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Columbia Pictures

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" was originally released on December 14, 1977. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards and has gone on to gross more than $300 million worldwide. 

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Yard Goats manager Jerry Weinstein is a man of many little self-contradictory terms. Words like "simplexity." Or this one he has for a pitch that could be a strike or a ball: a... "striball."

And it's not just these seemingly nonsensical little chestnuts, either. There are deeper contradictions in the manager that is Jerry Weinstein.

Matt Deavenport / flickr creative commons

It's been called a "glorified game of toss" and "World of Warcraft for extroverts." But has Ultimate Frisbee quietly become a real sport?

It is, apparently, a likely Olympic sport. Which would, apparently, maybe be bad for Ultimate.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Since I first started following Minor League Baseball, there's been this ongoing tension that I've felt at all the games.

On the one hand, you're pretty much surrounded by people who are living their dreams. On the other hand, kind of by definition, none of those people is really happy, is really satisfied where they are.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Matt Iannazzo was a baseball star at Norwalk High School, pitching them to an FCIAC title in 2007. At the University of Pittsburgh, he was an All-Conference pitcher. Out of college, Iannazzo signed with the Chicago Cubs and played two seasons near the bottom of their organization. Then he pitched for the Bridgeport Bluefish in the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

ABC Television Network

We live in a post-"The Gong Show" world. Any TV that you've ever heard anyone use the word "Dada" to describe -- David Letterman's entire career, for instance -- owes something to Chuck Barris's creation.

CPTV Sports

The Yard Goats' mascots were first unveiled to the world in October, 2015, as the last part of a string of branding reveals that included merchandise, logos, logotypes, and uniforms, and that had begun with a Name the Team contest.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

I think the reality is that on Hartford’s whole 25-man roster, there are probably maybe two, maybe three guys who will go on to have Major League careers of any length. Could be a couple more, but it could be a couple fewer too.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

This is episode three, and it's the first we're really talking about the actual team, the actual baseball, the actual wins and losses.

And I'll say this right at the beginning here:

The Yard Goats are... not good. So far, anyway.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

We've been feeling like maybe all the serious politics coverage we've been doing has crowded out some of the nonsense sports coverage we like to do.

So this hour: sports nonsense and nothing else.

Arturo Pardavila III / flickr creative commons

On May 2, 2016, with a 2-2 draw between Tottenham and Chelsea, Leicester City clinched the league title for the first time in their 132-year history. The BBC called it "one of the greatest sporting stories of all time." Leicester were 5,000-to-1 underdogs before the Premier League season started.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

I want to get this spoiler out of the way right at the top here: Hartford has baseball, the Yard Goats have a ballpark, and the ballpark — after a 372-day delay — has a fully-functional baseball field where real, live, professional baseball games are actually played.

Fox News

Bill O'Reilly is out at Fox News. Serena Williams is pregnant. Melania Trump: photographer. And "Girls" is over.

It's been another weird week, and The Nose is on it.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The plan is to tell the story of the Yard Goats' second season -- their first season in a new city, their first season in a new ballpark, their first season as a home team.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Every year at this time, as you may have heard, there's a big-old basketball tournament that goes on. And every year at this time, people in offices and in firehouses and in Rotary Clubs and in Atlantic Cities and in Las Vegases enter bracket pools, where they try to win a big-old pile of ducats by predicting just exactly how said big-old basketball tournament will go.

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