Giants Wreak World Series Havoc

There are fictional giants that stomp on cars and buildings, and then there are the San Francisco Giants, who stomp on Texas Rangers. Neither is a pretty sight. Host Scott Simon and NPR's Tom Goldman discuss the first two games of the World Series and look ahead to Game 3 as the series shifts from San Francisco to Texas. They also discuss the opening of the NBA season.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

Time now for sports.

(Soundbite of music)

SIMON: There are movie screen giants that stomp on cars and buildings, like King Kong and Godzilla. The San Francisco Giants stomp on Texas Rangers, at least so far. Hasn't been pretty.

NPR's Tom Goldman witnessed the carnage at the World Series in San Francisco this week. He joins us now.

Morning, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN: The horror. The horror.

SIMON: Oh, it must have been rough...

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: ...even in that, you know, even in that beautiful ballpark and that great ballpark food, and oh my word.

GOLDMAN: Yeah.

SIMON: So what happened?

GOLDMAN: Well, lots of bad things for the Texas Rangers. Lots of good things for the Giants. How's that for incisive commentary?

SIMON: Oh, thank you. That, boy, that is thanks for reminding me why we treasure your brilliance, Tom.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: You mean the Giants scored a lot of runs and the Rangers didn't?

GOLDMAN: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Next question. No, the Giants obviously surged as a team in all facets, and certainly, and most surprisingly, was hitting. You know, they were relatively speaking a light-hitting, low-scoring team coming into the playoffs, but not anymore. They were huge.

SIMON: Yeah. The series moves to Texas tonight for game three.

GOLDMAN: Yes.

SIMON: Colby Lewis, who I think last year at this time was pitching in Osaka...

GOLDMAN: Hiroshima, I believe.

SIMON: Was it Hiroshima?

GOLDMAN: I believe so. You know, he pitched really well in the American League Championship Series. Of course so did the other Texas pitchers. He's a cool and calm guy. And Scott, here's a little of this insight that you pay me for. Last week in San Francisco, Colby Lewis talked about how he was really impressed with the Japanese recycling ethic and he brought that back with him to the U.S. And so even if he can't beat the Rangers tonight, he is going to help the planet, and I think that's important for pitchers and for anyone, really.

SIMON: Go ahead. Yeah.

GOLDMAN: Yeah, but more of the sports stuff here. The Rangers have only won two of five home games this postseason. But coming back to Texas means they do get to return to a lineup they're used to.

The series is back in an American League park now, so they get to play by American League rules, meaning the designated hitter and they can insert Vladimir Guerrero back into the lineup for his hitting.

SIMON: Yeah. And they're not 16 runs behind, they're just two games behind. You can win two games and you can if they win tonight, it's a competitive series again.

GOLDMAN: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean there's been a lot of talk, is this a must win for Texas? And Texas manager Ron Washington has said I don't think you can go into this game thinking it's a must win. And he said because if you go into it talking about a must win, then you're going to miss a lot that's happening on the field, and we can't afford to miss anything. You know, you take yourself out of the present.

Technically it's only a must win when you're facing elimination if you lose. The Rangers aren't facing that. They're facing a 3-0 deficit. But, considering how they have been steamrolled two straight games, considering no team has come back from a 3-0 World Series deficit, considering that your margin for error is so thin if you're down 3-0 and that keeps you from, you know, playing free and loose, I hate to contradict Ron Washington, but probably tonight is a must win.

SIMON: NBA season started this week. Is this all the story of can anybody beat the Miami Heat this year?

GOLDMAN: Well, it is the story we're telling and there are a lot of teams out there who are really upset with us telling that story, like the Boston Celtics, who thumped the Heat the first night. The Lakers are saying don't forget about us. And, you know, there are a handful of other teams out there, certainly...

SIMON: And you know who thumped Celtics, or at least defeated them by, I think, half a dozen points...

GOLDMAN: Those loveable Cleveland Cavaliers.

SIMON: Absolutely, with a bunch of young no-names in the lineup, and boy, they played pretty well, didn't they?

GOLDMAN: They sure did. But, you know, we should say that last night Miami did look like the Miami that people have been talking about. They just locked down on Orlando, played great defense. People are talking about can Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh share the ball on offense. They're forgetting that defense, though, wins games, and certainly Miami coach Erik Spoelstra hasn't forgotten that. He's really promoting defense and they really looked tough last night against the Magic.

SIMON: Tom Goldman, thanks so much.

GOLDMAN: Youre welcome.

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