Slate’s Sports Podcast on Why College Basketball Is in Terrible Shape

Slate's sports podcast.
March 11 2013 7:58 PM

Hang Up and Listen: The Tough Stuff Edition

Slate’s weekly sports show on improving college basketball, the World Baseball Classic, and MLB’s exploitation of Latin American talent.

Listen to "Hang Up and Listen" with Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca by clicking the arrow on the audio player below:

Become a fan of Hang Up and Listen on Facebook here:

Hang Up and Listen is brought to you by Audible. Get a 30-day free trial by signing up at Our pick of the week is Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas.

In this week’s episode of Slate’s sports podcast Hang Up and Listen, Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca are joined by ESPN’s Jay Bilas to discuss his new book Toughness and his prescription to fix college basketball. Next, they speak with Mother Jones’ Ian Gordon about his story on the death of Dominican minor leaguer Yewri Guillen and the exploitation of Latin American baseball players. Finally, they talk about the World Baseball Classic and whether the international competition is worth watching.    

Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:

Bilas called Mateen Cleaves the toughest college basketball player of the last 20 years.
Cal coach Mike Montgomery crossed the line when he shoved Allen Crabbe, says Bilas.
ESPN’s Jim Caple on the World Baseball Classic’s significance outside of the United States.
Awful Announcing’s Joe Lucia explains why fans don’t care about the WBC.
A brawl broke out during Canada’s 10-3 win over Mexico.
The WBC instituted strict pitch count rules.
ESPN aired Sunday’s Dominican Republic-Puerto Rico game in Spanish.
Ian Gordon’s Mother Jones piece on MLB’s exploitation of Latin American talent.

Hang Up and Listen’s Sladeks:


Mike’s Sladek: The NHL’s Pacific Division should be renamed the Granite Peak Division.

Stefan’s Sladek: Lauren Silberman’s NFL tryout was pathetic, but she wasn’t the first female kicker who didn’t live up to the hype. Check out this 1937 story from the Dickinsonian (bottom left).

Josh’s Sladek: Because of the reserve clause, a brief stint in the Mexican League ruined Danny Gardella’s baseball career.

Podcast production and edit by Mike Vuolo. Our intern is Eric Goldwein.

You can e-mail us at

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

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

Josh Levin is Slate's executive editor.



The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Dear Prudence
Oct. 23 2014 6:00 AM Monster Kids from poorer neighborhoods keep coming to trick-or-treat in mine. Do I have to give them candy?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.