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In this week’s episode of Slate’s sports podcast Hang Up and Listen, Josh Levin, Stefan Fatsis, and Mike Pesca discuss the end of the group stage and the beginning of the knockout round at the World Cup, the rational strategy of diving, and whether the American team’s success has vindicated Jürgen Klinsmann. They also talk about the Philadelphia 76ers’ attempt to tank their way to the playoffs, the NBA’s choreographed free agency dance, and whether the league’s salary cap limits the paths teams can take to success. Finally, they compare the Houston Astros’ rebuilding effort to the 76ers’ and explore how baseball’s salary structure allows teams like the Astros and Oakland A’s to employ very different team-building strategies.
Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:
- The Best of Soft Rock is essential listening.
- In the first weekend of World Cup knockout round games, Brazil advanced against Chile via shootout and Costa Rica took down Greece.
- Through Sunday’s games, there had already been 145 goals in the World Cup.
- The Netherlands’ Arjen Robben drew a penalty—or totally dived—against Mexico to send El Tri home.
- Robben also deprived the World Cup audience of the very GIF-worthy Mexican coach Miguel Herrera.
- After the U.S. team advanced from the “group of death,” many believe that coach Jürgen Klinsmann has been vindicated.
- The Miami Heat’s big three of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh all opted out of their contracts.
- Carmelo Anthony opted out of his contract, but Derrick Rose won’t woo him.
- The Phoenix Suns can clear enough cap room to sign both James and Anthony.
- The Philadelphia 76ers continued their tanking strategy in this year’s NBA draft, and their fans seemed happy.
- The Dallas Mavericks will not make maximum contract offers.
- Sports Illustrated took an in-depth look at the Houston Astros’ rebuilding efforts and pre-emptively crowned them 2017 World Series champs.
- In 2011, Sports Illustrated thought the Royals were the next big thing.
- The Oakland A’s have put together one of the best seasons of modern times, after possibly identifying a new inefficiency in the baseball market.
- The previously praised Rays have been pretty putrid this year.
- The Chicago Whales were real.
Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Wilson Phillipses:
Mike’s Wilson Phillips: Ranking each baseball team’s Way of doing business.
Josh’s Wilson Phillips: Exploring the two ways that ESPN’s Taylor Twellman calls World Cup goals.
On this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment, Josh Levin, Stefan Fatsis, and Mike Pesca talked about Michelle Wie’s U.S. Women’s Open win, the reaction to 11-year-old Lucy Li’s U.S. Open appearance, and what we should think about children and teenagers playing alongside adults. Slate Plus members get an ad free version of this podcast with bonus segments. Visit slate.com/hangupplus and try it free for two weeks.
Podcast production and edit by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Chris Laskowski.
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