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HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION—15 YEARS AGO

By Murray Chass

June 4, 2018

When you woke up today, you very likely had no thought of celebrating anything, unless you’re the kind of person who gives thanks just for being able to wake up every day. But when I woke up today, I had an extra special reason to celebrate, and I invite everyone to join me.

Today marks the 15th anniversary of the operation that freed my head from the potential ravages of a malignant brain tumor. I don’t know what, if anything, occupies the space that the tumor held, but it’s a lot better, a lot more welcome than the tumor.

Brain tumors don’t wait for an invitation. They show up unannounced at their own initiative. It’s not known why brain tumors afflicted some people and not others. It’s not known either why some people who get brain tumors get one kind and others get other kinds, why some brain tumors are malignant, others benign.

Then there is the variety of brain tumors within each category. I had one type, hemangiopericytoma. I was fortunate. It was malignant but not fatal.

Senator John McCain of Arizona is dying of the kind of brain tumor that has proved to be irreversibly deadly. It killed Senator Ted Kennedy in 2009. Its ugly name is glioblastoma. It is familiar to baseball fans because it has killed an inexplicably high number of baseball players:

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IN JUDGE-STANTON, ECHOES OF RUTH-GEHRIG

By Murray Chass

May 27, 2018

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have been teammates with the New York Yankees for only a couple of months, and already they have hinted at the possibility that they could hit themselves into a class with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

I am not speculating here, nor am I making some wild guess or even projection. Stanton and Judge have demonstrated on a regular basis that they can strike out often enough to match the Ruth-Gehrig feat of 1927.

In that memorable season Ruth hit 60 home runs, a number that will retain its singular fame despite Roger Maris’ legitimate 61 and Barry Bond’s illegitimate number whatever it was.

But in 1927 Ruth also …

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READY OR NOT, HERE IT COMES

By Murray Chass

May 20, 2018

Coming soon to a race track or casino near you – Major League Baseball, all tied up in a pretty big bow. It might not be as soon as you’d like but start saving your rent money. The legal bookies are waiting.

The bets you place will be courtesy of the United States Supreme Court, which in a 7-2 decision last week paved the way for all 50 states to establish legal betting on MLB, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and the NCAA.

At least two of the leagues, MLB and NBA, have intensified their lobbying efforts to induce the states to create betting on their sports.

A bit of irony here. At the outset of this movement, all four leagues and the NCAA vigorously opposed the idea of legalizing sports betting, claiming it would undermine the integrity of their games.

They quickly relinquished that argument when they realized …

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