Sports: Baseball's Bright Lights; NFL, NBA Labor Pains

Originally published on June 25, 2011 10:25 am
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SCOTT SIMON, Host:

Good morning Tom.

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TOM GOLDMAN: Good morning and thanks a lot.

SIMON: Well, good to be with you. Now, look, baseball players are famous, I must say, for sometimes the alibis they come up with for why they didn't catch a baseball. And often they'll say that if they miss a ball in the outfield that the sun got in their eyes. And, of course, gosh knows in the middle of summer it can. But Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton had a truly inspired explanation this week.

GOLDMAN: He's batting a reported .122, his batting average during daylight hours this year. And he's blaming his baby blue eyes.

SIMON: This is why Frank Sinatra never got farther in the bigs. Yeah.

GOLDMAN: Now, baseball players' eyes are the most important physical attributes they have. But I talked to an ophthalmologist who said it sounds a little fishy, considering Hamilton hit a respectable .286 last year during daylight hours when he was the American League Most Valuable Player. So what, his eyes just turned blue, Scott? So...

SIMON: Tinted contact lenses, is that the solution?

GOLDMAN: Yeah, well, he is actually trying some new contacts. But I think we need some information and more specialists to weigh in before all the blame can be put on his blue eyes. I should mention, though, yesterday he hit a home run in the Rangers' win over the Mets. It was a night game.

SIMON: Look, what are the odds that the NBA owners and players are going to reach some kind of an agreement?

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GOLDMAN: And, Scott, you're starting to hear pundits and analysts throw around terms like Armageddon and draconian when it comes to owners' proposals in particular. The two sides are scheduled to meet in the middle of next week, but a lockout is looking more real when the current CBA - collective bargaining agreement - expires after next Thursday.

SIMON: NBA draft this week; it seemed pretty underwhelming. One of the things I noticed. A lot of the players getting drafted don't seem to have been in college long enough to get an overdue book fine.

GOLDMAN: It also says a lot that the news item about an NBA player wanting to change his name created just about as much buzz as the draft.

SIMON: Ron Artest - the basketball player formerly known as Ron Artest. Give us his name.

GOLDMAN: One thing we do know, thanks to NPR's Tony Marcano for this one, if he does foul out of the game, he leaves the court, the public address can announce Peace out.

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SIMON: Thanks very much.

GOLDMAN: You're welcome.

SIMON: You're listening to NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.