NPR Sports

Barbershop
12:00 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

'Shop' Guys On The World Cup: Can The U.S. Come Out On Top?

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

I'm Audie Cornish, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Now it's time for the weekly visit to the Barbershop, where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds. Sitting in the chairs for a shapeup this week are writer Jimi Izrael, with us from Cleveland. Hey there, Jimi.

JIMI IZRAEL: Hey A.C.. What took you so long, sister?

(LAUGHTER)

IZRAEL: I'm sorry, go ahead with your intro. Go with your intro, my bad. Go ahead.

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Sports
12:00 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

A Dangerous 'Ritual': Chewing Tobacco In Baseball

Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn's death has revived conversations about the use of smokeless tobacco in the sport. Tobacco and baseball researcher Ted Eaves discusses why so many players use it.

The Two-Way
9:12 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Back At You: Batting-Practice Ball Lands In Pitching Machine

A video posted by MLB.com shows Tampa Bay Rays hitter Matt Joyce reacting to a surprise pitch during batting practice. The machine spat a ball out that Joyce had just hit.
MLB

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 2:11 pm

Batting practice brought an odd moment for the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, when outfielder Matt Joyce hit a ball that caromed off the batting cage — and right into the pitching machine. The ball was then quickly fired back at the surprised Joyce, who could only watch it sail past for a strike.

The moment was highlighted on the Fox Sports broadcast of the Rays' game, with slow-motion replays showing Joyce sending the ball into the loading slot. From there, it was on to ESPN and online highlight reels.

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NPR Story
5:08 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Ecuadoran Province Churns Out Top-Notch Soccer Players

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 7:29 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Soccer's World Cup always produces some great underdog stories. One of them, this year, comes from Ecuador. That tiny South American nation is making a rare World Cup appearance. And nearly half of its players come from the same poor and sparsely populated coastal province called Esmeraldas. John Otis has the story.

OMAR ESTUPINAN: (Reading) Segundo Castillo, Walter Ayovi...

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The Two-Way
3:38 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Scientists Keep A Careful Eye On The World Cup Ball

A close up of the Brazuca ball in NASA's Ames Fluid Mechanics Laboratory. Smoke highlighted by lasers visualizes air flow around the ball.
NASA's Ames Research Center

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:45 am

While many millions are enjoying the drama of the World Cup, a handful of scientists are keeping their eyes very closely on the ball.

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Sports
5:00 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Even If Their Team Loses, Japanese Fans Still Sweep The World Cup

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:12 pm

It's common to hear of soccer hooligans taunting players and fighting in the stands. In Japan, though, it's a different story: Soccer followers there even have a tradition of cleaning up the stadium after matches. Melissa Block speaks with Japanese soccer fan Kei Kawai, who's attending Thursday's match between Japan and Greece.

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Latin America
4:12 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Off The Pitch, Brazilians Mark A More Political Clash

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 7:12 pm

One year from million-strong protest marches in Brazil, Brazilians are marking the anniversary with more demonstrations. There are fewer protesters than a year ago, when Brazilians expressed their anger over World Cup costs and the government's neglect of housing, health, transportation and employment issues at home.

Sports
12:13 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Fumbled Patent: Is It Just A Matter Of Business?

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 2:12 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Books
12:08 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Two Flags, A Shelf Of Books, One Beautiful Game

Colombian fans celebrate after their team's 3-0 victory over Greece in the opening rounds of the 2014 World Cup.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 2:17 pm

Aside from extended stays in a few countries abroad, I've lived in the U.S. most of my life. Proudly, I'm an American. I'm also Colombian. Proudly. Not by birth but by ancestry. And I've spent a fair amount of time in that tortured paradise, the land of my parents, where I fell in love with both books and soccer. My national identity, as a result, feels very much tied to both places, to both languages. And I so happen to know plenty of soccer fans who — around this time every four years — attempt to reconcile their minds and hearts with these and similar feelings.

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The Two-Way
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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