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April 11, 2000

Big Exciting Contest #3!

The Results Are In

by Baseball Prospectus

Scary. That's the only word to describe the imaginations of the Baseball Prospectus readership. When we announced Big Exciting Contest #3, "Pick the player you will not have on your fantasy team," we certainly had no idea we'd see the kind of responses we did.

So, a couple rounds of therapy and some shock treatment later, the judges have managed to assemble a list of winners. Remember, the contest winner gets two tickets to a ballgame in their area, while two runners-up will receive copies of Baseball Prospectus 2001.

Before we get to those entries, though, let's take a look at some of the best ones that didn't quite make the cut:

This poetic one is from Ben Edelman:

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I, being Chuck LaMar long I stood. I shall tell with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took Kevin Stocker for that Houston guy. And that has made all the difference."

Ben got extra points for being the first entry in the contest, but came up just a little short. As did another, er, "literary" entry, this one from Jeff Grove:

"I do not like Greenes, Hayes nor Lamb,
To earth will come one Zimmerman,
There should be none whose name is Fox,
Inside an NL batters box,

But the worst by far in East and West,
Was put in by Sweet Lou the Pest,
the out machine left M's fans cryin',
Top of the order--Hunter, Brian."

We could have had a subcategory in this contest--players who won't be taken in any fantasy drafts this year. The following entries would have been the winners there, hands down. First, Brett Hern:

"Bob Feller. Why? Besides the fact that, at age 82, his fastball isn't what he thinks it is, at age 25, his fastball wasn't as good as he thinks it was. Paint 'Ventura' on his wheelchair and let Nolan Ryan have at it."

Clyde Spicer let us know what he thought about another hard-thrower:

"I want players I can root for. I don't want head-hunting cretins like Ben Christensen on my team, ever. I don't care if he becomes the next incarnation of Pedro Martinez. I think he's worse than wife-beaters like Bobby Chouinard and Pedro Astacio, and far worse than a loudmouth boor like Rocker."

Well-said, Clyde, and just shy of being worthy of free stuff.

Let's now take a look at the entries that got their owners a book. First, James Bernstein talks about a BP favorite:

"zzie (No 'O') Guillen was a horrible player ten years ago--during his supposed 'heyday'. Cox already has Glavine and Smoltz for 'clubhouse presence'. How can he justify a roster spot for this portly never-was with his patented 'inside-out, pop-fly into the stands behind third base' swing?"

Congratulations, James. Chris Kahrl will be contacting you about the Ozzie Anonymous meetings real soon.

Our other runner-up, Daryl Cunningham, takes a swing at another ex-good-shortstop:

"The one player I will absolutely NOT have on my fantasy baseball team this year is Wil Cordero, because he won't hit enough...or at least, not until MLB replaces baseballs with Cordero's wife."

Thanks for that contribution, Daryl. Expect to hear from Mr. Cordero shortly. Well, he said something about a telephone, anyway...

All good entries, all worthy of a night at the ballpark...but just not as worthy as this one. John Burke picked an unexpected player and combined him with a reminder that fantasy baseball is all about ME:

"The one player I least want on my fantasy team is Ken Griffey Jr. He might help me win, and me winning my fantasy league is one of the Signs of the Apocalypse."

John's entry stood out among the more than 100 contributions we received from fans all over North America. John, keep us in your address book, because if you have a lead in September, we'd like to be warned ahead of time!

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