10/20/2011 10:36 am ET | Updated Dec 20, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Thursday everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 20, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • St. Louis beat Texas 3-2 in game one of the World Series.
  • Game two is tonight in St. Louis, 8:05 pm Eastern on FOX.
  • NBA owners and players spent a second marathon day negotiating with a federal mediator. They've now totaled over 24 hours of yakking in 48 hours. And they'll go at it again this afternoon.
  • Former Met and Phillie Lenny Dykstra strikes a plea deal on grand theft auto charges. He faces up to four years in prison when he's sentenced in January.
  • He can't help himself. Jets coach Rex Ryan says he could have won a couple of rings with San Diego's talent the last few years. Chargers coach Norv Turner shot back, where would he keep those rings, with the ones he's guaranteed the past few years with the Jets? Zing.

2. The Fall Classic

Crisp and cold, temps in the 40s with drizzle. Yup, the World Series is back. Things I liked: 1) The earlier start time. At last a game ending before midnight. 2) Seeing some new faces. Allen Craig with the game-winning pinch hit. Who? One concern is they've only played one game and we've already had eight pitching changes. Must have been fun for those fans sitting in those chilly conditions. The only one who liked it was the sponsor of "This call to the bullpen is brought to you by..."

3. Going to the Polls

Over 200,000 AskMen readers from around the world voted for the "49 Most Influential Men of 2011." Steve Jobs came out on top. 10 of the 49 were sportsmen from #10 soccer star Lionel Messi to #48 Oscar "The Blade Runner" Pistorious who runs on two artificial legs. Tom Brady was the only NFL player coming in at #42. Aussie Tour de France winner Cadel Evans was all the way up at #11. Interesting to note, not one baseball player. Then again, this was an international poll. Which sports figure would you vote as the "most influential" if it were limited to the U.S.?

4. History

Time flies. Seven years ago tonight I was at the old Yankee Stadium when the Red Sox finally did it, they vanquished the Yankees after trailing three games to none. I remember wondering if that meant the "Curse of the Bambino" was finally broken? Boston sportswriter Dan Shaughnessy who popularized the "Curse" assured me it would only be broken with a Boston World Series victory. I also remember running into Bill Murray in the press box men's room. It was 8-1 Boston at the time and we joked that this Red Sox loss was going to be the most painful ever. Of course they held on to win it. You would think that by winning two World Series Red Sox fans would lighten up. Yet, weeks after their collapse they are still in mourning. Yankees fans on the other hand, after losing to Detroit, have moved on. I guess when you've won 27 championships it's easier.

5. Substance Abuse

Another failed drug test, more excuses. Blah, blah, blah. OK, this one is slightly different, it involves goats. It seems two goats, including the grand champion at the Colorado State Fair Junior Livestock Sale have been disqualified for testing positive. The drug they were given promotes muscle growth. Of course the owner of the goats is appealing, claiming the goats' feed had been tampered with. How could that happen? Bleats me.

Today's Birthday Remembrance: My hero, Mickey Mantle, was born 80 years ago today. 1931.
Bonus Birthday: Snoop Dogg. 40.

Today in Sports: The Boston Red Sox become the first baseball team to overcome a 0-3 deficit and win a best of 7 series, beating the Yankees 10-3 in game 7. 2004.
Bonus Event: In perhaps the worst move in NBA history, the New York Nets sell Julius Erving to the Philadelphia 76ers. 1976.

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