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The Cardinals As The New Yankees: The Week In Sports


This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. You know, October isn't just for pumpkin spicy drinks, it's time for sports.

And baseball playoffs this year - the Angels, Cards, Dodgers, Tigers and Giants are back, but some less common names too - the Nats the O's, the Kansas City Cinderella Royals. We are joined now by Kavitha Davidson, sports columnist for Bloomberg View and she joins us live from the SiriusXM studios in New York.

Kavitha, thanks for being back with us.



KAVITHA DAVIDSON: Thanks for having me again.

SIMON: Let's start. The Baltimore Orioles - just a win away from sending home the vaunted Detroit Tigers. Jason Verlander had a 5-3 lead when he was pulled yesterday. The O's went on to win 7-6. Does Detroit not just have enough replacement parts in their bullpen?

DAVIDSON: It really does seem like a big problem with Detroit's bullpen and you know, the Orioles have managed to put together two really huge innings in these two games that they've come past the Tigers. And you know, the bad news for the Tigers is that the last 13 teams to fall down 0-2 in the Divisional Series have gone on to lose their series. So things are looking pretty good in Baltimore right now.

SIMON: San Francisco Giants defeated the Washington Nationals 3-2, but you wouldn't see that game and think the Nats are overmatched.

DAVIDSON: You really wouldn't, especially putting, you know, Jake Peavy in there for game one, but suddenly, you know, he's a postseason God. And you know, he did a - he shot down that vaunted Nats lineup. It's a very deep lineup. And you know, suddenly the Giants are looking pretty good against a team that I think was pretty evenly matched with them going in.

SIMON: Meanwhile the Kansas City Royals win another extra-inning game and they are now two up on the Los Angeles, West Covina, Santa Monica, Cucamonga Angels at Anaheim. And that Cinderella team, they look like Joe DiMaggio's Yankees right now.

DAVIDSON: Well, this is a fantastic story. You know, you can't help but feel you know, great for the city of Kansas City and their fans. And you talk about a fan base that could really use one - you know, I think that you're absolutely right. This is a great Cinderella story. And to win two in extra innings in dramatic fashion in the way that they've won these, to go in with, you know, their payroll, to go into a team that spends, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars as the Angels do, it's a pretty great thing for Kansas City. And it's really great for those of us who don't have a team in there. We can maybe adopt Kansas City and feel good about that choice.

SIMON: A Cubs fan is not going to cry for a Yankees fan, but I digress.

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the LA Dodgers, who a lot of people think might have the best lineup in baseball, even though they had Clayton Kershaw on the mound. On top of everything else, these teams just don't like each other, do they?

DAVIDSON: These teams do not like each other. Things are going to be getting testy, I think, in the next coming days. You know, Clayton Kershaw - you take everything that you learned in the regular season and you kind of have to throw it out the window once October hits because he hadn't lost a game all season when he had a three-run lead and then suddenly, has an absolute meltdown and St. Louis really just breaks through. You know, this is going to be a fun series, but you know, I think that at the end of the day the - you know, Zack Greinke will come in and shut this down in game two for the Dodgers.

SIMON: Have the Cards become that team that the rest of the country likes to hate?

DAVIDSON: You know, it's funny - the last two years we haven't had my Yankees in there to hate and you know, it's the usual evil empire. So it's a weird thing that we're starting to see with the Cardinals. Their fans are starting to get a little bit more cocky. Their mayor's getting in on some of the trash talk. You know, they like to point out that they've made the postseason every year except for '07, '08 and of course you know, they've won 11 total championships. So you see a little bit of a weird backlash against a Midwestern team that's not really known for having as much bravado as one of the you know, the East Coast teams probably does.

So yeah, you do see a little bit of this backlash and you do see a little bit of you know, Cardinals homer-ism, but you know...

SIMON: We have to go, Kavitha.

DAVIDSON: OK. Thank you.

SIMON: Nice talking to you. Take care. Bye-bye. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.