way to see all submitted bids, I am not sure why this happened, it is possible they did not bid the same amount, however, if you feel the other team should have won Campillo, place him on the correct team retroactively. Once you do that update this incident and I will re-run the stats for your league.

Since the system has been operational and working without a problem since we went to CBS (once we set the FAAB pickup order the first week of the 2007 season), I’m thinking that either the bid was placed late, or that it was somehow moved down in your priority list when the FAAB pickup ran, I’m reluctant to overrule the system when it’s been working properly every other week, including tie-bids.

Let me know if you have any other questions,

Thanks,

– AF

(Oh, boy, here we go. Insert scrappy wanna-be Irish gangster imagery now)

Tom Ross wrote on 6/20:

No…not OK. You can’t bid late in the system, it has happened to me before, the bid automatically gets registered for the following week. It’s not my fault that the system isnt working and I have given proof that I made the bid that should have won. I want the player I deserve to have won given my team’s woeful 9th place position.

I strongly believe he should be placed retro-actively on to my team.

Thank you- tr

ps- we need a new stats service next year. These guys are idiots.

Okay, he’s correct about you can’t bid late. He’s a little weak on the whole “given proof” concept, and he’s right that his team is woeful this season. He’s wrong about the stat service, since this is infinitely better than the crap that TQ Stats became.

Sidebar: TQ Stats ran pretty well for years. It was weak on aesthetics and usability, but it allowed us to do our thing pretty well. They were bought by CDM in St. Louis in 2000 or 2001 or something, and the only noticeable synergy between the two was the linkage of the crappy RotoTimes sister site to each TQ Stats player profile. Then in February of 2007, we get an announcement from TQ that they’ll be overhauling the site on March 14-16th and it’ll be down. Which is pretty risky as many drafts happened that weekend. Ours wasn’t until the following weekend.

The problem was that the site continued to be down for a whole week. As leagues started to freak out, many dumped TQ Stats and jumped on board CBS (then CBS Sportsline), ESPN, or others. It turns out that CDM chose to shitcan the TQ code base (which WBRL league member Mark Ratajczack contributed as an original employee of TQ Stats pre-buyout) and instead attempt to adapt its fantasy football software for baseball. One nifty feature of this was no FAAB capability for the first six weeks of the season. We were on CBS by then.

However, extreme credit goes to CDM for suing MLB for the rights to player statistics, which ruled that the exclusive agreement signed by MLB for stats for only a few “approved” stat services was unconstitutional, which was upheld in Federal Court, and the Supreme Court upheld by not granting MLB’s appeal.  Woo Hoo!  Justice prevails!  But no FAAB?

Anyway . . .

Andrew Flynn replied on 6/20:

All, we have a small situation in our league that requires some attention, specifically the proper ownership of Braves pitcher Jorge Campillo. Since I am one of the parties in question, I need to recuse myself and appeal to the league membership in general to resolve the situation.

Essentially Get Off Kong is challenging the FAAB process from May 27th, where the system accepted the Atomic Roadrunners’ $4 FAAB bid on Jorge Campillo, and allegedly rejected Get Off Kong’s $4 bid, even though the Roadrunners were in first and Kong was in ninth at the time.

According to league FAAB tie-break rules, Get Off Kong should be awarded the player due to their lower standing, but since the CBS system does not have a way to view all successful and rejected bids, there is no way to prove the validity of the claim.

However, given my experience, I was suspicious of the claim, but still contacted CBS, who shed no new light on the matter. From CBS help desk: “Unfortunately there is no way to see all submitted bids, I am not sure why this happened, it is possible they did not bid the same amount.”

Since there has been no other recorded instance of the Auto-Commish making a mistake (once it was properly set up in May of 2007 thanks to a valid claim by Nygard), and Get Off Kong’s original email to the league: “Andy- Can you check the FAAB from last might I thought I bid $5 (or $4) for Campillo as 1st option than Grabow….or am I confused?”, I dismissed the claim on user error.

Get Off Kong replied on May 31st with “No problem…Kong needs a lot more than Campillo to fix this disaster…worst Kong! squad in a decade at least….” and I thought the matter resolved.

However, recently Get Off Kong’s communications have a little more..flavor. Today, a renewed inquiry into the status of Campillo was sent to me, and when I informed Kong of the decision, I received the following:

“No…not OK. It’s not my fault that the system isnt working and I have given proof that I made the bid that should have won. I want the player I deserve to have won given my team’s woeful 9th place position. I strongly believe he should be placed retro-actively on to my team. ps- we need a new stats service next year. These guys are idiots.”

So, with that, I put the issue to you, the WBRL membership. Who gets Campillo, effective which date, and how will we rectify 3-1/2 weeks’ worth of stats for two teams.

Suggestions welcome, Happy first day of summer everyone!

Steve Sharik replied the following day (6/21):

Campillo to Kong

let’s move on

Stan Sharik offered deeper observation, and stuck up for Tom’s “character” on (6/21)

Short version: concur with (the REAL) Stephen A.

Long version: I seem to recall some earlier e-mail traffic on this stating that TR had submitted his bid. I know one can alter forwarded e-mails to make it look like one sent something at a different time, but I don’t think TR did that based on (1) his integrity; (2) his level of almost sheer incompetence with the electronic media, i.e. I’m not sure he’d invest the time or effort into altering an e-mail, given he doesn’t have much acumen with it and he hasn’t the patience to improve that acumen; and (3) I think it’s possible TR made an error inputting his bid (see point 2 above), but I think it’s equally probable that the website made an error.

So, the only reason one should not believe TR gets this guy is if one thinks TR is lying about his bid. That’s a bit far to go, especially given the guy is in 9th (F!).

One last point, I’m equally suspicious of a conflict of interest where the commish –the only person with view of what is going on behind the scenese–just happens to be an owner in 1st with $1300 on the line. Sorry, Flynn, I applaud you recusing yourself but that’s the way I see it.

TR should get him.

–SDS

Tom Ross then chimed in on 6/21 and performed some ass-hattery:

The email to which SDS is referring from 5/31. As you see the site itself says it was a tie, that was won by AARR due to tie-break order- clearly a mistake by the system.

[included link to generic add/drop screen]

Tim Nygard added on 6/21:

In light of below, I vote TR gets Campillo. Next time if something like this happens a <CTRL><Print Scr> and you can paste a screen shot.

Andrew Flynn countered on 6/21:

Tom, no one can see your add/drop screen except you. If you still have the result on your add/drop screen it be best if you could do a screen capture (as Tim just suggested). The Yahoo group doesn’t allow attachments or HTML in the email, so send it directly to our respective emails.

– The REAL Stephen A???

I don’t have an issue with Tom getting Campillo, (though I’d still like to hear from more of the league on the matter), but that does bring up three additional problems:

1. A retro move, where both Tom and I could alter our lineups to our advantage

2. Since I released Reynel Pinto (now on Steve’s team) to acquire Campillo, I should then be able to re-claim him. Tom then doesn’t get John Grabow, Steve gets Derrick Turnbow back, etc. To clear this up, I’d suggest making effective this week to avoid problems with re-doing lineups based on this.

3. Now we’re saying that the statistics site makes mistakes? That’s something that we’re banking on not happening for our league. It is really difficult for me to believe that the site got this particular one wrong, but every other instance in every other CBS league of millions of transactions it gets correct. In situations such as these, with a production system supporting millions of users, over 99% of the time (possibly 100%) it’s user error, whether the setup of the FAAB order (we’ve checked and that’s correct) or the interpretation of the system and actions/results.

I’m awaiting the screenshot as evidence, as I don’t think there’s enough proof as of yet – just hearsay (no matter how earnest it is). Perhaps everyone has forgotten the Jeff Weaver gambit from this same owner?

– AF

Here I’m learning that A.) people don’t read, so they didn’t get the finely crafted nuance of my argument, and B.) they’ll tend to stick to the old-boy network, where Steve definitely has some issue with me stemming back to 1999, and Tom and Mark are also adversarial for some reason (not that there’s no reciprocation on my part).

Alex Tava then asked an intelligent and objective question on 6/21:

Could we double-check the tie-break rule that is set for our league? I seem to recall that it is possible to have a tie-break rule where the earlier bid is the winning bid.

Alex

Andrew Flynn responds on 6/21:

Alex, I think that was a possibility under the TQ Stats, but for CBS it’s not. There are several types types of add/drop with CBS: 1. none, 2. waivers, 3. auto-auction FAAB, 4. a Commish-determined bids for FAAB.

For our auto-auction FAAB, the priority/tie-break order is set on a weekly reset of reverse order of the standings. The other option is to have it set for the entire season, which we don’t use.

I can send a screen-shot of the setup if anyone’s interested.

Thanks,

– AF

Stan Sharik then asks another logical question, though I wasn’t wild about the slant:

One thing I’m curious about…did it take CBS tech support 4 weeks to respond back to your first query, ACF? Did they say they find no evidence of that bid, or did they say there’s no way they can tell? Also, it didn’t seem at the time (based on your 5/31 response to TR) you were doubting the veracity of TR’s claim, but now you do?

Sorry, don’t recall the Jeff Weaver issue you speak of.

Before I can reply, Paul Hershberg joins the fray on June 22nd:

I obviously don’t get the technology side of the debate, but if CBS is
saying that they got two four dollars bids and awarded the guy to the
wrong team, give the guy to Tom, give the Ford Pinto back to AARP, and
move on. If the dude were actually a decent pitcher, he presumably
would have been on Alex’s team from the beginning.

Paul Hershberg

I then try to reply to all issues with this email on 6/22:

Tom’s original email on 5/27 claimed confusion, and he wasn’t sure if there was an error or if he did the FAAB order wrong. After a good Campillo start, he then replied that he’d like me to look into it on 5/31. I contacted CBS tech support on 6/1 while I was on vacation. They replied within 24-48 hours, but I didn’t get back until 6/5. I thought I had passed on the information at the time, but I was playing catch-up after being gone for 12 days. Tom asked for a status update on Friday, which brings us to our current situation. The issue of the time lapse is on me entirely.

I had quoted the entire response from CBS in a previous email different thread – CBS says they have no way to tell – there’s no way to view all bids (only successful), but did not acknowledge any system error. CBS instead suggested that the user entered the incorrect amount.

As I’ve said previously, I personally don’t believe that the system made an error. Again, with millions of FAAB transactions in a season, it’s unlikely the system got just this one particular transaction wrong. In Tom’s add/drop, if Campillo was the #1 priority to replace Bako for $4 he unquestionably should have gone to GOK!.

My best guess is that the priority/order was incorrect on Tom’s add/drop page. Tom’s #1 option for Bako was Grabow (whom he received for $1 FAAB), the #2 Campillo bid for $4 was then moot, and then separately Campillo was awarded to AaRr for $4. CBS however does not indicate the difference between “moot” bids and lost bids – categorizing them all as “lost.”

No one is debating the FAAB order pickup rules for tie bids – we’re all in agreement there. However, saying that the system made a mistake and got it wrong when the claimant admitted confusion with how the bid order works is highly questionable at best.

– AF

Tom Ross ass-hat yells back on 6/22:

Why would I bid $4 for Campillo at the #2 spot but $1 for Grabow in the first spot? Also, why would the system say tie-breaker goes to AARR if I had already won Grabow in the #1 spot as the next bid would be moot? Lastly, if you look at my squad I had plenty of relievers it was all my starters who were hurt or in the minors(screw you R Hill!!!) thus my higher bid for the starter.

Now I’m pissed, but I try to do a “serenity now” on the situation and look at the bigger picture. Analyzing the situation, I can fix some of my pitching woes by strategically inserting good starters who were inactive when Campillo was up. I see some benefit, and no matter how well Campillo is pitching now, he’s still a Mexican League journeyman that wasn’t listed in Baseball Prospectus 2008, so he might not be a guy to protect for 2009 or anything.

So then I replied on Monday, June 23rd:

I just realized that I no longer care.

I’m puzzled and annoyed because I don’t understand what happened, or how it happened, and there is no explanation for why it happened.

New rule: All future claims similar to this one need to be backed up with actual screenshots. (Tim provided simple instructions a few emails ago.)

Here’s how it’ll work:

Tom Ross / Get Off Kong:

  • Congrats, you get Jorge Campillo effective 5/27 for $4 FAAB.
  • John Grabow’s acquisition (and any stats) will be erased
  • Please provide your roster moves for 5/27, 6/3, 6/10, and 6/17 (pitching only) with Campillo on your squad.
  • I need this ASAP, preferably in the next 22 hours or less.
  • GOK will be credited $1 FAAB for Grabow (but -$4 for Campillo)

Steve Sharik / Cover Zero:

  • Congrats, you get to keep Reynel Pinto that you picked up 6/3, I am abandoning all claim to him.
  • No retro roster moves necessary.

Andrew/Atomic Roadrunners:

  • Jorge Campillo will be erased from the squad (crediting AaRr $4 FAAB)
  • AaRr will also re-submit roster moves for 5/27, 6/3, 6/10, and 6/17 (pitching only, without Campillo)
  • AaRr will play with 11 reserves from 5/27 – 6/24
  • To offset the loss of a pitcher/roster spot, the final cut from last week, Greg Reynolds, will be re-allocated to the team.

Tom, as soon as I get your moves, I’ll enter them retro, and have CBS re-run stats ASAP.

Let me know if there are any objections, questions, comments or concerns.

– AF

Maybe that settles things. I still miss out on Campillo, but perhaps I can gain some ground. After a few emails between me and CBS, where they directed me to the never-before-used “Edit Service Time” feature. Finally, on June 24th, I had adjusted every players’ service time and team, and CBS re-generated the stats with the adjustments from May 27th.

The results:

  • Still in First Place, increased lead from 18 to 23 points
  • Gain of 4 overall points
    • Gain of 2 points in ERA (going from 6th with a 4.38 ERA to 4th with a 4.13 ERA)
    • Gain of 2 points in WHIP (going from 5th with a 1.40 WHIP to 3rd with a 1.36 WHIP)

Of course my karma may be screwed, but I still have a lead. I miss out on the Campillo bandwagon, which is now gaining steam. Meanwhile I’m screwing around with Charlie Morton, Sean Marshall, and Jason Marquis in my rotation, to my detriment.

We’ll see how it works out.

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