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.
When the Giants' Gregor Blanco hit a home run to lead off the second game of the World Series, millions of viewers heard that satisfying crack of the bat well before watching the ball fall into the Royals' bullpen.
It's baseball's most iconic sound, and it's the No. 1 job for Fox's baseball audio engineer-in-chief, Joe Carpenter.
"The bat crack is really kinda where everything starts for us," Carpenter tells NPR's Arun Rath.
Along with the U.S. Open in tennis, early September means baseball's pennant race is in full swing ... and no sports term has become a more maddening cliche than baseball's "walk-off."
At first it was applied only to a walk-off home run — that is, when the home team would win in the last inning with a homer — game's over, so it's a walk-off, because there's no need to run. Then there became walk-off triples, doubles, singles, sacrifice flies — even walk-off walks with the bases loaded. It's creeping walk-offism.
Let's boldly confront the greatest mystery in all of sport: Why do hot dogs always taste better at the ballpark?
Baseball food has, of course, taken on a much greater variety since 1908, when "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" only celebrated peanuts and crackerjack. But it is another enduring mystery of sport why fans eat during a baseball game, while the preferred mode of cuisine for football is before the game, out in the parking lot — tailgating.
If there's one rule in American sports that is universally despised, it is the National Basketball Association's stipulation that a player cannot be drafted out of high school, but must put in an extra year playing somewhere — invariably at college. It makes a sham of both education and teamwork, and when the best kids are picked up, the policy is properly ridiculed as "one-and-done."