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The clubs, balls, vast verdant courses, garish outfits: Golf in America has arguably become rather ho-hum and predictable as the 2015 PGA Championship tournament tees off this week at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wis.

MLB Home Teams Make History By Going 15-0

Aug 12, 2015
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Finally this hour, a little bit of baseball history.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: McFarland deals down the line.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Fair ball.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Oh, it's fair ball.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Updated at 2:46 p.m. ET

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the NFL appeared in a Manhattan court today to update a federal judge on whether both sides are any closer to resolving a dispute over the quarterback's pending four-game "deflategate" suspension.

The public portion of the hearing lasted approximately 80 minutes before U.S. Judge Richard Berman met separately with Brady and league officials in private.

It's been less than a year since a domestic violence scandal erupted in the National Football League. The infamous Ray Rice video from last September and the league's mishandling of the case plunged the NFL into an unprecedented crisis.

It also spurred the league into action after years of doing little or nothing about the problem of domestic violence. The problem continues, and so do the efforts to fight it.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NFL Hall of Famer and sports announcer Frank Gifford died yesterday in Connecticut at the age of 84. NPR's Sam Sanders has this remembrance.

SAM SANDERS, BYLINE: A lot of you listening may know of Frank Gifford for things like this.

NFL Football Hall of Famer and longtime sports broadcaster Frank Gifford died Sunday at his Connecticut home at age 84.

He "died suddenly this beautiful Sunday morning of natural causes," the family confirmed in a brief statement.

Receiver and running back Gifford attended the University of Southern California on a football scholarship before going pro. He played for the New York Giants in a career on the field that spanned 1952 to 1964. He made the Pro Bowl in seven of his 12 NFL seasons.

Americans love competitors — in business, in politics, and in sports. And for some of us from the bad old days when only the guys got to play team sports, it's a very special thing to see women blowing through doors that not so long ago were closed to them.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And it's time for sports.

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Because college football and basketball are so prominent, when the best players move up to the pros they're already well-known.

However, baseball's different.

How many of you pretty good sports fans can tell me who won the baseball College World Series just a few weeks ago? Same with the players. Even the stars drafted highest are anonymous except to the real cognoscenti. And even then, whereas invariably the can't-miss prospects in other sports don't miss, hardly ever miss, in baseball nobody ever says: Can't miss. Fact is, the ones who miss too often are the scouts.

Greg Louganis is the best diver of his generation — perhaps the best the world has ever seen. The four-time gold medalist is the only man to ever sweep the diving events in consecutive Olympics.

The new documentary Back on Board, by director Cheryl Furjanic and producer Will Sweeney, contrasts that success with the inner turmoil Louganis experienced rising to stardom at such a young age.

According to a review of the results of 12,000 blood tests, the world of track and field has a doping problem that is as big as the one cycling had at the height of Lance Armstrong's popularity.

That's according to the Sunday Times and Germany's public broadcaster ARD/WDR, which obtained a leak of documents with the bloodwork of 5,000 athletes.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Time now for sports.

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"Rowdy" Roddy Piper, a premier wrestler in the now-WWE during the 1980s and 1990s who fought Hulk Hogan and Mr. T in the main event at the first WrestleMania in 1985, has died, the company reports. He was 61.

No need to be a baseball fan to get caught up in the drama that unfolded before our eyes during the television broadcast of the Mets-Padres game at Citi Field in New York on Wednesday evening.

It wasn't a baseball drama, but a life drama that puts all of us — and our reliance on, and misplaced confidence in, Twitter (and other new technologies of would-be connectedness) as a source of information — on the spot.

The Demise Of Old-Style Demolition Derby

Jul 28, 2015

Americans have been intentionally ramming cars into each other for sport for decades. And at this time of year, fans crowd into county fairs to see battered, souped-up cars bash each other to pieces.

This steel equivalent of blood sport draws a passionate following, and the drivers say it is deeply addicting.

"There's nothing better," says John Green, a demolition derby driver at a recent fair in Franklin County, Kan. "A lot of people say they would do it, but until you get in there and do it you never know the real feeling."

A couple weeks ago, Code Switch blogger Gene Demby and I sat down to reflect on a decade-old sports moment — a single play in a single game — and describe how it affected us as rival fans of the teams involved. In this second episode of the series we're calling The Giant Foam Finger, the two of us tackle a far unwieldier subject: hatred.

A game-winning home run becomes a game loser — and 25 days later, it's turned back into the game-winner.

That alone would warrant an entry in baseball's history books.

But cast it with David and Goliath, include a temper tantrum of epic proportion, and hinge it all on an obscure old rule — and you've got the infamous Pine Tar Game.

That 1983 game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals is recounted in a new book by New York Daily News sports columnist Filip Bondy.

The Context: Rivalries And Rules

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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