Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for August 2, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- Voters turn down a $400 million bond proposal for a new arena for the New York Islanders.
- Wide receiver Randy Moss is retiring after 13 seasons in the NFL at the age of 34.
- One of the key witnesses in the beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow, Matthew Lee, has died from an allergic food reaction. The arraignment for the two suspects in the beating case is next week.
2. The Voters Have Spoken
It wasn't close. Voters shouted a loud no. They don't want to fund an arena for a hockey team. They rejected the arguments about construction jobs, businesses in the area, and the arena being used for other events. Obviously this is not the economic time for a grandiose sports plan. Subscriber Bob P. said it best: "When will taxpayers learn that these private entrepreneurs who ask residents to part with their hard-earned dollars and then charge outrageous prices for these same taxpayers to see their teams say, 'thanks, but no thanks'? Build the stadium, coliseum whatever yourself or hit the road." Blunt, but true. Taxpayers are saying the owner should build it privately. As sad as it seems for history's sake, it doesn't sound like the Islanders are long for New York.
3. A Little Perspective
Yankees manager Joe Girardi is no fan of doubleheaders. Here's what he said the other day. "I would vote for two seven-inning games, or you increase the roster for doubleheaders, just because it's so hard on your team physically." His comments sent Top 5 subscriber Jerry R. over the edge. Jerry writes, "Well my warehouse over the last 2 weeks has been approximately 110 degrees. We give my crew cold water and an extra 15minute break (which the company pays for). My crew makes about 9-15 dollars an hour and works 9 hour days, and here is a wimp of a manager who has a team making millions of dollars for 6 months work and they are complaining about the heat. That is why athletics do not live in the real world they are spoiled and pampered and we overpay to see them."
Editor's Note: Hey Jerry, do you allow your crew to scratch and spit tobacco juice on the warehouse floor? Also, when one of your workers does something good, does he stop and admire his handy work before rushing off to his next task?
4. Never Boring
I know, some of you never want to read another item about Brett Favre or Tiger Woods. I have a hunch Rex Ryan is quickly gaining on your "no read list." But you know, the guy can't help himself. Take a look at his brand new leg tattoo. This is the same guy with that infamous "foot fetish." Maybe it's just a lower extremity thing.
5. The Captain
Mention the "Yankee Captain" and Derek Jeter's name immediately comes to mind. It wasn't always that way. In fact after Lou Gehrig's death it was thought that honor would die with him. Until Thurman Munson came along. What a fitting title for a hard-working lunch-pail kind of guy who led by example. He was a "ballplayer's ballplayer." He didn't have much use for the media, but he was beloved by his teammates. He was truly the Yankee Captain who tragically passed away 32 years ago today while practicing takeoffs and landings in Canton, Ohio. He once glared at me in the clubhouse. I think that was his way of saying "hello." But I've had the great honor of hosting his tribute dinner for nearly two decades. His wonderful widow Diana has raised a terrific family. And all these years later, there is a substantial group of fans who think of Thurman when "Yankee Captain" is brought up. Quite a tribute. The phrase "heart and soul" of a team is thrown around loosely. For Munson it was an apt description.
Happy Birthday: Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. 45.
Bonus Birthday: Lawrence of Arabia himself, actor Peter O'Toole. 79.
Today in Sports: 19-year-old Walter Johnson makes his pitching debut for the Washington Senators and loses, 3-2 to Detroit. Six years later he went 36-7 with 11 shutouts. 1907.
Bonus Event: Finally we have a location for Saks. They opened up 5th Avenue in New York City. 1824.
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