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Carlos Santana and Coco Crisp homered and rookie Ryan Merritt delivered shutdown pitching as Cleveland beat Toronto 3-0 to win the American League Championship Series in five games.

The Indians are heading to the World Series for the first time since 1997 and will host the first two games. Cleveland last won a World Series in 1948.

Mike Napoli's double off of Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada put Cleveland on top in the first inning. Estrada also gave up two home runs.

Best-selling author Scott Turow once described the act of being a Chicago Cubs fan as "quasi-spiritual."

He's right. Generations of Cubs fans have come and gone without ever seeing their belief in the team validated. It's been 108 years running without a title.

There's something about that blind faith that feels holy to Chicago's North Siders. Their fandom is purer and more absolute because they give of themselves over and over again and get nothing in return. (No World Series wins, at least.)

West Point - The U.S. Military Academy

UConn will not be moving to the Big 12 after all. After months of speculation, the athletic conference decided Monday to nix plans for expansion, dashing the hopes of UConn and 10 other schools who were under consideration to join.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Things may be looking up for Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park, as the city and the insurance company for the developer have finally signed an agreement that should get construction at the stalled baseball stadium going again.

Madison Bumgarner pitched a four-hitter in his latest postseason gem, Conor Gillaspie hit a three-run homer off Jeurys Familia in the ninth inning, and the San Francisco Giants beat the defending National League champion New York Mets 3-0 Wednesday night in the wild-card game.

Trying to follow their World Series titles in 2010, '12 and '14, the Giants open the NL Division Series on Friday at the best-in-the-majors Chicago Cubs.

The Red Sox and their fans will celebrate the legacy of David Ortiz during the team’s final regular season series, which begins Friday night at Fenway Park.

The day the baseball player known as Big Papi became a Boston legend is easy to pinpoint: Oct. 18, 2004.


Just after midnight, Ortiz hit a walk-off home run to prevent the Sox from being swept by the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

Keith Allison / flickr creative commons

So here's what happened. Lucy Nalpathanchil got a pitch from some PR person about covering David Ortiz's retirement at the end of this baseball season. And she forwarded it to Colin and me and said it sounded like our kind of show.

And Colin (a Red Sox fan) said that I (a Yankees fan) "would [expletive] hate that." And he's right. I would [expletive] hate that.

And so here we are doing that show.

Arturo Pardavila III, Flickr Creative Commons

This hour, we mourn the loss of 24-year-old Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boat accident over the weekend. 

Golfing legend Arnold Palmer has died at 87.

He died Sunday evening at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Shadyside, a tertiary care hospital in Pittsburgh. NPR confirmed his death with UPMC's media relations manager, Stephanie Stanley. The United States Golf Association announced Palmer's death via Twitter.

Palmer won 62 PGA Tour events, fifth on the all-time list. He won golf's biggest titles: the Masters, the U.S. Open, the British Open. He won seven majors in all.

Tony Alter / flickr creative commons

Normally by Friday morning we've got the first one or two topics for The Nose ironed out, and we maybe spend some time hashing out what the third and fourth might be.

Not this week.

Saying it wants to make football safer for current and future athletes, the NFL is pledging to spend $100 million for "independent medical research and engineering advancements." A main goal will be to prevent and treat head injuries.

Announcing the pledge Wednesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said it is in addition to the $100 million the league already committed toward medical research of brain injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the progressive degenerative disease that has been found in football players.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The insurance company that will pay to finish Hartford’s minor league baseball stadium is already fighting to get its money back. Arch Insurance is demanding nearly $19 million from the developer and at least one other company. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The insurance company behind the ousted developers of Hartford's stalled minor league baseball stadium has agreed to take over and pay for the completion of Dunkin' Donuts Park in time for games in 2017, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said Tuesday.

John Morgan / Creative Commons

The presidential debates are scheduled to begin this month with the first scheduled for September 26 at Hofstra University in Long Island. Donald Trump announced this weekend that yes, he would participate -now that he approves of the moderators chosen to referee the debates. 

City of Hartford

Is the city if Hartford facing Bankruptcy? This hour, we explore that question, and the future of the vacant ballpark.