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Top 5 Sports Stories

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LAKERS HORNETS
AP

Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 18, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.

1. Quick Hits

* The champion Lakers lost their opening playoff game to New Orleans, while the Celtics knocked off the Knicks on a clutch Ray Allen three-pointer.
* Memphis wins its first ever playoff game, stunning San Antonio 101-98.
* The blink of an eye. Jimmie Johnson wins the NASCAR race at Talladega by a record tying .002.
* They're running the 115th Boston Marathon today.
* Woods finally wins. Cheyenne Woods, Tiger's niece, won the ACC women's golf championship by seven strokes. She's a junior at Wake Forest.


2. Happy Anniversary

There's something good to celebrate if you're a Mets fan: the 25th anniversary of the 1986 championship. Thinking of that team and that World Series comeback always brings a smile. Then again on Friday, Lenny Dykstra was arrested for an investigation of grand theft, a day after he was charged with embezzling from a bankruptcy estate. Also on Friday, Dwight Gooden received five years probation for child endangerment. He was under the influence of cocaine in a 2010 New Jersey car accident with his five-year-old son in the backseat without a seat belt. Since 1986, things have not got swimmingly for the Mets and many of those former players. On the bright side, Mookie Wilson's the first base coach, and Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling continue to shine in the broadcast booth.


3. Who's On First?


Gee, it sounds logical. TV replay might be expanded in baseball to include trapped balls and fair or foul calls down the line. Simple, right? Not according to subscriber Marvin R. He suggests this scenario. "A video replay shows a guy did not catch a ball. Where are the runners placed? If an ump called it out, the runners probably didn't advance, if he is overruled and it's not a catch, what the hell do you do? 'Do over'?"

Great point. And if another ball is called foul, the runners probably stop running. But if now the ball is fair, is it a judgment call as to which runner goes where? Let the fun begin.


4. A Tradition Like No Other

Not the Masters. Throwing an octopus on the ice during a Detroit Red Wings hockey game. If you don't know, it all began in 1952. At that time, you needed eight wins to capture the Stanley Cup, and since an octopus has 8 tentacles (oct, get it?)... voila. Well, a huge controversy has erupted. Apparently the NHL has asked Detroit police to crack down on the octopus hurlers. During game one of the playoffs, one fan was fined $500 and ejected from the arena for his mollusk toss. I think the NHL should take the opposite tack. Embrace it. Organize it. Hold an "octopi bobble-arm night." And for goodness sakes, let 'em throw. Hey, it's sports. Can we have some fun around here?

5. Fan Participation

Now I'm annoyed! The Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer didn't bring in some local recording artist to flub the National Anthem. They had everybody sing. Over the years, messed up anthems have been fertile ground for my Spanning the World highlights. If this catches on, I'm screwed.

Happy Birthday: One of the Reds players the Mets obtained in the 1977 Tom Seaver trade debacle, Doug Flynn. 60.
Bonus Birthday: Conan O'Brien. 48.

Today in Sports: The grand opening of the House that Ruth Built. John Philip Sousa's band played the National Anthem. The Babe hit the first homer. The Yanks beat Boston 4-1. 1923.
Bonus Event: Listen, my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere. 1775.

The Top 5 resumes Wednesday.

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