After That Win, Call Them The DAAANG! Yankees
SCOTT SIMON, host:
Time now for sports.
(Soundbite of music)
SIMON: I guess you can now call them the Dang Yankees. The Texas Rangers had a five-zip lead and the Yankees lead pitcher in the shower, but the Yanks came back with a five-run rally in the eighth. So how about them Cowboys anyway? NPR's Tom Goldman steps up to the plate with more.
TOM GOLDMAN: Howdy, partner.
(Soundbite of laughter)
SIMON: We're just enjoying this a little too much, aren't we. Look, the Rangers knocked out CC Sabathia in the fourth inning. They had a five-run lead. If you're a Texas Ranger this morning, don't you get up wondering what do we have to do to beat the Yankees?
GOLDMAN: How about wooden stakes through the hearts? Yeah, it's a lot of wooden stakes.
SIMON: Yeah, I was about to say, I mean nine players, what are there, 32 people on the roster? You know the relief pitchers, you know?
GOLDMAN: Yeah, right. Let's go with a better performance from your bullpen. You can't, Scott, have your relief pitchers undo all that the starting pitcher does. Which the Texas relievers did after starter CJ Wilson did a wonderful job of holding in check those big Yankee bats.
Wilson was so good for seven innings, but when he finally tired in the eighth and the Rangers had to go to their relief pitchers, it was a disaster. I mean, a couple of relievers lasted one pitch. It was a disaster.
SIMON: I, of course, treat it as if it must be a demoralizing loss if you're a Texas Ranger, but of course these guys are professionals and they'll, they'll play for half a dozen teams in the course of their career. So how do they come back?
GOLDMAN: They have very short memories, which is good, and they move on a lot quicker than those of watching the games. The Rangers don't have to sit for long on this one, which helps them. It helps that they're playing Game 2 this afternoon. So Scott, I don't think the trauma of last night will sink the Rangers. But as I mentioned, their bullpen might if they have another night like that.
SIMON: Moving over to the National League series, what a matchup - Roy Halladay, who had a no-hitter for the Phillies in the division series against the San Francisco Giants, and Tim Lincecum is their pitcher, and he pitched was what was in some ways an equally impressive shutout. Who do you see having the advantage here?
GOLDMAN: Lincecum with 14 strikeouts, and he allowed two hits, but compared to Roy Halladay, that wasn't as good. In answer to your question, I think you gotta like Phillie, because of the scarier lineup when they're up at bat.
You know, it's all about who can break through against these super-pitchers. And you've got to give the Phillies the advantage. They've got a deep lineup, and power hitters like Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.
SIMON: And Tom, let me ask you about two of the biggest names in the NFL. Ben Roethlisberger returns to the Steelers after a four game suspension after sex abuse allegations. And of course Brett Favre of the Vikings accused of sending what I'll refer to as pretty sensationally inappropriate sexting messages to a Jets sideline reporter.
These are very serious charges harassment, and ever worse in the Roethlisberger case. How's the NFL reacting?
GOLDMAN: Well, there was the suspension of Roethlisberger. No criminal charges were filed in that case, although the allegations are damning. The Favre case, we don't know exactly what's happening yet. It's being investigated. You know, these athletes have to be held accountable, Scott, for their alleged actions. But the NFL also needs to look at some of the mixed messages it's sending.
GOLDMAN: Well, you know, you've got the NFL being responsive in the Favre case. You've got the NFL developing a workplace conduct program for teams after the recent incident in which a female TV reporter was heckled in the New York Jets locker room. But then you've also got the league this week hiring a sexy swimsuit model to help sell the game overseas. You've got this constant image of cheerleaders bumping and grinding in most NFL stadiums, and you've got an annual racial and gender report card on that ranks hiring practices in this country's major sports leagues giving the NFL a pretty low grade.
So a lot of crosscurrents going on here. The NFL is a man's league traditionally, but now it's facing some issues about how it relates to women.
SIMON: NPR's Tom Goldman, thanks so much for being with us.
GOLDMAN: You're welcome.
SIMON: And you're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.