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Baseball

The Brian Lehrer Show

Context and a Movie: "Moneyball"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rob Neyer, national baseball editor for Baseball Nation and former employee of baseball statistics legend Bill James, discusses sabermetrics and how it did or did not change baseball. Dana Stevens, Slate's film critic and co-host of Slate's Culture Gabfest, joins him to discuss "Moneyball." 

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The Takeaway

Red Sox Defeated by Baltimore

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On Monday, the Boston Red Sox lost the Baltimore Orioles, dropping them into a tie with the Tampa Bay Rays for the America League’s final playoff spot. Frank Schorr, director of the Sports Institute at Boston University and the former executive producer at Channel 7, and Matt Sullivan, superfan and Red Sox blogger, give their analysis of the game.

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The Takeaway

Football Season in Full Swing

Monday, September 26, 2011

A wild NFL Week 3 continues with Monday Night Football tonight as we look back at an early season which finds both the Detroit Lions and Buffalo Bills at an unlikely 3-0. In addition, comeback kid Michael Vick left yesterday's game with the Giants from a broken hand. Will he play again? Wall Street Journal sports writer Nando DiFino joins us to talk about the beginning of the season.

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The Takeaway

Movie Date: Moneyball

Sunday, September 25, 2011

In this week's Movie Date podcast, Kristen, Rafer, join a baseball-loving guest in discussing stats movie "Moneyball," starring Brad Pitt. Can a movie about baseball statistics be remotely interesting? Does Kristen's knowledge of the game run deeper than "Bad News Bears"? Does the movie, in the final judgment, satisfy people who aren't number crunchers? To get answers to these questions, you must listen!  

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Ralph Branca's Moment in Time

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ralph Branca is best known for throwing the pitch that resulted in Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ’Round the World,” the historic home run that capped an incredible comeback and won the pennant for the New York Giants in 1951. A Moment in Time details his remarkable story of a man who could have been destroyed by a very public professional embarrassment—but wasn’t. He discusses the golden era of baseball and the legendary players such as Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges, Leo Durocher, Branch Rickey, and Walter O’Malley.

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The Takeaway

The Far-Reaching Influence of 'Moneyball'

Friday, September 23, 2011

What if there was a systematic method to develop the best baseball team? Eight years ago, Michael Lewis's book "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game" exposed how Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland A’s, found a way to turn a team with poor attendance and no money into a rag-tag contender with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball. He did this by using readily available statistics. Since the book was published, the book's influence has not only extended to other baseball teams, but to other sectors. This weekend, a film adaptation is opening in theaters, with Brad Pitt as Billy Beane.

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The Takeaway

Yankees Relief Pitcher Rivera Sets Record

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera had arguably the most important moment of his career yesterday, in a game aginst the Minnesota Twins, when he surpassed Trevor Hoffman as the major league career leader in saves with 602. Rivera has been the Yankees' closer since 1997, so this milestone has been 15 years in the making.

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The Takeaway

Rivera Makes 600th Career Save

Thursday, September 15, 2011

On Tuesday night, New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera notched his 600th career save and came within one save of tying the all-time record, held by Trevor Hoffman. Is Rivera the best "closer" in baseball history? Lifelong Rivera observer and Takeaway sports contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin gives his opinion.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Bernie Williams on Music and Sports

Monday, September 05, 2011

Former New York Yankee Bernie Williams describes how his talent at playing baseball was directly influenced by his musical training and his deep understanding of the similarities between musical artistry and athletic performance. Rhythms of the Game: The Link Between Musical and Athletic Performance, written with Dave Gluck and Bob Thompson, includes a series of conversations, narratives, and sidebars to reveal the influence of music and its rhythms on the game of baseball.

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Transportation Nation

More Fans Look to Take Transit to See Yankees than Mets [UPDATED]

Monday, July 18, 2011

(UPDATED with data from the MTA on actual transit ridership)

The New York baseball rivalry spreads to a transit search site! In honor of the Yankees-Mets subway series earlier this month, the folks at HopStop crunched some numbers on how fans travel to New York stadia, and it's a Yankee town, sort of.

The trip planning website HopStop.com breaks down how often people used their site for directions to Yankee Stadium and to Citi Field. They also map out from which neighborhoods people traveled to games with mostly expected results.

As the chart above shows, far more Yankee fans sought out transit directions to ball games than Mets fans. The percentages account for the difference in number of games, but not in attendance.

That muddies the findings as far more people go to Yankee games (Editorial Note: though I am a third generation Yankee fan, I will do my utmost to refrain commenting on the relative merits of the teams, or posit theories about why it is that more people go to Yankee games). The 27-time world champion Yankees get an average of 44,000 people for each game compared to the Mets 29,000. Taking that into account, they're almost tied for which team is more transit friendly. That's assuming we can use HopStop searches as a proxy for taking transit.

The hard data from the NYC MTA backs this up. The MTA has previously told Transportation Nation that about 37 percent of Yankee fans take the subway to games, about 15,400 per game. After factoring in Metro-North commuter rail, buses, and even ferries, the percentage who take transit rises to about 45 percent. The figure for Mets games, according to the MTA, is 25-30 percent, not including LIRR regional rail, for an average game and 30-35 percent for subway series games. That last fact indicates that the Yankees fans going to Citi Field are more likely to take transit than Mets fans going to Citi Field.

The HopStop numbers point to slightly lower rates of transit ridership to Mets games, with a couple caveats. For one, it's pretty likely to imagine more fans, especially from Queens, drive to Citi field because it's a lot easier to park and drive around Flushing Meadows than the South Bronx. Also, the number of searches doesn't equate to the number of transit trips. It's a simpler transit trip to Citi field. You take the 7 train all the way there. Yankee Stadium has the B/D, 4, lines, Metro-North and if you like walking, the A/C. So optimizing your options is a more complex calculation, something you'd turn to HopStop for.

Where the HopStop data really start to show interesting results are the origin points of the searches. See their maps here.

For one, the home boroughs of the Bronx and Queens weren't the most dominant to their respective teams--probably because people who live there have the least need for directions.

Check out Brooklyn, which sent the most total searches to Citi.

And Manhattan, where people would be searching from their offices, and tourists from their hotels, well, that's Yankee country.

Maybe the next Census could ask which team you support, then we could get some conclusive maps.

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The Takeaway

Judge Declares Mistrial in Roger Clemens Case

Friday, July 15, 2011

The federal judge presiding over the Roger Clemens perjury case has declared a mistrial. Judge Reggie Walton made his decision after prosecutors exposed the jurors to evidence he ruled inadmissible. The government lawyers' blunder was a mistake Judge Walton said even "first-year law students" would have known to avoid.

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The Takeaway

Major League Baseball Finds Controversy at All-Star Game Location

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Major League Baseball's All-Star Game will take place in Phoenix, Arizona this year. The state has been the focus of national controversy over a recent law concerning unauthorized migrants, and 30 percent of league players are Latino — which means politics may overshadow the game. Groups on both sides of the debate are planning to make statements to spectators. George Vecsey, sports columnist for The New York Times, talks about the dynamic of the game.

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WNYC News

Derek Jeter Reaches 3,000 in Style

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Derek Jeter is Mr. 3,000. The Yankees captain hit a home run in the third inning of Saturday's game at Yankee Stadium off a pitch from the Tampa Bay Rays’ David Price to reach 3,000 career hits, making him only the 28th player in baseball history to achieve the milestone.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

The Case Against Clemens

Friday, July 08, 2011

Mike Pesca, NPR sports correspondent, previews former Yankee Roger Clemens' perjury trial, which is due to start next week.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Bernie Williams

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Former New York Yankee Bernie Williams describes how his talent at playing baseball was directly influenced by his musical training and his deep understanding of the similarities between musical artistry and athletic performance. Rhythms of the Game: The Link Between Musical and Athletic Performance, written with Dave Gluck and Bob Thompson, includes a series of conversations, narratives, and sidebars to reveal the influence of music and its rhythms on the game of baseball.

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The New Yorker: Out Loud

Ben McGrath and Amy Davidson on Super Sam Fuld

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ben McGrath and Amy Davidson on Super Sam Fuld.

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The Takeaway

Los Angeles Dodgers File for Bankruptcy

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Los Angeles Dodgers have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this morning, according to an official statement from the team. The news follows a bitter divorce battle between Dodgers owners Frank and Jamie McCourt, who reached a settlement earlier this month, and reports last week that Major League Baseball blocked the team from signing a television deal in order to raise funds for their payroll.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Jim Leyritz on the Highs and Lows of His Baseball Career

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Former major leaguer Jim Leyritz talks about two events that tested his faith in different ways—his home run during the 1996 World Series that turned the series around for the Yankees and eventually led to the team's first world championship in 18 years, and the 2007 car accident he was involved in that resulted in a woman’s death—and why he decided that he would not let his life be defined by either of them. In Catching Heat: The Jim Leyritz Story he writes about his professional and personal highs and lows.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Shawn Green on the Way of Baseball

Monday, June 06, 2011

Shawn Green describes striving to find stillness and focus within the rip-roaring world of Major League Baseball. In The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness at 95 mph, he shares the secrets to remaining focused both on and off the field, and how he learned to approach the sport with a clear mind.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Tim Wakefield: Knuckle Baller

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Legendary Red Sox knuckle-baller Tim Wakefield discusses his famous pitch, the cult of the knuckler, and his new book, KNUCKLER: My Life with Baseball's Most Confounding Pitch.

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