Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for August 11, 2010 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits
* We haven't had one of these in a while. The benches cleared as the Reds and Cards battled for first. St. Louis won the game 8-4 and the two teams are in a virtual tie.
* Maybe changing managers really works. The Baltimore Orioles are now 7-1 under Buck Showalter.
* Golfer Phil Mickelson reveals he's battling arthritis.

2. Let the Buyer Beware

So, does James Falzon have a case? He's the Mets fan who is suing because he got struck in the face back in 2007 by a shattered maple bat. He claims neither the Mets nor Major League baseball did enough to protect him. He's also suing the bat manufacturer for making the bats and he's even suing two players, Luis Castillo who hit the ball, and Ramon Castro whose bat Castillo used. He claims the players didn't adequately maintain their bats. On his side: MLB set new maple bat standards the following year. Working against him: that disclaimer on every ticket that spectators sit in the stands at their own peril. We have a great many lawyers, real and imagined, who subscribe to the Top 5. Your turn. And no wisecracks Mets fans about Castillo finally hitting something.

3. The Ripple Effect

I thought Tiger Woods showed some humility in discussing his on-course struggles yesterday on the eve of the PGA Championship. He said things are better now without all the paparazzi and helicopters buzzing around him. By the way, Woods' meltdown as a player has wide consequences. Take the TV ratings for example. They plummeted this past weekend. If that trend continues, all players will be affected. Woods increased the salaries and the exposure of every player on the tour. What goes up, comes down.

4. Why Tennis No One?

Lots of reaction to my wondering my no American men are in the top 10 in tennis for the first time ever.

*Steve F. a high school basketball coach writes, "Commitment, it's all about the commitment. We used to spend all day playing a sport. The desire, the hunger, the 'never give up' mentality is missing.
*When I wondered if people in other countries just work harder at sports, John in N.C. suggested maybe they just work harder at everything.
*And from Jerry G. on Facebook, at "Len Berman's Top 5": "This just in, no American men among the top 20 rankings for World Table Top Tennis."


5. Re-living History

August 19th will mark one of the goofiest anniversaries in the annals of baseball. 3'7" Eddie Gaedel came to the plate for the St. Louis Browns. Of course if was owner Bill Veeck's brainstorm. Eddie walked on 4 straight pitches. To commemorate the moment, The River City Rascals in O'Fallon Missouri will send up their own "midget" to bat in the first inning. According to CNBC, he will stand just over 4 feet. No word if he'll be under the same instructions as Eddie Gaedel. Veeck supposedly warned back in 1951 that he would have a rifle in the stands, and if Eddie dared to swing Veeck would shoot him!

Happy Birthday: Terry Gene Bollea, slightly better known as wrestler Hulk Hogan. 57.
Bonus Birthday: Claus von Bulow. His conviction for killing his wife was overturned on appeal. 84.

Today in Sports: The New York Giants fall 13 1/2 games out of first place. I think you know how that movie ended. Hint: "The Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant." 1951.
Bonus Event: Funny guy. President Reagan was testing his radio microphone when he said "My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you that I just signed legislation that would outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." 1984.