3 Stories: Women's Hockey Boycott, World Baseball Classic, Taylor Swift?

Download Audio
The U.S. women's national ice hockey team has announced a boycott of the world championship. (Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
The U.S. women's national ice hockey team has announced a boycott of the world championship. (Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Boycotts, baseball and Taylor Swift — that's the focus of this week's edition of "3 Stories You Should Know."

Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports and Claire McNear of the Ringer joined Bill Littlefield.

1. Boycotting The World Hockey Championship 

The 2017 IIHF Women's World Championship begins in Plymouth, Michigan, in two weeks. But the U.S. squad — the defending champs — might not be there. On Wednesday, the team said it would boycott the tournament because of an ongoing dispute with USA Hockey. Bill Littlefield applauds the move.

Women's hockey's been undervalued by USA Hockey for as long as I can remember. The stipends for the women are ridiculously low. There's been no attempt (or virtually no attempt) to market their success, even though they have won world championships and Olympic medals and everything else there is to win. ... Short of boycotting the Olympics, this really is a dramatic move, and, I say, "Good on these women." Some things — equal treatment, equal opportunity, for example — are more important than any hockey tournament.

2. The Worth Of The World Baseball Classic

The 2017 World Baseball Classic continues. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez, whose Mexican team was recently eliminated, has been critical of the tournament, saying, "They're trying to be the World Cup. But they're not even the Little League World Series." Even so, Craig Calcaterra sees value in the competition.

It's one of those rare things in sports where it doesn't matter, but it's still worth doing. We are so binary when it comes to sports, especially professional sports: "If it's not glory and wonderfulness, it's not worth doing at all." The WBC doesn't change anything. It's more interesting than the spring training games going on. It's fun to watch a game in the moment. We're gonna forget who won the thing by mid-April. But I think we still do it. If anything, it's weird to see such passion from someone like Adrian Gonzalez. But it's probably good, even though it's a very flawed tournament.

3. Taylor Swift And The Houston Astros 

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Reasonable conspiracy theorists concluded that their success was tied to even-numbered years. But in 2016, the Giants did not prevail. What happened? Turns out, Taylor Swift was truly behind their success...and their failure. The pop star released albums in 2010, 2012 and 2014 — but not in 2016. Swift may release a new album in 2017, but Claire McNear believes she's now on the side of the Houston Astros.

Her only show scheduled for the entirety of this year was last month in Houston. "Houston Astros" is 13 letters long. She's shown an affinity for the number 13. There's an Astros cap hidden in the music video of "Bad Blood." So what I'm saying is, put all your money on Houston.

More Stories You Should Know

This segment aired on March 18, 2017.


More from Only A Game

Listen Live