Tom Goldman

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The Week In Sports

Oct 10, 2020

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

And it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: And a couple of games last night reminded us of the human drama sports can deliver, even when there are only cardboard fans in the seats. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Tom, thanks so much for being with us.

For Major League Baseball, it's on to the postseason.

This year, that's saying a lot.

The sport wrapped up its regular season Sunday and got through it without being in a protective bubble like other leagues. There were COVID-19 outbreaks and postponed games.

There still could be problems in the playoffs.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

I wait all week to say it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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A semi-full slate of college football games is scheduled for this weekend as a season unfolds....anxiously.

Already, two of the five major Division 1 conference have decided not to play this fall because of the coronavirus.

The NBA playoffs will resume.

But not before a second day of postponed games.

In a statement, the league said Thursday's playoff games won't be played as scheduled.

"We are hopeful to resume games either Friday or Saturday."

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The pandemic had already shortened the baseball season. And now less than a week into it, there are big problems with the coronavirus.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

The Summer Olympics in Tokyo were supposed to start Friday.

The Games were, of course, postponed until next July because of the coronavirus outbreak. It forced thousands of athletes to pause and re-order their training schedules.

But some decided a year was too long to wait.

The run-don't-walk Major League Baseball season begins Thursday night.

Normally it's a 162-game stroll. But the Washington Nationals vs New York Yankees opener, in D.C., represents the beginning of a 60-game sprint through a pandemic shortened schedule.

Florida continues to see record coronavirus cases and, at the same time, delays in getting test results.

But that's not the case for NBA and Major League Soccer athletes playing in the Orlando area. Their season restarts have included frequent and quick COVID-19 testing.

The discrepancy is raising ethical questions about the process.

Not helpful, and potentially dangerous

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been criticized for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, including opening the state early, in the beginning of May.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Washington's NFL team is changing its name. In a statement today, the Redskins confirmed they are retiring that name and their logo. NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman is following this story. Tom, good morning.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Morning, Steve.

Not long ago, a Major League Baseball season seemed improbable, with owners and players fighting about how to restart in the middle of a pandemic.

Now, the fighting is over, at least publicly.

And the Majors are a little more than two weeks away from playing ball. If all goes well.

Updated at 7:54 p.m. ET

Ready or not, the NBA restart is a go.

It appears the league is as ready as it can be to play three months of basketball inside a protective bubble near Orlando, Fla., while on the outside coronavirus cases currently soar.

Whether it's a success – at this point all one can do is dust off the oldest of clichés.

Time will tell.

NASCAR has finished its investigation and says it still doesn't know who tied a noose that was discovered this past weekend in the garage stall used by African American stock car driver Bubba Wallace at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

What's in a name?

In the current climate, a lot. And enough to force change when that name offends.

On Tuesday, the University of Cincinnati board of trustees voted unanimously to take down the name of Marge Schott from the school's baseball stadium, effective immediately.

The board cited Schott's "record of racism and bigotry" in making its decision.

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