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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 are joined by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports to talk about Major League Baseball’s amazing class of rookie players. They also discuss the rise of IMG Academy, a for-profit high school in Florida that’s hoping to change how elite young football players prepare for professional careers. Finally, they assess the appeal of the NBC show American Ninja Warrior.
Here are links to some of the articles and other items mentioned on the show:
- Follow Ken Rosenthal on Twitter and read his stories for FOX Sports.
- Yahoo’s Jeff Passan on the unprecedented greatness of baseball’s 2015 rookie class.
- If you go by Wins Above Replacement, the 2015 class is by far the best ever.
- Sports Illustrated on the Houston Astros as the 2017 World Series champions.
- Rosenthal on how service-time considerations kept the Cubs’ Kris Bryant and the Astros’ Carlos Correa from reaching the major leagues.
- A rundown of the best baseball players who are 25 and younger.
- How money plays a role in baseball’s glut of young talent.
- “High School Football Inc.,” Jeré Longman’s New York Times piece on IMG Academy.
- The coach of another Florida high school said that IMG is “really not a high school team.”
- The website for IMG Academy.
- IMG Academy’s core values: passionate soul, open mind, champion’s spirit, helpful heart, and absolute integrity.
- NBC’s home page for American Ninja Warrior and the show’s official YouTube channel.
- An interview with Isaac Caldiero, who attained “total victory” in the Ninja Warrior season finale.
- The GoFundMe page for Geoff Britten, who achieved total victory but lost out on the $1 million grand prize.
- An Entertainment Weekly interview with the show’s executive producer.
- The Wikipedia page for the original Japanese version of the show, Sasuke.
- What is a ninja exactly?
Hang Up and Listen’s weekly Kazuhiko Akiyamas:
Mike’s Kazuhiko Akiyama: The WNBA’s poor production values ruined the end of a playoff game between the New York Liberty and Washington Mystics.
Stefan’s Kazuhiko Akiyama: In praise of Manchester United’s 44-pass goal.
Josh’s Kazuhiko Akiyama: Will football coaches ever figure out that it makes sense to go for two when trailing by 14 points?
On this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment, Stefan Fatsis, Josh Levin, and Mike Pesca are joined by FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal to discuss how he approaches his job as a baseball field reporter. Visit slate.com/hangupplus and try it free for two weeks.
Podcast production and edit by Zack Dinerstein.
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