Stories by Kendall Baker

Major League Soccer to expand to St. Louis

Postcard that says greetings from St. Louis Missouri
Photo: Found Image Holdings/Corbis via Getty Images

Major League Soccer will hold a press conference in St. Louis Tuesday where Commissioner Don Garber will announce that the city has been awarded an expansion team, sources tell Axios.

The big picture: MLS is in the process of expanding to 30 teams, and this would be franchise No. 28. Friendly reminder: In 2006, MLS had just 11 teams.

The knuckleball pitch is going extinct

Data: Baseball Savant; Chart: Axios Visuals

The knuckleball has never been a popular pitch by any means (fewer than 100 MLB pitchers have used it as their primary pitch, per FanGraphs), but did you ever think it'd go extinct?

By the numbers: Just 727 knuckleballs were thrown in the majors last season, the fewest in the pitch-tracking era (2008-present). And since the guy who threw 719 of them, Boston's Steven Wright, has been limited to just six innings this year, we're on track for another record low.

Chinese billionaire to complete Brooklyn Nets purchase for $2.35B

Joseph Tsai, the billionaire co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba
Joseph Tsai. Photo: studioEAST/Getty Images

Joseph Tsai, the billionaire co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is nearing a deal to purchase the remainder (51%) of the Brooklyn Nets that he does not already own from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, New York Post reports.

Why it matters: The $2.35 billion purchase will be the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise, surpassing the $2.2 billion each paid by David Tepper for the Carolina Panthers last year and Tilman Fertitta for the Houston Rockets in 2017.