Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 12, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Court-mandated mediation will begin Thursday in the NFL labor dispute.
* A former assistant coach and two former players are among the 10 people indicted in connection with the attempted fix of basketball games at the University of San Diego and UC Riverside.
* U-Conn's junior star Kemba Walker is expected to announce today that he'll enter the NBA draft.
* The Texas Rangers are now a team record 9-1. Remember the first place Mets last week? They're now tied for last. Then again, so are the champion Giants.
* The Dodgers held a fundraiser in the parking lot to benefit Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was critically beaten after a Dodgers game.
2. Play Ball
They started up the baseball season in Japan. Sports tried to bring some relief after all the hardship. TV showed fans watching the opening game from shelters. Another earthquake was felt in the stadium during the game. One player talked about visiting a shelter during training camp. He said he went to cheer up the victims and instead they cheered him up. Very similar comments that you heard from the Yankees when they paid visits after 9-11. One accommodation will be made. Lots of day games this season to save power.
3. A Tradition Like No Other
Since this is a "glass is half-full" kind of blog, (really?) how about something positive about sports prices? Subscriber Mark R. tells me, "I spent a wonderful Sunday at the Masters with my father. Our entire lunch of 2 sandwiches, apple, snickers, cookies, and 4 drinks cost us $14.50! Nowhere did we see commercial billboards of any kind -- we were told at the entrance gate that we needed to peel off the Deer Park label on our bottled water because it was considered an advertisement."
Wow. That almost makes up for the Masters insisting that the fans be called "patrons" on the telecast.
4. It's a Horse Race
Are you sick of everything being political? Then I shouldn't tell you that after Uncle Mo was beaten in the Wood Memorial, the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby right now is a horse named The Factor. And yes, it's named after Bill O'Reilly's show on FOX.
In a related story, Keith Olbermann, a long-time critic of O'Reilly, announced he'll run in the Kentucky Derby without a horse.
5. Oh Say Can You Run?
And Carl Lewis is running too. Why not, he won nine Olympic gold medals. Ah, but this time he's running for office, he announced yesterday that he's Democratic candidate for a seat in the New Jersey Senate. Hmm. Carl Lewis... New Jersey... somewhere in the memory bank...
When I was appearing on Dick Clark's blooper shows, I put together a montage of butchered anthems including Lewis', but the NBA wouldn't license the footage so it never aired. I told Carl about it. He didn't find it amusing. Wonder why?
Happy Birthday: Red Sox owner Tom Werner. 61.
Bonus Birthday: David Letterman. 64.
Today in Sports: The King, Arnold Palmer, won his fourth and final Masters. 1964.
Bonus Event: A bad day for dentists and plastic surgeons. A catcher's mask was used in a baseball game for the first time. 1877.
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