Sports: Tigers Make Playoffs; NBA Lockout Blues Baseball fans are cheering in Detroit and heaving a sigh of relief. But in New England, pro basketball fans are bracing for the sounds of silence. NPR sports correspondent and noisemaker Tom Goldman talks host Scott Simon through all this and more.
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Sports: Tigers Make Playoffs; NBA Lockout Blues

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Sports: Tigers Make Playoffs; NBA Lockout Blues

Sports: Tigers Make Playoffs; NBA Lockout Blues

Sports: Tigers Make Playoffs; NBA Lockout Blues

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/140557581/140557564" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Baseball fans are cheering in Detroit and heaving a sigh of relief. But in New England, pro basketball fans are bracing for the sounds of silence. NPR sports correspondent and noisemaker Tom Goldman talks host Scott Simon through all this and more.

SCOTT SIMON, Host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon, and I wait all week to say: Time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman joins us from the great Northwest. Good morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN: Hello, Scott.

SIMON: Let's start in Boston, if we can, my friend. A big win last night over Tampa Bay, stopping at least for a few hours all this talk about the Red Sox might be on the verge of a historic September collapse, and Tampa Bay might be on the verge of a great comeback.

GOLDMAN: You said his story, not hysteric.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SIMON: Either would apply.

GOLDMAN: So for the moment, crisis averted.

SIMON: You know, some of my best friends are lost in Red Sox fans. And Chicago Cub's fans, you know, used to feel a sense of affinity. But these guys have one two World Series and they, you know, have a payroll that rivals the Yankees...

GOLDMAN: Right, and the Cubs lost one in the 1400s, I think it was.

SIMON: I believe so when they use the javelins instead of bats.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SIMON: But in any event, so are Boston fans wisely anxious or paranoid when they get into a losing streak?

GOLDMAN: So I'm assuming Richard, you're up and rested and ready for more stomach churning because there are games today and tomorrow against Tampa Bay. History still could happen.

SIMON: Meanwhile, in Detroit, three to one win last night over the A's in Oakland. They clinched their first division title since 1987. Their first AL Central title ever. They look good.

GOLDMAN: Sure do. You know, up and down the roster they've gotten several new players in the last year who've really performed well. And the Tigers did this with a great second half of the season, after they were down and seemingly out early on.

SIMON: I wore my Cleveland Cavaliers jacket. Actually, one of my two Cleveland Cavaliers jacket...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SIMON: ...to the studio this morning. Might be as close as I get to basketball all year. Is anything moving there?

GOLDMAN: Players are willing to give back a lot in salary but they despise the idea of a hard cap. They want to be able to kind of go over the spending ceiling in certain circumstances. So if they can't work this stuff out soon, the season - which is scheduled to start November 1st - is not going to start on time.

SIMON: And last, Tom, you know, it's a bad fan behavior - even criminal fan behavior this year - but you've got a nice story from the stands.

GOLDMAN: This woman is a mother of four and a full-time student. She was awed by this.

SIMON: Aw. And lucky she wasn't at Yankee Stadium. Thank you so much.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SIMON: NPR's Tom Goldman.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

GOLDMAN: You're welcome.

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