Major League Baseball kicked off the 2013 season this week with near perfect pitching, big hits, and big wins.

The LA Dodger’s Clayton Kershaw pitched a complete shut out in his first outing of the season, not to mention his walk off home run to win the game. The powerhouse New York Yankees, depicted on the cover of the New Yorker as geriatric patients, lost to the rival Boston Red Sox. But, the New York Mets won their opening salvo with a commanding 11 to 2 runs scored over the San Diego Padres.

  The NCAA Tournament has captured the nation’s attention in recent days.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Rich Clark, Associate Professor of Political Science and director of the Castleton Polling Institute, tells WAMC’s David Guistina that sports and politics sometimes intersect.


National Girls and Women in Sport Day began in 1987 to honor the life of Olympic Volleyball Player Flo Hyman, who dedicated her life to sexual equality in sports.  Twenty-six years later, the day is celebrated in all 50 states, promoting and honoring female participation in athletics.  Reporter Pat O’Rourke has more.

    After the fall of Lehman Brothers, Joe Peta needed a new employer. He found a new job in New York City but lost that, too, when an ambulance mowed him down as he crossed the street on foot.

In search of a way to cheer himself up while he recuperated in a wheelchair, Peta started watching baseball again, as he had growing up. That's when inspiration hit: Why not apply his outstanding risk-analysis skills to improve on sabermetrics, the method made famous by Moneyball--and beat the only market in town, the Vegas betting line? Why not treat MLB like the S&P 500?

In his book, Trading Bases: A Story About Wall Street, Gambling, and Baseball (Not Necessarily in That Order), Peta shows how to subtract luck from a team's statistics to best predict how it will perform in the next game and over the whole season. His baseball "hedge fund" returned an astounding 41 percent in 2011-- with daily volatility similar to funds he used to trade for.

It’s been the best of times, and the worst of times for the University of Miami athletics. On the one hand, the Hurricanes have the number two men’s basketball team in the country, which is quite something for a school that usually sees basketball as simply a bridge between bowl season and spring football.

Flickr / David Shankbone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Danica Patrick has won the Daytona 500 pole, becoming the first woman to secure the top spot for any Sprint Cup race. 

It was the biggest achievement of her four-year NASCAR career.

Patrick went out eighth in the qualifying session Sunday and covered the 2½-mile superspeedway in 45.817 seconds, averaging 196.434 mph.

Keith Strudler: Sports and homosexuality

Feb 13, 2013
Wikimedia Commons / Howcheng

Last week a sports writer visited campus to talk with students. Before the big presentation, a student asked him what he thought about Orlando Cruz, a professional boxer who recently announced he is gay, the first and only professional boxer to do so. And the writer simply said this issue is going to be the Jackie Robinson of this generation. The handful of 20 year olds sitting around the table got what he meant, maybe even more than 70 year olds that lived through baseball’s integration.

Keith Strudler : President Obama and Football

Jan 30, 2013
U.S. Department of Defense / Glenn Fawcett

The President of the United States has some tough questions to answer.  And how he answers might determine what he can do over the next four years, whether he’s effective or lame-duck, an elitist or a man of the people.

Keith Strudler - Ray Lewis at the Super Bowl

Jan 24, 2013
Flikr / Keith Allison

So maybe in one way, the Super Bowl is a bit like a Jewish Holiday.  You start celebrating the night before.  For the big game, it’s actually the week before, or technically the week before the week before, to be exact.  That’s where we are right now, which puts us squarely in the thick of unnecessary hype.  So if you don’t like what you hear right now, just wait.  Because you’ll hate it even more the 500th time 10 days from now.

WAMC Morning Edition Sports Update

Jan 24, 2013
Keith Allison / Flickr

Brook Lopez strengthened his push for a spot on the All-Star team with 22 points on 10-for-16 shooting, helping the Brooklyn Nets hold off the Minnesota Timberwolves 91-83 on Wednesday night.

The Nets improved to 12 and 2 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo. Lopez, the NBA's highest-scoring center, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace and Reggie Evans. Williams and Johnson scored 18 points apiece, and the Nets never trailed despite some sloppy stretches of play.

In the wake of Lance Armstrong’s mea culpa that he took performance enhancing drugs – and the recent Baseball Hall of Fame vote (where NOBODY got in) – we ask you: Does it matter to you if athletes use performance enhancing drugs?

Keith Strudler - 2012 In Review

Dec 26, 2012

So as years go, 2012 may not have been our finest.  But, alas, and mercifully, it is coming to a close.  Yet generally time is not the best aid to remembrance nor perspective.  And with that we look back on the year that’s nearly past, not with an acute vision on recent events but with a more reflective eye on this year’s whole body of work.  In other words, sometimes it’s hard to remember something that happened even a month ago, much less 10 or 11.

Jason DeCrow / AP

Peyton Manning threw for 310 yards and had his 30th touchdown pass of the season on the game's opening drive to help the Denver Broncos roll to their eighth straight victory, 26-13 over the Oakland Raiders.

Coming up on Sunday, the Jets will play in Jacksonville, Buffalo hosts St. Louis at home and the Giants take on the Saints in the Meadowlands. New England will play the Texans on Monday night.

WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with NFL and College Football Hall of Famer and Syracuse University special assistant to the athletic director Floyd Little, whose new memoir is Promises to Keep: My Inspired Run from Syracuse to Denver to the Hall.

The word underdog is overused in the context of sports, but when it comes to Little, it’s an apt term. Little was born into poverty, one of six children raised by a single mother in Waterbury, Connecticut who struggled in school and had to keep his burgeoning football talent a secret from his protective and worried mother.

Gerald Herbert / AP

Kobe Bryant has become the fifth player in NBA history to score 30,000 points. He's also the youngest. The 34-year-old Bryant needed 13 points to reach the plateau before he scored 29 in the Los Angeles Lakers' 103-87 win at New Orleans. Wilt Chamberlain was 35 when he hit the mark, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone were each 36 and Michael Jordan was 38.

AP Photo

Brooklyn was beaten by a division leader for the second straight game as Kevin Durant scored 32 points and Russell Westbrook added 25 in Oklahoma City's 117-111 win over the Nets.

The Miami Heat had to figure their winning streak would come to an end one of these days. They couldn't have expected it to be stopped in Washington. The Wizards won for only the second time in 15 games, overcoming LeBron James' triple-double in a 105-101 win over the Heat, halting Miami's six-game winning streak.

The Knicks will play in Charlotte tonight and Boston will host the Timberwolves.

WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with legendary football coach John Heisman’s grand nephew, John M. Heisman, the keeper of the family’s flame and the author of a new biography called Heisman: The Man Behind the Trophy, which is published by Simon and Schuster.

When the Heisman Trophy is awarded December 8 to the nation’s best college football player, the sports world will look back fondly on the past recipients and their stellar careers, and then begin looking forward to the bowl season with anticipation.

Evan Vucci / AP

The NFC East race is wide open once again after the Giants fell to division rival Redskins last night. Robert Griffin III accounted for 235 total yards and the Redskins' defense was solid in the second half of a 17-16 win over the New York Giants. The Giants led 16-10 until Griffin hit Pierre Garcon for an eight-yard touchdown with 11:31 remaining. Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 103 yards on 24 carries, and Victor Cruz had five catches for 104 yards, but the Giants had to settle for too many field goals after reaching the red zone.

Michael Perez / AP

Third-string quarterback Greg McElroy led the Jets to their only points of the day and New York beat visiting Arizona 7-6. Backup QB Tim Tebow was inactive due to broken ribs.

New England clinched their fourth straight AFC East title by beating Miami 23-16. Tom Brady threw his first interception in 203 pass attempts.

Giants and Redskins play tonight.

Darron Cummings / AP

It was supposed to be the best matchup of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, but it turned into a mismatch early in the second half. Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey combined to outscore North Carolina as the top-ranked Indiana Hoosiers blasted the No. 14 Tar Heels 83-59. Zeller finished with 20 points and eight rebounds for the 7-0 Hoosiers, who allowed only one field goal during the first 8 ½ minutes of the second half. Oladipo and Sheehey each had 19 points and helped Indiana go on a 28-6 run bridging the two halves.

Knicks and Nets Tied for First After Overtime Bout

Nov 27, 2012
Kathy Willens / AP

The Nets moved closer to the Knicks this fall, and the two teams couldn't be any closer in the NBA's Atlantic Division standings. The Nets have pulled even with New York for the division lead by downing the Knicks 96-89 in overtime at Brooklyn. Jerry Stackhouse drained the tiebreaking three-pointer with 3:31 remaining as the Nets outscored the Knicks 12-5 in the extra session. Brook Lopez had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Nets, who improved to 9-4 with their third straight win. Deron Williams added 16 points and 14 assists as the Nets improved to 7-1 in their new home

Danny Moloshok / AP

The New York Giants snapped their two-game slide by routing Green Bay 38-10 in the matchup of the last two Super Bowl champs. Eli Manning tossed three TDs to give him 200 career TD passes, passing Phil Simms to become the Giants all-time leader in that department. The Giants own a two-game lead atop the NFC East.

Morning sports update

Nov 23, 2012

WAMC's Ian Pickus delivers his morning sportscast.

It was a Thanksgiving night of embarrassment for the New York Jets….they gave up three touchdowns in just 52 seconds and were blown off the field in the turkey nightcap last night, 49-19 at the hands of New England. Tom Brady;s 83-yard pass to Shane Vereen made it 14-0 early, and New England never looked back…the win made Bull Belichick just the eighth NFL coach with 200 career wins.

On this Thanksgiving Thursday, three big NFL matchups, at 12:30 the Houston Texans play against the Detroit Lions. The Lions, who along with the Cowboys are the fixtures of the Thanksgiving Classic football games are 33-36-2 on Turkey Day, they have not won in the past nine years.

Dallas will host the Redskins at Cowboys Stadium at 4:25. The Cowboys are 28-15-1 on Thanksgiving.

One tradition that continues tomorrow is the Dallas Cowboys playing on Thanksgiving. But America’s Team didn’t always have Dallas’ undivided loyalties. WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with John Eisenberg, author of Ten-Gallon War: The NFL’s Cowboys, The AFL’s Texans, and the Feud for Dallas’ Pro Football Future

The football-mad state of Texas didn’t always look the way it does now, with the Dallas Cowboys, America’s team, playing in a super-stadium and the Houston Texans a legitimate force of their own.

Gerald Herbert / AP

Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points and the New York Knicks extended the undermanned New Orleans Hornets' losing streak to four games with a 102-80 victory Tuesday night. Raymond Felton added 15 points, making five 3-pointers for New York, which hit 14 as a team. Tyson Chandler grabbed 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who've won two straight since their first loss of the season and are 8-1 for only the third time in franchise history. The other two times, the 1969-70 and 1972-73 seasons, they won championships. Ryan Anderson, starting in place of Anthony Davis, led the Hornets with 15 points.

Charles Krupa / AP

Colin Kaepernick passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start in place of the injured Alex Smith, and the San Francisco 49ers whipped the Chicago Bears 32-7 on Monday night in a highly touted NFC showdown that hardly lived up to the hype. Kaepernick threw touchdown passes to Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree, and Kendall Hunter ran for a 14-yard TD as San Francisco (7-2-1) jumped out to a big lead by scoring on each of its first four possessions — with Aldon Smith wreaking havoc on the other side of the ball with 5½ sacks.

Sam Householder / AP

The old gun outplayed the new gun and the New England Patriots taught top-draft pick Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts a lesson in all-around excellence in the Pats' 59-24 victory. The 59 points tied a New England franchise record. The Pats scored five touchdowns on offense, two on defense and one on special teams. It's the fourth 50-plus performance in the NFL this season -- two by New England.

Celtics beat Washington, Nets Fall Short of Heat

Nov 8, 2012

  Brandon Bass scored five straight points in overtime, helping the Boston Celtics pull out a 100-94 win over the Washington Wizards last night. Kevin Garnett led the Celtics with 20 points and 13 rebounds, Rajon Rondo had 18 points and 14 assists and reserve Jason Terry had 16 points. Bass finished with 11. Bradley Beal, Kevin Seraphin and Martell Webster each scored 16 points for the Wizards (0-3). Bass hit a tiebreaking free throw, making it 93-92, then scored on a twisting layup on the next possession. He added a breakaway dunk with 37.7 seconds left to help seal it.

Knicks Move to 3-0, Nets Fall to Timberwolves

Nov 6, 2012
Michael Perez / AP

  Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points and JR Smith had 17 to lead the New York Knicks to a 110-88 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night. Raymond Felton scored 16 points and Tyson Chandler had 14 to lead the Knicks to their first 3-0 start since the 1999-2000 season. The Knicks beat the Sixers 100-84 on Sunday in the opener of the home-and-home series.  The Knicks busted the game open in the third quarter, stretching the lead to 21 points.