sports

The Right Ballpark?
3:19 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Hartford Leaders Respond to Stadium Concerns

From left, Hartford treasurer Adam Cloud, State Rep. Brandon McGee, City Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings, City Council President Shawn Wooden, State Rep. Doug McCrory, and City Councilmen Kyle Anderson and Ken Kennedy.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The debate over whether to relocate the minor league Rock Cats from New Britain to Hartford continues, and the Hartford's elected officials are now feeling some heat.

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No-No
7:47 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Dodgers' Ace Kershaw Notches His First No-Hitter

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw (left) celebrates his no-hitter with his teammates after striking out 15 Colorado Rockies batters.
Chris Carlson AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 11:41 am

The no-hitters just keep coming. That's the case for the Los Angeles Dodgers, as the team's pitchers have thrown two games without giving up a hit in less than a month. Clayton Kershaw used 15 strikeouts to complete the feat Wednesday, matching teammate Josh Beckett's May 25 effort.

Getting the no-hitter was "pretty cool," Kershaw said after throwing 107 pitches in the game.

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NFL
1:52 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Washington Redskins' Trademark Registrations Cancelled

Several of the Washington Redskins' trademark registrations have been canceled. The team will appeal the decision.
Nick Wass AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:25 pm

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has revoked the trademark of the NFL's Washington Redskins, after ruling in a case brought by five Native Americans who say the name disparages them. While the decision could have wide repercussions, it does not require the team to change its name. It is also subject to appeal, which the team has confirmed it will pursue.

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Sweetness And Light
3:26 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Deford: How To Host A Sports Extravaganza That Won't Break The Bank

Remodeling the National Stadium Mane Garrincha in Brasilia, Brazil, for the FIFA World Cup cost the Brazilian government $900 million.
Eraldo Peres AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 10:22 am

You know, it is the 21st century, and it is possible to acknowledge that and make both the World Cup and the Olympics more affordable. The current waste and opulence simply aren't defensible anymore.

For the soccer pooh-bahs to demand that Brazil build new stadiums, costing billions of dollars, is unconscionable. How much more logical to utilize existing stadiums in neighboring countries, in large cities like Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Santiago.

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Hartford Or Bust?
10:09 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Springfield Says There Were No Talks With Rock Cats

Springfield City Hall in Massachusetts.
Credit Jeremy Goldstein / Creative Commons

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and his people have said that their negotiations to move the minor league New Britain Rock Cats to Hartford had to be confidential, because speaking about them publicly could have risked the whole thing and pushed the team out of state.

Several news reports -- some citing anonymous city officials and sources, others citing speculation and rumors -- suggested that Springfield, Massachusetts was a serious contender.  

Not so, says Springfield. 

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World Cup
9:56 am
Tue June 17, 2014

After His Game-Winning Goal, We Ask, Who Is John Brooks?

John Brooks of the United States celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match against Ghana.
Laurence Griffiths Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 12:15 pm

The name John Anthony Brooks likely didn't ring a bell for many Americans before Monday.

But by minute 87 of the U.S. vs. Ghana game, John Brooks had become America's newest national hero.

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World Cup
9:45 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Sweet Revenge: U.S. Bests Ghana, 2-1, In Its World Cup Opener

Clint Dempsey scored Team USA's first goal during the FIFA World Cup 2014 Group G preliminary round match against Ghana at Estadio Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, on Monday.
Kamil Kraczynski EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 11:02 am

The U.S. Men's National Team beat Ghana in the group stage of the World Cup, payback for losing to the Black Stars in the previous two World Cups.

Team USA captain Clint Dempsey surged past Ghana's John Boye to score 29 seconds after the start of the game, marking one of the fastest goals in World Cup history.

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Basketball
2:10 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Spurs Beat The Heat To Take Home NBA Title

Manu Ginobili (#20) celebrates with Matt Bonner (#15) of the San Antonio Spurs against the Miami Heat during Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals on Sunday.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 7:57 am

In a dramatic Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs triumphed over the Miami Heat to win the NBA title Sunday night, closing out the series with a 104-87 victory.

After a dismal start, the Spurs rallied and turned things around, entering halftime with a 47-40 lead. When the game resumed, they never looked back and were up by more than 20 points multiple times in the second half.

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World Cup
6:30 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Brazil Wins World Cup Opener Against Croatia, 3-1

Marcelo (left) of Brazil and Ivan Perisic of Croatia in action during the FIFA World Cup 2014 group A preliminary round match between Brazil and Croatia at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Thursday.
Sebastio Moreira EPA/Landov

Brazil stumbled early on, but came back to overpower rival Croatia in the group A preliminary round match in Sao Paulo at the opening of the FIFA World Cup 2014.

CBSSports.com says:

"The Brazilians surrendered an early own goal before Neymar answered with a first-half equalizer, and a dive in the box from striker Fred led to the go-ahead goal in the second half on a Neymar penalty kick.

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Rock Cats
4:24 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

City Council May Not Have Final Vote On Hartford Ballpark

Credit City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has called his plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city a "done deal." He's celebrated the plan as both good for Hartford's pride and for its pocketbook.

The city council doesn't necessarily have the final vote, however -- and not everyone likes it. 

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World Cup
12:34 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Want Time Off To Watch The World Cup? China Has Just What The Doctor Ordered

A fake doctor's note we bought for $33 from an online store on Taobao, the eBay of China.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 6:57 pm

Need time off from work to watch the World Cup? If you're in China, no problem. Online stores there are providing fake doctor's notes — even extensive falsified medical records — to get you days of sick leave so you can enjoy your favorite teams.

The service may be particularly appealing, given the time difference with World Cup host Brazil. China is 11 hours ahead of Rio. So if you want to catch opening matches, you have to start watching at midnight, Shanghai time.

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World Cup
11:25 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Time For Kickoff: World's Attention Focused On World Cup

They are feeling it: Children kick around a soccer ball outside the Independencia Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on Wednesday.
Victor R. Caivano AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 4:41 pm

Update at 4:31 p.m. ET

And Brazil does recover, with a goal from star Neymar a few minutes later.

Update at 4:28 p.m. ET

The beautiful game is not so beautiful for Brazil in the early moments of the game: Croatia is ahead 1-0 after an own goal by the home team. It's early, though. Plenty of time for Brazil to recover.

[A tweet from NPR's Russell Lewis in Sao Paulo.]

Update at 10:25 a.m. ET

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Sweetness and Light
10:35 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Go Ahead, Host A Giant Sports Spectacular. But It Will Cost You

In a recent Pew Reseach Center poll, 61 percent of Brazilians said hosting the World Cup, which begins Wednesday in Sao Paulo, is bad for the country, because it has diverted money from public services.
Nelson Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 1:27 pm

Wednesday welcomes the year's second global sports extravaganza, as the World Cup begins. Just a few months ago, we worried that terrorists would invade the Russian Olympics. Now we wait to see if riots will tarnish the Brazilian World Cup.

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Song of Solomon
3:14 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Papa Solomon Visits Hartford

Art Solomon "wrote the book" on owning minor league teams.

The New Britain Rock Cats are owned by Double Play LLC, which consists of Josh Solomon, his brother Jim, and their sister Jennifer Goorno. When that group bought the team, they insisted they were utterly separate from DSF Sports and Entertainment, which is owned by their father, Art Solomon.

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Development Deals
2:10 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

City Explains Hartford's Secrecy Around Proposed Stadium

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

For the better part of a year and half, Hartford city officials negotiated a plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city behind closed doors, saying the deal needed that kind of confidentiality, lest it fall apart. 

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Playing Ball
9:53 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Hartford State Senator Opposes New Rock Cats Stadium

A rendering of a proposed Rock Cats stadium in Hartford.
Credit City of Hartford

Earlier this week, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra called the plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city a "done deal." 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed June 11, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Public Policy in the Dark; Metro-North Problems; and Resolution in East Haven

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announces the deal to bring baseball to town.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford’s “done deal” on minor league baseball once again has our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse thinking about the process behind government decisions. The plan to bring the New Britain Rock Cats' franchise to town was months in the making behind closed doors. 

We also check in on East Haven where a racial discrimination settlement was reached, closing another chapter in the painful history of the town. A very old bridge is creating new problems for Metro-North commuters down the shoreline too and officials are pointing fingers.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:20 am
Mon June 9, 2014

The Scramble: Freakonomics, Tony Awards, and Rock Cats in Hartford

What our servers currently look like, via Wikimedia Commons

Freakonomics god Stephen Dubner is our SuperGuest for today's Scramble, and he talks about how to think more rationally and creatively, the upside of quitting, and the latest studies on happiness. Then, we chat with sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, and WNPR's capital region reporter Jeff Cohen, on the value of publicly-funded sports arenas. What's the status on the possible building of a baseball stadium in Hartford? Is it a done deal? What else have we learned and expect to understand about what a business like that may do to the city?

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Tommy John Surgery
6:54 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

Baseball Has An Elbow Problem: More Pros Getting Ligament Surgery

After this pitch on May 27, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Sean Burnett left the game with a torn elbow ligament. Friday, he became the latest pro to undergo "Tommy John" surgery.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 3:13 pm

On Friday, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Sean Burnett became the latest player this season to undergo "Tommy John" surgery. In this weekend's MLB draft, at least four players selected had already had the infamous elbow surgery as amateurs.

The operation is named after the first player to undergo the procedure to fix an injured elbow ligament, in 1974. Pitchers are particularly vulnerable to this injury.

The procedure involves taking a tendon from somewhere else in the body — or from a cadaver — and grafting it into place. Pitchers get it most often.

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Sports
6:34 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

The World Cup Reminds Us That All The World's A Soccer Field

Children play soccer in the village of Limon in the Peten region of northern Guatemala.
Jason Beaubien NPR

The global reach of soccer never ceases to amaze me. I travel all over the world, sometimes to incredibly remote areas. More often than not, when I get there, somebody is kicking around a soccer ball.

It doesn't matter if it's Asia or Africa or Central America. Kids make a goal out of a couple of backpacks, throw out a ball and the game is on. The "ball" could be a knotted towel or a tennis ball or a tattered leather shell that's barely holding air.

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Hospitality
4:09 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Would You Spend the Night in Hartford After a Rock Cats Game?

Downtown Hartford as seen through a hotel room window.
Cliff Creative Commons

City leaders say building a minor league baseball stadium in Hartford would spur economic development. Some of the numbers are based on ambitious assumptions. 

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Basketball
7:02 am
Fri June 6, 2014

In San Antonio, Spurs Beat The Heat Twice In One Game

LeBron James and the Miami Heat couldn't handle the heat in San Antonio, as Tim Duncan and the Spurs took the first game of the 2014 NBA Finals. The air conditioning in the Spurs arena didn't work during the game.
Chris Covatta Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 10:58 am

The first game of the NBA finals was a scorcher. Yes, it was played indoors – but the air conditioning in San Antonio's arena broke down, leaving the host Spurs and the Miami Heat sweating in 90-degree temperatures. The Spurs overcame the heat, and the Heat, 110-95.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri June 6, 2014

The Nose Talks About... Nevermind, It Takes Too Long

Rebecca Castellani is a scholar of modern literature.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Today on The Nose, we begin with an essay, "Faking Cultural Literacy." Writer Karl Taro Greenfeld said, "It's never been so easy to pretend to know so much, without actually knowing anything." We pick topical, relevant bits from Facebook, Twitter, or emailed news alerts, and then regurgitate them.

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7,000 People Per Game
5:58 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

If You Build It, Lots and Lots of People Will Have to Come

The Rock Cats current New Britain home.
Credit Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

A bunch of numbers jump out when it comes to the proposed new minor league ballpark in Hartford. One of them is the jobs projection. 

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Playing Ball
2:02 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Rock Cats Ballpark Economics, By the Numbers

A rendering for a proposed baseball stadium in Hartford for the Rock Cats.
City of Hartford

There are a lot of numbers that jump out when it comes to the proposed new minor league ballpark in Hartford – the 600 permanent, full-time jobs, the more than 9,000 seats, the 25-year deal, the $500,000 annual rent payment to the city. But there’s also the price tag itself. 

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Remembrance
9:18 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Baseball Man Don Zimmer Dies, Ending An Epic Sports Career

Don Zimmer, manager of the Chicago Cubs, watches batting practice before the 1990 All-Star game with fellow managers Jim Leyland of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Tony LaRussa of the Oakland Athletics and Roger Craig of the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley Field.
Getty Images Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 11:34 am

His big-league career began in the 1950s and included the most recent Yankees dynasty. Along the way, the word "beloved" was often attached to his name. Baseball — the players, the fans, seemingly the sport itself — is mourning Don Zimmer today, after he died at age 83 Wednesday.

The tributes to the feisty guy with a good sense of humor and a bottomless love for the game are pouring out from all over, proof that he didn't waste any time during his 66 years in baseball. In recent years, Zimmer had been suffering from kidney and heart problems.

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Los Angeles Clippers
7:41 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Attorney Says Sterling Will Sell Clippers, Drop NBA Suit

Donald Sterling watches his Los Angeles Clippers play the Sacramento Kings in October. Sterling's attorney says he has agreed to sell the team.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Reuters is quoting an attorney for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling as saying his client has agreed to sell the team, and to drop a $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA.

Attorney Maxwell Blecher said Wednesday that Sterling "has made an agreement with the NBA to resolve all their differences," according to SI.com.

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Connecticut First
5:00 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Griffin Hospital Testing Patients for Infections; State Law Creates E-book Library System

Griffin Hospital in Derby says it has tested about 750 patients for hepatitis, HIV and other infections . This comes after an announcement last month that staff had been misusing insulin pens dating back to 2008.

New State E-books System Taking Effect In July

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Football
4:49 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

NFL Says When It Comes To Super Bowl 50, 'L' Is For Losers

NFL loses the roman numerals.
NFL

The old saying goes, "When in Rome, do as the Romans."

But in the case of the Roman numeral for 50, the National Football League has decided, at least for 2016 (and, admittedly in San Francisco, not Rome), to do as the Arabs.

The official explanation is that "Super Bowl L" just isn't as pleasing to the eye as its Arabic numeral equivalent, "Super Bowl 50."

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Baseball In Hartford
4:48 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Hartford Says Rock Cats Were Ready to Leave the State

Mayor Pedra Segarra announced on Wednesday that the Rock Cats are moving to Hartford.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Hartford has announced a 25-year deal to bring the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city. The move, celebrated in one city, is not so popular in the other. 

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