2003/04 Analysis Archive

Predictions, Studies, and Number-Crunching

Prospecting for Gold:
Babes In Crazyland

By now you've probably noticed the long run of Dan Troy articles. Well, why mess with a streak, we say! After reading this assessment of his prospects' prospects, Peter Angelos decided to start overpaying free agents again.

Prospecting for Gold:
The Phuture is Now

Completing his circuit of the NL East, Dan Troy searches the Cradle of Liberty for noteworthy prospects, and surprisingly, doesn't get arrested.

Prospecting for Gold:
Shea La Vie

It's Dan Troy again, and this time he's observing, assessing, and tallying the youngsters they're rushing to Flushing. Okay, that one was especially bad. We're honestly very sorry.

Prospecting for Gold:
Budding Bedouins

Where would we be without Dan Troy? Nowhere. Speaking of which, he looks at MLB's barnstorming Expos and tells us who's on track to join that nomadic tribe and walk the earth like Caine.

Prospecting for Gold:
South Breach

Back with another team crop future, Dan Troy takes on the World Champs, and predicts that they won't be World Champs in 2008, unless Steinbrenner decides to spend his dotage in warmer climes.

Prospecting for Gold:
Brave Chart

In this offseason of our discontent, Dan Troy begins his team-by-team look at the kids who haven't even taken their first steroid yet. Okay, so that might be hitting below the belt. We hear steroids often do that too.

Prospecting for Gold:
The Postseason Edition

Once again propping up Strikethree.com with his wit and wisdom, Dan Troy gives you some rookies to watch in the playoffs. Bonus: we cut him off from TV on Tuesday and made him do predictions.

Prospecting for Gold:
Prospect of the Year 2003

With the minor-league year wrapping up, Dan Troy ponders the best seasons of the season, and hands off the hardware to some lucky kid, who then wonders why he just got handed the old faucet from Dan's sink.

Prospecting for Gold:
Serving Minors in Beertown

Returning to his duty as trusty cub reporter (as opposed to Cub reporter), Dan Troy sees good things (and one especially large thing) coming to The City That Made Schlitz Famous.

Prospecting for Gold:
The Short Stops Here

Taking out his trusty spyglass, Dan Troy surveys a couple of middle infielders who he believes would comprise one-ninth of an able-bodied crew. Just don't ask him to figure out how the sextant works.

Prospecting for Gold:
Blue Blood

Moving to the opposite side of this great nation, Dan Troy pokes and prods some of the Dodgers' potential pitching prospects until we step in and tell him "bleeding Dodger blue" is just a figure of speech.

Prospecting for Gold:
I've Arrived (And To Prove It I'm Here)

There's a new kid on the block, and we gave Dan Troy a shiny quarter and put him in charge of watching the farm. Now play nice, and no swirlies, or no one's getting any ice cream.

The Predicticator
Stretch drive. Trade deadline approaching. Time to take stock. Dave Paisley cranks the predictation machine into reverse to see how things should have come out. He bets Pete Rose wishes he'd bet on the Royals this year...

Prospect Report:
One Last Thing...

In the thrilling conclusion of the Prospect Report, David Cameron has a few guys he wishes he'd remembered last week, and remembers a few guys he'd like to hug. We'll miss him, the big galoot.

Lucky Dogs II—This Time It's National!
Now Dave Paisley turns his attention to the most fortunate li'l pitchers on the Senior Circuit, which is not to be confused with some sort of Old-Timers' charity tour. At least that's the mistake some guy at the bar made last night.

Prospect Report:
Stars and Bars

It's time to pick the best of the first half, and David Cameron is up to the task. Get out your homemade minor-league Strat-O-Matic cards and play yourself an All-Star...you mean I'm the only one with homemade minor-league Strat-O-Matic cards?

Lucky Dogs
In the grand tapestry that is life, it's often better to be lucky than good. Dave Paisley illustrates that with a brief around AL pitching. Unfortunately for the Tigers being neither sounds the death knell for the season.

Prospect Report:
Youth Of The Nation

He's back, he's bad, he's terrorizing the Carolina League—David Cameron runs down a few more developing youngsters. And we mean "runs down" in the best way. Also "bad." Honest.

Hats Off
How is Scott Hatteberg like Jason Giambi? Dave Paisley delves into the mystery, but foregoes the temptation to wonder how Rick Neuheisel is like Mike Price. Or maybe he doesn't, but he was just too drunk to remember...

Moneyballs and Strikes
As Michael Lewis' new book on the Oakland A's new empire hits the best seller lists, Dave Paisley takes a look at the numbers inside the numbers. It takes a lot of balls to take a walk in baseball and even more to strike out. But is that a bad thing? Only if Billy Beane is nearby with a heavy, blunt object, apparently...

Prospect Report:

It's the book that's creating a sensation throughout baseball, and David Cameron explains just what that sensation is. We sure hope it's not itching and burning, like we got from Men Are From Mars.

Lucky Dogs
In pitching it's not just about throwing well, it's about being in the right place at the right time when your teammates score a ton of runs for you. Dave Paisley takes a look at those guys fortunate enough to have done that so far this year. Oh, and also the other guys. Yeah, keep sharp implements out of their reach...

Prospect Report:
Salem Lights

Heading over to observe the Astros' and White Sox' prospects, David Cameron reports that at least one team was neither smooth nor satisfying, and notes that one player runs like he's high in tar.

Cubs, Er, Win?
Vijay Singh apparently doesn't want a woman to beat him. We asked Mike Price what he thought about it, but he hasn't returned our call. What's this got to do with baseball? Well, Vijay getting beaten by Annika would be like the Cardinals being beaten by the Cubs. But Dave Paisley wouldn't be shocked if that happens this year...

NL Rookie Roundup
Back again with the top youngsters in the National League, Jason Michael Barker longs for days of yore... or at least 1997 -- Rolen! Andruw! Vlad! -- when the 'net was booming and rookies were plentiful. Aaah, the good old days.

Prospect Report:

Noting some drastic improvements in the minors, David Cameron suggests you be ever vigilant for The Prospect Formerly Known As Marginal.

Bronx Bomb?
All-Star voting is now under way, and the Japanese contingent looks like it may grow this year. But will it be deserved? After all, that's the most important thing about the All-Star game, right? Dave Paisley takes a look at the likely outcome regarding MLB's latest import and concludes that while Hideki Matsui may be no Babe Ruth, his career will last longer than Mike Price did at Alabama.

AL Rookie Roundup
Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? According to some, you're back in action down in Florida, but Jason Michael Barker doesn't believe it, not for one second. On the other hand, he's taken a certain Yankee to task over the years and we all know how well that has turned out, so you never know...

Prospect Report:
Return to the Valley of the Return

They were gone, now they're back. David Cameron explains how some minor-leaguers are just like the '80s, except without the inexplicable notion that we want to hear "Tainted Love" every half hour.

Those pesky upstart Royals refuse to go away, thereby forcing Dave Paisley to delve a bit deeper behind the smoke and mirrors. Then there's the question of those pesky Yankees. Won't they ever go away?

Prospect Report:
Quantum Reap

You know how time seemed to drag when you were younger? David Cameron can tell you what that means to a prospect at the start of the season, but he can't explain why Santa doesn't come any sooner.

Surprise, Surprise
With a few weeks under our collective belts, Dave Paisley turns his eye to just how far out of whack some teams are. And somehow, "whack" seems like the appropriate word when we're talking about the Tigers...

Prospect Report:
Greensboro Dreamin'

Back in the saddle—or more precisely, back in the scouts' seating area— David Cameron is once again observing and assessing, and this week he looks at the Marlins' Incredible Hulk and the ChiSox' Wild Thing.

Fantasy Island
Fresh back from a lazy vacation, Dave Paisley weighs in on the surprise starts to the season, the dangers of running fantasy teams from afar, what it's like to see baseball at 7 am, and wonders who would win in a grudge match between Iraq and the Tigers. Oh sure, like you weren't wondering that yourself...

Prospect Report:
In Arms' Way

Okay, so you're at the minor-league game, but are you in fact watching a hot prospect hurler, or are you observing nothing more than a mere garden-variety belly-itcher? David Cameron knows, and you can too.

Don't Quote Me On That!
It has been three months since Jason Michael Barker made some of his season predicitons. You think he might want to change a thing or two, just to cover his own hide? Cliiiiiiiiick... you might be surprised by the results.

Prospect Report:
What The Old Guys'll Do

Taking a break from the boys, David Cameron hangs with the men long enough to log his picks for 2003. He's also starting a pool on which Cub starter requires rotator cuff surgery first.

East Me

Chipping in the last of his divisional prognostications, Michael Cox finds a surprise in the NL East. Well, they might not think they're a surprise, but...no, it's not the Mets, fool. Hey...crullers!

Prospect Report:
Rebound For Glory

Guess who's back, back again. David Cameron's back. Tell a friend. This week he reviews some fellas who may have stumbled, may have fallen, but are in the process of dusting themselves off. Anyone got a mini-vac?

Warm Stove:
Texas BBQ

Without the prospect of facing a 2 am season opener in Japan, Dave Paisley turns his eyes to the now serene schedules of the Mariners and A's. Oh yeah and that other team, the whosits. You know, the guys that won the World wossname last year. The Halitosises. And that other team, the one with a rod. Or something like that.

Spaghetti Midwestern

What is it about the nation's heartland that breeds hapless baseball squads? Michael Cox ponders the fate of the umpteen rebuilding teams in the AL Central, and admits he's not exactly sure how many there are in "umpteen."

Warm Stove:
Path Of L'East Resistance

Life in the NL East has been unpredictable this past year, with more wiggles than a Shakira video. Dave Paisley tears his eyes away from the latter for a few seconds to evaluate the state of play in the right coast division in the senior circuit.

Going Central

How can a division so big have been (with one real exception) so bad? Michael Cox looks to explain this and other cosmic issues, like how that "Ice Cream Of The Future" has been around for about five years now.

Warm Stove:
Western Barbecue

Dave Paisley's pre-season prognostication meanderings take him to the National League West, where he ponders the fate of Barry Bonds and his band of merry men. They steal from the poor and give to rich. Er, wait, maybe that's the other way round. Either way, the Giants should have a pretty good year, especially now they don't have to worry about Jeff Kent falling off his truck while washing it in Spring Training. No, don't laugh, it's not nice.

NL Rookies to Watch
If the National League is known as the Senior Circuit, what do we call their rookies -- The Junior Seniors? Or does that sound too much like an aging Ken Griffey Jr.? Jason Michael Barker ponders these questions and much, much more.

Prospect Report:
K/9: Still Man's Best Friend?

Continuing his train of thought from last week, David Cameron revisits strikeout rates and wonders if you really can use them to pick winning lotto numbers. At least, that's what we think he was wondering. We get confused sometimes.

Warm Stove:
Central Heating

Making an abrupt League switch in his sequence of predictions, Dave Paisley brings you his view of the National League Central. Insert obligatory Bud Selig joke here. No really, this division isn't really all about the Brewers...

AL Rookies to Watch
Looking in on those brash youngsters in the American League, Jason Michael Barker tells them to keep it down, sonny, if they know what's good for them. And you there -- stay off of our lawn!

Who Laughs Last, Laughs West

This season the hardest-fought division in MLB will again be hard-fought, Michael Cox surmises. He also firmly believes that ships sailing great distances will not fall off the edge of the Earth, and that Courtney Love might be a bit unbalanced.

Prospect Reports:
K Rations

While various and sundry postulate regarding the youthful hurler who beguiles his adversaries, David Cameron opines that one needn't project a delusory deportment, at least through germination. Forsooth!

Warm Stove:
Central Reservations

Clint Eastwood starred in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Well, in the AL Central, there is precious little good, but plenty of bad and ugly to go around. Bad and Ugly - isn't that Eastwood's favorite candy?

All's (Too) Quiet on the Western Front

Last season all MLB's success drifted over to one side of the continent. The good news: Michael Cox does not believe the extra weight will cause it to list sharply and begin taking on water. The bad news: Michael Jackson is apparently slightly freaky.

Prospect Report:
Wait 'Til Next June

One of the positive aspects of your team having tanked in '02 is that this year they'll get to choose one of the young lads on David Cameron's list. That is, unless you're the M's and you traded your pick for Greg Colbrunn.

Warm Stove:
Curses, Not Foiled Again?

With some folks wrapping up their season previews, Dave Paisleyis just beginning to roll, and his AL East prediction may surprise you. Well, not those of you south of the Tri-State Area, but them's the breaks.

Off-Season Capsule: NL East
Wrapping up his series of divisional previews, Jason Michael Barker notes that although you might believe otherwise, there really isn't a rule stating the Braves must win the NL East every season. Could this be the year some sneaky team finally files an appeal?

Immovable East

Tossing out the first predictions of 2003, Michael Cox starts with the no-brainer that is the AL East, and hopes that one day it might once again become a brainer.

Prospect Report:
5-Year Checkup

Like a fine wine, some draft picks age into full-bodied splendor. Others are stored improperly and turn to vinegar. David Cameron swirls the Class of 1998 around in his mouth, then looks for the spit bucket.

Arbitrary Decisions
When you lose, you win. And when you win, you win. Dave Paisley delves into the mystery that is the arbitration process. And hey, is that Raul Ibanez? Why is he backing that Brinks truck up to the Royals clubhouse? CAUTION: Not advised for those people who are allergic to zeroes and commas.

Offseason Capsule: NL Central
Checking in with his penultimate such capsule, Jason Michael Barker reports that you shouldn't expect much change in the National League Central this year... unless of course you count those loose coins floating around in a certain Milwaukee owner's pockets.

Prospect Report:
Bubble Boys

You may still be digesting his top 100, but David Cameron has already moved on, eyeballing the ten best guys to not make the list and then moonlighting as a bounty hunter. Ken Caminiti, be afraid.

Offseason Capsule: NL West
Turning his attention to the National League, Jason Michael Barker looks at the division that has produced the last two NL World Series participants. Read on as he shockingly predicts that the 2003 World Series will be played between... one team from each league, guaranteed. Unless Selig finds a way to screw that up, too.

Top 100 Prospects of 2003
Wanna know whether Jack Cust dropped off the face of the Earth last year? How about whether it's safe to order a Boof Bonser jersey? Back after about a year-long absence (go figure), it's David Cameron's annual top-of-the-pops, accompanied by background information and a smokin' horn section.

A 10 Dance
Is he talking about the free-agent dance of death or what? Well Dave Paisley thinks you'll just have to read the article to find out. After all, if there are no butts in the seats, what's the point? Which is a question they'll be asking in Tampa Bay a lot this year...

Offseason Capsule: AL East
As he takes a look at the comings and goings in the American League's easternmost division, Jason Michael Barker asks the musical question, " Is this the year the Red Sox finally overtake the Yankees?" Trust us, it sounded much more musical the way he asked it... Or maybe that's just the milk talking.

Prospect Report:

Turning his expert eye to some overlooked youngsters, David Cameron thinks that although this Will Smith may not be a prince, he's certainly fresh enough. Next week: David Cameron has his other, non-expert eye checked out.

Offseason Capsule: AL Central
Moving on to the second installment of his offseason look at each division, Jason Michael Barker proclaims the Twins to be rulers over all, then must resist the urge to copy-n-paste his Royals and Tigers comments from a year ago. Let's see... CTRL-C, CTRL-V...

Prospect Report:
Hype Squad

You know that kid who's gonna save your team in 2004? David Cameron says he's a figment of a sportswriter's imagination. And that goes double for the Royals. Please refrain from fisticuffs.

Off-Season Capsule: AL West
In the first of a six-part series, Jason Michael Barker takes a look at the wild wild west and predicts a big fall for that horrible little monkey, and he's not talking about the season. Plus: Three brand new managers!

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