mlb

  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.

Keith Strudler: Brothers In Arms

Sep 30, 2015


Anyone who listens to this commentary regularly, and I say thank you, knows that I have two sons, currently aged 5 and 8. And more than anything, they like to fight with each other. They fight over pretty much anything. Yesterday they fought over a game of war. They often fight over Pokemon cards, which I still don't fully understand. Sometimes they fight out of mere habit or proximity. It starts as a hug and turns into a wrestling match. If you have kids, you likely know what I mean.

  So much about baseball is known: the distance between the bases (90 feet), the batting average of a good hitter (.300) and the velocity of a hard fastball (95 mph). Barry Svrluga’s new book, The Grind, shows us what we may not know. No sport is as unrelenting as Major League Baseball; enduring the 162 games squeezed into 185 days (plus spring training and postseason.)

In 2004, Svrluga was assigned to cover the return of baseball to Washington D.C. The nation’s capital had gone without a major league team since 1971. In 2014, Svrluga wrote a series for the Post about the personal toll that baseball takes, with each installment profiling a different character from the franchise.

The Grind grew directly from that series, including the original six longform pieces plus updates and additional chapters.

Keith Strudler: A Shorter Porch At Citi Field

Nov 19, 2014

It will be slightly easier to swing for the fences next year in New York’s Citi Field. That’s because those barriers have been moved slightly closer to home plate. Around 10 ten feet in right center field. This is the second time those pearly gates have moved in since the parks opening in 2009, both moves done to create more regular home run opportunities for Mets power hitters. This time it’s so that Curtis Granderson and others might reap the benefits of what this year were simply near misses. That, according to Mets logic, would increase Mets scoring, let them win more games, and, by default, fill seats, of which there will be a few more thanks to the extra space in right field.

8/15/14 Panel

Aug 15, 2014

    

  Today's panelists are NYPIRG legislative director Blair Horner and College of St. Rose Communications Professor, Mary Alice Molgard.

Topics include:
Iraq Update
Robin Williams - Parkinsons
Obama Urges Calm
Military-like Response in Ferguson
Baseball Commissioner Battle

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Major League Baseball has enacted new anti-doping policies that are being described as unprecedented in American professional sports. Yesterday, Major League Baseball and its Players Union said that starting next year they will be fighting the use of human growth hormone and testosterone - two allegedly popular banned substances.

NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman has been covering this story. Tom, good morning.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

PG Jason KIdd to Join the Knicks

Jul 6, 2012

Well the Knicks have added a Kidd to their backcourt – but they haven’t gotten any younger…

ESPN reports this morning that veteran point guard Jason Kidd has decided to leave the Mavericks and join the Knicks to the tune of roughly $9 million dollars over three years.  This move comes as Houston and restricted free agent point guard Jeremy Lin have reportedly come to terms on a four year, $29 million dollar deal - the Knicks have three days to match the Rockets’ offer.

Lakers Land PG Nash, Rockets Make Offer to Knicks' Lin

Jul 5, 2012

Well one NBA club celebrated our nation’s independence by bringing a Canadian to town…

The Lakers have acquired point guard Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade deal with the Suns, who receive four draft picks in return: first rounders in 2013 and 2015, and second rounders in 2013 and 2014. Nash agreed to a three-year deal worth $27 million dollars.

To replace Nash, the Suns have re-acquired point guard Goran Dragic to the tune of $34 million dollars over four years.

Source: Nets Land Hawks' Johnson, Pursue PG Williams

Jul 3, 2012

Well according league sources, the Nets have made a major move – and the deal does not include the names Dwight or Howard. 

The Hawks and Nets have reportedly agreed to a trade that would send All-Star guard Joe Johnson to Brooklyn. Johnson has four years and $90 million left on his contract.  The Hawks will receive five players and a draft pick from the Nets, who are also trying to re-sign free agent point guard Deron Williams.

Yankees' Sabathia, Pettitte Placed on DL

Jun 28, 2012

Well the Yankees starting rotation has taken a major hit…

Hours after the Yankees placed C.C. Sabathia on the DL with a strained groin, Andy Pettitte was hit by a line drive back through the box, breaking his left fibula right near the ankle.  Robinson Cano supplied a go-ahead, two-run shot to prevent the day from being a total loss, as the Yankees edged Cleveland 5-4.

In Boston, David Ortiz smacked his 399th career home run to help power the Red Sox, who scored six first-inning runs, to a 10-4 rout of Toronto.

Well there were no real surprises on the second day of play at Wimbledon…

Second seeds Rafael Nadal and Victoria Azarenka were straight-sets winners.  Nadal beat Thomaz Bellucci 7-6, 6-2, 6-3. Azarenka got the better of American Irina Falconi 6-1, 6-4.

Other winners on the men's side include fourth seed Andy Murray, fifth-seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, ninth seed Juan Martin del Potro, and No. 10 Mardy Fish. 

Yankees Rout Indians 7-1, Red Sox Fall to Blue Jays

Jun 26, 2012

Well the trade of Kevin Youkilis failed to spark the White Sox or Red Sox…

Last night in Boston, Jose Bautista, Colby Rasmus and J.P. Arencibia each slammed two-run homers, powering the Blue Jays to a 9-6 win over the Red Sox.  David Ortiz went deep twice for Boston in the loss, tying Ted Williams for the most multi-homer games in Red Sox history with 37.

In Minnesota, Kevin Youkilis went 1-for-4 in his White Sox debut, as his new club fell to the Twins 4-1. 

Yankees Top Mets 6-5, Snap R.A. Dickey's Streak

Jun 25, 2012

Well the American League picked up one final victory last night in interleague action…

In Queens, Robinson Cano led off the eighth inning with his 16th home run, as the Yankees wrapped up the season’s interleague action with a 6-5 win over the Mets.  The Yankees, who took two of three from the Mets, ended R.A. Dickey’s streak off 44 and two-thirds innings without allowing an earned run.  The American League topped the National League for the ninth straight year, winning 142 of 252 interleague matchups. 

Braves Slam Five HRs, Blast Yankees

Jun 21, 2012
Flickr

Bombs over the Bronx…

With temperatures well into the 90’s yesterday, baseballs were flying out of Yankee Stadium.  The Bronx Bombers blasted four home runs, but the Braves slammed five – including two by Jason Heyward, as they doubled up the Yankees 10-5.    

In Queens, Dillon Gee extended the Mets' shutout streak to 29 innings before Baltimore broke through late, but the Mets were able to survive the rally attempt, dropping the Orioles 4-3 to complete a three-game series sweep.

Heat Top Thunder 104-98 in Game 4 of NBA Finals

Jun 20, 2012

Well Lebron James and the Miami Heat are one win away from an NBA title…

James poured in 26 points, dished out 12 assists, and pulled down nine boards, as the Heat rallied from 17 points down to beat the Thunder 104-98 to take a 3-1 series lead.  Russell Westbrook had a career playoff-high 43 points and Kevin Durant added 28 for the Thunder, who’ll try to become the first team in NBA Finals history to overcome 3-1 series deficit.  Game 5 is Thursday night in Miami.     

Roger Clemens Acquitted on All Charges

Jun 19, 2012

Well Roger Clemens picked up a win with some help from his defense…

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner has been acquitted on all charges that he obstructed and lied to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.  The decision came after the defense attacked the credibility and integrity of Brian McNamee, the government's key witness and the only person to claim first-hand knowledge of Clemens using steroids and HGH.

James, Wade Pace Heat to Game 3 Win

Jun 18, 2012

Well it’s advantage Miami Heat right now in the NBA Finals…

Lebron James' layup – two of his game-high 29 points - helped the Heat rally from a 10-point second-half deficit to beat the Thunder 91-85.  Sound courtesy of ABC.  Dwayne Wade added 25 and Chris Bosh chipped in 10 for the Heat, who now leads the NBA Finals two-games-to-one.  Game 4 is tomorrow night in Miami.

James, Wade Lead Heat to Game 2 Win

Jun 15, 2012

Well the Miami Heat jumped out to another quick, double-digit lead last night - only this time they managed to hang on…

ABC had the coverage of Game 2 last night in Oklahoma City…

That fall-away kiss off the glass in the waning minutes, two of Lebron James’ team-high 32 points, helped the Heat fight off a late charge from the Thunder 100-96.  Miami’s win knots the NBA finals at one game apiece.  James says he thinks the young Thunder team will have no problem bouncing back from this home loss.  Game 3 is Sunday night in Miami.    

Perfect in San Francisco!

Jun 14, 2012

Matt Cain has thrown the first perfect game in Giants history, striking out 14 in a 10-nothing rout of the Astros.  Cain’s gem follows Phil Humber’s perfect Game for the White Sox on April 21st – marking just the 2nd time in history there have been two perfect games in the same season. 

WAMC's Daily Sports Wrap

Jun 1, 2012

Well the Thunder has put an emphatic end to the Spurs 20-game winning streak…

TNT had the coverage of Game 3 last night in Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant’s flush – two of his 22 points, helped lead the Thunder to a 102-82 dismantling of the Spurs.  Russell Westbrook added ten points, nine assists and seven boards, and Thabo Sefolosha chipped in career playoff highs of 19 points and six steals for the Thunder, who still trails in the Western Conference finals two-games-to-one.  Game 4 is tomorrow in Oklahoma City.

WAMC's Daily Sports Wrap

May 31, 2012

Well the Celtics raced out to a 15-point first half lead… but it wasn’t enough…

ESPN had the coverage of Game 2 last night in Miami...

That Dwayne Wade three-point play, three of his 23 points, helped the Heat rally to beat the Celtics in overtime 115-111.  Lebron James poured in 34, and Mario Chalmers added 22 for Miami, who completed its biggest comeback win in franchise playoff history.  Rajon Rondo netted 44 points for the Celtics, who will host Game 3 tomorrow night in Boston. 

WAMC's Daily Sports Wrap

May 30, 2012

Well the Spurs are in the NBA record books and halfway toward another appearance in the NBA Finals…

TNT had the coverage of Game 2 last night in San Antonio, where Tony Parker poured in 34 points, in guiding the Spurs to a 120-111 dismantling of the Thunder.  The Spurs set an NBA record with their 20th consecutive win bridging the regular season and the playoffs.  The Thunder, who trails in the series two-games-to-none, hosts Game 3 tomorrow night.

Tonight, Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Heat the Celtics.  Miami leads the series 1-0. 

WAMC's Daily Sports Wrap

May 29, 2012

Too much Heat on Memorial Day?  Maybe for the Celtics!

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals last night on the hardwood in Miami, Lebron James' alley-oop dunk, two of his game-high 32 points, helped the Heat take the conference opener from the Celtics 93-79.  Sound courtesy of ESPN.  The Heat and Celtics were tied at the half, but the Heat picked up its defensive intensity, limiting Boston to just 33 second-half points.  Kevin Garnett netted 23 for the Celtics, who’ll try to even up the series in Game 2 Wednesday. 

WAMC's Daily Sports Wrap

May 28, 2012

Well the Spurs stunned the Thunder to take the opener of the Western Conference Finals…

On the hardwood last night in San Antonio, Manu Ginobili, who scored 11 fourth quarter points, finished  with 26, rallying the Spurs from a nine-point deficit to stun the Thunder 101-98.  Sound courtesy of TNT.  Tony Parker added 18 and Tim Duncan chipped in 16 for the Spurs, who won their 19th in a row - tying the NBA record for longest winning streak kept alive in the playoffs. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 27.  Game 2 is tomorrow night in San Antonio. 

WAMC's Daily Sports Wrap

May 25, 2012

Well Miami is into the Eastern Conference finals…

On the court last night in South Beach, that Lebron James dunk, two of his 28 points, helped the Heat close out the Pacers in Game 6 105-93.  Sound courtesy of the ESPN. Dwayne Wade led all scorers with 41.  The Heat now awaits the winner of the Celtics-76ers series – those two tangle in Game 7 tomorrow night in Boston. 

WAMC's Daily Sports Wrap

May 24, 2012

Well the Devils have taken a 3-2 series lead in the Eastern Conference finals…

On the ice last night in New York, Ryan Carter's tally in the waning moments of the third period helped the Devils hang on to beat the Rangers in Game 5 5-3.  Sound courtesy of NBC.  New Jersey grabbed the early lead, scoring three times in the first ten minutes, but the Rangers regrouped to tie the score at 3-3 before that Carter goal.  Zach Parise added an empty netter for the Devils, who can finish off the Rangers in Newark Friday night. 

WAMC's Daily Sports Wrap

May 23, 2012

Well the Kings are headed to the Stanley Cup finals…

Game 5 on the ice last night in Glendale, Dustin Penner's tally at 17:42 of overtime lifted the Kings to a 4-3 series-clinching win over the Coyotes.  Sound courtesy of CBC.  Los Angeles advances to the championship series and awaits the winner of the Rangers-Devils series.  Those two skate in Game 5 tonight – their series is tied at two. 

WAMC's Daily Sports Wrap

May 21, 2012

Well the Spurs have punched their tickets to the NBA’s Western Conference finals…

On the hardwood last night in Los Angeles, Tony Parker hit two consecutive baskets in the final two minutes, finishing with 17 points and six boards, as the Spurs rallied to knock out the Clippers 102-99.  The Spurs, who’ve won 18 straight games, advance to the conference finals where they await the winner of the Thunder-Lakers series. 

WAMC's Daily Sports Wrap

May 18, 2012

Two blowouts last night in the NBA postseason…

On the court in Indiana, George Hill poured in 20 points, Roy Hibbert added 19 points and grabbed 18 boards, as the Pacers pasted the Heat 94-75.  Miami was again without Chris Bosh, who’s sidelined with a strained abdominal muscle, and his absence showed.  Mario Chalmers led the Heat with 25 points, Lebron James had 22, and Dwayne Wade scored just 5 points in the loss.  Indianapolis, who leads the series two-games-to-one, hosts Game 4 Sunday afternoon.

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