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The veteran sportswriter Allen Barra made the relationship between two of the greatest and most iconic players of their generation the subject of his new book. But the relationship between Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle was also about the relationships between stars and fans, legend and memory, and everything else.

It's the thing that broadcasters talk about and columnists decry in its absence, but "making adjustments" doesn't quite sum up the counterpunching dynamism of the NBA Playoffs. At this point, the glass-jawed coaches are at home, icing vigorously and updating their resumes. What's left are the best teams, sure, but also the tacticians savvy enough to compete in the playoffs' high-speed, high-stakes chessboxing matches.

There's no way to tell what Nate Robinson will do from one moment to the next. Nate himself seems as surprised as anyone, if not more so. This is what makes him infuriating, and also what makes him great. This is why we watch.

A young John Wayne. A chicken farm in peril. A hockey team that's sort of like the New York Rangers, and John Wayne playing hockey for that team to save his chicken farm. It's 1937, and it's about as weird as it sounds.

Even in a league of massively gangly humans, Tayshaun Prince stands out thanks to what might be the NBA's most instantly recognziable pair of arms. It's what he does with them, and how unassumingly and well he does it, that makes him one of the NBA's more reliably underrated players.

David Eckstein has been retired for years, and wasn't all that remarkable during his playing days. So why does he still stand for so much to both sides in baseball's long-running argument about numbers, heart and the relationship between the two?

What will Sacramento's widely reviled owners be up to in a couple years? Something terrible, most likely. Here's one guess.

David Roth

 et al.

In which we welcome our robot overlords, wonder when the Arizona Diamondbacks will secede, digress in defense of digressive broadcasters and so on. Also Dan Shaughnessey.

With the FA Cup final between Wigan and Manchester set for noon Saturday, American fans will descend upon pubs through the country to watch England's most important annual football game. It can be a daunting scene for newcomers, which is why we pulled together a brief guide for fans looking to fake it effectively. 

New York City may be about to get its own MLS team, courtesy of Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour. But it won't be the New York Cosmos, in name or coolness or spirit or any other sense, and that's a pity.