NFL read-option: Hang Up and Listen on the baseball postseason, the state of pro football’s latest offensive trend, and the professionalization of sports in Cuba.
Is the Read-Option Going to Change the NFL Forever or Fade Into Oblivion?
Slate's sports podcast.
Sept. 30 2013 5:30 PM

Hang Up and Listen: The High-Hanging Fruit Edition

Slate’s sports podcast on the baseball postseason, the state of the read-option, and the professionalization of sports in Cuba.

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:


Buy your tickets for the Hang Up and Listen live at Manhattan’s City Winery! The show is on Monday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. and will feature special guest Bob Costas. There’s also a special VIP meet-and-greet beforehand.

Hang Up and Listen is brought to you by Audible. Get a 30-day free trial by signing up at Our pick this week is League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru.

In this week’s episode of Slate’s sports podcast Hang Up and Listen, Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca are joined by Baseball Prospectus’ Sam Miller to discuss Major League Baseball’s sudden-death playoff games and other matters both statistical and philosophical. They also ponder whether the read-option is on the ascendance or the decline in the NFL. Finally, they look at the Cuban government’s decision to let its athletes play for pay abroad.

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

Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Rogelios:      

Mike’s Rogelio: The time Whitey Herzog put three pitchers in his lineup as a form of protest, and Yankees public-address announcer Bob Sheppard wrote a poem about it.

Stefan’s Rogelio: Earnshaw Cook may not have gotten everything right, but he was a baseball statistics pioneer.

Josh’s Rogelio: Everyone should have the pleasure of shooting a pumpkin out of a cannon. You can also attend the Punkin Chunkin world championship and learn about the world-record-setting launch in Utah.

Podcast production and edit by Mike Vuolo.

You can email us at

Stefan Fatsis is the author of Word Freak and A Few Seconds of Panic and is 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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