1999 Feature Archive

News, Opinion, and Humor

The Daveys: Part Deux
In the second installment of his awards, Dave Paisley doles out more statuettes. They must be legitimate awards, because he typed his column while wearing a tuxedo.

Baseballhead Awards 1999
Checking in with some assorted awards for the year, decade and century, Michael Cox seeks to satisfy both the general public and the math geeks by asking "why not just celebrate the millennium twice?"

A Fine Whine
For all that's good about baseball, Jason Michael Barker has managed to find a few things that are really, really wrong. It's not complaining, it's, erm, constructive criticism.

The Daveys
With time as we know it drawing to a close, Dave Paisley hands out statuettes to thebest, brightest, and meanest of the past decade. You're all invited to the after party.

Gifts (or, Addition by Subtraction)
Explaining that the Mets got the equivalent of Charlie Brown's sad li'l Xmas tree, Matt Bruce has a Zeile for young third basemen and the Rangers' chances.

Little Boy Lost
Maybe you're wondering just what's going on with these Griffey non-trade talks. Delve with Dave Paisley into the mind of a superstar as Junior continues to do the Hokey-Pokey (no, that's not the Reds 2B.)

Red Head

Call your friends, call your family, call David Haselhoff if you must, but get a cast together somehow... Michael Cox presents a winter meetings scene worthy of acting out in your own home or place of work. Studio audience not included.

Deuce Bigalo, Mail Gigolo
Bereft of creative ideas, our own Jason Michael Barker is reduced to ripping off fading SNL player movie titles for headlines. But aren't cheap ripoffs what SNL is all about? Inside: Actual baseball content! Honest!

I'm Ready for My Closeup, Mr. Selig

In the wake of the giant settlement just reached by ESPN and MLB, Michael Cox explains what post-season television coverage will look like in the near future. Trust us when we tell you it ain't pretty... unless you're a big fan of Darth Vader meets the theme from Titanic.

Hollywood Minute
If you're wondering just where ABC is going to turn after they cancel all their new fall comedies, puzzle no more. Jason Michael Barker has an idea that can't be worse than "Norm."

Closer to the Heart
If your car has four bald tires, would you buy one primo radial and declare it road-ready? Matt Bruce says "exactly."

Holiday Gift Guide
Gifts for rabid baseball fans are everywhere if you just look hard enough, and Jason Michael Barker even shows you where to look. Hey, is that Rey Ordonez under the tree?

Media vs. Fans

Who's worse -- the baseball writers or the fans who throw things on the field? In the second part of his 1999 season recap, Michael Cox suggests we get the two parties together and find out once and for all.

Popcorn Picks
Showing the other Strikethree.com staff that it is in fact possible to write a column over the holidays, Matt Bruce locked himself in a room with a stack of baseball videos. Yes, that's a flattened copy of Angels in the Outfield behind his car.

Feel the Magic...D'oh!

Taking a page from the history book we call baseball, Michael Cox recaps the past year in MLB and discovers that children across the country have been wasting their time learning this whole "Civil War" thing.

Curses: Foiled Again
Yeah right, it's a cosmic plot. Matt Bruce explains that New England residents aren't the only ones with bad luck, but do they believe him? Noooooo.

Senility Rules
He's a catcher -- and he stole a few bases! Wow! Dave Paisley wonders where that great hypno-wheel can be purchased, and whether it works on movie producers as well.

Before They Were Stiffs
Due to a lack of players who actually have come back from debilitating drug problems (sit down, Darryl), Matt Bruce suggests a midseason replacement for Behind the Unis.

The World [Series] Is Not Enough
Can the Braves beat the Mets next year -- or even the Phillies? Can they afford to pass on Griffey? Dave Paisley wonders who'll blink first in this high stakes game of chicken.

A Flat Bud

Monsieur Selig was up to his usual shenanigans last week, much to the dismay of fans in Kansas City. After checking the facts and sizing up the situation, Michael Cox says "You go, Miles!"

Beltre's Budding Bounty
Jason Michael Barker explains that with a little subterfuge, you too can have your contract torn up and rewritten with payment specified in Kruegerrands.

Prospects for Domination
With three 1990s World Series titles behind them, Matt Bruce explains that continued success depends on just how itchy Da Boss' speakerphone finger really is.

BS or Not?

First Juan Gonzalez, now Shawn Green and Raul Mondesi... GMs are tossing outfielders around baseball with reckless abandon, to which Michael Cox says "slow down before you put someone's eye out with that thing!" Plus: a Griffey gripe, international issues, and more.

Pass The Silver Polish...
Yes, it's that time again. No, we don't mean the X-Files premiere, but something just as eerie, the annual BBWAA awards. Dave Paisley dons the latex to probe deeper...

Sic Transit Gloria Juando
Watch Matt Bruce as he weighs the recent development in Texas with a studied eye, carefully ponders the facts, then does his "happy dance."

Stop the Damn Press

Getcher superstars here! Hey, superstars! Michael Cox explains that "humanly possible" is in the eye of the beholder. Also, the Chicago non-surprise, and some other thing happened.

All-Rookie Roster, Pt. 1
Sure, the All-Century team has guys like Hank Aaron and Jackie Robinson and is sponsored by MasterCard. Jason Michael Barker has picked a crew that is approximately 8600 times less expensive and could be brought to you by Skechers.

All-Century Losers?
Apparently, the reason nobody knew what you were supposed to be at the Halloween party was that you dressed as Tris Speaker. Dave Paisley explains.

Sleeping Sickness
Just in time for Halloween, Matt Bruce reveals his postseason nightmares, and their unfortunate parallel with his love life. We think alcohol was involved.

Graying a Colorful Night

Baseball controversy was in the air Sunday night, and for once it had nothing to do with the umpires. Michael Cox says he can sum it all up in just one phrase: Them's fighting words.

When Managers Go Bad
The Braves are losing, and you can bet Ted Turner is pissed. Jason Michael Barker explains that the Yankees are good, but that Bobby Cox isn't helping Atlanta's cause any, either.

Curses: Foiled Again
Yeah right, it's a cosmic plot. Matt Bruce explains that New England residents aren't the only ones with bad luck, but do they believe him? Noooooo.

Just Like the Oscars
Yes, we're still not there yet, so Jason Michael Barker takes his stab at prognostication. And he finds that, just like those movie awards, it pays to be better later rather than sooner.

War O' the Words

New York fans get riled up by John Rocker while Boston fans get riled by umps. Meanwhile, Michael Cox takes it all in and dishes it back out with equanimity.

The Hero Effect
Scientific research by Matt Bruce proves that most men remember who hit their team's game-winning postseason homers longer than they remember their own first lovers. Uh, except us, that is.

War O' the Words

New York fans get riled up by John Rocker while Boston fans get riled by umps. Meanwhile, Michael Cox takes it all in and dishes it back out with equanimity.

Sunday Night Fever
After fifteen innings of baseball Sunday, was Jason Michael Barker the only fan in America still glued to his TV? Our sources say yes, and reveal that it's always fun to second-guess Bobby Cox.

Decade of Destiny
In the '70s it was the Pet Rock. In the '80s it was acid-washed denim. Now, Dave Paisley says the sitcoms of 2015 will be dependent on the outcome of this year's Fall Classic.

The Hero Effect
Scientific research by Matt Bruce proves that most men remember who hit their team's game-winning postseason homers longer than they remember their own first lovers. Uh, except us, that is.

Play it Again, Ump
Can't wait to see how this one pans out? Jason Michael Barker zooms in on the one thing that could turn the men in blue from chumps to umps.

First Round Reckoning
On the principle that you're from Houston or Phoenix and still wondering what happened in the Division Series, Dave Paisley shakes his head with you.

The Loophole Series

So, if the Division Series was last week, how come the East Division champs haven't yet been decided? Michael Cox ponders this conundrum while the Cookie crumbles. You can stop laughing now.

Division Series Diatribe
In case you missed it, Jason Michael Barker runs down the Division Series for you. Er, that's not "run down" like the kids do to each other on The Real World, but rather...oh, never mind.

Wild (Card) Hair
Tired of watching the Braves and Yankees year after year? Matt Bruce takes you to a perfect world where the Brewers would have been in a pennant race four extra times. Oh, did we say perfect?

And Then There Were Six
The first round may not be over yet, but Jason Michael Barker says two teams might as well pack up and go home. Try to guess which ones! We think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Division Serious

The playoffs opened last night, and Michael Cox is viewing the first games on tape even as we speak. Enjoy his predictions as he reminds himself it's the fast forward button that gets him past the little Pepsi girl.

Sunday's Bounty
Yesterday was one of those rare days when everything hinges on three separate games. Jason Michael Barker was there, if by "there" you mean in a La-Z-Boy facing a 27-inch Panasonic.

Derek Lowe: Alien Prince
Your favorite Red Sox fan, Matt Bruce, explains that the "cigarette smoking man" was talking about short relievers all the time.

Free Agency, Anyone?
In case you're wondering who your team might add for their 2000 pennant run, Jason Michael Barker has about 50 ideas, plus we're quite sure Albert Belle might be available.

Wire Fire

With mere days to go in what they call the "championship season," Michael Cox says drinking and exhibitionism don't mix -- if you know what's good for you. Also, umps, owners and auctions.

Mailbag Musings
You know him, you love him, you flood his inbox with your prose. Dave Paisley takes a look two more pieces of reader mail -- one serious, and one, um, not so serious.

D-Back D-Light
Who'd have thought that the first non-Cleveland team to clinch their division would reside in Phoenix? Not Jason Michael Barker, who stops short of self-flagellation.

Mailbag Megalomania
Enter the magical land of Dave Paisley's mailbox, where Ted Williams was second-best and the 1975 Reds could kick the X-Men's asses.

Awards Show
Flummoxed after he missed his opportunity to pick the Country Music Performer of the Year, Jason Michael Barker is predicting the MVP and Cy Young winners.

Monkeys Revisited

That band of zany madcaps who run MLB met again last week, and Michael Cox brings you the transcript. Watch for it as a mid-season replacement on the WB.

Economic Seriocomic
What if you had all the answers, but everyone thought you were speaking in that wacky Esperanto or something? Matt Bruce knows how the guys who create those 200 mpg carburetors feel.

General Manager Roulette
Several teams currently have no one in charge of signing new players. Others may soon follow. Jason Michael Barker says there are options. Beyond that, all bets are off.

This Is When It Gets Good

Like the last five minutes of a basketball game, there are those who argue that only in mid-September does baseball really get good. Michael Cox knows that those people do not live in Kansas City.

Devil Grays
You may love and appreciate the past feats of baseball's fading veterans, but Matt Bruce explains that your favorite team's probably better off with guys who don't remember when MTV showed videos.

Review: Baseball Mogul 2000
It doesn't have 3D rendered ballparks or user-adjustable camera angles, but it's the best baseball simulation in history. Why? Jason Michael Barker explains: 50-cent ballpark beer.

Week of Short Fuses

People are mad. Not the people who really have the right to be mad, but that's usually how it works, n'est-ce pas? Michael Cox spins tales of anger in Anaheim, nastiness in New York, tension in Toronto and more.

Wildly Chasing the Card: AL
There's a pennant race going on, sonny boy, and it's about time you sat up and took notice. Jason Michael Barker gives you the ins and outs, ups and downs, and throws in a few diagonals just to keep you on your toes.

One Night Stand
The most stream-of-consciousness-inspiring sport in the world is baseball. Case in point: Matt Bruce went to a ballgame, and a column broke out.

Up With People
Jason Michael Barker asks you to remember when you were in fifth grade and they made you skip to seventh and the bigger kids kept beating you up...what, that never happened to you? Oh. Never mind...

O Woe is They

At the eleventh hour, the umpires are playing the sympathy card, but Michael Cox sees their bet and raises them a Manto. Also, Griffey comes to your town, Big Unit generates cool breezes, and more.

NL Pennant Race Recap
Wondering which teams are going to make the post-season, and which will be sent home crying like little babies? Derek Zumsteg was too, until he whipped out the magic 8-ball, tea leaves, and tarot cards in an effort to find out.

Addition By Subtraction?
The major leagues are idly tossing about the idea of shrinking their ranks, and Jason Michael Barker confirms that what they say about Beelzebub and hands is true.

Joy Division
MLB has gotta realign someday, so Matt Bruce has devised a method that will not only make geographic sense, but also confuse foreigners.

Not So So-So Any More
With the home run race heating up (even if the Cards and Cubs are still collectively looking like death warmed over) Dave Paisley takes a look back at the man who was once derided as Sammy So-So.

Jason Michael Barker explains that you too can become a free-agent fan, only much, much smarter.

A Dog Day's Night

With real news at a minimum, Michael Cox is actually thankful for more comedy fodder from the umpires. Also, the Rose Files, and a random mention of Mark McGwire just to help our search engine ranking.

The Great BP/BBBA Debate
When it comes to annual baseball books, Derek Milhous Zumsteg says there's a right way and a wrong way to do things, and he's not shy about letting you know which is which. Don't blame us... he could read before he got here.

Going Postal Again
Dave Paisley loves reading your mail aloud for the class, and usually even refrains from snickering. However, there isn't much he can do with those human heads you've been sending him.

Settin' Up for a Sham

What happens when home run records become as common as perky young dancers in Gap commercials? Michael Cox has an idea. Also, a man wielding a rod, a man called Pee Wee, and more.

Yankees, Yankees, Yankees

Some days it just feels like Major League Baseball consists of the Yankees and 29 equivalents of the Washington Generals. Michael Cox is certain the day will come when Bernie Williams hits a double with his back turned, holding a mirror.

Winning Roto for Winners
After thinking it only one step above the brainless parlor game that is fantasy football, Derek Zumsteg found a way to love the rotisserie, and will share it with you...now.

I'll Take Potpourri for $200, Alex
What does a fragrant batch of petals and herbs and a Jason Michael Barker article have in common? No, I'm actually asking.

Ten Great Things About Boston
It's like an alien world for most of us, but Matt Bruce calls Beantown home and isn't afraid to say it. Just don't say "Bucky Dent" or it could get ugly.

The 3,000-Hit Club
If there's one stat that will get you into the Hall of Fame, it's this one, and Jason Michael Barker goes from Anson to Molitor without once going off on Charley Hustle. Or Pete Rose.

A Dog Day's Night

It's pretty bad when all the biggest news in MLB has naught to do with the actual playing of baseball. Michael Cox tours Resigned Ump Angst, the Psychic Griffey Network, and the Night of No Trades.

The Tall and the Short of it
We've always assumed that baseball afforded the ability to excel to men lf all shapes, but Derek Zumsteg has noticed a disturbing trend of ballplayers who are freakishly...well, a couple inches taller than average.

Play the Game
No, it's not a tribute to Queen. Michael Cox is actually being serious, regarding the need for baseball when the world is otherwise torn asunder.

Make It Stop

The umps got themselves in deep doo-doo, and now they're counting on the guy who got them into it to extricate them. Michael Cox believes they need to watch out for Richie Phillips' cohorts Moe and Curly.

Phillips: A Boy Named Sue
The umpires may have resigned, but Derek Zumsteg observes that they won't quit without a fight, and that picking the fight after you quit doesn't leave you with much leverage.

Back in the Habit
Tanned, fit and rested...well, rested anyway, Jason Michael Barker takes his first look at Seattle's new park, and bemoans the lack of ouzo and petits fours at the ballyard.

Baseballhead: Cone Drone
Michael Cox suggests that no-hitters in the mirror are smaller than they appear. He may have rushed it a bit so that he could see the Big Unit.

Tainted Perfection
When is a perfecto not a perfecto? Derek Zumsteg suggests that throwing it against a team of t-ballers might qualify. Or the Expos.

Inauguration Cogitations
Recently Dave Paisley attended the opening game at Seattle's new ballpark, and as should be obvious from the title, he...um...I have no idea what that means.

The All-Intangible Team
You know all about OPS, WHIP, and that other baseball nerd stuff. Jeff Bower goes a level deeper, finding baseball's top talents with skills that can't be tallied on a scoresheet. Too bad, because that's where the score is kept.

Strikethree.com editor Michael Cox sat through the All-Star Game, and all you got was this silly article. But face it, it beats watching a replay.

All-Star Angst
So nobody likes anybody's All-Star selections, eh? Derek Zumsteg has an answer that thankfully does not involve ESPN's Dave Campbell even a little bit.

More Mailbag Beefs
Our Dave Paisley spent the day having two fillings, and allows the readers to speak in his stead. All letters spellchecked to protect the innocent.

Field of Talking Heads
Some big gulps in the road to two cities' ballparks has the usual suspects offering supertankers of sound bites all am/pm, while all that fans want to know is when they can start hanging circle Ks. Michael Cox has the 7-eleven, er, 411.

Let Us Praise the Half-Decent Heroes
They say the first time's the one you always remember, and Matt Bruce was taken back to that evening when he witnessed a recent match-up of Unfrozen Caveman Pitchers.

Halfway Homer Hype

With Ken Griffey Jr., the All-Star balloting, and a brand spanking new major-league ballpark to talk about, Michael Cox didn't have space to describe Jason Kendall's injury in graphic detail. Not even for better ratings.

All-Star Snobbery
Hearing the usual whining from the usual media suspects, Derek Zumsteg reminds you once again that there is neither a "one person, one ballot" rule nor a second "t" in All-Star."

Global Ballpark
They may think getting new ballparks will solve their cash flow problems, but Michael Cox opines that if the Twins and Expos think they're screwed now, just wait a few years.

Don't Go Away Mad
MLB's umps are trying an "innovative" method of walking out, and Michael Cox wouldn't mind if the door were to lock behind them.

Mailbag Bonanza
When the mailbag gets to overflowing, it's time to put our readers in the spotlight. Dave Paisley sorts through his heap of feedback with some thoughts on the All-Star game, rookies and a little thing we like to call commentator's disease.

Throwing My Cap Out of the Ring
Sliding in just under our moratorium on Yankee-bashing (although Paul O'Neill is still fair game), Erik Lundegaard tells the tale of how the Navy 'n' White, or lack thereof, has stymied his political aspirations.

Pox on the Fox Box

This week, Michael Cox thinks that somewhere in LA there is a computer technician doubled up laughing over all the young folks who think they're already losing their eyesight. Also, Cubans, Darryl and the Dome.

Requiem for a Ballpark
The 1998 outgoing ballpark tally is now one down and four to go, and although Derek Zumsteg is glad the Kingdome is going the way of Baby Geniuses, but would shake its hand all the same, if it had hands.

Marketing Mid-term: D for "Duh"
With MLB nearing the halfway pole, Michael Cox gets an overview of their promotional strategy so far, and finds that even reruns of "The Drew Carey Show" do more to sell baseball.

The Good, The Bad and the Umpires

After leading off with the Barneys of the AL in Oakland of all places, Michael Cox realizes that doesn't sell pixels and proceeds to mention Griffey and gets militant on the usual suspects' asses. Stick it to the Man!

Ballgame, Inc.
Forget about airline-sponsored home runs -- Derek Zumsteg tells of a not-too-distant day when Mulan will do the Angels' color commentary while Drew Carey appears as guest manager.

Their Lucky Day?
This week, Jason Michael Barker observed a couple of guys who made a couple of moves that may allow them to collect a couple more paychecks before the townsfolk begin pummeling them about the heads with hard rolls.

Stuck in Neutral?
Dylan Bumbarger predicts that before long you'll know the joy of seeing "no flights available" messages on Expedia and paying astronomical hotel rates to see your home team play in the postseason, just like football fans do.

King For Another Day
Drunk with power from his first attempt to usurp the commissioner's chair, Jason Michael Barker again pontificates from his steed of great elevation, pausing only to occasionally touch a pinky to his quivering lips.

The Poorest Little Rich Teams

The honeymoon's over between Baltimore and Belle, and in NYC the zany hijinks are overshadowed by some bad decisions. You may have known this, but Michael Cox feels a kind of glee recounting it, possibly because he also gets to make fun of one of the easy targets in Denver again.

Shea Day
Derek Zumsteg, straying from an ill-advised "Landmarks of 'Seinfeld'"package tour, found himself in Queens recently, and couldn't help but wonder, "where the hell did that World's Fair go?".

King For A Day
Jason Michael Barker gets a hefty case of megalomania and, drunk with power, lets us all know how things would be under his kindly rule.

AL Vets Beg For Run Support
Dave Paisley warns you that the following tables may be hard to watch, but won't you please donate a homer or two to a pitcher hungry for wins?

Shoeless Who?
Simply everybody's talking about Joe Jackson, but Dylan Bumbarger is more succinct, turned in his article first, and includes no gratuitous insults aimed at Ted Williams.

Professor Maddux Failing Mid-terms
Coming up on the mid-way mark of the season, Dave Paisley just can't resist poking The Professor in the eye with a metaphorical sharp stick as he reviews NL starter performance so far.

NL Rookie Roundup
Who'd have thunk that in his critique of the newcomers in the League of the Hackin' Hurlers, Jason Michael Barker would have nothing to say about J.D. Drew?

Ump Dump

The dust still hasn't cleared in Replaygate, and upon further review, Michael Cox is not impressed. Also, the Fray in L.A., Crazy Bud's interleague madness, and more.

Nielsen Knuckleball
After getting the lay of the never-never-land of the continuing MLB/media merger and its resultant management weirdness, Derek Zumsteg says you ain't seen nothin' yet.

Ballpark Figures: Box Seat Envy
You say you're being priced out of the old ballyard? Michael Cox suggests you're also being priced out of Gucci handbags, but you need them just as much as you need "Diamond Club" tickets.

Peter Gammons is Freaky, by draftee Yoni Mashimura
Love the Players, Hate the Draft, by "Peter," important baseball columnist.

Hardball Hodgepodge
Coming at you with a grab bag of ponderings, Jason Michael Barker suggests you shotgun a Mountain Dew before reading.

A Tale of Two Prezzes

Our Michael Cox points out that some have leadership in their blood, while others have no idea what they're doing in that swanky Manhattan office. It's a tawdry tale of beanballs, errors and videotape.

Beaned by Reality
Brawling after being hit by a pitch seems to be all the rage (no pun intended), and while some blame "headhunting" pitchers, the real culprits are revealed and verbally pantsed by Derek Zumsteg.

Dead Parks Walkin'
If you're currently being subjected to your team's "countdown" to a new park, Michael Cox advises you to stop and smell the ghosts before your haunted house of hardball faces the demolition man.

At a Glance: National League
If you don't have time to read much, but still want to know who's doing what in the NL, Jason Michael Barker sums it up. In fact, it may be even shorter than this teaser.

Watch Those Paws

This week has featured a lot of baseballs hitting a lot of guys. Michael Cox claps his hands and says "Again! Again!" Also, the unnoticed record, and how Owen Hart's death relates to baseball.

No Quarter for Schilling
Of all the baseball players who've complained this year, some sportswriters have chosen to browbeat Curt Schilling. Derek Zumsteg tosses a verbal drink in their faces (and doing it that way, it saves the drink).

Ballot Bonanza
You may have noticed ballpark ushers handing out slips of paper this spring. Jason Michael Barker explains that they're not to be taken internally, er, seriously.

Hail to the Chief
They only had to be on the good side of mediocre to win their division, but the Indians are on such a tear that it could increase their asking price. Why is this racist doodle smiling? Dave Paisley has the details.

Road Rave

Michael Cox has returned with more tales of the road. Also, Dick prepares to bail, I Am Joe's Prostate, and more.

Twin Peeks
Once, Dave Paisley wrote a how-to for boorish fans. Turns out the fans in Minnesota are already way ahead of him.

Home Sweet Dome
Masochists do some weird things to themselves, and even they shudder to think of Jason Barker's all-weekend stay in the Kingdome. Jason reports.

One Positive Article
It only takes one good cop, and hopefully it only takes one positive article to get rid of Derek Zumsteg's undeserved reputation as a napalm-fueled critic. So here's a kinder, gentler, side to Derek. Make the most of it. You know it won't last.

Land of the Giants
With the season finale of the X-Files airing tomorrow, Dave Paisley was inspired to go investigate a few aliens himself. What is that strange green glow coming from Candle.., er, 3Com Park, anyway?

TWIBO: Diane's Piazza Page
This Week in Baseball Obsession, Melissa Hughes features an ordinary, everyday girl, who wants what every ordinary, everyday girl wants: Mike Piazza, chained in her basement dungeon. Okay, maybe we're exaggerating. Slightly.

BOB's Yer Uncle

The big news of the day from Michael Cox - the temperature in Phoenix is a moderate 95. It's a missive from the road, featuring the dichotomy that is baseball with air conditioning AND bugs.

The Week that Walked

Well, Derek Zumsteg thought Michael Cox was taking the week off so he thought it might be a good idea to crack a cold one and land a few zingers on the Bronx. We aren't letting him get off so light; we're running it anyway.

Rumble in the Bungle

Peter Angelos got his Cuban wish, and the best part of it was apparently a try-out at linebacker by an umpire. Michael Cox also is shocked - shocked! - that there are drunk fans at Wrigley.

Surprise, Surprise (Part II - Bride of Surprise)
Over in the NL West, Dave Paisley sees some life out in the desert, and suggests the Boys of Blue had better watch their backs. A little bit interesting, a little bit ugly.

Calling the Umps Out
As usual, Michael Cox has all the answers, and this time it's a solution to Major League Baseball's biggest shame -- umpires who apparently can't read.

Surprise, Surprise
You may think you're tired of hearing about the flatlining Orioles. Frankly, some of us felt the same way, until we saw Dave Paisley's article, which also includes them ragin' Blue Jays as further contrast.

O Damn (1999 Edition)
For many of us, the Orioles are a traveling circus, a joke played on baseball by Peter Angelos and his assorted GMs. However, to the actual Oriole fan it's no fun anymore, and Jason Michael Barker attempts to grasp this revelation.

Oh, Grow Up

There's been a lot of childish petulance on both sides of the Great Cleveland Logo Debate, and Michael Cox is fixin' to slap some XXXL Pampers on some big asses. Also, a fan walkout that's actually well-thought-out, and more.

Heckling: A Primer
After some unfortunate encouragement by Playboy Online (an article, wise guy), Hayes Bowman's back, he's bad, and he's bursting with techniques guaranteed to get you beaten up by Wil Cordero.

Three of a Kind?
They're not a teen vocal group from the creators of 'N Sync, not the Pep Boys, and not the new Three Stooges...well, the jury's partly out on the last one, but Jason Michael Barker explains the psychic link between Darryl, Hideo and Cal.

Brrrrr, It's Cold In Here
Who's the cat who's already copped out when there's competition all about? Dave Paisley looks at some baaad mother- [Shut your mouth. -ed.] Jus' talkin' 'bout Rey. And Otis, and J.T...

Ignorance is Bliss
While Michael Cox doesn't mind a nice statistical number or two on occasion, he does humbly request that you keep them away from the table while he's eating.

Mail Bonding
When our readers write, Jason Michael Barker snaps to attention. To our surprise, they're mostly literate.

Homer Simpson in Pinstripes

It's the topic du jour, so like everyone else Michael Cox indulges in speculation re: the gray matter of The Straw That Sn...sorry. Also, the bench-clearing brawl season has officially begun, and more.

Boy's World
The conclusion to Derek Zumsteg's online baseball serial was to have Karen falling victim to the temptation of drugs and an undercover cop, but it was determined that it wouldn't be believable enough.

A Fine Whine
The season's barely started, and already Jason Michael Barker finds the petty annoyances building up. He seeks to purge himself of the likes of The Wave and Peter Gammons in print, but we'd recommend a good clarifying shampoo.

Aliens: Illegal or Registered?
Dave Paisley looks at whose great starts are for real, and who is likely to look down in mid-air and realize that he's as likely to stay up there as Wile E. Coyote, plus they won't censor Kevin Stocker's moment of impact.

Acting Defensively
After a week in the shop, VirtualGammons is as good as new and sincerely wants you to know that defense wins games. OK, as "sincerely" as a machine with only 16 mb of RAM can want anything.

Pass the Ice Pack
With the season barely ten days old, the All-Star theraputic ward is already filled with walking (or limping, or just lying-down) wounded. Jason Michael Barker provides a casualty report.

Tony, Tony, Tony

This week, Michael Cox takes up a new "extreme sport": heckling Tony Phillips. Also, the Last Temptation of Fox, Bobby cann't spel, and more.

Boy's World
As she moves up the minor-league ladder, Karen finds herself overmatched...or is she? Derek Zumsteg's baseball serial continues with this conundrum thingamajig.

One Down, 24 to Go
As the season kicks off...er, it's the tipoff... um, as the green flag falls......damn. Anyway, Jason Michael Barker laments the lack of a good metaphor for MLB's opening week.

Fan Etiquette 101
With the season just starting, we realize that many of you aren't in game shape yet. So we had Dave Paisley compile a handy reference so you can maximize your ballpark annoyance factor.

Oh, What a Giveaway
Making her triumphant return is Melissa Hughes, who apparently spent her winter poring over pocket schedules to bring you this rundown of the Tchotchkes of 1999.

Opening Week Quick Takes
In a series of ruminations, lamentations and observations, Dave Paisley comments on pitching futility, bullpen fragility, and radio host Paul Harvey's senility. Well, maybe not the last one there.

Picks 'N' Predictions: AL Central
In the last of his predictions, Jason Michael Barker asserts that not only is there a clear division title winner, but also a clear champ in this group's vicious competition of futility.

Better than Xmas

It's Opening Week, when life starts anew, the air is a bit fresher, the grass greener...or is that a Fenway Frank? Also, lessons from the past, Butch Huskey's ass brought to you by McDonald's, and more.

Picks 'N' Predictions: NL Central
Wrapping up the Senior Circuit, Jason Michael Barker is almost ready to declare a winner in the "Indians of the NL" contest. Hint: it isn't the Brewers.

Heckler's Hypotheses
Weighing in with his Picks O' the Year, Derek Zumsteg runs down the best and worst, including those entertainin' Mets, the osteoporosis-prone O's, and them Kinda Crappy Royals.

Advanced Season Predictions
Once again, Michael Cox makes learned predictions using the most accurate, modern methods. Will the Yankees repeat their miracle season? "My sources say no." Will Mac hit 71? "Reply hazy."

Spring Surprise
We can't let the big leaguers break camp without a couple more of Dave Paisley's tales of spring training hijinks. He's even included a few photos, so it's almost like being there, or at least like seeing it on Real TV.

Picks 'N' Predictions: AL West
Coming around to the biggest li'l division in MLB, Jason Michael Barker reserves the right to say he really wanted to pick that there other team, you know, the one that actually won.

Mark of Sorrow?

He didn't have a wacky nickname or talk to the ball, but he's provided more than his share of tragicomic baseball moments. Why is Michael Cox smiling? Also, Cuban wrapup and more beef from the umps (and that's a lotta beef).

Boy's World
Is it a whiff of scandal, or just Tim Johnson-style braggadocio? Chapter Eight of Derek Zumsteg's online serial reveals the, er, sordid details.

Picks 'N' Predictions: NL East
Wherein Jason Michael Barker reconsiders an earlier prediction, based simply on the fact that he has reconsidered his earlier prediction.

Swingin' Spring Thing
Dave Paisley headed down to Arizona last week to watch some baseball, soak up some sun, pick up some anecdotes and acquire a tax deduction or two. Now he shares all, except the part about the tax deduction.

He's Got Some 'Splainin' to Do
On the eve of the first Oriole-Cuba "classic," Michael Cox wonders if the reason the Baltimore Boss is shrugging off protests has anything to do with...ehh, I dunno...money?

Picks 'N' Predictions: NL West
Moving to the Cell Phone division of the Senior Circuit, Jason Michael Barker reiterates the Golden Rule: He who has the worldwide conglomerate of newspapers, television networks and TV Guide, rules.

Sosa Unbowed

Our Sammy may have been paying tribute to the fans, but Michael Cox says the ones who'd have really paid are his teammates. Also, Schilling for your thoughts, when hecklers attack, and more.

Boy's World
Derek Zumsteg's serial continues with Karen matching wits and fists with her first big league opponent. Note: Any similarity between the fictitious character "Paul O'Neill" and any actual persons is purely coincidental.

Picks 'N' Predictions:
American League East

With his first of six divisional predictions, Jason Michael Barker once again gives mad props to the Yanks. Or was that malaprops? Where's my thesaurus...

Foul Ball!
The umpires and the commissioner's office made like the Hatfields and McCoys this week, and while Jason Michael Barker thinks they're both full of it, he also thinks one side is just that much more wrong.

Bend Knees When Lifting Ticket

Michael Cox again proves that MLB is stranger than real life with his tales of tickets and "fan-friendliness." Also, revolting umps, Kerry Wood's tragic story, and more.

Boy's World
Some people are puzzled about Derek Zumsteg's online serial, so we thought we'd clear the air: It's fiction. That said, the latest installment couldn't be aired on TV even if it was real.

Who'll Kerry the Load?
With closer problems causing the Braves to holler "Mayday!" for the second consecutive season, Jason Michael Barker ponders whether the solution isn't right under Bobby Cox's considerable nose.

The Way it Will Be
In the second part of his series predicting the five-year future of franchises, Derek Zumsteg likes the Royals. Really.

Hacking Ain't Easy
The only place Hal Morris or Doug Strange will be winning much is in the world of Hacking Mass. Dave Paisley helps you select your anti-fantasy team.

Boy's World
Chapter Five of Derek Zumsteg's online baseball serial reveals that Karen has a little more in common with big-leaguers than she cares to admit. That, and she throws a mean left.

Joe, We Hardly Knew Ye

If you're too young to remember Joltin' Joe DiMaggio (and chances are, your dad doesn't either), Michael Cox explains the reason so many people are saddened by his death isn't just because he played in 10 World Series.

Keep on Hacking
So you just completed your fantasy league draft, where you got stuck with Rey Ordonez and Brian Hunter (either one). Well, suffer no longer, because Jason Michael Barker knows a game where they could actually come in handy.

Feeling a Draft?
Whether you're playing a simple, Heavy Hitters-type game or a more elaborate career league, getting your priorities in order will raise you above those who pick Joe Carter on the off chance he'll come back. Jason Michael Barker explains.

Whither Canada? (Part One)

Out in the land where maple syrup flows like wine, there's little to celebrate for baseball fans. Michael Cox thinks a Montreal move is as likely as Jenna Elfman playing Roseanne in a biopic. Also, Ogea squawks, the Bombers bumble, and more.

Boy's World
In chapter four of Derek Zumsteg's online baseball serial, Karen finds out the hard way that a dream must walk a road paved with broken batting helmets.

Rookie Roundup: National League
In the second of his preseason freshman assessments, Jason Michael Barker is almost ready to build a monument for J.D. Drew out of agent Scott Boras' Y2K gold bullion stash.

D-Backs: Innocent or Gilkey?
After a batch of moves seemingly generated by a randomizer, Dave Paisley says there's a big noise in the desert, but it's just the sound of Jerry Colangelo's bank vault door opening.

The Magic 8-Ball
Andrew Dice Clay, the flag at the Capitol, and Cecil Fielder...The envelope please..."Name three things that require a ton of blue material." Derek Zumsteg sees the turn-of-the-millenium fate of the Senior Circuit teams.

For St. Pete's Sake
Rebuilding may be underway in Miami, but Dave Paisley isn't sure exactly what they're trying to do in Tampa Bay, where they seem to be casting an all-male version of The Golden Girls.

The Boys Are Back in Town

It's week one of spring training, and already it's looking more like the silly season. Michael Cox finds it more entertaining than seeing Mark McGwire in his boxers.

Boy's World
Chapter three of Derek Zumsteg's serial sees our heroine's first taste of her future, which may or may not include a guest spot on Regis and Kathie Lee.

It's been a dizzying week of deals in the tropical humidity of Florida, and that of the swimming pool-induced kind in Arizona. Jason Michael Barker tells which were no sweat and which were likely mosquito-bite-induced.

Out of His Gord?
The sports talk phone lines are ready to burst in NYC over the Trade of the Year (so far), but what of the Toronto side of the deal? Dave Paisley puts on his thinking toque.

"Ballparks are a Boondoggle" by "Earl," Citizens for No Taxes vs. "I Give and I Give" by "Carl," team owner.

Grapefruit League Primer
Planning a March trip to Florida? Jason Michael Barker brings you this primer and spring schedule so that you don't show up at the wrong time, to find only a parking lot full of retirees.. like the Orioles.

Baseballhead: A New York Week
Pitchers and catchers haven't even had their first towel-snap fight of the spring, and already Michael Cox is tired of hearing about Your World Champion New York Yankees. Also, arbitration isn't brain surgery, and more.

Boy's World
In chapter two of Derek Zumsteg's hardball serial, Karen arrives at minor league camp. Resemblance of any character to a young Don Drysdale is purely incidental, honest.

Cactus League Primer
Congratulations! You've officially made it through the winter, because pitchers and catchers report to spring training this week. Jason Michael Barker helps pry you away from "sweeps month" with a Cactus League Primer and game schedule.

An Annual Event
Face it: You want to know details of how Glenallen Hill's defense shapes up for this season, even if you already surmise the answer. Dave Paisley reviews one of the many books that can help.

VirtualGammons Returns
It took us a while to get him up and running again after using his machine to store our MP3 music library, but VirtualGammons is once again spewing text, and hardly ever sings "Pretty Fly for a White Guy" anymore.

The Mailman Cometh
Some of our readers have slight disagreements with our Dave Paisley. Fortunately they're willing to take it out on their typewriter keyboards.

The Money Plea
With the 1999 season already set up to be a disappointment in cities like K.C. and Minneapolis, Jason Michael Barker says the answer is simple -- hire the Motley Fool. They know everything.

They Said It, Not Me

Who'd have thought that the highlight of the week would be the guy who bought the McGwire homer? Also, Michael Cox lets some other folks put their own feet in their mouths for a change.

Boy's World
Chapter One of Derek Zumsteg's online baseball novel introduces us to Steve, a sportswriter who bears absolutely no resemblance to any sportswriter you know. Honest.

I'll Take Door #3, Monty
With one week to go before Spring Training, the off-season becomes the pre-season, and the number of deals will soon more closely resemble that of failed ABC sitcoms. Jason Michael Barker keeps tabs.

Four Decades of Separation
Be kind, be gentle -- it's his rookie piece, so give it up for Shaun Payne, who says the Seinfeld Decade has more in common with the Happy Days Era than just earth tones.

Little O's Big Mistake

How interested in the salary-based travails of the Tribe's shortstop is Michael Cox? So into it he titled it with a musical reference exactly zero of you will get. At least he didn't title it "Hold Out, Hold On."

Boy's World
Strikethree.com proudly presents its first serialized work of fiction (at least, the first we'll admit to), Derek Zumsteg's story of a girl with major-league dreams, and those who would hold her back.

This just in...
If anyone's going to exhaustively analyze the Carlos Baerga signing, it's gonna be Jason Michael Barker. Marvel as he turns the Commish's continuing ignorance of Charlie Hustle into something resembling news.

Dem GM Blues
Dave Paisley asks the musical question: This scrub wants three million; (Baa-bwaaa-baa-baa) He's barely worth three hundred grand; (Baa-bwaaa-baa-baa) So I have to settle for a million-five; (Baa-bwaaa-baa-baa) Or tell the arbitrator he has a hook for a hand...

In Praise of the Park
Just in time to stop banging your winter humdrum, Michael Cox says he's gonna be ready for baseball season, even if Don Fehr were to send his winged monkeys to tear up the Basic Agreement.

10 Players on the Hot Seat in '99
There's nothing like a germ-free environment to help a player meet their public's high expectations, so gather round as Jason Michael Barker introduces the bubble boys.

I Cover the Pope

From time to time, baseball must neccessarily blur the lines between sports, politics, and religion. Michael Cox observes, then asks, "while you're at it, why not opera?"

Les Gosses sont Bien...Sorta
If the Parti Quebecois actually finds enough people to believe that secession isn't going to murder their economy, MLB will have teams in three countries. Or not, says resident half-Canadian Michael Cox.

Big Book Bonanza
Stop worrying about whether your team might sign Pat Borders or Scott Leius and get into these books. Some even with pictures! Derek Zumsteg is your guide to the body literary.

Civic Booty
No, no, it's not the latest Martin Lawrence laff-fest. It's Derek Zumsteg looking at the relationship between teams and the cities whose names they put, you know, on the front of their jerseys.

NL Central Meets the Microsoft Spellchecker
You know how sometimes you're on deadline for an article, but you spend all day wondering if you could be competetive with Michael Jordan with the gravity of the moon? Dave Paisley has been there. Recently. But the results turn out to be not so bad.

Lest Ye Be Judged
Going over the list of arbitration-eligible players, Michael Cox suggests the bad blood between arbitrating players and teams could be lessened with some sort of award/demerit system, perhaps like Boy Scout badges.

Baseballhead: Swimmin' Pools, Movie Stars
Well, the bid are in, and it looks like that there Internet revolution isn't coming off exactly the way they planned Michael Cox takes a stroll down the middle of the information superhighway, 'cuz there sure doesn't seem to be much traffic there.

A Minor Adjustment
Well, the genetic anomalies in the NBA are ready to begin their "season," to the sound of the public's shouts of "I think that's my bus." So what does this mean to baseball? As usual, something can be learned from the failings of others, and Derek Zumsteg takes great glee in doing so.

Baseballhead: Hall Pass
The votes are in, and Messrs. Ryan and Brett are in almost by acclamation, with only Yount barely attaining Fame. Now it's time for the inquisition: who dares vote against the almighty Express, and what feeble excuse dare the heretics toss our way? Michael Cox also talks about Clemens, Cuba and Cyberauctioneers.

Realignment Assignment
What with the MLB rich getting richer and the poor making themselves poorer, some pundits are tempted to suggest some divisional parity. Unfortunately, Derek Zumsteg says you can try to foolproof the system, but they'll only make a better fool.

Holiday Trivia Revealed
Jason Michael Barker sent out the call, and you answered. Today he lists the correct answers to his questions (as opposed to the silly answers. You wise guys know who you are) and more importantly, names the poor sod who must accept a Strikethree.com t-shirt.

Baseball vs. Britain
In case you hadn't figured it out already, Strikethree.com's number cruncher extraordinaire Dave Paisley hails from the land where they eat their fries with vinegar. Today he explores the different sporting tastes across the pond, and unveils his sinister plot to ship baseball fever back home with his parents.

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