Hang Up and Listen on the 2011 Women's World Cup, Bill James' career as a baseball writer, and James'…

Slate's sports podcast.
July 5 2011 6:20 PM

Hang Up and Listen: The War Between Fear and Exhaustion Edition

Slate's sports podcast on the Women's World Cup. Plus: an interview with Bill James on his career as a baseball writer and his book Popular Crime.

Click here to subscribe in iTunes. Illustration by Robert Neubecker.

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In this week's episode of Slate's sports podcast Hang Up and Listen, Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca discuss the first week of the Women's World Cup. Josh and Mike also talk to Bill James about his writing process, the difference between statheads and scouts, his work for the Red Sox, and his book Popular Crime.

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:
The United States rolled past Colombia to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Women's World Cup.
Stefan watched Brazil's Marta steamroll a Norwegian defender on her way to a dazzling goal.
North Korea's manager blamed his team's 2-0 loss to the United States on a rogue lightning bolt.
The New York Times' Nicholas Kulish on how a controversy involving Germany's Birgit Prinz has kept the tournament in the host country's headlines.
The American women have so far avoided the type of strife that plagued the squad in 2007.
Stefan and Josh are divided on the merits of the United States' Megan Rapinoe and her allegedly Tintin-esque hair.
A 2008 Joe Posnanski interview with Bill James.
James writes in 2005 about the reaction to his changed position on the existence of clutch hitting.
James' new book, Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence.
James's two favorite crime books of all time: Howard K. Berry's He Made It Safe To Murder: The Life of Moman Pruiett and Adela Rogers St. Johns' Final Verdict.
James has written for Slate on Babe Ruth, the BCS, Craig Biggio, and how to tell when a college basketball game is really over.

Hang Up and Listen's weekly polydactyl cats:

Mike's polydactyl cat: The Chestnut-Kobayashi hot dog eating rivalry (and Jason Fagone's competitive-eating classic, Horsemen of the Esophagus).
Stefan's polydactyl cat: The German handball squad VfB Fallersleben, whose members claimed their sport is second only to soccer in popularity among their countrymen.
Josh's polydactyl cat: What happened when NFL players tried to put on their own games during the 1982 strike.

Podcast production and edit by Abdullah Rufus.

You can email us at hangup@slate.com.

Stefan Fatsis is the author of Word Freak and A Few Seconds of Panic, a regular guest on NPR's All Things Considered, and a panelist on Hang Up and Listen

Josh Levin is Slate's executive editor.

Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.

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