Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for March 12, 2013 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • NFL free agency begins today.
  • If you can't beat 'em, trade for 'em. San Francisco has acquired wide receiver Anquan Boldin from Baltimore for a sixth-round draft pick. Boldin had six catches for 104 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens' 34-31 Super Bowl victory over the 49ers.
  • Minnesota trades wide receiver Percy Harvin to Seattle.
  • The Netherlands ousts Cuba from the World Baseball Classic.

2. The Big East Lives

The tournament that begins today at Madison Square Garden will not be the last Big East Tournament. The Big East lives, starting with the "Catholic seven" schools that will form a basketball conference next season. They keep the name as well as the tournament. It's oddly back to the future. When the Big East was formed in 1979 there were only seven colleges. Now if we can only get Syracuse to change its mind about joining the ACC, it will truly be the "good old days" all over again.

3. Point/Counterpoint

Ya gotta love social media. First they call this dunk by DeAndre Jordan of the Clippers over Brandon Knight of Detroit the dunk of the year. Then somebody hacks Knight's Wikipedia page saying that Knight died as a result his "posterization." And then Knight himself goes on Twitter and makes fun of himself tweeting, "It wasn't in the scouting reports that the Clippers threw lobs lol." Good stuff. A couple of years back it would simply be a dunk.

4. Honk if You Love Baseball

You can't miss the Dutch at the Olympics. Their fans wear orange shirts, make lots of noise and go nuts for rowing and speed skating. Those sports may take a back seat one day to honkbal. That's what they call baseball, a sport that the Netherlands hasn't really succeeded at. Their best Olympic finish in six tries was fifth. But yesterday, thanks to a game winning sacrifice fly they beat a real baseball country, Cuba, in the World Baseball Classic to advance to the semis. Or as the official tweeted "Nederland verslaat in thriller Cuba en plaatst zich voor halve finales WBC!" "Thriller" works in both languages. The Dutch don't have a phrase for "walk-off sacrifice fly." The closest they come is "weglopen opofferingsslag," which must roll off the tongue nicely for the Dutch Vin Scully.

5. Job Openings

With holes everywhere in their lineup, the Yankees say they are interested in retired players like Derek Lee, Scott Rolen and Chipper Jones. What, Morgan Ensberg, Mickey Klutts and Steve Balboni weren't available?

Happy Birthday: He had the sweetest lefty stroke you'll ever see, former outfielder Darryl Strawberry. 51.

Bonus Birthday: I met her last month at the Today Show (I love dropping names) singer Liza Minnelli. 67.

Today in Sports: The record for most points scored in a game by a Boston Celtic is Larry Bird's 60 against Atlanta. 1985.

Bonus Event: Thin Mints! The Girl Scouts get founded. 1912.

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