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Back in the earliest days of the Cheer Club, we had a thing called the Hall of Dubious Achievements.

Having our "HEY PHIL, EJECT THIS" sign ejected from the Rogers Centre. Irritating the Yankee pitching staff from all the way up in the 500 level so much that they complained to stadium security. Richard Griffin telling me in person how much he disliked an article about him without realizing I had written the article. These things were the very definition of Dubious Achievements. And now I may have out-dubiously achieved all of our exploits.

I didn't set out to create the World's Worst Fantasy Baseball League. But guys... Oh man, have I ever done a bad thing.

It started innocently enough. I was given a CBS Sports Fantasy Pool as a thank-you, and while I figured I'd never use it, I decided to see what makes it different from the free pools that I'm accustomed to. I noticed that I could make really terrible roster rules, like setting minimum numbers for injured players. And then I saw the scoring. Oh, the scoring! Catcher Interference can be a scoring category? Balks? Hit Batters? Batting Average with Runners In Scoring Position? Suddenly I was really into making a fantasy league that rewards terrible players. I started pitching the idea to Bauxites past and present. Rob Pettapiece called it "the kind of league David Cronenberg would run." He promptly signed up.

And then I noticed the button that said Custom Stat Categories. Clicking that button changed everything. Suddenly I was able to add stats to other stats, multiply them against irrelevant stats, chop them into pieces and repackage them like so many toxic mortgages. My first attempt was so completely nonsensical that I named it Moustache Quality (2012 leader: Garrett Olson). I made an equally complex-yet-useless stat that combined obscure measurements of hitting and fielding and called it Intangibles (Reed Johnson, 2012: 1353; Curtis Granderson, 2012: 0).

While discussing it with my friend Neil, he suggested making a statistic that rewards Adam Dunn and calling it Effort. We came up with a formula that involves multiplying home runs by strikeouts with a few other modifiers. Here are the last four years of Effort Leaders, along with their scores:
2012: Adam Dunn, 105%
2011: Mark Reynolds, 88%
2010: Adam Dunn, 87%
2009: Mark Reynolds, 110%

Notable no-Effort bum: Alex Rios, who scored 26%, 11% and 23% over the last three years.

Suddenly I had 36 teams registered in my fantasy league.

Naming some of the stats became hard. Sure, the stat that combined Balks, Wild Pitches, Hit Batsmen and Home Runs Allowed was a measure of Pitcher Mood (later renamed Grumpiness, and more recently renamed Fortitude), but what about this thing that multiples Caught Stealing, Hits with Runners In Scoring Position, Intentional Walks Received, Men Left On Base, Double Plays Started, Putouts and Triples by each other to come up with a ridiculous nonsense number?

I was trying to describe how one of the stats was measured, and a coworker asked if I was talking about Dungeons and Dragons.

HELL YES, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS. I immediately renamed the league and all of the statistics. We no longer had teams, now we had Parties. Defensive stats? Armour Class, Dexterity. Offensive stats? Strength, Gold. Pitchers are now Wizards. And so on.

We draft in a week. I'll leave the last word to Friend of the Box Spencer Fordin:

"This looks awful."

Named For Hank's league can be found here.

The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde | 26 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, March 20 2013 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#269277) #
This is awesome.  (as I was writing, I was torn between "awesome" and "awful" and figured I'd go with whatever came out first. Congratulations, NFH!) You really need to nail this down into a long-running, conssistently inconsistent league so people can follow it.  It'd be one of the few fantasy leagues I can imagine being a fan of. I look forward to regular updates here on Da Box!
Named For Hank - Wednesday, March 20 2013 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#269279) #
Thanks, Mick. I expect that the draft will be insane -- I hope to chronicle that insanity.

Incidentally, you should be able to view the league, including a stat breakdown of all our weird categories, at the link above. You need a free CBS account but you don't need a team in the league in order to view it.

Subversive - Wednesday, March 20 2013 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#269280) #
Freaking hilarious writeup. Sounds like a ton of fun.
DRising - Wednesday, March 20 2013 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#269284) #
any chance for a link to the article griffin didn't like? pretty sure anything he didn't like i'd love!
John Northey - Wednesday, March 20 2013 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#269286) #
Nothing like having fun with stats - be it to make 'serious' stats or 'fun' stats.  A simple one could be upside down OPS - 1/OPS so the worse the OPS the better the score - thus Omar Vizquel last year gets a 1.832 and Edwin Encarnacion gets a 1.063 while Barry Bonds 2004 is 0.703.  Or reverse ISO so you get the guy with the least power being the leader.  Hmm... Perhaps 2 - (OBP-Avg) - (Slg-Avg) so someone with no power or walking ability would lead - multiple by (4 X CS) - SB so guys who just can't stop running who really should do really well - call it the 'Alfredo Griffin'.
Chuck - Wednesday, March 20 2013 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#269288) #
Perhaps you could get Jim Bowden to help, but don't tell him you want goofy crap. Tell him you want serious metrics. He could then suggest stuff like OPSBI.
Named For Hank - Wednesday, March 20 2013 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#269289) #
John, I made a stellar one that we later abandoned that was called the Slow Footed Bastard: we added every outcome that could conceivably come from running slowly and then divided by plate appearances. We were trying to figure out who we could name it after. Likewise the stat for the pitcher who had done the very best but not won any games, which was called Stieb.
Named For Hank - Wednesday, March 20 2013 @ 04:56 PM EDT (#269290) #
DRising, I looked for the Griff article but couldn't find it. If I remember it right, it was me criticizing his criticism of Chasing Steinbrenner, which he clearly hadn't read (he characterized it as yet another Moneyball book, when it made no mention of statistics and was instead a shaggy collection of tales of what it was like to be in the same division as the juggernaut early 2000s Yankees).
Named For Hank - Wednesday, March 20 2013 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#269291) #
Oh geez, Chuck, that looks EXACTLY like one of my stats.
jgadfly - Wednesday, March 20 2013 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#269292) #

 Mick ...   " And in fact, Cheer Club would encourage me to do so and be disappointed if I didn't, and not try to shush my "Vernon! Come back to Fort Worth!" pleas. " 

                  ... and  "we were so much younger then, we're wiser than that now"  ... or however that song went ...

John Northey - Wednesday, March 20 2013 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#269293) #
For SFB I'd use Bengie Molina myself.  Heck, any Molina pretty much I think would fit the definition. Although for super-slow you could use Buck Martinez (post broken leg) - old catcher who is recovering from a broken leg, can anything be slower?
Named For Hank - Wednesday, March 20 2013 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#269295) #
Well, I was present for all three minutes of Greg Myers' inside the park home run...
robertdudek - Wednesday, March 20 2013 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#269296) #
How about a stat that combines the ability to not hit the ball far with the ability to injure an opposing player:

((SIngles-EBH)/ balls in PLay))+(Put opponent on DL/game)

We can call it the HUCKABY.

jgadfly - Thursday, March 21 2013 @ 03:43 AM EDT (#269297) #

Ken Huckaby  is the new hitting coach for SS Low A  Bluefield ...

Named For Hank - Thursday, March 21 2013 @ 06:49 AM EDT (#269299) #
Robert, if CBS tracked who injured who I would make this stat in a heartbeat. That's a great one.
DRising - Thursday, March 21 2013 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#269307) #
So Griff was criticizing your criticism of his criticism. Brilliant! Wish I were a fly on the wall for that one...
ISLAND BOY - Friday, March 22 2013 @ 07:46 AM EDT (#269333) #
How about a category for managers ?  Career losses plus times ejected from games minus times traded to another team for a "dream job " ?
Named For Hank - Friday, March 22 2013 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#269334) #
I feel like that would be a dull stat to live score during games, Island Boy.
John Northey - Friday, March 22 2013 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#269335) #
Hmm... do they track days DL'ed?  Could do something with that...
Perhaps a thing with K's x Days on DL - so a hitter who strikes out a lot when healthy but is hurt a lot gets a ton of points here.  Or for pitchers Walks x Days on DL.  Call it the 'please get hurt again' stat.

ISLAND BOY - Friday, March 22 2013 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#269336) #
Yeah, it was only in jest, with a touch of bitterness, hence the " dream job " reference. Don't discount manager ejection as part of stat though, possibly named the Bobby Cox Equation. Think about it - you're watching a game and there's a very close call. The manager comes charging out of the dugout and starts jawing with the umpire, throws his hat on the ground, the umpire's face is getting redder, wait for it and... yes, he's out of the game and you have him in your pool !  Anyway I don't understand some of the stats so this was just a humorous suggestion. You have a good idea for a fantasy league ,though.
Named For Hank - Friday, March 22 2013 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#269351) #
They don't track days on the DL as far as I can tell. But I am able to set all manner of goofy minimums.
Named For Hank - Sunday, March 24 2013 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#269371) #
With the draft being Thursday night, we suddenly have one spot open. Let me know if you are interested in joining our horrible, horrible league.
Craig B - Sunday, March 24 2013 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#269373) #
I'm hugely excited (oo la la) to be a part of this, by the way.

It sounds like one team has wussed out, so bombard NFH with your entreaties to get in on the fun.
Mike Green - Tuesday, April 02 2013 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#269703) #
I had another idea for a stat suitable for this league.  Toxic Dump.  Salary/$5 million + times suspended + criminal convictions + divorces/4 - WAR (surely a league like this will find a use for WAR). 
John Northey - Tuesday, April 02 2013 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#269704) #
Given I doubt criminal convictions and divorces are there...
Toxic Dump: Salary/WAR - the more WAR you get the fewer points.  A-Rod is the likely winner, you'd get almost 0 points for Trout.  A small negative WAR would give you a negative score, a big negative WAR would cost you a lot of points - thus an incentive to get bad guys but not crazy bad. 

Named For Hank - Tuesday, April 02 2013 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#269727) #
This is delightful. We'll have to keep it in a back pocket for next year.
The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde | 26 comments | Create New Account
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