Monday, March 9, 2009

The Worst Day in Cliff Dwellers History

From 1984 to 1993, I participated in a fantasy baseball league. My team was called the Cliff Dwellers. The name is based on a Yogi Berra quote. He once supposedly said about a close game, "We've got a real cliff dweller going on here". My fellow owners nick named my team the Cellar Dwellers with good cause. My teams were either hitting rich and pitching poor or vice versa. I could never strike the right balance. In 10 years in the league I never once finished in the money. Our league held to the rules of the original fantasy league handbook "Rotissery Baseball". You compiled hitting and pitching stats in 5 categories each for every game. You didn't have to mname a line up every day. If your player played, you got his stats. The pitching stats were Wins, Saves, Strike Outs, ERA, and Loses. The worst situation was when two of your pitchers faced each other. The best you could hope for was that one of them would win while the other guy didn't get hit too hard. Which brings us to July 18, 1988 when the Cliff Dwellers had two pitchers facing each other:
At this point in the 1988 season the Phillies were 38-52 and in 5th place in the NL East, 16.5 games out of first. The Braves, were 32-57, in 6th place in the NL West, 22 games back. So the game wasn't exactly a match-up of powerhouse teams. The away Braves got one run off Rawley in the first. Not too bad so far. Then the Phillies came back with 3 runs off Mahler in the bottom of the first. Now, if only the offense can go to sleep, I'd be ok with a 3-1 win by Rawley. The game remained that way until the 4th, when the Phillies scored 3 more runs off Mahler. This isn't as good for the Dwellers, but a win is a win. Mahler was taken out after the 5th. Then in the top of the 6th, the Braves came back and scored 6 runs off Rawley, knocking him out of the game. Yikes! But since Mahler was still the pitcher of record, I could still get a win. The Braves scored another run in the 8th to go up 8 to 6. I really hated rooting against the Phillies but I had to salvage something out of this disaster, and a win for Mahler was the only thing I had going. But then the Phillies scored 2 runs off Braves closer Bruce Sutter in the 9th. The Braves went on to win the game in the 11th but by then it was too late for the Dwellers.

You might wonder how I could remember the details of this meaningless game from over 20 years ago. I didn't. I remembered the situation and that Mahler was still with the Braves. I narrowed the game down to sometime in 1988 or 1987. I looked at likely games in 1988 on It was the second game I looked at. Here's the box score.

1 comment:

night owl said...

I was going to say ... how do you remember all that?

I had your exact same luck with fantasy baseball. I was also in a rotisserie-style league and I could never do anything. I can't remember how many years I was in it -- 4 or 5. But I quit eventually. It was killing my enjoyment of baseball!