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Len Berman's Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for July 27, 2009 from LenBermanSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

Cubs win, Cubs win! The Cubbies have taken over first place. As cool as a Yankee/Dodger (Torre) World Series would be, a Fenway/Wrigley Fall Classic would be even cooler.

Now there's an authority. Bills wide receiver Terrell Owens says Michael Vick should be reinstated immediately. He told ESPN that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to understand the situation "needs to go
sit in a jail for 23 months."

Alberto Contador of Spain wins his second Tour de France. Seven-time winner Lance Armstrong finished 3rd.

Former Boxing champ Vernon Forrest was shot to death in Atlanta in an apparent robbery attempt. He is the third famous boxer to die this month.

2. Hall of Fame

I had feared we would need subtitles for Rickey Henderson's Hall of Fame induction speech yesterday. Rickey was always one of the more colorful characters who wasn't big on details, like his teammate's
names. So I thought in his speech, as he did in the clubhouse, he would thank "him, him... and him." In addition, when he set the stolen base record he proclaimed "I am the greatest of all time." But not yesterday. He said: "I am now in the class of the greatest players of all time. And at this moment, I am very, very humbled." Not quite as entertaining, but well said Rickey.

3. Taking Their Cuts

Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Harmon Killebrew fired high hard ones at the steroid abusers. They're not happy about the cheating. On the all time home run list, Alex Rodriguez stands one behind "Killer" in
10th place. 3 of players ahead of Killebrew are Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire. Hammerin' Hank says give all the cheaters asterisks. And both he and Killebrew wonder if the old timers would boycott the induction ceremonies of admitted steroid users. Baseball and the Hall of Fame are going to have to take a stand on this issue. It's not going away by itself.

4. Is Everything Performance Enhancing?

Last week the feds went after two over-the-counter dietary supplements that are popular with high school football players. They charge that they contain steroids. Is everything illegal? My daughter
the nutritionist, writes that in ancient Greece athletes loaded up on figs to increase their speed and strength. She says that nowadays caffeine, which is perfectly legal, helps athletes run faster. Since
it seems that "everything" enhances performance, the only fair thing to do is to make everybody fast before sports events. There you go. The Yom Kippur diet. Play ball!

(You can read my daughter's article here.)

5. Fore! (Make that four)

Kayti Dryer began serving 4 years in prison for trying to smuggle cocaine from the Caribbean into England inside the shafts of her golf clubs. The tipoff? Customs officials asked her about her handicap and she thought they were asking her about a disability. One customs official said "it was clear that she was totally unfamiliar with the game and she had no legitimate reason for traveling with the sports equipment."

(That describes any number of my golfing buddies.)

Happy Birthday: 1968 gold medal winner in figure skating, Peggy Fleming. 61.

Bonus Birthday: Tabloid and Top 5 fixture, and pretty fair ballplayer Alex Rodriguez. 34.

Today in Sports: William Shea announces a plan to have a National League baseball team in New York. (Let the fun begin.) 1959.

Bonus Event: The BBC reports there is no monster in Loch Ness. What a relief! 2003.