The Case for More Insults

By Rafi Kohan

Produced by Sophia Alvarez Boyd

It’s easy to dismiss competitive language, also known as trash talk, as boastful, aggressive and rude. But Rafi Kohan, the author of a recent book on the subject, wants to change your mind about that starting with baseball.

Opening day is tomorrow, and in this audio essay, Kohan argues that trash talk would not only bring some sorely needed excitement to the game but also could improve performance and create healthier relationships among sports teams — and maybe even in your own teams and workplaces.

(A full transcript of this audio essay will be available within 24 hours of publication in the audio player above.)

Credit…Illustration by The New York Times; photograph by Jupiterimages/Getty Images

This episode of “The Opinions” was produced by Sophia Alvarez Boyd. It was edited by Kaari Pitkin and Alison Bruzek. Mixing by Carole Sabouraud. Original music by Isaac Jones and Carole Sabouraud. Fact-checking by Kate Sinclair. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta.

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