Baseball

42 articles
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Hold On

Human emotions and contact in the far future.

"Ethan begins moonlighting at the touch center on weekday mornings. Off-peak hours. He robo-cabs it there and back alone. Still, working there is a leap from the isolation of his apartment, and it’s the first time he’s felt inspired in years. He knows he’s not handsome by conventional standards, but he can give a mean hug and they never have enough guys to work at places like this anyway."

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At Bat

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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The Curious Case of Sidd Finch

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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Pafko At the Wall [Excerpt]

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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Death of A Ballplayer

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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Thin Mountain Air

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

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The Umpire's Sons

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

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Tinker To Evers To Chance ... To Me

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

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The Rise and Fall of 'Nails'

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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Mourning Glory

A high school baseball team responds to a loss.

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The Two Rogers

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

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He Came from Outer Space

Barry Zito, profiled.

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17 Days in November

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

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End Game

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

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Project Knuckleball

Vindication for an awkward art.

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The Yankees

A profile of the postwar Bronx Bombers.

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To Cheat or Not to Cheat

The untold story of steroids in baseball.

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The Cup Of Coffee Club: The Ballplayers Who Got Only One Game

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

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Josh Macciello Convinced L.A. He Was in Line to Buy the Dodgers. But He Was Really a Fraud

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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Inside the collapse

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 Trading Desk

The original article on Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s, published a month before the release of Moneyball.

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The Art Of Winning An (even More) Unfair Game

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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Baseball Without Metaphor

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

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A Major-League Divorce

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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Damned Yankee

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

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Madoff's Curveball

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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Head Trip

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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Chasing Jose

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

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Waiting for Manny

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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Radar Love

An ode to the fastball and the pitchers who throw it best.

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Baseball’s Loss of Innocence

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

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Commie Ball: A Journey to the End of a Revolution

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 House That Thurman Munson Built

The life, death, and ghost of a catcher.

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The Death of a Pitcher

The story of a young man killed in Juarez.

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Just What the Doctor Ordered

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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Roger Clemens Refuses to Give Up

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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Koufax on Koufax

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

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The Silent Season of a Hero

The complicated post-retirement life of Joe DiMaggio.

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Ty Cobb: Death in the Dark

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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Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu

On the retirement of Ted Williams.

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Databases Loaded

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.