Sports

Sports
2:35 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

For Jockey Donna Barton Brothers, Horse Racing Runs In The Family

Brothers rides down the front stretch before the 88th Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 18, 2012, in Baltimore.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

When the thoroughbreds burst out of the starting gate at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, fans will have their eyes on California Chrome as a potential Triple Crown winner. And there to interview the winner on horseback will be Donna Barton Brothers, an analyst for NBC Sports.

Before she was an analyst, Brothers had a distinguished career as a jockey, winning more than 1,100 races before retiring in 1998. When she retired, Brothers tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, she knew it was time to get out in part because it started to feel dangerous.

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Sports
11:50 am
Thu June 5, 2014

When LeBron James Speaks, Do People Stop And Listen?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. The NBA finals begin today with the Miami Heat facing off against the San Antonio Spurs, and of course, attention is focused on Miami's star player, LeBron James, as he fights for his team to collect their third NBA title. But our next guest say there's something else to watch - his growing influence off the court. He was one of the first voices to call for the ouster of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling after Sterling's racist comments were made public. Here's LeBron James.

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The Two-Way
7:59 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 10:34 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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Sports
6:19 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Miami Heat Aims To Win Legacy-Defining 3rd Straight NBA Title

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 11:40 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Parallels
2:34 am
Thu June 5, 2014

As Brazil Barrels Toward World Cup, Brazilians Aren't Feeling It

Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil, holds a test match Sunday ahead of the World Cup. One fan who attended said the country "didn't deliver" and isn't ready for the event.
Migquel Schincariol AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:47 pm

The stadium where the opening game of the World Cup will be played is a gleaming monument to the world's favorite sport, soccer. The Corinthians Arena — named after one of Brazil's most famous teams, which will take it over — has been built from scratch and boasts a massive LCD screen and state-of-the-art facilities.

Last weekend, it was full of fans watching the last test match before the World Cup begins. It was supposed to be a sort of final run-through to make sure everything is ready and working.

Except it wasn't.

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Sports
9:35 am
Wed June 4, 2014

An Inability To Connect With Horses Isn't Why Racing Is Failing

Hoke, like most off-the-track thoroughbreds, had to be treated for ulcers that he incurred from the stress of racing.
Laurel Dalrymple

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:53 am

People don't connect with horses. That is the reason some people say horse racing is failing. Horse racing needs a hero to revive the sport, they say. And that is why all eyes on Saturday will be on California Chrome, the favorite going into the Belmont Stakes, the last and most grueling leg of the Triple Crown.

Columnist Frank Deford writes:

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Sports
4:11 am
Wed June 4, 2014

No Americans Are Left In French Open

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 7:32 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Tennis's French Open has reached quarterfinal stage with plenty of big names advancing. None of them, though, are American, we should point out. The U.S. men and women have all been shut-out in singles action.

For the hometown crowd at the Roland Garros Tennis Complex today, though, they get to cheer on one of their own countrymen - and here to tell us more - Sports Illustrated, Jon Wertheim, in Paris. Jon, welcome back to the program.

JON WERTHEIM: Oh, thanks, David.

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Sweetness And Light
2:39 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Will A Triple Crown Win Save Horse Racing? Don't Bet On It

Even if California Chrome wins Saturday's Belmont Stakes, most Americans are too disconnected from horses to flock to the race track, says commentator Frank Deford.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 7:32 am

At the start of a movie these days, how often do you read: "Based on a true story?" But if a movie was made about California Chrome, whether or not the horse wins the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, it would read: "Based on a dream."

Because the colt — of the most undistinguished heritage, bred by neophytes and trained by a kindly septuagenarian –– well, the whole thing is a ridiculous reverie.

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Sports
5:17 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Why Is It So Hard For A Horse To Win The Triple Crown?

Birdstone (right), ridden by Edgar Prado, upsets horse Smarty Jones to win the Belmont Stakes in 2004. Smarty Jones was one of a dozen horses since 1978 to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown, only to lose at the Belmont.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 9:38 am

Only one more race stands between California Chrome and horse racing's Triple Crown, but it could be his toughest challenge yet.

Since 1978, a dozen horses — Sunday Silence, War Emblem and Smarty Jones among them — have won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, only to stumble before the finish line at the Belmont Stakes.

No one can say exactly why there's been a 36-year drought since the last Triple Crown winner, but there are several theories.

An Endurance Test

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Sports
4:33 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

'A Change-up On Steroids:' The History Of A Sky-Scraping Pitch

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 11:20 pm

In a recent Nippon Professional Baseball game in Japan, Kazuhito Tadano threw a slow, arcing pitch that caught the batter by surprise. Video of the play quickly went viral on the Internet, but the pitch has a history — and a name: the eephus pitch. Paul Dickson, author of the Dickson Baseball Dictionary, offers more details.

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