sports

Probably the three biggest recent stories involving women in sports have been Mo'ne Davis, Michele Roberts and Becky Hammon.

The San Francisco Giants decisively beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-0 in the National League wild-card game Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

The record crowd on hand at PNC Park, mostly dressed in black, was no match for the Giants' bats and their pitcher's arm.

It took 12 innings, but the Kansas City Royals won the American League wild-card game over the Oakland Athletics 9-8 on Tuesday night. They now move on to the American League Division Series.

In the bottom of the 12th, Christian Colon and Salvador Perez hit RBI singles. The A's were up 8-7 until Eric Hosmer tripled and scored on Colon's hit down the third-base line.

When an NFL defender picks off a pass and runs it back for a touchdown, the celebration is often spirited. But referees in Monday night's game took exception to Kansas City's Husain Abdullah actions after he slid in the end zone and prostrated himself, imposing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty.

The play quickly became a hot topic on social media, where many criticized a penalty for what qualifies as a quiet gesture in the NFL, where excited players are known to point at themselves, others, and the sky, sometimes while making crude gestures.

For the first time, the world record in the marathon is now under 2 hours and 3 minutes, after Dennis Kimetto of Kenya tore through the course at Sunday's Berlin Marathon. Kimetto, 30, says he wants to set a new record next year.

"I feel good because I won a very tough race," Kimetto said after the finish. "I felt good from the start and in the last few miles I felt I could do it and break the record. I believe I can improve it further. I'd like to return and try to break it again next year."

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Bill Simmons, the ESPN commentator whose Twitter bio reads in part "Grantland boss + columnist, @30for30 co-creator, NBA Countdown co-host, BS Report host," will not be doing most of those jobs for three weeks after using the last of them — host of the podcast The BS Report — to call NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a liar, and to dare ESPN to discipline him.

On Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell broke a week of silence following the release of a video that showed former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiancee.

Goodell apologized for his role in the NFL's handling of the matter.

During a news conference on Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell promised that the league "will get our house in order."

Goodell announced that former FBI Director Robert Mueller will lead an investigation of the way the league handled the Ray Rice case, and he said that at the end of the process the league will implement new conduct policies.

Jonathan McNicol/WNPR

When Luis Lopez played his first professional baseball game, Bill Clinton was president, “Forrest Gump” had just beaten “Pulp Fiction” for best picture at the Academy Awards, and Derek Jeter was still a year away from his rookie season with the New York Yankees.

Two more players were benched by NFL teams on Wednesday over allegations of domestic violence.

First, the Carolina Panthers placed their star defensive end Greg Hardy on the exempt list and then the Arizona Cardinals deactivated running back Jonathan Dwyer.

Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

As public debate continues over whether to build a new Hartford stadium for the New Britain Rock Cats, there's this news: the club's affiliation with the Minnesota Twins is over, and it is now linked with the Colorado Rockies. 

This has been called a long and tough week for the NFL. But ESPN's Hannah Storm asked some tough questions on Sunday's SportsCenter that show how hard the week has been for the league's fans — especially for parents who struggle to reconcile their love for the game with its off-field violence.

A lifelong football fan who's also the mother of three daughters, Storm didn't hold back on her emotions when discussing the NFL's response to what she calls the "horrific Ray Rice elevator video" – and how it also dominated conversations in her home.

Overcoming an injury to their star center, the Phoenix Mercury won its third WNBA title last night, beating the Chicago Sky in three games. An eye injury suffered in game two forced Phoenix center Brittney Griner to sit out.

"Phoenix got 24 points each from Candice Dupree and the sublime guard Diana Taurasi – the Finals MVP – to win," NPR's Tom Goldman reports. "The Mercury dominated this year, they won a record 29 regular-season games. They're fitting champions."

Parkour looks like skateboarding, without the skateboards. It is a city sport where people run, flip and slide through parks and over buildings — all with just their hands and feet.

A few weeks ago, parkour leaders met with the International Olympic Committee, which led to speculation that parkour could one day end up in the Olympics.

Dan Edwardes, the founder and director of Parkour Generation, a professional parkour organization based in London, said the meeting went well, like a good first date. Perhaps the first of many.

Marine Corp New York / Creative Commons

I root for the Green Bay Packers...and not casually. As I speak, there's a Green Bay Packers mug nearby, on weekends I wear a Packers cap and use Packers shopping bags. Most disturbingly, in the long, long off-season, I subscribe to services which provide me with daily obsessive updates on anything going on in Packers land. And, I read them even though nothing really is going on. 

Oscar Pistorius, the South African double-amputee Olympian accused in the shooting death of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, has been acquitted of the most serious charge of premeditated murder.

But South African Judge Thokozile Masipa has yet to announce her final verdict in the jury-less trial, although she has hinted that culpable homicide would be a "competent verdict."

As tears streamed down Pistorius' face, Masipa told the court in Pretoria that the athlete did not plan to kill Steenkamp on the night he fatally shot her through a closed bathroom door.

Update, 11 p.m.:

The NFL is bringing in former FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate how the league handled evidence in the Ray Rice case, a reporter for the league's website said Wednesday night.

The original story continues below:

The National Football League is denying a report that it received a video from police that shows former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer.

NFL Commissioner: 'We Have Been Very Open And Honest'

Sep 10, 2014

The NFL commissioner says the league has been "very open and honest," in its handling of the Ray Rice controversy.

If you haven't been keeping up, Rice was suspended indefinitely from the NFL after a video showed him hitting his then-fiancee in an elevator. After watching only part of the video, which showed Rice dragging Janay Rice out of the elevator, the NFL had originally suspended Rice for two games.

UConnHuskies.com

UConn starting quarterback Casey Cochran has decided to end his football career because of multiple concussions.

Cochran, a sophomore from Monroe, suffered a concussion in the first game of the season. It was his third concussion at UConn. Cochran and his family met with UConn's medical and coaching staff late last week and after that meeting, decided to call it quits.

Keith Allison / Creative Commons

The National Football League's punishment for acts of domestic violence is too lenient, according to U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. He responded to the new video showing former NFL player Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancée unconscious in an elevator.

The co-owner and CEO of the Atlanta Hawks says multiple people have reached out to him to buy the NBA franchise following the announcement by controlling owner Bruce Levenson that he would sell his stake in the team because of a racially charged email he sent two years ago.

When Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki faced off Sunday, the current and former world No. 1 players were both trying to make their own brand of history. For Williams, it was a chance to match Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova; for Wozniacki, a win would have brought her first Grand Slam title.

But Williams, who has been dominating this tournament, did not slow down and quickly took the first two sets 6-3, 6-3.

The New England Patriots begin their season Sunday on the road against the Miami Dolphins. Quaterback Tom Brady is expected to be on the field, despite missing practice Thursday.

It’s a Patriots team with a lot of familiar faces, and several notable additions.

Football writer Mike Reiss joined WBUR’s Morning Edition to preview the season. Listen to his full interview above.

How much football is too much for TV?

That's the question CBS and the NFL may face Sept. 11, when the curtain rises on their ambitious experiment to build a new broadcast television home for pro football on Thursdays.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has announced new guidelines for how the league will handle incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault. The change in policy, explained an open letter to team owners, comes a month after the NFL was criticized for how it handled player Ray Rice's arrest on domestic violence charges.

There's been much criticism of the president lately, even within his own party, that he's too detached and withdrawn, not combative enough anymore. This can be explained completely with a sports analogy: We elected a basketball president, but then we ended up with a golf president.

Colin Bartlett / Creative Commons

Mini-golf was created for children but today's children are less and less interested in playing because of video games. Nintendo Wii for example, makes mini-golf video games. Now, that seems so wrong. You should go somewhere to play mini-golf. That's kind of the idea, or is it.

No doubt some of the autograph seekers leaning across the fence straining for the baseball players' attention were in it for the money.

I suppose a baseball signed by the right person is worth something. Others were collectors working to complete their sets.

But most of us clumped up along the side of the dugout were fans — and our motives were of an entirely different nature.

Well, to be accurate, I wasn't begging for autographs. My kids were. I was there as a chaperone.

Let's boldly confront the greatest mystery in all of sport: Why do hot dogs always taste better at the ballpark?

Baseball food has, of course, taken on a much greater variety since 1908, when "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" only celebrated peanuts and crackerjack. But it is another enduring mystery of sport why fans eat during a baseball game, while the preferred mode of cuisine for football is before the game, out in the parking lot — tailgating.

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