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The meltdown of ESPN's Fantasy Baseball site is prompting aneurysms among its more passionate users after the service informed them they'll have to start their games from scratch. The irony was all the more bitter in the wake of glitches that disrupted Fantasy Baseball players on a competing service called TQ Stats.

ESPN's problems popped almost from the start of the season, with some leagues complaining of inaccurate scoring, rosters that failed to update and malfunctioning waiver claims. Programmers for ESPN ultimately determined that the only way to untangle the mess was to completely reset the game, reverting each team to its opening day roster.

That, in turn touched off howls of protest.

"This is horrible," one player wrote in an online forum. "I cant believe that this is their 'solution'... Now the standings are wrong, and this coudl effect [sic] playoffs."

ESPN's problems followed a glitzy ad blitz that saw Geddy Lee, the bass player and singer from the rock band Rush, heavily promoting the service.

ESPN has apologized for the blunder. "This should not have happened and there is no excuse," the company said in an open letter to its players. "We will work hard to regain your confidence in our games." To make amends, ESPN is offering free access to ESPN Fantasy Insider, which offers content about fantasy sports. The site is also offering refunds to players of premium ESPN Fantasy Baseball leagues and offering free subscriptions to premium leagues for Fantasy Football in the fall.

Two weeks ago, Fantasy Baseball players on TQ Stats suffered similar indignations after a site redesign was blamed for causing trouble with live scoring and league standings. ®

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