I will never be a Hall of Famer and will never lead the league in strikeouts. So begins the memoir published earlier this year by R.A. Dickey, starting pitcher for the New York Mets. How wrong he was. Dickey had a remarkable season this year. Not only did he lead the National League in strikeouts, he also led in innings pitched, complete games and shutouts. And yesterday, the perfect ending to a season not even Dickey could have imagined. He received the highest honor for a pitcher: the Cy Young Award.
There's been plenty of discussion about head injuries in professional football, new equipment, new lawsuits and new rules as well. Inevitably, the conversation came to include high schools, most prominently when a school board member in - near Philadelphia proposed to end the football program. There's also been, sometimes, angry pushback. Last month, the discussion opened again in Dover, New Hampshire.
The Florida Marlins have dumped much of their starting line-up, engineering a huge trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. The players include high-priced free agents the team pursued for its inaugural season in its new stadium.
It was fun to call American sports commissioners czars, but once players started to have unions, a commissioner really became more like a majority leader in a legislature, trying to keep his party — the owners — together in their financial battles against the minority opposition, the athletes.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jacki Lyden in Washington, sitting in for Neal Conan. Stalking and killing one's prey is one of the world's oldest acts. In modern culture, hunting has been dominated by a stereotype of burly men in camouflage who view the pastime mostly as a sport. But a new, younger generation of hunters has started shooting not as a recreational activity but more as an ethical method of connecting with the source of their sustenance. And more women are entering the sport, changing the shape of the industry, literally.
OK. The NBA season is only two weeks old, but already there's controversy. The Los Angeles Lakers are scheduled to introduce their new head coach in the next day or so. He's Mike D'Antoni, who resigned last season after a largely unsuccessful four years at the New York Knicks. Many Lakers fans are livid the team did not rehire Phil Jackson, who won 11 NBA titles as a head coach, five of them with L.A., and who was ready to come out of retirement to coach again. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman is with us.
With baseball playoffs becoming a distant memory, NPR's Mike Pesca talks to host Rachel Martin about basketball becoming more like baseball. People are increasingly trying to identify more valuable statistics for individual basketball players.
This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.
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SIMON: The NFL season at the half-way point. Big game this weekend. Sunday, tomorrow night, two 7-1 teams in a classic face-off. Ha-ha. One of them's the Bears. In college football, Notre Dame and Kansas State are in the top 5. What is this, 1997? And the L.A. Lakers send their coach packing. Are they already chanting ohm in Santa Monica?