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Atlanta Sun

This country has a long history of athlete protests.

This hour, we speak with athletes, including former UConn Husky Renee Montgomery, who sat out the WNBA season to focus on social justice issues. WNBA teams recently forwent games after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. 

We want to hear from you.

GUESTS:

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public

It’s been three weeks since Major League Baseball’s Opening Day. Like other sports, teams have played in isolation and without fans. But they’ve taken steps to make the season feel normal, from canned crowd noise (like at this Red Sox game against the Mets) to cardboard cutouts of fans in the stadium.

popo.uw23 / flickr creative commons

Sports! There are sports!

Baseball's back. At least for now. With almost all of the teams playing games. And only, ya know, two of them having big COVID outbreaks.

The NBA exists in a Disney World "bubble," and it hasn't had a single test come back positive yet.

The NHL is doing two different kinds of tournaments at once in two different "bubbles" in Canada.

The arenas and stadiums are empty and quiet, but for the cardboard cutout fans and the piped-in crowd sounds. And the whole thing may well be a bad idea anyway...

But there are sports! At least for now.

Doug Glanville in a file photo from 2015.
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The Boston Red Sox and New York Mets start their abbreviated seasons Friday. The Yankees kicked things off with a win Thursday in Washington. And players and teams across the league are addressing racial injustice in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. 

Jonathan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

The leagues are working in earnest toward starting back up. The NBA has a plan. Major League Baseball can't seem to work one out. Major League Soccer might beat them both back onto the field.

How is this all going to work? What are sports going to look like when they start playing games again? Should they start playing games again?

NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public/NPR

The impact of the coronavirus on sports is stark -- from golf’s Masters Tournament being postponed to the cancellation of the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournament. The COVID-19 pandemic has athletes scrambling to find competition and the fans who watch them struggling to find their fix.

Jonathan McNicol / Connecticut Public Radio

The NBA, the NHL, and Major League Soccer have all suspended their seasons. Major League Baseball canceled spring training and postponed opening day until at least mid-May. The NCAA canceled March Madness (which would've started in earnest today) and, in fact, all of its winter and spring sports championships. Tennis's French Open is postponed until September, and soccer's Euro 2020 is postponed until 2021.

There have been cancellations and postponements in archery, badminton, canoe-kayak, cricket, curling, handball, judo, rowing, rugby, sailing, shooting, skating, snooker, sumo, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, water polo, weightlifting… The list goes on.

Put a bit more simply: Sports is canceled.

In the 1956 World Series, the New York Yankees were playing the defending champion Brooklyn Dodgers — a rematch of the 1955 series.

Spoiler alert: The Yankees went on to win, and they did it with the help of pitcher Don Larsen, the only player to have pitched a perfect game in the World Series.

Jeffrey Hynds / Flickr

The city of Norwich may soon be without a minor league baseball team.

The New York Times has put out a so-called “hit list” of 42 American teams that could lose major league affiliation, and the Norwich-based Connecticut Tigers are on it.

Brace Hemmelgarn / Minnesota Twins

Ryan Costello, a baseball prospect from Wethersfield who played for a minor league team affiliated with the Minnesota Twins, has died. He was 23.

Dakern74 / Creative Commons

New Britain is about to be without professional baseball for the first time since 1982. The New Britain Bees announced Monday that they’re going from the Atlantic League, an independent professional league, to a collegiate summer baseball league called the Futures League, or FCBL.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

October is upon us. Pumpkin spice everything is here. Leaf peeping is just around the corner. Your one slightly odd neighbor has put out his 37 hand-carved jack-o'-lanterns.

But more than any of that, what October brings with it is October sports. And this year, in Connecticut, that means two things:

Who Gets To Become a U.S. Citizen?

Aug 26, 2019
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Attorneys general from several U.S. states, including Connecticut, have allied in opposition to new Trump administration rules that target immigrants. This hour, we sit down with Connecticut Attorney General William Tong to learn more. 

KA Sports Photos / flickr creative commons

If there's one thing we know about the public radio audience, it's that you love... sports. You crave sports coverage. You live for sportstalk radio. And so this hour, we talk sports... on the radio. And there's plenty to talk about:

Center for Security Policy

A group representing local Muslim Americans wants to know more about the owner of a minor league baseball team’s ties to an outfit that’s been called an “anti-Muslim hate group."

Frédéric BISSON / flickr creative commons

We've got no guests today. So much of the burden of making today's show any good at all rests with, well: you.

We can talk about pretty much whatever you want. The economy. Plastic bags. Greenland. The Little League Classic. 2020. Or 2020. Or 2020. Or 2020.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

It’s been more than three years since the city of Hartford fired Centerplan Construction, the original developer of the Dunkin’ Donuts Park baseball stadium. The firing prompted Centerplan to sue the city, saying it was wrongfully terminated. Jurors heard closing arguments in the case Monday. 

Former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was shot in the back Sunday at an outdoor bar in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo. He was reportedly in stable condition after undergoing surgery.

Ortiz, a native of the Dominican Republic, was at the bar in the capital at about 8:50 p.m. when a man on a motorcycle approached and shot him from behind, according to Dominican National Police Director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte.

Ortiz's father, Leo Ortiz, told local reporters that his son, 43, was "fine" after surgery and that the bullet did not hit any vital organs.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The Hartford Yard Goats played their home opener Thursday night – the first game of the team’s peanut-free era. The Yard Goats are the first pro baseball team in the U.S. to ban peanuts and Cracker Jacks from the ballpark. 

One of the toughest jobs in Major League Baseball might belong to Donnie Gardiner.

He's the facilities superintendent at Fenway Park, the iconic 107-year-old home of the Boston Red Sox. It's the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball, and Gardiner's job is to keep the place running.

Apex Photo Company / Wikimedia Commons

During his remarkable career with the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams earned many nicknames: The Kid, The Splendid Splinter, Teddy Ballgame... but the only nickname that he ever wanted was "the greatest hitter who ever lived."

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The Hartford Yard Goats are taking ‘peanuts and Cracker Jacks’ out of the ballgame.

popo.uw23 / flickr creative commons

Mike Pesca is one of our very favorite guests -- on any number of topics. And he's got a new book out: Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History.

The Boston Red Sox just capped a dominating season with their fourth World Series in 15 years.

Heading into Sunday night's Game 5, the Los Angeles Dodgers needed a win to stall Boston's chances at this year's title.

But Boston, led by David Price's pitching and Steve Pearce's batting, ruled the road turf to take home their ninth World Series title — and their fourth since 2004.

Updated at 11:41 p.m. ET

Dodgers relief pitcher Ryan Madson entered Game 1 of the World Series in the fifth inning with the score tied. Boston left the inning with a two-run lead.

In Game 2 on Wednesday, Madson entered the contest in the fifth inning with the Dodgers up, 2-1, but the bases loaded. Madson walked the first batter he faced, then allowed a single to designated hitter J.D. Martinez that put two more Red Sox across the plate — his third and fourth RBI of the series. Boston left the inning with a two-run lead.

Updated at 11:07 p.m. ET

Red Sox left-fielder Andrew Benintendi went 4-5 and scored three runs, designated hitter J.D. Martinez was 2-3 with two runs batted in and ace starting pitcher Chris Sale struck out seven batters despite being pulled from the game early.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are in the middle of a playoff series that’s dividing Connecticut residents.

But as the legendary rivalry reaches another dramatic crescendo, one segment of area baseball fans is once again on the outside looking in.

When he gets a text message from Alex Cora, Joseamid Rodriguez is all goosebumps. He pulls out his phone to show a recent text exchange with the Red Sox manager, in which Rodriguez congratulates Cora for clinching a spot in the playoffs, then pulls up his arm to prove he gets goosebumps.

“He’s a person who always answers our texts, and it makes you feel so proud,” he says. “When a friend writes who now has such a high position as manager of the Red Sox — my hairs are standing right now!”

Daniel Hartwig / Flickr

The postseason proper is upon us!

Baseball has already played four winner-take-all games in three days. The Dodgers and the Brewers won their divisions in a pair of extra, tie-breaking game number 163s. And then the Cubs and the A's saw their seasons end in the two Wild Card Games.

And now we're onto a round of real, full-length, five-game series. The two National League Division Series start today, and the American League's DSes start tomorrow.

Apex Photo Company / Wikimedia Commons

During his remarkable career with the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams earned many nicknames: The Kid, The Splendid Splinter, Teddy Ballgame... but the only nickname that he ever wanted was "the greatest hitter who ever lived."

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