3 Stories: A-Rod's Retirement, Dumbed-Down Olympics Coverage, Golf In Rio

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Alex Rodriguez's baseball career has come to a close. How will fans of the game remember the controversial slugger? (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Alex Rodriguez's baseball career has come to a close. How will fans of the game remember the controversial slugger? (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

What are the chances that an Olympic runner could make it in the NFL as a wide receiver? Who would win in a 40-yard dash: American sprinter Justin Gatlin or NFL running back Chris Johnson? Should sports writers even spend time entertaining these questions in anticipation of the 2016 Olympic track and field events? That and more on this week's edition of "3 Stories You Should Know."

Sports writer Erik Malinowski and Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star join Karen Given.

1. Alex Rodriguez's Baseball Career Comes To An End

Alex Rodriguez is retiring from baseball. He plans to join the Yankees as an instructor for the rest of the season. No one expected the 14-time All-Star and former World Series champion to opt out of the game at this point in the season. Involved in performance-enhancing drug scandals, A-Rod has had both a controversial and prolific career. Erik Malinowski wonders how the public will remember A-Rod.

We just talked on this show, a few weeks ago, about how beloved Ken Griffey Jr. was — that was not the case with Alex Rodriguez. You know, I think he was very guarded, I think he was one of these people that very much kind of wanted people to like him, but I don't really think that we ever got the sense that we ever kind of really knew the true A-Rod, and that's kind of a shame.

2. NFL Running Backs Vs. Olympic Sprinters

With Olympic track and field events ramping up this weekend, it's only a matter of time before cross-sport comparisons of speed and athleticism creep into sports commentary. In the United States, that likely means comparing the speed of Olympians to NFL stars. Morgan Campbell wants to warn all of the overnight track and field "experts" against entertaining such thoughts.

News flash, Americans: By and large, the guys sprinting in the Olympic 100-meter final are faster than everyone in the NFL. I hate to shatter your dreams, but I'm comfortable in saying that there is not a single person who can beat Usain Bolt, Trayvon Bromell, Justin Gatlin, Andre De Grasse — not on a field, not on a gravel track and certainly not on a real track.

3. The Return Of Olympic Golfing

After 112 years, golf is back in the Olympics, though it was no easy feat for Rio to get ready. Many of the world's best declined the invitation to play for fear of the Zika virus or — possibly — the absence of a paycheck. And the Olympic golf course (which took six years to build) almost wasn't ready in time. Even though golf only just returned, Karen Given thinks it's time for the Olympics to ditch it again.

The Olympics are ruinously expensive — we say this all the time — for the host country. And the IOC is supposed to be making it cheaper. And instead of making it cheaper, they're adding golf, which makes it more expensive. What we really want is more swimming, gymnastics, fencing, track and field — all these sports that we only see every four years. So I say, we can watch golf any old time.

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This segment aired on August 13, 2016.


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