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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 Madison Bumgarner’s folksiness and World Series dominance, how the San Francisco Giants built their pitching staff, and the latest declaration of baseball’s death. They talk to whistleblower Mary Willingham about the University of North Carolina’s “paper classes” for athletes, what coaches knew about the academic scandal, and what kind of education schools owe athletes. Finally, they interview Professional Bull Riders statistician Slade Long about how the great Bushwacker compares to bulls of the past, what makes a great bucking bull, and the best names in the sport.
Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:
- Ken Rosenthal of Fox interviewed San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner after he shut out the Kansas City Royals in Game 5 of the World Series.
- Bumgarner’s postseason performance may be one of the best ever.
- Bumgarner wore jeans to his wedding and once bought his wife a cow for her birthday.
- The Royals are trailing 3-2 in the series, but home field advantage has proven very important in recent years.
- Bumgarner is signed to a very team-friendly contract.
- Last year on Grantland, Jonah Keri asked what is wrong with Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum.
- The New York Times noted low TV ratings for this World Series.
- Major League Baseball collected record revenue last year.
- On episode five of the seventh season of Golden Girls, Blanche started dating a baseball player.
- On Grantland, Bryan Curtis recorded the long history of declaring baseball dead.
- A report by Kenneth Wainstein found that more than 3,000 University of North Carolina students—including many athletes—took sham classes through the Department of African and Afro-American Studies.
- The Raleigh News-Observer first brought potential academic fraud to light in 2011.
- Stefan wrote about academic fraud at the University of Rhode Island 10 years ago.
- This summer, former North Carolina basketball player Rashad McCants told ESPN that he took sham classes, and basketball coach Roy Williams denied the allegations.
- Follow Mary Willingham on Twitter.
- The University of North Carolina has blocked Mary Willingham’s research into literacy levels of athletes.
- Willingham was accused of plagiarism on her master’s thesis.
- In his last event ever, Bushwacker won his third World Champion Bull title.
- The 8-year-old bull is estimated to be worth $2 million, or $5,000 per unit of semen.
- Rider J.B. Mauney talked about taking on Bushwacker.
- Adam Falls and Ryan Dirteater are among the most unfortunately named bull riders.
- Slade Long runs the bull riding statistics site Pro Bull Stats.
Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Mississippi Hippies:
Mike’s Mississippi Hippy: Explaining how, in one possession, TCU could cover just 35 yards in 14 plays, while still managing to score 82 points for the game.
On this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment, Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca look to Japan to build a better baseball playoff system. 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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