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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Everything about this next story is awkward. It's a story of Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees star suspended for allegedly using performance-enhancing drugs.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

That is awkward.

For those of us in sports who like to wallow in extended misery, this has been one terrific time. The Chicago Cubs hired a popular new manager, reminding us again, interminably, that they have now gone 106 years without winning the championship, eating up 51 managers in the process.

Move over Billy Beane — baseball isn't the only sport that's buddying up to Big Data.

Tennis pros — often driven by their coaches — increasingly are turning to data recorders from the likes of IBM, SAP and other tech firms that track the distance players run, where they hit important serves and all sorts of other metrics.

Before Major League Baseball's experimental Rule 7.13 debuted this year, when runners and catchers collided at home plate, one question lingered in the cloud of dust: Safe or out?

But catchers were racking up injuries, and MLB started asking another question: Are the crashes worth the risk?

Rule 7.13 bans most of those collisions. When it debuted this year, many baseball purists cried foul. But Hall of Fame catcher and Cincinnati Reds legend Johnny Bench loves the change.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer and it is time for Sports.

NFL Has Another Week Of Legal Turmoil

Nov 7, 2014

Stefan Fatsis talks to Robert Siegel about the legal turmoil surround the NFL. A plea agreement in the child abuse case of Adrian Peterson leaves the league to decide how to treat the star running back of the Minnesota Vikings. And league Commissioner Rodger Goodell testified earlier this week in the appeal hearing of star running back Ray Rice who was indefinitely suspended by the NFL and released the Baltimore Ravens after video of his striking his girlfriend in an Atlantic City casino hotel elevator.

With the fall season come littered leaves, new television lineups and the sport that can't stop stirring up controversy: football.

Rough tackles and concussions worry many parents. And no wonder. Research cited by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons suggests that more than a third of college football players have had one concussion and 20 percent have had more than one.

Saying his knees wouldn't withstand the punishment the NFL deals out, running back Marcus Lattimore retired from the league Wednesday. Lattimore, 23, suffered serious injuries to both knees in college. He says he chose a higher quality of life over the promise of millions of dollars.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Every election suggests change, so given all the scandals involving football, now's an appropriate time to envision what reforms might be forced upon the sport. Well, I'll tell you: It's tough to mess with football.

Now, to begin with, from hindsight, it was probably misleading to call baseball "the national pastime." The claim was, essentially, based almost entirely on the fact that baseball was the only team sport that boasted a professional presence. The World Series was our World Cup and the Olympics rolled into one.

Wilson Kipsang, the Kenyan winner of Sunday's New York City Marathon, told reporters after it was over that he'd had to slow down — to "exercise a lot of patience" — as he logged the first miles of the 26.2-mile race.

And even with his purposely slowish (!) start, he completed the marathon in two hours, 10 minutes and 59 seconds.

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Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson pleaded no contest in his child abuse case, avoiding jail time after being indicted in September for using a wooden switch to punish his 4-year-old son.

The Associated Press reports that a judge in Conroe, Texas, agreed to the plea deal.

Nineteen-year-old college freshman Lauren Hill played her first game Sunday night, for a tiny, Division III college in Cincinnati.

That's not usually big news. But Hill has a rare form of brain cancer, and her first collegiate game might also be her last — which brought an unusual degree of attention to the court at Mount Saint Joseph University.

The NBA ushered in the new season this past week, and fans at the Staples Center for the Los Angeles Clippers' opening game had access to some new toys.

The Clippers were the first NBA team to roll out new features for the huge monitors that hover just above the playing floor. For instance, sometimes the video replay was enhanced to show overlays of intricate new statistics, displaying the game as if viewed from the point of view of the Terminator.

This hasn't been the best of days for the Washington Redskins.

First, one of the team buses crashed en route to Minnesota, where the Redskins were to play the Vikings.

ESPN says:

Two Kenyans have taken the men's and women's titles at the New York City Marathon: Wilson Kipsang with an unofficial time of 2 hours, 10 minutes, 59 seconds, and Mary Keitany finishing 2 hours, 25 minutes, 7 seconds after the start.

Kipsang, a former world-record holder, has now won in Berlin, London and New York within a 13-month span, The Associated Press says.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

That famous baseball poem "Casey At The Bat" ends on a sad note. There is no joy in Mudville. But, you know, there's still joy in Kansas City, even though they lost the World Series. Frank Morris of member station KCUR reports.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Five weeks after the fall TV season started, the broadcast networks are still cranking out new shows.

And in the case of CBS's The McCarthys, you may wish they had stopped a bit sooner.

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Updated on Oct. 30 at 1:45 a.m. ET.

Madison Bumgarner won Game 1 of this World Series, throwing seven innings and giving up one run on three hits. He won Game 5, throwing a complete game shutout.

And on Wednesday night, completing one of the most impressive postseason pitching performances in history, he helped the team take Game 7, pitching the final five innings on two days' rest, giving up just two hits as the Giants won the game 3-2, and won the World Series.

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