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KCUR 89.3 covers community-related topics about sports in the Kansas City region. Do you have a story idea? E-mail News Director Maria Carter, maria@kcur.org.

Greg Echlin / KCUR

More high-profile major league baseball pitchers have been sidelined by season-ending elbow injuries this year than ever before. But this epidemic is not just a big league concern. Young players, lured by the fastball, are getting hurt, too.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

The NCAA makes billions of dollars selling the rights to televise games and selling merchandise and jerseys. But a spate of court cases making their way through the judicial system could put those billions in jeopardy.

After nearly 120 years, jockey Issac Burns Murphy's winning record is still the highest in American horse racing history.  Though he won three Kentucky Derbies and set numerous records throughout his career, Murphy had to deal with the harsh reality of being black in the still deeply segregated South.

On this edition of Up to Date Pellom McDaniels III talks with Steve Kraske about his new biography of "The Prince of Jockeys" whose life and career spanned the Civil War, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow.

Tom Watson finished in second place at the Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Michigan. It was his best finish since winning the same event in 2011.

Colin Montgomerie of Scotland won by four strokes.

Watson said he has mixed feelings about finishing second.

“You need to make the putts to win and I didn’t do it today, but I certainly had the opportunities today,” he said. “It could have been a real low round today, and so I come away with a really good feeling inside about the way I played.”

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For most of his 40-year career, sports representative Leigh Steinberg was on top. The inspiration for the film Jerry Maguire, Steinberg negotiated multi-million dollar contracts for some of the biggest names in sports: Lennox Lewis, Steve Young, and Troy Aikman just to name a few.

blogscanada.ca

It’s happened again: the dominant sports story has nothing to do with sports. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling—sorry, this is the last time I hope to mention his name—remains in the headlines for bigoted comments that were caught on tape, twice—the first time secretly; the second, on CNN.
For citizens of conscience, this is an easy case: as the NBA presses forward to banish Sterling from the league, some may debate the penalty, but not the transgression.

Macmillan Publishers

There are secret rules and pieces of wisdom that most baseball fans don't even know exist. For example, don't ever look an umpire in the eye when you're arguing with him. 

On Thursday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sits down with former Royal and All-Star catcher Jason Kendall and sportswriter Lee Judge to discuss Kendall's new memoir of baseball wisdom, Throwback

Guests:

Greg Echlin / KCUR

This year marks 50 years since a sports team at the University of Missouri finished runner-up for a national championship.

The Tiger baseball team finished second at the College World Series. In recent years, the Mizzou softball team has come the closest, but saw its season come to an end Sunday.

It isn’t the magnitude of a football game at Arrowhead Stadium, but Kansas Jayhawk and Missouri Tiger fans are keenly aware of possibly squaring off over the weekend.

Both schools are the NCAA softball regional in Columbia, Mo. For a University of Kansas-University of Missouri showdown to take place Saturday, both schools would need to either win Friday or lose Friday in the double-elimination regional.

It would mean that Kelsey Kessler, a native of Blue Springs, Mo., and sophomore pitcher at KU, would face the Tigers, which concerns Tigers Coach Ehren Earleywine.

The Kansas City Chiefs made news in the NFL Draft; not by the players they picked, but by the ones they didn’t get.

The Chiefs passed on University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam in the later rounds. The St. Louis Rams ended up taking Sam in the seventh and final round. Sam has been in headlines since last February when he came out as gay.

Last fall, Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel knew that. But he also knew, as he said after Missouri’s win at Vanderbilt, what kind of player Michael Sam was last year for the Tigers.

Courtesy / Kansas Speedway

Night racing isn’t new at Kansas Speedway, but this weekend marks the first time it will take place there for NASCAR’s premier drivers.

Racing at night changes the dynamics in and around the speedway in Kansas City, Kan., and the races for the next two nights at Kansas Speedway have been highly anticipated by speedway officials since the approval for an installation of lights three years ago.

Speedway president Pat Warren has watched marquis drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr., and his fellow competitors in Sprint Cup races and elsewhere.

Thomson200 / Wikimedia Commons

Back in 2002, Brian Banks was getting closer to his dream of playing for the NFL. Pegged for a scholarship to play for USC, Banks’ future was promising until he was accused of rape and sentenced to five years in prison.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we sit down with Banks to discuss his sentence, which was overturned when it came to light that his accuser had lied to reap settlement money. We'll also discuss his return to football nearly 11 years later.

Guest:

With 30 games complete, there are ominous signs for the Kansas City Royals this season. The latest setback was a 9-4 loss against the Detroit Tigers Sunday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

When the stadium gates opened, more than 22,000 fans filed in for Sunday’s series finale against the Tigers, the American League Central Division leaders and the team the Royals hope to challenge. But the Tigers pounded a total of 42 hits in the series and outscored the Royals, 26-8, in the three games.

Wikimedia / CC

Construction begins Friday on the DeBruce Center, a three-story building that will house the original rules for basketball, typed up by the game’s inventor, James Naismith, in 1892.

 The DeBruce Center will be connected to Allen Fieldhouse by a second-story walkway.

University of Kansas associate athletics director Jim Marchiony says the rules will be part of a display that tells the story of the sport of basketball and KU’s connection to it.

This week’s hiring of Kim Anderson as Missouri’s new men’s basketball coach doesn’t just signal a new era on the basketball court — it also raises hopes for a cleaner slate with issues surrounding Tiger athletics.

Lately for men’s basketball games at Mizzou Arena, there have been more open seats despite them being sold. Even newly-appointed head coach Kim Anderson recognizes that. He concluded his introductory news conference this week with a clamorous message.

vanderlanos / Flickr--CC

A new sport is catching on across the United States, and soon you will be able to play in Kansas City. The sport will make its Missouri debut at the city-owned Heart of America Golf Academy at Swope Park in Kansas City, Mo.

FootGolf has been gaining popularity since its inception in Europe around 2008. According the the sport's Wikipedia page, the first ever FootGolf tournament was organized in the Netherlands in 2009.

Kim Anderson will be the new head men's basketball coach at the University of Missouri, the university announced in a release Monday.

After 12 years as the head coach at University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Kim Anderson's wife, felt the Division II national title this year was the crowning moment for her husband.

"It's nice to be rewarded for hard work, so yeah, absolutely," said Melissa Anderson. "I'm sure anybody would feel like that."

Little did she know that his dream job would be just around the corner: head coach of the Missouri Tigers.

Elana Gordon / KCUR

After last year’s playoff season, the Kansas City Chiefs were thrust into the spotlight with three regular season games on national television this fall, one of which will be at Arrowhead Stadium.

The NFL schedule for the 2014 regular season was released Wednesday night, and for Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid, it’s unfolding in rapid succession.

Courtesy: Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe made his first public appearance Monday since his court case was settled in Riverside last week. 

The marijuana possession charge was dismissed, but Bowe said he learned a lesson.

"I mean you could be guilty of association," said Bowe. "That’s one thing I learned about it.

Wikimedia

Updated 2:29 p.m.:

The University of Tulsa officially tapped Frank Haith, men's basketball coach at the University of Missouri, as its new head basketball coach on Friday afternoon. See the full announcement.

The original story begins here: 

The University of Tulsa is expected to announce Friday that Frank Haith will be named as head basketball coach after three years at the University of Missouri.

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe pled guilty to defective equipment and littering Wednesday in Riverside, Mo. The charge was amended from the original charge of marijuana possession last November. 

Bowe was not present, but his attorney, Kevin Regan, made the statement at Riverside City Hall that would be of most interest to the NFL commissioner’s office in New York.

KCUR-FM

The year got off to a promising start for the Royals and their fans. In January, the teen pop singer known as Lorde won Grammy Awards for Best Performance and Song of the Year for her hit “Royals,” which she claims was inspired by a picture of George Brett that she saw in an old copy of National Geographic. When she performed in Kansas City a few weeks ago, the Royals presented her with an autographed Brett jersey. Lorde, born 11 years after the team’s last playoff appearance, called it “one of the coolest things” she owns—and she owns two Grammies.

Sébastien Barré / Flickr-CC

We are on the verge of what every sports fan dreads worse than the agony of defeat: the occasional lull. The Winter Olympics, timed so perfectly to counter the post-Super Bowl hangover, are winding down, while March Madness and Royals Opening Day remain just out of reach.

Fortunately, I’ve found an antidote, not to mention the perfect answer to two weeks of ice dancing: The bulls are coming to town!

A Day At The K With Up To Date

Apr 4, 2014
Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Take a look behind the scenes with the Up to Date team on our Day Opening  broadcast at Kauffman Stadium.

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

  

    

Last year was arguably the best year for the Kansas City Royals in recent memory - 86 wins put the boys in blue above .500, but just short of the playoffs.

For this hour of Up to Date we take you out to the ballpark for the Royal’s home opener and Steve Kraske introduces you to some of the people who keep the team running.
 

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

 

Social media in Kansas City is abuzz this week with excitement over the Royals’ home opener on Friday.

Diehard fans are swapping predictions on Twitter for the new season via #Royals, #BeRoyalKC, #Royalsnation and other hashtags.

After the success of 2013’s season, KCUR’s Greg Echlin reports that players have high hopes for this season.

Fans do, too, according to our informal Tell KCUR poll on social media this week.

Wikimedia Commons - CC

With the series finale set in Detroit for Thursday afternoon, the Kansas City Royals will head home afterward and play their home opener Friday afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

Coming off the success of last season, the Royals have high hopes this season. Not only on the field but, at the gate as well.

Courtesy: KU Athletics

University of Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins announced Monday he’s declaring for the NBA draft.

The 6' 8'' player was the top high school recruit in 2013 - and this season Wiggins scored 597 points, more than any freshman in KU's history, including a high of 29 points in one game.

The draft takes place in June – and Wiggins is expected to be a first-round draft selection, if not the first. He says that’s where he wants to be.

KCUR

Friday’s home opener for the Royals marks the beginning of the professional baseball season in Kansas City.

And we’re wondering about your predictions for the home team this year.

The Royals haven’t made it to the playoffs since 1985, when they beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. Will they ever have a chance like that again?

Tell KCUR: Is this the year the Royals will make it to the playoffs? Why or why not?

Leave us your prediction in a voicemail at 816-235-2881.

Greg Echlin / KCUR

On Saturday, the 30th anniversary of its only other men’s basketball championship, Central Missouri captured the NCAA Division II title.

The Mules defeated West Liberty of West Virginia, 84-77.

For veteran coach Kim Anderson, the thrill of winning his first national title came when the final piece fell into place. This was it. One last chance for Daylen Robinson to go out with a bang.

He did it years ago with an exclamation point at Northeast High School in Kansas City — 57 points in his final game there.

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