When you think about France, baseball doesn't leap to mind, but the sport has a long history there, dating back to 1889. During World War I, French soldiers played baseball with American doughboys. And now there is a French baseball league. But the games are never televised and the fans are mostly friends and family. But this week, for the first time, France sent its top team to the qualifying matches for the World Baseball Classic, a tournament that was created when baseball ceased to be an Olympics sport.
The allegations of physical and verbal abuse at U.S. Speedskating have a new twist: A coach allegedly directed a skater to tamper with the skates of a Canadian competitor at an international competition last year — and the skater complied.
When Reid Gorecki began his quest to make it to baseball's major leagues this year, he probably didn't expect things to end up in Camden, N.J. The city is the home of Campbell's Soup — and Campbell 's Field, where the Camden Riversharks play their games.
And that's where Gorecki now plays, after being traded by the Long Island Ducks. Tuesday night's game was supposed to be one of the last of his season. But the game was canceled owing to rain, and the stadium was quiet.
Let me tell you about the day my husband bolted into the room and asked, "Are you free for lunch on Sept. 21?"
It was the middle of July, and I'm not Oprah. Usually, I can be booked for lunch at a moment's notice. But I played along. I flipped through my virtual calendar, scrolled down to the very date in question, and gave it a good stare.
'Yup, I'm open!' I told him.
"Good," Ken said, 'because I got us tickets to see Coach Saban."
It's an exclusive club: Pitchers who rely on the knuckleball, and win, in Major League Baseball. It's one of the most difficult and unpredictable pitches in the game. Only about 80 players have ever used the knuckleball consistently in the major leagues. Even fewer have been successful.
New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey is one of the few active starting pitchers in professional baseball who use this slower, methodical pitch. He's chasing 20 wins, and a possible Cy Young Award, in the 2012 season.
Hearing about the 18-inning, 5 hours and 44 minutes-long game between the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners that stretched from last night into today set us off in search of news about Major League Baseball's longest games.
And now to the NFL, where these days, it's tough to say where the harder hitting is happening right now; on the field, or off - where players, coaches and the media blasted this past weekend's performance by replacement officials. The regular officials were locked out by the league in June because of a labor dispute. Joining us is NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman. Good morning.
All you have to know about the nonsense of college athletic conferences in America today is that the Big Ten has 12 members, and the Big Twelve has 10. Honestly.
But as badly as athletic conferences flunk arithmetic, they do no better with geography. Next year, for example, San Diego State will be in the Big East. This is like, you never could believe that Vladivostok, way out there, was really in Russia, could you?