Top 5 Sports Stories

10/26/2011 01:32 pm ET | Updated Dec 26, 2011

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 26, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • Tonight in St. Louis the Cards try to force a seventh game in the World Series against Texas. 8:05pm Eastern on FOX.
  • Theo Epstein is introduced as the Cubs president of baseball operations. He believes he can build "a team that will ultimately win the World Series."
  • Red Sox pitcher John Lackey will miss next season with Tommy John surgery.
  • Major League Baseball has accused Dodgers owner Frank McCourt of "looting" the team for $190 million for his personal expenses.
  • NBA talks will continue today.
  • Another blow to the Big East Conference. West Virginia is heading to the Big 12.
  • Former NFL wide receiver 37-year-old Terrell Owens staged a public workout yesterday. No NFL team showed up, but he did catch passes shirtless.

2. Can You Hear Me Now?

Will the bullpen phone turn out to be the goat of this World Series? A "failure to communicate" led to the Cardinals playing Keystone Kops with their relief pitchers in game 5. Cards manager Tony La Russa says it's all his fault. Maybe someone hung up early, or maybe he didn't speak clearly. But in this era of dizzying technology with 4G, tablets and all sorts of gizmos, it seems as if baseball has strung together a couple of tin cans to make important in-game decisions. Then again perhaps it wasn't the phone's fault. Maybe no matter what era we live in, "A poor workman blames it on his tools."

3. League Leaders

The Denver Broncos may be in last place, but since 2000 they lead all NFL teams in player arrests. According to Yahoo Sports, one in every 45 NFL players is arrested. That's much better than the national arrest rate which is 1 in 23. And the NFL isn't the worst offender. NBA players, on average, get arrested more often followed by baseball. Then again, it seems to go by roster size. The NFL has the most players on a team so on average they don't have as many miscreants. It just seems that way.

4. Now We're Talking

Top 5 subscriber G.M. is really ticked off about the Red Sox/beer controversy, and the fact that Joe Torre is going to investigate. He writes: "The witch hunt that is now stalking the Red Sox makes me sick. Torre and MLB are going to jump all over this crap about some grown men admitting they've had a few beers in the clubhouse while 39,000 fans are swilling the stuff just a few feet away. So let's ban alcohol from the clubhouse because it's a bad role model for kids. Oh wait, will the MLB consider banning the airing of beer commercials during TV and radio broadcasts? How about in-stadium signage? And no more beer and champagne celebrations in the clubhouse or out on the field in front of fans.
Hey Joe, how about banning chewing tobacco as it leads to cancer? Tattoos on players because they are polluting the visual environment and are a bad role model for kids. And how about what women find most disgusting about baseball... the constant spitting on the field during games? Leave the Red Sox alone. They've already punished themselves and their fans enough."

Editor's Note: No rule about cup adjustments?

5. Yer Out!

A Czech soccer ref decided to celebrate his birthday before reffing his game. So he showed up drunk. There's no rule against it. Really? Anyway, he kept falling down and then he ejected three players from one team for no apparent reason. The other team, showing good sportsmanship, agreed not to attack. So the game ended in a 1-1 tie. The ref failed a police breathalyzer test and now faces a possible 12-month suspension. It's not every day you see a ref get carded.

Happy Birthday: Basketball's Hod Rod Hundley. 77.
Bonus Birthday: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 64.

Today in Sports: Thuh Yankees Win, Thuh Yankees Win. Actually they did win twice, clinching the World Series on this date both in 1996 (Braves) and 2000 (Mets).
Bonus Event: If I were a rich man. The minimum wage is hiked from .40 to .75. 1949.

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