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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
An electronic radar system called TrackMan will soon be calling balls and strikes in the Atlantic League, an independent East Coast league that has emerged as MLB's testing ground for new rules and equipment initiatives.
Driving the news: The first step in this adventure began last Thursday at parks in Bridgewater, N.J. (Somerset Patriots) and New Britain, Conn. (New Britain Bees).
The intrigue: Major League Baseball will be watching this experiment closely. A few things they'll be looking for:
The big picture: In a world of instant replays and booth reviews, it's not hard to imagine MLB eventually going this route. Should that day come, consider its impact on umpires and catchers, in particular:
Go deeper: Umpires get worse with age
Founded by ex-Nebraska football players Blake Lawrence and Adi Kunalic, Opendorse is a platform that helps universities, leagues, teams, agencies and sponsors distribute social media content.
How it works: Let's say Alabama's social team takes photos at a game and wants to send them to players, coaches and alumni to share on their social channels.
The big picture: While college athletes can't be compensated now, they can ensure that they're compensated later by building strong social followings during their time on campus.
Chris Long. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Earlier this week, the NFL finally took its first step toward treating marijuana as a pain management tool, rather than a suspension-worthy drug.
Driving the news: The NFL and the NFL Players Association have formed two committees to review the league's use of prescription pain relievers while also researching marijuana and other "alternative therapies."
What they're saying: Recently retired defensive lineman Chris Long discussed his marijuana use during his NFL career on the "Dan Patrick Show" yesterday.
Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Michigan has hired Miami Heat assistant and former Fab Five member Juwan Howard as its next head coach.
P.S. ... Speaking of 1990s NBA All-Stars returning to coach their alma maters, Penny Hardaway has built the country's next freshmen superteam at Memphis.
Ahead of next month’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, TIME's Sean Gregory interviews American star Alex Morgan:
"Morgan is the sport's most marketable American star since Mia Hamm and the linchpin of Team USA's bid to clinch a second consecutive World Cup title this summer. ... But the team's success highlights glaring inequities. Despite the popularity of the women's team, the men are positioned to make substantially more money."
Photo: Godon/UIG via Getty Images
18 years ago today, France's Marco Siffredi became the first person to snowboard down Mount Everest via the Norton Couloir — the steep gorge on the mountain's north face.
Go deeper: The disappearance of Marco Siffredi
The Texas Longhorns just captured their first men's tennis title (months after their coach was arrested in the admissions scandal), giving the school 47 championships across all men's and women's team sports.
Answer at the bottom.
Tchoukball is a team sport developed in the 1970s by a Swiss biologist that combines handball with ... mini trampolines.
🎥 Watch: European Cup highlights
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Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Axios Pick 3 is powered by The Action Network, your one-stop shop for all things sports betting. Check out their betting guide for Bucks vs. Raptors.
🎰 Play now: Make your picks (cutoff time: 8:30pm ET)
Yesterday's results: 43% said the Mets would beat the Nationals … 66% said Gerrit Cole would record under 9.5 strikeouts (he had 7) … 19% said the Yankees and Red Sox would combine for 12-13 runs.
See you tomorrow,
Kendall "TEN HOME RUNS" Baker
Trivia answer: Stanford (122), UCLA (117), USC (107), Oklahoma State (52), Penn State (51) ... Full list