sports

NBA Player James Harden
hoopnut.blogspot.com

James Harden became a star in Houston, and now he's ready to call the city home. Harden signed a four-year, "supermax" extension Saturday, a whopper of a deal that guarantees Harden about $228 million over the next six seasons and makes it the richest contract in league history. The extension alone tacks another $170 million or so — depending on how the salary cap escalates — on to a contract that still had two more years and nearly $60 million remaining. It's a mammoth deal befitting one of the league's brightest stars, which is exactly what the Beard has become in five seasons with the Rockets.

Cyclist Marcel Kittel
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CYCLING: Marcel Kittel had little trouble winning the sixth stage of the Tour de France in a mass sprint finish Thursday with Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish both no longer in the race. Chris Froome held on to the leader's yellow jersey. It was Kittel's second victory in this year's race and 11th overall in his Tour career.

Baseball player Aaron Judge
flickr: apardavila

MLB: Dellin Betances forced in the go-ahead run with four walks in the eighth inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the New York Yankees 7-6 yesterday after wasting a five-run lead. Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning off Michael Pineda, who also allowed Kevin Pillar's leadoff homer in the fourth. Russell Martin tied the score 6-6 with a seventh-inning homer against Chad Green, then walked to drive in the go-ahead run in the eighth.

Basketball player Gordon Hayward
playitusa.com

NBA: Gordon Hayward has decided to sign with the Boston Celtics, and leave the Utah Jazz after seven seasons. Hayward has told the Jazz that he is leaving and reuniting with his college coach, the Celtics' Brad Stevens. The Miami Heat also were in the race to land Hayward in free agency.

With well over $1.2 billion in deals done and counting, NBA teams are spending again during free agency this summer. But unlike a year ago, there seems to be a bit more caution in how these deals are put together, by both the teams and the players involved. Kevin Durant has agreed to a two-year, $53 million deal. He'll have the option to return to free agency again next summer.

Baseball player Aaron Judge
flickr: apardavila

MLB: Ryan Raburn drove in the game-winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the Washington Nationals survived another bullpen collapse for a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets on Monday night.

Masahiro Tanaka pitched seven sharp innings for his second straight win following a long slump, and the New York Yankees beat the skidding Toronto Blue Jays 6-3. Hours after announcing they'll both compete in the Home Run Derby next week, All-Star sluggers Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez sparked New York's offense.

#SportsReport: Rookies Command MLB All Star Vote

Jul 3, 2017
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.
Keith Allison

MLB:  Nick Pivetta allowed one hit in seven impressive innings for his second major league win, and the Philadelphia Phillies stopped the New York Mets' four-game winning streak with a 7-1 victory. Maikel Franco had a two-run double in a four-run second aided by a pair of sacrifice bunts. Rookie catcher Andrew Knapp added an RBI single and dashed home from second on a wild pitch by Rafael Montero.

Anchored by a core of young, homegrown talents and a camera-ready star, the New York Yankees appear poised for a sustained run at October glory. No, not Derek Jeter’s pinstripers of 20 years ago. Contrary to many preseason predictions, the 2017 Yankees find themselves in the thick of the pennant race thanks to breakout performances from players like Aaron Judge. For the past 16 years, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand has had a front-row view of the action. He also reported for the New York Daily News. His new book is The New York Yankees Fans’ List, which is published by Triumph.

It’s a big weekend for sports so we’re turning our attention to the hardwood and the ball diamond. The Final Fours of the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments are this weekend and the Major League Baseball season gets underway on Sunday.

As a player, Charles Dillon "Casey" Stengel's contemporaries included Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, and Christy Mathewson . . . and he was the only person in history to wear the uniforms of all four New York teams: the Dodgers, Giants, Yankees, and Mets.

As a legendary manager, he formed indelible, complicated relationships with Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Billy Martin. For more than five glorious decades, Stengel was the undisputed, quirky, hilarious, and beloved face of baseball--and along the way he revolutionized the role of manager while winning a spectacular ten pennants and seven World Series Championships.  

But for a man who spent so much of his life in the limelight--an astounding fifty-five years in professional baseball--Stengel remains an enigma. Acclaimed New York Yankees' historian and bestselling author Marty Appel digs into Casey Stengel's quirks and foibles, unearthing a tremendous trove of baseball stories, perspective, and history. His new biography is: Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character.

Andrew Catalon
CBS

For people who wait all year for the NCAA Tournament, which kicks off this week, nothing beats the first four days, when 64 teams are in action across the U.S. It’s a basketball buffet for fans. For broadcasters, it’s a balancing act — and some really long days. Once again working the action for CBS Sports will be Andrew Catalon, who has also called NFL games, college football, golf, the Olympics, and more. Catalon is also familiar to listeners in our area from his television stints in Burlington and Albany.

We hear now, the story of two men.

Jim Thorpe: Super athlete, Olympic gold medalist, Native American

Pop Warner: Indomitable coach, football mastermind, Ivy League grad.

Before these men became legends, they met in 1907 at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, where they forged one of the winningest teams in American football history. Called "the team that invented football," they took on the best opponents of their day, defeating much more privileged schools such as Harvard and the Army in a series of breathtakingly close calls, genius plays, and bone-crushing hard work.

Author Steve Sheinkin’s new book is: Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team - the story of a group of young men who came together at that school, the overwhelming obstacles they faced both on and off the field, and their absolute refusal to accept defeat.

There will be a launch party for the book on Sunday at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs at 5PM. 

Keith Strudler: The Downside Of Solidarity

Dec 21, 2016
The logo of the University of Minnesota
wikipedia.org

There is such a thing in sports as team solidarity. In some ways, it is the single adhesive that keeps disparate individuals together. It’s manifest when teams eat together, lock arms on the sidelines, attend family funerals of teammates, and so on. It’s a list of activities that often extend far beyond the sidelines in the widely accepted belief that teams that act as one will be stronger than those that don’t. Which theoretically means more wins and fewer losses, at least relative to your talent. If you’ve ever seen a team where the athletes look like they can’t wait to leave the arena and get away from each other, you’d probably agree. Jets fans know exactly what I’m talking about.

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.

Every sports fan recalls with amazing accuracy a pivotal winning moment involving a favorite team or player - yet lost are the stories on the other side of these history-making moments, the athletes who experienced not transcendent glory but crushing disappointment: the cornerback who missed the tackle on the big touchdown; the relief pitcher who lost the series; the world-record holding Olympian who fell on the ice.

In Losing Isn’t Everything, sportscaster Curt Menefee (joined by bestselling writer Michael Arkush) examines a range of signature "disappointments" from the wide world of sports, interviewing the subject at the heart of each loss and uncovering what it means—months, years, or decades later—to be associated with failure. 

Keith Strudler: Finding Solace In Sports

Nov 9, 2016

I know most all of you don’t want to hear me talk about sports right now. You don’t have the appetite to consider the college football playoff rankings. Or whether NFL officials are missing too many calls. Or if baseball is a regional game. None of these topics sound important, and to be honest, they aren’t. Not relative to the fact that, in the estimation of a lot of reputable sources, we have just put our children’s future at considerable risk and destabilized the world. And potentially validated a pattern of bigotry, xenophobia, and sexism that’s largely unknown to this current generation of Americans. So I get that it’s kind of hard for you all to listen to me talk about sports right now without wanting to either change the station or, more likely, shove something down my throat. Let’s all agree that sports is simply not so important right now, even if it’s kind of what I’m supposed to do.

Bertrand Stepping Down From Section 2 Athletics

Oct 28, 2016
Wayne Bertrand
Wayne Bertrand

Most students who play high school sports won't go on to a pro career or a college scholarship, but they often take with them memories and life lessons along with perhaps a few bumps and bruises. Wayne Bertrand is about to step down as head of Section 2 of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, which covers 95 public, private and parochial schools over a wide area of eastern New York. Before taking over Section 2 four years ago, Bertrand was the athletic director at Guilderland High School; and he started the new job by fixing some major financial problems.

Keith Strudler: Chicago Cubs Fans

Oct 19, 2016

Cubs fans, it is now time to get nervous. A few days ago, you were up one game to zero in the National League Championship Series. Three more wins against the Dodgers, and it was off to the World Series, where you would be the favorite to win over what now appears to be the Cleveland Indians, who are up three-nil on the Toronto Blue Jays. This would be your first trip to the Series since 1945. And if you won, the first time since 1908. As you’re well aware as a Cubs fan, this is the longest championship drought in professional baseball. Or more precisely, in all professional sports.

MLB:

In the American League Championship Series, Cleveland doubled up Toronto 4-2 to bring the Indians within one game of moving to the World Series. Cleveland now has a three-games-to-none lead.

Some of the most memorable moments in sports history aren’t highlights, but snapshots — photographs of a brief time that define a game or an athlete for generations. Indeed, during the recent Rio Olympics, it was a Getty composite of sprinter Usain Bolt that went viral — not a video of his race. Many of these photos—and other, lesser known examples—are gathered in the new book Who Shot Sports: A Photographic History, 1843 to Present, by photography expert Gail Buckland. The book is published by Knopf.

Keith Sturdler: Organic Sports

Sep 7, 2016

I have grown to believe, perhaps incorrectly, that Gatorade is the most important elixir in the history of the planet. It makes you run faster, jump higher, lift more, and generally perform like an elite athlete. I’ve also grown to believe it can cure most human illnesses, something affirmed both by having two kids of my own and during a short period earlier in my life when I dated a med school pediatric resident, and on pretty much every call she told some parent to just give their kid Gatorade and let ‘em sleep. Which made me believe that being a doctor wasn’t all that hard, at least that part.

  For millions of people around the world, the Summer and Winter Games are a joy and a treasure, but how did they develop into a global colossus? How have they been buffeted by―and, in turn, affected by―world events? Why do we care about them so much?

From the reinvention of the Games in Athens in 1896 to Rio in 2016, best-selling sportswriter David Goldblatt brilliantly traces their history through national triumphs and tragedies, individual victories and failures.


  It’s a Saturday in winter, somewhere in the suburbs, and a high school girls’ soccer team warms up for its indoor game. They stretch in sync – right quad, left quad, lunge – and their conversations spin around and off their turf, far outside the air dome bubble, and back again.

 

The Wolves, by Sarah DeLappe, is the second mainstage production this season presented by Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theatre. The production, directed by Lila Neugebauer, runs July 21st through July 31st.

 

The play was a recipient of the American Playwriting Foundation’s inaugural Relentless Award and a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Sarah DeLappe joins us to tell us more.

 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.

Colby Perry/Flickr

Daily Gazette Executive Sports Editor Mark McGuire and Marist College Director of Sports Communication Keith Strudler join us today to talk sports. 

  The Boys in the Boat: The True Story of an American Team's Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

First released in 2013, the best-selling book has been released in a Young Readers Adaptation by Viking Books.

Berkshire Sculling Association in Pittsfield is hosting John Biglow, member of the 1984 Olympic rowing team. John has developed a talk around the The Boys in the Boat book, which he’ll be presenting at the Duffin Theater in Lenox on Sunday June 26 at 2:30.

There’s nothing more dangerous in sports, from a TV network perspective, than a live mic on the field of play. Perhaps better put, it’s a high risk/reward kind of deal. On the one hand, it can be really cool to hear what a defensive back says about an offensive scheme or a player matchup. On the other hand, it becomes pretty clear athletes use the entire dictionary on the field of play, including words you don’t learn in school – not in the classroom, anyway.

Chances are if you’re a dedicated WAMC listener, Frank Deford is a part of your morning routine. The legendary sportswriter has delivered more than 1,600 commentaries for Morning Edition over the past 36 years. His wry and incisive observations remain a refreshing antidote in an age of shouty sports talk defined by hot takes.

An Emmy and Peabody winner, Deford has written 18 books and serves as senior contributing writer at Sports Illustrated, where he first appeared in 1962. He’s also a correspondent for Real Sports on HBO.

This Saturday, Deford will sign copies of his new book I’d Know That Voice Anywhere: My Favorite NPR Commentaries at Sweetpea in Stone Ridge, New York.

Keith Strudler: Searching For Answers In Sports

Jun 8, 2016

Perhaps the most instinctive human process is the need to know “why.” As thoughtful beings, we don’t simply accept our reality. We question it, often in vain. Whenever someone does something wrong, the first question we ask is why. Why did they do it, what made them act that way. It’s often a fool’s quest, since we frequently do things that lack reason. That’s the reality of life, which might best be summed as a series of mistakes, where each day we vow to make just a few less.

  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. 

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