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This Week in America with Ric Bratton
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Category: Spoken Word
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by Ric Bratton
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May 01, 2017 12:31 PM PDT

Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Ones That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball by Keith Law

Predictably Irrational meets Moneyball in ESPN veteran writer and statistical analyst Keith Law’s iconoclastic look at the numbers game of baseball, proving why some of the most trusted stats are surprisingly wrong, explaining what numbers actually work, and exploring what the rise of Big Data means for the future of the sport.

For decades, statistics such as batting average, saves recorded, and pitching won-lost records have been used to measure individual players’ and teams’ potential and success. But in the past fifteen years, a revolutionary new standard of measurement—sabermetrics—has been embraced by front offices in Major League Baseball and among fantasy baseball enthusiasts. But while sabermetrics is recognized as being smarter and more accurate, traditionalists, including journalists, fans, and managers, stubbornly believe that the "old" way—a combination of outdated numbers and "gut" instinct—is still the best way. Baseball, they argue, should be run by people, not by numbers.

In this informative and provocative book, the renowned ESPN analyst and senior baseball writer demolishes a century’s worth of accepted wisdom, making the definitive case against the long-established view. Armed with concrete examples from different eras of baseball history, logic, a little math, and lively commentary, he shows how the allegiance to these numbers—dating back to the beginning of the professional game—is firmly rooted not in accuracy or success, but in baseball’s irrational adherence to tradition.

While Law gores sacred cows, from clutch performers to RBIs to the infamous save rule, he also demystifies sabermetrics, explaining what these "new" numbers really are and why they’re vital. He also considers the game’s future, examining how teams are using Data—from PhDs to sophisticated statistical databases—to build future rosters; changes that will transform baseball and all of professional sports.

Keith Law is a senior baseball writer for ESPN Insider and an analyst for ESPN's Baseball Tonight, focusing on all types of baseball analysis. Prior to joining ESPN, Law spent four and a half years working as a Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Toronto Blue Jays, handling all statistical analysis, and was previously a writer for Baseball Prospectus. Law graduated from Harvard College and received an MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon. He lives in Delaware with his wife and daughter.

April 28, 2017 09:07 AM PDT

The Ultimate Business Tune Up: A Simple Yet Powerful Business Model That Will Transform the Lives of Small Business Owners by Rich Allen

Business owners today are constantly faced with difficult challenges and eight of ten new businesses will not survive the first five years. Competition is difficult and building a sustainable, profitable business is arguably the most challenging sport in all of business today. In The Ultimate Business Tune Up Rich Allen combines the experiences of his father’s own small business, his personal experiences running and growing a business, and his learning from advising hundreds of small business owners into a powerful, step-by-step guide for small business owners everywhere. Rich introduces a model that is both easy to understand and powerful when used to make strategic business decisions.

About the Author

Rich Allen works one-to-one with small business owners to tackle the issues and obstacles that face business owners today. He works directly with the business owner to create a business that is built on a solid foundation, has a unique marketplace position, harnesses the power of their business chassis, is grounded in repeatable processes, driven by a high-performance team, and lead by a visionary leader.

Prior to becoming a small business advisor in 2007, he was a Captain in the U.S. Army, VP HR with Texas Instruments, and VP HR then Division President/COO with Pella Corporation where he led the Entry Systems Division of the company. Rich is a proud Rotarian and serves on several boards including Genesis Elevator Company, Atlanta, GA, and ManeGait Therapeutic Horsemanship Charity, McKinney, TX and the Frisco Chamber of Commerce in Frisco, TX.

Rich holds a B.S. in Accounting from Arizona State University and an MBA in International Business from the University of Texas at Dallas. Rich published his first book, “Tour de Profit – a 52 Stage Race to Grow Your Business” in 2011. He hosts a weekly radio show on KVGI Radio and has an iOS App for small business owners titled “Ultimate Business Tune Up”.

April 28, 2017 09:03 AM PDT

You Are 10

Author: Leo F. Batista

This book is about geometry, the female and male form. And what comes to be when they work together. This is about the basic of the numbers and its frequency, it touches the subject of the two energy form that compose the universe. Every movement of the universe have a reflection on this planet, that what you call nature, is that reflection is our best teacher. If you want to understand the universe.

About the Author

Me, am a human being just like you, with the same needs and work that we have to put up to maintain this body. What is important is how awaken are you, how munch understanding you have of the reality all around you. Lest put it this way.
Just like water hold a fish.
Just like air hold a bird.
Dark matter hold the earth.

That what you think is empty space, is actually a field of energy. Which is cold and dark. The only heat and light we get is from the sun. When light appear darkness do not goes away, if it so, how do you account for you shadow. These two fields of energy exist both at the same place at the same time, by doing so they regulate space in the form we call temperature. All knowledge exist everywhere at all time, is up to you when are going to see it. We all learn a litter more every day, I hope this book serve you to do so.

April 28, 2017 08:56 AM PDT


In the ’60s, a Swedish colonel was caught in Stockholm having spied for the Soviets. That event is the biggest scandal in Swedish modern history. However, Names Are Music and So Are You and I is not about that historical fact but that this spy and the author of the text you are looking at right now have the same surname is surely a background that plays its game as the text evolves.
To be to the point, the surname “Wennerström” is here enacted in a shamanistic way where it meets bullies and mental illness and finds a language that heals.

A Mother-Father Complex

This book is about love, which makes a woman both into a lover and a mother of the one who feels outside and makes a negation of a person’s manhood when he thinks it’s only he who counts.
This book also speaks about a father who makes himself into a defender of pleasures, not necessarily his own pleasures but others’ pleasures, most certainly, and also mine.

ANOTHER SIDE OF THOUGHTS by Anders Wennerstrom

What reverberates in this collection of verse by Anders Wennerstrom are the musings most people dare stay silent about, the agony they have long nursed but have not completely recovered from, and the urge of attaching themselves with the one they love who cannot return the same. The thoughts expressed here range from radical, thought-provoking and riveting – the products of observing life to its core.


I am born in wood and sport was my concern as young. Later, at around twenty I started with theatre and that has been my way into art. Even so, I nurtured already in my teenage year to become a writer, and I have since then been writing poems.

After twenty years of writing I published a poetry book in Swedish that was my first publication. Right now I am a postgraduate student at Trinity College in Dublin. Therefore, the step to start writing in English has been a natural step to take. The book you look at now with interest or just as a habit is an evident product of my journey into other language keys than I naturally have embodied, as a way into something new.

April 28, 2017 08:51 AM PDT

Aging Healthfully, Happily & Gracefully
10 Tips for Living a More Sacred, Balanced Life in Body, Mind & Spirit
With Susan Smith Jones, PhD

It was Mark Twain who once wrote: Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. Let’s face it, we all age, but do we always need to look like we’re aging? Is it possible to slow down the aging process? And why is it that some celebrities and other people look the same today as they did 10 years ago, while others look like they’ve aged 30 years in 10 years. Well, our guest , Dr. Susan Smith Jones, PhD, has focused her studies on longevity, anti-aging, and high-level wellness for over 30 years, and she will give us 10 surefire tips to help keep our body, mind and spirit youthful…no matter our age. In one of her latest books, The Curative Kitchen & Lifestyle, she writes that… “The body reflects the mind, and the mind reflects the spirit, and we all have within us the power to age gracefully, live fully and and enjoy a balanced lifestyle.”

April 28, 2017 08:41 AM PDT

Must-Have this Spring & Summer!

Getting Sun-Kissed Skin Doesn’t Have to Take Hours in the Morning… Beauty Guru and Social Media Sensation Laura Lee Comes to the Rescue with Time Saving Tips to Get up and Glow!

Her time-saving tips will improve your morning ritual and give you more time to sleep, eat or make it to work on time. You’ll be out the door and glowing faster than you think! Laura has teamed up with Jergens to introduce you to their new Wet Skin Moisturizer, Jergens Natural Glow® – one of many time saving treatments for your skin. It goes on wet skin right in the shower without any fuss – just put it on, pat yourself dry and go!

Laura's Time-Saving Tips:

-The Shower (most time-saving happens while you bathe)

-The Hassle-free way to achieve gradual, flawless color

-Importance of Moisturizing – It’s now quick and easy

Laura Lee is a leading beauty and lifestyle personality with more than four million followers across her social media platforms. The Alabama native stumbled into online fame in late 2012 while working as a medical assistant and used social media as an outlet to share her love of beauty and make-up. Her passion was immediately infectious and started to convert into followers from around the world. She has worked with numerous cosmetic giants and last year debuted her signature eye shadow palette with Violet Voss where it immediately sold out. She just debuted her very own signature lipstick with MAC Cosmetics.
For more information, please visit:

April 27, 2017 08:06 AM PDT

One in Five Women Will Experience Sexual Assault While in College

The New Investigation Discovery Special "Sexual Assault in College: Tamron Hall Investigates" Shines a Light on This Disturbing Trend Premiering Sunday April 30th at 8pm ET/7pmCT

Ric Speaks with University of Minnesota Rape Victim Turned Sexual Assault Prevention Activist,
Abby Honold

It’s been called an epidemic among college students – in a time of their lives when young people should feel safe. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, an estimated one in five women will experience sexual assault during college. Investigation Discovery teams up with former Today Show co-host and host of the network’s hit series, DEADLINE: CRIME, Tamron Hall, to shine a light on this disturbing trend in the new special Sexual Assault in College: Tamron Hall Investigates. The special follows Hall as she sits down with two sexual assault survivors from the University of Minnesota and the University of Maryland to hear their heart-breaking stories of survival, the pained aftermath of their attacks, and the inspiring steps they’re taking to reduce the number of sexual assaults between college students.

One of the women profiled in the special is 19-year-old University of Minnesota junior Abby Honold. After being raped by another student, Abby immediately called 911. She went to a hospital for an exam. She reported everything that happened to her to the police -- yet no charges were filed. Abby can discuss her year-long battle for justice, and how she now spends her time working in sexual assault prevention and education to help other survivors.
For more information, visit:

April 26, 2017 12:41 PM PDT

Golden: The Miraculous Rise of Steph Curry by Marcus Thompson

The incredible and inspiring story of Stephen Curry, the greatest shooter basketball has ever seen, and the ascension of the Golden State Warriors, a team on the verge of being an NBA dynasty, by long-time Warriors beat reporter and Bay Area News Group sports columnist Marcus Thompson.

When it comes to Stephen Curry—point guard for the Golden State Warriors and reigning MVP of the NBA—journalists, fans, and sports analysts are running out of ways to say “wow.” Deemed too small and too short at 6’3 and 180 pounds by NBA coaches around the league, Curry has taken the game back from the bigger men who usually dominate the court. With his incredible shooting ability that started a “three-point revolution” he led the Warriors to seventy-three wins in the 2015-2016 season, beating out Michael Jordan and the 1996 Chicago Bulls’ long-time record.

Told by Marcus Thompson, a lifelong Warriors insider who has been reporting on the team for twelve seasons, Golden is the definitive story of this singular talent. Thompson explores this all-star player, his love for the game and his team, and his close-knit and supportive family—including his Instagram celebrity chef wife Ayesha and adorable young daughters. From avid fans to newcomers of the sport, Curry has become a role model for both children and aspiring players everywhere. And he leads the ultimate team, a collection of talent and personalities that complement Curry’s game and push him to heights no one ever imagined for a kid from Davidson or this beleaguered franchise. These Warriors have carved out their place in history as one of the most memorable and transformative the NBA has ever seen. And they are led by a superstar who has solidified his place among the greats.

About the Author

Marcus Thompson II is a sports columnist for the Mercury News and East Bay Times, the flagship publications of Bay Area News Group. Before expanding to reporting and opining on the NFL and other San Francisco Bay Area pro and college sports, he covered the Golden State Warriors exclusively as beat writer for ten seasons. Thompson is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University, where he received a BA in mass media arts with a concentration on journalism. He lives with his wife, Dawn, and daughter, Sharon, in Oakland, CA. Golden is his first book.

April 25, 2017 12:18 PM PDT

How College Athletics Are Hurting Girls' Sports: The Pay-to-Play Pipeline by Rick Eckstein

More girls are playing sports than ever before—which, on the surface, is great for girls because sports offer positive and empowering fun for young women. In reality, though, few young athletes report “fun” as a reason they play sports. The rates of concussions and repetitive use injuries are on the rise, and kids are encouraged to specialize in a single sport at earlier and earlier ages, spending much of their free time throughout the year dedicated to the pursuit of a single sport at the expense of friends, other activities, and sometimes, health.

Alarmed by the stories he heard from young athletes in his classes, sports scholar Rick Eckstein set out to investigate youth sports—why young people are playing them, how they have changed over time, and their impact on kids and families. Through three years of extensive research, including surveys, interviews, and more, Eckstein discovered that college athletics are having an alarming impact on youth sports, particularly for girls.

How College Athletics Are Hurting Girls' Sports looks closely at college sports and how they shape the athletic—and personal—landscape for girls and young women. Filled with powerful interview excerpts from women athletes of all ages, as well as coaches, league officials, and others, the book chronicles how college and youth sports have become more commercialized, to the detriment of participants. The book looks at a range of sports, with case studies including soccer, field hockey, ice hockey, figure skating, and Ultimate Frisbee. The author celebrates sports’ potential to have a positive impact on a girl’s life, but he recommends changes in how college and youth athletics are structured to improve the experience of young athletes and to give them their childhood back.

Rick Eckstein is professor of sociology at Villanova University and the author of Public Dollars, Private Stadiums and Nuclear Power and Social Power. His research on sports is cited widely in media such as the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Philadelphia Inquirer, and many others. He has received awards for both his teaching and his writing. He was a volunteer youth sports coach for over fifteen years.

April 20, 2017 10:11 AM PDT

MACRUDD - King of Oz (A Tragedy) by Kevin O'Donnell

The book is in the form of a satirical play, loosely styled on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The main characters are caricatures of the leading figures in Australian politics in recent years.

There is much back-room organising, back-stabbing, number crunching, plotting the downfall of Prime Ministers - not to mention plenty of crude and fruity language (used in context and reflecting the actual words and phrases of the characters on whom it is based).

None of the characters will escape ridicule or emerge completely unscathed from the author’s sharp pen - or the even sharper tongues of their colleagues and co-plotters.

Kevin O’Donnell is a former Australian lawyer, who has been busy as an author since retiring from 43 years of legal practice. He has recently published his first book ‘Tales from the Oldest Profession – as told by a very common lawyer’.

He is now an observer and commentator, with a keen eye on political trends and developments, and has condensed Australian political events into a rollicking tale, with a cast of colourful characters who might or might not resemble some of Australia’s leading politicians of recent times.

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