Baseball

41 articles
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A story of a playoff at-bat, a franchise, and a spectator couple.

"Coco has watched every home game with her husband from these seats since the ballpark opened in 2008 while listening to the game play by play on 106.7 FM. She has endured horrible seasons, but 2009 when her beloved team lost 108 games, and 2010 when they lost 93 more, are distant memories. Now she feels like a winner. This is the playoffs. After marriage, and kids, and grandkids, after retirement and their dream trip to Dubrovnik, this is what she has been hoping for. It is the last of her major life events. Something to retell at family dinners. Remember the World Series of 2012?"

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A profile of a previously unknown rookie pitcher for the Mets who dropped out of Harvard, made a spiritual quest to Tibet, and somewhere along the line figured out how to throw a baseball much, much faster than anyone else on Earth.

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The beginning of Don DeLillo's Underworld, in memory of Andy Pafko.

"Pafko is out of paper range by now, jogging toward the clubhouse. But the paper keeps falling. If the early paper waves were slightly hostile and mocking, and the middle waves a form of fan commonality, then this last demonstration has a softness, a selfness. It is coming down from all points, laundry tickets, envelopes swiped from the office, there are crushed cigarette packs and sticky wrap from ice-cream sandwiches, pages from memo pads and pocket calendars, they are throwing faded dollar bills, snapshots torn to pieces, ruffled paper swaddles for cupcakes, they are tearing up letters they've been carrying around for years pressed into their wallets, the residue of love affairs and college friendships, it is happy garbage now, the fans' intimate wish to be connected to the event, unendably, in the form of pocket litter, personal waste, a thing that carries a shadow of identity -- rolls of toilet tissue unbolting lyrically in streamers."

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Billy Dillon was about to sign a contract with the Detroit Tigers. Instead he was convicted–wrongly–of first-degree murder and spent the next 27 years in prison.

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How pitching phenom Steve Carlton became a yoga-loving conspiracy theorist who calls a concrete bunker his home.

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A Major League umpire learns that his children share the same deadly genetic disease.

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The brilliant, tragic life of Hall of Fame second baseman Johnny Evers.

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Baseball legend Lenny Dykstra’s on-field brilliance and private-life disasters, from drunk driving to failed investment and publishing ventures.

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A high school baseball team responds to a loss.

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Reflections on Mr. Angell, Mr. Kahn and Dad.

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Barry Zito, profiled.

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Two brothers dreamed of baseball stardom. One would end up killing the other.

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How Curt Schilling’s video-game company went bust.

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Vindication for an awkward art.

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A profile of the postwar Bronx Bombers.

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The untold story of steroids in baseball.

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It’s a club “filled exclusively with people who do not want to be members.”

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How a con-man convinced Los Angeles that he was prepared to purchase the Dodgers from the now-bankrupt Frank McCourt.

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On the Red Sox’s historic implosion:

Drinking beer in the Sox clubhouse is permissible. So is ordering take-out chicken and biscuits. Playing video games on one of the clubhouse’s flat-screen televisions is OK, too. But for the Sox pitching trio to do all three during games, rather than show solidarity with their teammates in the dugout, violated an unwritten rule that players support each other, especially in times of crisis.
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The original article on Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s, published a month before the release of Moneyball.

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Eight years after Moneyball, nearly every MLB front office has integrated statistical analysis into its strategic process. So where does that leave a former wunderkind like Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein?

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A profile of Barry Bonds published as the steroid talk intensified.

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How Frank and Jamie McCourt bought the Dodgers for “for less than the price of an oceanfront home in Southampton” and eventually became entangled in one of the most expensive divorces in California history, which laid bare their finances and confirmed what many already knew: they had bankrupted one of the most storied franchises in baseball.

In all, the McCourts reportedly took $108 million out of the team in personal distributions over five years—a sum that Molly Knight, a reporter with ESPN who has extensively covered the story, notes is eerily similar to the cash payment that she says Frank McCourt has claimed he made for the team.

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Was Steinbrenner’s Partner the “Madoff of Memorabilia”? Inside a collector’s hoax.

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Fred Wilpon, the owner of the hapless New York Mets, had more than $500 million tied up with Bernie Madoff when the Ponzi scheme was exposed. Now he may be forced to sell his beloved ballclub.

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In his first Major League at bat, Adam Greenberg was hit in the head with a fastball. He never made it back.

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What one learns about Jose Canseco while trying, unsuccessfully, to interview Jose Canseco.

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Manny Ramirez is a deeply frustrating employee, the kind whose talents are so prodigious that he gets away with skipping meetings, falling asleep on the job, and fraternizing with the competition.
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An ode to the fastball and the pitchers who throw it best.

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After the 1919 Black Sox scandal, Ring Lardner, America’s first great sportswriter, walked away from the game.

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Guz Dominguez says he was trying to help baseball players from Cuba; the U.S. government says he was smuggling athletes. The truth is more complicated.

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The life, death, and ghost of a catcher.

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The story of a young man killed in Juarez.

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Pitching a no-hitter in the middle of a multi-day acid bender was only one of Dock Ellis’ many amazing exploits.

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Long before he lied about taking steroids and was indicted for perjury, Clemens was just a good ol’ boy from Texas with a world-class workout regimen.

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An interview with Sandy Koufax on “the management of excellence.”

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The complicated post-retirement life of Joe DiMaggio.

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Ty Cobb, who would go on to be the greatest baseball player of his time, was a 17-year-old minor league prospect when his mother shot and killed his father at home in Georgia.

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On the retirement of Ted Williams.

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The latest frontier of statistical research in baseball—and the newest front in the Yanks/Red Sox arms race—is defense. And it’s yielding some surprising insights about who is actually worth his salary.