As boys of bummer whiff, we feel a draft coming on

When it comes to errors, this points-based league doesn't drop the ball

Sports Plus

April 29, 2001|By Andy Knobel | Andy Knobel,SUN STAFF

Upset that you missed out on Pedro Martinez in your fantasy baseball draft and ended up with Tim Wakefield instead? Couldn't get Randy Johnson and got stuck with Randy Keisler? Went after Carlos Delgado and came home with Wilson Delgado?

Maybe you're playing the wrong game. You might want to try Maxim Fallacy Baseball instead.

Unlike fantasy baseball, in which team owners earn points for home runs, RBIs, victories, saves and other positive statistics accumulated by players they draft, Fallacy ball rewards players for producing negative statistics. Points are deducted for grand slams and perfect games and piled on for gopher balls and booted balls, broken bats and broken-down pitchers.

As the Web site,, says, "Think more Skid Row than Murderers' Row."

Think Mendoza Line.

The game dubs itself "the greatest celebration of incompetence since Game 7 of the '97 Fall Classic."

It's mediocrity at its best.

Writes Fallacy guru Larry Dobrow: "Rewarding failure: It's the American way."

Don't let this opportunity slip through your fingers.

First inductee: Mighty Casey

Here are some players we would like to nominate for the Fallacy Hall of Fame:

Bill Bergen, a catcher who hit .170 in 3,028 career at-bats - the lowest batting average of anyone with 1,000 or more at-bats.

Ray Oyler, the only position player besides Bergen to bat 1,000 times and hit under .180. His average: .175.

Randy Tate, a pitcher who went 0-for-41 at the plate during his career.

Tom Oliver, who had the most at-bats without a homer: 1,931.

Ron Herbel, a pitcher who hit .029 in 206 lifetime at-bats.

Terry Felton, a pitcher who went a career 0-16, including 0-13 in 1982.

"I think I've got a snake around my neck, biting me every time I'm out there," he once said.

Larry Littleton, who had the most career at-bats, 23, without getting a hit.

Jack Nabors, who finished his career 1-25, including a 1-20 mark in 1916.

John Gochnaur, who made 95 errors in 1903 while batting .187. No field, no hit, no clue.

Hugh "Losing Pitcher" Mulcahy, a two-time 20-game loser with a nickname that rings true.

Enzo Hernandez, who drove in just 12 runs in 549 at-bats in 1971.

Anthony Young, who lost 27 straight games from 1992 to 1993.

"Maybe two Young awards should be presented in each league," Allan Malamud of the Los Angeles Times once wrote. "The Cy for the best pitcher and the Anthony for the worst."

Aloysius Travers, who in his only major-league game, May 18, 1912, recorded one of the ugliest pitching lines ever: 8 IP, 26 H, 24 R, 14 ER, 7 BB, 1 K, 10 extra-base hits, 10 stolen bases.

Harley "Doc" Parker, who on June 21, 1901, turned in a Travers-like performance of 8 IP, 26 H, 21 R, 14 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR.

Misery loves company

Sometimes the mediocrity has more to do with the teams than the players.

Former Chicago Cubs first baseman Mark Grace, now with the Arizona Diamondbacks, has been a fan of the woeful NFL Arizona Cardinals.

"Only a longtime Cub fan could be a longtime Cardinals fan," he quipped.

Wait till whenever

Columnist Bernie Lincicome also made light of the Cubs' 92-year streak without a world championship, not to mention the White Sox's 83-year run.

Commenting on his move from the Chicago Tribune to Denver's Rocky Mountain News, Lincicome wrote: "In sportswriting, the writing is more interesting than the sports, and in Chicago it had to be. Chicago has two seasons: spring training and next year."

Xceedingly Fallible League

Baseball has no monopoly on poorly played games.

Bob Costas had this to say about the stumbling, bumbling, tumbling, crumbling XFL:

"It has to be at least a decade since I mused out loud, `Why doesn't somebody combine mediocre high school football with a tawdry strip club?' Finally, somebody takes my idea and runs with it."

Compiled from wire reports and Web sites.

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