Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for October 5, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Europe beat the U.S. in the Ryder Cup 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.
* As expected, the Mets fire general manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel. Pittsburgh fires manager John Russell, Milwaukee fires manager Ken Macha.
* The baseball playoffs begin tomorrow with two American League games and one National League game.
* The Twins' Justin Morneau is out of the playoffs with a concussion.
* The Patriots drowned the Dolphins 41-14 on Monday Night Football.
* The 4 game suspension of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for his "behavior" is over. Pittsburgh went 3-1 in his absence.
* According to the New York Times, Tour de France winner Alberto Contador had a high level of a chemicals in a drug test, an indication of illegal blood doping. More bad meat?
2. Meet The Mess
What does $283 million dollars buy you the last two years? If you're the New York Mets, a losing record... both seasons. I'm guessing never has so much been spent to deliver so little. That's why their selection of a new general manager is critical. To quote Yogi, "you go to the fork in the road and you take it." The Mets are clearly at their fork. What they "take" will create the biggest set of falling dominoes in franchise history. From the new manager, to the players, to whether fans will pony up to watch them play next season. Not much on the line here, eh?
By the way, in this cynical sports world, you can believe that Mets owner Fred Wilpon was speaking from the heart when he talked about being betrayed by his friend Bernie Madoff.
3. Money Ball
So here's the final $corecard for 2010. Three of the top ten payrolls made the playoffs in baseball. The Yankees, Phillies and Giants. Three of the middle ten payrolls made it. The Twins, Braves and Reds. And two of the bottom 10 made it, the Rays and Rangers. And the Padres, who missed out by one game, would have made it 3.
Bottom line, money doesn't buy you into playoffs. Try telling that to Yankee haters.
4. US Against The World
Maybe it's time to change the format again. The Ryder Cup used to be the U.S. against Britain. But since the Americans won all the time, Britain was expanded to all of Europe. And now the Europeans have won 6 of the last 8. Given the state of U.S. sports internationally, why does it have to be "us against the world?" The U.S. doesn't dominate sports, certainly not in tennis, soccer, nor at the top of the golf leaderboards these days. So why not give the Americans a break? Lets add South Africa and Asia to the U.S. side in the Ryder Cup. The U.S. isn't the most popular country in the world as it is; let's give everyone less of a reason to root against us.
5. Equal Rights
The European Union Court of Justice has ruled that fathers in Spain have the same rights as mothers. During the first 9 months of their baby's life, dads can take one hour a day for breastfeeding. Hmmm. Logistics and anatomy aside, reminds me of the classic country club story where the women were complaining that men were relieving themselves on the golf course. The men's board held a special meeting and issued their ruling. The women were absolutely right. From now on, ladies could relieve themselves on the golf course too.
Happy Birthday: The great former NHL star, and Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux. 45.
Bonus Birthday: Oscar winning actress Kate Winslet. 35.
Today In Sports: Game 2 of the World Series between the Yankees and Giants is called on account of darkness with the score 3-3 while the sun was still in the sky. It was suspected they did it to increase the gate. Shocking! 1922.
Bonus Event: The first World Series game is broadcast on radio by Grantland Rice. The Yankees beat the Giants in 98 minutes. What, no commercials? 1921.
I'll be on NBC's Today Show tomorrow morning in the 9:00 am hour discussing my new kids book, "The 25 Greatest Baseball Players Of All Time."