Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 29, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- Maria Sharapova and three others make the Wimbledon semifinals.
- Was it a World Series preview? Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee pitched his third straight shutout, a two-hitter, as the Phillies beat the Red Sox 5-0.
- South Carolina clinched its second straight College World Series title by sweeping two straight from Florida, 5-2 last night.
- The American women beat North Korea 2-0 in their opening World Cup match. The North Korean coach blamed the fact that several of his players were struck by lightning during a training session. Oh.
- NFL talks are continuing in Minnesota.
- Tiger Woods looks doubtful for the British Open in two weeks.
2. And Somebody Got Hurt
The story that colorful wide receiver Terrell Owens may have blown out his knee taping a show for VH1 is just the latest in a long line of athletes who should have stayed in bed during the off season. Remember pitcher Jim Lonborg? After leading the Red Sox to the 1967 World Series, he got injured skiing and was never the same. How about Patriots rookie sensation Robert Edwards? He rushed for over 1000 yards in 1998 and then played in an NFL-sponsored flag football game at the Pro Bowl. He was injured so badly that they thought they'd have to amputate his leg. Then there was Aaron Boone of the Yankees, who hit his dramatic pennant-winning homer for the Yankees in 2003, and then tore up his knee playing basketball. That's why A-Rod is now the Yankees third baseman. No wonder teams write stuff into contracts about off-season activities. But they still can't encase their players in bubble wrap.
Notorious Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger had eluded the FBI for 16 years before they finally got him. But it turns out he wasn't exactly in hiding. The London Daily Mail has published some of Bulger's "vacation photos." One of them, a picture with the Stanley Cup! It turns out the son-in-law of his longtime gal pal, Teresa Stanley, is Chris Nilan who won the Cup with Montreal. So there you have it, Bulger, Nilan and the Stanley Cup. I'm guessing the FBI just wasn't into hockey.
4. No Sense of Humor
Apparently you can't put anything you want on the back of an official Major League baseball jersey. Many people thought it would be funny to order an "Official Dodgers bankruptcy jersey." Here's what it would look like. The language (Chapter 11) on the jersey is considered to be one of the following: inappropriate, derogatory or profane. I tried to order a Dodgers jersey that said Schmuck 11. No problem.
5. Anatomy Lesson
It was only a matter of time. When a race car driver makes a daring maneuver, fans think, "what a set of balls." Of course it's not limited to racing. In college hoops, my friend Bill Raftery likes to yell out the more broadcast-friendly term "onions" when a kid makes a terrific yet risky play. But what about female athletes? What happens when Danica Patrick makes one of those great moves? She solved the issue herself. In describing her speed at an Iowa track, she said "it took some ovaries" on her part. She produced her very own cliche. Or did she reproduce it?
Happy Birthday: Former Dodger and Cardinal Pedro Guerrero. 55.
Bonus Birthday: Comedian Richard Lewis. 64.
Today in Sports: On his way to his record 56-game hitting streak, Joe DiMaggio set the all-time record by getting a hit in his 42nd consecutive game, breaking George Sisler's mark from 1922. 1941.
Bonus Event: Joe's former wife, Marilyn Monroe, married playwright Arthur Miller. It lasted 4 1/2 years. 1956.
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