The new alliance between PRX and the media group Religion of Sports has delivered its first series. In a seven-episode series called Crushed, they aim to have a reckoning with Major League Baseball’s steroid era. Hosted by former Sports Illustrated staff writer Joan Niesen, the show drops just in time for the start of a new MLB season.
"I went crazy for baseball in 1998," said Niesen. " But over the years, I realized I'd come to the game at a unique and complicated moment, and it's been fascinating to dig in deeper to the steroid era and its enduring legacy. I've learned a lot, and I think this podcast will help listeners separate the truth of that time from the myths."
Crushed will feature interviews with former players, including Rick Honeycutt, Dan Naulty, Royce Clayton, Mike Trombley, and Jeremy Cummings. They will discuss the pressures they faced to stay competitive, baseball's culture of cheating, and how steroids took hold in the sport.
The series will also feature former Giants and Dodgers head athletic trainer Stan Conte; Tom Davis, the chairman of the 2005 Congressional steroid hearings; former U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich; Roger Maris Jr., whose father was the previous home run record holder; longtime St. Louis sportscaster Frank Cusumano; ESPN reporter Howard Bryant; and Associated Press reporter Steve Wilstein, who broke the story that player Mark McGwire was using a steroid precursor, androstenedione, in 1998.
"My memories of the highs and lows of the steroid era are so vivid. From watching McGwire hitting 62 to him sitting in front of Congress pleading the fifth," said co-Executive Producer Adam Schlossman. "Crushed will challenge the assumptions and even the memories that so many of us have about the steroid era, while asking questions central to baseball's present and future.”
New episodes will be released on Thursdays from April 1 through May 13.
Religion of Sports – the company formed by NFL quarterback Tom Brady and former New York Giants defensive end turned “Good Morning America” host Michael Strahan – announced in October that it had partnered with PRX to collaborate and promote its podcasts as the sports media company unveils a slate of shows in 2021.
PRX will serve as a distribution partner and provide support through podcast sponsorship services and promotion, as well as editorial and production collaboration.