Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for May 6, 2010 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

* Wearing 'Los Suns" on their jerseys as a statement about Arizona's controversial immigration law, Phoenix beat San Antonio 110-102 to take a 2-0 series lead. Some subscribers wondered why the jerseys didn't say "Los Sols?"
* Milton Bradley of Seattle got upset over his being replaced and left the stadium during a game. He has now taken a leave and has asked the Mariners for help dealing with emotional stress.
* The Players Championship gets underway today at TPC Sawgrass.
* Wade McGilberry of Semmes, Alabama, won $1 million dollars for being the first to pitch a perfect game in the video game Major League Baseball 2K10. He "pitched" as an Atlanta Brave against, you got it, the Mets.

2. The Flip Side

The other day, the Top 5 was replete with all the knuckleheads in sports filling up the police blotter. My next book could be The 25 Biggest Creeps in Sports, but as subscriber Susan S. points out, it would be too hard to limit it to 25. But there are some good guys out there. Red Sox fans will never forget Dave Roberts. His 9th inning steal in game 4 of the playoffs was the catalyst for Boston's incredible comeback against the Yankees in 2004. Now he's a special assistant for the San Diego Padres. During spring training he found out he had cancer. That's a pretty good excuse to pack it in. But Dave continued to help the Padres with their base running despite two rounds on chemotherapy. All the while he kept his spirits high. He says he hopes to beat it. We're rooting for you, Dave.
P.S. thanks to Roberts, the Padres lead the majors in steals.

3. Remembering Ernie Harwell

From "Tbird, "I was lucky enough two years ago to get an autographed CD from him with some of his games called and personal quotes and stories. I can for as long as I am on this earth be able to listen to that beautiful voice."

I wrote on Facebook "Len Berman's Top 5," "Ernie Harwell is one of the last of an era. Vin Scully is the last man standing. Jack Buck, Bob Prince, Mel Allen, Red Barber, Harry Caray all come to mind. They were "voices of our youth" or "sounds of summer." They are sorely missed, and fondly remembered."
Marilyn P. replied "I like to think they're all together, kibitzing around and calling the games of the great players who have left us as well."
Now that's an All Star game I'd pay to see and hear!

Gary M. adds this video link of Ernie recalling his Hall of Fame speech. Don't miss it.

4. To Tase or not to Tase?

I was surprised how polarizing the issue of police using a Taser gun to drop a Phillies fan who ran on the field. Robert P. wrote "Tasers should be used only when the use of a gun is justified, but not essential, when an officer's life might be in peril, (e.g. a drug crazed suspect), when, after being warned a suspect won't comply with orders." He said the fan should have been tackled. From attorney R.K. "The cop overreacted. The guy was going nowhere. How is he getting away? Were there 40,000 live witnesses and a couple of hundred thousand hi-def tv witnesses to ID him?" But from R.K. the mother of a boy the age of the "Tasee," "In this day and age of lunatics who are stalkers or the like and may actually hurt one of the ballplayers anyone who runs on the field should be treated like a criminal." And P.M. invokes the name of tennis player Monica Seles who was stabbed by a fan at a match, "The kid was not where he belonged, and he needs to pay the consequences. Give the cop a medal, not an investigation!"

5. A Match Made In...

Anna Kournikova will team up with Martina Hingis at Wimbledon in the legends doubles event. Neither has played for awhile, and if you root for comebacks this is your team. In Martina, you've got a player who was suspended for two years after testing positive for cocaine at Wimbledon. In Anna, you've got the most famous (not to mention attractive) tennis pro that never won a singles title....ever. The two of them will give tennis fans a lot to talk about, not to mention look at.

Last call: Send me at least 3 email addresses of friends or colleagues who might enjoy the Top 5 and be eligible to receive free autographed copies of my best selling kids book The Greatest Moments in Sports. I'll be announcing the lucky winners next week.

Happy Birthday: The Devils superstar goalie, Martin Brodeur. 38.
Bonus Birthday: Equal time for our women readers. Actor George Clooney. 49.

Today in Sports: A watershed day in the history of rain delays, so to speak. The Pittsburgh Pirates become the first team to cover the grass with a tarp in the rain. 1906.
Bonus Event: Oh no! I Love Lucy signs off CBS. 1957.