10/04/2011 10:59 am ET | Updated Dec 04, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 4, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Detroit Texas and Milwaukee can each wrap up their series today.
  • Today's Schedule: Texas at Tampa Bay (Texas leads 2 games to 1). 2:07pm Eastern. TBS.

Philadelphia at St. Louis (series tied at 1). 5:07pm TBS.

Yankees at Detroit (Detroit leads 2 games to 1). 8:37pm TBS.

Milwaukee at Arizona. (Milwaukee leads two games to none). 9:37pm TNT.
  • Today is a critical day in the NBA talks. Movement is needed to save the start of the regular season.
  • The Peyton Manning-less Colts drop to 0-4 after losing to Tampa Bay last night 24-17.
  • Rumor has it that Madonna will be the Super Bowl halftime performer in February.

  • 2. Burn Baby Burn

    How confident are Yankee fans tonight? The truth is, not very. Desperate for a win, they hand the ball to A.J. Burnett to save their season. A couple of stats. He has the highest earned run average of any regular Yankee starting pitcher. Add to that he's given up the most homers and the most walks. Get the picture? The Yankees gave him a big fat contract because he showed flashes of brilliance. If the Yankees are to live for another day, he had better show more than that. By the way, another big money guy, Alex Rodriguez is the only Yankee starter without a hit in the three games. Top 5 subscriber A.M. suggests, "Maybe he needs a new nickname...O-Rod." Ouch.

    3. Punch and Judy Hitters

    Some interesting numbers have emerged from the just completed baseball season. Numbers like anemic batting averages, fewer homers, and less scoring per game. You have to go back to the late 80s and early 90s to find such limited output. Is the one-word answer steroids? Or is it steroids and amphetamines? Baseball people claim the pitching has gotten better, but which came first, the drug test or warning track power?

    4. Next Question

    Andy Roddick got dumped in the first round at a tennis tournament in Beijing yesterday. Andy (ranked 15th in the world) called the loss to South African Kevin Anderson (ranked 31st) unacceptable. Apparently Roddick felt the same way about a question he was asked in the post-match news conference. He was asked what he thought of retirement and after pausing he told the reporter, "I think you should retire." Other reporters applauded. Roddick up and walked out. The media session turned out to be more entertaining than his match.

    5. Plain English

    My new hero is the Associated Press editor who sent out a style guide for sportswriters who are covering the baseball playoffs. In part it reads, "Better to say a player hit a home run, rather than he 'walloped' or 'blasted' or 'cracked' it. Home runs are also homers, but avoid calling them 'dingers,' 'jacks,' 'bombs,' 'taters' and 'four-baggers.' In short, avoid hackneyed words and phrases." I've always subscribed to that theory. Now if we can start working on sportscasters who insist on "going yard."

    Happy Birthday: Hall of Fame linebacker for the Giants and Redskins, Sam Huff. 77.
    Bonus Birthday: Annie Savoy. Bull Durham's Susan Sarandon. 65.

    Today in Sports: Bums no more. The Brooklyn Dodgers finally win a World Series beating the Yankees in 7 games. 1955.
    Bonus Event: "Ward, I'm very worried about the Beaver." Leave it to Beaver debuts on CBS. 1957.

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