3 Stories: PED Accusations, NBA Awards, Golf's Video Replay Rule

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Out of MLB for the past four seasons, Eric Thames is back -- and leading the league in homers. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Out of MLB for the past four seasons, Eric Thames is back -- and leading the league in homers. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

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Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Eric Thames has now hit an MLB-leading 11 home runs through the first four weeks of the season. His rapid rise to the top of the list of baseball's best sluggers has some asking "The Question:" Are performance-enhancing drugs involved?

That and more on this week's "3 Stories You Should Know." Michael Lee of Yahoo! Sports and Will Leitch of Sports on Earth joined Bill Littlefield.

1. How NBA Awards Votes Affect Player Salaries

A clause in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement ties player salaries to end-of-season All-NBA honors, which are determined by writers and broadcasters. Should the media have an indirect say in how much money the league's best players can earn? Michael Lee weighs in.

Athletes often feel that journalists are given too much power in terms of getting out their message or providing their image to the public. But now we have another predicament that may lead to any even deeper split. ... Can you imagine looking at someone who cost you $80 million? It might make for an uncomfortable conversation.

2. Eric Thames' Hot Start

After spending four years outside of MLB playing baseball abroad, Eric Thames is back — and he's crushing the ball. But his impressive numbers at the plate are drawing some suspicion. Will Leitch says we should "leave Thames alone."

Think about what Eric Thames has done. He really struggled five years ago. He left. He went to Korea and he learned something there. He became a great home run hitter. But we are still stuck in this archaic thinking of 20 years ago that, "People who hit home runs are using PEDs." ... All we can do is pepper him with so many "Are you using? Are you using? Are you using this? Are you using this?" This is why we can't have nice things.

3. Golf's 'Naked-Eye' Standard

On Tuesday, the United States Golf Association and The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews made a decision to limit the use of video replay in golf. This comes on the heels of an incident in which a TV viewer tipped off officials to a penalty golfer Lexi Thompson had committed at the ANA Inspiration a few weeks ago. Bill Littlefield thinks this should be a no-brainer.

Ms. Thompson was penalized in a tournament earlier this month. Now, the USGA has said that henceforth, "Players should not be held to the degree of precision that video technology can provide." That there should have to be such a rule declaring that TV viewers shouldn't be calling the shots in a tournament seems absurd, but that's golf. Anyway, I'm glad that if the USGA was gonna make a call in this particular situation, at least they made the right one.

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This segment aired on April 29, 2017.


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