Welcome to the latest episode of Hot Takedown, FiveThirtyEight’s sports podcast. On this week’s show (July 19, 2016), we chat with FiveThirtyEight’s Christie Aschwanden about the Russian doping scandal and ask her whether it is a sign that the World Anti-Doping Agency is falling down on the job. We then talk to Rob Arthur about why the home run has returned to baseball, and he walks us through his investigation into the mystery. Finally, we welcome Jacob Wolf from ESPN Esports to tell us about Juan “Hungrybox” DeBiedma, the new champion of Super Smash Bros. Melee, and we ask him if this means Hungrybox has gone from being a god to a G.O.A.T. Plus, a significant digit on ex-MLB players entering a tournament against a bunch of college kids.
Links to what we discuss are here:
- Christie Aschwanden asks if it’s fair to ban all Russian athletes from the Olympics.
- The New York Times in May reported on a whistleblower’s allegations that Russian athletes were doping at the 2014 Olympics.
- The Guardian breaks down what we learned from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s report on Russia this week.
- Rob Arthur and Ben Lindbergh wrote about the return of the home run before the MLB season started. Look for the follow-up on FiveThirtyEight soon.
- The New York Times breaks down all the theories about why there’s been a rise in home runs.
- Jacob Wolf explains the significance of Hungrybox’s win at the Evolution Championship Series.
- Tyler Erzberger describes the drama of the night as Hungrybox clinched the title with a last-minute victory.
- Ben Casselman looked at the growth of eSports in ESPN The Magazine.
- Significant Digit: 100. That’s the number of games that Adam LaRoche’s team full of former Major League Baseball players would win if they were playing together at their peak. LaRoche’s Kansas Stars will play in the National Baseball Congress World Series this summer. The tournament features mostly college summer teams.
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