Archive for November 2016


"I just won the Nobel Prize of baseball."  -Elston Howard, American League MVP, 1963

 Snubs.  Grudges.  Conspiracies.  Incompetence.

 All in a day's work for some of those who vote on Baseball's Most Valuable Player Award.

 From its colorful and scandalous beginnings more than a century ago, the MVP has evolved into the most prestigious -- and contentious -- individual honor in the sport.  No award means more to the players, the media, or the fans -- and no other award can claim a voting history so rich in controversy.

 "Baseball's Most Baffling MVP Ballots" looks at the past, present and future of the MVP Award through the most controversial ballots of all time.  Which of the so-called "worst MVPs" can hold up to contemporary statistical analysis?  Who cast the single worst vote in MVP history?  Does racial bias influence the MVP vote?  Who really deserved the award in a given year?

 On a November evening, we attempted to answer these questions, right some wrongs, unravel some threads, and looked at some very familiar faces in unfamiliar ways.  A fascinating Clubhouse conversation with Jeremy Lehrman.  Listen in...




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“This is a tough park for a hitter when the air conditioning is blowing in.”
  -Bob Boone

When it opened in 1965, the Houston Astrodome -- nicknamed the Eighth Wonder of the World -- captured the attention of a nation, bringing pride to the city and enhancing its reputation across the country.

It was a Texas-sized vision of the future, an unthinkable feat of engineering with premium luxury suites, theater-style seating, and the first animated scoreboard.  Yet there were memorable problems such as outfielders’ inability to see fly balls and failed attempts to grow natural grass -- which ultimately led to the development of Astroturf.  The Astrodome nonetheless changed the way people viewed sports, putting casual fans at the forefront of a user-experience approach that soon became the standard in all American sports.

On the day after the completion of this year's wonderful World Series, authors Robert Trumpbour and Kenneth Womack tore back the Astrodome's facade while discussing the building’s pivotal fifty years in existence and the ongoing debate about its preservation.  Listen in to our intimate Clubhouse conversation...

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