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Top 5 Sports Stories

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Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 7, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • The Boston Bruins bomb Vancouver 8-1 in game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals. (The record is nine goals in the finals.) Vancouver still leads two games to one.
  • Nathan Horton of the Bruins was hospitalized after a cheap shot early in the game. He was carried off on a stretcher.
  • Mark Jackson will be the new coach of the Golden State Warriors. He's played, he's announced, he's a good guy, but he's never coached.
  • The baseball draft got underway last night. With the first overall pick, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected righty pitcher Gerrit Cole from UCLA.
  • More trouble for former Met Lenny Dysktra. He was charged in L.A. with nearly two dozen counts of fraud, grand theft and drug possession.
  • U.S. Olympic TV rights for games beginning in 2014 could be awarded today. NBC, FOX and ESPN are bidding.

2. Truth Is Advertising

First you had Mets' owner Fred Wilpon's candor about his players, and now comes Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano. He was in line to get the win the other day, until his bullpen let him down. Zambrano cut loose with words like "embarrassing," "we stink," and the classic, the Cubs are a "Triple-A team." Is everyone taking truth serum in baseball? For a reporter like me, who has been bored to death by sports quotes, this is like hitting the mother lode. Keep 'em coming!

3. Catching Grief

The Buster Posey injury has become a major issue. The Giants star catcher was run over by Florida's Scott Cousins, and is likely lost for the season. In no particular order there have been death threats against Cousins, the Giants general manager Brian Sabean has hinted at revenge, there have been calls for rules changes, and a flurry of statements from all concerned. Everyone has an opinion. Perhaps the greatest defensive catcher of all time, Johnny Bench blamed Posey for putting himself "in such a bad position." Bench likened Posey to, "like having a disabled car in the middle of a four-lane highway. You're just going to get smacked." Personally, I'm not in favor of changing the rules of the game. Then again, I've never been run over at home plate.

4. Rewriting History

Remember that 2004 USC national championship in college football? That's the one where they beat Oklahoma 55-19 in the Orange Bowl. Well, it never happened. The BCS has stripped USC of its title thanks to running back Reggie Bush receiving illegal benefits. So what does it mean exactly? The AP says USC remains #1 in their final AP Poll. USC says they'll still refer to 2004 as a "national championship season," and coach Pete Carroll still skated away to the pros scot-free. I could say that college football championships are a joke, but isn't that redundant?

5. Name Game

Sean Avery won the race at Monmouth the other day. Not the hockey player, the horse. Yup, there's a five-year-old gelding with the same name as the Rangers hockey pest. Actually, the call of the race was pretty cool. Here's the audio. Go to the 1:18 mark. That's a call you rarely hear on the ice. I remember when a horse named Pinocchio was racing and the announcer intoned, "It's Pinocchio by a nose!" Of course as Top 5 subscribers have pointed out in the past, you just can't get enough of Hoof Hearted. As always, stay classy Top 5 readers!

Happy Birthday: Winless, but still looking great doing it, tennis beauty Anna Kournikova. 30.
Bonus Birthday: It's not unusual that singer Tom Jones is 71.

Today in Sports: The Mets pass on Reggie Jackson, and with the #1 pick draft Steve Chilcott. Reggie was drafted #2 by Oakland. Chilcott never made it to the majors. 1966.
Bonus Event: Eddie Arcaro, aboard Whirlaway, wins the Triple Crown at Belmont Park. 70 years ago today. 1941.

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