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Top 5 Sports Stories

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TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for September 17, 2010 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

* Joe Torre reportedly has made his decision about returning to the Dodgers next season. He hasn't made it public. He won't be back, right?
* The San Francisco Giants have moved into first place.
* Darrelle Revis, who held out of Jets camp, now has a "hamstring issue." How are things going so far, Jets fans?
* Sue Bird and the Seattle Storm are the WNBA champs.
* For the second time a swastika is painted over the mural of Omri Casspi in Sacramento. Casspi is the only NBA player born in Israel.
* OK, name that tune. Anyone? The Black Eyed Peas are reportedly going to play at halftime of the Super Bowl.

2. Yankee Tradition

There's a downside to having the most popular sports logo in the world. It shows up in the most embarrassing places. As the New York Times reported, "A curious phenomenon has emerged at the intersection of fashion, sports and crime: dozens of men and women who have robbed, beaten, stabbed and shot at their fellow New Yorkers have done so while wearing Yankees caps or clothing."
The upside? When they get sentenced, they're comfortable in pinstripes.

3. Hate Is A Very Strong Word

Well, we've now got a weekend activity. In light of yesterday's story about LeBron James being the 6th most hated athlete. reader Kenn F. sends me his top 5.
1. Al Davis (Not an athlete, but we'll accept it it.)
2. Barry Bonds
3. NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson
4. Luis Suarez, a Uruguayan soccer player who "cheated" Ghana with a handball.
5. LeBron James

Now it's your turn. Can you feel the love?

4. Friday eMailbag

The Dwight Howard story struck a chord with Top 5 readers. The Orlando Magic star visited an elderly woman dying of cancer. What M.W. wrote was typical, "Thanks for publishing a story about people behaving. This story really restores my faith in people."
Editor's Note: How rare we hear this about today's athlete.

As for Pete Rose's continued banishment from baseball, R.D. emails, "He deserves another chance. We let druggies and cheaters in the game, then let's give Pete another chance."

When I suggested seat fillers, like the Oscars, to occupy the empty expensive seats at ballparks, M.G. wrote, "Apparently your idea of seat fillers is spot on... the Mets are calling their plan holders and offering free field level seats for September games! Of course 'free' is an interpretation... considering the $19 to park at Citi Field and the triple food and beverage prices at the food stands."

As for the soccer goalie who was celebrating his "save" while the ball was rolling into the goal, P.B. calls that "A case of premature jock elation."

And talking about Ines Sainz and her "dress code" interviewing the Jets, A.C. tweeted me, "So you're telling me you didn't wear a Speedo when you had exclusive interviews with Mia Hamm and Steffi Graf?"
Editor's Note: I don't remember. I'll have to watch the tapes.

5. Spanning The World

This week's Spanning the World highlight has to be Derek Jeter's Oscar-worthy performance.
Two thoughts. If A-Rod had pulled that stunt, all hell would have broken loose. And think about golf for a second. If Jeter were in the PGA, a viewer watching on television would have phoned in and called a penalty on him. Golfers police themselves, but in most other sports "cheating" is par for the course.

Happy Birthday: Lakers coach Phil Jackson. 65.
Bonus Birthday: Comedienne Rita Rudner. 57.

Today in Sports: Not a bad idea. They formed the NFL. 1920.
Bonus Event: Vanessa Williams is crowned the first black Miss America. She is later stripped of her title as nude photos surface. 1983.

I have a book signing Sunday at 2pm at Borders in Glendale, Queens on Cooper Avenue.

Monday I'll be a guest co-host on ESPN-NY Radio 1050 at 10AM with Seth Everett.

Last call:
Want a free autographed copy of my newest kids book The 25 Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time? Send me the email addresses of 3 new Top 5 subscribers and you'll be entered in a lottery to win. Send at least 5 new subscribers and be eligible to win autographed copies of both the new book and my New York Times bestseller, The Greatest Moments in Sports. Just get in touch to enter.