Major League Baseball

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A state lawmaker whose district includes Cooperstown is making a strong pitch to have New York designate baseball as the official state sport.

Keith Strudler: Learning From Major League Baseball

Dec 14, 2016

The low hanging fruit for sports commentary this week comes by way of Western Massachusetts, where the Amherst College men’s cross country team finds itself slowed to a halt because it was discovered team members had created a ugly newsletter that demeaned and dehumanized female Amherst students through describing their alleged sexual proclivity and faults. It’s the same juvenile crap we saw recently from the Harvard men’s soccer and cross country teams, begging the question, “Why are these college runners from elite universities so dense?” And I know that’s a simplification and really involves a discussion of privilege and what happens when you think you’re smarter than everyone else.

Former three-time major league baseball all-star Ralph Branca has died at 90. Branca had an 11-year career in the bigs including stints with the Tigers and Yankees, but he is best remembered for a landmark moment in New York baseball. Pitching for the Brooklyn Dodgers in a 1951 playoff, Branca gave up the “Shot Heard Round The World” — Bobby Thomson’s home run that sent the New York Giants to the World Series. Years later, Branca and Thomson made peace. But as Branca explained in an interview with WAMC in 2011, it eventually emerged that Thomson had received help stealing the Dodgers’ signs in an elaborate scheme. We spoke with him about his memoir A Moment in Time: An American Story of Baseball, Heartbreak, and Grace.

Ron Darling is a New York Times bestselling author and Emmy Award-winning baseball analyst for TBS, the MLB Network, SNY, and WPIX-TV, and author of The Complete Game. He was a starting pitcher for the New York Mets from 1983 to 1991 and the first Mets pitcher to be awarded a Gold Glove.

In his new book, Game 7, 1986: Failure and Triumph in the Biggest Game of My Life, he looks back at what might have been a signature moment in his career, and reflects on the ways professional athletes must sometimes shoulder a personal disappointment as their teams find a way to win.

 Brian Kenny is an Emmy Award­–winning broadcaster and host for the MLB Network. The foremost proponent of analytics on sports television, he founded the first and only TV program devoted to sports analytics, Clubhouse Confidential. He currently hosts the daily panel shows MLB Now and MLB Tonight, and is a columnist for Sports on Earth.

In his new book, Ahead of the Curve: Inside the Baseball Revolution, he uses stories from baseball’s present and past to examine why we sometimes choose ignorance over information, and how tradition can trump logic, even when directly contradicted by evidence.

  Vin Scully called the tenth-inning groundball in Game Six of the 1986 World Series - Mets versus Red Sox - that sealed a comeback, fueled a curse, and turned a batting champion into a scapegoat.

But getting there was a long, hard slog with plenty of heartache. After being knocked out of contention the previous two seasons, the Mets blasted through the National League that year. They won blowouts, nailbiters, fights, and a 14-inning game that ended with one pitcher on the mound, another in right field, and an All-Star catcher playing third base.

Matthew Silverman’s new book is One-Year Dynasty: Inside the Rise and Fall of the 1986 Mets, Baseball's Impossible One-and-Done Champions. He will be at The Low Beat in Albany, NY for a Happy Hour Mets event and book signing and he joins us. 

What’s it like to live through the longest season in sports, the 162-game Major League Baseball schedule? Washington Post staff writer Barry Svrluga’s The Grind, now out in paperback, captures the frustration, impermanence, and glory felt by the players, the staff, and their families from the start of spring training to the final game of the year – and into the offseason, when the preparations start again.

So much about baseball is known: the distance between the bases (90 feet), the batting average of a good hitter (.300), the velocity of a hard fastball (95 mph). The Grind shows us what we don’t know. No sport is as unrelenting as Major League Baseball; enduring the 162 games squeezed into 185 days (plus spring training and postseason) is shared, in different ways, by every facet of a franchise.

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Times Union Sports Editor Pete Iorizzo and Daily Gazette Executive Sports Editor Mark McGuire join us today to talk sports. Ray Graf hosts.

MLB Network

Jim Kaat is one of the rare athletes to achieve greatness on the field and in his second career in the press box.

  It’s a classic story of the American Dream. George Mitchell grew up in a working class family in Maine, experiencing firsthand the demoralizing effects of unemployment when his father was laid off from a lifelong job. But education was always a household priority, and Mitchell embraced every opportunity that came his way, eventually becoming the ranking Democrat in the Senate during the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Mitchell looks back at his adventures in law and politics in his memoir, The Negotiator.

Wiki Commons

MLB:

In Major League Baseball Postseason, in the American League, Nelson Cruz and J.J. Hardy homered before the Baltimore Orioles exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the eighth to crush the Detroit Tigers 12-3 in Game 1 of the American League Division Series. The Royals beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 on a homer by Mike Moustakas in the 11th inning. It was the first extra-inning homer in postseason history for the Royals.

There were only three NBA games scheduled Thursday.

Joe Johnson scored 26 of his 29 points in the first half to lead Brooklyn over Atlanta 127-110 in London. It was the fourth regular-season NBA game to be played in the British capital.

After reeling off five straight victories, the New York Knicks now are on a two-game losing streak. Lance Stephenson's had a career-high 28 points in Indiana's 117-89 rout of the Knicks. Paul George added 25 for the Pacers.

And it was Oklahoma City over Houston 104-92.

8/1/13 - Panel

Aug 1, 2013

  For the first half of today's panel, Alan Chartock, Ray Graf, and Joe Donahue are joined by James Ketterer - Director of International Academic Initiatives & Senior Fellow at Bard College and just returned from 2-years in Egypt to discuss Egypt.

For the second half of the show, Fay Vincent, former Commissioner of Commissioner of Major League Baseball talks about the current and on-going steroid scandals in the sport.

Yankees To Discipline A-Rod For 2nd Medical Opinion

Jul 26, 2013
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In baseball news, already a target of Major League Baseball's drug investigation, third baseman Alex Rodriguez angered the Yankees when he obtained a second medical opinion on his strained left quadriceps this week. The Yankees intend to discipline him, most likely with a fine.

Checking the scoreboard, the Yankees split their four game series with the Rangers after a 2-0 victory. Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs have pulled Alfonso Soriano from the lineup and a trade to send the outfielder to the Yankees is about almost complete.

Keith Strudler: MLB All Star Game

Jul 10, 2013

I’ll admit something I probably shouldn’t. I haven’t watched a baseball game start to finish all season. That won’t change until I actually go to a Mets game in a couple of weeks, and then it’s because I don’t really have a choice. Although I could just stand in the Shake Shack line for a few innings.