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Len Berman

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Top 5 Sports Stories

Posted: 11/23/11 11:35 AM ET

Happy Wednesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for November 23, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.


1. Quick Hits

  • Baseball announces a new labor agreement through 2016 which will assure a 21-year run of labor peace plus HGH testing for the first time.
  • Milwaukee left fielder Ryan Braun is the National League MVP.
  • The NFL has a Thanksgiving tripleheader tomorrow highlighted by the Lions hosting the Packers. The two teams played every Thanksgiving from 1951-1963. In 1962 Bart Starr and the Packers were also 10-0 but the Lions beat them 26-14 for Green Bay's only loss of the season.


2. Moneyball

Remember when $100,000 was the highest baseball salary? During the course of the new agreement, the minimum salary will rise to $500,000. Or to put it another way, I'll trade you five Mickey Mantles for one Eduardo Nunez.


3. Funny, You Don't Look...

By my count Ryan Braun is the fifth Jewish MVP. The others are Sandy Koufax (1963) Al Rosen (1953) Lou Boudreau (1948) and Hank Greenberg (1935 and 1940). We're still looking for the first Jewish catching MVP. How do you say Yogi in Yiddish?


4. Holiday emailbag

As for the sexual abuse allegations against long time Syracuse basketball assistant Bernie Fine, R.T. writes, "I have known Bernie for 36 years and my brother was his college roommate for 2 years. It would be beyond shocking if these charges were true. The tragic thing is that when Bernie is absolved his life will still be ruined."

With Philadelphia being voted most sports-crazed city, J.B. writes, "Of course, Philly is the most crazed as in violently psychotic."
Editor's note: Play nice.

And with New York City coming in 17th in the poll, J.P. writes, "New Yorkers love and support their teams, but put sports in clear perspective: Sports is a wonderful diversion, but there are other things in life to appreciate."
Editor's note: Oh yeah? Show me two 24-hour radio stations devoted to the arts. "Yo, Mike. First time caller. Can you believe that lineup over at MoMa? They oughta fire da curator."


5. Thanksgiving 2011

This won't go down as the best year in sports history. You can thank Jerry Sandusky and the NBA for that. Since journalism seems thrive on the negative, now's the perfect time to take note of some of what we have to be thankful for. The NFL tops the list. They figured out their labor problems and week after week attract the largest audience with the most exciting games. Game 6 of the World Series will be talked about forever especially in Texas where they were so close to their first World Series title, twice. There were some other terrific moments like Derek Jeter's 3000th hit being a home run, VCU making the Final Four and a 20-year old rookie named Trevor Bayne winning the Daytona 500 in just his second career start. And of course we're thankful for our military personnel serving in harm's way. Let's hope we continue to honor them at sports events as in Boston when a returning soldier from Afghanistan surprised his parents at a Bruins game. I'd be interested in hearing what sports moments you are thankful for. I'm also thankful for your continued support of the Top 5 and your endless stream of interesting comments. Keep 'em coming, and happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Happy Birthday: El Tiante, former pitcher Luis Tiant. 71.
Bonus Birthday: Actress/Singer Miley Cyrus. 19.

Today in Sports: Doug Flutie's Hail Mary pass for Boston College that Beat Miami 47-45. 1984.
Bonus Event: 75 years ago today, the first Life Magazine is published with a picture of the Fort Peck (Montana) Dam on the cover. 1936.


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