Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 26, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The NFL draft is tonight.
  • Washington ousts the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins in game 7, 2-1 in overtime.
  • Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda is out for the year with shoulder surgery.
  • The sky has stopped falling on the Red Sox. Boston swept three from the Twins.
  • Bubba Watson gets back to work today in New Orleans for the first time since winning the Masters. He's the defending champ at the Zurich Classic.

2. 7th Heaven

There are two game 7s tonight in the NHL Playoffs. The Rangers hosting Ottawa, Florida hosting the Devils. The good thing about the Top 5 is that often times subscribers put it best. Here's what Panthers fan Lee E. says about tonight's game for which he has tickets. "There is something unique about playoff hockey where all 60+ minutes are incredibly tense -- one goal can be the difference between winning and losing. Game 7 magnifies every rush down ice. The prolonged intensity is different than in any sport. The closest that comes to equaling it is a heavyweight championship fight -- where one punch can make the difference."

Well put, Lee.

3. Dollars and Sense

Who is it who claims the high salaries of Major League Baseball players are more justifiable than the huge income of Wall Street and corporate CEOs? None other than 95-year-old Marvin Miller the former head of the player's association. Two thoughts. 1) He's probably right. 2) Why isn't this man in the Hall of Fame? Hasn't he done more for baseball players than just about anyone this side of Branch Rickey?

4. Under the Influence

You guys had lots to say about the Forbes poll of most influential athletes in America. NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson was #1. There were 6 NFL quarterbacks in the top 10 but no baseball, hockey, golf or tennis stars.

A.M. The most glaring oversight is Derek Jeter. He represents what's good in professional sports. He honors his business, family and fans.

I.T. Tiger Woods is influential... He influenced men everywhere to "keep it in their pants."

P.M. Yes, Jimmie Johnson influences my life considerably, I don't make any decisions until I know what he would do.

C.T. The list should be re-named the "INK-fluential" list... he who gets the most media attention makes the list.

G.G. They "influence" me to watch them play sports on TV. I don't care what kind of car they drive, or even if they have had their license suspended. The whole list is moronic.

M.R. It's strange to see any top-10 involving athletes that doesn't include Mohammad Ali. God, we must be in the 21st century. I miss him!

5. I Can Do That

Uh, no you can't. So when 49-year old Jamie Moyer of the Colorado Rockies became the oldest pitcher to win a Major League game, his fastball topped out at 78 mph. Enter the Fort Myers Miracle, the Class-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. Any fan who could top 78 mph would win a free ticket to a game. Around 85 fans tried it. The best anyone could do was 76. Kind of increases our appreciation of the guys who throw well into the 90s, doesn't it?

Happy Birthday: Gold medal winning swimmer and broadcaster Donna de Varona. 65.

Bonus Birthday: The great Carol Burnett. 79.

Today in Sports: Lou Gehrig hit a "home run" in Washington. Baserunner Lyn Lary thought the ball was caught and headed back to the dugout. Gehrig was called out for "passing the runner" and lost his homer. As a result he tied for the league lead with Babe Ruth (46). 1931.

Bonus Event: This is going to be interesting. New York's famed Studio 54 opens. 1977.

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