SIMON: Baseball's fast starts - some teams founder early and the anniversary of the Big Green Monster. Errrrr. Howard Bryant joins us, senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine; joins us from New England Public Radio in Amherst, Massachusetts. Howard, thanks for being with us.
HOWARD BRYANT: Hey, Scott. How are you?
SIMON: Fine, thanks.
BRYANT: So, who's off to a good start and who hasn't had a good time at all?
A small clarification now: A few weeks ago on this program, Tom Goldman told us that he was about to catch a flight to Denver to cover the NCAA Women's Basketball championships. I joked: By the way, United Airlines, if you're listening, please upgrade Mr. Goldman - our compliments.
Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 11:13 am
Credit floridagirlindc / Flickr.com
Some of the sandwiches in question, getting a press on the grill
Call it the Cuban Sandwich Crisis. Two cities, Tampa and Miami, are locked in a battle to claim the Cuban sandwich as its own. It's a battle for hearts, minds and bellies. And you get to weigh in. Read on!
For the uninitiated, a Cuban sandwich is shredded pork, glazed ham, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, and dill pickles – served either cold or hot-pressed on Cuban bread. Think of it as the ham-and-cheese for the guayabera-wearing set.
A group of military veterans has been riding bikes this week in and around Washington, D.C. Many of the bikes have been reconfigured so that soldiers who lost limbs and suffered wounds in war could feel the power in their grace and the wind in their faces.
They joined the annual, four-day Soldier Ride, held in cities across the country and organized by the Wounded Warriors Project.
The last piece of published writing from one of America's greatest writers was a series of letters he sent back from the front lines of war at the age of 64.
John Steinbeck's reports shocked readers and family so much that they've never been reprinted — until now.
Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 for a life's work writing about those who had been roughed up by history — most notably his Depression-era novels, Of Mice And Men and The Grapes of Wrath. Four years later, Steinbeck left for Vietnam to cover the war firsthand.
Mourners gather at the spot in front of the Greek parliament in Athens where 77-year-old retired pharmacist Dimitris Christoulas shot and killed himself on April 4. Christoulas left a note saying he did not want to end up scrounging for food in garbage bins.
The eurozone crisis has been under way for three years and has led to sharp welfare cutbacks and a credit crunch throughout the continent.
But one of the most serious effects of the financial crisis has been an alarming spike in suicides in debt-burdened Greece, Ireland and Italy.
Last Wednesday, about a 1,000 people gathered in central Rome for a candle-lit vigil to honor Italy's economic victims. Statics show that from 2009 and 2010, some 400 small-business owners took their lives.
There have already been 23 crisis-related suicides since January.
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde announced Friday that the IMF had raised $430 billion, surpassing its stated goal.
International Monetary Fund officials and members of the G-20 nations announced Friday that member countries have pledged $430 billion to add to the Fund's crisis-fighting arsenal.
The Fund's managing director Christine Lagarde came into the annual World Bank-IMF spring meetings in Washington, D.C., with a goal of raising $400 billion from member states. She was clearly happy and relieved as she announced a number larger than that.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
Pictured here on April 13, 2011, Barataria Bay — part of Louisiana's Barataria Basin — was one of the hardest hit areas in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion. Today, obvious signs of the spill have faded, but communities are still reeling from its effects.
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR
Orange Beach, Ala., Environmental Manager Phillip West holds a tar ball that has washed onto the area's sugar-white sand beaches. He says the clumps of weathered oil come in when the surf is rough — an indication that two years later, there's still oil lingering offshore.
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR
Two years later, this Bay Jimmy island is part of 200 miles of Louisiana shoreline still fouled by the BP oil spill. A layer of oil has hardened along the coast, creating a thick layer of asphalt-like tar that's choking the edge of the marsh and accelerating an already alarming rate of coastal erosion.
It's been two years since the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 rig workers and unleashing the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The oil has long stopped flowing and BP spent billions of dollars to clean up oiled beaches and waterways, but the disaster isn't necessarily over.
Oil fouled some 1,100 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline, but today, in most spots, you can't see obvious signs of the spill. In Orange Beach, Ala., the clear emerald waters of the Gulf roll onto sugar-white sand beaches.
In the early 1990s, The Education of Little Tree became a publishing phenomenon. It told the story of an orphan growing up and learning the wisdom of his Native American ancestors, Cherokee Texan author Forrest Carter's purported autobiography.
This week, music is bringing Americans and Russians together in a way that policy discussions never can. And don't call that a cliche in front of the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
If U.S. relations with Russia have hit a sticky patch over Syria and other issues lately, that didn't stop the Chicago Symphony from thrilling a Russian audience this past Wednesday night, just as it did on its last visit — to the then-Soviet Union in 1990.
Girls perform a traditional dance while celebrating Thingyan, Myanmar's new year water festival, in Yangon, on April 15. The new year has brought new hope as the country undergoes rapid political change.
Credit Michael Sullivan for NPR
Par Par Lay, a member of the Moustache Brothers vaudeville troupe whose show includes biting political satire, performs recently in Mandalay, in northern Myanmar. Par Par Lay, who had been imprisoned, says he is not yet convinced the reforms are real.
Credit Soe Than Win / AFP/Getty Images
A supporter cheers on Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar opposition leader, as she visits her constituency during new year festivities in Kawhmu outside Yangon on April 17.
In Myanmar, there are signs in the most unlikely places that people are starting to believe recent political reforms are for real, and aren't just a trick.
Take a recent performance of the Moustache Brothers vaudeville troupe in the northern city of Mandalay.
The troupe performs in the family home — it's not allowed to perform in public. Its biting political satire, aimed at the generals and their cronies, has made the troupe a favorite of Western tourists and diplomats.