Baseball Imposes Tough New 'Three-Strikes-You're-Out' Rule

Top Headlines

Sports

Strongside/Weakside: Clint Dempsey

Despite losing the team’s captaincy after a recent incident with a referee, Clint Dempsey has propelled the U.S. closer to a sixth Gold Cup title. Is he any good?

Biggest Moves In NBA Free Agency

With numerous star players inking max contracts over the past two weeks, the first month of NBA free agency has already shaken up rosters across the league. Onion Sports examines the biggest free agent signings so far.

Every Comment On ‘Immaculate Reception’ YouTube Video Clearly From Franco Harris

PITTSBURGH—Noting that the dozens of rambling, overly excited posts date all the way back to when the clip was first uploaded in early 2011, sources confirmed Thursday that every comment below a YouTube video of the famed 1972 “Immaculate Reception” football play was clearly written by Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris.

‘SportsCenter’ Co-Anchors Clearly Dating

BRISTOL, CT—Saying that the pair could barely take their eyes off one another throughout the hour-long sports news program, ESPN viewers told reporters Friday that it is increasingly clear SportsCenter anchors John Anderson and Matt Barrie are currently dating.

Strongside/Weakside: Alex Morgan

Despite her recent injuries, U.S. striker Alex Morgan is still arguably the most potent goal-scoring threat in women’s soccer. Is she any good?

Despite her recent injuries, U.S. striker Alex Morgan is still arguably the most potent goal-scoring threat in women’s soccer. Is she any good?

Sexist Pig Has No Idea When Team USA Playing Nigeria

‘What Round Is This Again?’ Misogynist Asshole Asks

NORTHFORD, CT—Revealing just how old-fashioned and small-minded he truly is, local sexist pig Jonathan Scott admitted Monday he has no idea what time the U.S. women’s soccer team plays Nigeria tomorrow night, sources reported.

Owner Tearfully Releases American Pharoah After Triple Crown Win

‘You’ve Earned Your Freedom,’ Emotional Horse Owner Says

ELMONT, NY—Overcome with emotion as he described how much he’d miss his “old friend,” the owner of Triple Crown–winner American Pharoah bid a tearful farewell to the colt Monday before granting the horse its freedom, sources confirmed.

Keys To The Matchup: Barcelona vs. Juventus

Barcelona and Juventus go head-to-head in a Champions League final that will be watched by millions of incarcerated soccer executives around the world. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

Keys To The Matchup: Warriors vs. Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers face the Golden State Warriors in what is likely their last-ever chance to win a championship for Kevin Love. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

The Cleveland Cavaliers face the Golden State Warriors in what is likely their last-ever chance to win a championship for Kevin Love. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

Keys To The Matchup: Blackhawks vs. Lightning

The Chicago Blackhawks face the Tampa Bay Lightning in a Stanley Cup Finals matchup that has hockey fans wondering how late they’ll have to fucking stay up to watch overtime. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

The Chicago Blackhawks face the Tampa Bay Lightning in a Stanley Cup Finals matchup that has hockey fans wondering how late they’ll have to fucking stay up to watch overtime. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

FIFA Assures Fans Investigation Won’t Affect 2022 Qatar Slush Fund

ZURICH—Stressing that soccer’s international governing body will continue to conduct business as usual in the face of high-profile fraud charges, FIFA officials assured the public Friday that the ongoing U.S. Department of Justice investigation will in no way affect the 2022 Qatar slush fund.

FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

Global Soccer Tournament To Kick Off In America Later This Afternoon

ZURICH—After the Justice Department indicted numerous executives from world soccer’s governing body on charges of corruption and bribery, frantic and visibly nervous officials from FIFA held an impromptu press conference Wednesday to announce that the United States has been selected to host this summer’s 2015 World Cup.

Hockey Fans Treated To Rare Sighting Of Zamboni Giving Birth

ANAHEIM, CA—With thousands of spectators visibly emotional after witnessing the heartwarming moment, fans at Monday night’s playoff game between the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks were reportedly treated to the rare sight of a pregnant Zamboni giving birth.

James Harden Pretty Sure He Felt Something Pop In Lower Beard

HOUSTON—Expressing concern that the injury could sideline him for the remainder of the postseason, Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden confirmed Friday that he felt something pop in his lower beard during last night’s game against the Golden State Warriors.

Strongside/Weakside: James Harden

James Harden has become one of the most potent offensive threats in the NBA, leading the Houston Rockets to their first Western Conference Finals appearance in 18 years. Is he any good?

James Harden has become one of the most potent offensive threats in the NBA, leading the Houston Rockets to their first Western Conference Finals appearance in 18 years. Is he any good?

Bored David Blatt Just Drawing Up Plays For Fun During Cavs Game

ATLANTA—Explaining it was merely something to occupy his attention throughout the evening, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt revealed to reporters that he was spending the majority of Wednesday night’s Eastern Conference Finals game against the Atlanta Hawks drawing up plays for fun on the sideline.

Tiger Woods, Lindsey Vonn Blame Breakup On Hectic Sex Lives

JUPITER ISLAND, FL—Explaining that the pressures of their day-to-day commitments had given them no other choice but to end their three-year relationship, golf star Tiger Woods and Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn released a joint statement Wednesday blaming their breakup on their hectic sex lives.

Draft Pick Hugs Family That Will Bleed Him Dry Over Next 5 Years

CHICAGO—Upon hearing his name announced by commissioner Roger Goodell during the first round of the NFL draft Thursday, wide receiver Anthony Parker immediately began embracing the family members who will slowly bleed him dry over the next five years, sources confirmed.

Greatest Boxing Matches Of All Time

With Floyd Mayweather Jr. facing Manny Pacquiao this Saturday in what many have dubbed the “Fight of the Century,” Onion Sports looks back at the greatest bouts in boxing history

Little League Pitcher Just Getting Fucking Shelled

RED BANK, NJ—After watching the 11-year-old give up the fourth straight double that inning, sources confirmed Sunday afternoon that local Little League pitcher Dustin Bauer is getting absolutely fucking shelled out there.

Best Playoff Performances In NBA History

With the basketball postseason heating up, Onion Sports looks back at the greatest individual performances in NBA playoff history. Shaquille O’Neal: During the 2001 NBA Finals, O’Neal was absolutely dominant while tearing apart ...

Derrick Rose Pulls Off Perfect 720 At Local Skate Park

CHICAGO—Following his numerous failed attempts at the challenging skateboard trick, sources confirmed Wednesday that Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose successfully landed a perfect 720-degree aerial at a local skate park. Rose reportedly manage...

Keys To The Matchup: Duke vs. Wisconsin

With the NCAA title on the line, Wisconsin faces Duke in a rare national championship game that gives neutral fans only one team to root against. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

Kentucky Cancels Practice For NBA Draft Suit Fitting

CLEVELAND, OH—Following the Wildcats’ 78-39 victory over West Virginia in the Sweet 16, Kentucky sources confirmed that coach John Calipari had canceled Friday’s practice so the players could get fitted for NBA draft suits.

The Pros And Cons Of Paying College Athletes

As college athletic programs continue to generate millions of dollars in revenue for their schools, advocates for student-athletes have begun pushing for schools to pay their players, while opponents say that compensating athletes has the potential to ...

Greatest Undefeated Seasons In Sports History

With the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team just four games away from completing a perfect 40-0 season, Onion Sports takes a look back at the greatest undefeated runs in sports history. 1971 Nebraska Cornhuskers: The Univers...
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Fatherhood

  • Father Apologizes For Taking Out Anger On Wrong Son

    ELIZABETH, NJ—Moments after losing his composure with an unwarranted emotional outburst, local father David Kessler reportedly apologized to his son Christopher Thursday for erroneously taking out his anger on him and not his older brother Peter.

Food

Baseball Imposes Tough New 'Three-Strikes-You're-Out' Rule

NEW YORK—Saying it is time to "get tough on hitters," Acting Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig announced Monday the adoption of a hard-line Three-Strikes-You're-Out" policy on all at-bats.

"The American people are sick and tired of the same batters coming to the plate and taking pitch after pitch," said Selig after a day-long closed-door session of the Rules Committee of Major League Baseball. "There comes a point where we have to draw the line and say, 'Okay, you've had your chance, and you blew it. You are doing harm to your team and to your fans, and you are going to spend the rest of your half-inning in the dugout.'"

Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza swings and misses for the 31st time during a ninth-inning playoff at-bat last October. Under the new rule, Piazza would have been called out after the third strike.

The strict new rule will replace the previous system, under which the number of opportunities a hitter had to put the ball in play was subject to the discretion of the umpires. Among the factors umpires had previously taken into account: difficulty of pitch thrown, degree of pressure from fans and teammates to get a hit, socio-economic condition of the batter, and whether or not he showed any remorse for previous failed at-bats.

But according to the drafted formulation of the new rule, slated to go into effect at the start of the 1997 season, the third time a pitch is either swung at and missed, or is "taken" but ruled to have "passed through a region of space sufficiently proximate to the batter to render his lack of effort to make contact ipso facto athletic negligence," he will automatically receive his sentence.

Foul balls will also be ruled strikes, Selig explained, but will not be sufficient grounds for declaring a batter permanently out. "Our purpose is not to arbitrarily punish," Selig said. "A foul-tip on a potential third-strike pitch still constitutes a mitigating circumstance, and any alleged pitching dominance must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."

According to Donald Fehr, head of the Baseball Players' Union, many players view the new policy as unfair.

"Selig's three-strikes policy takes a draconian, one-size-fits-all approach to punishment that is totally out of line with human nature and common sense," Fehr said. "You're telling me that if some nervous rookie shortstop just out of the minors goes to a full count, then takes a screwball that barely catches the outside corner—you're saying that kid deserves the same punishment as a hardcore veteran like Jose Canseco taking three huge cuts and not even coming close? Come on."

Another critic of the new plan was Doris Kearns Goodwin, professor of history at Harvard University and a long-time baseball fan.

"This is a simplistic, election-year solution to a problem that won't go away," Goodwin said. "People are all too eager to pass 'quickie' solutions like building more dugouts, but they aren't willing to devote the time, money and effort into eliminating the factors that cause strikes: poor coaching, the breakdown of the close-kint team unit by free agency, and a group of largely white umpires more interested in punishment than in ways of rehabilitating and re-integrating struggling young hitters back into baseball society."

But many players, particularly pitchers, expressed satisfication with the new three-strikes rule.

"It's about time," Atlanta Braves ace Greg Maddux said. "In fact, it's too lenient, if you ask me. When I throw the first pitch right down the middle and some punk like Barry Bonds swings and misses by five feet, I don't feel he deserves another chance, much less two. I know what these guys are like, believe me. They never change. They're gonna get right back in the batters box and do it all over again and keep wasting the ticketpayers' money."

"These hitters have got to be punished," said New York Yankees pitcher Jimmy Key. "How else are they going to learn?"