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
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
"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!