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MLB Statcast and decision making

Bob Bowman, president of MLB Business and Media, explains new baseball statistics and how they might be displayed during a broadcast at a news conference in New York, Monday, April 20, 2015 (Credit: AP/Seth Wenig)Watching sports has changed dramatically over the past twenty years. Pull up your favorite sports memory on youtube and you'll instantly see how much graphics and overall presentation have changed. Sports used to be more of a hobby for the American public, but it has become a full-on obsession. This obsession has brought with it a greater desire to know the deeper parts of all sports. Coaches and front office people want to find competitive advantages that will help them win. Fans want more insight and access into the game they love.  

In baseball, the American sports obsession has manifested itself mainly through the rise of statistics. Known as "sabermetrics", this burgeoning area of interest seeks to quantify as much of the game of baseball as is possible. From statistics about batting, to pitching and fielding, sabermetrics seeks to go further in understanding the game we all love.

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I am Britt McHenry

Britt McHenry reports from Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals, on opening day for the 2015 season of Major League Baseball, April 6, 2015 (Credit: Britt McHenry via Twitter)The media is the center of the news yet again. On April 6, ESPN reporter Britt McHenry tweeted about getting her car towed in Arlington, Virginia. While enjoying a Chinese dinner at a local favorite called Hunan, Advanced Towing removed McHenry's car, causing her to retrieve it from their lot. This was not newsworthy, but McHenry's exchange with an Advanced Towing employee was.

Verbally belittling the towing company employee, McHenry asked the pompous rhetorical question, "Do you know who I am?" Continuing, she said, "I'm in the news sweetheart, I will (expletive) sue this place." If that wasn't enough, she continued to assert herself by saying, "I'm on television and you're in a (expletive) trailer, honey."

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Religion in the NHL

Adam McQuaid says the NHL culture now allows players to be a little more open about espousing their faith. (Credit: Boston Globe/John Tlumacki)In a recent Boston Globe article titled "Religion rarely on display across the NHL," Amalie Benjamin speaks to several professional hockey players about their faith. She seeks to understand why it seems more difficult to be an outspoken believer in hockey than in the other major American sports. Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid was one such player, recounting how recent injuries and illness have helped him become more serious about his faith and about sharing that faith. Becoming more vocal with those around him was a difficult decision though.

Mike Fisher, a center for the Nashville Predators, understands what McQuaid is trying to do better than most. He is among the most outspoken Christians in the NHL. Asked why more believers in the league haven't been more vocal about their faith, he simply responded that it's because they understand that doing so goes against the culture in hockey. Vancouver's Dan Hamhuis echoed those thoughts in describing how anything that sets you apart is often fair game for ridicule. In that setting, a person's faith is no more sacred or off limits than the clothes they wear or their haircut.

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