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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 NCAA tournament’s surprising Final Four, Kentucky’s recent surge, and the relative morality of Bo Ryan and John Calipari. They also talk about the regional National Labor Relations Board’s ruling that Northwestern University’s scholarship football player are employees and eligible to start a union. Finally, they evaluate the criticism of the giant contract extensions for Miguel Cabrera and Mike Trout.
Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:
- The second weekend of the NCAA tournament concluded Sunday, sending Florida, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and UConn to the Final Four.
- CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander says replay reviews are ruining the endings of college basketball games.
- Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News praises John Calipari’s amazing coaching.
- The New York Times’ Juliet Macur praised UConn senior Shabazz Napier for staying at UConn.
- Last year, Josh wrote about coaches, like Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan, who block their players from transferring to specific schools.
- On Wednesday, the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago ruled that Northwestern’s scholarship football players are employees and eligible to form a union.
- The Washington Post’s Sally Jenkins took exception to the ruling. Several were critical of her arguments, including Tom Ziller.
- Sports Illustrated legal analyst Michael McCann was interviewed about the decision.
- ESPN’s legal expert Lester Munson says the “NLRB decision was very well-reasoned.”
- Jeffrey Kessler filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA and several conferences earlier this month.
- Last week, Mike Trout signed a six-year, $144.5 million contract, and Miguel Cabrera inked a 10-year, $292 million deal.
- General reaction was that Trout is underpaid and Cabrera is overpaid.
- Jeff Passan suggested Cabrera’s signing could be the biggest contract mistake in baseball history.
- Jonah Keri called the Cabrera contract an “unconscionable, indefensible, all-but guaranteed mistake.”
- Dave Cameron of Fangraphs called the contract “understandable.”
- Nate Silver noted that the PECOTA projection system suggests that Cabrera is only marginally overpaid.
- Cameron has suggested that Trout may be worth $50 million per year.
Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Kevin Ware’s tibia:
Mike’s tibia: Coining the term “baseline nonsense” to define the meaningless blather—Tennessee is one of the best stories of the tournament!—that infects pregame and postgame shows.
Podcast production and edit by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Casey Butterly.
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