If life is a ball game, Mike Pesca is our umpire, calling the shots as he sees them. Pesca is NPR's sports correspondent and WEEKEND EDITION's guide to the intersections between sports and life, and he joins us now. Hey, Mike.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.
MARTIN: OK. So, this week baseball in the headlines and steroids - back in court again. Give us a rundown of what's happened.
Another football tragedy this week renews questions about the safety of the game that made many stars rich, but at some cost. Also, it may be closing time for one of the all-time greats. Over in hockey playoffs, are they going Hollywood? Host Scott Simon talks with Howard Bryant of ESPN.
When the gates fly open at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, all eyes will be on the 20 racehorses that launch themselves into the 138th Kentucky Derby. That's a lot of horses, and a special challenge for the men charged with getting them into the starting gate safely.
Caleb Hayes, 24, has been part of the 12-man start crew for the past six years. The 9-to-5 life isn't for him, he says — he loves his job and likes working the gate side by side with the older guys.
When it comes to sprinting, Jamaica reigns supreme.
At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, a Jamaican man — Usain Bolt — and a woman — Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce — took home the golds in the 100-meter race, and at this summer's London games, they're hoping to do it again.
If you visit the Caribbean island nation, you'll hear a lot of explanations for why they're so good, but let's start with the obvious: In Jamaica, kids really like to run.
The surface on which Kentucky Derby horses will race Saturday is a special piece of real estate, built for high performance and safety. The track is generically described as dirt, but is actually a careful mixture of river sand, silt and clay.
Junior Seau's suicide this week adds more fodder to the questions around the NFL and player safety. Audie Cornish talks with sportswriter Stefan Fatsis about Seau and the league's ongoing lawsuits from other players and their families.
NEW YORK (AP) — A former U.S. attorney hired by the NFL to evaluate its investigation of the New Orleans Saints' bounty program says the evidence shows payments were handed out and received for some hits on targeted opponents. She adds the players always had the option to say no, but didn't.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tulane University's plans to construct a new football stadium in New Orleans' Uptown neighborhood are drawing opposition from some residents. Opponents of the stadium say they believe it will add to traffic and parking problems.