Because Ed Farmer signed with the Phillies, Joel Skinner has lost his chance to make his dad's club, the Pirates, but earned a place in the future trivia hall of fame.

Namely, first player drafted out of the pool set up in baseball's 1981 strike-ending agreement to compensate clubs losing "Type A" free agents. And a one-in-2,000 choice by the White Sox as payment for Farmer is the catching son, 20, of Bob Skinner, former Pittsburgh star now the Pirate batting coach.

With each major league club controlling about 125 players, and the 21 teams that opted to bid for post-'81 Type A's able to protect 26 apiece (Philadelphia 24 because it was the signing club), the Sox could sift from green prospects to vets on big-league rosters. Why Skinner, a .266 hitter in Class A? Chicago G.M. Roland Hemond: "We would have dealt Farmer (ex-ace of the White Sox bullpen) for Skinner straight up."

With Ron Guidry staying Yankee, two of the three Type A's are accounted for. Lightning can strike just one more organization, one ballplayer--to compensate the Cubs if Dick Tidrow signs elsewhere.

For this, Edward Bennett Williams was saying, baseball was shut down 50 days . . .

Mighty George Foster, N.Y. Met? If the Mets and Reds can seal a deal on which they report "considerable progress," it will be up to Cincinnati's great run producer. He'd have to accept Met terms to erase his potential post-1982-season freedom. Foster might fetch the Reds such Mets as Alex Trevino and just-signed (two years) Neil Allen. Can the Cubs, eyeing Foster, top that?

Mario Andretti has lost his appeal to the Automobile Competition Committee for the United States for victory in the 1981 Indi-anapolis 500--and vowed to keep trying to reverse the reversal of the reversal, by which Bobby Unser won, lost, won after squabble over illegal passing. "I can't let it die," Andretti said. "Never, until justice is done". . .

Nick Shuk, the Maryland jockey fighting cancer, had to come off his mounts for 8 1/2 hours of surgery Tuesday in Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore; wife Bonnie reported him "stable" yesterday . . . American U., on seven-game basketball win streak, loses seventh man David Ridley, 6-5 forward; in practice, badly sprained right knee--"same as Boo Bowers last year," notes AU . . .

Eastern Eight schools had a conference call yesterday, re future membership. Decisions expected soon . . . Grist, that, for West Virginia U. capital alumni at lunch today, Mike Mansfield Room, U.S. Capitol, and pre-WVU-at-GW basketball dinner Saturday, Marvin Center on GWU campus . . . WVU and Rutgers hedging, lately, about going independent . . .

How soon they----. Charlie Schmaus, 47-11 his first two years as VMI hoops coach (with some of predecessor Bill Blair's troops), is 75-82 now and out after this season. Hint came just before Keydets broke 23-game, two-season losing streak; final notice after another loss sank 'em to 1-17 . . .

Colt Bert Jones has filed a second NFL grievance, saying owner Bob Irsay's words and actions following first grievance violated league ban on "adverse public statements." How much more adverse, Jones wondered, than Irsay's publicly quoted, "I'll kick (Jones' behind) out of (Baltimore)". . .

Thomas (Hollywood) Henderson, sometime NFL linebacker, is off the hook in the suburban Dallas case in which he was accused of helping a woman friend steal a typewriter from a police station. Grand jury indicts her, not him . . . NBA Knicks, reinstating wayward Sly Williams: "Apparently he satisfied Red Holzman he's ready to get on the ball; they've kissed and made up."

"News Blue, Gonna Sue," N.Y. Post trumpeted after luring sports columnist Dick Young, and yep, N.Y. Daily News has filed for $750,000 damages--winning, pending a hearing next Monday, a week's stay, to Feb. 15, of Young's first Post column . . .

Litigation, no end: Bob Nussbaumer, former Cleveland Brown director of player personnel, suing everybody he can think of, $39 million worth, because Jan. 25 Sports Illustrated indicated he eavesdropped on Forrest Gregg, then Browns' coach, talking to players--and passed it on to owner Art Modell.

A. Assuming he sticks in '82, this will be a pitchers' record 24th big-league season for Cardinal Jim Kaat . . . Q. You're right, college basketball fans, overall scoring this season is way down. Lowest since when?