Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy September everyone, here's my Top 5 for September 1, 2010 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

* Shoot. Former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress' application for work release is denied. He remains behind bars and can't apply again until next June.
* Reds rookie Aroldis Chapman, the Cuban defector, made his Major League debut last night. He pitched a perfect inning against Milwaukee, topping out at 102 mph.
* Washington pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg will undergo "Tommy John" elbow surgery Friday.
* Manny Ramirez only got as far as the on-deck circle with his new team, the Chicago White Sox. While he was standing there, A.J. Pierzynski hit a 3 run homer to beat Cleveland. Ramirez will start this afternoon, but will he get a haircut?
* The big names all advanced at the U.S. Open.

2. Mistake By The Lake

Sad to see that the Cleveland Browns and Jim Brown have had a falling out. Jim is only the best football player I've ever seen, period. Browns fans were great in making sure when their team bolted for Baltimore, their history didn't. Unlike the Colts history now residing in Indianapolis. So this doesn't make sense. And in a short span Cleveland has divorced itself from its two biggest stars, past and present. Let's hope this isn't irreconcilable. Alas, if it is, Cleveland will always have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

3. Oh Brother

I don't like to analyze sportscasters. Being one myself, I can see the job from all sides. So I leave it to the viewers to form their own judgments. But after listening to the McEnroe brothers call tennis the other night, I have a question. Is there a better announcing team in any sport? Forget their expertise, humor and easy listening quality. They don't sound like they're trying to announce. They're more like two guys at a bar, hoisting a cold one, and chatting up the room. Very cool. Now if ESPN could only lose that ticker on major sports events. I get it. Roger Clemens pleaded not guilty. But every 30 seconds?

4. Just The Facts Mamie

Older readers will recall the name Mamie van Doren. She's lots of things. Actress/Playboy model/Fiancee of the late Angels pitcher Bo Belinsky. You can add "not a Manny fan" to her resume. Reader K.V. shared this posting from Mamie on her Facebook page. "Last night Manny Ramirez proved what a brass-plated asshole he really is. He made a pinch hit appearance in the sixth inning. With the Dodgers down to the Colorado Rockies 10-5 and the bases loaded, Manny had a chance to leave L.A. a hero. Instead he argued the first pitch strike and the ump tossed him. Bye-bye, Manny and don't let the door hit you in the ass. Good luck, White Sox. You'll need it."
You gotta love her spunk!

5. Fore! Or Rather Fire!

I've heard of bad golf swings. A golfer in Irvine California hit his ball in the rough the other day. His next swing caught a rock and sparked a blaze that needed 150 firefighters to extinguish. The official score? 12 burned acres. But I have a feeling if you asked the golfer he'd say "put down an 8."

Today's Birthday: The great undefeated heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano was born on this date in 1923.
Bonus Birthday: Lily Tomlin of Laugh-In fame. 71.

Today in Sports: The Pittsburgh Pirates start 9 black players. A Major League first. 1971.
Bonus Event: But did Charlie ever return? Boston opens the first underground rapid transit system. 1897.