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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

No, no, I promise: This is not about Derek Jeter. May bats fly down my chimney and trolls enter my door if I inflict any more Derek Jeter farewell upon you. But, of course, I am a sentimental creature, and the player whose name dare not be spoken again did gush forth memories of other grand finales.

It took 12 innings, but the Kansas City Royals won the American League wild-card game over the Oakland Athletics 9-8 on Tuesday night. They now move on to the American League Division Series.

In the bottom of the 12th, Christian Colon and Salvador Perez hit RBI singles. The A's were up 8-7 until Eric Hosmer tripled and scored on Colon's hit down the third-base line.

When an NFL defender picks off a pass and runs it back for a touchdown, the celebration is often spirited. But referees in Monday night's game took exception to Kansas City's Husain Abdullah actions after he slid in the end zone and prostrated himself, imposing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty.

The play quickly became a hot topic on social media, where many criticized a penalty for what qualifies as a quiet gesture in the NFL, where excited players are known to point at themselves, others, and the sky, sometimes while making crude gestures.

If the oddsmakers are right, two Los Angeles teams will be the only ones left standing when the World Series starts in late October, in a "Freeway Series."

But there's talk of a "Beltway Series" back east, where two teams — the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles — are coming off strong seasons. And you can count on the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers to derail everyone else's plans.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The final day of Major League Baseball's regular season has been one for the record books.

Jordan Zimmermann, up against the Miami Marlins on Sunday afternoon, became the first Washington National to pitch a no-hitter. As ESPN notes, "no major leaguer had thrown a no-hitter in Washington since Bobby Burke did it for the Senators in 1931 against Boston."

For the first time, the world record in the marathon is now under 2 hours and 3 minutes, after Dennis Kimetto of Kenya tore through the course at Sunday's Berlin Marathon. Kimetto, 30, says he wants to set a new record next year.

"I feel good because I won a very tough race," Kimetto said after the finish. "I felt good from the start and in the last few miles I felt I could do it and break the record. I believe I can improve it further. I'd like to return and try to break it again next year."

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ARUN RATH, HOST:

In case you missed it, last night baseball history was made. Michael Taylor, from the Chicago White Sox, hits a pop-fly in foul territory.

(SOUNDBITE OF BASEBALL GAME)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #1: Popped up.

The virgin Astroturf is springy underfoot, and the neon yellow goal posts stretch up into the blue September sky. The Comets should be playing well.

They're not.

After seven years of away-games, the football team at Cody High School in Detroit has their own field. The facility at Cody was in such terrible shape that they couldn't play there.

That changed Friday night. Unfortunately, the Comets homecoming did not start well.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And now it's time for Sports. Derek Jeter takes his final curtain. The Ryder Cup tees off Scotland, still part of the United Kingdom. And FIFA contends with scandalous charges and BJ Lederman writes our theme music.

We're in the final weekend of the regular baseball season and there are still pennant races and wild-card matchups to be set.

Along with sports fans, political consultants are watching as well, and they are keeping an especially close eye on the Detroit Tigers. A fine team, sure, but also one uniquely suited to fill the needs of the people who buy TV time for political campaigns.

All over the country, advertisers love to buy sports spots for the big audiences that are enthusiastic and engaged. And with a live telecast, you can't fast-forward through the ads.

Derek Boogaard didn't make it to the National Hockey League because he was a great hockey player. He wasn't especially fast, and he rarely scored a goal. But in skates, he stood nearly 7 feet tall, and he was close to 300 pounds. Considered by many the toughest guy in the NHL, Boogaard was an enforcer, and his job was to fight.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Last night, 40-year-old Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter went out in storybook style in his last game at home.

(SOUNDBITE OF BASEBALL GAME)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: Base hit to right field.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

People who love to watch golf on TV...

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

That already sounds like a set-up to a joke.

Derek Jeter Leaves Yankee Stadium A Winner

Sep 26, 2014

Copyright 2014 WNYC Radio. To see more, visit http://www.wnyc.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Derek Jeter ended his 20-year career at Yankee Stadium last night in classic fashion.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Bottom of the ninth, score tied, man on second.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The domestic abuse scandal in pro football heightened scrutiny of ESPN. The channel is a major outlet for sports news, but its entire business model is also dependent on pro sports.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Bill Simmons, the ESPN commentator whose Twitter bio reads in part "Grantland boss + columnist, @30for30 co-creator, NBA Countdown co-host, BS Report host," will not be doing most of those jobs for three weeks after using the last of them — host of the podcast The BS Report — to call NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a liar, and to dare ESPN to discipline him.

A grand jury in Ontario County, N.Y., where driver Tony Stewart struck and killed another driver who walked onto the track during a sprint car race last month, has found no cause for charges against Stewart.

County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said in a statement released Wednesday that in the hearings on the Aug. 9 death of Kevin Ward Jr., jurors heard testimony from about two dozen witnesses and reviewed photos and videos.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Steve Almond's blistering book Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto is exactly what it advertises itself to be: an exasperated, frustrated, wide-ranging argument that the time has come to abandon football — particularly but not exclusively the NFL — as a sport built on violence, racism, economic exploitation of poor kids, corrupt dealmaking with local governments over stadiums, and a willingness to find it entertaining to watch people suffer brain damage.

There is no doubt that race, ever sensitive in sports, is most sensitive in basketball. Given the history, this is perfectly understandable, for when African-Americans began to appear on the court in larger numbers, there was resentment, even quotas.

To many whites, men of my vintage, men I knew, there was a sense that their game was being stolen. It was a very visceral racism.

NFL sponsors are not just advertisers; they're a select group of companies that together pay more than $1 billion a year to wrap their own brands in the NFL's aura.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

As the National Football League scrambles to defend its actions in amid a series of domestic abuse allegations against players, some of its harshest critics have been women. Female fans are a key part of the league's business strategy — the NFL says that women make up 45 percent of its fan base — but they haven't reacted to the scandal with one voice.

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