Not all of the interesting sports stories of the week are splashed across the headlines. That’s why we created “3 Stories You Should Know” — a discussion of the things you might have missed. This week, Bill Littlefield was joined by the NFL Network's Andrea Kremer and sport writer Erik Malinowski.
1. MLB's hacking scandal: A test of Rob Manfred's leadership:
The St. Louis Cardinals are being investigated by the FBI and U.S. Justice Department for allegedly hacking into an internal database of the Houston Astros. Will MLB and its first-year commissioner Rob Manfred get this call right? Andrea Kremer shares her thoughts:
AK: How is the new baseball commissioner going to handle this? Hearken back to Adam Silver, who was hired in February of 2014 and, a mere two months later, had a major crisis when he had the Donald Sterling situation, the TMZ-released recording. As it turns out, two months later, basically, Silver bans him from the game. A huge decision.
Rob Manfred, new commissioner, succeeding Bud Selig - January of 2015. A mere five months later, he has this hacking scandal. And he's going to have to deal with it ultimately after the feds probably put some people in jail. And bottom line, guys: how strange is it that these commissioners have to basically discipline the men they technically work for, the owners of these teams?
2. The AL could have eight Royals starters at the All-Star Game:
If voting for the MLB All-Star Game ended on Friday (instead of July 2), fans would have sent eight members of the Kansas City Royals to the American League squad. Some suspect the league's online voting system has been hacked. Erik Malinowski weighs in:
EM: They have the best record in the American League. Obviously there is a lot of excitement around the team. However some of the selections are a little peculiar, most notable being second baseman Omar Infante, who is currently batting .228 and, by some advanced metrics, perhaps is the worst offensive player in the American League and perhaps baseball itself.
Major League Baseball, for its part, said there is nothing especially insidious going on here, that they regularly throw out blocks of votes, as I think they said they threw out 65 million votes out of the 390 million that have been cast so far.
But, you know, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game is not an exhibition the way it used to be. Home-field advantage in the World Series now hinges on whoever wins this game.
3. The USWNT has advanced — but is the team living up to its hype?
The U.S. women's national team advanced to the knockout stage of the Women's World Cup. Still, the media is questioning the team's performance. Bill Littlefield wonders why there's so much criticism of a team that's still very much alive in the tournament.
BL: The U.S. women's soccer team finished at the top of their group, allegedly the "Group of Death." They gave up one goal in three games. And no matter, the Guardian commented, "U.S.A.'s attacking prowess isn't what it used to be." The LA Times reported, "the team didn't look so good," and Mashable summarized the performance with "meh." If they hadn't been laboring with the curse of great potential, would soccer fans be happier with their team's performance?
To hear the entire conversation between Andrea, Erik and Bill, click the play button above.
Earlier “3 Stories You Should Know”:
This segment aired on June 20, 2015.