It's time to make home plate smaller. I know: That's heresy; that's sacrilegious. But there are simply too many strikeouts in baseball now, and that hurts the game, because if the ball isn't in play, it's boring.
The size of home plate was not decreed by God. Back when it was an iron plate — where the name came from — it was, in fact, round. It became rubber and a square, 12 inches to a side, but its present distinctive shape was established in 1900 — a full 17inches across.
Norwegians love winter sports. Their haul of 26 medals in Sochi placed them third behind Russia and the U.S., a disproportionate haul. So you might think people in Oslo would be thrilled that their city is a likely contender to host the 2022 Winter Games.
But Sidsel Overgaard found that's not always the case.
SIDSEL OVERGAARD, BYLINE: It's a brisk night in Oslo, a new dusting of snow on the ground. In the city center, mittened children scrape and twirl on an outdoor rink, torn up by a day's hard use.
The Winter Olympics are over and the final medal count is in. Russia came out on top with 33 medals. And the United States was not far behind with a total of 28 medals. Contributing to that tally was Noelle Pikus-Pace. She took silver in women's skeleton. That's the sport in which athletes barrel down an icy track on a sled, head-first at 90-miles per hour.
Last night, the NBA's Jason Collins became the first openly gay man to play in any of this country's four major professional sports. Collins signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets yesterday. And a few hours later, he made his debut as a backup center in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
NPR's Nate Rott was at the game in L.A. and he has this report.
Runners trying to reach home plate — and the catchers who often try to block them — will have to follow new rules that are meant to cut the risk of injuries from collisions, after Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association agreed on changing the rules Monday.
The change would take effect in the upcoming 2014 season. In announcing the new rule today, MLB called it "experimental." Here's the summary it provided:
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. The Winter Olympics games closed yesterday with a spectacular display of fireworks, dance and music, including a thousand children singing the Russian national anthem.
The closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi featured a particularly captivating image: an aerial view of the coastal Olympic village, with the stadiums set like jewels among sparkling avenues, set off by the flash of fireworks in the night sky.
It seemed as if Russia, and especially President Vladimir Putin, had achieved everything that could be hoped for from a world-class sporting event.
The applause was warm and some fans stood Sunday night in Los Angeles when basketball player Jason Collins made history by walking onto the court during an NBA game.
By checking in during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers, the newest member of the Brooklyn Nets became the first openly gay man to play for a team in one of the nation's four major professional sports.
Russia put on a spectacular closing show for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi last night, with fireworks, Russian music and dance, and a thousand children singing Russia's national anthem. As always, the games were full of the sort of drama and surprises that make them one of the world's great spectacles.
Sonari Glinton is about to turn out the lights in NPR's Sochi bureau, but before he does, let's get the low-down from him about the two-plus weeks of competition.