Jamie Moyer, shown above pitching for the Colorado Rockies in May 2012, made his major league debut back in 1986. He says that after decades in the major leagues, he'd occasionally have to remind himself that "in baseball terms, I really was old, but in everyday life, I really wasn't."
We don't often think of professional athletes improving with age, but Jamie Moyer was a better pitcher in his 40s than he was in his 20s. Moyer became the oldest pitcher to win a Major League Baseball game when, in April 2012, at the age of 49 years, 150 days, he pitched the Colorado Rockies to a 5-3 win over the San Diego Padres.
There's a certain anniversary irony to the fact that Alex Rodriquez's illegal doping ban appeal hearing is taking place this week, for it was, essentially, a quarter-of-a-century ago that what we think of as the drug era in sports began.
And here A-Rod is now, 38 years old, his body in betrayal (perhaps from years of all the drugs), hitting .244, hearing boos, even at home at Yankee Stadium, yet pleading desperately for a lesser sentence at the price of suffering more embarrassing revelations — a figure of pity that no one does.
Hockey superstar Alex Ovechkin was among the first torch bearers for the 2014 Olympics that will be held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. David Greene talks to Ovechkin about the various challenges ahead for the Winter Games, as well as the upcoming hockey season.
After 162 regular season baseball games, the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates will meet tonight in a sudden death playoff. For my team, the Pirates, it's their first time in the post-season in 21 years. And after tonight, after just one game in a scheme surely invented by sadists, the Pirates might be out of the playoffs.
After a dramatic finish to the regular season that included a no-hitter on the final day and a tie that will force a special elimination game Monday night, Major League Baseball is set to start its playoffs.
OK, the baseball post-season is not quite settled. The Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays will fight for the final playoff spot in a game tonight. The post-season of the New York Yankees is settled: There is not one. The Yankees failed to make it into the playoffs for only the second time in the last 19 years. And that means one of the most successful careers in baseball history has ended. Mariano Rivera has officially pitched his last game. And with that exit, NPR's Mike Pesca has this remembrance of his signature pitch: the cut fastball.
Tom Brokaw famously described the generation of Americans that fought in World War II as the greatest generation. Well, in the estimation of Kevin Helliker, this current cup of 20-somethings might be called the slowest generation.
Once again, thanks for listening. This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.
Today is the last day of Major League Baseball's regular season. The playoffs start Tuesday. And among the teams still vying for a spot in the World Series is the club with the fourth lowest payroll in the game.
(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The American League's Western Division title belongs to the Oakland Athletics.